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There's been a lot of discussion on this forum about how great Gator blades are as replacements for the OEM blades. My stock blades were still in pretty good shape, so I waited a long time to make the change. I've now been using them for a full mowing season plus a few mows from last year. They do a consistently good job of cutting evenly and re-cutting the long grass so that it disappears. (I don't collect the trimmings.) I can drive over a big tumbleweed and it just vaporizes it. These are great blades. The only thing you'll have to get used to is the dramatic change in the sound of your MMM when you throttle up.

I was also surprised when took the blades off for sharpening at the end of the mowing season. Three out of six of the blade edges had no nicks whatsoever. Each of the remaining edges had one minor nick. I'm used to finding several nicks, some major, on each blade edge. I've been mowing the same ground for 23 years at this house, so I have some history for comparison. The final surprise was that the blades didn't really need to be sharpened after over a season of use. Oregon Products specs an edge that isn't really sharp, but it works just fine. I suspect this helps to reduce nicking. All I had to do was pressure wash all the green stuff off the blades and clean them up a little with the file.

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Keane
 

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My old JD855 came with a new set of Gator blades on the mid deck.. I used them, then a set of OEM JD standard blades, then a set of aftermarket standard blades to fit my mid deck...

Frankly, on my ground I didn't find the Gator or OEM to be any better than cheaper aftermarket blades.. This as far as doing a better job or lasting longer... For me, it wasn't worth spending extra money... Everyone experience will be different..

My 5 cents of experience and opinion..
 

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I’ve been using Gator blades for many years and have had the same results as the OP. I think it was season 3 with them that I finally touched them up with a file. Not that they needed it - just did it because…

And yes, they make the deck noisier but that’s why I always wear my worktunes.
 

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My experiences have been the same as Keane's. Great cut, very effective clipping management and hold their edge when used properly. They are the only blade I use.

Probably the greatest differences are in those who want a nicely manicured lawn. There are lawn's and there are yards.

A lawn is well kept, largely weed free and maintained to a higher standard.

A yard is cut green stuff, with the occasional dirt patch and consists of a variety of plants.

This is a lawn which used to be a yard...........cut with Gator blades and also numerous other steps to transition it from the weed filled field it was to the lawn it has become. The rear lawn is still a work in progress along the dense woods shown behind the house. The second photo was taken from right at the edge of the woods and the grass shows it's not quite as thick, etc, but it is improving.


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This next picture is what a yard looks like in my opinion. It's the 10 acre field behind my lawn which last year I cut with the rear RC 2048 Frontier mower and my 1025r. Now, its cut with the Exmark zero turn. It's a combination of grass and some other plants and is in the transition towards ultimately becoming a lawn.

The yard looks decent when its cut, but as the yard plants grow, it quickly appears un-kept, etc. With proper care, the yard can become the lawn over time. Without proper care including irrigation, a lawn can also transition into becoming a yard again...............Gator blades go a great job cutting either a lawn or a yard and can be used on both without harming the blades effectiveness on either......

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The gator blades make transitioning a yard into a lawn easier by always reducing the clippings down so they can be a productive source of nutrients for the yard or lawn. When I cut the yard shown in the photo above it was on average 12" tall and I cut the yard to a 5" height.

Even with all of the material to be chopped up and dispersed when cutting 7" of material, it leaves a very good cut and no sign of the clippings, unlike other blades. This makes the Gator blades a great all around use blade as well as a transition blade for turning yards into lawns....
 

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Well, I guess I'm on the other side of the discussion. I had them on my Scag Tiger Cub II and found I was getting too much clumping. I went back to the OEM style from Oregon and my cut improved drastically. Ended up selling the Gator's on Craigslist. When I had my Scag walk behind I used Gator's exclusively. Must have something to do with the decks. Just my opinion.
 

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I tried them on a previous Kubota with a mulch kit, what a great cut but what a mess. Grass all over me and the tractor. They just are meant for a mulch kit but they sure left a great cut.
 
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I did not like them for my application. They shredded up a mess and list lift with the 519 bagger system and plugged it up. Much happier with OEM high lift blades. The gators are nicely built though.
 

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I have used Gator Blades for years. I like the G6 on the X758 and 2305.

I feel the the metal is superior in hardness and holds an edge longer. I would estimate that 2/3rds of the clippings don't make it out of the chute. They also weight half again as much as OEM.

If there is a ton of leaves windrowing into the center with Gator blades and then picking up with the Simplicity Conquest turbo bagger really reduces the volume tremendously so you don't have to empty bags constantly.
 
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There are 2 styles of Gator blades, the originals are G3 mulching blades while the G5s and G6's are high lift and are what keane and Sulley are using.
 
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I like gator blades in the summer, but with the 54 deck they do not chop leaves as well as oem blades, and they have to much airflow for the hydraulic mcs for leaf removal. I run the low lift oem ones in the fall. It reduces blowout and clogging.
 
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I like gator blades in the summer, but with the 54 deck they do not chop leaves as well as oem blades, and they have to much airflow for the hydraulic mcs for leaf removal. I run the low lift oem ones in the fall. It reduces blowout and clogging.
I'm trying something new with leaves this year. I have a row of red oak trees that I call red oak alley. They are positioned along the river bank.

You are correct in saying the G6 blades create a lot of airflow. With the deck raised and going back and forth in the same direction I am able to windrow them and keep going until they go over the bank.

We'll see how it goes when they really start loosing their leaves. I'll likely be out there twice a day to keep up.
 

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Hello, I read a lot on this subject. Would you all recommend these Gator blades for my Zero Turn Z540M 54" deck? And how much difference is there in the John Deere Gator blades vs the Oregon blades I read about? I have in the back some longer blade grass that my standard JD blades cut, but leave the long blades. Would these Gator blades chew up the the long blades before the mower deck discharges them? And you still get a good stripping, manicured cut with these blades vs the standard JD blades that came with my mower? Thanks!
 

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I used G6 but they still dont hold a candle to the oem blades in terms of lift. My X758 literally bogs quicker up hill with oem now and the only thing I can attest it too is more drag from the solid upsweep of the stock blades. Not bashing the gator blades, they are very nice. Maybe one day if I quit bagging.
 

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Hello, I read a lot on this subject. Would you all recommend these Gator blades for my Zero Turn Z540M 54" deck? And how much difference is there in the John Deere Gator blades vs the Oregon blades I read about? I have in the back some longer blade grass that my standard JD blades cut, but leave the long blades. Would these Gator blades chew up the the long blades before the mower deck discharges them? And you still get a good stripping, manicured cut with these blades vs the standard JD blades that came with my mower? Thanks!
I used both oem and Gator G5 and G6 blades on my 665 and z945 and the the Gator blades striped well, very close to the OEM high lift blades. They chop up the clippings a little finer than the OEM high lifts. They have a little less lift than the OEM high lifts so the stripes are not quite as defined but still stripe well.

If you can get the G5s I would recommend those, they are not as thick and heavy as the G6 so they spin up quicker and are easier on the PTO clutch and the spindles. They come with a spacer washer to make up the thickness. They are otherwise the same.

This advice is given on the assumption that you are not using a mulch kit. The G5 and G6 blades have too much lift for using with a mulch kit.
 
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I used G6 but they still dont hold a candle to the oem blades in terms of lift. My X758 literally bogs quicker up hill with oem now and the only thing I can attest it too is more drag from the solid upsweep of the stock blades. Not bashing the gator blades, they are very nice. Maybe one day if I quit bagging.
There is no reason that I know of for using the G6 or G5 Gator blades for bagging, the point of using them is generally for finer clippings when side discharging.
 
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I used G6 but they still dont hold a candle to the oem blades in terms of lift. My X758 literally bogs quicker up hill with oem now and the only thing I can attest it too is more drag from the solid upsweep of the stock blades. Not bashing the gator blades, they are very nice. Maybe one day if I quit bagging.
Sorry, over all you lost me with your reply.
 

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I used both oem and Gator G5 and G6 blades on my 665 and z945 and the the Gator blades striped well, very close to the OEM high lift blades. They chop up the clippings a little finer than the OEM high lifts. They have a little less lift than the OEM high lifts so the stripes are not quite as defined but still stripe well.

If you can get the G5s I would recommend those, they are not as thick and heavy as the G6 so they spin up quicker and are easier on the PTO clutch and the spindles. They come with a spacer washer to make up the thickness. They are otherwise the same.

This advice is given on the assumption that you are not using a mulch kit. The G5 and G6 blades have too much lift for using with a mulch kit.
I am not using a mulch kit on my Z540M.
 
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