1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Mower Blades

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by charly, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. charly

    charly Guest

    I use Gator blades for my Ferris Zero turn mower.. Has anyone used another blade brand giving better cutting performance? Any new blades out that I haven't heard about yet?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Quality of cut is in blade speed and airlift (most applications) within a given deck design. Gators have serrated blade sails which negatively affects lift. Many companies putting out similar blades under other names. Stens, Rotary, and many OEMs are all introducing toothed sails to their blades.

    Also, what works well in the NE (high-lift, high speed) may not work well in other areas, like FL (where high-lift blades will sand-blast a mower deck to death.). Grass and soil type vary wildly from one corner of this country to the next.

    If you're happy with the Gators, stick with 'em. Otherwise, try a super high-lift type blade with a long, straight, cutting edge. Keeping any blade sharp will yield the best results. You think Harry Homeowner ignores his chainsaw chain too long? Heh, don't look under his mower deck..... ::P
  3. charly

    charly Guest

    I rotate out 3 complete sets of blades,, always having another set ready to go,, sharpen ,balance and then torqued to 70 ft lbs according to the Ferris specs.. I probably change my blades at least 6 times for the mowing season, putting on 60 plus hours.. I'll have to get a set of the other blades to check them out sometime.... Thanks...
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,657
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I tried the hi-lift, hi-speed on my tracter mower. They worked well for packing more grass into the bagger. However, they are half the weight of a regular blade and bend if they hit anything. A couple of windfall branches and an old root burl did ours in. I was replacing them with heavy blades by mid-season and they have lasted 2.5 yr so far.
  5. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    North Of Canada
    I have a standard Blade, need to lookinto High Lift, but I do touch it up with a file every 2-3 mowings.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,657
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    If you have a well-manicured lawn, then they should work well for you. Our lawns are half fields and far from level. A buzz cut suffices.
  7. charly

    charly Guest

    I have a few semi buried rock edges in some of my fields as well which ding the blades at times.. I 'll stick with the gator blades then...
  8. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    The weight and/or thickness of the blade has nothing to do with the amount of lift generated. A set of High-Lift blades for a Ferris commercial mower is going to be a pretty beefy set of blades.
  9. charly

    charly Guest

    I'll check them out...
  10. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,728
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Iv been trying to find a blade that cuts well in high grass but i guess theres no demand cuz i cant find anything. Grass at country property gets up to a foot and sometimes 2 before i get to it. Ill have to settle for just mowing half deck passes at a time.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,657
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I would love to get a set of heavy-duty high-lift blades for our Craftsman. Are the Ferris High-Lift blade proprietary?
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    What's the machine?

    The Ferris blades most likely are not, but your Craftsman very well may be. Depending on the vintage, you probably have an AYP or MTD style star pattern on the spindle.

    Got the specifics on that Craftsman Begreen?
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,657
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Correct, got a 5 star spindle i think. Will have to look up the specs.

    edit: It's a Kohler powered 18hp, 42" mower. Model 917.273150.
    blade 138971 is the Hi-Lift blade I tried.
  14. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,658
    Loc:
    WI, Milw
    It seems with the newer mowers that lift has been of secondary importance as well as blade speed being reduced some. Just my thoughts as the mowers do not sound the same as far as blade speed/air volume generated. Nor do they seem to lift the grass and such up for cutting. Tried different blades not much difference in that department. The Gator type blades are meant to pulverize the clippings and do not create that much lift. I have to weld tabs on the blades to get more lift within the limits of the deck depth.
  15. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,728
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Its just a regular single blade walk behind craftsman mower with a honda engine.
    Doesnt seem to throw the grass out very well,something that could well be improved by blade design.
  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Sounds like my father-in-laws machine. Does it have the Blade Brake Clutch (you can stop the blade but keep the engine running)? That was a very complex mower that seems to fold and tuck the grass rather than cut it off at the set height. :p Also blade options were nil, you could only buy 1 type of blade for it. I looked into modifying other blades but it just wasn't worth it.

    We tried EVERYTHING including turning up the engine RPMs to get it to cut acceptably well. Wound up selling it on CL and replacing it with a Toro Super Bagger unit. (I'd reccomend checking them out if you want to go new) After I cut his lawn with my old Deere 14PZ (a machine renown for it's cut quality) they were never happy with their mower from then on. ;lol

    Those old Deere 14 series units are awesome if you stumble upon one. Features vary from the push only 14PZ to the loaded 14SB/SE models. Pricing can vary as well, good examples of the 14SB typically sell for $150-$200, less is a steal.

    14PZ - Push, Briggs 5hp
    14PB - Push, Kawasaki 5 hp, BBC
    14SZ - Self-Prop, Briggs
    14SB - Self-Prop, Kawi, BBC
    14SE - Self-Prop, Kawi, BBC, Elec Start

    Later these morphed into the JA/JX series units (just as good, but green, not silver)

    JA6x = Briggs Powered
    JX75 = Kawasaki powered, similar to the 14SB
    JE75 = Same as JX75 but electric start.
    JX85 = Same as JX75 but with steel hub'd wheels for commercial use.

    Note that the 14SB/JX75 was roughly a $900 machine when it was new. _g

    All of the above are cast-aluminum deck machines that in IMO have not been matched in their ability to bag/discharge. Lawn-Boy 2 stroke machines come close but the bag setup in the Deeres is so much simpler and the machine is much quieter. Good mulchers as well.
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Check out this page of results.

    http://www.stens.com/Portal.aspx?CN=637179B36C57&SEARCH=138971 &CATEGORY=&BRAND=&GCONTENTID=DBC825CBB3E6&RND=3286632264577587

    You should be able to plug those part #'s into ebay, amazon, etc or obtain them locally. 95% of mower shops have a Stens account. Heck, your local NAPA might have one too. (Mine does, but then again, so do I, :p)

    I would say the 340-182 for a heavier-duty hi-lift blade. If you're cutting tall, thick grass, then the toothed blades like 302-400 are worth a look and will give you the most HP to tackle the jungle.
  18. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,728
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Next mower i buy im going to get the largest engine available as they tend to bog down in high grass,that may bee part of the problem ,underpowered.
  19. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I have never seen a 21"-22" walk-mower that required more than a 5HP motor. Don't go by HP ratings exclusively either. Most of the time they are a gross exaggeration if not an outright lie. My 5hp 14PZ or 4.5 HP 14SB will out cut any of the newer "6 HP+" piles that Sears, HD or Lowes is off-loading. Put the side discharge chute on them and they go like mini bush-hogs.

    Lawn-Boy 2 strokes were renown for their power in tall grass, the big 2-stroke engine just digs in and purrs. You won't find one new anymore but they do pop up on CL from time to time. Often in a yard sale or lot of mowers that need work.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,657
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It was over the internet that I got the lighter blades I didn't like. That is what I'm now trying to avoid.
  21. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    If you check the specs on the blades I linked to, you can see that they list the thickness of each. Those two that I highlighted in particular are going to be much heavier than anything I've seen hanging on the shelf at Sears for your machine. ;)
  22. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,728
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    My son has a new John deere rear wheel drive that he really likes,he tends to research everything he buys so its probably among the best out there. Im going to borrow it and see for myself. Its got the big rear wheels too which i like
  23. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Unfortunately for you Deere exited the residential walk-behind market in 2012. (and they haven't made their own 21" walk-behinds for about a decade now.) But if you like your son's unit, check out Snapper. ;)
  24. charly

    charly Guest

    I remember the Jacobson Hurricane 2 stroke walk behind,, had a heavy metal platter disc underneath and four small tip blades that bolted every 90 degrees to the disc... Cast mower deck.. I remember servicing one years ago and a fellow worker said try it out in the foot high grass.. That thing never slowed down... what a cutting machine that was.... I was told they stopped making them when inertia brakes for the mower blades were put into effect... was too hard to slow the blade on the Hurricane.. That was one cutting machine..
    [​IMG]
    MasterMech likes this.
  25. Retired Guy

    Retired Guy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    459
    Loc:
    Cape Vincent, NY
    I had a 16" and an 18" Jake - loved them both

Share This Page