As winter turns into spring, many homeowners look forward to trimming their lawns and backyard.
For this task, you’ll require a reliable lawn mower with quality blades to cut the overgrown grass efficiently. Additionally, using the wrong blade can mess up your landscape’s aesthetics.
Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of different types of lawn mower blades to help you figure out the best one. Mull over the tips below to determine the best mower blade.
Lawn Mower Blade Types
- Standard or medium-lift blade
- Low-lift blade
- High-lift blade
- Mulching blade
- Gator blades
- Reel blades
- Self-sharpening mower blades
Different Types of Lawn Mower Blades
With different mower blades saturating the market, it becomes increasingly challenging to pick the right one for your needs.
However, this becomes a breeze once you understand the difference in mower blades.
1. Standard Lawn Mower Blades
Also known as medium lift, standard blades are mostly used in lawnmowers rotating horizontally.
Despite the slight curve on the blade’s edges, they are sometimes referred to as straight blades.
The slight bend, which allows air to ventilate through, creates suction around the blade. This suction pulls the grass up straight, allowing for precise cutting.
The suction produced by standard blades is minimal compared to other blade types because they aren’t overly tilted at the end.
However, you’ll want to consider several aspects before settling for this blade type. A major factor to mull over is the type of land you’re mowing.
While most homeowners opt for medium-lift blades due to the high efficiency it delivers on damp and dry surfaces, I recommend using them for mowing thick grass patches.
Also, with standard blades, you can easily cut dense grass and send it to the bag. However, they won’t remove smaller patches of grass on your yard, resulting in an uneven lawn.
Medium-lift blades also fail to send the grass debris through the chute to the bag due to the minimum suction it delivers.
Subsequently, with the low suction power, the debris is likely to clutter up, blocking the chute.
This clog might eventually make your mower stop working. You’ll also have to deal with unwanted trash on your lawn.
- It easily cuts dense grass patches.
- Slightly curved edges aid in suction.
- Ideal for any soil.
- Cuts damp and dry surfaces efficiently.
- The chute tends to block often.
- Not suitable for mowing small clumps of grass.
Recommended Standard lawn mower blade: 8TEN LawnRAZOR Mower Blade
- Replaces OEM Part Numbers: Cub Cadet/TD/Troy Bilt 942-05052A
- Compatible with Models: MTD: Craftsman G8200, G8300, ZS6700, Z550, T260; Columbia CYT5023SE, ZT-L50
- Compatible with: Troy Bilt Super Bronco 50, Super Bronco 50 XP, TB2350, Mustang 50 XP
- Compatible with: Cub Cadet RZT-LX50 KW, RZT-L50 KH, RZT-LX 50 KW, RZT-S50, RZT-S50 KH, RZT-SX 50 KH
- Compatible with: Cub Cadet XT1-GT50 KH, XT1-GT50, XT1-LT50 KH, XT1-LT50, XT2-LX50, ZT1-50 KW, ZT2-50 KW
2. Low-Lift Lawn Mower Blades
Low-lift lawn mower blades feature less curvy edges than standard blades, creating a low suction. Due to the low suction capacity, low-lift blades are mostly suitable when mowing sandy soil.
The low suction limits the grass from getting up too high. This keeps the grass suitable for cutting and discharging to the side.
Similarly, this prevents the blade from picking up dust. Typically, the dust settles on the ground instead of being blown around.
Low-lift blades typically measure about 3-4 inches long and require less energy from the engine to rotate. Since they don’t drain the engine as much, your mower will benefit from a longer lifespan.
In contrast, blades that deliver a higher suction tend to wane more quickly than their low-lift counterparts.
Usually, the dust rises and eventually settles on the deck, making the blades wear out prematurely.
Hence, consider settling for blades with this design if you prefer durability over mowing efficiency.
Moreover, I prefer low-lift blades since they can operate with minimal noise. In addition, they operate quietly since they don’t need much power to operate effectively.
However, a major downside to using this kind of blade is their incapability to suck debris into the bag.
- Requires less power to operate.
- They deliver silent yet effective mowing.
- They’re perfect for use on sandy terrains.
- Offer more durability and longevity.
- They’re incapable of sucking debris into the bag.
- They aren’t suitable for damp surfaces.
Recommended low-lift lawn mower blade: EGO Power+ AB2101D 21-Inch Mulching Blade
- Compatible with EGO POWER+ 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Lawn Mowers LM2156SP, LM2150SP, LM2135SP, LM2130SP, LM2133. LM2130
- Heavy duty mulching and bagging blade
- Interchangeable lower blade on the Select Cut Multi-Blade System
- All steel blade for excellent cutting performance
- For use with EGO POWER+ 56-Volt Select Cut Mowers: LM2130, LM2133, LM2130P, LM2135SP, LM2150SP, and LM2156SP models
3. The High Lift Lawn Mower Blades
High-lift blades feature a special vertical angle on both edges, making them easy to distinguish. This feature allows maximum airflow through the blades, resulting in a high-capacity vertical suction.
The blade’s rapid circular motion keeps the grass in a straight and taut position resulting in perfect trimming. It enables you to mow your lawn with utmost precision, giving it a clean and fresh look.
Typically, high-lift blades measure between 1-inch to 21 inches long and are best suited for lawns with tall grass.
Moreover, the high suction capacity of the blades prevents grass from accumulating in the chute, which might otherwise result in clogging.
This makes high-lift blades a preferred option among those who like bagging the grass.
However, the high suction produced by high-lift blades renders them unsuitable for cutting grass on sandy terrains. In addition, the maximized airflow will likely suck in the dust and sand alongside the grass.
Consequently, if the dust settles inside the deck, your lawn mower is more likely to wear out before attaining its projected lifespan.
In addition, the rapid, continuous whirling of the blade demands more power from the engine to deliver sufficient suction. Likewise, this shortens the service span of your lawn mower.
- It delivers an elegant finish.
- It easily sucks out and bags the leftover debris.
- It doesn’t result in clogging.
- Perfect for mowing tall grass.
- It utilizes too much power.
- Not suitable for mowing sandy terrains.
- Pulls up debris too.
- They wear out faster.
Recommended High-lift lawn mower blade: Arnold 20-Inch High-Lift Mower Blade
- Fits 20" Mowers (1997 & After)
- Star Center Hole
- 20" High-Lift Blade
4. Mulching Mower Blades
Better known as 3-in-1 blades, a mulching mower blade features a curved surface, making it a multi-purpose option.
Mulching blades are commonly found in riding or pushing lawn mowers and have a more cutting edge than other blades.
Mulching blades are the go-to option if you wish to fertilize the soil using grass clippings instead of discarding them.
The blade produces enough suction to raise the grass before cutting it into pieces. The grass pieces are then taken into the deck and cut into smaller clippings.
Afterward, the blade’s inside curvature generates air pressure that discharges the finer clippings into the soil. The finer grass fragments can replenish the soil since the nutrients are easily absorbed.
Use the multipurpose mulching blade if you wish to enhance the aesthetics of the landscape and fertilize your lawn (see the best liquid lawn fertilizer) into the bargain. Moreover, mulching is the best option for removing mowing debris you don’t need anymore.
However, since they have a low suction power, I recommend using something other than mulching blades on tall and dense grass.
The blades need to be able to clip dense grass patches efficiently. As a result, the grass may end up clogging the deck.
- They can serve multiple purposes at the same time.
- They feature an enhanced curve, allowing for precise mowing.
- They replenish nutrients in the soil.
- It doesn’t require you to get rid of clippings.
- It doesn’t suit dense patches of grass.
- They deliver a low suction capacity, making them unsuitable for cutting tall grass.
- They can lead to clogging or blockages.
Recommended Mulching Lawn Mower Blade: MaxPower 561714B 2 Blade Mulching Set
- Includes 2 blades for 42" cut
- Replaces OEM no. Craftsman, Husqvarna, Poulan 134149, 532134149
- Measures 21" long by 2-1/4" wide
- Has a 5 Point Star Center Hole
- Manufactured to meet or exceed all OEM specifications
5. Gator Lawn Mower Blades
Like mulching blades, the gator or toothed blades are perfect for replenishing nutrients in your soil. The blades are adapted to fertilize the soil with more efficiency.
The blade’s design generates maximum suction, which pulls the grass upwards. The high-capacity suction is easily achieved due to the specific angle on the blade’s teeth.
This is a secondary blade that straightens the grass to allow precise cutting. Moreover, the gator teeth angle incessantly pushes the grass towards the blade’s sharp edge as the mower moves about.
As a result, it’s possible to cut smaller pieces of grass over and over. With this blade, you can seamlessly cut tall grass into fine pieces.
To maximize the efficiency of this process, including an additional mulching tool on the blade.
With the mulching tool, you can easily distribute the fine grass pieces so they can settle uniformly on the soil.
Fine grass pieces can fertilize the soil by replenishing the necessary nutrients. Using gator blades will increase your yields, particularly if you wish to plant fruits and flowers in your yard.
- Suitable for replenishing nutrients in the soil.
- Delivers precise cuttings.
- Generates enough airflow to pull the grass upwards.
- Not suitable when mowing on sandy terrains.
- The edges tend to dull quickly.
Recommended Gator Lawn Mower Blade: Rotary 52″ 6309 Lawnmower Gator Blade
6. Self-sharpening Lawn Mower Blades
During the summer and spring months, it’s common for landscapers to sharpen their mowing blades more than once per week.
In this case, a self-sharpening blade will come in handy to increase efficiency. Self-sharpening blades utilize patented technology to sharpen themselves as you mow the lawn.
Many users can attest that the blades sharpen themselves, eliminating the need for frequent replacement or manual sharpening.
However, as expected, self-sharpening lawnmower blades include a hefty price tag that’s way out of range compared to normal blades.
See: How to sharpen blades on zero turn mower without removing
However, they deliver great value for the money. So, it’s up to you to decide whether or not they’re worth investing in.
Fortunately, these blades work on both light and rigid grass. Moreover, you can deploy them on damp and dry fields.
- Suitable for all kinds of grass.
- They don’t need manual sharpening.
- They have less frequent replacement needs.
- They’re expensive.
- They aren’t suitable for sandy terrains.
Recommended Self-sharpening Lawn Mower Blade: Grasshopper Mower 25″ High-Lift Notched Mower Blade
- COMPATIBILITY INFO: 25" OEM Grasshopper GrassMax LaserEdge EverSharp High-Lift Notched MARBAIN steel blade requires no sharpening for the life of the blade. Grasshopper Part Number 320319. For all 72" Grasshopper FrontMount and MidMount DuraMax decks. Protect your investment and ensure peak performance by trusting only genuine OEM replacement parts and supplies to maintain your machine.
- GRASSMAX BLADE SYSTEM: Thanks to much closer tolerances, the cutting edge of the Grasshopper GrassMax MARBAIN blades have proven to last more than twice as long in field tests compared to aftermarket blades claiming to be exact replacements. Thousands of hours of airflow and cutting research go into DuraMax deck baffle and blade designs. GrassMax MARBAIN blades are hard, strong and durable, so they cut better, last longer, and are safer to operate.
- LAWN SERVICE SATISFACTION GUARANTEED: Made with LaserEdge technology that requires no sharpening for the life of the table. Don't cut corners on quality. No matter what Grasshopper mower you own, with a wide range of Grasshopper lawnmower parts available, you'll easily find necessary parts to fix up your machine. You can fully rely on original Grasshopper parts that we provide to repair and extend the operating life of your machine.
- MANUFACTURING EFFICIENCIES: At Grasshopper, we believe that being aware of environmental issues benefits not only our planet, but our customers and our business. The Grasshopper Company endeavors not only to recycle lawn materials but also raw materials in the production process. Our Computer Aided Drafting/Computer Aided Machining system fully integrated with a 3-D solid modeling computer design system optimizes the use of material and production time.
- SERVICE, SUPPORT, AND SAFETY: Grasshopper mowers are designed for minimal maintenance and low cost of ownership. Yet, even the best-built equipment will eventually need replacement parts and/or service. To ensure authenticity, look for the Grasshopper logo on the grass side of the blade to be sure it is a genuine Grasshopper GrassMax blade. Remember to sharpen blades often at least after every eight hours of use.
7. Reel Lawn Mower Blades
These are the most basic mower blades found in manual reel lawn mowers. Typically, reel blades feature a spiral shape that trims grass, similar to how a scissor cuts paper.
This blade type is suitable for thick and thin grass patches. Moreover, you can deploy them on both moist and dry lawns.
A major downside to reel blades is that you can’t replace them if they break. Similarly, the reel blade is quite challenging to sharpen manually.
However, once they lose their sharpness, you’ll want to sharpen them to enhance the cutting efficiency. Fortunately, they are on the low side of the price scale.
- Suitable for all types of grass.
- Works for both moist and dry lawns.
- They’re affordable.
- Hard to sharpen.
- It cannot be replaced once broken.
Recommended reel lawn Mower Blade: Greenworks 16-Inch Replacement Lawn Mower Blade
- MODEL COMPATIBILITY: Specifically designed for Greenworks 16-inch corded mowers, compatible with models 25322 and 25242.
- PRECISE BLADE LENGTH: The actual length of the blade is 15.75 inches, ensuring a perfect fit and optimal performance for the specified mower models.
- ONE-PIECE STEEL CONSTRUCTION: The blade is forged from a single piece of steel, providing exceptional durability and longevity.
- ENHANCED DURABILITY: The one-piece steel forging process results in a robust and long-lasting blade, capable of withstanding extensive use.
- EFFICIENT CUTTING PERFORMANCE: Engineered for effectiveness, this blade offers efficient cutting, ensuring a clean and even trim of your lawn with each use.
What Should You Consider When Choosing a Lawn Mower Blade
Of course, when picking a blade for your mower, you’ll want to consider the type of grass you’re mowing and the nature of your lawn.
However, you’ll also want to ensure the blade is in the right shape for the job. Here’s what to look out for in a lawn mower blade;
Width of the Blade
Typically, the wider the blade is, the larger the area you can work on over a given period. So, opt for wider blades to reduce the time spent on a mowing project.
While the efficiency offered by wide blades may fascinate you, a large width is likely to damage other mower components. Therefore, I recommend using a blade with an ideal width of 2 to 3 inches.
Length of the Blade
The perfect width and length enhance the blade’s efficiency. When determining the right length for your lawn mower’s blade, a good rule of thumb is to consider the height of your mower.
For instance, the optimal blade length for short mowers ranges between 16 to 22 inches.
On the other hand, medium to large-sized mowers may require blades that measure up to 30″ in length.
Recomended read, can you put a 20 inch blade on a 21 inch lawn mower? Find out!
The design of the central hole may vary depending on the blade type. However, a simple center hole will eventually loosen with time, requiring an additional washer.
At the same time, five- or six-star holes often have a firmer grip. Before purchasing lawn mower blades, check the size of the attachment bolts in your mower.
Size of the Deck
The deck size ultimately varies from the mower to mower. So, as a rule of thumb, the smaller your mower’s deck is, the smaller the blade should be.
Similarly, using a small-sized blade on a large deck may limit the mower’s efficiency and performance.
The Shape of the Blade
When looking for a replacement, pick a blade with a similar shape to the original one. Additionally, pick blades that are compatible with your lawn mower to achieve the best fit.
Number of Blades
Usually, push and self-propelled lawn mowers utilize a single blade only. On the other hand, riding mowers may require more than one blade.
When shopping, consider the number of blades used by your lawn mower.
Often, stainless steel blades offer a longer service span than other materials, such as iron. However, the blade is more likely to bend if the construction is too thin.
In addition, if you plan on mowing wet grass, consider picking a blade with anti-rust properties.
When To Sharpen Your mower blades
To determine how frequently you should sharpen your mower blades, you’ll want to consider the length and type of grass you’re cutting.
Additionally, it’ll depend on the amount of use and your lawn’s soil conditions. You can also look at the cut quality before sharpening the blades.
When To Replace Your Mower Blades
Eventually, you’ll have to replace your lawn mower blades after frequent sharpening. Sharpening the blade wears it out, hence the need for replacement.
Most manufacturers recommend replacing the blade when there is ½-inch left between the cutting edge and the sail or lift.
The sail is the part of the blade that’s angled up. Mowing with less than ½-inch left on the blade poses a hazard once the blade fails.
The failure could sometimes send the blade flying from the mower, hurting someone. You’ll also want to replace the blade if it bends since straightening it won’t restore its integrity.
What Is The Difference Between Single- And Double-Blade Lawnmowers?
Typically, you can use blades on single-blade and multi-blade mowers. The only usual difference is in the blades’ dimensions. Multi-blade mowers utilize shorter blades that overlap to deliver clean cuts.
What are the best lawn mower blades for thick grass?
Here are some of the best blades for thick grass as per our in-house tests.
- MaxPower Poulan, Husqvarna & Craftsman
- MTD 942-0741A Mulching Blade
- Toro 22″ Recycler Mower Blade Set
- Oregon Gator Mulcher Blade
- Honda HRR Blades
- Maxpower 3-Blades
- Oregon Mulching Blade
What do mulching blades look like?
Mulching blades usually spot more curves and increased cutting edges. The increased cutting edge and pronounced curve enable the blade to clip grass into the deck. Afterward, it’s cut severally before being released back on the lawn as finer pieces.
What type of steel is used in lawn mower blades
Most Lawn mower blades consist of abrasion-resistant high-carbon steel with a Rockwell hardness of 38-42 units. In the USA, the blades comprise local nickel-alloy steel passed through a salt bath heat treatment. This way, it’s extremely resistant to normal wear or breakage.
What are the best lawn mower blades for zero-turn mowers?
The best lawn mower blades for zero-turn mowers are the Bad Boy Blades, Oregon Gator Mulching Blades, and MaxPower Precision Parts Lawn Mower Blades. These blades are designed to provide a clean cut with minimal clippings.
What are the best lawn mower blades for sandy soil?
Use Low-lift blades if you’re mowing sandy lawns or terrains. These blades have a low-suction capacity to limit the dust that settles on the deck. In addition, they utilize less engine power and produce less noise.
Moreover, when mowing with low-lift blades, the grass tends to stay grounded, allowing for efficient trimming and sideway discharge.
Are new mower blades worth the investment?
Yes, investing in a new blade for your lawnmower is worthwhile. When mowing using a new blade, the sharp edges deliver a nice and clean shave.
Subsequently, the sharp cutting edge will leave your lawn looking great and the turf healthy. In contrast, dull or nicked blades tear the grass instead of trimming.
The best thing, you don’t have to sharpen the brand-new lawn mower blades before use
Are lawn mower blades reverse thread?
No, lawn mower blades are not reverse threaded. The thread on the blade is actually a standard right-hand thread, meaning you turn it clockwise to tighten and counterclockwise to loosen.
Some manufacturers may use a left-hand thread (turning left to tighten, turning right to loosen) but this isn’t very common in lawn mowers.
There are types of lawn mower blades, picking the right one will depend on the condition type of the grass. Similarly, different blades serve different purposes.
For instance, use mulching blades if you want to fertilize your yard. In this post, you’ll understand the best type of lawn mower blades for you and recommended brands to use.