Mower blades can often be a confusing term as there are many types and many popular terms for them. You often hear terms like the best 21 inch mulching blades.
But you also often hear terms like 3 in 1 or high lift when trying to describe a lawn mower blade. But what do these terms mean? Read on to find out.
To put it simply, there are generally two major types of mowing blades.
- You have standard mowing blades
- Then you have mulching blades
1. What is a standard lawn mower blade?
These are usually referred to as 2 in 1 blade. They are also referred to as high-lift blades.
These blades are designed to cut grass and perform simple lawn tasks. In essence, they cut the grass and discharge it.
2. What are mulching blades?
Mulching blades are, in their vast majority, called 3 in 1 blade. They are also defined as all-purpose blades.
Basically, they are designed for mulching, discharging, and bagging. As you can see, they can perform three functions, and that is why they are known as all-purpose blades and 3-in-1 blade solutions.
Note that these mulching blades have a more curved style than their counterpart mowing blades. They frequently include extra cutting surfaces along the blade edges.
Pros and cons of 21-inch mulching blades
There are definitely pros and cons to mulching blades. Here are the two most common ones:
- Because mulching blades recirculate airflow better, they are less efficient at discharging grass clippings than standard mowing blades. So with mulching blades, you may experience some less-than-desirable cutting or discharging performance.
- With mulching blades, you can install a mulch kit or baffle on the mowing deck, circulate clippings beneath the deck, and recut them into finer pieces. These finer pieces will tend to decompose quicker and release nutrients into the soil faster.
The 7 Best 21 Inch Mulching Blades in 2023
- #1. Maxpower 21 inch Universal Mulching Blade
- #2. Arnold 21 inch Universal Mulching Blade
- #3. Oregon Blade 3N1 Gator Universal
- #4. MTD 21 Inch Mulching Blade
- #5. Maxpower 331528B Mulching Blade for 21 Inch Cut
- #6. Oregon 95-621 21 Inch Gator Blade for AYP/Sears/Husqvarna/Poulan
- #7. Oregon 95-621 21 Inch Gator Blade for AYP/Sears/Husqvarna/Poulan
#1. Maxpower 21-inch Mulching Universal Blade
It has a larger cutting surface than most blades and gives you a nice uniform cut.
This 21 inch mulching blade is designed to fit most brands and is made quite durable and tough.
Also, we think that the blade actually performs better than most factory blades for both mulching and bagging. And other users can agree with this position.
However, please keep in mind that the quality of your final cut comes down to a lot of factors like your mower deck style, grass type, and the moisture content of the grass.
But with the greater cutting surface of the Maxpower Gold Metal Mulching Blade, you have much better mulching. Also, the centrifugal air lift design is great for uniform chopping and a nice and even distribution of grass.
In terms of durability, the gold plating works well to preserve the blade for long-term usage.
We find that it lasts longer than most of its competition and won’t break if you accidentally hit a rock.
Overall, this is a well-made blade that performs well. Also, it fits most of the mowers we tried it on and we can’t really say the same for other brands.
- Great durability
- Outstanding cutting surface for a greater mulching
- Performs better than most other blades
- Universal and easy to fit and works really well with all of the different mower height settings
- Uniform chopping with sharp cutting edges leads to high-precision cuts
- A nice centrifugal airlift design. This provides a uniform cutting
- It only works on flat surfaces. Best not to use this blade on rough areas
- The blade doesn’t fit Honda HRR216, 21″ Ego, Ariens, Kobalt 80V, Greenworks lawnmowers
#2. Arnold 21 inch Universal Mulching Blade
This 3-in-1 mulching blade will provide an accurate fit with most lawn mowers on the market. It also has very reliable parts and accessories, as it is designed with professional precision.
The blade wears down much slower than its competition and cuts through the grass like silk.
We really like the fact that it has a greater cutting surface than most blades and is quite uniform in cutting.
This blade comes pre-sharpened, so you don’t worry about sharpening it or anything like that. It does a great job mulching and cutting grass into small bits.
All in all, this is a solid 3-in-1 mulching blade with a great universal fit. It comes with sizing washers and covers washers and one 21 inch blade.
- Great universal fit
- Cuts through grass easily
- Wears down much slower
- Could be cheaper
#3. Oregon Blade 3N1 Gator Universal
These mulcher blades replace the Craftsman, Poulan, and Husqvarna Blade 180054, 173920, 173921, 532180054, 532173920, 532173921.
Its standout feature is the patented fusion feature, which is basically embedded tungsten carbide into the cutting edges. This helps extend the shelf of the blades and keeps them sharper for longer.
Additionally, with the patented Gator feature, the Oregon 3 N 1 provides better bagging, mulching, and discharge.
Compared to the average mulching blade replacement, the Oregon Gator performs significantly better.
It even comes with adapters to fit most 21-inch walk-behind mowers. Unfortunately, it does not fit Toro or Snapper. Finally, it is proudly made in the USA.
- Extra sharp blades work very nicely
- Tungsten Carbide cutting edges
- Made in the USA
- Comes with an adapter for universal fit
- Not universal type
#4. MTD 21-Inch Mulching Blade
It is the MTD original equipment part and features a 90-day warranty for any defects.
Also, it works on all MTD and Yardman mowers dated 1995 or newer. You may find that this 21 inch mulching blade is also compatible with other brands like Troybuilt.
We like this 21 inch mulching blade because the metal is very hard and requires less sharpening than the original.
It does a better job than the original in maintaining form after many passes on your yard.
It cuts nice and evenly and is quite fast. Overall, it is clearly better than the original MTD mulching lawnmower blade and we highly recommend you switch over if possible.
- Works on all MTD mowers
- 90-day warranty
- Requires less sharpening
- Cuts nice and evenly
#5. Maxpower 331528B Lawn Mower Blade for 21 Inch Cut
The Maxpower 33158B mulching blade is one of the best options for a walk-behind mower. It’s easy to put on and has a very tight, secure fit due to its mounting hole.
The blade doesn’t have any serrated teeth, but it does have a curve in its body at an angle of 45 degrees which will lift and cut the grass perfectly.
The blade has been painted well and should last a considerable amount of time. It also passed the wobble test, meaning that it doesn’t vibrate or sound strange after being fitted.
The blade is so perfect that you’ll no longer need to check your mower’s shaft for point-star or bow-tie holes because the blades match the OEM.
The blades also have a lasting sharpness and persistence that makes them ideal for any type of lawn.
It’s not a heavy-duty blade, so you shouldn’t use it on thick or hard surfaces. If you make it hit something hard, the blade will definitely bend.
- It fits many 21” cut MTD, Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt, and Craftsman mowers.
- You can check the compatibility in the product description.
- Extremely sharp
- Durable and increase the life of the mower as it runs smoothly
- Well priced
- Rust proof
- Easy to install
- Not a heavy-duty solution, but still a really good deal
#6. Oregon 95-621 21 Inch Gator Blade for AYP – Sears – Husqvarna – Poulan
If you’re looking for a replacement mower blade that is both long-lasting and heavy-duty, the Oregon 21-inch blade is a great option. This blade has a superior cutting edge for enhanced mulching, and it fits many residential and commercial mowers.
The Oregon mower blade is a premium replacement part that is built to fit your original brand of equipment. It offers superior design and outstanding performance.
The 26-point certification of unparalleled manufacturing quality and control standards makes this blade one of the safest and most durable options on the market.
It is made in the U.S.A. and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
- It has the best-curved design teethes – we love it
- Superior mulching performance at all times – You won’t regret your purchase
- Produces very fine mulch
- Equally works on abrasive and normal conditions – highly versatile
- It is not a universal type – there are only a few universal blades anyway
#7. EGO Power+ AB2101 21-Inch Lawn Mower High Lift Blade for EGO 56V 21-Inch Lawn Mower
This 21-inch lawn mower blade is designed to provide extra lift for better mulching and bagging performance. The blade is designed to be compatible with the following models: LM2101, LM2100, LM2102SP, LM2100SP, and LM2142SP.
With its high-lift design, this blade will make short work of any lawn, no matter the condition. So if you’re looking for a durable, reliable lawn mower blade, the EGO Power AB2101 is the way to go.
- Designed for high lifting
- Made in the USA
- You can use this blade with the Craftsman CMXGZAM100067
- Produces nice clean mulch
- It is not a universal type
Final Verdict on the best 21 inch mulching blades
In conclusion, the Maxpower 21 inch Universal Mulching Blade is the best option for those looking for a quality mulching blade.
It is sharp, durable, and easy to install.
The Arnold 21 inch Universal Mulching Blade is also a great option and is very similar to the Maxpower blade.
The MTD 21 Inch Mulching Blade is a good choice for those on a budget and the Oregon Blade 3N1 Gator Universal is perfect for those who want a versatile blade.
Finally, the Maxpower 33158B mulching blade is really good, but it has one single con, that is it is not as heavy a solution as the other blades.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Mulching Blades – A Buying Guide
- Fitment and mounting
- Number of pieces
Mulching blades are designed to make mulching easier and more efficient, and they are generally more durable than standard mowing blades. This is because they are thicker and have a specific design that makes them better equipped for the job. For this reason, they are often used in applications where the mower is dealing with tougher terrain or thicker, more stubborn grass. They are an asset for mulching riding lawnmowers and commercial machines with belt-driven decks because they can withstand the rigors of these types of machines.
However, this durability can be a problem for push-mowers with direct-drive shafts, which are often not able to generate enough power to operate the blade effectively. When using mulching blades on these types of mowers, it is important to ensure that they are properly adjusted and maintained in order to avoid problems with performance or durability. Overall, a durable blade is key to achieving an efficient and effective mulching process.
The length of a blade is crucial to achieving the desired outcome. Mowers come with different blade lengths, and it’s important to use the length specified for your machine. A durable blade is essential, as a too-small blade will result in less than optimum results. Firstly, a smaller blade will require more passes, making you work harder and take longer to complete the job. Secondly, for multi-blade mower decks, the smaller blade will leave small strips of grass uncut, giving your lawn an uneven look. Lastly, a smaller blade will not provide enough airflow to the bagger, rendering it ineffective.
Investing in the appropriate blade length is vital to make mulching a breeze. A durable blade that is the right size will give you the best performance, enabling you to complete your yard work quickly and efficiently. So, take the time to understand the precise blade length for your mower and opt for a durable blade to make mulching an enjoyable and successful process. Note that most lawnmowers will display their cut size on the side of the mower. Some are designed for any 48-inch mower, and others with say 22-inch, etc.
Mulching blades installed on lawnmowers are typically heavier than standard blades due to their thicker design and more aggressive lift angle. The increased weight is necessary to ensure that the clippings are chopped finely, allowing them to be more effectively dispersed back into the lawn.
However, what you need to know is that the extra weight may cause your mower to run slower, which can be a problem for older machines. Those with riding mowers may find that a mower may want to stall as soon as you engage the deck. While this is an unfortunate byproduct of the mulching process, there are ways to avoid the problem. One solution is to stop the mower before engaging the cutting deck. This will reduce the amount of strain on the engine, allowing it to power through the heavier blades without bogging down. When the mower reaches its full operational speed, then you can engage the cutting deck and enjoy an easy grass-cutting exercise. Overall, the weight of mulching blades is an important factor to consider when using a lawn mower, as it can impact the machine’s performance and longevity.
4. Fitment and mounting
Note, that the different mounting shapes include five-point star, six-point star, bow-tie, and universal fit. The spindle under the mower deck is specifically designed and manufactured for one of these shapes. Ensure that the blades fit the spindle before attempting to install them.
The five-point and six-point stars are typically the easiest to install, as they only require the user to remove one bolt. However, if your mower has a different mounting shape, make sure to follow the owner’s manual carefully to ensure proper installation. While universal kits may seem like a good option, they are not designed for any specific mower and may not provide optimal performance. Ultimately, correctly fitting and mounting mulching blades will ensure an efficient and effective mowing experience.
5. Number of pieces
When purchasing mulching blades for your mower, it’s important to consider the number of pieces you need. Mowers usually have either two or three blades, and it’s recommended that all of them be replaced. Simply replacing one blade with a mulching blade and leaving the others as standard blades won’t provide significant benefits when it comes to airflow or mulching. Furthermore, mulching blades are significantly heavier than standard blades, so installing blades of different weights can disrupt the mower’s output as one blade will run slower than the others. To avoid this issue, it’s best to purchase a kit with the correct number of blades. By doing so, you can ensure that your mower is operating efficiently and effectively, providing you with the best possible mulching results.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to our frequently asked questions.
Are mulching blades better than regular blades?
Yes, mulching blades are better than their counterpart regular blades. In essence, if you have been using regular blades for your mower, it’s time to give mulching blades a try. Mulching blades are more durable than standard mowing blades and provide better performance in cutting and mulching. They do a great job of producing fine clippings that can be easily absorbed by the soil, which also adds nutrients to the ground. They also help you get rid of raking leaves, as the fine clippings break down quickly and effectively.
Moreover, with mulching blades, there is less grass clumping because the clippings are cut into smaller pieces, making it easier for the mower to distribute them evenly across the lawn. The blades also maintain their sharpness for a longer period and consume less energy while in operation. Overall, using mulching blades for your mower can be very beneficial, and you’ll surely appreciate the result of a healthier and greener lawn.
How to remove the Poulan push mulching lawn mower blade?
To remove the Poulan push mulching lawn mower blade, you will need a wrench. Unscrew the blade from the lawn mower and then remove it. You may need to use a little force to get the blade off, but it should come off relatively easily. Be careful when removing the blade, as it is sharp and can be dangerous. Once the blade is removed, you can dispose of it, sharpen it, or keep it for future use.
How to sharpen a mulching blade on a lawn-boy push mower?
The first step is to remove the blade from the mower. Next, clean off any debris from the blade using a wire brush. Once the blade is clean, you can begin sharpening it. There are several ways to sharpen a blade, but the most common is to use a file or grinder. If you are using a file, make sure to keep the blade at a consistent angle while you are filing. If you are using a grinder, you can use a sharpening jig to help keep the blade at the correct angle. Once the blade is sharpened, you can reattach it to the mower. Be sure to check that it is installed correctly and that the blade is tight before running the mower.
How to use a push mower for mulching?
If you want to use your push mower for mulching, there are a few things you need to do. First, make sure your mower is set to the highest setting. This will ensure that the grass is cut as short as possible. Next, you’ll need to purchase a mulching blade. These blades are designed to chop up the grass into smaller pieces, making it easier to decompose. Once you have your blade, simply attach it to your mower and start mowing. Be sure to go over the area a few times to ensure that all of the grass is cut. Do not forget to change your blade back to a standard blade at the end of your mulching.