What Is a 3-in-1 Mower Blade? (Solved & Explained!)

A 3 in 1 blade, also known as a Mulching blade, lets you use your mower for bagging, side discharge, and mulching. A standard mower blade is considered a 2 in 1 blade, as it only allows for bagging and side discharge functions during normal use. Simply put, a 3 in 1 blade is a nice upgrade over a standard one!

We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about mower blades and that will be the focus of the rest of this article today. Stay with us to find out what blades to buy, what they do, and the best ways to use them. Let’s take a look at what people are asking about mower blades!

What is a 4 in 1 lawn mower blade?

4 in 1 mower blades are a step up from a mulching kit and two steps up from a standard blade. A standard blade is good for bagging and side discharge, for instance, and a mulching blade adds mulching capability to these two, making mulching blades 3 in 1 blades.

4 in 1 blades add shredding capability by cross-cutting, so a 4 in 1 blade lets you bag, side discharge, mulch, and shred!

How do I know what mower blade to buy?

If you are just replacing your current blade, all that you need to do is look for the OEM number. OEM stands for ‘original equipment manufacturer’ and the number will typically be printed on the side of the blade that faces down towards the grass.

Typing in this number in Google will usually lead you right to the blades that you need or you can bring the number to your local hardware store.

Is bagging better than mulching?

Bagging is only better than mulching in two cases – the first being when you want the lawn to look completely spic and span (most commercial mowers do this a lot) or when it’s the first mowing of the spring, when you want to wait on mulching to let your plants revitalize with some dew and direct sunlight.

Other than these cases, mulching is usually going to be the best bet for your yard. It will fertilize your lawn as you mow and you won’t have rake anything up when you’re done!

Do high lift blades cut better?

High lift blades are specialized for mowing dense overgrowth of grasses and weeds. The mower itself is generally set higher than the standard 3 inches and the blades themselves are designed to provide superior air circulation, lifting the grass cuttings and helping to ensure that the mower doesn’t choke when you are mowing over dense growth.

Can you put 2 blades on a push lawn mower?

Yes, you can, and it gives you extra cutting width – as much as 16 inches. What this means in terms of mowing your lawn is that for every 5 passes that you would have to make with a standard mower, you’ll only have to make 3 with the double-blade.  Simply put, you get a wider cutting area and so you’ll finish the lawn with less passes.

What size blades do I need for a 42 inch deck?

If you’ve got a 42 inch deck, then that means that you will need two blades, which will measure 21 inches in length and around 2 ¼ inches in width. You’ll need to verify through your owner’s manual or a quick call to the manufacturer, but this is going to be the most common measurement requirements for a 42 inch deck.

What blades are best for cutting grass?

That’s going to depend a lot on your make and model, but in general you want to go with mulching blades, preferably something from Gator as they have improved air circulation so that bagging and side discharge will still be at full power.

Mulching blades give you the same functions as standards, those being bagging and side discharge, but they will also allow you to mulch and thus fertilize your grass while cutting it.

What is a Gator blade?

Gator blades are one of the more popular mulching blades and they stick out in both quality and design. Gator blades are designed to be more aerodynamic, and this is important with mulching blades. Standard mulching blades push down on the grass, while Gators lift clippings upward.

As a result, standard blades can sometimes lead to inefficient bagging and weaker side discharge, but Gators do not have this problem.

Are Gator blades better than regular blades?

Gator blades are among the best in the market. Aside from their improved design, they also offer alloy metal blades that are of commercial grade and will last longer than standard blades (up to 400 hours, in some cases, compared to a standard blade which should be replaced after 100 -200 hours).

Note: this is only with specialized metals, as standard Gator blades will only last 100 -200 hours like a standard mulching blade would.

Can you use bagging blades for mulching?

No. Mulching blades are designed with extra curvature and additional cutting edges, which reduce grass clippings into smaller and smaller pieces and then drop them as you mow. Standard mower blades can crudely mulch leaves and grass, but you need to run over clipped grass numerous times and this is not every efficient.

Can I use mulching blades with side discharge?

You can, as mulching blades offer bagging, side discharge, and mulching operation, but standard mulching blades are not as efficient when circulating air, so side discharge may be a bit weaker than you are used to with standard blades. Upgrading to Gator blades or other market blades with a more aerodynamic design can mitigate this issue.

Is mulching better than side discharge?

Mulching is a better option for your lawn, but it’s a little bit slower than side discharge. If you want to just quickly mow the lawn and don’t intend to do any raking afterwards, then you can simply mow a strip and then position the mower so that the next strip you mow throws the discharge on the strip that you mowed before.

Side discharge mowing gets done a lot more quickly this way, but mulching is still much better for the lawn as the smaller grass clippings will decay faster.