Which Way Do Mulching Blades Go on a Riding Mower? (Solved & Explained!)

The easiest way to determine which way to install your mulching blades on your riding mower is to look at the blade and spot the ‘points’ on it. These should be installed facing up. Alternately, if you see a model number or the word ‘bottom’ printed on the blade, then this is the side that needs to be facing down for proper work use.

For the remaining space of this guide we’ll be exploring the most common questions that people are asking when it comes to the installation and use of mulching blades and kits. Read on to find out the facts that you need to know about your new blades!

Should I put a mulch kit on my mower?

A mulching kit is an excellent upgrade for your mower. A standard mower with a standard mowing blade is considered to have 2 in 1 functionality. Simply put, it can bag and it can do side discharge. Adding a mulching kit makes your mower a 3-in-1 mower, capable of bagging, side discharge, and mulching!

Protip: Get a Gator or another aerodynamically balanced blade for maximum air power with this conversion.

Which side of a mulching blade is the cutting edge?

The two easiest ways to identify which direction the mulching blade needs to be installed involve simply looking at the blade. You will notice points on mulching blades and when you see these, then that is the side that needs to be facing up. Most blades will be labelled, however, with a model number or ‘bottom’ printed on them to show you the down-facing side.

How do you put mulching blades on a Troy Bilt riding mower?

When you want to install mulching blades on a Troy Bilt riding mower you must first remove the cutting deck, flip it over, and then you’ll need to secure and to remove the old blades. Attach the new mulching blades, flip the deck back over, and after you install the mulching plate you can reattach the deck to your mower and you’re done!

What is a mulch attachment?

A mulch attachment, also known as a mulch plug, is a plate that suspends the flow of grass cuttings so that instead of going out of the side or rear discharge, they will be cut into smaller and smaller pieces to be deposited on your lawn.

They do this basically by blocking off those discharge ports so that only mulched bits of grass will be small enough to leave the mower.

What does a mulch plug look like?

Usually, they will be either yellow or black and you can look at the mulch plug on a mulching mower by lifting up the deflector plate at the back of the mower. Colors may vary, depending on the brand that you go with, but yellow and black are among the most common colors for mulching plugs.

What does a mulching plug do on a lawn mower?

Your mulching plug is there to make sure that grass clippings are not allowed to leave the mower until they have been cut finely enough for mulching. By blocking off the side and rear discharge ports, the grass is kept where the mulching blades can continually reduce it in size until it is small enough to fall out of the mower.

All of this is done very quickly as you mow.

What’s the difference between a mulching blade and a regular blade?

Mulching blades will typically have skyward-facing teeth, as well as extra curvature, and an extended and often varied cutting edge. With the exception of a John Deere mulching blade (which is rectangular), just about every mulching blade you see will be quite curved, while standard blades will be straight.

Can you side discharge with mulching blades?

Yes, you can side discharge with mulching blades, but standard mulching blades have less efficient air circulation, due to their design. They tend to push grass down, decreasing your air power. Gator blades and other specialized mulching blades have a better design aerodynamically that will correct this issue for you, so that you won’t lose power when you bag or side discharge your grass.

What is better mulching or bagging the grass?

Mulching is almost always better, unless it is winter (when mulching won’t really help) or a very hot summer (when mulch can warm up the soil too much). You also shouldn’t mulch for the first spring cutting, so that your grass can revitalize in the sun, and if you have just planted seedlings you should let them sprout and grow a little first before mulching.

Is mulching better than side discharge?

 Mulching is better for your lawn. Those clippings, finely cut, will fertilize your lawn to promote healthy, fuller, and more vibrantly colored grass. Side discharge can do this, if you mow carefully so that after you mow a strip, you turn around and mow so that the clippings fall on the strip that you’ve just mowed.

Side discharge is also faster, but mulching looks better, as side discharge clippings are much larger!

Does mulching spread weeds?

No. If you are trimming your lawn regularly, then when you mulch you will only be cutting the top 1/3 of your grass. This is quite minimal and won’t spread weeds anymore than they would spread naturally, but it WILL fertilize your lawn quite nicely without costing you a single penny.

Can you use mulching blades with a bagger?

You can, but it’s not recommended unless you upgrade to Gator or comparable blades. Standard mulching blades circulate air less efficiently than standard mowing blades or Gator-type blades. Gators and other specialized blades have a modified design that lifts grass, rather than pushing down, so these will work the best with bagging-style mowing.

Can you use high lift blades for mulching?

No. High lift blades are designed to sit higher and to have a stronger lift when it comes to pulling the grass into the mower. This makes them ideal for mowing dense and tall patches of grass and weeds without fear of the motor choking out. It also makes them unsuitable for mulching, where the blades sit lower and are designed for grass that is regularly maintained.