Can you use a mulching blade if you’re bagging lawn clippings?
Q. I always mulch when mowing, and sometimes I bag clippings to reduce thatch buildup. How is bagging efficiency affected as a result of using a mulching rather than a regular/all-purpose blade?—Ed Krautsdorfer, Denham Springs, LA
A. Depending on whether you’re using a walk-behind mower or a lawn tractor, using a mulching blade for bagging is not the best idea. A bagging blade has a bend or wing at the back to create more airflow to send the grass to the bag. Almost all walk-behind mowers have a combination blade, which does all modes without changing the blade. Many lawn tractors have a specific blade for mulching, which is designed just for the double cutting action needed for good mulching. Using mulching blades for bagging will result in reduced bag filling. It is best to bag using the bagging blades.
Check our lawn mower and tractor buying guide for more information. If your current mower is on the fritz, figure out whether you should repair it or replace it.
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This article also appeared in the September 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
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