Are Lawn Mower Blades Universal?
Clear as mud, right? Each mower manufacturer sets up their mower with a certain blade type in mind. If you can find a blade that identically matches the specifications of their blade, changing is fairly straightforward. However, the blades must match perfectly. Failure to match is a recipe for disaster!
Mower Blade Dimensions to Measure First
To determine what blades may work as a replacement, you first need to identify the dimensions of your existing blades. You first need to check
These dimensions vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer, so accuracy in measurement is key in identifying the correct replacement blade.
- Blade Length. Mower blades come in sizes ranging from 6” to over 32” in length. Getting the right length is important for safety. Mower blades are measured like your television set. Start at one corner and measure diagonally to the far opposite corner. For example, if you start with the upper left corner, you will measure to the lower right corner.
- Blade Width. Blade widths range from 1½” to 4¼”. These are measured straight across, from the outer edge to the opposing outer edge. You measure at the widest (and flattest) location on the blade. This is generally found in the center, right near or over the center hole of the blade.
- Blade Thickness or Depth. Blade thickness or depth varies from 1/10” to nearly 1/3”. This measurement also runs outer edge to outer edge, straight through the blade itself. Identify your widest existing thickness/depth and measure at that location. If you are in the US, be sure to measure in inches, not centimetres!
Mower Blade Hole Configurations and Measurements
The mower blade holes are how the blades are attached to the mower itself. The configurations generally range from a single-center hole to a 3-hole system and come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and hole distances.
Center Hole Replacement Mower Blades
This configuration is unquestionably the easiest to identify the replacement for. A single hole in the center of the blade. That hole may come in the form of a circle, rectangle, 5-point, 6-point, 7-point star, bowtie, spindle, or even triangle spindle form.
Circle is the easiest to work with. Simply measure the diameter of the circle, and that is the hole size you use in identifying a correct replacement blade.
Rectangle is a bit of a misnomer. This will look like a rounded rectangle and will need a measurement of the diameter lengthwise and again widthwise.
5-point, 6-point, and 7-point stars do not have specific measurements. Rather, they are identified simply by the style of the hole. Look at the hole and count the number of outwardly protruding “points.” These points will be rounded but will protrude out from the center. The number of protrusions or extensions determines the number of “points” in the hole description.
Bow Tie is a little difficult to describe. It has points on either end, bulges out, then pinches back in, in something reminiscent of a warrior’s shield or a lady’s hourglass figure. This configuration has no measurements and is simply identified by name.
6-point Spindle is a combination of a 6-point star centered within a bowtie configuration. There are no measurements involved; this center hole is identified by its name alone.
Triangle Spindle is an upside-down triangle, also centered within a bowtie configuration. Like several others, there are no specific measurements involved.
3-Hole Replacement Mower Blades
A 3-hole mower blade has additional measurements to be taken before you are ready to identify a suitable replacement blade.
In addition to your center hole, there will be holes (generally smaller) on either side of the center hole. You will need to measure the distance between those two holes. You measure center of hole 1 to center of hole 2. This measure will take you directly over the top of the center hole.
In some blades, the outer “holes” are not round holes, but rather elongated slots. These can be paired with washers to adjust for different blade styles.
The central hole can take multiple forms and shapes.
Some “universal” blades come with differently configured tabs to allow for modification to fit different brands of mowers.
If all this measuring is not your thing, and assuming you can find the model number of your mower, you can also Google “replacement mower blade manufacturer model number.” For example, if you have a Ryobi RYAC130 13” 11 amp corded electric walk behind mower from Home Depot, it is simple to Google for replacement blades, and a selection of choices will pop up for you.
Simply type “replacement mower blade Ryobi RYAC130,” and you’ll get over 9,000 results.
Assuming your mower is a fairly common brand, you should get equally good results for potential replacement blades. However, it is on you to make sure you order the correct item, so knowing what you are talking about will be helpful.
How to Replace Your Mower Blade
Each brand may have its own idiosyncrasies, but here is a basic outline of the steps to take to replace the mower blade yourself, saving money and earning kudos from the family!
- First of all, disconnect the spark plug to avoid any accidental startups while you are tinkering with the blade.
- Lie your mower on its side. You want it on the side that does NOT have the carburetor on it. Lying it on the wrong side can cause gasoline to spill out.
- Remove the fasteners that hold the current blade in place. Use one hand to hold the blade steady while removing the nut or other fastener type with the other hand. Most newer models have a single nut fastener.
- Remove the old mower blade.
- Install the new mower blade. Make sure all of the holes line up properly. Also, there is a “top” and a “bottom.” You must make sure the cutting edges are facing outward, in the direction of rotation. Otherwise, you will get plenty of spin, but no cutting action. Some blades now make it impossible to install the wrong direction, but not all are so kind.
- Take a few moments to look at the blade and consider the rotational direction before installation. If, after installation, you realize that the blade is not cutting properly, simply remove the blade and try reattaching with the edges turned the opposite way. Simple fix, and it should take less than 5 minutes to correct.
- Complete installation by reattaching the plate and fastener. Be sure to tighten thoroughly. Loosely tightened mower blades are not only ineffective, but they also have the potential to be dangerous, as well.
This is not brain surgery, but it does require some knowledge in order to be done properly. Replacing your mower blades, rather than taking it to a dealership or repair person saves you money, time and frustration.
If you’re unable to remove the fastener initially, try a little penetrating oil on the nut. Let is sit for a bit, wipe it off and try again. Sometimes manufacturers put those on really tight, so initial removal could be an issue.
Hi! I’m Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I’ve created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!
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Hi! I’m Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I’ve created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!
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Are Lawn Mower Blades Universal? (Quick Facts)
Having a new blade can make a world of difference to your mower’s performance and the cut’s quality. Some homeowners frequently change their blades, while others take up to three years to get it done. Whatever the preference, the correct blade is critically essential. So are lawn mower blades universal?
When a mower blade gets bad for various reasons, does one head to the market, purchase one and organize a swap? In this article, you will learn whether a mower blade must have an exact fit and torque to the manufacturer’s specifications. Or whether you don’t have to bother about a precise fit.
Are Lawn mower Blades Universal?
No, they aren’t universal. They are tailored specifically to the manufacturer’s requirements and stipulations for lawnmowers.
Most people make the mistake of thinking the blades are the same and go on to fix the wrong ones, which can lead to accidents and inefficiency. To ensure proper performance, the size and shape of the blade must match the deck size and shape of the mower. The blade should also fit with the moors blade belt or drive system.
How Do I Know What Lawnmower Blade I Need?
Finding the right blade for your lawn mower is not at all technical. All mower blades come with an OEM number, also known as the “Original Manufacturer Number.” If the blade has an OEM number, you can find the same blade from the lawn mower manufacturers.
Type the OEM number into a search engine. It can be Google, Amazon, or the online store from which you bought the lawnmower. The result will be displayed on your screen, and you will see the blade type.
If you need help finding the OEM number, here are some other ways to figure out the lawn mower blade you need:
- The type of lawnmower: Lawnmowers were not manufactured to have the exact blade requirements. For instance, a push mower typically uses a different breed than a riding mower.
- Width of the blade: The width of the blade should match the width of your mower deck. The blade should not be wider than the deck opening.
- The material of the blade: Lawnmower blades are made from high-carbon steel. Consider the type of grass you will be dealing with and go for a blade material that is appropriate for it.
- The shape of the blade: The blade shape will determine the type of cut you get. A coffee blade, for example, can help provide a cleaner cut.
- The cutting deck size: This will determine the length of the blade. You must measure the deck size to determine the correct blade length.
- The blade center hole size: The center hole side of the blade must match the size of the blade adapter on your mower.
- Blade rotation direction: Ensure you get a blade that rotates in the correct direction for your mower.
If unsure, take your mower to a professional for blade replacements.
Lawn Mower Blade: The Dimensions
When it comes to taking lawn mower blade dimensions, the shape, orientation, and measurements must be taken into consideration.
However, you also have to measure the hole in the blade. The hole is where the blade will be fixed, so it needs to be carefully considered.
Here is how to measure it:
- Remove the blade before measuring: Remove the blade from the mower. This makes it easier to access the holes and take accurate measurements.
- Measure hole diameter: Use the caliper or a micrometer to measure the diameter of each hole in the blade.
- Measure the center-to-center distance: Measure the distance between the centers of the holes. This would give you the center-to-center distance, which is essential for determining the proper size of the blade bolt.
- Check the thread size: If the blade has threaded holes, use a thread gauge or a screw gauge to determine the thread size of each hole. This way, you get the proper size of the blade bolt.
- Note any unusual features: If the holes have unique shapes or step toes, note this. Some blades may require special hole bolts to fit correctly.
If you follow these steps correctly, you can accurately measure the holes on the lawn mower blade, which will help ensure the blade fits securely.
Types of Lawnmower Blades
- Standard Blade: Standard lawn mower blades are typically made of steel or alloy materials designed to cut grass effectively and efficiently. They are usually mounted on a rotating blade shaft and powered by the lawn mower’s engine.
The size of the blade depends on the size of the mower and the type of grass being cut. So standard blades typically come in a length of 21-22 inches and have a cutting edge that ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide.
Further, the blades must be properly balanced to prevent vibrations that can cause damage to the mower or operator. Regular maintenance, such as sharpening, is crucial to keep the blades in optimal working condition and ensure a clean, even cut.
- Bagging Blade: Long and straight, designed to create a cleaner cut and collect more clippings in the bag.
- High-Lift Blade: High-lift blades for lawnmowers are designed to increase the lift of grass clippings, providing a cleaner and more efficient cut. These blades are typically taller and have a curved design, allowing them to grab and lift taller grass while also circulating air to prevent clogging. You get a better-looking lawn with fewer clumps of grass and more evenly cut blades.
High-lift blades are suitable for various lawn types, particularly those with thick or dense grass. However, they can cause a decrease in mowing speed and may not be as efficient in handling very wet or heavy grass. When choosing high-lift blades, you must consider your lawn type and the type of mower to ensure a proper fit.
- Universal Blade: Fits multiple brands and models of lawnmowers and can be used for standard or specialized cuts.
- Mulching Blade: Mulching lawn mower blades are designed to chop grass clippings into smaller pieces and redistribute them back onto the lawn as a natural fertilizer. They are different from regular mower blades as they have specific curvatures and cutting edges that create a high-speed vortex that cuts and recuts the grass until it is fine enough to decompose quickly.
Mulching blades save time by not having to stop and empty the grass catcher and help maintain a healthy lawn. To get the best results, use a mower with a high-performance engine, keep the blades sharp, and mow regularly at the recommended height.
When purchasing mulching blades, ensure they are compatible with your mower model and of good quality for optimal performance.
- Fusion Blade: A combination of standard and mulching blades, providing a clean cut and efficient recycling of clippings.
- Gator Blade: Gator lawn mower blades are a type of high-performance mower blade designed to provide a superior cut compared to standard blades. They are made with unique geometry and hardened steel construction to increase durability and reduce wear. The teeth on Gator blades are angled and spaced to maximize grass lift, resulting in a clean and precise cut.
In addition, the blades are designed to work with a broader range of mower models and can be easily swapped out with standard blades. Some popular features of Gator lawn mower blades include the ability to mulch grass more effectively, improved bagging performance, and a longer lifespan than standard blades. Overall, Gator lawn mower blades upgrade lawn mowing performance and efficiency.
Are Lawn Mower Blades Universal
A lawnmower is a necessary outdoor tool for maintaining your lawn and ensuring it is perfect and well-kept. This garden tool is a significant investment, and if you properly care for it, you will be able to get the most out of it for many years.
Every person with a mower needs to understand the elements or features their lawnmower possesses to keep it in good running order. Failure to do this means you may not cut grass properly, which means your mower and mower blade can be damaged, or your lawn loses its appeal.
Two critical areas on mowers are the engine, and somewhat mower specific, there are the mower blades. You’ll find there is much more to a mower blade than you think. In our guide, you can learn more about if you can get universal lawn mower blades and what models they could fit?
By the end, you’ll know more about all the mower blade areas and how you can deal with a damaged blade. (Learn Why Are Aluminum Lawn Chairs So Expensive)
Are Lawn Mower Blades Interchangeable?
Before asking yourself, are mower blades universal? It may not be the mower blade causing the problem.
You may have other issues if you notice your grass isn’t cutting evenly, and your riding lawn mower’s blade looks in good condition.
Cutting problems maybe be caused by grass sticking to the interior of your cutting deck as it accumulates and affects the cutting performance.
Here are a couple of ways to avoid these tell-tale signs you think maybe your mower blade.
- When your grass is entirely dry, mow it. Any grass moisture will make it clump together.
- To stop grass sticking, use a lubricating spray on the underside of your cutting deck and mower blade.
- If you have tall grass, it shouldn’t be mowed. However, it’s not always that easy. Yet, the more you mow to stop grass growing, the better the results to stop grass sticking to your mulching blades and cutting deck.
- When you’ve finished mowing, wash grass from beneath the deck and lawnmower blade once it has cooled. This prevents grass and dirt buildup after each mowing.
Lawnmower blades are mower-specific, and you don’t get universal mower blades.
You can swap out blades from one manufacturer for blades from another, as long as the length, thickness, width, hole numbers, hole shapes, and hole sizes line up with your mower.
A replacement mower blade must fit your mower perfectly and meet the manufacturer’s specifications.
Do All Mower Blades Fit All Mowers?
Not only do blades come in a variety of sizes and attach in a variety of ways, but they also come in a variety of types. (Read Dethatching St Augustine Grass)
The following compares two different mower blade designs and what they do.
Lawnmower blades of this type are sometimes known as a two-in-one blade, as they cut grass and blow the grass out the side, or they fill your bag with grass clippings.
Also known as a 3 in 1 blade, the mulching blade has a broader cutting edge and is bent to mulch or finely chop the grass before discharging.
Mulching blades have the advantage of finely chopped grass settling to the ground and acting as a fertilizer as it decomposes. Such action adds valuable nutrients to the lawn and is an environmentally friendly way of dealing with cut grass.
Riding lawn mower blades are, by far, the most important equipment in the mowing process.
Your grass will cut smoothly if you use a good sharp blade. On the other hand, you’ll notice difficulties right away if your blade is dull or damaged.
Are Lawn Mower Blades The Same Size?
Different lawn mowers have different blades; there could be a difference even between the same manufacturer. For example, the number of cutting edges or the curved surface may differ considerably.
Luckily, it’s easy to identify your lawn mower blade:
Check User Manual
The quick way to identify a lawnmower blade is using the manual. There, you’ll find details for a replacement blade.
Check Make and Model
Use the mower model and make an internet search for part numbers or online to find new blades that meet the manufacturer’s specifications.
Check Your Current Blade Number
Check your mower blade. You’ll find this number stamped on the metal. It is blade type-specific, so you use this number, you will quickly have a new blade that is the correct blade the first time.
Measure Blade Dimensions
If the above doesn’t help, you’ll have to go manual and measure your old blade to find a replacement blade.
You’ll have to check in a few ways to get the length, width, and thickness.
You’ll find these dimensions vary from one manufacturer to another. So, accuracy in measuring is vital to get the correct replacement blade:
Mower blades are available in various lengths, ranging from 6″ to over 32″. Begin measuring at one end and measure diagonally to the opposite corner. (Read Troy Bilt Lawn Mower Oil Guide)
They are measured straight across, from one outer border to the opposing outer edge, ranging in size from 112″ to 414″. It’s in the middle of the blade, near the center hole.
This measurement, which ranges from 1/10″ to nearly 1/3″, runs straight through the blade from one outer edge to the other.
The diameter of the center bolt hole is an important measurement. The blade’s center hole isn’t simply a bolt hole; it’s also the blade’s balanced center.
The distance between the center bolt hole and the shear pin locating holes on the blade boss is the shear pin hole distance.
The shear pin hole distance is the distance between the center bolt hole and the shear pin locating holes on the blade boss. These are important measurements, or the blade will not sit properly on the blade boss.
Knowing the different types of blades available might help achieve the desired results in the long term.
Identifying the various blade types will help you choose the ideal mower blade for your grass. Choosing the wrong blade might ruin your grass and damage your mower.
- Various lawnmower blade styles and types are available that give lift and mulching choices.
- A lawnmower blade should be able to do three things: mulch, discharge, and bag.
- Many blades can accomplish all three jobs, while others can only perform one.
- Typically, a lawnmower will get something that matches the center hole of the blade or configuration if there is more than one center hole. However, there are still some mowers that offer compatible blade selections.
Types of lawnmower blade function:
Low Lift Blades
Mower blades with a low lift are frequently advised for lawns with sandy soil and short, dry grasses. These blades are explicitly developed for side discharge mowing.
They have a slightly curved blade edge that controls the passage of air and low suction power and a less severe swoop to ensure that the grass stays low in the area where it is more easily expelled at the side of the mower.
Dust and debris will be kept to a minimum due to this.
Pros of low lift blades:
They have curved ends that reduce air pressure, allowing cut grasses to exit the mower while keeping dust and debris to a minimum.
Low lift blades do not stress mower engines.
High Lift Blades
Unlike their low lift cousins, high lift blades are meant for lawns with wet and long grass that demand a high horsepower motor.
The blades have deeper bends on each end, providing a solid suction to propel grass clippings into a bagger.
The high lift air beneath the mower, which has a vertical swoop shape, generates a strong suction. This improves bagging efficiency and lowers the risk of blockage.
Pros of high lift blades:
When dealing with damp or long grass, high lift blades provide more airflow and suction, preventing clogging. (Read Should I Bag My Grass Clippings If I Have Weeds)
They neatly trimmed the grass before bagging and discharging it.
This is also a standard blade since it is the most popular blade type for horizontally rotating lawnmowers.
They have slightly curved edges that create a continuous airflow as they revolve, allowing them to suction and cut.
Pros of deck blades:
These blades are straight and aerodynamically designed, allowing for a powerful lift that readily discharges grass clippings from the deck. They’re also long-lasting.
Deck blades can run for longer lengths of time, which means you can get more done in less time. They’re ideal for lawns that aren’t mowed regularly.
When grass clippings aren’t an option for mulching, they’re usually the best solution.
Deck blades are simple to install and can be used with various lawnmower models.
An all-purpose blade is also known as a mulching blade. The blade is constructed with a curved surface to perform all three essential functions: mulching, discharging and bagging.
The blade begins by drawing up and cutting the grass, after which the grass clippings are sucked into the deck and subsequently chopped into smaller bits.
Finally, the blade’s innermost curve produces compressed air, expelling the little clippings. Because of this design, the grass can be chopped into smaller pieces before being bagged or introduced into the soil for mulching.
Pros of mulching blades:
Mulching blades are helpful because they can accomplish all three jobs rather than just one.
The grass clippings are kept in the deck by the curved blades, which allows them to shred the clippings into smaller pieces. In addition, the long curved surface allows you to cut more material in less time.
When mulched grasses are released into the soil, they degrade more quickly, releasing vital nutrients into the soil to aid grass growth. Mulching blades, in other words, are environmentally friendly.
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