Gator blades can be a great choice for your lawn mower. These blades are great for mulching which is a type of mowing that allows you to recycle the fine clippings back into the lawn. Gator blades tend to mulch a lot cleaner and more efficiently than standard mulching blades.
Still, a lot of people want to learn more about them before they decide to purchase some so let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of gator blades.
As a quick summary, a gator blade is great if you’re looking for a solid blade that will last you for a long long time. You’ll be able to sharpen this blade can over and over. I probably wouldn’t recommend putting a gator blade on a push mower, or any mower that is not belt driven because you’re probably more likely to bend the shaft before you bend the blade. They’re that strong!
My favourite is the Oregon G3 Gator Blade. I use it all year!
Advantages of Using Gator Blades
There are a lot of advantages to using gator blades, and they include the following:
1. They Reduce Clipping Size
With gator blades, the size of the clippings is going to be smaller. The grass is cut much more finely with gator blades than with a standard lawn mower blade.
2. They Work Great When the Grass Is a Manageable Height
As long as your grass isn’t too high, gator blades work great for a mulching job…so good that you usually don’t even need a bag for the clippings.
3. They Are Less Prone to Getting Bent
It’s not that impossible to bend a gator blade, but they’re pretty heavy and strong and this makes them far less likely to get bent by rocks or any other debris you might hit when out mowing the yard.
4. They Can Be Used for Commercial Purposes
If you alter the blades very slightly, gator blades can be for commercial use too. In a commercial mowing business, it’s common to see use the use of two gator blades and a lift blade. A high lift blade by the discharge usually allows for the discharge to be kicked out pretty far.
5. The Cut Is Efficient
Instead of pushing the grass down, gator blades lift the blades up and makes it easier to get a an efficient cut. Regular mulching blades don’t circulate the air as well and so loading the bag is a lot more inefficient than if you were to use gator blades.
6. The Blades Can Accommodate a Side-Discharge Mower
Gator blades can accommodate a side-discharge lawn mower so you don’t have to use the mulching capability of the blades if you decide not to.
7. There Are Different Types of Gator Blades Available
Just like other lawn mower blades, there are different types of gator blades available to you. The G5 and G3 blades are very similar in function, but the G5 blades are made out of tungsten carbide and therefore need sharpening much less frequently.
8. They Are Perfect for Mulching Leaves
In addition to grass, gator blades are perfect for mulching leaves. The blades’ “tooth” design makes it super-easy to mulch leaves which saves you tons of time every fall.
9. You Can Get One to Fit Any Type of Mower
Yes, even if you’ve got a 21-inch push mower, you can get a gator blade to go on it even though I probably wouldn’t recommend it.
Disadvantages of Using Gator Blades
Here are some of the disadvantages of using gator blades:
1. Discharging Is Sometimes Weaker
If you mow when the grass is wet, there is a little more clumping involved. This is because there seems to be less discharge velocity overall.
2. The Finished Cut Isn’t Always Perfect
With gator blades, the finished cut isn’t sloppy or messy, but it doesn’t tend to be as crisp and clean as when a standard high lift is used.
3. They Don’t Always Do as Well with Long or Damp Grass
Mowing with gator blades isn’t great if the grass is damp or wet or unusually long.
4. They Need to Be Sharpened More Frequently
Gator blades cut the grass blades a little finer than standard blades and you’ll likely have to sharpen your gator blades a bit more frequently.
5. Higher Risk of Damaging Spindles
Because these blades are so strong and thick, you’re more likely to bust a spindle which is a pain because they are quite expensive to replace. This is certainly a downside to using a heavier blades.
Gator Blades vs High-Lift Blades
Here are some of the differences between gator blades and high-lift blades:
- Gator blades do well for mulching purposes. High-lift blades are good for bagging and discharging.
- Gator blades work best on short grass. High-lift blades do best on tall grass.
- Gator blades have “teeth” on their blades. High-lift blades do not.
- Gator blades are curvy and very sharp. High-lift blades have straight bodies.
- Gator blades produce mulch so you can fertilize your lawn. High-lift blades cause grass clippings to pile up so they can be removed easily.
- With gator blades, you don’t need to throw the grass, and you can leave it on top of your soil. With high-lift blades, the grass produced has to be thrown away.
Gator Blades vs Standard Mower Blades
When it comes to gator blades versus standard cutting blades, here are a few comparisons:
- Gator blades produce mulch, standard mower blades do not.
- Gator blades aren’t as good for bagging grass as standard blades are.
- Gator blades cut the grass repeatedly into very fine pieces, standard blades cut the grass only one time, then throw them out.
- Because of the way they’re designed, gator blades produce a medium lift. Standard blades produce a much higher lift.
- Gator blades have a curved body and teeth, standard blades have straight flaps and no gaps.
- Gator blades produce very fine clippings, standard blades produce clippings that are bigger.
If you’re looking mulch mow your lawn, you can’t just use standard blades and the mulching blades that often come with the lawn mower may not always be your best bet if you’re looking to turn your grass and leaves into healthy mulch. Gator blades certainly provide a great alternative option. I’ve been able to run gator blades year round with no problem and I love the thickness of them!