The popular vote these days goes to John Deere’s ‘Predator 2’ blades, which are touted to be 25% – 40% more durable due to specialized steel and their proprietary design. For mulching blades, Gator and 8Ten blades are among the most popular as well. It all boils down to design and materials.
For the remainder of this article, we’ll answer the questions we are getting asked the most on mower blades regarding durability, maintenance, and performance. Read on before selecting your next blade for important tips – you’ll be glad that you did!
What are the toughest mower blades?
You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to tough mower blades. John Deere’s ‘Predator 2’ blades are quite popular for thickness and overall robust design, while USA Mower Blades has an ‘Eagle series’ that is also noted for it’s durability. For mulching, 8Ten has excellent blades and Gator blades from Oregon products are also quite popular for their toughness.
How long should a set of mower blades last?
On average, mower blades should not need replacement for 100 to 200 hours of work use. There are exceptions, of course. Some blades incorporate things like born or carbon in the steel, tungsten edges, and other upgrades to make them commercial grade. These types of blades can sometimes last up to 400 hours.
Are thicker mower blades better?
Yes. Thicker blades will last longer and are much more durable with normal work use. With thinner blades, especially those that have been razor-honed, you get a problem with them quickly going dull or even becoming damaged with normal use. A thicker blade is more resistant to this and will last longer than a thinner one.
Are Gator blades better than mulching blades?
Standard mulching blades do have one caveat, in that they tend to push down on the grass, instead of lifting it up. This can cause inefficient bagging and less power with side discharge, but Gator blades are designed to compensate for this. They lift the grass, giving improved air circulation so that bagging and side discharge work fine with the same blade.
Are toothed mower blades better?
Toothed mower blades are excellent for mulching leaves and grass. The teeth themselves are quite durable, and don’t require sharpening or any other special maintenance, but they will make short work of leaf piles that would take quite a few passes with a standard mower blade – they are definitely worth having!
Which is better high lift or mulching blades?
Both blades are excellent for their own specific uses. High lift blades, for instance, are best suited for high weeds and grass, as they are set higher than average and optimized for good air circulation. This allows you to mow right into dense overgrowth with a greatly reduced chance of your mower choking out.
Mulching blades, by contrast, sit low and are ideal for mulching the grass into a free, natural fertilizer, though you can also do side discharge and bagging with them. That said, a mulching mower is not good for dense, high grasses, and a high lift blade is unsuitable for mulching, so for their own intended purposes BOTH blades are ideal.
Do high lift blades cut better?
High lift blades cut better with overgrown grasses and terrain such as hills, as they are typically higher, in a raised deck, and they circulate the air more efficiently. This allows you to mow much more easily into dense growth that might choke your mower with a standard or a mulching blade. So, the most accurate answer would be, ‘high lift blades cut better – with high grasses.’
Should new lawn mower blades be sharpened?
No, you do not need to sharpen new mower blades, as they come from the factory already sharpened and perfectly balanced. You can simply remove your old blades, install the new ones, and begin mowing immediately if you like. You should feel the edge before you do so, however, so that you can see the factory-recommended sharpness for future reference.
How many times can a mower blade be sharpened?
Mower blades should be sharpened every 20 to 25 hours of use and most mower blades are recommended to be replaced after 100 to 200 hours of use. So, roughly 4 to 8 times you will sharpen your blade before considering a replacement. This varies depending on the type of blade and metals used, however, as some blades are rated for up to 400 hours of work use.
How much does it cost to have lawn mower blades sharpened?
Standard mowing blades typically run from $5 to $15 dollars to get sharpened at your local hardware store, though the price is a bit more with riding mowers and larger-deck mowers. For these larger and more specialized blades, you can typically expect a rate of $20 to $60 for sharpening professionally, but you do have another option.
A good handheld angle grinder is fairly inexpensive and you can get one for under $60 in most cases. This will give you the option to sharpen the blades yourself if you have the extra time and you can save a little cash in the process.
Is bagging better than mulching?
Usually mulching is the best option. If you are maintaining your grass with regular mowing and the mower at the recommended height of 3 inches, then whenever you mulch you are only cutting off the top 1/3 of the grass and you are fertilizing the lawn as you do it.
That said, the first mowing of spring is an exception to the rule – for this, it is recommended that you do not use mulching blades, but standard ones instead. This is so that your lawn can rejuvenate on it’s own with a bit of dew and full sunshine. After the first mowing, you can go back to mulching, and this will help your lawn to grow healthy and strong.
How sharp should mower blades be?
Mowing blades should be sharp, but never razor sharp. Razor sharp blades are too thin for mowing, and wet grass or unforeseen obstructions such as rocks, small trees, or leftover root protrusions can greatly damage a thinned blade.
Try to sharpen your blade to the same sharpness that it came with or if you aren’t certain, go for the same sharpness as a butter knife and you should be golden!
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.