To understand the main difference between mulching blades and regular blades, specific terms are used to compare different types of blades you should know before mixing it all and getting the wrong knowledge.
First thing you should know that blades are of two types that would fit any lawnmower.
- Mulching Blades
- Regular Blades
In This article
Here are the other terms commonly used for lawn mower blades:
Mulching blades: the sole purpose of the mulching blade is to produce mulch.
Standard blades: Also called “regular or normal blades,” are 2-in-1 purpose blades that cut grass and secondly side-discharge it or send it to the bag of your mower.
Bagging blades: These are made for a bagger (a mower with a bag attached to it). Bagger blades can either be regular or mulch type.
Hi-lift blades: These blades have lifted edge parts that help lift grass high and cut it efficiently. Primarily these are used as bagging or discharge blades.
Gator blades: As the name indicates, Gator is a brand name; the Gator manufactures these blades. These blades can be mulching type, hi-lift, regular, bagging, or discharging kind.
So, from the above discussion, it is pretty much clear that there are two main types of lawnmower blades, and different terms are interchangeably used for each blade depending upon the purpose they serve.
The main types of lawn mower blades are
- Mulching blade
So let’s deep dive into it.
So, Here I will be discussing only mulching blade compared to regular mower blades and the sole purpose of our discussion would be to get most basic ideas of these blades, what common things they have and what different things they have.
First Lets know their basics:
Know Mulching Blades
A Mulching blade is 3 in 1 blade that suck up grass like a vacuum pump and hit the side of grass with its sharp edges that cut down grass. The metal flaps of mulching blades then come into action and bring that pieces of grass into rotation. They keep rotating it until the grass is cut into small pieces. And know that everything happens under the deck of mower real fast.
Characteristics of Mulching Blade
1. Natural Fertilizer Producer
The first amazing thing to know about the mulching blade is that they produce mulch. Mulch is a natural fertilizer. Actually, it is the grass clippings that I am calling here mulch. When mulching blades acts they cut out grass again and again under the deck of mower and make fine pieces at the discharge chute which once spread on grass acts as natural fertilizer.
Grass clippings once cut by mulching blades, are laid on the topsoil of grass, which on decomposition in 4-5 days give out its nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to the soil. And yes, those nutrients act as natural fertilizer.
2. 3-in-1 Function
A mulching blade is called a 3-in-1 blade they are called so because they perform three basic functions. You can call them their main characteristics which are listed below:
- Mulching: Producing mulch via repetitive motion and cutting grass again and again into small clippings
- Bagging: Sending the grass clippings to the bag of mower if your mower is equipped with a bag
- Discharging: DIscharging means if your mower doesn’t have bag, a mulching blade discharge clips our of mower’s discharge chute.
In short, The working mechanism of mulching blades is just a repeativtive motion for cutting grass into small pieces which is called a natural fertilizer or mulch.
3. Curvy Design and Divided Airflow
The design of mulching blades is curvy on the edge. The basic purpose of these designs is to bring in grass with more contact on the edges of moving blades. It help the mower to chop grass effectively.
Where the divided airflow is a functionality of mulching blade that comes with the teeth on in it. As you can see in the picture, the curvy design and teeths of blade are well highlighted.
It should be clear that the edges are the one that cuts the grass clippings not the teeth of mulching blades as teeths are only made to bring in more air flow and keep pushing grass towards the edges of blade again and again in order to produce fine grass clippings just like coarse dust which we called as Mulch.
Mulching Blades Pros and Cons
- It creates multi directional lifts for repeativie cutting
- Doesn’t discharge or bagg well
- They cause less clogging and bogging of mower
- They fit on many mowers
- Needs higher power capacity
- Good for cutting tall grass
- Produce Natural fertilization
- Needs lower power capacity
- Best performaing blade when it comes to mowing after every 3-4 days
- Makes the lawn look healthier and cleaner
- Not suitable for tall grass
- Does not discharge or bag well
Know Regular Blades
A regular blade is a blade that do regular functions which are only two: Bagging and Discharging. They are also called as 2-in-1 blade which means they do bagging or discharging when moving under the deck of mower. The best thing about regular blade is that they are good at throwing away grass out of your mower.
Top Regular Blades to Buy
- 8TEN LawnRAZOR Hi Lift Blade for MTD 46 inch Deck Cub Cadet
- EGO Power+ AB2101 21-Inch Lawn Mower High Lift Blade
- MTD Genuine Parts 490-110-M110 46-Inch High-Lift Blade Set
Characteristics of Regular Blade
Regular blades characteristic that I would like to mention here are
1. Extended Metal Flaps
Regular blades has long and extended metal flaps which means they have bigger wings that cut the grass and discharge it out in one rotation. They don’t cut grass again and again as mulching blades do.
2. Angular Body
As you can see in the picture2, they have curvy angle in their body which means that angle is made to create high lift and throw the grass clippings out of mower more forcefully.
3. Best for Discharging
As mentioned earlier, regular blades are powerful in sense of throwing grass out of their rotational circle which means they are good at discharging. If you put bag against the discharing whole they can help you bag grass in a mower/bagger.
4. Strongest Air Flow and Originality
As the regular blades are uni-directional, it means they creates strong air flow at one time, cut the grass and through clippings outside mower in no time.
Regarding originality means these blades fits in originally place on the shaft of mower. They are genuine parts that comes with brand new mowers.
Regular Blades Pros and Cons
- It creates one directional lift
- Good for cutting tall grass
- Good at using in lawns that are not mowed regularly
- Discharge and bag well but does mulch well
- Good for lawn and yards where you less mowing like after 4-5 weeks
- They cause less clogging and clumping
- They does not fits on many mower like mulching mowers, they are mower specific.
- Can’t be used in dust conditions
- Needs higher power capacity
Comparison Based on Different Parameters
There are different parameters of mulching blades compare to regular blades, I have enlisted specific parameters which will make it crystal clear to understand the basic differences between mulching and regular blades.
Shape is the primary difference considered when it comes to the comparison of mulching and regular blades.
Mulcher blades have more curved edges than regular blades.
The curved edges or cutting portions are either flat or bears serrated teeth. Serrated-teeth edge creates enhanced airflow than the flat one because air moves more easily through them when the blade moves under the mower’s deck.
Another classy thing about the mulching blade is that its curved surface creates more vacuum than the regular type, enabling your mower to cut grass clippings repeatedly.
It is recommended to mulch every 4-6 days to maintain your lawn, as the finer the mulch produces, the more nutrients are added to the ground.
If you talk about the shape of the regular blade, they are the flat ones in form and made to work at lower mower settings.
You can use regular blades if you want more even strips on lawns, and you can easily remove piles of cut clippings from your yard. It is recommended to mow after 10-15 days if you are using regular blades.
Lifting Capability or Aerodynamics
The lifting mechanism depends on the shape of the blade. The lifting capability of the mulching blade compared to the regular blade is low as it sends grass clippings back to the cutting edges multiple times and produces more thin cuts.
High lift regular blades work uni-directional; they send clippings in the deck and throw them on the ground via discharge-cute or in the mower bag.
As mulching blades are made to keep the grass clippings inside the mower and chop them repeatedly until they produce a finer mulch, they are not suitable for discharge.
Regular mower blades cut the grass clippings and disperse them more efficiently on the ground, but it will not produce a good cutting.
Dispersal of grass clippings depends on the type of mower. If it is a 2-in-one mower, it will either discharge it or send it to the bag part, which is exhibited by the regular blades.
On the other hand, mulching blades do not disperse grass clippings nicely; instead, grass clippings exit the mower deck to a shorter distance.
Trapping Under the Deck
Trapping is also referred to as the Recirculation of grass clippings under the deck of the mower. It depends on the design or aesthetic of the mower. There are lawn mowers with adjustability settings at different heights to cut grass better.
Mulching blades are more curved and recirculate grass clippings more efficiently due to the airstream they produce, resulting in quality mulch best for the topsoil of your lawn.
However, regular blades aren’t such a trapping type, and they are made to lift grass cuts high and discharge it outside or in the bag.
Regular blades cost you more time than the mulching blades, as, after mulching, you don’t need to carry the bags full of clippings or piles of grass on your lawn to be cleaned up.
Compatibility of Blade
Mulching blades are generally compatible with new models and fit well as compared to regular blades. You can also use a mulching kit to mount mulching blades on the mower.
A mulching kit is a mulching blade with a plug to easily fit the mower and perform qualitative cuttings under the deck.
Mulcher blades produce fine clipping than regular one due to repetitive rotation and length wings they have.
Mulching blades consume more energy than regular blades, and they require more horsepower from the mower engine to work correctly.
Clumping of Grass
Mulcher blades comparatively work better on wet grass well as they will clump and hurt your lawn.
Mulching blades are more durable than regular blades as they are thick and built with high-quality material.
The former one wins the race regarding the overall benefits of the mulching blade and regular blade. As mulching produces mulch that serves as a natural fertilizer to your lawn, that’s the significant difference mulching blade makes here.
Comparison Table: Mulching Blades vs Regular Blades
|Parameters||Mulching Blades||Regular Blades|
|Lifting Capability or Aerodynamics||Less||More|
|Trapping under the deck||More||Very Less|
|Clumping of grass||Less||More|
|Overall benefit||Produce mulch, a natural fertilizer||None|
Mulching blades are way much better than regular ones because they produce fine clippings, add nutrients to the soil, help you get rid of raking leaves, less grass clumping, maintain sharpness, and consume less energy and quality over a long period.
What kind of blades do you prefer? What are your final thoughts on this? If you have any queries or suggestions, let me know in the comment…. 🙂