An excellent look at your ground is the contribution of your mower performance. A lawnmower is an essential outdoor tool that is required for the maintenance of your lawn, and it would be best if it had a good cutting edge.
But sometimes you will see a weird pattern on your grass, and you will be like, ‘what the heck happened?’ Well, it is because of a dull or damaged blade. So, you buy a new one, but surprisingly they don’t fit. Do you start feeling frustrated because you think that, are lawn mower blades universal?
In this post, we will explain everything you need to know about universal mower blades so that you will be a pro the next time you go out to buy one!
Are Lawn Mower Blades Universal?
The answer is both yes and no. While some types of mower blades can be used on different types of mowers, others are specific to the make and model of the mower.
You can replace a specific manufacturer’s blades with another manufacturer’s blade, provided that they match up with the following factor:
- hole numbers
- hole sizes
- hole shapes
If these factors match up, you have found a set of blades that will fit your mower. But, if even one of these factors is different, the blade will not work correctly.
Now that we know that not all lawnmower blades are universal let’s look at the different types of mower blades so that you can make an informed decision next time you purchase some.
How to Know When to Replace your Lawn Mower Blade?
As we all know, blades dull over time with use. A good rule of thumb is to replace your blades every 20-25 hours or once a season, whichever comes first.
Another way to tell if your blades need to be replaced is by examining them for wear and tear. Look for nicks, cracks, or uneven edges. Also, check the blade itself to see if it’s bent. If any of these are present, it’s time for a new blade.
Lastly, you can tell it’s time to replace the blade if your mower isn’t cutting the grass as well as it used to. If you notice longer than standard clippings or uneven cuts, it’s a sign that the blade is dull and needs to be replaced.
Be sure to keep these factors in mind next time you purchase or replace some so that you can be sure to get the right ones for your mower.
Method to Identify your Lawn Mower Blade Specification:
There are several ways to identify your lawn mower blade:
- Check your owner’s manual
- Look for a part number
- Take measurements
- Bring in your old blade
1. Check your Owner’s Manual
The best way to know for sure which blades are right for your mower is to check the owner’s manual. It will have all the information you need about the make, model, and year of your mower as well as which blades are recommended.
2. Look for a Part Number
Most lawnmower blades will have a part number stamped on them somewhere. This is usually located on the side or end of the blade. Once you have this number, you can do a quick search online to find the correct blade for your mower.
3. Take Measurements
If you can’t find a part number or your owner’s manual is nowhere to be found, you can always measure the blade to find a replacement that will fit. You will need to measure the length, width, and thickness of the blade as well as the distance between the holes. Once you have these measurements, you can use them to find a compatible blade.
Expert guide of Measurement:
- Length- Ranging from 6” to over 32”. To determine, start at one end and measure diagonally across the opposite corner.
- Width- Come from 1½” to 4¼”, with the most common being 2½”. To measure, start at one outer edge and measure to the other outer edge.
- Thickness- From .145” to .250”, with the most common being .187”. To measure, start from one outer edge to the other outer edge, straight through the blade itself.
4. Bring in your Old Blade
If all else fails, you can always bring your old blade into a lawnmower shop and they should be able to help you find a replacement.
Now that you know how to identify your lawn mower blade, it’s time to learn about the different types so that you can make an informed decision when it’s time to replace them.
What Are The Types of Lawnmower Blades?
There are three main types of mower blades:
- Standard Blades
- High-Lift Blades
- Low-Lift Blades
- Mulching Blades
- 3-in-1 or Gator Blade
1. Standard Mower Blades
These are the most common type of mower blades and are what comes installed on most lawn mowers. They are also referred to as 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 blades because we can use them for mulching, side discharge, and bagging.
2. Mulching Blades
Mulching blades are designed for chopping grass clippings into tiny pieces so they can be left on the lawn to decompose. These blades are usually shorter and have more curves and contours than standard mower blades.
3. High-Lift Mower Blades
High-lift mower blades are designed to lift grass clippings higher into the air and then discharge them out the side or rear of the mower. These blades are typically longer than standard or mulching blades and have a more curved shape.
4. Low-Lift Mower Blades
Low-lift mower blades are designed to discharge grass clippings downward and out the side or rear of the mower. These blades are shorter than standard or mulching blades and have a more curved shape.
5. 3-in-1 or Gator Blade
The 3-in-1 blade is a standard mower blade designed to offer the benefits of mulching, side discharge, and bagging. These blades are usually longer than mulching or high-lift blades and have more curves and contours.
How to Change Lawn Mower Blades?
Now that you know the different types of mower blades, it’s time to learn how to change them. This process will vary depending on the make and model of your lawn mower, so be sure to consult your owner’s manual.
But in general, the process is as follows:
- Disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug to prevent the engine from accidentally starting while you are working.
- Raise the deck of the mower so that you have easy access to the blades.
- Remove the current blades by loosening the bolts or nuts that secure them to the spindle.
- Install the new blades by reversing the above steps.
- Be sure to check that the blades are securely fastened before lowering the deck and reconnecting the spark plug wire.
And that’s it! You have now successfully changed the blades on your lawn mower.
When ordering new mower blades, it is important to consider the following:
- The size of the blade
- The type of blade
- The brand of blade
- The model mower
Symptoms of Wrong / Damaged / Badly Fitted Mower Blade
If you think you may have a damaged or badly fitted mower blade, there are a few things to look out for. Here are some common symptoms:
- Uneven cuts: If your mower is leaving uneven or raggedy looking cuts, it could be a sign that the blade is damaged or not installed correctly.
- Clumps of grass: If you are noticing clumps of grass being cut, rather than a nice even chop, it could also be a sign of a damaged or incorrectly installed blade.
- Vibrations: If you feel excessive vibrations coming from your mower, it could be a sign that the blade is unbalanced.
- Knocking: If you hear a knocking noise, it could be a sign that the blade is hitting something it shouldn’t be. This could be caused by debris build-up on the blade or by the blade being installed incorrectly.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to take your mower to a professional to have the blade checked and/or replaced.
In conclusion, lawn mower blades are essential to keeping your lawn looking its best.
The question, are mower blades universal? The short answer is no; however, few blade characteristics match each other.
Be sure to know the make and model of your mower so that you can find the correct blade, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when changing them.
Maintaining a healthy, green lawn requires regular mowing, and that means keeping your lawnmower blades in good condition. Sharp blades are essential for making clean cuts and preventing damaged grass. However, balancing your lawnmower blades is just as important.
Douglas Mackalie is a Founder of Mackalies Garden. He is one of the most exciting people you’ll ever meet. He has 25 years of experience in horticulture and gardening, most of which he’s spent outdoors getting his hands dirty.