8/26/2019 5:00:00 AM
8/26/2019 5:00:00 AM
8/12/2019 5:00:00 AM
Mower blades to a new lawn mower are like tires to a new motorcycle. Every new bike comes with tires and every new lawn mower comes with blades, and a new owner of either may consider changing the set equipped with their new product. However, whereas the typical new motorcycle owner is expecting cheap tires with a low wear rating, the case isn’t the same with lawn mower blades. Stock lawn mower blades have no less or no greater quality than any other aftermarket or OEM blade, and actually, it’s wisest for a homeowner to use the factory blades that came with their new mower.
Every Ariens mower deck rolling off the assembly line today is engineered, tested and validated for cut quality performance. To the unknowing eye, a mower deck is just a steel shell with blades and baffles, but it’s actually a very delicate system of physics and aerodynamics. Mower decks are uniquely designed for their depth, width, power supply and expected application, and its blades are designed especially for the deck.
“Mower blade geometry and the cutting chambers of a mower deck work in tandem,” said Ferrier. “Their designs rely on each other. For that reason, the best blade anyone can use is an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) blade, because that blade was specifically designed to work with your mower and give your cutting deck its best performance.”
While an OEM blade is the best choice for your lawn, you have a choice in the style of the blade for your desired application. Ariens designs different types of blades to work for both normal and special conditions. For example, manufacturers make blades that lift grass, blades that are more durable in abrasive soils, blades that are advertised to enhance fuel efficiency and blades that mince grass into tiny pieces.
Though Ariens hasn’t designed a blade for all of these applications, we design blades for the conditions that will likely be seen in the yards of our customers. That’s why you’ll often find a large blade selection at your local Ariens dealer, Your dealer can help you find exactly what you need, but if you prefer self service, remember these two points:
Read through the different types of blades below to learn which you may want and those which we wouldn’t recommend for a manicured yard.
This usually won’t be the type of mower blade used for manicured lawns with an even cut and pristine edging along the sidewalk. Flat blades don’t have the air lifts on the ends. They’re exactly as their name suggests – flat, meaning they don’t generate air circulation under the deck.
Lift blades utilize an “air-lift” or a flared bend at each end of the cutting blade to generate a deck’s aerodynamics and the vacuum that helps pull grass upward to give it a uniform, even cut across the width of the deck. Just remember, the deck will need to be pitched correctly and other conditions will have to be satisfied to take advantage of a deck’s aero package and to achieve the quality of cut boasted by lift blades.
Lift blades are best for bagging. The design of high lift blades, in conjunction with the mower deck engineering, influence the aerodynamics that allows grass to circulate around the mower deck and discharge evenly. This is important while bagging because the clippings need to be discharged at a height which can enter the bagger system most effectively.
Mulching is an easy, economical and sustainable method for thickening lawn density. Mulch kits use a mower deck baffle system that blocks the discharge opening of a mower deck and specially designed mulching blades to cut and recut grass clippings into smaller, decomposable grass clipping particles. These particles, which are not discharged or bagged, fall to the lawn bed where they decompose and feed a lawn so it grows thick and green.
Mulch kits have useful application in any lawn and can be installed to any Ariens zero turn mower.Click here to learn all about mulching and its benefits in a blog post we produced earlier this year.
Some people swear by them, and others don’t. The average homeowner may not get as much from a serrated blade, but they could make a difference for those who live on a large amount of mowable acreage.
LaserEdge blades are especially useful for commercial lawn maintenance applications, but homeowners who live in Florida, South Georgia and other areas with sandy soil or otherwise abrasive soil conditions could still have use for LaserEdge blades.
When mowing in abrasive soils, the air circulation under a cutting deck can kick up enough sand and grit to turn the cutting chamber into a sandblaster, causing the mower blade material to wear much faster than in normal conditions. In fact, commercial landscapers in Florida sharpen or replace their blades at least once per week because of their soil composition.
While LaserEdge blades were designed mainly for commercial lawn mowers, their application is still useful for homeowners. However, be aware that since these blades were designed for commercial use, their fit is more limited to a prosumer lawn mower, which is a residential zero turn with commercial features. In the Ariens lineup, that would be the Ariens APEX.
Click here to buy LaserEdge blades.
Mower blades are like the knives in a kitchen. After too much use, they become dull, work less effectively and damage your grass. Dull mower blades tear grass blades instead of cutting them cleanly, causing grass to become stressed. That stress can do a lot of damage to your lawn, causing it to look unsightly and worse – requiring you to spend time and money fixing the damage.
Frayed grass blade ends allow moisture to evaporate from a lawn more easily, requiring more irrigation and more money spent keeping it green. But no matter how much water you dump on your grass, fraying causes grass blades to become so stressed and damaged that their ends will turn brown anyway. A little brown spot on just one blade is no big deal, but when your entire lawn is littered with frayed grass blade ends, it leaves a tan hue across your entire lawn. Take a picture of a healthy, green lawn and put it next to one with damaged ends and you’ll notice the difference.
Mower blade sharpening isn't difficult, but it requires experience and the right tools. Clamps, a metal grinder and the right safety gear is all that’s needed to sharpen a blade, but we don’t recommend attempting it without lessons. If you’re a first timer, take your blades to your local Ariens dealer and have them do it for you.
Experience is recommended for sharpening blades not only for safety reasons, but because blades are sensitive pieces of engineering. Like the wheels on a car, blades need to be balanced. Without blade balance, a mower deck will experience excessive vibration and you’ll be left with an uneven and very unattractive cut quality.
Think of a blade as an object with two weighted ends, each end being the other’s counterweight. As blade material is removed during sharpening, the blade’s weight changes on one side, meaning the other side will need to be filed equally to maintain balance.
If your blades are beyond sharpening, find replacements at your local Ariens dealer. Or, if you know the replacement blade numbers for your mower, you can purchase them online at parts.ariens.com.
8/5/2019 5:00:00 AM
The solstice has long passed and the Earth’s axis is tilting back in a direction that will soon favor the Southern Hemisphere. Although summer and daylight hours are waning, there’s still plenty of heat to go around and a few more weeks to enjoy garden parties, barbeques, backyard sports and more with the family. The downside is that during this time of year, it’s drying out and our lawns aren’t as lush or soft as they were just a few weeks ago.
What can you do to keep your yard in prime condition so it remains a special place that you and your family can enjoy through the dog days of summer? It doesn’t require expensive equipment, contractors or even much of your time – all it takes is a touch of technique.
Chances are, your lawn is receiving fewer regular soaking rains. Many parts of the country might not see rain for a week at a time or more, and in some parts, it’s dry enough that the grass is turning brown and feels painful to walk on with bare feet.
Though you can’t change the weather, you can fix a dry lawn.
Your grass tells you that it needs water, even before it turns brown. When dehydrated, grass goes into conservation mode, folds its blades and shows its blue-green underside. If the color change isn’t enough to convince you that your grass needs water, walk on it and check if it springs back up in the path of your footprints. If those grass blades that were just walked on stay flat, it’s a sure sign that it’s time for a drink.
The first thing that might come to mind when talking about lawn irrigation is one of those sophisticated irrigation systems that can be controlled from inside your home. Though these systems are efficient and highly effective, the installation of one may not align with your finances this year, and if not, that’s OK because you can still irrigate on a budget. In fact, you can pick up a high-quality hose and sprinkler set from your local department store for as little as $50. But among the many types of sprinkler systems to choose from, which is the right one for you?
If we’re considering your time and the result, we’d suggest using an oscillating style sprinkler. Oscillating sprinklers are the type that spray water through small holes across the top of a gently arced tube with water supplied by a standard garden hose. As water pushes through the tube, the tube oscillates, creating even water dispersal across the range of the tube’s rotation, which is adjustable up to 180 degrees.
The benefit of an oscillating sprinkler is that they saturate a wide area evenly, which is not the case with all sprinkler types. Depending on the brand, oscillating sprinklers are advertised to cover up to 4,500 square feet of lawn at one time – meaning less time adjusting the sprinkler position and more time for yourself and your family. Simply drag the hose to the desired area, turn on the water and walk away. Position a container at each end of the sprinkler’s range and wait for it to collect about 1 to 1.5 inches of water, which is the general required weekly amount of water needed by your lawn. Once that area receives its weekly rations, move the sprinkler to the next area, wait for the containers to fill to their 1 to 1.5-inch mark and repeat until your entire lawn receives a good soaking.
To make the best use of your time, water just one area of your yard each day so you’re not spending your whole morning moving the sprinkler.