Let's talk about mower blades
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    Let's talk about mower blades

    Got a 1025R last month with the mulching kit pre-installed. I've mowed twice since I got it and unfortunately also clipped a survey marker the last time I was mowing.

    After getting my deck dolly today I was finally able to take look. I fully expected to have chunk out of the leftmost blade, but I didn't expect to see just how dull all three blades were overall already. I have 15 hours on the tractor and less than half of that has been spent mowing.

    This is the first tractor I've ever bought and needed to maintain -- is it normal to have this much wear on my blades after less than 10 hours of use? I admittedly don't have a well manicured yard and I've probably inadvertently mowed some small branches in addition to mulching fallen leaves.

    In general I'm wondering what approach everyone else uses to keep sharp blades on their mower deck and how to even go about sharpening mulching blades. I'm also curious if anyone has used the Oregon G6 Gator blades with the mulching kit -- I've heard that they have hardened cutting edge and hold an edge better than the stock blades.
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    Herminator's Avatar
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    The bottom photo looks like normal wear but still excessive for 10 hours. The top one looks like it hit a survey marker, lucky you didn’t bent a spindle. Is it very sandy? The blades are not to a knife edge when new and the paint makes them look sharper than they are so the bottom one might just be normal.

    Perhaps the mulch kit doesn’t let things out so it keeps hitting the same rocks over and over.
    Last edited by Herminator; 10-03-2018 at 08:37 PM.
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    firemachine69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herminator View Post
    The bottom photo looks like normal wear but still excessive for 10 hours. The top one looks like it hit a survey marker, lucky you didn’t bent a spindle. Is it very sandy? The blades are not to a knife edge when new and the paint makes them look sharper than they are so the bottom one might just be normal.

    Perhaps the mulch kit doesn’t let things out so it keeps hitting the same rocks over and over.



    The edge on the new blades for my 62D are pretty sharp...
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    Just this afternoon I removed the blades from my 60D mower. It has a mulching kit installed. I had removed and sharpened the blades about 2 weeks ago. I had rounded off the head of one of the blade bolts then, so I ordered new bolts and a set of new JD muclching blades. Today I swapped out the old blades for new blades and bolts.

    These are the old blades - 2 weeks after sharpening, and used twice to mow a couple of acres of coastal bermuda grass horse pasture. I do mow at the highest (4 inch) setting. They have lost their really sharp edge. I can run my thumb over the outer cutting edges without being cut. They were sharp enough to cut a finger when I finished my sharpening (not bad, but enough to draw blood). So, to respond to your question, my blades dulled pretty quickly. I'll be sharpening more frequently in the future, but not every 2 weeks. Maybe monthly.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Any tips on how to best sharpen the blades?


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    RetiredDoc's Avatar
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    My mulching blades, Deere part number M168223, came with the mulching kit, which I installed myself.

    Your blades are different. They lack the upsweep at the trailing edge, and it also appears that the blade's width near the center holes is different.

    Are you sure the dealer didn't just install the mulching plates themselves, and left the original blades on the mower? The mulching kit is both the plates, plus different blades.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredDoc View Post
    My mulching blades, Deere part number M168223, came with the mulching kit, which I installed myself.

    Your blades are different. They lack the upsweep at the trailing edge, and it also appears that the blade's width near the center holes is different.

    Are you sure the dealer didn't just install the mulching plates themselves, and left the original blades on the mower? The mulching kit is both the plates, plus different blades.
    I have what I was told are the stock blades.
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    I also see a lot of nicking and wear from digesting sticks and occasionally hitting dirt.

    The his best thing I have found is a 4 inch angle grinder with a "flapper wheel" installed, basically layered sandpaper.

    I keep a spare set of blades sharp and after a swap I touch them up when I get time.
    Factory edge specs actually instruct you to sharpen the primary angle on the blade and then create a tiny flat at the cutting edge, normally around 1/64 inch (.016).

    This flat helps prevent edge bending and chipping that guys like me would encounter.
    Many folks on this forum have gone to the lengths needed to have beautiful lawns of grass with no sticks or weeds and they could likely get away with creating razor sharp blade edges that would last just fine.
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    Do they have a part number stamped into them? The stamping is pretty shallow, and the letters/numbers are 3/16" high, so might be obscured by dirt. Mine have the stamping on the top of the blade, so unless its off the mower, the number won't be visible.

    Sharpening - I use a Baldor bench grinder with a 6" medium grinding wheel.

    The G6 blades you asked about - I have not used them. A selling point in the ads is that they create less suction than the Deere mulching blades, so they won't pick up small rocks and sticks. Deere of course couners that by saying that their own blades are precisely engineered for the best performance of their mowing decks.
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    This is exactly why I've stopped wasting money on OEM JD blades and transitioned to Gator G6 blades
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