Mulching Blades vs Regular Blades – Differences + Which to Use

Mowing is an essential maintenance requirement for growing thick and healthy turf. Depending on your mowing needs, you may use either mulching or a regular lawn mower blade. Let’s see what makes the difference between the two blades.

The shape is the main difference you’ll notice when comparing the two blades. A mulching blade features more curves to increase the surface areas of the cutting edge, while a regular blade has a practically straight cutting edge.

Here is a summary of key differences between mulching blades and regular lawn mower blades:

Mulching lawn mower bladeRegular lawn mower Blade
A 3-in-1 blade that mulches, bag and discharge grass clippingsA 2-in-1 functionality, bagging and discharging grass clippings
Its aerodynamic design features a reduced lift to allow clippings in the deck for further cuttingDesigned to generate a good lift for increased airflow in the deck necessary for discharging grass clippings
Retains clippings in the deck for longer, thus prone to cloggingDischarges clippings faster and thus less likely to cause clogging
It has more curves for increased cutting surfaceIt has a straight, cutting edge
The cutting edge is relatively longerIt has a short, cutting edge

Mulching Blades vs Regular Blades – Detailed Comparisons

Mulching blades and regular blades are different in terms of shape, length of cutting edge, aerodynamics, discharge issues and blade functionality explained below:

The shape of the blade

The shape of the blade is the main difference between a mulching blade and a regular one. Mulching blades contain more curves to increase the cutting surface area. The mulching blade is not designed to cut grass quickly; instead, it creates a greater circulation of clippings in the deck for further cutting.

On the other hand, a regular blade is the opposite of a mulching blade. The cutting edge is practically straight. It’s designed to cut grass quickly and effectively bag or discharge clippings.

Length of cutting edge

You’ll easily notice the difference between a mulching blade and a standard blade by simply looking at the length of the cutting edges. The mulching blade has a relatively long cutting edge.

A regular blade doesn’t require a long cutting edge. It’s designed with a short cutting edge to cut and discharge clippings fast.

Aerodynamics of the blade

The mulching blade has a reduced lift which enables it to mulch. It creates a greater cutting surface area while allowing air flow to circulate clippings in the deck for further cutting. As a result, the mulching blade is not effective as a regular blade in bagging or discharging grass clippings.

A regular blade generates a good lift that allows increased airflow in the deck. This is why they are best for bagging or discharging grass clippings.

Discharge problems

The mulching blade is designed to keep grass clippings in the deck for longer. The blade also has a low lift which can decrease airflow in the deck. As a result, it’s prone to clogging.

Regular blade generates more lift to increase airflow in the deck. It also discharges clippings more efficiently. Therefore, the likelihood of clogging is greatly reduced.

The functionality of the blades

The mulching blade has 3-in-1 functionality, which means it can mulch, bag and discharge. It is the right blade to use when mowing over leaves. On the other hand, a regular blade has a 2-in-1 functionality. It can only bag or discharge clippings.

How do Mulching Blades Work?

The mulching blade has the advantage of mulching the lawn while mowing simultaneously. The blade performs a magic trick of causing grass clippings to disappear within the lawn instead of bagging or discharging out.

The secret lies in the design and shape of the blade. It has a long cutting blade with several curves to increase the cutting edge’s surface area. It cuts the grass and brings it into the deck, where it is chopped multiple times into fine particles that are dropped back into the lawn.

A mulching blade also features a 3-in-1 functionality. The blade can be used for mulching, bagging or discharging clippings. For instance, if you decide not to mulch your lawn directly, you can bag the clippings and use them for compost.

However, it’s ideal for use on a lawn that receives frequent mowing. Using a mulching blade on an overgrown lawn will cause clogging. The mulching blade does not generate the same lift and power as a regular blade.

Can you use mulching blades without a mulching kit?

Yes, you can use a mulching blade without a mulching kit. However, a mulching kit consists of several accessories that make a lawn mower work as a mulching one. The kit contains items such as mulching baffles, mulching blades, restriction plates, defectors and decals.

The mulching blade alone is not enough to do the task. It requires the coordination of different accessories in the kit to perform mulching. For instance, a restriction plate is placed at the rear chute to deflect and block clippings from discharging through the chute.

The ultimate purpose of the restriction plate is to allow the clippings to remain under the deck to be chopped further. When purchasing a mulching kit, it is recommended to choose accessories that are compatible with your mower. Restriction pates are not universal like mulching blades.

Mulching blades can fit on any type of lawn mower. However, be sure the blade is properly fixed in the deck. Check if the bolts are securely tightened before commencing operation.

Mulching blade vs regular – Which is better?

Choosing between a mulching or regular blade will depend on what to do with grass clippings. With a mulching blade, you have the added advantage of mulching your lawn while mowing. Crass clippings contain nitrogen and other nutrients to nourish your lawn as they decompose.

However, mulching blades encourage frequent mowing. You may be required to mow the lawn several times a week. With a regular blade, you will require less frequent mowing. It is also ideal if you want to bag the grass clipping more efficiently.

Both mulching blade and regular have their own pros and cons. Let’s have a look at each of them:

Mulching blade pros

  1. Produces a natural fertilizer: Mulching blade chops the grass clippings into fine particles and discharge them back into the lawn as a mulch. They decompose to provide nutrients to your lawn.
  2. It’s environmentally friendly: It creates an organic fertilizer rich in nitrogen. You don’t need to use synthetic fertilizers that harm the environment.
  3. It has a 3-in-1 functionality: It can be used for mulching, bagging and discharging grass clippings.

Mulching Blade Cons

  1. Require frequent mowing: You will be required to mow your lawn at least once per week.
  2. Prone to clogging: It generates a low lift that is prone to clogging.

Regular Blade Pros

  1. Not prone to clogging: Regular blade generates more lift, enabling it to discharge clippings more efficiently.
  2. Generates a good lift: It is designed to generate increased lift to boost airflow at the deck for effective bagging or discharging.
  3. Creates a level cut: it creates a level cut with fewer balding areas as compared to a mulching blade.

Regular Blade Cons

  1. You can’t mulch the clippings: It only has a 2-in-1 functionality. It’s only possible to bag or discharge clippings.
  2. Not ideal for sandy conditions: Regular blade creates a great vacuum when mowing. It’s great for cutting grass level but not ideal for sandy soil; it disturbs the soil by sucking sand particles into the deck.

Final Thoughts

The design or shape of the blade is the main distinctive feature between a mulching blade and a regular one. Both are ideal for mowing your lawn. However, a mulching blade is more advantageous than a regular one when you want to incorporate the grass clippings back into the lawn as a mulch.

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