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Outdoor power equipment Types of lawn mower blades

Published on July 26th, 2013 | by Jeff Linderman


Types of lawn mower blades

What’s the difference between high-lift and mulching lawn mower blades?

Here’s an overview of the two main types of lawn mower blades:

1.     High-lift blades (a.k.a. standard blades or 2-in-1 or two-in-one blades).

High-lift blades are the most commonly used blades for push and riding lawn mowers. Their “high-lift” design allows for greater airflow, enabling cleaner cutting and faster discharging of the grass clippings back to the lawn or into a bag.

Note that high-lift blades are not an option if your lawn mower exclusively mulches or if you’ve installed a mulching kit on it (mulching kits provide lawn mowers with mulching ability).

Example of a mulching blade

2.    Mulching blades (a.k.a. all-purpose blades or 3-in-1 blades or three-in-one blades).

Mulching blades are designed for push or riding lawn mowers that mulch clippings. Mulching blades cut the grass and then chop the clippings into finer pieces. This mulching enables faster grass decomposition so your lawn will reap the benefits of the nutrients sooner.

Mulching blades are more curved in design than high-lift blades and often include more cutting surfaces for their mulching work.

Older lawn mower models may use a mulching blade that’s really a pair of blades affixed together in a perpendicular fashion.  Newer lawn mower models use a more advanced design in which a single mulching blade accomplishes the job.

How do you know what type of blade is best for your lawn mower?

  • Carefully read your lawn mower owner’s manual for detailed instructions.
  • Enter your lawn mower model number at for the blades recommended specifically for your model.

We do not recommend universal blades designed to fit multiple models, due to safety concerns associated with poor fitting.

Important lawn mower blade care tips

  • Regularly check blades for damage, bends and dullness. A damaged and dull blade can cause debris to be propelled at high speeds. Replace as needed.
  • Blades should be replaced every year or two, depending on usage. Replacement blades are inexpensive and easy to install.
  • Make sure blades are  always sharp.  Dull blades tear grass, rather than cut. This results in a yellow hue across lawn’s tips.  Blades can be sharpened at small engine repair shops and home improvement stores. Blades wear over time so be sure to carefully inspect the blades for damage before having them sharpened. We’ve found that it’s often safer and more cost effective to simply replace the blades in lieu of sharpening.

Before removing and replacing blades or any other part, read the owner’s manual for specific instructions.

Related information

Things to consider when shopping for a new push lawn mower

What to do if you tip over your lawn mower and then it won’t start

Five killer outdoor power equipment-related dangers

What to do if your lawn mower won’t start

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Since 1999, three and a half million people have purchased replacements parts and accessories from RepairClinic and saved more than $260 million in repair costs by fixing appliances, lawn equipment, power tools, and heating & cooling equipment on their own. From the beginning, RepairClinic has provided free troubleshooting and how-to resources on its website.

The company’s 2,000+ free how-to repair and how-it-works videos on its YouTube channel have been viewed more than 41 million times.

RepairClinic’s free, advanced online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with home appliances, lawn equipment, power tools and heating & cooling equipment. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch award-winning, expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct part. stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of lawn mowers, small engines, snowblowers, string trimmers, furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, power tools and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.® return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States, U.S. territories and military bases and Canada.

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About the Author

Jeff Linderman is’s in-house outdoor power equipment and landscaping expert. For 25 years, Jeff owned and operated a successful commercial and residential landscaping business. He couldn’t afford the extensive downtime that came when he brought his equipment to be repaired at overloaded small engine repair shops. Instead, Jeff learned how to complete the repairs on his own. This interest in outdoor power equipment grew as Jeff completed extensive manufacturer training. Today, Jeff is a Briggs & Stratton® Master Service Technician, Kohler® Engines Expert Technician and a Kawasaki® Service Technician for Engines and Power Products. He has a B.A. in criminal justice from Michigan State University. Jeff worked for 25 years as a sergeant in the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department while he operated his landscaping business. He’s an avid fisherman and lives in the metro-Detroit area.

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