I'm posting a new thread based on a earlier threads that seem to get off topic that was moved from the ZTR's & Commercial forum.
I called Sunbelt Outdoor Products this morning, and a nice gentleman informed me that John Deere "does not" own their company. And most of all, they don't manufacturer lawn mower blades. Sunbelt is just a company that distributes hundred of products and one product is their XHT brand of mower blades, and have several warehouse location around the country. Another company that distributes lawn mower blades in...Pro Parts Place LLC in Swainsboro. Ga., who is the largest lawn parts firm in the USA.
Here is the manufacturer that makes the Sunbelt XHT brand of blades. The gentleman also informed me that this company makes the OEM mower blades for John Deere, and that manufacturer is Fisher Barton of Watertown, Wi and Fountain Inn. SC. He gave me the website on
Fisher Barton, and here is report on them.
History of the Best Lawn Mower Blade in Production
The first concept for a rotary lawn mower like those we know today was developed in the 1930s, and the gas-powered walk-behind mower became a prominent feature of the American landscape shortly after World War II. Since then, lawn mowers and lawn mower blades have changed in countless ways. One company that has long been at the forefront of lawn mower blade evolution is Fisher Barton.
Founded in 1973 in Watertown, Wisconsin, Fisher Barton began manufacturing lawn mower blades to fulfill the needs of a unique, niche market. Around this time, many lawn mower manufacturers started to focus on making just the mowers themselves, while having the blades manufactured elsewhere. Fisher Barton jumped at the chance to fill this void, and today nearly every lawn mower manufacturer in North America relies on Fisher Barton Blades for their mower blades.
In the early days, lawn mower blades were little more than straight, sharpened strips of metal that spun at high speeds. Thanks to Fisher Barton expertise and technological advances, modern lawn mower blades are more akin to highly specialized helicopter blades. Fisher Barton Blades manufactures the best lawn mower blades available today - blades that cut better, last longer, use less energy, and are safer to operate than any other manufacturer.
Over the years, Fisher Barton Blades has developed a number of different lawn mower blade designs. Our best lawn mower blade designs include stiffening channels, mulching areas, lift areas, varying thicknesses for different levels of strength and durability, and many other unique features.
In addition to our superior designs, we have also developed improved materials from which to manufacture our blades. Fisher Barton Blades now utilizes better, longer life steels and our own patented MARBAIN® material to produce the best lawn mower blades on the market.
Fisher Barton Blades' materials engineering expertise and advanced design and manufacturing processes are leading lawn mower blade manufacturing into the future.
OEMs of walk-behind mowers, riding mowers, and industrial pull-behind lawn mowers all rely on Fisher Barton Blades to engineer and manufacture the best lawn mower blades available.
BTW: I went out to the garage that houses my John Deere JD345 and Z710A Ztrak, and the "replacement" blades I installed on the Z710A back in 2017 that I purchased from...non other than Pro Parts Place LLC for three (3) B1JD1042 Sunbelt XHT 7 Iron Mucher blades for $47.99 with free shipping that was shipped from Pro Part Place warehouse in Seymour, Mo. Here is the Part Number on these blades. On one side the number is M135334 (John Deere Part Number, and the other side the number is B1JD1042 (Sunbelt) product. So, I assume these Sunbelt blades one in same as a John Deere OEM item.
I think this settles the discussion on ...Is a "aftermarket" blade the same as a OEM product.