John Deere Maintenance Monday: Lawn mower blade selection | Living the Country Life
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John Deere Maintenance Monday: Lawn mower blade selection

Not all mower blades do the same thing

In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Steve in Kansas. He sharpens the mower blades on his lawn tractor, but he's not sure what type of blades they are. Does it matter when it comes to getting a good cut?

Mike Ballou is a product manager with John Deere. He says keeping the blades sharp is important, but yes you should also have the right kind of blade for the type of mowing you do. To make it easier, some lawn tractors have what's called a "three-in-one" or "all-purpose" blade.

"The blade is great for mulching, bagging, and side discharge," says Ballou. "However, if you only bag, let's say, we have a particular bagging blade that will even do a better job. So if you're only going to do bagging, I'd always recommend purchasing a second blade and putting that on there, and then that way you have the optimal performance all the time."

Standard side discharge blades are typically flat with two sharpened ends, and blow the grass out the side. Mulching blades are curved and chop the grass into smaller, finer particles that fall directly back into the lawn. If you have a side discharge blade and want to mulch, Ballou says it'll work, but it's not your best option.
 
"On the 100-series you have a cover that you can attach to the mower deck and that just shuts the grass from leaving the cutting chamber, the underside of the deck, and then it just continuously cuts and cuts and then drops down in your grass," says Ballou. "Is the side discharge blade going to give you as good of a cut for mulching? No. It's not the correct blade for that application."

Your mower is built to hold a specific size of blade. Don't try to mount a blade that doesn't fit. It could cause injuries, and shorten the life of the mower.

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