When you’re considering what type of lawn mower to buy, one of the biggest considerations will undoubtedly be what type of lawn mower blades are available and which is best for you, your needs and your lawn. Common types of lawn mower blades include reel, rotary, cylinder and mulching blades. All of these blades work in different ways, and it is important to understand their function and how they cut grass, as the two are directly related.
The reel blade is common in small push mowers, powered or no, and function in a specific way. Known as one of the most effective and clean-cutting blades, the reel blade pushes the grass down and cuts down, vertically, into the grass. Reel blades are known for getting a close cut and a smooth one, without tearing or damaging the ends of the grass. Because reel blades are so effective, they are also the most expensive of the types of lawn mower blades.
Rotary blades are more common in ride-on lawn mowers and as a necessity need to be powered, whether it is a simple motor or a self-propelled one. A rotary lawn mower blade acts like a fan and circulates underneath the mower. The air circulation of the blade pulls grass straight up between the blades and the horizontal movement of the blades cuts the grass off. Rotary blades are generally less effective than the reel blade because they tend to tear off the ends of grass, sometimes resulting in brown tips. However, because of their cutting span and powerful motion, rotary blades are the most popular and commonly bought blades available on the market today.
The blades of a mulching blade are specially designed to lift and tear up the debris and dead grass left over from mowing. Some blades employ a rake-tooth style design, and others have notched edges. Lawn mowers with mulching blades usually come with a bagger accessory to collect the debris. Lawn mower blades come in all shapes and sizes and are useful for several different functions.