Most often, you get confused about different types of mower blades available in the market.
It gets difficult to choose the right blade because I faced the same confusion every time, I switched to the new one.
Lawnmower blades are named differently depending upon their functionality.
These are usually named hi-lifts, low-lifts, medium-lifts, mulching type, regular, etc.
So, to clarify the difference, you must know the exact functionality feature of each lawnmower blade.
In This article
High Lift vs Mulching Blades
Comparing high lift vs mulching blades, here are some key differences highlighted below which will surely help you to understand the main difference between high lift and mulching blades.
Comparison Table of High Lift vs Mulching Blades
|Mulching Blades||High Lift Blades|
|Basic Difference||Cut the grass clippings to produce a finer mulch||Cut grass clippings and discharge or send them towards the bag of the mower|
|Design & Functionality||Design: Curved, Serrated teeth edges|
Functions by creating a vacuum under the deck
|Design: Flat edges lifted upwards|
Functions by rotating at high speed and throw grass out via discharge chute
|Air Circulation||Air circulates again and again||One time trip|
|Grass Clumping||Clumping if used on tall grass||Very less clumping|
|Suction Power||High to hold and cut grass||Less just cut the grass at once|
|Mechanism of Action||By creating a vacuum and cutting grass repeatedly||By rotating fast and lifting grass high|
|Frequency of Use||More, Every 3-4 days||Less, Every 15-20 days|
The above comparison table pretty much clarifies the difference between mulching and high lift mower blades.
To understand the above comparison, here are my findings which will help you to clarify further.
The basic difference pops up when you define them.
What Is a High Lift Mower Blade?
As the name indicates, they are high lifts means they will lift the grass high.
“High lift mower blades are designed to have more curved edged and lift the grass high after cutting it. Curved design creates airflow to lift the grass after cutting and send them to the bag if you are using bagger mower or discharge it sideways if you are using a side discharge mower.”
Brands like spaldings are displaying their products and may give you a free try to check out these high lift blades.
What Is a Mulching Blade?
It is crystal clear that these blades are made to “mulch” grass clippings from the name.
“Mulch” means small pieces produced after cutting grass clippings repeatedly so that they can be used as fertilizer to your lawn which is nutritive to lawn soil.
“Mulching blades have extra cutting surfaces on the curved edges and produce airflow in such a way that grass clippings are repeatedly cut in the deck of mower instead of discharging or bagging.”
These are used because the lawn owner wants to spread clipping on the ground after the final cut to fertilize the soil, which is beneficial to the lawn.
You can clearly observe the difference between the high lift mower and mulching blades from the picture below.
So now you have a clear idea about what these blades really are. Let’s get further into details.
Differneces Between Mulching and High Lift Blades Based on Features
Design & Functionality
High lift blades are designed to have more curves which serve their functionality as lifting grass high and sending them to bag or discharging to the ground.
You can also call high lift blades as standard or 2-1 blade because they are used to cut grass clippings first and then discharge or bag them.
Where mulching blades have serrated teeth and curved flaps or wings, which create airstream within the mower’s deck to cut the grass again and again, but the noticeable difference here is that mulching blades don’t produce high lifts pertaining to their functionality.
You can also call mulching blades 3-in-1 as they perform three basic functions; Cutting, mulching, and discharging, or bagging.
High lift mower blades have wings (flaps) that are curved and don’t have spaces between them, enabling them to collect a good air pocket while moving in the deck and lift the grass high. So the air they collect is circulated only once.
In the case of mulching blades, wings have spaces between them that let the airstream pass through them. Airstream creates a suction vacuum underside of the deck, which cuts the grass again and again.
So, mulching blades have more air circulation than hi-lift blades.
High lift blades instantly cut the grass clippings and send them to the mower bag or discharge via a discharge chute. So, the chances of clumping grass under the deck are less.
Where mulching blades keep grass clippings under the deck to produce a finer mulch, it can cause clumping of grass under the deck, which only happens if you mow over the tall grass. So, it is recommended not to mow a mulching mower over grass that has grown over the height of 3 inches.
High lift blades comparatively create less suction than the mulching blades.
The functionality and design of mulching blades make them unique to create a vacuum and suck up grass which is less seen in high lift blades.
Mechanism of Action
Grass clippings are thrown far away in the case of high lift blades compare to the mulching blade due to their design, functionality, air circulation, and suction features.
Also, you cannot use the mulching blade on a bagger (a type of mower) because it produces less force and energy to push grass pieces into the mower, where High lift blades efficiently work on the bagger.
High lawn mower blades use more power to rotate in the mower deck, so you should only mount these blades on a mower that has the good horsepower to operate.
Where mulching blades comparatively use less power and results in less wear and tear of mower engine.
The recommend horsepower of the mower is 11- 25. Also, you can buy 25-37 horsepower mowers which are way more suitable for fitting any kind of blade.
My favorite choice is a 20 inch Ego power walk behind the mower, suitable for mulching and hi-lift blades.
Frequency of Use
If you are using high lift blades, you will need to mow lawn less like after 15-20 days.
If you are using mulching blades, you will need to mow your lawn every 3-4 days as this grass shouldn’t be grown more than 3inch to avoid clumping.
From the above key points, you can clearly differentiate between mulching and high lift blades.
Furthermore, before you make a final decision on which one is the best, here are some pros and cons enlisted for each blade type:
Pros and Cons of High Lifts Blades
- Lift grass high, fills the bag of mower fast
- Less clumping of grass under the deck
- Can be used on bagger or side discharge
- It uses more engine power
- It cannot be used for mulching
- Consumes more engine power
Pros and Cons of Mulching Blades
- Produce mulch and increase soil fertility
- Comparatively, use less engine power
- Works on almost every kind of mower, or you can use a mulching kit
- Great suction power, air circulation under the deck, and finer cut
- No need to make and collect grass piles, reduce labor
- Fewer wears and tears of engine
- It cannot be used on a bagger
If we look at the features and benefits that each blades holds, mulching blade is ahead of high lift blade because they are more reliable, endurable, beneficial, and above all good for your lawnmower engine.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Should You Choose the Right Blade?
The right choice for any blade for your mower depends on compatibility, design, length, thickness, weight, and the deck size of the mower. The best way to find out is to check the purpose for which you want that particular blade. If you want to do mulching, buy a mulching blade; if you want to do bagging, buy a high lift blade.
What is the difference between gator blades and high lift blades?
Gator blades are mulching blades. They fit all new age mowers and produce quality mulch compared to other mulching blades. Where high lift blades are not mulching type and fit only with few mowers.
What is the difference between standard and high lift mower blades?
Standard blades are blades that come with the mower when you buy them. They work on small grass well where High lift blades are named after their functionality of producing grass clippings by the high lifting of tall grass because they work well on tall grasses.
What is the difference between mulching blades and gator blades?
Gator blades are named after the brand “Gator by Oregon,” which produces mulching blades for lawnmowers. Where mulching blade is a term used for blades that produces mulch. In short, all the Gator blades are mulching blades, but not all the mulching blades are Gator blades because many brands produce mulching blades other than Gator.
Do Gator mulching blades work?
Gator blades work well on any mower. They have serrated teeth flaps or edges that cut the grass clippings efficiently and produce a finer mulch which you can use to fertilize the topsoil of your lawn.
What is the difference between a Gator blade and a mulching kit?
A Gator blade is a mulching blade only, where a mulching kit is a mulching blade with a plug to mount it on a lawnmower deck. It is recommended to use a Gator blade with a mulching kit; However, Gator blades alone works well on a mower in many cases.
How to install Gator mulching blades?
Unplug the spark wire and empty the fuel tank. Afterward, you can unscrew the old blade from the mower deck and mount it on the new one using the wrench. Please make sure the serrated teeth face towards the deck while you install it. You can use a 2×4 wooden block to hinders the rotational movement of the blade while you are screwing it tight.