Can I Use Mulching Blades Without a Mulching Kit? (Solved & Explained!)

Most likely, yes, you can simply install the blades without installing the special plate, but you should check with your mower’s manufacturer just to make sure that it won’t interfere or reduce side discharge or bagging capability. In some cases, the reduced air circulation can make bagging inefficient (the bag only fills 2/3 full, for instance), though some blades such as Gator can compensate for this.

Today we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about mulching kits and some of the best blades on the market. Read on to find out what you need to know about mulching kits and what they can do for your lawn!

What’s a mulching kit?

A mulching kit typically consists of mulching blades along with a mulching plate that you attach which will slow the flow of the grass clippings as they pass through your power. This allows the mulching blades to reduce the clippings to smaller and smaller pieces, which then will pass onto your yard to fertilize it as the clippings decay.

Do you need a bagger with mulching blades?

No, you don’t have to use a bag attachment with your mulching blades, unless your intention is to save the clippings so that you can spread them in another location, rather than one that you are mowing now. The clippings will just fall down as you mow, distributing themselves, with no side disharge or bagging required.

Do mulching blades need to be sharpened?

Yes. Mulching blades should be sharpened at the same frequency as standard lawnmower blades. For every 20 to 25 hours of work use, you should sharpen your blades, but if you are using files keep in mind that you will need an assortment. Mulching blades have often have special edges that you’ll need to sharpen and different sized files will be more efficient.

Can you put mulching blades on a zero turn mower?

While you could, you really don’t need to. Zero turn mowers are designed so that the tip of the blade is going to be moving fast enough that it is quite sufficient already to do your mulching for you. Adding mulching blades will be unlikely to produce enough of a difference to be worth the installation time required to add a mulching conversion kit to the mower.

Can you use gator blades with a mulch kit?

It is not a good idea. Mulching kits come with a mulching plate that traps the grass clippings so that they may be further reduced by the mulching blades. The problem is that Gator blades are designed to have improved air circulation, lifting grass rather than pushing it down like a standard mulching blade. This can result in too much trapped grass in the mulching plate.

You can still use them for mulching, but only if they are compatible with your mower, sans the plate.

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

High lift blades have superior air circulation, drawing up grasses as they chop them, and they are designed for cutting dense and tall areas of weeds and grasses. Mulching blades are not, as they are designed for cutting shorter grass that has been maintained and for fertilizing it with the mulched clippings that are dropped.

How do you mow with mulching blades?

Mowing with mulcher blades is easy. You will just mow as normal, possibly walking slightly slower (depending on your mower), and the mulching blades will do the rest of the work. They will chop the clipping finely and immediately drop them on the ground as you go – no additional effort required, as you will leave them there to act as natural fertilizer.

What is a Gator blade?

Gator blades are specialized mulching blades that come with a lot of perks. They have a more aerodynamic design, so they are better for filling bags or side discharge than standard mulching blades, which circulate air a little less efficiently. Gator blades also have a proprietary cutting design that is quite efficient and offer alloy metal blades are commercial grade quality.

Are Gator blades better than mulching blades?

That really depends on the specific make and model of the blades being compared, but generally speaking Gator blades are considered superior to everyday standard mulching blades on the market today.

Are Copperhead lawn mower blades good?

Copperhead blades are another option for your mower that is considered to be a quality choice. The blades are easy to install, and depending on the type that you choose you can expand the functionality of your mower with blades that are long lasting and will cut your grass quite nicely.  

Is a mulching kit worth it?

A mulching kit is definitely a good investment. With a standard blade mower setup, you can only do bagging and side discharge, but adding a mulching kit gives you both of these functions, as well as the option to mulch.

This allows you to fertilize your lawn at no cost by simply mowing it and you also save a lot of time by not having to rake and bag the clippings later.

Are mulching blades louder?

Yes, mulching blades are probably the loudest modification to your mower, short of removing the muffler, but it’s really not a huge difference. Mulching blades also make up for it in their functionality and in being less ‘dusty’ to use than standard blade or high lift mowers.

Is bagging better than mulching?

That depends on your personal preferences. Some people prefer bagging because it leaves the lawn looking sharp and clean, but with mulching the grass clippings that you are leaving on the ground are finely cut, so they are not very noticeable. When you consider that and the fact that these same clipping will give your lawn nutrients for improved growth, mulching is the better option by far.

Is it better to mulch or side discharge?

Mulching is the better option if you want to promote growth in the grasses in your yard and it also takes the least amount of effort – no raking afterwards, just mow and your mower mulches as you go. Side discharge is a better option if you just want to get it done quickly and don’t intend to rake and bag the clippings later.