Mulching and high-lift blades are two types of blades used in lawnmowers that serve different purposes. Mulching blades are designed to cut grass clippings into small pieces that can be left on the lawn to decompose and provide nutrients to the soil. On the other hand, high-lift blades are designed to lift the grass clippings and discharge them through a side chute or into a bagger for disposal.
This article will discuss the differences between mulching and high-lift blades and their benefits.
- Design Differences - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
- Mechanism - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
- Airflow - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
- Grass Clippings - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
- Power Requirement - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
- Maintenance - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
- Frequency Of Use - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
- Downsides - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
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Design Differences - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
High-lift blades are specialized blades for lawnmowers. It is designed to have larger wind wings. These wings are about 1 inch to 1 and 3/16 inches in size. Since high-lift blades are longer than the usual blades, these blades have a larger angle to the ground. The angles on the corners of the blades create the illusion of a "high lift" hence, the blade's name. High-lift blades are composed only of a two-blade layout that can easily be seen underneath the mower deck.
Meanwhile, mulching blades are also a specialized type of blade but have a curved design. These blades have two distinct cutting planes along the blade's edge. Some other old-style mulching mowers have two perpendicular blades incorporated into the design.
Mechanism - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
High-lift blades are also known as standard lawn mower blades. These are often called 2-in-1 blades since these blades are commonly used for discharging and bagging grass clippings. The high inclination of the high-lift blades allows the air and clippings to be lifted during mowing. The blade lifts the collected grass clippings and guides them along a discharge until it makes their way in a removable bag.
While high-lift blades are intended for lifting the air and grass clippings during mowing, mulching blades create a fine layer of evenly distributed clippings that return nutrients to the lawn. This means that the grass of your lawn is cut, but the shape of the cutting deck keeps the clippings up in the air from the cutting blades. Afterward, these clippings are dropped and re-cut. Then, the vacuum created by the blades should be able to force the grass clippings into the ground to break down quickly to provide nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphates to the lawn.
Due to this kind of mechanism wherein the by-products of the clippings are returned to the soil, the mulching lawn mower blades got their 3-in-1 usage term. These blades are not only used to cut and discharge but can also mulch as well. However, mulching blades cannot give the same type of light and discharge power as high-light blades.
Airflow - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
Due to its cutting blade design, the high-lift blade handles larger amounts of air in its system. Mulching mowers have a re-circulating airflow since some of the air being introduced into the cutting deck area is used again as a vacuum to push down the clippings. It is important to note that when it comes to discharging grass clippings, a high-lift blade has a higher efficiency than a mulching blade.
Grass Clippings - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
High-lift blades create a high amount of energy or suction. This force can discharge grass clippings from the mower faster than mulching blades. When high-lift blades are attached to a side-discharge mower, this can result in clippings being thrown farther away from side-discharge mowers with low-lift blades.
This will reduce clumps of grass on the lawn and the chance of grass and leaves clogging under the mower deck. High-lift blades are also a better choice if you prefer that the clippings would be thrown away than mulched. This is beneficial if for a cleaner and sharper-looking lawn. As clippings are removed, this can also reduce debris from the lawn.
High-lift blades are also recommended for lawns that are not mowed frequently. This is due to the blades' length and inclination that can cut overgrown and dense grasses without clogging the mower deck. Mulching blades are highly recommended if natural fertilization is to be employed and added to the lawn.
With mulching blades, instead of bagging these right away, these are recycled back into the soil to give the trimmed lawn nutrients. By doing so, it can be said that mulching is an environmentally friendly way to deal with grass clippings. You cannot use a mulching blade to bag lawn clippings. This is because a bagging blade has a bend or a wing at the back designed to create a greater airflow to direct glass clipping into the bag. Now, this will depend on which type of lawn mower you have.
Power Requirement - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
High-lift blades will need a higher power requirement than most standard blades. If the lawn mower cannot supply the specific power requirement these high-lift blades need, then it would be difficult for the mower set-up to cut the grass properly. Also, this can result in premature wear and tear of the mower engine and components.
It is recommended that high-lift blades should be used with mowers that have a higher power capacity.
Mulching blades, on the other hand, are more suitable if the lawn mower engine has a lower power capacity. These blades use less horsepower than high-lift blades as the airflow is recycled back into the system. These blades also do not focus on lifting grass clippings, reducing the power requirement.
Maintenance - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
Since high-lift blades are more exposed and in contact with longer grasses and debris due to their blade design, these blades should be regularly inspected and maintained. These blades are usually made of metal which can be prone to corroding after some time.
If there are signs of wearing, the blades should be replaced immediately to avoid further damage to the lawn mower equipment. For mulching blades, these can wear down a little bit faster than the high-lift or standard blades because of their more exceptional cutting design and lower overall lift that can be more prone to clogging.
Frequency Of Use - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
Since high-lift blades can cater to overgrown grass, these blades are more suitable for lawns not mowed frequently. On the other hand, Mulching blades need to be used in lawns cut every three to four days due to the grass clippings' tendency to clog under the cutting deck and on the piles of grass on the lawn.
Downsides - High Lift Vs. Mulching Blade
High-lift blades are not recommended for sandy or dusty soil conditions. Particles such as dust or sand can be sucked into the deck, accelerating the wearing of the blades and equipment. On the other hand, Mulching blades are unsuitable for overgrown grass as this can result in clogging under the deck and piles of grass on the cut lawn.
It has been shown that there are quite several differences when it comes to high-lift and mulching blades. There are a lot of factors to consider - the power capacity of the lawn mower engine, type of lawn mower, kind of grass that should be cut (if these are overgrown or not), maintenance, state of the ground (whether it is sandy or not), the frequency of mowing, and your preference on how you should deal with the grass clippings.
Both of the blades have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. At the same time, it gives you a variety of which to use for your lawn, depending on what you have and your needs. It is essential that in choosing the right blade, you should be able to consider its possible effects on your lawnmower, as well.