Gator Blades

Stump1June 3, 2011

I recently purchased a set of Gator blades for my JD 48C mower deck. When they arrived, they are not sharp at all. In fact, they are painted over a very dull edge. I understand the paint is to prevent rust, but my question is should they be sharpened before installation on the mower?


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When I bought my predators the guy told me put em on , dull as a stone.I would put them in a vise and file them , just take off a little bit and keep the angle of the blade correct. Some people grind them I dont agree with this practice. I had a set of blades last 16 years sharpened 2 a year. Also balance them ,go to big box orange or blue store and get a balancer , important.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 7:36AM
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OP - most blades are mfg'd with about a .03 inch "flat" on the cutting edge. Not only do the blades cut grass well that way, blade cutting edge knicks from foreign objects are sharply reduced - extending blade useful life considerably. You do not want to sharpen to a knife edge.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 8:57AM
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Oregon Chain knows exactly how blades need to be. Don't do anything but install 'em.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 10:09PM
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Kudos in looking. I run across new blades that are sharpened on 1 side and not the other (OEM AYP usually). the paint will go away. The pros and cons above are all legit. If you went by Deere specs, .016" is the desired edge thickness.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 10:36AM
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Well, I installed 'em just like they came in the box and tried them. They didn't cut the grass at all, just tore it leaving ragged tips that quickly turned brown. So I guess they'll come off for a good sharpening.

I must say they did the job in not leaving hay. Looked more like mulched grass, which is what I hoped. So I'll continue using them. May have to order another set!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 5:20AM
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The blades just need a edge not razor sharp ... they will nick up easier. The balancing is just as important as sharpening . All you need is a vise and a good file .

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 9:27AM
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I know this is a dumb question, but did you put them on with the right side down....if you did not, they will not "cut" the grass, but will just "break" the blades of grass...Hate to admit it, but I learned this by experience...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 4:54PM
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A little late for a follow up, but . . . . I took the blades off and used a coarse file to just remove the paint and expose the edge. Checked the balance and they were perfect out of the box. Reinstalled them and they cut great. Much smoother cut, which I attribute to the blades lifting the grass.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 6:21AM
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Stupid question: If someone switches to
Gator blades, do you still have to use the mulch baffles and/or mulch plug supplied by your tractor manufacturer or do you just side discharge?

I have a Deere 42C deck if that effects the answer.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 8:17AM
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Try it both ways see what is better.I like to discharge , this year was a bad year for mulching here in the North East.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 7:53AM
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FWIW, When I upgraded to Gators, I ordered two sets, one of three, and one of two for the two machines I have. Checked the balance and one (1) blade of each set was significantly out of balance?

Balancing is critical! Unless you like buying new quills :-)


    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 8:33AM
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