If you’re not getting the results you want after cutting the grass, you may be using the wrong lawn mower blade or blades on your walk-behind mower or riding mower. There are, essentially, three kinds of blades that can be used, and determining which one will work best on your mower can largely depend on your geography and what you intend to do with the grass clippings.
How to identify the three primary cutting blades
While the three primary cutting blades are most commonly-referred to as a “high-lift blade”, “low-lift blade” and “mulching blade”, the terminology for the three different blade types can vary depending on your region. For example, the high-lift blade is also known as a “basic blade”, “regular blade”, or a “2-in-1 blade”, whereas a mulching blade can sometimes be referred to as a “3-in-1 blade”.
Different blades produce different results
- Perfect for mowers with a bagger.
- Aerodynamically designed to cut the grass and lift the clippings, propelling them up and out the discharge chute.
- Riding lawn mowers often use high-lift blades, but because of the equipment’s longer discharge chute, the blades will often have larger “wind wings” than ones used on walk-behind mowers in order to create more airflow under the clippings.
- Suitable for dry, shorter grass or areas with sandy soils.
- The airflow from a low-lift blade is not as forceful as a high-lift blade, resulting in less suction but also reducing the amount of airborne dust and debris.
- A popular choice for those who mow their lawn without a bagger.
- Designed to kick up the grass clippings after being cut so it can re-cut the clippings into smaller pieces.
- Some experts tout the environmental aspects of using a mulching blade since the smaller, re-cut grass clippings can be left on the lawn to decompose which will provide nutrients for the lawn.
Important mulching blade tips
- Mulching blades offer the most flexibility in that they can also be used with a bagger; however, in most cases, a mulching blade will not propel the clippings as strongly through the discharge chute as a high-lift blade.
- If you allow the grass to grow too long (more than 4 inches), the mulching blade will not be as effective at re-circulating and cutting the grass into smaller clippings.
- While it is important to always make sure your lawn mower blades are sharp, this is especially true with a mulching blade. A dull mulching blade will have a much harder time re-cutting the grass clippings which could result in clumps of grass being left on your lawn.
Find the right lawn mower blades with Repair Clinic
To find the right blade for your application, enter the full model number of your mower in the Repair Clinic website search bar, then select “Blade” from the part category filter. Using the correct model number will ensure you can find the right-sized blade for your walk-behind or riding mower, whether you own a Craftsman, Honda, Murray, or a Toro model. Regardless of which kind of blade you choose, you should sharpen the blade as often as necessary depending on the amount of use. We also recommend you replace the blade with a new one every two years.