Can You Use Mulching Blades With a Side Discharge Mower? (Solved)

You can use mulching blades with a side discharge mower. Check the manufacturer’s instructions because they often recommend the specific mulching blades that should be used for that particular lawn mower.

When you use mulching blades, you’re essentially doing two things at once – cutting your grass and mulching it at the same time. But there are still advantages of using a mulching blade on a side-discharge mower that are a little unique.

Benefits of Using Mulching Blades With a Side Discharge Mower

There are different types of mulching blades and most of them can be used with a side discharge mower. When you choose this combination, you get the following advantages:

1. It is Easier

In some ways, it’s easier to mulch when the mower’s discharge is on the side. This is because your blades continue to operate at full speed and since the clippings are ejected to the side, the process is a little bit faster.

When you mulch with a standard mower, your success is sometimes limited by the size of the area. Mulching with side discharges are perfect for very large yards.

2. It Is Good When the Grass Is Wet or Damp

If the grass is wet or damp and you’re using a mulching blade, a standard mower can get clogged up quickly, but this isn’t the case with a side discharge mower.

The mulch is spewed out of the side of the mower in a straight direction, which means it doesn’t have a chance to clog up your mower.

3. It Allows for a More Neat and Even Cut

Since the side discharge mower blows the clippings straight out of the side and there’s no standard mower engine in the “middle” of the mower, the direction of the clippings allows for a cut that is neater and more even.

If you love a great-looking lawn that doesn’t look disheveled or uneven, using a mulcher with a side discharge mower is the perfect solution.

Main Types of Lawn Mower Blades

Before we go any further, let’s take a look at the main types of lawn mower blades, of which there are a total of five.

1. Standard Blades

Also called deck blades, these are usually straight in design and rotate horizontally. Their design is slightly curved so that you get a continuous air flow as they rotate.

This is a very common type of lawn mower blade and one that most people use.

2. Mulching Blades

These blades are also called all-purpose blades and have a curved surface that allows it to work three different ways.

With this blade, the grass can be pulled up and cut properly; the clippings can be sucked inside of the deck, then chopped into tiny pieces; and finally, the innermost curve of the blade can produce air pressure that allows the small clipping to be blown out onto the lawn to add nutrition

3. Gator or 3-in-1 Blades

This blade combines a low-and-high lift with a mulching feature, providing you with the perfect way to cut, bag, and mulch your grass at the same time. These blades are common blades and are easy to use.

4. Low-Lift Blades

These blades are used mostly for side discharge lawn mowers and have low suction power, which works perfectly because they keep the grass nice and short. The blades encourage the grass height to be low and therefore easier to use the side discharge type of mower.

5. High-Lift Blades

These use a fan-like suction and are perfect for cutting grass that is tall or compact. You usually need an engine with a higher horsepower if you choose these blades.

Mulching Blades vs. Normal Blades on a Side Discharge Mower

Mulching blades and normal blades on lawn mowers serve different purposes. Mulching blades are usually called 3-in-1 blades because they can discharge, bag or mulch your grass.

Normal mower blades are 2-in-1 blades because they are made to cut your grass and then either bag the clippings or discharge them into your yard. You can use either of these blade types on a side discharge mower, with different results, of course.

One of the biggest advantages to using mulching blades on a mower with a side discharge system is the lack of clumping underneath the deck, which allows for a much neater yard when you’re done.

Mulching blades also chop up the grass into very fine pieces. Once they are shot out of the discharge, it doesn’t cause problems with the engine. If you have tall grass, you’ll need regular lawn mower blades because the taller grass is always thicker and a bit uneven.

Using regular blades on a side discharge lawn mower has its advantages as well. Namely, these blades can be used to discharge, mulch, and bag your clippings, so you never have to switch the blades out when you’re trying to switch between the different functions.

If your grass is thick, regular blades make the job even easier, as opposed to mulching blades or even side discharge mowers. To learn which blades are best for your particular type of lawn mower, a little due diligence is needed, and the rest should be easy.

How to Use Mulching Blades With a Bagging System

You can easily use mulching blades with a lawn mower that bags your grass clippings, but you’ll have to keep a few tips in mind in order to do the job correctly. Some things you need to remember include:

  1. Make sure the blades are very sharp.
  2. Make sure the grass is as dry as possible.
  3. If your grass is tall or damp, consider switching to a side discharge mower.
  4. Remember that even though you can use mulching blades with a bagging system, it is always best to use regular blades if you intend to bag your clippings.


Mulching blades on a lawn mower work better when you use a side discharge mower, while regular blades work better when you wish to bag the clippings as you go along. There are pros and cons to using all types of mower blades, and it’s up to you to learn the differences.