What are the pros and cons of mulching blades vs regular blades? Do they have many variations, to begin with? They each have distinct differences, as you’ll find out.
If one of your household chores is lawn mowing, you’ll agree that its performance and capabilities depend on many elements. The most crucial ones concern its blades.
They are available in many sizes, shapes, and layers of sharpness and are the only determining factor on how your lawn should be cut.
Even so, the common ones you might be aware of is either a mulching blade vs. a mower blade. Both are utilized for cutting the grass but have many glaring distinctions that make them different from each other.
Before learning about their differences, you should know first about the other types of mower blades.
Mulching blades vs. regular blades vs. other mower blade types
If you take lawn management seriously, learning about different mower blades is an essential matter. It’s like cutting your hair: you don’t rely on one kind of scissors. You’ll need other types with different blades to get the best hairstyle.
There are also many kinds of lawnmowers. These are catered to the needs of various types of homeowners. But they won’t affect the lawn as much as the blades do.
Each lawnmower type are designed for specific terrain and land, whose features are designed adapt to them.
Here are the different mowers:
- Wheeled lawn mower
- Rear roller lawn mower
- Hover lawn mower
- Cylinder lawn mower
- Push lawn mower
Also, mowers are available in different power alternatives:
- Corded or electric powered lawn mower
- Gas powered lawn mower
- Cordless or battery powered lawn mower
- Robotic lawn mower
Each use particular blades, which you will find out below:
Standard or medium-lift blade
If you are looking for high-performance mower blades, this might be what you’re looking for.
Sometimes they are called straight mower blades, even though they each are slightly curved at the end. If you see the grass cuttings expelled sideways, you will know it’s this kind.
In general, these types are regarded as blades used by regular lawn mowers that horizontally revolve. Since there is a small bend at the edges, air can ventilate through.
It is recommended that these blades only be utilized if your lawn is densely patched. They can quickly cut through thick grass and easily send it towards the bag.
Low lift blades
These types are designed to be utilized in sandy soil because of their low suction power. Compared to the standard ones, these even have lesser bent on the edges.
Its low suction capability does not allow the grass to be elevated higher. It will enable the grass to be closer to the ground and expelled to the sides.
They are measured three to four inches in size and only need less power for your mower. Since these blades won’t stress the motor, it makes the whole device last longer.
High lift blade
Are high lift blades better? By the looks of it, it might be the best one there is. You will know it immediately from what it looks like with its vertical angles at the edges. This design allows air to pass through the blades and emits a vertical suction.
The rapid circular rotation draws the grass in tightly, which enables a perfect cutting. In turn, cut the grass evenly and precisely.
Its measurements in length range from one to twenty-one inches and work well with taller grass. Their high suction ability enables no grass collection inside the chute that halts any blockage.
If you’re going to choose between high lift mower blades vs. gator blades, it will go down to your particular needs as a lawn-mowing person. Yet, it has more similarities to mulching blades than the others.
They’re particularly created to powerfully draw in the grass, which you will feel move upwards. It is due to the specifications of the blade that enables it to pull the grass going up. This way, it can be moved precisely.
The last are mulching blades, which will be fully discussed in the segments below.
How do mulching blades work?
Do mulching blades work better? It is better in many ways. One advantageous thing is that it does the job of mulching and mowing at the same time.
These blades seemingly execute a magic trick right before eyes when it makes the grass cuttings vanish, instead of expelling it out or sending it into a collection bag.
The secret is due to the particular shape of the blades, which from afar, won’t look particularly significant. The seemingly modest differences are the things that make all the difference and enable it to be better than the regular blades.
Three-in-one vs. two-in-one
Do mulching blades cut better? They actually do and they’re versatile this way. Sometimes they’re called three-in-one blades because they can do three tasks rather than the usual two.
- Discharge the grass cuttings
- Bag it
- Mulch it
Whereas regular or two-in-one blades can only do two tasks: discharging and bagging only and cannot mulch.
A particular grass mulching blade model has toothed edges that supply more airflow underneath the mower deck. Its teeth are situated in a way so that they can direct the cuttings inward, away from the blade tip and back to the edges.
The airflow that goes inward functions together with the circular flow of air, which results in more opportunities to cut grass.
These blade types enable more effective and finer mulch than other top-rated mulching blades.
Compared to regular blades, it has a more curved design that gives it an arched surface. It enables the grass cuttings to propel in a circular motion into the mower deck. In turn, the ceaseless circulation severs the grass repeatedly into tinier and tinier pieces, thus turning it into mulch.
Other types (which aren’t mulching blades) are called high-lift blades because they’re particularly designed to enable an aerodynamic lift to draws in the grass to go up and cast the clippings aside through the chute.
Whereas, the mulching blade creates an air stream that circulates and aims the clippings to the blades after they’re cut.
These blade types are specifically designed to evenly discharge the clippings to the entire lawn. Once they’re distributed and land on the grass, they give the necessary nutritional elements of phosphate and nitrogen.
Since these blade types are made to keep the cuttings beneath the mower deck instead of immediately expelling them, they are not as effective in bagging the clippings as regular ones.
In turn, the clippings might clog underneath the mower deck and the blades themselves.
How do you distinguish the top or bottom of a mulching blade?
As you already know, mulching blades are designed differently than regular ones. Its curved design creates a vacuum within the mower deck, which causes the grass to circulate then cut into smaller pieces. These tiny clippings will become mulch and distributed to the whole yard.
However, you might be confused about which side goes up and down. Most of these blade types have the “bottom” word stamped, and some have their model numbers indicated underneath. If you find either of those, that part must be facing downward once it’s installed and the whole device is standing erect.
Once your look at the shape of a mulching mower blade, part of it is slightly curved upward. Some models might not be bent enough, but it has a sort of metal flaps cut at its back and curved upward. These flaps must directly face the inside of the mower deck after the blades have been put in.
If you want to check on the blades after they’re already installed in the mower, pull out the spark plug wire and let out the gasoline in the tank into a container.
Taking out the wiring prevents unintentional engine starts, and fuel drainage keeps it from running into the ground.
How to mow with mulching blades
Mulching blades are the best blades for cutting grass, as you will find out once you test it out. Here is the best way to use it in a particular mowing task:
- First, you must decide where the mulch should go. Place the lawnmower on the particular area on the lawn that needs to be cut. The exit chute must face that area and adjust the mower’s height to cut off one-third from the top of the grass.
- Detach the bag for the clippings. Comply with the safety measures specific to your mower and start mowing external edges of the lawn to discharge the cuttings to the center.
- Keep on mowing in a circular motion so that the trimmings are still within the lawn.
- Go back to your first position and follow the same route to break up the cutting into tinier pieces.
- Once done, get a rake and spread the cuttings over the bare spots. So that every portion of the lawn is covered.
- Water the yard to add weight and density to the clippings, which enables them to establish quicker into the existing sod.
FAQ or frequently asked questions
What kind of steel is made to be utilized for mower blades?
The type of blades attached to lawn mowers is made of alloy steel or high carbon. Manufacturers use it because it has a greater capacity to be extremely tolerant to breaking apart.
Can you install mulching blades on any lawn mower?
Yes, you can. Any brand of mulching blade can be attached to almost any lawn mower model. On your part, you need to measure the mower deck and the blades that you want to purchase to make sure that they can be attached properly and securely.
However, if your lawnmower is one of the rare few that has an oddly shaped mower deck or a low-powered engine, these would make it difficult to fit with differently-modeled mulching blades. These will result to the blades not properly mulching as it is supposed to be.
Can I replace my mower’s blade with a universal blade?
No, you can’t. Manufacturers recommend not to substitute the original blade with any other that’s not of the same brand. It might be compatible and suitable for grass cutting.
Can I mow over fallen leaves instead of raking them?
Whenever fall comes, the task of raking leaves in your front yard is laborious and time-consuming. However, you can do away with this irksome chore by just mowing over them.
This action will enable decomposition to be faster. Thus, making a compost rich in nutrients for your grass and other plants in your household.
You either leave behind the mulched leaves or distribute them throughout the lawn by putting them inside a mower bag. You can either use regular or mulching blades for this chore.
Can you replace a busted mower blade?
Once mower blades break apart and damaged, it is rendered useless, since it is a crucial component of a typical mower. However, some lawnmower manufacturers will replace your blades if they come from the same company. So it is beneficial for you to buy all mower components from the same company.
Why do lawnmowers with mulching blades leave clusters of grass on the lawn?
It’s because either the lawn is wet or there was too long of a time passed between two mowing sessions. During active periods like summer or springtime, you need to mow more often to prevent this from happening.
There are also excellent blades for mulching that can operate well on dry and wet grass. It will make your task easier and mitigates grass clustering.
How will I know when the mower blades are dull, and can I sharpen them?
You will know the blades are not sharp anymore if you see that the grass isn’t cut evenly. Some of them will be pulled from the roots or have scraggy edges.
You can replace them with new ones of the same make and brand to avoid complications. Or you can sharpen them, which entails a long and complex process. If you don’t know-how, you can hire a professional mechanic for this task.
After knowing all of this information, which do you think is better? The decision will rest on you and your lawn’s needs.