Numerous factors determine the best mower blades for zero-turn vehicles. When shopping for these blades, such factors will influence your choices, so you should know how they affect your decision.
Knowing all the determining factors and using that knowledge to choose the best zero-turn lawnmower blade can be challenging for any shopper.
So we have done the legwork and compiled a shortlist of the best mower blades for zero turn to take the burden off your shoulders.
The article also has a buyer guide with detailed explanations of what to consider when choosing a blade for your zero-turn mower.
Best Mower Blades For Zero Turn
- Bad Boy Zero Turn Mower Blades – Best Overall
- MaxPower 50-inch 3-Blade Set – Best Blades for 50-inch Decks
- MowerPartsGroup 60-inch Blades – Best High Lift Blades for Large Mowers
- MaxPower 42-inch 2-Blade – Best Budget Blade for Zero-turn Mowers
- MaxPower Commercial Mulching Blade – Best Commercial Mower Blades
- USA Mower Blades – Best Mulching Blades for Zero-turn Mowers
- Oregon Gator G5 Mulching Blades – Longest-lasting zero turn mulching blades
Basic Types of Blades for Zero-turn Mowers
Your zero-turn mower can have one of two primary types of mower blades on its deck—standard and mulching blades.
Knowing how these blades look, or work will help make it easier to tell them apart or determine which will work better for you.
Standard Zero-turn Mower Blades
As the name suggests, standard blades are designed to cut grass. Often, they can also have one additional role: bag the clippings or discharge them on the side of the lawnmower deck.
This characteristic explains why standard blades are also referred to as 2-in-1 blades. The additional role of a standard blade depends on its shape and grass-cutting edge design.
The cutting edge can be flat or curved, creating the following sub-types of standard blades:
Standard lifting blades have a curved edge behind the sharp cutting edge. Since each lawnmower blade typically has two cutting edges, they have two curved edges opposite each cutting edge.
The curved edge helps create an aerodynamic effect that lifts the grass clippings as the mower cuts them.
The lifting force helps expel the cut grass from under the cutting deck, allowing the lawnmower to dispose of the clippings in a bag or on the side.
The lifting force from the curved edge also pulls the grass before the blade cuts it. This helps ensure a clean-cut and well-manicured lawn.
Depending on the curve’s steepness, lifting blades can be high-lift or medium-lift.
- High lift blades create the most powerful lifting power, ideal for mowing tall, tough grass and bagging it. You should consider such blades for a zero-turn mower with a bag attachment. More importantly, you will need a high-power engine, at least 22 horsepower.
- Medium-lift cutting blades have moderate lifting power and can handle dense grass or large lawns. However, unlike high-lift blades, these medium-lift options cannot handle a minor brush.
Non-lift or flat blades
As the name suggests, flat standard blades have no curved edges. Instead, the side opposite the cutting edge is typically slightly raised, making the cutting edge closer to the ground than the opposite edge.
However, that is as far as the blade goes. Non-lift blades do not create enough airflow to lift or expel the grass into a bag attachment.
These blades are ideal for shorter grass. Using them on tall grass can be problematic as the blades may knock down the overgrown grass instead of cutting it.
Related: Box blade vs grader blade
Pros and cons of standard blades
Standard zero-turn mower blades create a clean, well-manicured lawn paired with a bag attachment.
The high lift types do an excellent job of pulling the grass and cutting it before expelling it into a bag, leaving no debris behind.
On the downside, standard blades cannot be used for mulching grass clippings.
2. Mulching Blades
These are lawnmower blades with smaller jagged edges opposite each cutting edge. The opposite edge is also curved upward, enabling these blades to perform up to three different roles.
Other than cutting grass, mulching blades can bag the clippings, discharge them, or mulch them instead.
This is why they are also referred to as 3-in-1 blades. Most mulching blades have a greater cutting edge providing a wider cutting surface.
They also have curves allowing them to create a lifting force for bagging grass clippings when necessary, even though their lifting potential is less powerful than standard high-lift blades.
These blades are designed to lift the grass clippings into the mowing deck, cut it several times with the serrated side turning the clippings into mulch before discharging them back to the lawn in much finer pieces.
Pros and cons of mulching mower blades
The greatest advantage of mulching lawn mower blades is their ability to help the lawn preserve its fertility.
Lawn grass and other plants obtain nutrients from the soil and store them in the leaves. Since mulching returns the clippings to the soil, it helps preserve the organic material in the plant leaves.
This way, mulching blades help ensure your lawn retains its fertilizer. Mulched grass clippings return to the lawn as a natural fertilizer.
This quality makes mulching blades an environmentally friendly method of handling grass clippings.
However, these blades are typically heavy and powerful, so they can cause the engine to wear out sooner.
Cutting the grass clippings more times to turn them into mulch requires more energy, which strains the engine.
Best Mower Blades for Zero Turn
After analyzing customer experiences and product data spanning half a decade, here are the seven best blades for zero turn mowers that made it to our shortlist.
1. Best Overall – Bad Boy Zero Turn Mower Blades
- LENGTH: 18-3/4"
- C. H. DIA: 5/8"
- WIDTH: 2-1/2"
- THICKNESS: 0.2040"
These Bad Boy blades may be excellent candidates for replacing your current blades if you have a 54-inch MZ Magnum, Outlaw, or ZT zero-turn mower with worn blades.
The blades are designed to work with various zero-turn lawn mowers, making them a go-to option for many situations.
The blades’ thick profile makes them sturdy and capable of cutting lawns efficiently for many years without getting worn out.
However, this thickness also makes the Bad Boy zero-turn mower blades rather heavy for the engine.
You can expect them to put a significant level of strain on your mower’s engine. This is perhaps one of their most notable limitations.
- The 54-inch blades have a long cutting edge, covering a large area with every pass. This can mean finishing the work sooner or with fewer asses.
- The cutting blades are thick and durable, giving great value for the money.
- They fit many 54-inch mowing decks, so you can use them to replace mower blades in more than one zero-turn model.
- The blades are inexpensive, especially given how durable and sturdy they are.
- Some users claim the blades wear out more in the middle than at the tip, causing a curve in the cutting edge over time.
2. Best Blades for 50-inch Decks – MaxPower 50-inch 3-Blade Set
- Includes 3 blades for many 50 in. cut MTD, Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt mowers
- This blade is 17.9" long and will not fit newer RZT mowers (2015-). Please refer to our 561558B blade set as a potential replacement blade set for these newer RZT's. Always verify your OEM replacement number before ordering blades
- Replaces OEM #: MTD, Cub Cadet, Troy-bilt, 942-04053, 742-04053, 742-04053a, 742-04053b, 742-04053c, 742-04056, 742-04056a, 742-04056b, 742-04056c, 942-04053a, 942-04053b, 942-04053c, 942-04056, 942-04056a, 942-04056c, Toro 112-0316, Windsor 50-2138
- Each blade measures 17-29/32 in. L and 2-1/2 in. W
- 6 point star center hole
These 50-inch MaxPower blades are another option designed to fit various lawnmower models, including Cub Cadet, cut MTD, and Troy-Bilt zero-turn mowers.
So if you are looking for a one-stop solution, these MaxPower blades may be your best bet.
If you prefer products manufactured in the United States, you will be happy to know that MaxPower blades are USA-made to meet your mower’s OEM specifications.
The blades come in a set of three, which helps you save on the cost of individual blades. This benefit is compounded by the low price tag assigned to the blade set.
Thanks to a heat treatment process during manufacturing, the blades are hard-wearing. This durability ensures they will serve you for a long time before requiring replacement.
Additionally, the blades have the common 6-point star center hole design, allowing them to fit most mower decks without requiring modifications.
- These blades are heat-treated during manufacturing, making them incredibly durable.
- They are USA-made.
- You will love how easy it is to sharpen these 50-inch MaxPower blades, allowing you always to keep them in their best form.
- The blade set is designed to fit many mower decks.
- A 6-point star center allows for easy compatibility without the need for modifications.
- The blades do not fit some Cub Cadet models.
3. Best High Lift Blades for Large Mowers – MowerPartsGroup 60-inch Blades
- (3) 60" Replacement Hustler Hi-Lift Blades for Raptor SD 60" Cut
- Replaces Hustler: 793794, 794685
- Blade Length: 20 1/2" ; Center Hole: 5/8" ; Width: 2 1/2" ; Thickness: .240"
- Fits Hustler 60" Raptor SD; Requires 3 blades for 60" Cut
- Please ask if you are unsure if these parts will work for your unit
For those looking for a massive cutting width, these MowerPartsGroup high lift blades have no comparison. They offer a whopping 60 inches of cutting width, allowing you to finish mowing in fewer passes.
While the blades are originally designed for Hustler Raptor SD, they perfectly fit several other 60-inch decks for brands like Fastrak, Husqvarna, and Exmark.
Each blade is made of thick, heavy-duty solid steel guaranteed to provide a clean cut for years before needing replacement blades.
If you are mowing lots of tough lawns, these blades are your best bet. They are sure to provide many years of heavy usage and will take on any mowing challenge regardless of how tough.
The blade set also boasts a high lift design that creates a powerful lifting force that pulls the grass up the deck before cutting it. This helps ensure a clean cut.
The powerful airflow also makes the blades ideal for zero-turn mowers with a bag attachment. This further helps leave your lawn looking neat and well-manicured.
- These blades are incredibly long-lasting.
- They boast a generic design allowing them to fit most zero-turn mower brands and models.
- Buying multiple blades in one set helps you save money on the cost of individual blades.
- The 60-inch cutting width ensures faster mowing, allowing you to finish your yard sooner with fewer passes.
- These blades cannot be used for mulching.
- You need at least a 22-horsepower engine capacity to run the blades.
4. Best Standard Blade for Zero-turn Mowers – MaxPower 42-inch 2-Blade Set
- Replaces OEM numbers 127843, 138498, 138971, 138971X431, 532138971, 53-21278-43, 53-21384-98, 53-21389-71, 532 13 84-98 and 532 13 89-71
- Also fits Craftsman CMXGZAM110136
- Includes 2 blades for many 42-in cut Poulan, Husqvarna, and Craftsman mowers
- Each blade measures 21-in L x 2-1/4-in W
- 5-Point star center hole
If bagging is not your preference, these MaxPower blades may be best for you. Their low lift design means they are unideal for zero-turn lawn mowers with bag attachments.
The slightly curved shape of the cutting blade does not generate enough airflow to lift the grass and throw it into a collection bag.
Still, the low lift blades create gentle but adequate lifting power enough to pull up the grass before cutting it. This characteristic ensures a clean, nicely cut lawn with every pass.
The minimal suction power makes this blade set ideal for sandy, dry areas. A high-lift blade would suck dirt into your zero-turn mower when working in sandy areas.
These 42-inch lawnmower blades are highly durable, thanks to a solid steel alloy material. They also boast great cutting strength, making them ideal for tough lawns.
- This MaxPower 42-inch blade set is compatible with many zero-turn lawnmower brands and models.
- The blades are durable and work great on zero-turn lawn tractors.
- They work well with any engine type.
- The blades are gentle, so they will not wear down your engine too soon.
- The blades are well-balanced.
- The blade comes with a layer of paint on its cutting edge that you must clean off before you can achieve clean cuts.
5. Best Commercial Lawn Mower Blades – MaxPower Commercial Mulching Blade
- Replaces OEM #: Toro 104-8697-03, 108-9764-04
- Mower blades are all proudly manufactured in the USA at our state of the art manufacturing facility
- Made from USA steel to meet or exceed original equipment manufacturers' specifications
- Fits 22" Cut Toro Recycler
- Replaces OEM #108-9764-03
These MaxPower commercial lawnmower blades come pre-sharpened to simplify your work. All you have to do is install them and start mowing.
If you wish to preserve your lawn’s nutrient content, these blades may be perfect. They are designed to shred grass clippings into fine pieces that return to your lawn as organic fertilizer.
This can be an excellent way to protect your grass from losing nutrients. Each blade is made of high-quality metal to ensure better performance.
The USA commercial steel is expertly designed for constant, heavy usage, so they are guaranteed to last a long time.
Whether your zero-turn mower is Cub Cadet, John Deere, Snapper, or Toro, you can replace its worn-out blades with these commercial pieces.
While this 22-inch blade is lightweight, its durable, heavy-duty material generates enough power to take on any turf and shred it into mulch—making this one of the most powerful options in its range.
- This blade works great with smaller engines on small-sized zero-turn lawnmowers.
- The blade is manufactured in the USA, making it ideal for homeowners preferring US-made products.
- It is expertly designed to exceed or meet the specifications of the original equipment manufacturers.
- It works smoothly to mulch grass.
- This blade works better with shorter grass. It tends to experience clogging when mulching tall grass, bogging it down.
6. Best Mulching Blades for Zero-turn Mowers – USA Mower Blades
These USA Mower blades are robustly built to deliver the best cutting and mulching performance.
They boast a durable build and high-grade solid steel alloy that matches or exceeds OEM blades’ performance.
Their durability makes them ideal for mowing vast areas. They not only stand up to the task but also shred the grass into much finer pieces, so you do not have to collect any debris afterward.
You can discharge the clippings, bag them, or mulch them and let them return to the awn in much finer pieces when you use these blades.
They are expertly designed for multipurpose use. You should be glad to know these blades fit most mulching lawnmowers.
You can use these USA mower blades on Encore, John Deere, Bunton, Exmark, Gravely, Ferris, Great Dane, Lawnboy, Scag, Lesco, Snapper, Jacobsen, Wright, Toro, and Yazoo zero-turn mowers with 52-inch decks.
The blades can also work for most 50-inch Husqvarna and Ariens zero-turn models. This quality makes them some of the universal mulching blades on the market.
- These multipurpose blades can mulch, bag, or discharge grass clippings.
- They are robust, making them ideal for intense mowing and tough lawn grass.
- The blades’ high lift design makes them suitable as bagging blades.
- They fit most zero-turn mowers.
- These mulching blades require a great deal of horsepower and can wear down your mower’s engine.
7. Longest-lasting zero turn mulching blades – Oregon Gator G5 Mulching Blades
- Set of 2 Blades, Quality Gator "Fusion G5" Blades - Oregon part #598-629
- Replaces Cub Cadet MTD blades: 742-0616, 942-0616, 742-04126 942-04312
- 21-3/16" Long, 3" Wide, .164" Thick, Mounting hole to fit 6 point mounting hole on MTD, Cub Cadet, etc.
- Fusion Blades have Tungsten Carbide "fused" to the edge (see photo) for longer life
- Please check to make sure the blades you are replacing have a 6 pt. star mounting hole - if they do not, these blades will NOT fit.
Here are fusion blades designed to last the longest possible, thanks to the Tungsten Carbide fused to their cutting edges to prolong their service life.
You should be happy to know the blades are designed for easy DIY installation. Their 6-point star center hole ensures they fit various lawnmower decks without requiring any modifications.
If you want a pair of blades to mow and mulch your grass, these Oregon Gator 5 mulching blades should be perfect.
They shred the grass into tiny particles that simplify your work by leaving no debris to collect after mowing.
The mulching blades also leave your lawn well-manicured, thanks to their curved design that creates the airflow required to pull the grass before cutting it. This mechanism ensures a more even and cleaner cut.
- These are mulching blades that ensure your lawn is healthier by preserving its nutrients.
- The blades fit most zero-turn and other riding mowers, including lawn tractors.
- The blades’ universal design can work with several brands and models.
- The moderate lift on this pair means they can work with a modest engine power cranking out moderate torque.
- It is not ideal for tough weeds.
What are the best blades for a zero turn mower?
Knowing the best choices on the market is a great first step toward finding your best pick, but you must still know how to arrive at your final choice.
This section discusses the factors to consider when choosing your ideal zero-turn lawnmower blades.
The number of blades
The idea is to match the number of blades bought with the number that your mower deck supports.
Most zero-turn lawnmower decks work with three blades, but yours can have more or less than three, depending on the model.
So start by checking under your mowing deck to confirm the number of blades you need to replace before shopping for the replacement mower blades.
You can also find this information in your owner’s manual. Once you have the number, consider going for a set with the exact number you need.
For instance, go for a set with 2 blades for a two-blade deck and 3 if your zero-turn mower uses three blades.
Additionally, delve into the topic of 3 blade mower deck timing to further enhance your understanding.
Material and durability
Your lawnmower blade will likely consist of an alloy of steel commonly used to make these blades.
The majority will be made of medium carbon steel, which offers the best longevity and durability.
Some blades also feature a layer of Tungsten carbide fused into the blade to make the cutting edge ultra-hard. Such pieces have increased lifespan with longer times between sharpening episodes.
You can learn how to Sharpen lawn mower blades with a file.
When shopping for blades for your zero-turn lawnmower, you want a material that will guarantee durability and longevity on your machine.
Ensure you are buying a solid metal alloy. And if possible, go for one with reinforcement that makes it more durable.
You may also want to avoid blades with paint coatings on their cutting edges. Such blades will require you to remove the paint layer before it can cut properly.
Blade length, dimensions, and weight
Greater thickness and width will extend the service life of your lawnmower blade. It also allows for a longer lifting arch, which can significantly improve the blade’s mulching and bagging potential.
More importantly, check the length of the blade and match it with your deck size. A shorter blade than your mowing deck will leave strips or uncut grass by underutilizing the deck space.
On the other hand, if the lawn mower blade is longer than your deck diameter, it may hit and nip the deck while operating, potentially damaging your mower.
So, always check the recommended deck sizes for the blade to achieve maximum cutting efficiency.
Fit and mount type
The center hole in the mowing blade can come in different shapes, with the two most common being the circular and 6-point types.
If the blades you are considering are not the common mount types, ensure you check them against your deck to confirm if they will fit.
Also, you should know which side of the lawn mower blade is up, as the orientation of the blade will determine how effective it is at cutting grass.
You should also consider the number of mounting holes in the lawn mower blades.
The more mounting holes a blade has, the better it is for dispersing heat and preventing warping or denting.
See: Meg-mo blades review
What to Avoid
- Avoid using blades made from generic and flimsy materials, as they wear out quickly and produce subpar cutting performance.
- Avoid poorly designed cutting profiles, as they can lead to uneven cuts, straggling grass, and reduced mowing efficiency.
- Do not install blades that are incorrect in size or incompatible with your zero-turn mower model, as this can lead to reduced cutting efficiency, uneven cuts, and potential equipment damage. Always verify the manufacturer’s specifications before making a selection.
What kind of mower blades are best?
Robust stainless steel blades are considered the best choice for lawn mowers. Additionally, the best blade should not have any paint job that allows it to rust.
What are the best blades for a zero-turn?
The best blades for a zero-turn mower are the Bad Boy zero-turn mower blades. They have a circular mount design allowing them to fit most mowers, and they are incredibly durable and reliable.
What are the toughest mower blades?
USA Mower Blades’ Eagle Series blades are the most robust 3-in-1 blades, with the E6 blades being the thickest and widest in the series. These commercial mower blades boast extra thickness and a heavy-duty profile for added durability and longevity.
Are High-Lift mower blades better?
Yes. High lift blades perform better in all conditions, thanks to their deeper curves that create powerful airflow and suction necessary for circulating and expelling grass clippings. In contrast, low-lift blades only triumph on shorter and dry grasses.
The Best Zero-turn Mower Blade
Much as you love your lawnmower blades, they do not last forever. When the trusty blades on your zero-turn mower reach the end of their service life, you will need to find compatible replacements.
Our recommendation of the best lawn mower blades is the Bad Boy blades. They provide a clean cut and have a robust build, making them incredibly durable and reliable.
The USA Mower Blades are the runners-up and the best mulching blade for zero-turn mowers.
We hope this detailed review and buyer guide help you find the best pieces for your treasured lawnmower.