Major Types of Lawn Mower Blades

Although a mower is restricted to using blades that correspond to a matching configuration of holes and measurements, most mowers will still have several blade type options available that are compatible.

Lawn mower blade types employ different designs that offer a variety of “lift” and mulching options.

The major types of lawn mower blades are described below:

Deck or Standard Blades

Also known as the standard or straight mower blade. This is the most commonly used blade on most lawn mowers that rotates horizontally. The blade features edges that are slightly curved up to generate a continuous air flow as the blade rotates, thus creating a sucking and cutting action.

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Low Lift Blades

Low lift blades are primarily made for side discharge mowing and are recommended for mowing terrain with sandy soil. With low suction power, the design includes a less-drastic swoop than high lift blades, encouraging the cut grass to stay low where it is more available to be ejected out the side of the mower.

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High Lift Blades

With a more vertical swoop shape, high lift air underneath the mower provides the great suction power blade. This fan-like suction makes high lift blades ideal for bagging purposes. It also makes bagging more efficient, and reduces the chance for the cut grass to get clogged up in the mower’s cutting area. Ideal for cutting tall, compact grass. Also requires a higher horsepower engine.

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Mulching Blades

A mulching blade is also known as an all-purpose blade. It features a curved surface which allows it to work in three ways.

First, the blade pulls the grass up and cuts it. Then the clippings are sucked inside the deck and are chopped into tiny pieces. Finally, the blade’s innermost curve produces air pressure to blow the small clippings out, where they are used to feed the soil.

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3-in-1 or “Gator” Blade

For an all around solution, 3-in-1 blades cover all the bases. Popularly known as “gator” blade, this blade combines a medium lift (low and high) with a mulching feature to blend the three grass cutting techniques into one, also known as a “3-in-1” blade.

Gator blades are easy to spot because of their serrated sections at either end of the blade. Although they make higher lift mulching possible by using more than one design focus, 3-in-1 blades fall somewhat short in each area, high lift, low lift, and mulching, to reach that compromise. Yet this blade remains very popular and is great for all around grass cutting use.

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About the author


    DIY Homeowner, former landscape and lawn maintenance professional. Have used both commercial and consumer grade lawn equipment and power lawn tools for years.