Owning a lawn mower is a great way to save some money and maintain more control over your lawn and yard. But, it can come with some unexpected maintenance, and it’s alright if you don’t already know how to keep your lawn mower in good condition.
If you want to keep your lawn mower working well, you need to know how to install your lawn mower’s blade.
Don’t worry if you’ve looked at lawn mower blades and been completely baffled by them before.
I wrote this guide because I’ve been there, and I know how important proper blade installation can be. After all, getting the installation right is critical for the life of the blade, the function of the lawn mower, and the appearance of your lawn.
In this guide you’ll learn:
- Why lawn mower blade direction matters
- How to tell which side of your lawn mower’s blade is up
- And much more!
Read More: >> How To Mow Your Lawn Like A Professional?
Why Does It Matter Which Side Of Your Lawn Mower Blade Is Up?
If you’re in a hurry, this video will help explain why it matters which side of your lawn mower’s blade is up, why it matters, and how to install the blade.
There are a lot of reasons why it matters which side of your lawn mower’s blade is up. One of the most critical is that the blade just won’t work if it’s facing the wrong direction. That’s because the cutting edges on your lawn mower blade are designed to only cut in one direction. If you accidentally flip the blade when you install it, the cutting edges won’t ever have an opportunity to cut your grass.
If the cutting edges aren’t able to cut the grass, you’ll likely end up with a shredded mess. That’s because the grass will still get caught on the dull side of the blade. Most lawn mowers have enough force and speed that the dull side will still trim your grass. It’ll just rip and tear the grass leaves instead of cutting them nicely.
Read More: >> The Best Lawn Mower Blades For Thick Grass
Having the right side of your lawn mower’s blade up is also important for the airflow under your lawn mower. Airflow is an important part of how your lawn mower functions. The wind from the moving blades pulls your lawn’s grass upright, helping give it an even trim and uniform length while you’re mowing.
If you have the lawn mower’s blade on upside down it won’t move air the same way. Combined with the dull side of the blade cutting the grass, that uneven flow of wind won’t pull the grass correctly. It’s a recipe for a very uneven and patchy job mowing.
Those are the two most important reasons you should know which side of your lawn mower’s blade is up. It can also impact the wear and tear on the blade, and even on your lawn mower itself. Put all those reasons together and it’s incredibly important to install your lawn mower’s blade right side up!
How To Tell Which Side Of Your Lawn Mower Blade Is Up?
There are a few handy tricks to figure out which side of your lawn mower blade is up. Usually it isn’t too difficult, but I’m going to cover several options since it’s not always the same for different lawn mower blades.
Listen To the Label
The most common and easiest way to tell which side of your lawn mower blade is up, is to look for the label. Most manufacturers will stamp at least one side of the blade with a direction label. These can say things like: “This Side Up”, “This Side Down”, or “This Side Toward The Grass”, depending on the brand. Sometimes these labels are stamped into the metal, but it’s often a sticker or something labeled on the packaging instead.
Use the Cutting Edge
Most walk-behind lawn mowers rotate the blade to the right, or clockwise. That means that when the blade is spinning, the cutting edge should spin to the right. However, this isn’t 100% foolproof.
Some lawn mowers do spin counterclockwise. It’s rarer, but you have to know which direction your lawn mower spins to be sure. Your lawn mower’s user’s manual should be able to tell you which direction the blades spin.
Read More: >> How To Sharpen Your Lawn Mower Blade Without Removing It
The Wings Face Up
On most lawn mower blades there will be a small part of the blade that isn’t flat, but angled up. This little wing on the blade is designed to encourage air movement, helping pull your grass upward for an even cut.
The wings on lawn mower blades are always designed to point up toward the lawn mower’s cutting deck. The same is true for the more extensive wings on mulching blades. If your lawn mower blade has wings, those wings should point toward the lawn mower and away from the grass.
Those three techniques should help you figure out which side of the lawn mower blade is up on pretty much any lawn mower blade. Assuming you know which direction your lawn mower spins the blade, that is the most fool-proof method, but the other two options are usually easier and faster ways to tell.
How To Tell What Kind Of Lawn Mower Blade You Need?
There are two basic kinds of lawn mower blade to choose between, and getting the right one can make a significant impact on your lawn mower’s performance. Most lawn mowers are compatible with both types of blade.
It’s important to remember that not all blades are created equal, and just because a blade is the right length doesn’t mean it’s compatible with your lawn mower. You always need to check your lawn mower for which blades are compatible.
Regular Lawn Mower Blades
Regular lawn mower blades are the simplest option. They are blades that are designed to get the job done without any bells and whistles or extra functions. These blades leave clippings relatively long, but they can also provide a more even mow than more complicated blades.
It’s important to have a good cutting edge on these blades since they are really reliant on cutting power to get good results.
Also called standard or medium-lift blades, these blades are typically on lawn mowers with side-discharge designs.
Read More: >> The Best Lawn Mowers For Wet Grass
High Lift Blades
High lift blades are generally used for lawn mowers that have a bagging function because they provide more airflow that helps to move the grass clippings into the bag. These blades also provide higher suction, which means that they cut the grass at a more consistent height by pulling the grass up straighter.
Mulching Blades and Gator Blades
Mulching blades and gator blades both provide even more suction and cutting power in order to process the grass into smaller pieces. Of the two blade types, mulching blades are gentler. They process clippings into smaller chunks to distribute back over your lawn to act as a protective layer over the top soil.
However, mulching blades are not typically a good idea if you’re trying to bag your grass clippings at the same time. They just don’t move the clippings toward the bag very effectively.
Gator blades process the grass clippings even smaller than mulching blades. They are designed to get the clippings small enough to eventually mix into the top soil of your lawn where they will decompose and replenish the soil.
My Final Thoughts On Which Side Of The Lawn Mower Blade Is Up
Knowing which side of your lawn mower is up might seem like a simple thing, but it’s incredibly important. Choosing the right side of your lawn mower blade will help maintain the health of your lawn and can even reduce the maintenance on your lawn mower itself.
Learning how to install your lawn mower’s blade properly shouldn’t be difficult, but it is an important step if you want to keep your lawn mower in good condition. Hopefully this guide will help you decide which kind of blade is right for your lawn, and learn how to install it successfully.