LX188 - Best Blades for Lawn Vac and 48" deck
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Thread: LX188 - Best Blades for Lawn Vac and 48" deck

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    LX188 - Best Blades for Lawn Vac and 48" deck

    I have a set of Gator mulching blades on my 48" deck (LX188). While they could stand to be sharpened, since new they've blasted debris out the front of and under the mower deck. Most of the debris goes out the side as it should, but still there's a fair amount that goes out from under it - particularly leaves - and onto the muffler and atop the deck. I just got an Agri-Fab Mow-n-Vac and it works great, but there is still a lot of debris that shoots out the right, front of the deck. Do I need "regular" blades to work in conjunction with the vac? The Gator blades never really seemed to do much mulching - they left piles of grass along the way. I did not plug the outlet on the deck per the Gator blade instructions.

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    Brownie919's Avatar
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    I always used high lift blades with a collection system.
    Catfishin likes this.
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    Thanks - the Gators are supposed to be high lift blades, but they're also mulching blades. I think I'll try non-mulching high lift blades and see how that goes.
    Catfishin likes this.

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    I tried Gators on my 42" deck on my GT225. I wasn't impressed, at least not in my application.

    I have a rear bagger from JD, has two bags and worked well for years. I had run a medium lift on the left and a high lift on the right. The discharge chute comes off the right and up/back at a fairly steep angle. It worked very well, and I plugged it many times due to my not paying attention or crowding it too much. For the most part it worked great.

    Then, I needed new blades, so I ordered a set of hi-lift blades from Gator, or a vendor thereof. It seemed like I spent a lot more time clearing a plugged chute, but how could it be the blades? They were hi-lift, right? I cleaned the tube, it was dirty inside, but no help. I cleaned the deck multiple times, no help. I washed the bag sides thinking they were plugged, some help, not much.

    After about three times of mowing, I stopped at the Deere dealer and bought one of each, medium lift and high lift factory blades and installed them. Bingo! Back in business baby! And it worked even better with all the little maintenance things I had done.

    I'd say get the blades with the tallest sail (with no notches) and you'll be happy with them. They will move grass with all the airflow they create. Mine picks up thousands of russian olive seeds every spring, like a vacuum.
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    And check your deck level at mowing height. It should be about 1/4" lower in the front, measured at the blade tips.

    You might also look to see if there is a baffle plate for your deck. It attaches to the front lower edge and helps with airflow.
    Mike265 likes this.
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    I've been using Gator Predator (??? with notches) for about 2 years now and love them. They're on 2 decks, both Mod. 46, and one on my 322 (discharge opening blocked) and one on my 314 with a LawnVac on the rear.

    Two things I've learned (by doing!):1. If you let your grass get a head of you (too long), you'll end up with a windrow at/near the discharge (if blocked). 2. Mulching blades produce more, finer clippings. Your collection bag will be MUCH heavier using mulching blades!

    1. Most of us would probably like to mow on a regular basis...weekly, every 4 days, based on how fast your lawn grows...but sometimes "life" gets in the way and we do other things wen we should/want to be mowing. I've found that when I mow "about" 3/4" of of my grass, I'm OK. When I mow and inch or more, I definitely leave windrows...with the 322 and blow-by around the deck with the 314... Some details/specs! I'd say the average lawn has blades of grass approx. 2" long. In theory, you should cut 1/3 of your grass blade length, about 5/8", for the healthiest lawn. Removing this amount, Gators should work fine, providing ground speed isn't too fast (yet another factor!).

    2. Mulching blades cut each blade of grass several times. The blades are cut, get blown around under the deck to be sucked into the blades and get cut again. This may happen several times. The end result is A LOT of very small grass clippings under your deck! With a vac/collection system these are picked up BUT, being much smaller, pack VERY TIGHTLY in your bag! My LawnVac has a 33 gal trash can to hold the clippings. With regular blades, I'd guesstimate the can weighs 50 pounds when full. With Gators, I'd guesstimate about 90-100 pounds!

    So, bottom line (mine anyhow!) is if you keep up with your grass mulching blades are fine and you'll have little or no clippings left on your lawn. To me, the lawn looks good using either blade, but I don't have to stop mowing to empty the container. Bob
    Last edited by rwmeyer; 03-20-2019 at 05:46 AM.
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    Mod 48 deck & Mod 462 TracVac

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