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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.

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