Author Archives: Fisher Barton

  1. Milling Multi-Axis Machining: Common Applications

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    At Fisher Barton, we operate based on a set of clear values: customer excellence, a culture of fairness, and community involvement. This allows us to offer our customers the best services and products available.

    Our core values and capabilities come together in precision machining solutions that fit the needs of various applications. Read on to explore some of the common applications of multi-axis machining solutions.

    Complex 3D Geometries

    Multi-axis machining allows for the development of products with some of the most intricate 3D geometries without the need for multiple machines. While machining systems operate on X, Y, and Z axes, multi-axis systems integrate four or more axes to move tools and workpieces. This allows for increased precision while cutting.

    Some specific applications requiring multi-axis machining for complex parts and components include:

    • Aerospace Components. Parts requiring intricate designs include landing gear, engine parts, and other complex components with challenging geometries. Multi-axis machining is used to create precise contours, curves, and pockets.
    • Medical Devices. Surgical instruments, joint implants, and numerous other types of medical devices feature complex designs that require multi-axis machining to manufacture.
    • Molds and Dies. Multi-axis machining systems can create complex mold cores and cavities for various forming or casting applications.

    High-Precision Machining

    High-precision machining can produce highly accurate parts. Circuit boards, antennas, switches, and other electronic components used in telecommunication systems benefit from the quality and precision multi-axis machining offers.

    Many auto parts and components have tight tolerances and require the best possible finishes. Automotive manufacturers can utilize multi-axis machining when fabricating fuel injectors, valve bodies, transmission components, and other parts.

    Five-Axis Advantages for Specific Applications

    Specific applications can benefit from five-axis machining solutions. Some of these applications and their corresponding advantages include:

    • Fluid Dynamics Components. Fluid flow parts like turbines and impellers comprise complex designs with intricate channel systems, requiring machining equipment that can approach the design from multiple angles. 
    • Custom Machining. Multi-axis machining also allows for the development of custom shapes and sizes for one or multiple components, resulting in more efficiency and cost savings compared to traditional machining solutions.
    • Reverse Engineering. These solutions can also more easily recreate the complex geometries of parts with the help of 3D scanning technology.

    Milling Multi-Axis Machining from Fisher Barton

    Regardless of the application and requirements, Fisher Barton is here to provide you with a reliable multi-axis machining solution. We use some of the most innovative machining technology, including state-of-the-art horizontal and vertical turning centers.

    For more information about our solutions and to get started on a multi-axis machining project with our experts, contact us today, and we’ll discuss your specific needs.

  2. How to Measure Lawn Mower Blades

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    Identifying the right replacement for your lawn mower blade can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have the OEM part number or model information. This is why understanding the industry standard for measuring is important as it’s not always a straightforward process.

    Drawing on our experience as a leading lawn mower blade manufacturer for various OEMs, we not only cater to our customers’ requirements but also consider the needs of their clients. In the following, we provide a clear guide on how to accurately measure a lawn mower blade every time.

    Length

    Begin by measuring the length. Turn off the lawn mower and disconnect the spark plug to avoid unintentionally starting the mower.

    Next, find the blades under the lawn mower deck. Lawn mower blades usually aren’t symmetrical, lengthwise. The standard, consistent method is to measure diagonally from the end of one cutting edge to another. In other words, measure from the sharpest corner of one end of the blade to the sharpest corner of the other end. These will be on opposite sides of the blade.

    To simplify your search, record the measurement in both inches and millimeters. Note that the more a lawn mower blade is sharpened, the smaller it will become, meaning it will no longer have the exact dimensions as when it was new. If that’s the case, allot for a slightly longer length when comparing new lawn mower blades.

    Curved or damaged blades require greater estimation. The most efficient method in this case is to measure several points along the cutting edge, and then calculate the average length.

    Width

    The width of a lawn mower blade is easier to measure than its length. Again, keep the spark plug disconnected and ensure the lawn mower is completely off.

    Make the blade accessible and simply measure the blade’s width at the widest part. This maximum width is typically at or near the center hole. Make sure to keep your measuring device straight, rather than curving it across the blade. Also, be sure you’re measuring exactly parallel to the blade’s width, and record both inches and millimeters.

    Center Hole

    Unlike measuring the width and length, measuring a lawn mower blade’s center hole requires removing the blade. Make sure you have the following items:

    • Thick safety gloves
    • A measuring device (calipers, if you have them)
    • A solid, flat, and stable surface

    With the lawn mower off and the spark plug disconnected, remove the blade according to the manual or other manufacturer instructions. Removal usually only requires unscrewing a bolt or nut assembly running through the center hole, which will detach the blade from the mower deck.

    Set the blade on a flat surface and measure the diameter of the center hole. Sometimes there are side holes on either side of the center hole, which you’ll also need to measure. If so, take two measurements of the side holes:

    1. The diameter
    2. Distance between side holes, from the center of each one

    What about irregularly shaped holes? For star-shaped, H-pattern, or other unique holes, you only need the name of the hole.

    As mentioned, taking all measurements in inches and millimeters ensures you will have the easiest time researching replacement lawn mower blades. Throughout the process, be extremely cautious of all sharp edges. Also, be certain the blade is perfectly secure before attempting to use the lawn mower again.

    Lawn Mower Blades From Fisher Barton Group

    Fisher Barton Group’s blade division applies extensive experience in metallurgy and blade design and manufacturing to numerous industries. We produce lawn mower blades for dozens of leading brands, positioning us as one of the most reliable upstream suppliers for numerous product lines sold throughout the world. Contact us to learn more about our custom blade engineering services, and tell our knowledgeable technicians about your company’s lawn mower blade design and manufacturing needs.

  3. What Is a Mulching Blade?

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    What Is a Mulching Blade?

    A well-maintained lawn requires routine care and the proper tools to do the job efficiently. Choosing the right lawn mower blade is pivotal to maintaining a healthy lawn. There are certain situations that might call for a mulching blade instead of a standard lawn mowing blade. Learn more about mulching blades and how they can enhance the health of your lawn.

    What Is the Purpose of a Mulching Blade?

    A lawn mower mulching blade cuts grass like a standard blade but also repeatedly chops the grass clippings into tiny pieces. The finely chopped grass clippings are deposited back onto the lawn, acting as a natural fertilizer to help maintain a healthy yard.

    In terms of design, a mulching blade has a curved shape that generates airflow and allows grass clippings to circulate efficiently around the cutting deck. It also features a longer sharp cutting edge for repeated cutting.

    Standard Blades vs. Mulching Blades

    Depending on your lawn care needs, you can choose between standard or mulching blades. Here’s an overview of each option:

    • Standard Blades (2-in-1 blades): Known as 2-in-1 blades, standard blades are straight, aerodynamic blades designed to cut grass and subsequently discharge or bag the clippings. Standard blades achieve a lift strong enough to shoot out grass clippings from under the deck. Standard lawn mower blades are best for situations where mulching isn’t an option, such as mowing overgrown grass or when the clippings must be bagged to leave behind a clean-looking lawn.
    • Mulching Blades (3-in-1 blades): Mulching lawn mower blades are known as 3-in-1 blades because they can also mulch grass clippings in addition to cutting and discharging or bagging. Mulching blades are designed with more curves and a larger cutting edge to finely chop grass clippings before depositing them back onto the lawn. These blades are best for lawns mowed every three to four days.

    Benefits of Using Mulching Blades

    There are several advantages of using mulching blades:

    • Environmental Benefits: Mulching blades provide an eco-friendly way to handle grass clippings because the mulched clippings provide natural fertilization to lawns. The mulched clippings can replace chemical fertilizers and do not require separate disposal.
    • Nutrient Recycling: Since plants absorb nutrients from the soil to store in their leaves, mulched grass clippings return these nutrients to the soil to be reused.

    How to Convert a Standard Mower into a Mulching Mower

    If you decide a mulching blade is ideal for your lawn care, you often don’t have to purchase a new mower. Instead, you can buy a mulch kit that can convert some standard mowers into mulching mowers.

    Mulch conversion kits include a mulching blade and a mulch plug that blocks the chute to the grass collection bag. To switch quickly from mulching to standard grass collection, you can remove the mulch plug so that grass clippings are lifted through the chute into the connected grass bag, all while still using the mulching blade.

    When to Choose Mulching Blades Over Standard Blades

    • You have a regular mowing schedule of three to four days. Using a mulching blade on regularly mowed lawns prevents clogs and ensures efficient mulching of shorter grass.
    • You want natural fertilization for your lawn. Mulched grass clippings deposited back onto the lawn decompose and enrich the soil with essential nutrients. This fosters a healthier lawn without the use of additional fertilizers.
    • You want an environmentally friendly mowing approach. Mulching grass lessens yard waste, resulting in reduced plastic bag usage and trips to the landfill. A mulching blade also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, encouraging an eco-friendly lawn care approach.

    Elevate Your Lawn Care with Mulching Blades at Fisher Barton

    A mulching blade promotes a healthy lawn and is an eco-friendly lawn care option versus standard lawn mower blades. Contact us to discuss how our mulching blades can serve your lawn care needs.

  4. High Lift vs. Mulching Blades: Which is Right for You?

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    High Lift vs. Mulching Blades: Which is Right for You?

    Selecting the right blade for your mower can considerably impact your mowing efficiency, lawn health, and the overall appearance of your grass. With various choices and confusing terms, selecting the ideal mower blade can be challenging. You may see blades described as 3-in-1, 2-in-1, mulching, or high-lift, and not be sure which will meet your needs. Here, we will guide you through the various mower blades, and compare and contrast high-lift vs. mulching blades to help you make an informed decision.

    Understanding Mower Blade Terminology

    There are two primary styles of mowing blades: standard and mulching. Standard blades, also commonly referred to as 2-in-1 or high-lift blades, are designed to create an upward airflow for more efficient cutting. They cut grass and discharge the clippings either onto your lawn or into a grass collection system. Mulching blades, also known as 3-in-1 blades, are capable of mulching, discharging, and bagging grass clippings.

    High Lift (Standard) Blades

    High-lift blades are primarily used for standard grass-cutting. They feature a more straightforward design that focuses on cleanly and efficiently cutting grass. The higher-lifting airflow of standard blades creates a strong, upward draft that causes grass to stand upright, ensuring an even cut. This particular type of mower blade is ideal for discharging clippings either by throwing them out from the mower deck or by moving them into a collection bag.

    Mulching Blades

    Mulching blades feature a curved surface designed to cut grass and recut the clippings into smaller pieces for mulching. As such, this type of blade is the best option if you want to return finely cut grass back to your lawn for use as fertilizer.

    Mulching blades may consist of two separate blades aligned perpendicularly to create a cross or “+” shape and enhance mulching efficiency. While not as efficient as high-lift blades at discharging, mulching blades are highly versatile due to their 3-in-1 function, which includes mulching, discharging, and bagging.

    Making the Right Choice for Your Mower Blade

    When determining the ideal mower blade for your needs, you should consider the desired outcome of mowing your lawn. If your primary goal is to discharge your clippings, a high-lift blade may be the way to go. However, if you want to use your clippings as a natural fertilizer for your lawn, a mulching blade will be the better choice.

    The type of blade installed on a mower is typically chosen by the retailer based on the expected needs of their customers. However, this may not always align with your preferences. To confirm which type of blade is on a particular model, you can inspect the blade for a part number. That number can then be cross-referenced with the mower’s manual to determine the type of blade.

    If you’d like to change the blade on your current mower, there are two main options:

    • Mulching kits. If you have a standard blade and want a mulching blade, you can consider a mulching kit. These kits typically include the mulching blades as well as a plug to close off the mower’s discharge opening. This makes sure the clippings remain under the deck for recutting.
    • Aftermarket blades. You may also choose to use aftermarket mower blades. However, many aftermarket blade options are available, so it’s important to make sure you choose one compatible with your mower.

    Transform Your Lawn Care at Fisher Barton

    Understanding the difference between the various mower blades is crucial in determining the best option for your needs. At Fisher Barton, we’ve been serving the turf care industry with quality mower blades since 1973. We offer various types of mower blades, including our innovative MARBAIN® lawn mower blades, which provide the strongest, hardest, and longest-lasting performance in the industry.

    For more information about our selection of mower blades, or for help determining which mower blade is right for your needs, contact Fisher Barton today.

  5. Why You Need MARBAIN®Blades

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    With the goal of providing the strongest, hardest, longest-lasting material in the industry for manufacturing lawn mower blades, Fisher Barton developed MARBAIN®. An exclusive, durable, cost-effective, and patented material, MARBAIN® is a preferred alternative to abrasion-resistant steel and other hard metals used to make blades.

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    Why You Need Marbain® Blades

    What are MARBAIN® Blades?

    MARBAIN® is a proprietary heat-treated steel that is built with sturdiness in mind. Manufactured with AISI 10B38 base material, it is austempered, not quench/tempered. Using our materials expertise, we take our austempering process to the next level. By eliminating quench cracks, high-hardness parts that are extremely ductile are produced. Hardnesses of between 48 – 52 Rc are achieved, improving wear resistance by 33% over conventional austempering processes.

    Fisher Barton MARBAIN® lawn mower blades are extra durable. They provide the best strength and hardness of any mower blade on the market. Ideal for turf care professionals and those with industrial-strength lawn care needs, MARBAIN® steel blades last longer than our best austempered blades.

    Benefits of MARBAIN® Blades

    MARBAIN® blades are high quality, wear-resistant, bend-resistant, and durable. Our exclusive, proprietary, patented heat-treating process gives blades unmatched high hardness levels. Harder, stronger MARBAIN® blades require less sharpening time and offer:

    • Thinner and lighter components
    • No loss in field life or wear resistance
    • Guaranteed impact toughness (ANSI-S483 compliant) in every rotary cutter blade
    • No increased brittleness at 48-52 Rockwell ‘C’
    • Cost-effectiveness

    Reduced-weight blades made of MARBAIN® have the potential to provide quicker starts and stops, less wear on the PTO clutch brake, and lower fuel consumption.

    How Do We Test Our MARBAIN® Blades?

    To ensure our MARBAIN®blades are the best in the industry, we put them through a vigorous battery of tests. Fisher Barton engineers analyze their strength and durability with tests that are more severe than industry standards.

    The Stake Test

    The stake test assesses the durability of each blade. Blades are spun and torqued higher than they would be on a tractor or a mower, and a one-inch steel rod is fired into the blade’s path to stop it instantly. This process is done multiple times to ensure our blades are the most durable on the market.

    The Bang Test

    The bang test proves blade superiority. A normal mowing blade and one made of MARBAIN® are banged together. In this test, the stronger blade — the MARBAIN® blade — always prevails.

    The Sand Test

    Sandy conditions will wear blades down significantly faster. For the sand test, the tester puts the blade in a machine and simulates mowing in a sand-based region. The durability of MARBAIN® is the key to blades surviving the test of sand and other abrasive surfaces.

    MARBAIN® is an alternative for Abrasion Resistant Steel (AB)

    Fisher Barton’s MARBAIN® material is harder, stronger, and lasts longer than competitive offerings. This cost-effective solution is the ideal alternative to abrasion-resistant steel and other manufacturing materials that aren’t durable enough for tough conditions. MARBAIN® material not exclusive to the Turf industry. MARBAIN is also used in Agriculture, Mining and Forestry industries where harsh conditions require extreme hardness and toughness. MARBAIN base material when used in concert with Fisher Barton surface engineering solutions create the toughest, most durable and longest lasting parts available in the market today.

    Leading the Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers blade working group, in 1992, Fisher Barton submitted standards changes that have since been implemented. In 1995, MARBAIN® was patented and introduced to the mower blade and agricultural markets. This material is 40% harder than standard steel. 55% of the blades we manufacture are MARBAIN®. Today we are a leader in the industry based on our core values of customer excellence, a culture of fairness, and community involvement. These 3 C’s impact the way we do our jobs and the processes we use to perform better.
    Request a quote today and learn why MARBAIN® lawn mower blades are superior to competitors’ blades.

  6. Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Razor Slitter Blades?

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    Razor SlitterAll current CNC razor slitting machines allow for setting changes to the sharpening frequency and/ or sharpening duration. Excessive sharpening decreases blade life. By monitoring your slitting quality and making gradual changes to sharpening frequency and duration, you can work toward optimizing the life of your slitter blades. All too often we find that razor slitter sharpening is set for worst case running scenario and leads to excessive sharpening. Consult your operator’s manual or your service technician for specific machine adjustments.

    Excessive sharpening decreases blade life.

    Maintain a slitter blade sharpening log that includes board combination and optimal grind settings. This will aid in understanding your slitter machine and how to get the most out of each slitter blade.

    Zenith Cutter offers three levels of quality for most slitter machines:

    1. M2 High Speed Steel – Economy or starter blade.
    2. CPM10V Powdered Metal – A premium quality blade for those who understand their machines and can maximize their blade life.
    3. Tungsten Carbide – Highest level of quality for machines that are designed for its use, or well-maintained machines that have progressed to the optimal material.

    Download Slitter Blade Sharpening Log