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Are Lawn Mower Blades Universal?

A lawnmower is a very essential outdoor tool that is required for the maintenance of your lawn, giving you that perfect and well-manicured lawn. This garden tool is an important investment and provided that you look after it properly, you will be able to get the best out of it for many years to come. On that note, it is equally important to know that certain parts or features of your lawnmower must be replaced for it to function properly. One of the most essential parts of a lawnmower is the mower’s blade, without which the mower cannot function correctly.

If you want your grass to be neatly cut, you must ensure that your lawn mower’s blade is sharp at all times. However, if you notice any damage or dents which can result from constant usage and sharpening, then the lawn mower’s blades must be replaced; failure to do so can result in a number of issues.

Are Lawn Mower Blades Universal?

No, lawn mower blades are not universal, they are mower-specific. You can replace a certain manufacturer’s blades with another manufacturer’s blade, provided that they match up with your mower in length, thickness, width, hole numbers, hole shapes, and hole sizes. A replacement mower blade must be a perfect fit for your mower, and must up to the manufacturer’s specification.

(CC BY 2.0) by Tony Webster

A new blade can make a noticeable difference in the quality of your cut and the overall performance of your lawn mower. However, choosing the correct blade is very important.

Identify your Lawn Mower Blade

There are several ways to identify your lawn mower blade:

  1. Check the manual
  2. Use the model and make
  3. Check the current blade number
  4. Measure the blade dimensions

● Check the User manual

The easiest way to identify your lawn mower blade is to use the manual. There you will find the details of a replacement blade.

● Use the Model and make

Use the mower model and make to search on Amazon for suitable replacements blades.

● Check Current blade number

Check your mower blade for a number that is stamped into the metal. This number is blade type specific, and often you can use it to google a replacements part

● Measure the blade dimensions

If other methods to find a replacement blade did not work you can meashure the blade dimension and use those to find a good replacement. You’ll be required to check for the following:

  • The length
  • The width; and
  • The thickness

As stated earlier, these particular dimensions always vary from one manufacturer to another. This is why accuracy in measurement is important in identifying the correct replacement blade for you. When you have measured the dimensions you can use google to find a suitable replacement.

– Blade Length:

Mower blades come in different sizes ranging from 6” to over 32” in length. To measure, start at one end and measure diagonally to the opposite corner.

– Blade Width:

They range from 1½” to 4¼”, and are measured straight across, from one outer edge to the opposing outer edge. You will find it un the center, right near the center hole of the blade.

– Blade Thickness or Depth:

Varying from 1/10” to nearly 1/3”, this measurement also runs from one outer edge to the other outer edge, straight through the blade itself. Look for the widest existing thickness/depth and measure at that location.

The Main Types of Lawnmower Blades, and Which Is Best For Your Mower

One factor that can be helpful to you as a lawn owner or land-scaper, is being able to identify the different types of blade available- this would help you achieve desired results in the long run. Identifying the different blade types will help you determine the kind of mower blade that works best for your lawn. On the other hand, selecting the wrong blade will affect the final appearance of your lawn and can even cause damage to your mower.

You’ll find several designs and types of lawn mower blades on the market, that provide a variety of lift and mulching options. Features such as size, length, thickness, design, and material, vary from one manufacturer to the other. Generally, a lawn mower blade should be able to perform three main functions which include mulching, discharging, and bagging. There are many types of blades that can carry out all three functions, others however can only perform one function. Typically, a lawn mower will only use a blade that matches the configuration of its holes and measurement, but there are still several mowers that have options for the blade types that are compatible. Below are the main types of blades available:

● Low Lift Blades

Low lift mower blades are often recommended for lawns that have sandy soil and dry shorter grasses. These blade types are specially designed for side discharge mowing. Their features include a slightly curved blade edge that controls the flow of air as well as a low suction power with a less drastic swoop- this is to make sure that the grass remains low in the area where it is more available to be ejected at the side of the mower. This will help keep dust and debris to a minimum.

– Benefits of low lift blades:

  • They have curved ends that keep air pressure to a minimum, allowing the cut grasses to exit the mower while maintaining a minimum dust and debris level.
  • Low lift blades do not cause stress on the mower engines.

● High Lift Blades

Unlike their low lift counterparts, high lift blades are specifically designed for lawns that have wet and tall grass and require a high horsepower engine. The blades have deeper curves on each end which provides a high level of suction to send the grass clippings into a bagger. Having a vertical swoop shape, the high lift air beneath the mower provides a high suction. This makes bagging more efficient and reduces the chances of clogging.

– Benefits of high lift blades:

  • High lift blades provide high airflow and suction that prevents clogging, especially when dealing with wet or tall grass.
  • They cut grass neatly before bagging and discharging them.

● Deck Blades

This is also referred to as a standard blade as it is the most commonly used blade type for lawn mowers with horizontal rotation. They have slightly curved edges, which generate a continuous airflow as they rotate, hence providing a suction and cut function.

– Benefits of deck blades:

  • These blades are straight and have an aerodynamic design which allows them to provide a powerful lift that easily discharges the grass clippings from the deck. They are also durable.
  • Deck blades can run for longer periods which simply means that you can achieve more results within a short time. They are great options for lawns that are not mowed regularly.
  • They are usually the perfect option when mulching when grass clippings is not feasible.
  • Deck blades are pretty easy to install and can match a lot of lawn mower models.

● Mulching Blade

A mulching blade is also known as an all-purpose blade. The blade is specifically designed to have a curved surface which allows it to carry out the three major functions: mulching, discharging, and bagging. The blade first starts by pulling up the grass and cutting it, the grass clippings are then drawn into the deck where they are further chopped into smaller pieces. Finally, the innermost curve of the blade produces pressurized air which discharges the small clippings out. This design allows the grass to be chopped into smaller pieces before they are finally bagged or inserted into the soil for mulching to take place.

– Benefits of mulching blades:

  • Mulching blades are versatile because they are able to perform all three functions instead of one.
  • The curved blades keep the grass clippings in the deck, enabling them to reduce the clippings into smaller pieces. Also, the longer curved surface enables you to achieve more cut in less time.
  • When mulched grasses are released into the soil, they decompose faster, releasing valuable nutrients into the soil to help improve the growth of the grasses. In other words, mulching blades are environmentally friendly.

● 3-in-1 or Gator Blade

As the name suggests, 3-in-1 blades combine the low, medium, and high lifts technique into a single blade. These features include a serrated edge at both ends of the blade that allows an all-around cutting. These blades are suitable for mowing in sandy terrains while providing the quality mulch that you want.

– Benefits of gator blades:

  • Unlike other blades that push grass down, gator blades push the grass up instead. This is simply due to the raised teeth on the blades. These teeth are also responsible for directing the grass towards the cutting edge which ensures a cleaner and neater cut, with finer grass clippings.
  • Gator blades are made with a progressive geometry on the edges to increase the airflow which facilitates the side discharge as well as quality bagging. Also, the edges remain sharp for a long time, hence minimizing the need to constantly sharpen and replace your blade.

Final remarks

That being said, there is really no such thing as the best or perfect blades for your mower. All these blades are specifically made to have their unique properties and benefits. So when you’re shopping for a mower blade, you should consider the one that is best suited for your lawnmower and your lawn rather than the one that is perfect, this will help you achieve the best results.