Last Updated on September 11, 2021 by Mark Brian
Mulching is one of the best ways regarding organic fertilization of grass. In that case, John Deere is a market champion of mulching riding lawn mowers. However, a good mulch is a result of sharp and efficient mulching blades. So, what use will John Deere have if its blades are dull?
Dull mulching blades can do more damage than good. Misfit or dull blades can leave behind clumps of grass. It can give rise to thatch and lawn diseases, putting all your efforts in vain. Similar to mowing blades, mulching blades are essential for keeping the grass healthy.
What are Mulching Blades?
Mulching blades are a pair of blades that have propelled cutting edges. They are designed to mulch, bag, and discharge the clippings. Working as 3 in 1 blade, it cuts the grass into many small pieces that are discharged through a side discharge chute.
Our Top 3 Picks for Best Mulching Blades for John Deere – 2021
- 8.88 pounds
- Vertical Blade Teeth
- ISO 9000 Certification Guarantee
- 6 pounds
- Dimensions 21x3x2 in.
- Center Hole 11/16 in.
- Flat Surface Design
- 4.95 Pounds
- Narrow Top Shear Line
Quick List of Customer Reviews on Best Mulching Blades for John Deere 2021
- Best Overall Mulching Blade: Rotary 12920 Copperhead Mulching Blades
These blades are very Stout and should last quite a while before needing to be sharpened. They have mulched anything I’ve driven over. –Customer Review
- Best Airlift Mulching Blade: Gator 3 in 1 Mulching Blades
Buy these. I have absolutely nothing but praise for these blades. No clumps, nothing but a beautifully manicured lawn.-Customer Review
- Best Propelled Mulching Blade: John Deere Original Equipment Mower Blade Kit
After trying AMK blades I decided to give OEM blades a try again. The cut is as good or better than any AMK Blades I’ve tried and I noticed much less deck vibration with the OEM blades. –Customer Review
- Best Durable Mulching Blade: Predator 3 REPL XHT HD USA Blades
My old mower is a 23-year-old John Deere 345 with a new 28 horsepower Briggs & Stratton v twin. I was able to mow the normal two acres in about half the time. –Customer Review
- Best Cut Mulching Blade: 8TEN LawnRAZOR Mulching Blade for John Deere
These blades worked better than I expected them to on my JD316. –Customer Review
- Best Commercial Mulching Blade: MaxPower 561812XB 3 Set of 3-N-1 Blades
Great quality blades fit like a dream on our John Deere. –Customer Review
Comparison Table of 6 Best Mulching Blades for John Deere 2021
|Rotary 12920 Copperhead Mulching Blades (Best Mulching Blade)||Check Price|
|Gator 3-in-1 Mulching Blades (Best Airlift Mulching Blades)||Check Price|
|John Deere OEM Mower Blade Kit (Best Propelled Mulching Blades)||Check Price|
|Predator 3 REPL XHT HD USA Blades (Best Durable Mulching Blades)|
25% to 40% Extra Tough
|8TEN LawnRAZOR Mulching Blade (Best Cut Mulching Blades)||Check Price|
|MaxPower Blades (Best Commercial Mulching Blades)||Check Price|
Detailed Reviews of 6 Best Mulching Blades for John Deere 2021 by Experts’
1. Rotary 12920 Copperhead Mulching Blades – Best Mulching Blade
ISO 9000 Certification Guarentee
Rotary Copperhead mulching blades work best on rugged as well as overgrown lawns. It is a perfect fit for John Deere lawn mowers due to its tough premium grade carbon steel body, and precision cutting.
Centrifugal Air Lift
Evenly distributed mulch is crucial for a healthy lawn. Otherwise, it can form clumps and thatch. Copperhead mulching blades are designed to have smooth airflow that helps uniform clippings and distribution.
Manufactured in the USA, these blades have guaranteed ISO 9000 rigid quality standards. It has also passed the Rockwell Hardness Standards that ensure its quality and efficiency.
Carbon steel is one of the toughest metal alloys out there. This material is frequently used for making blades. Moreover, the blades are further heat tempered to make them durable and long lasting.
Besides being fuel efficient, these blades cause less vibration while mulching. It leads to efficient clippings and less discomfort on the rider’s end.
2. Gator 3-in-1 Mulching Blades – Best Airlift Mulching Blades
21 x 3 x 2 in.
Oregon company excels in making the best gator blades. The blade design is progressive compared to other mulching blades. Sharp edges are usually coated with a tungsten carbide layer that makes it last longer.
Durability is important when mulching blades are put to hard tasks. Made with a premium steel body, Gator 3 in 1 mulching blades coupled with a John Deere mower can clip the grass on rough terrain easily.
Contrary to common belief, it is not the vertical blades but the angle of the blade that cut grass into several short pieces. The angled design redirects airflow to clip grass more effectively.
Although it may not be the sharpest mulching blade out there, Gator 3 in 1 is cheaper than other mulching blades and works equally well.
Often issues arise surrounding mower and mulching blade compatibility. This mulching blade is perfectly compatible with John Deere models L120, and L130 with 48 in. decks.
3. John Deere Original Equipment Mower Blade Kit – Best Propelled Mulching Blades
John Deere has been a revolution in the lawn care and agriculture industry. Its premium OEM blades are compatible with a lot of mower models including M127500, M145476, M127673, Z 900, and B, M, R Series mowers. This versatility makes them a good choice to opt from.
Flat Mounting Surface
Old is gold, so is this OEM mower kit. Modern mulching blades have curved blades, however, this one has a flat surface that cuts grass evenly.
Since angle and curvature increase the airlift of clippings, this OEM blade has the perfect curvature. It sits perfectly with a variety of John Deere mowers without damaging the deck.
Most mulching blades are bottom stamped, but OEM blades are top stamped, with a top shear line. This feature allows tight fitting with less vibration while mulching.
Sporting a wide mounting surface, OEM blades allow more contact between the washer and the mulching blade. It leaves no gap in between, reducing stress on the washer edges and improves performance.
4. Predator 3 REPL XHT HD USA Blades – Best Durable Mulching Blades
Extra 25% to 40%
2 to 0.5 in.
Predator replacement blades are manufactured in the US. Furthermore, these are put to extreme manufacturing conditions to ensure quality. Tougher than other mulching blades, these can go on for a long time.
Replacement blades need to be durable and of good quality. With its XHT (Extreme Hardness and Toughness) these blades are 40% harder than standard mulching blades.
Its formidable build prevents any bending that comes over time. This makes its sharp blades last longer. Moreover, the blades need less sharpening this way.
A perfect fit for John Deere models M128485, M131958, M96730, M96742, M133381, M144196, M168223, M14352, and M145516.
Flat end mulching blades like the Predator series greatly decrease the friction. With its extended cutting length, it mulches the grass perfectly. Moreover, it can be alternatively used as a mower blade in some lawn mowers.
5. 8TEN LawnRAZOR Mulching Blade for John Deere – Best Cut Mulching Blades
46 in. to 54 in.
Standard mowing deck can be converted to mulching blades with this 8TEN spindle mulching blade kit. Its design is sleek and can be fitted easily. High temperature green powder is coated to increase the sharpness and cut quality.
Mulching blade kits are often specific for one or two mower types. However, 8TEN blades surpass the expectations and can be used in a variety of mowers. They can be used with John Deere AM31100, M41967, 180, 185, 210, 212, 214, 216, LT166, STX46, 240, 245, 260, 265, 285, 300, 316 mowers.
Compared to other mulching blades, 8TEN has a longer cutting edge. It ensures finer mulch in less time.
The notched and rolled design of the spindle ends of 8TEN blades allows cutting wide grass leaves. So the smaller the grass leaf is cut into several pieces, the better the mulch.
Made with the best quality material, ensures a longer life span for these blades. The saw edge tooth design mulches the grass way fast and saves the cost of fuel.
6. MaxPower 561812XB 3 Set of 3-N-1 Blades – Best Commercial Mulching Blades
20.5 x 2.5 x 1 in.
Another carbon steel mulching blade just like copperhead blades, MaxPower 561812XB is a good alternative to OEM blades. The superior quality and durable material make it one of the best mulching blades for John Deere.
Mulching blades come with usually one circular center hole. MaxPower brings innovation by making a seven sided star center hole. This rendition has fairly increased the bolt grip and overall fitting of the mulching blade.
Made with all the OEM standards, these blades are the closest one can find to OEM ones. Compatible with GX21784, 21786, and GY20852 OEM blades, these are the USA made with strict quality control.
Fine grass cuts are achieved by angled straight blade teeth. It increases the surface area for mulching and hence more grass can be mulched in one go.
Besides mulching grass, MaxPower blades can be used to mulch leaves as well, like Predator blades. This increases the manufacturing cost of the blades.
Why Mulching is Used in Lawns?
Mulching is an age old process to cover the lawns with penetrable material. Usually, it is mowed grass. It improves the soil conditions, regulates its temperature, and also provides essential nutrients. Mulch also protects your lawn from heat scorching and dehydration.
Why Mulching Blades are important?
Blocking the funnel can still mulch grass, but with wider and uneven blades. This can result in poor mulch while blocking the deck. Mulching blades come to the rescue with their finer cutting capacity and curved surface. It can save considerable time and effort while mowing.
How do Mulching Blades work?
The majority of mulching blades have a curved surface with raised blades. When run at high speed, they produce a centrifugal force that sucks in the grass and cut each clipping into many parts. After being cut several times, the blade tip creates a vacuum and the grass falls back on the lawn as a layer.
Types of Mulching Blades
Mulching blades come in all sizes and shapes, and choosing the best mulching blades for a John Deere riding lawn mower can be tricky. Different types of blades are available in the market as per need.
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. These are the original mulching blades, designed by the John Deere company specifically for their lawn mowers. Since nothing beats original, they are the perfect fit for excellent mulching using John Deere lawn mowers.
A modified form of mulching blades, 3 in 1 gator blades are well suited for clipping grass into tiny pieces. The angles are poised in gator teeth form to give maximum suction of grass. It works wonders to fertilize the soil.
These blades are often used to clear the lawn from any residue weeds. It comes in handy reseeding or replacing grass with a new one. With minimum damage to soil, it removes all the debris from aboveground.
Copperhead Mulching Blades
Durability is the key point of copperhead mulching blades. They are heat treated, and compact made with high carbon steel. A centrifugal airlift design makes them more efficient than usual mulching blades. They have straight teeth to mulch grass.
Things to consider while Buying Mulching Blades for John Deere
The manufacturing material is crucial to the quality and durability of a mulching blade. Stainless steel and carbon steel. These metal alloys are further heat tempered to increase their resistance and build strength.
Mulching blades often have three blades at their rare end. Others have a flat end design. Both designs are made for the aerodynamics of the mower deck and airlift grass clipping. This way a single grass leaf can be cut into several pieces before touching the ground.
Buying from authorized sources and mower compatible companies will ensure quality. Poor mulching blade quality can lead to grass clumping, poor cut, grinding noise. This can damage mower belts and leave a choppy lawn.
Just like one size doesn’t fit all, nor do mulching blades. Most mulching blades have specified models even within the same company. A poorly fitted mulching blade can be a hazard to your machine and lawn. Different mulching blades are designed according to mower deck width.
Comparison of Compatible Deck with Mulching Blades for John Deere
|Rotary 1290 Copperhead Mulching Blade||42 in.|
|Gator 3-in-1 Mulching Blades||48 in.|
|John Deere Original Equipment Mower Blade Kit||42 in.|
|Predator 3 REPL XHT HD USA Blades||54 in.|
|8TEN LawnRAZOR Mulching Blade for John Deere||46 in.|
|MaxPower 561812XB 3 Set of 3-N-1 Blades||48 in.|
If there is any gap left between the deck and the blade, it can cause friction and increase vibration. This vibration can lead to uneven cuts and early wearing of the cutting edges. Always read the manufacturer’s guide to get the exact center hole for your mower.
Another aspect to keep in view is the weight of mulching blades. Since it accounts for almost 2% of the whole weight of the mower. Mulching blades are heavier than mower blades.
Compact lawn mowers cannot achieve their full potential if heavy blades are attached. Thus, lightweight blades suit John Deere garden mowers on the whole. While heavy ones can be attached to John Deere tractors for heavy duty tasks.
Comparison of Weight of Mulching Blades for John Deere
|Product||Weight of Mulching Blades|
|Rotary 12920 Copperhead Mulching Blade||8.88 lbs|
|Gator 3-in-1 Mulching Blades||6 lbs|
|John Deere Original Equipment Mower Blade Kit||4.95 lbs|
|Predator 3 REPL XHT HD USA Blades||2.75 lbs|
|8TEN LawnRAZOR Mulching Blade for John Deere||5.8 lbs|
|MaxPower 561812XB 3 Set of 3-N-1 Blades||5.61 lbs|
Every mulching blade has a specific length and width. The cutting length influences the mulch cut, while width decides the strength of centrifugal force and airlift. Furthermore, high quality material paired with optimum dimensions gives the best mulch for your grass.
Comparison of Dimensions of Mulching Blades for John Deere
|Rotary 12920 Copperhead Mulching Blade||24 x 5 x 4 in.|
|Gator 3-in-1 Mulching Blades||21 x 3 x 2 in.|
|John Deere Original Equipment Mower Blade Kit||23 x 4 x 2 in.|
|Predator 3 REPL XHT HD USA Blades||21 x 2 x 3 in.|
|8TEN LawnRAZOR Mulching Blade for John Deere||23 x 4 x 2 in.|
|MaxPower 561812XB 3 Set of 3-N-1 Blades||20.5 x 2.5 x 1 in.|
No. of Blades
Blade set is the no. of blades that can be mounted on the mulching kit for every mower. Similarly, different mower models have their ranges. You should also check the number of blades that could be applied at once in your machine, before buying them.
How to Install Mulching Blades in John Deere?
Here is a step by step guide on how you can install mulching blades in a John Deere lawn mower within a few minutes.
- First, sharpen your new mulching blades, removing the paint on them.
- Next, you can keep the paint on, and instead mulch for a while to remove it on its own.
- Third, put your John Deere on a jack for support.
- After the machine is lifted, remove the center nut from your old blades.
- Keep the blades in their place,
- After removing the nut, place it aside.
- Now, position your new mulching blades with the wing side up towards the deck and marked/sticker side down towards the ground.
- Finally fix in the nut, tighten it and you are good to go.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do new blades need to be sharpened?
Yes, new blades are often coated with black or green protective paint. Underneath this paint is the razor sharp blades. Mulching blades can be sharpened manually, or they can be used for mulching so the paint wears automatically. Therein it is highly recommended to sharpen them beforehand for optimal performance.
In which direction do mulching blades move?
A majority of lawn mowers have clockwise motion for their mulching blades. This means most of them move towards the right. However, counterclockwise motion is also present in some. A manufacturer’s guide can help you to determine the precise motion of your John Deere mower.
Which side is up on mulching blades?
The side with angled blades upward points to the deck. This side goes upwards facing the deck. Whereas, the embossed or sticker side should be facing the ground when fixed.
Can you put mulching blades on any mower?
Specific varieties of mulching blades are available for most of the mowers. However, you should not put these on every mower. Since mulching blades are heavy, lawn mowers with low horsepower cannot spin them effectively and may even damage the machine.
Can you use mulching blades without a mulching kit?
Yes, you can use mulching blades without a mulching kit but the result will not be as effective. Thus you should use a mulching kit for premium lawns.
Is mulching plug necessary?
A mulch plug is essential, otherwise, grass clipping will be simply dumped on the lawn. However, the mulch plug closes the side discharge chute and the grass moves back to the blades.
How often should I mulch my yard?
Mulching helps retain soil nutrients. Overdoing it may kill the grass, so mulching once a year during spring works best for most lawns. For severely depleted and discolored grass, it can be twice a year but should not exceed that count.
What should I put down before mulching?
Old mulch takes a year to decompose fully and mix with soil. Start with removing weeds and trimming bushes. Rake and smooth your mulch bed. You can add an extra layer of newspaper mulch to keep the weeds out, but this is not necessary. Once the mulching bed is ready, you are good to go for new mulching.
Should I remove old mulch?
No, you should not remove the old mulch from the lawn. The mulch decomposes and replenishes the soil. However, you can remove mulch after 5 to 6 years to keep it from forming a gunk or suffocating the lawn.
With so many options available, it’s tiring to choose the right mulching blades for John Deere. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Every riding lawn mower has its own set of requirements. So, we have researched far and thoroughly to bring you the best mulching blades, you can never go wrong with. If you have any further queries, feel free to ask. We will be happy to help you.
Happy Mulching To You!