Lawn mower blade differences. Mulching Blades Vs Gator Blades: Which One is Better for Lawn Mulching

Mulching vs High Lift vs Standard Blades – Which Is Best?

When it comes to lawn mowing, the type of blade you use is one of the most important factors in achieving a healthy and well-manicured lawn. Different blades offer unique benefits for various types of grass and terrain. Understanding the differences between mulching, high lift, and regular blades can help you choose the best blade for your lawn mowing needs.

  • Lawnmower Blade Profile and Function
  • Standard Mower Blade Design and Function
  • Pros and Cons of Regular Mower Blades
  • High Lift Blade Design and Function
  • Pros and Cons of High-Lift Blades
  • Mulching Blade Design and Function
  • Pros and Cons of Mulching Blades
  • Mulching Vs High Lift Vs Standard Blades Comparison
  • Which is Better High Lift or Mulching Blades?
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Lawnmower Blade Profile and Function

I think that we all appreciate the ultimate goal of any lawn mower blade design is to cut grass as efficiently and evenly as possible. Well, this is true of standard lawnmower blades for sure, but standard blades are a one-size fits all approach. Depending on what performance we require, different mower blade profiles can serve us better in different situations, for example when mulching or requiring side discharge. Standard blades also often referred to as low-lift blades, feature a relatively flat profile, with a moderately curved outer edge. This profile creates lower levels of suction, and a greater degree of range when lowering the deck to make shorter cuts. They are also well suited to mowing on sandy or gravelly surfaces, making the standard blade a versatile option. High-lift blades are similar in profile to low-lift blades. The primary difference is the angle of the curve on the blade’s outer edge and the slight teardrop shape. The steeper blade angle creates more suction or uplift and delivers a larger upright surface area to expel the grass clipping from the deck. Making the high-lift blade a great option for side discharge, or wet or long lawns. Mulching blades also known as 3-in-1 blades, can be used to bag, discharge, or mulch clippings. Their curved blade and larger cutting edge, serve to lift and recirculate the clippings within the cutting deck, allowing for multiple blade passes to re-cut the grass into smaller pieces. Lacking the steeply curved edges and suction of the high-lift blade, the mulching blade deposits fine clipping on the lawn surface.

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Standard Mower Blade Design and Function

A standard mower blade (low-lift) is the most commonly used mower blade due to its versatility. They are designed to provide a well-groomed lawn with an even cut. The profile cuts grass evenly and efficiently and is best used on lawns with relatively shorter lengths lawns. The flat cutting blade faces downwards to cut the grass, while the curved outer edge faces upwards, preventing grass clippings from becoming tangled in the blade. The length of the regular mower blade typically ranges from 19-22 inches, and the width from 2.5-3.5 inches. The design helps promote a clean-cut and uniform grass height across the lawn. Mechanical Action: Whilst spinning, the cutting edge of the blade slices through the grass with a scissor-like motion. A combination of centrifugal force and air pressure creates this motion. As the blade spins, the centrifugal force pushes the air outward and creates a vacuum in the blade’s center. This vacuum pulls the grass towards the blade, allowing it to be cut. Additionally, the blade is designed with a sharp edge angled slightly downward to allow for a cleaner cut. Air Circulation: Standard blades are designed to create a moderate vacuum effect, pulling the grass clippings into the chamber and creating a vortex of air around the blades. This helps to reduce clogging within the mower deck while also creating a more efficient cutting action. The air-circulating blade also helps to keep the grass blades upright and increases the quality of the cut and reduces scalping. The vacuum effect also helps to suck in debris and clippings, resulting in a clean, finished cut. Grass Clumping: Grass clumping is a common problem for many mowers, but it can be reduced or eliminated by the type of blade used. Regular blades create a moderate amount of lift and air circulation, which helps prevent clumping. For long grass or wet grass, the high lift blade is preferred due to the increased suction and airflow created. Suction Power: Standard mower blades generate a moderate amount of suction, which has its benefits and limitations. Low suction is useful when mowing over dusty or sandy surfaces, keeping airborne particles to a minimum. Whereas the standard blade often struggles in long or wet grass compared to the high-lift blade.


  • Versatile and can be used in many different mowing situations.
  • Have a long lifespan due to their sturdy design and construction.
  • Great for cutting and bagging grass clippings.
  • Can handle thicker grass and weeds.
  • Easy to sharpen and maintain.
  • Low cost compared to other blade types.
  • Helps provide an even cut throughout your lawn.


  • Moderate air circulation, meaning lower control with the clipping distribution.
  • Increased clumping with wet or long grass, resulting in more clean-up.
  • Lower suction so not ideal for side discharge and cannot mulch

High Lift Blade Design and Function

High-Lift Blades are designed to produce a strong lift force, enabling the blade to move more air and cut grass faster than traditional mower blades. They are usually longer, wider, and curved, increasing suction power as they cut through the grass. The design also helps to reduce clumping and improve the dispersal of clippings over the lawn.

High Lift Blades are designed to create better air circulation, which can help dry out the lawn quicker and help prevent lawn diseases such as fungus or brown patches. The increased suction power generated by these blades also helps create a cleaner cut and can reduce tear-out or ragged edges on your lawn.

The increased lift force generated by high lift blades helps them stay off the ground and creates a better cutting angle, providing a smoother cut. This also reduces the energy required for each mowing session, resulting in a less tiring job for the user.

Mechanical Action: The high lift blade is designed to create an air cushion between the blade and the grass when in motion. This air cushion reduces friction and resistance while the blade cuts, resulting in a smoother and more consistent finished product.

The larger, thicker edges of the high lift blades also lift up the grass before cutting it for improved performance. As the mower moves forward, clippings are propelled forward into the grass bag or into a side discharge chute for easy disposal.

Air Circulation: When the mower is in motion, the larger edges of the blade lift up the grass and essentially scoop out a of air between them. This of air then creates a cushion that reduces friction and resistance from the blade cutting through the grass. As the blade passes through, it sucks up clippings and propels them forward into either a side discharge chute or a grass bag for easy disposal.

Grass Clumping: A high-lift lawnmower blade is an efficient way to reduce grass clumping. The larger edges of the blades act like a scoop, lifting up the grass before cutting it which significantly reduces clumping. The clippings are propelled forward into either a side discharge chute or a grass bag for easy disposal after they have been cut.

Suction Power: High-lift lawnmower blades create powerful suction capable of pulling grass clippings up into the deck and expelling them for side discharge or bagging. The fan-like suction makes high lift blades ideal for cutting tall, compact grass.


  • Improved performance due to an air cushion between the blade and the grass.
  • Reduced friction and resistance while cutting.
  • Clearer finished product with a more consistent cut.
  • efficient at picking up clippings for easy disposal.


  • Prone to damage from pebbles and stones that get picked up in the cutting path.
  • Higher risk of breakage during regular operation.
  • expensive than other types of mower blades.

Mulching Blade Design and Function

Mulching blades are designed to cut grass clippings into smaller pieces. This allows for the clippings to be reincorporated into the soil and replenish nutrients that have been used up. Mulching blades usually feature a curved design which creates suction when cutting grass, allowing for the better reincorporation of the clippings.

Mulching lawnmower blades can also provide better air circulation as they create turbulence when spinning. This allows the grass to stand upright and promotes healthier growth. Mulching blades tend to spin faster than regular blades and are less likely to cause damage to grass due to their curved shape.

When it comes to grass clumping, mulching blades are highly effective. The curved design helps reduce the clippings’ size, resulting in a more even dispersal. This eliminates the need for frequent rake-ups and reduces the time needed to maintain a healthy lawn.

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Mechanical Action: Mulching blades have a curved design that works by cutting the grass multiple times, creating small pieces as it rotates. This helps to break down the clippings faster and makes them easier to decompose back into the soil. The curved shape also creates a powerful suction that helps move the clippings through the deck for efficient cutting.

Air Circulation: The curved blade helps to create relatively powerful suction and excellent air circulation. It’s the exceptional air circulation that retains the grass clipping in an air vortex, allowing the blade to make multiple cuts, reducing the clippings into small fragments of grass.

Grass Clumping: The mulching blade is designed to be highly efficient at reducing grass clumping. The curved shape and powerful suction of the mower blade pull the grass clippings up into the deck and evenly spread them around the blade. This helps to keep the grass from clumping together, allowing for smoother cutting.

Suction Power: The curved design that lends itself so well to air circulation, also generates excellent levels of suction. The mulching blades sit above the standard blade and high-lift blade in terms of suction power.


  • Increases decomposition speed by accelerating microbial activity
  • Reduces grass clumping and results in smoother cutting.
  • Creates a powerful suction that ensures the grass is evenly distributed.
  • Can mow large areas in less time due to increased efficiency.

Do Different Blades Make A Difference | High Lifts Vs. Gator Blades


  • Can be more expensive than other types of blades due to the additional features it offers.
  • May require extra maintenance, as mulching blades can quickly become clogged with debris.
  • May not be suitable for wet or dense grass conditions, as the extra suction may cause the mower to bog down.

Mulching Vs High Lift Vs Standard Blades Comparison

Here is a comparison between high lift, mulching, and regular blades that describes their physical attributes, and characteristics.

Blade Type Profile Function Characteristics
Standard Blade Low profile Versatility Low profile cut
High Lift Blade Curved edges Long or damp grass Strong suction
Mulching Blade Curved blade Mulching grass clippings High suction and air circulation

Which is Better High Lift or Mulching Blades?

If I could only select one type of lawnmower blade then I would recommend high lift. They offer good versatility, create excellent airflow and suction to aid side discharge, and have the capability to mow longer lawns.

Mulching blades on the other hand bring other qualities. If you regularly mow the same lawn, then you know the grass is never going to be too long for a mulching blade. This means with regular mowing you can mulch consistently delivering precious nitrogen-packed clippings back onto your grass.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when choosing between high-lift or mulching blades. Consider both pros and cons before deciding what works best for you and your lawn.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are high-lift blades good for side discharge?

Yes, high-lift blades are suitable for side discharge as they are designed to provide better suction power and air circulation, resulting in a cleaner cut. They also help prevent grass clumping while mowing, which is an important factor when discharging clippings.

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Mulching Blades Vs Gator Blades: Which One is Better for Lawn Mulching?

To every homeowner, a lawn mower is an important piece of equipment. After all, a lawn mower helps people to maintain a neat and good-looking yard.

A proper cutting of the grass on your lawn makes it eye-appealing and gives your house a great look.

You will find several different types of lawn mowers in the market but choosing the right one for you is often hard.

When it comes to lawn mowers, one type of blade does not suit all types of yards. In order to purchase the right lawn mower, you must have great knowledge about the lawn mowing blades.

Mulching blades and Gator blades are the most common in the industry. So, in this guide, we will discuss mulching blades vs gator blades and see which one is better for you.

What Is A Mulching Blade?

A mulching blade is one type of lawn mowing blade that is generally used to revitalize the soil with grass.

These blades are generally seen in riding or pushing lawn mowers. We know these mulching blades as 3-in-1 blades as they have the ability to serve three purposes at once.

These blades do not have a regular shape. They are a bit curvier on the edges, and these curvier edges allow them to finely cut the grass in the yard into small pieces.

Pros And Cons of Mulching Blades

3-in-1 Blade

As we discussed above, mulching blades are often known as the 3-in-1 blade. This is because they perform three jobs at the same time.

There are very few lawn mowing blades that can serve three purposes at once. The three purposes are: discharging, bag clippings, and mulching the grass into finer and smaller pieces.


The most noticeable difference we see between mulching blades and other lawn mowing blades is the shape of these blades. A mulching blade generally comes with a curvier shape than other blades and has more cutting edges than usual. The shape allows the mulching blades to clip grass into smaller and finer pieces.


One of the purposes of a mulching blade is to keep the grass clippings under the lawn mower deck while cutting the grass. This is something that the majority of lawn mower blades cannot do. Mulching blades cut grass into very fine pieces and store them on the deck without clogging the machine.


A problem that the majority of homeowners face while using mulching blades is that these blades cannot cut or trim the dense patches of grass. In such cases, the mulching blades cannot cut the grass and clog the lawn mower.

What Are Gator Blades?

Gator blades are another type of lawn mowing blade, and the purpose of using these blades is very similar to the purpose of using mulching blades.

You can easily cut both tall and small pieces of grass with the gator blades. This is because the cutting edges on a gator blade are set at a specific angle.

When you turn on the lawn mower, the blades pull the grass upwards to the cutting edge and chop the grass easily into small and fine pieces.

These finely cut pieces of grass allow the soil to get the necessary nutrients and make the soil fertile.

Pros And Cons of Gator Blades


Gator blades have a unique shape that we do not see in the majority of lawn mowing blades. This shape pulls the grass up towards the cutting edges and finely chops the grass pieces.

Not only that, but it also helps to chop the small pieces of grass that are usually too difficult to reach.


Gator blades come with a collector bag, and the bag collects the grass pieces as you move the lawn mower. The bag saves you from the trouble of cleaning the yard yourself.

As gator blades effortlessly cut the small pieces of grass, you do not have to spend extra time cutting those grass pieces.


Gator blades cut the grass and distribute it evenly on the yard. This distribution allows the soil to get its necessary nutrients from the grass. These nutrients help to fertilize the soil and make it suitable for growing fruits and flowers in the yard.

Blunt Edges

As the gator blades work on both small and tall pieces of grass effortlessly, the cutting edges often get blunt after a few uses.

In cases like this, you have to change or sharpen the gator blades frequently to make sure that they perform properly.

Comparing Gator Blades Vs Mulching Blades


Both mulching blades and gator blades are lawn mower blades. However, the applications of both of them are a bit different.

Mulching blades work best on tall grass but clog when you try to cut the denser patches of glass. Gator blades work on both small and tall pieces of grass and chop them effortlessly into fine pieces.


The biggest difference between a gator blade and a mulching blade is the shape. A mulching blade looks like the majority of lawn mower blades, but the cutting edges of a mulching blade are curvier than usual to ensure a sharp, fine cut.

On the other hand, the shape of a gator blade is very different than that of a mulching blade. The cutting edges of a gator blade are placed at an angle to make sure that it works on both small and tall pieces of glass.


When it comes to the discharge of the grass pieces, both gator blades and mulching blades work efficiently. Mulching blades collect the grass pieces under the deck of the lawn mower to make sure that you do not have to spend time collecting the grass pieces.

On the other hand, the gator blades come with a collector bag that collects the cut pieces of both tall and small grass.

Mulching Blades Vs Gator Blades – Which One is For You?

When it comes to choosing between mulching blades vs gator blades, the choice mainly depends on the condition of your grass.

If you have tall pieces of grass in your yard without any dense patches, then you can use a mulching blade without any trouble.

However, if you have a mixture of both tall and small grass along with dense grass patches, then gator blades are the perfect lawn mower blade type for you.

Mulching Blades vs Regular Blades: Which is Best to Use in 2023?

Mowing your lawn is an important part of the regular maintenance needed to keep it growing thick and healthy, and knowing the difference between mulching blades vs regular blades can make all the difference.

Here’s a helpful guide to standard and mulching mower blades, discussing which option is better for your lawn and why.

Best Lawn Mower Blades Picks for 2023

6 Pack Stens 335-859 2-in-1 Blades (Mulching)

Craftsman Mower Blade (Regular)

Husqvarna HU21462 46-Inch Premium Hi-Lift Bagging Blade (Mulching)

Poulan Pro OEM42MK Kit with Blades (Mulching)

Murray 49241MA 42-Inch High-Lift Blade Set (Regular)

Standard Mower Blades and Mulching Blades – What’s the Difference?

There are two basic types of lawn mower blades for your treasured mower – standard blades and mulching blades.

lawn, mower, blade, differences, mulching, blades

Standard blades

Also referred to as 2-in-1 blades, these mower blades cut the grass in one stroke and discharge the clippings into a bag or over your lawn.

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They are straight blades with an aerodynamic design, designed to create a powerful lift effect to disperse the clippings.

These blades are best for if you want a clean, pristine lawn (as they can clear the clippings into a bag), and you mow on a less frequent basis (every 10 days to two weeks).

Mulching blades

Also known as 3-in-1 blades, mulching blades can be used to cut the grass for bagging or discharging over the lawn, as well as mulching the cut grass.

They have a distinctive, curved shape with a larger cutting edge. This allows the blade to cut the grass as well as bring it onto the deck where it is cut several more times, so it falls back onto the lawn in very fine pieces.

Mulching blades are ideal if you want your clippings to help nourish the lawn, as they reduce the clippings to a small size that breaks down more easily, returning organic nutrients to the grass.

If you use these types of blades, it is better to mow every 4-7 days or so. Using these blades on an overgrown lawn can cause clogging under the deck as well as lumps of grass on the lawn.

What to Look for. Lawn Mower Blade Shape

The easiest way to tell the difference between mulching and standard lawn mower blades is to look at their shape. A standard blade will have fewer cutting edges and a straight shape, while the mulching blade will have several cutting edges and a curved shape.

Here’s a picture of a mulching blade.

Are Mulching Blades Better?

This depends on the lawn maintenance you prefer to do. With mulching blades, you get the benefit of easily mulching lawn clippings to nourish and fertilize your lawn, so they are a great eco-friendly option.

You can also use them to gather the mulched clippings for your compost if you don’t want them directly on the lawn. However, it is best to use them if you are happy to mow fairly frequently (at least once a week).

If you want to mow less frequently and prefer to bag your clippings, then standard mower blades are best.

How Do Mulching Blades Cut Grass Differently?

Standard mower blades lift the grass and cut it off at the set level in one sweep of the blade, creating a single cut. The length of the blades of cut grass will then depend on how tall your grass was when you mowed your lawn.

Mulching blades go one step further, cutting the cut blades several times to reduce them to fine pieces. These decompose more quickly than larger blades of grass, making it ideal for adding nutrients to your lawn or compost.

Can You Put Mulching Blades on Any Mower?

Yes! Almost any brand of mower will be able to fit mulching blades. All you have to do is measure the deck and the blades you want to buy to ensure they fit properly and can be secured tightly.

However, if the design of the deck is not suited to mulching blades, or the mower has a low-power engine, the mulching blades may not perform at their best.

What is the Best Mulching Blade?

Mulching blades can be referred to as 3-in-1 or all-purpose mower blades. The best mulching blades are durable and well-made with quality materials.

Good examples of high-quality mulching blades:

Bagging vs Mulching lawn mower blades comparison

Can I Mow Leaves Rather Than Raking?

Raking is a time-consuming part of fall lawn maintenance, and you can skip this job completely by mowing over your leaves. This will speed up decomposition, providing a nutrient-rich compost for your lawn or other plants.

You can either mow the leaves and leave them in place, or have your mower disperse them into the mower bag so you can add them to your compost.

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You can use standard mower blades or mulching blades for this job.

Why Do Mulching Mowers Leave Clumps of Grass?

The most common reason for this is that the grass is wet and/or getting too long between mowing. During fast-growth periods like spring and summer, you will have to mow more frequently to prevent this issue.

It’s also a good idea to use mulching blades that work well on wet and dry grass to make this job easier and reduce clumping, like the Oregon G3 gator blades.

Can I Sharpen Blunt Lawn Mower Blades?

To make the blades last longer, you can sharpen your lawn mower blades. You’ll notice your blades are getting blunt if they start to tear the grass rather than shearing it off cleanly, creating a ragged-looking lawn.

Our 5 Best Lawn Mower Blades Picks for 2023

6 Pack Stens 335-859 2-in-1 Blades (Mulching)

Craftsman Mower Blade (Regular)

Husqvarna HU21462 46-Inch Premium Hi-Lift Bagging Blade (Mulching)

Poulan Pro OEM42MK Kit with Blades (Mulching)

Murray 49241MA 42-Inch High-Lift Blade Set (Regular)

Mulching Blades Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use mulching blades with side discharge?

Mulching blades can be used for side discharge, mulch directly, or to fill bags. They are often called 3-in-1 blades for that very reason. For any mulching lawn mower with side discharge, mulching blades are pretty much essential.

Can you mulch leaves with a regular mower?

Any lawn mower will break down grass and leaves to use as mulch later. The advantage of mulching blades is that they are more efficient and whip clipping up as they go to create a more effective mulch as faster, but in most gardens, laying leaves out on a flat, hard, surface, will create effective mulch.

Are toothed mulching blades better?

Toothed mulching blades clog up faster than regular mulching blades and will need regular cleaning, as well as being limited more by wet grass.

Wet grass is virtually impossible to cut neatly with toothed mulching blades even on ride-on mowers. However, on dry grass in ideal conditions, toothed blades are more effective.

Do mulching mowers really work?

Grass is one of the most effective nutrient sources in your garden, and it stores everything it takes out of the soil. By mulching grass clippings back onto your lawn you are using it as its own fertilizer as well as reducing your workload.

Wrapping Up Mulching blades vs Regular Blades

The biggest difference between mulch blades vs regular blades is that mulching blades will do everything a standard blade will do.

With the additional functionality of shredding the cut grass blades into fine pieces, that are ideal for returning nutrients to your lawn or into your compost.

Mulching blades are ideal if you are a supporter of eco-friendly gardening and are happy to mow a bit more frequently to get the full benefit of grass clippings feeding your lawn.

While standard blades are best if you want to mow less frequently and do not want to compost or leave clippings on your lawn.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and have all the information you need to choose the between mulching blades vs regular blades for your yard!

About the Author Pat no

Pat is our gardening tool expert here at Sumo Gardener. Working for many years as a private and commercial landscaper, Pat has used almost every type of gardening tool there is. Along with a vast knowledge for types of plants and putting together an amazing looking and maintainable garden, Pat developed a passion for gardening tools as he found that using the right tools vastly improved the ease and outcome of any landscaping job he undertook. When spending hours, days or years using a particular tool, you want to make sure you’ve got the best one for the job, and Pat is the right guy to guide us to the best gardening tools.

What are High Lift Mower Blades?

Mowers are made of many different components and offer a surprising amount of customizability. Based on your lawn type and the job you need to do, you can raise and lower the cutting height. This is done by lowering or raising the mower deck, but even this isn’t all that you can do.

Lawn mower blades themselves can be swapped out, giving us a choice between hi-lift “all-purpose” blades and low-lift mower blades. Standard blades are usually mulching blades or blades with a slight upward curve on the blade edges. These original blades can be changed for a high-lift mower blade that might come in handy on thicker, taller, and weedier turf. Find out more about mower blade types below.

Is There Than One Mower Blade Type?

There are multiple types of mower blades, and each one can perform different jobs. The main difference between blade types is the blade angle. The original machine blades usually have a low or gradual angle at the back of the blade that helps clip grass short. It can be attached to a mulching kit to reduce grass clippings into even finer pieces than other blades.

“High-Lift” blades have a steeper angle than low-lift blades, which helps increase lift. The steeper the curve, the higher the lift allowing optimal performance without excessive grass collection, even when dealing with wet grass. The higher-lifting airflow prevents clogging and overheating, and repeated cutting leads to dulled blades.

High-lift blades have deeper curves on the end to increase airflow, push clippings further, and prevent clogging with wet and tall grass but can kick up dirt and dust on sandy terrain. Other options exist, such as the 2-in-1 blade and the 3-in-1 blade. These blades have different grades at different points along the back of the blade and can complete lawn tasks in a wide variety of conditions. Both sandy conditions and taller grass can be handled with a multi-purpose blade.

Conditions in which to Use each Mower Blade

Choosing whether to use a high-lift blade or a low-lift blade depends on the conditions of your lawn and what you are trying to achieve. If you are doing end-of-the-year mowing, you may opt for low mulch blades that will cut the turf short and add some natural fertilizer. During the active spring growth of cool-season grasses, you may want a higher type of mower blade to get through all of the thicker grass. Depending on the conditions of your yard, choose your blade.

Condition High Lift Blade Low Lift Blade
Hilly Terrain X
Dirt and Sand X
Tall Grass X
Thick Grass X
Spring X
Fall X
Summer X
Winter X
Wet Grass X
Dense Grass X
Mulching X
Striping X

When Are High-Lift Blades Best?

Airflow is the name of the game when it comes to a high blade angle. Many times when we think we need a larger deck size or more power, the cheaper and easier solution is to have a different type of blade installed. Sometimes you don’t even realize there are other blade types until you need replacement lawn mower blades and see that there are different ones.

I’ve found good quality high-lift blades from a reputable company that can easily handle weedy turf and grass at the height of its spring growth. There have been times when my original machine blades couldn’t keep up with the robust growth of my cool-season grasses after fertilizer and some late spring showers. Changing to hi-lift blades made my mowing twice as easy and saved me hours of cutting increasingly duller blades.

After trying out individual blades for different conditions, I gravitated towards having a set of high-lift and mulching blades. Having both these blades allow me to handle my turf all year with the least amount of work and damage to the grass blades. With this setup, I have been getting better stripes without adjusting mower decks because a high-lift blade produces straighter blades due to its vacuum effect.

I was surprised to discover that these types of mower blades were all-condition blades and good for just about any turf. This is nice because different blade attributes lead to better cuts that can help with mulching, patterns and easing the workload. The increased airflow is designed to push turf into a bag or out the side chute with higher velocity. A bagger blade with a bagging attachment can catch more clippings in a single cut reducing the number of times a blade touches the same area of turf.

The underside of the deck and the surface of the blades stay cleaner with a higher tilt that provides lots of air circulation and reduces clumping. The correct blades for thick turf are high-lift blades, and they do better in wet and weedy lawns as well.

When Are Low-Lift Blades Best?

For compact grass and shorter grass, the high-lift blades may miss some of the plant material. Low-lift blades can cut grass cleanly at short lengths and bend grass going in the opposite direction. With little lift, the grass is not sucked up and falls right where it is cut. This is a benefit in lawns that are susceptible to thatch.

High-lift blades pull a lot of air, and that can suck up the soil and dirt if the terrain is not covered completely with turf. A dusty lawn or sandy soil can be picked up and kicked around with the wrong blade. A low-lift blade will clip the grass without tossing bits of dirt and stone around the yard. This is also important if you are trying not to spread weed seeds.

Warm-season grasses like frequent and short cuts that promote healthy roots and prevent overheating and thatch build-up. Most summer weeds need to grow to a certain height to produce seeds, and these low-lift cuts are great for keeping them short. This and the grass clippings left where they drop can help suppress weeds that are common in poorly-managed lawns. Other blades can be useful, too but try them out on your turf first to see what is best overall for your lawn’s needs.