Standard vs high lift mower blades

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In any task, you must have the right tools for a safe, smooth, and efficient operation.

For your mower, the type of blade can be the difference between creating a lush look and an eyesore

Now, the most mystifying decision especially for new gardeners is which side of the Standard vs high lift mower blades debate they should take.

Both are great and both have their supporters but choosing the right one involves much more than just listening to what people say out there.

Let’s help you figure out which one might make the most sense for your needs with this comprehensive Standard vs high lift mower blades guide.

Standard vs high lift mower blades

To help you make the right choice, we’ll first talk about what differences the two blades have.

We’ve also detailed the advantages and disadvantages of both types that you should know about.

Let’s dive right in:

What exactly is the difference between the two blades?

Just to give you an idea of what our talk will revolve about, the starkest difference between standard and high-lift mower blades is the degree of curving on the edge of the blades.

Interestingly, this seemingly minor contrast plays a huge role in determining how smoothly your mower cuts grass in different conditions, the quality of the final cut, and more.

Before we turn to the specifics, there’s one blade terminology I want out of our way: lift.

What lift is and how it impacts how your blade mows

Forget about the curves on the edges for a moment: the real issue between these two blades is the “lift”.

So, what is this strange term?

Well, lift simply refers to the ability of blades to suck grass clippings into the mower’s deck and thrust them out for discharging or bagging.

Here is the most fundamental thing about bagging: to be able to pull in the lawn clippings, there must be adequate airflow.

This airflow – which helps lift the grass up- is created by slightly curving the blade’s surface.

That should give you the clearest hint yet of what the difference between the two blades is.

In short, the high lift mower has a lift (it’s curved) while its rival is “liftless” or has little lift (standard).

In fact, the other name for standard mower blades is straight blades and low lift (in some localities).

To be clear, blade lift can be low (least suction), medium, high (like in our case), and even extra high.

Now that we’re on the same page, we can delve into the upsides and downsides of each.

Standard vs high lift mower blades: the advantages and disadvantages

Both of these blades have clear upsides and downsides, which helps make your decision easier.

The case for standard mower blades

Of the two, standard mower blades are the most common.

But could they be the right blades for you?

Take a look at the advantages and the downsides and decide…

Pros of Standard mower blades

The benefits of standard mower blades include:

·        They won’t strain the equipment

These blades tend to require less power and don’t stress the mower’s engine.

This makes them an attractive option if your mower doesn’t have much horsepower.

·        Minimal dust and noise

Because of reduced power needs, you’re likely to experience less dust and less noise when mowing grass.

In any case, having dust and other debris sucked into your deck (a reality when it’s dry and dusty) will cause the blades to wear prematurely.

It also hurts the mower itself.

Cons of Standard mower blades

·        Easily clogged when cutting taller, compact grass

The lack of enough air flow can cause clogging under the deck when mowing taller or wet grass with a bagger.

This might leave ugly-looking clumps of grass all around the freshly mowed yard.

Best riding lawn mower lift equipment on the market.

The case for high-lift mower blades

High-lift blades feature deeper curves on their ends, resulting in sufficient suction to circulate the clippings (and expel) them.

So: is it the best choice for your mower?

Pros of high-lift mower blades

With high-lift blades, your turf and equipment stands to gain in the following ways:

·        Perfect for Bagging

Bagging is a smart move for lawns that are not frequently mowed.

Plus, bagging is the way to go for a neater looking lawn.

What you should keep in mind is that high-lift blades are unbeatable when it comes to bagging thanks to the mightier lift.

·        Great for taller, even wet grass

Again due to the greater air flow, there’s very little chance of the deck getting clogged when mowing taller or even wet grass.

The final cut is still more eye pleasing here since the wet clippings are  being sent into the catcher energetically.

Cons of high lift mower blades

The blemishes here include:

·        Not efficient for mulching

Without a bagging system, the mower will struggle to expel grass clippings efficiently when outfitted with high lift blades.

You can overcome this issue by keeping the mower’s discharge shoot open though the performance is still generally disappointing.

·        Excess engine strain

These traditionally need massive horsepower and your mower will have a torrid time with high-lift blades if it lacks the necessary oomph.

This adversely affects the engine lifetime besides wearing the blades too soon.

Standard vs high lift mower blades: what should you pick?

Overall, standard blades are the best bet if:

  • You’re mowing short grass especially in grounds with sandy soil.
  • Mulching is not an option.
  • You have a mower with average horsepower.

On the other hand, high lift blades should work when:

  • You are planning to trim tall and thicker grass (even in wet conditions).
  • You want the best bagging performance (regardless of the conditions).
  • You own a powerful mower.


In summary, a standard mower blade suits short grass particularly in sandy terrain and is definitely the ideal choice for mowers with reduced horsepower.

In contrast, high lift mower blades are magnificent when you want to cut and bag tall, compact grass quickly and efficiently as long as your mower’s engine has higher horsepower.

They also outshine their rivals for mowing grass in wet conditions.

How to lift riding mower to change blades

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