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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!, I am a newer member here and I first started posting in the walk behind section. But I also have 1995 Craftsman GT6000 with a 46" deck. I need to replace my blades and I am looking to find the best replacement. Are "Gator" blades any good? If so what brand, or should I stick to the regular ol replacement blades for my mower, and again what brand is good? I should also mention that the mower is set up for side discharge, I dont have a bagger or a mulch plate in the deck. Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK - well I think I am going to get the Gator blades. My only question now is, which ones are the "real" gator blades. Are the ones made by Oregon the real ones? Thanks!
 

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There's a few different "gator" type blades on the market. Most are generally thicker, longer lasting and provide a better cut than the factory blades. I had a set on my '06 YS4500 and they worked great - really mulched up the grass and then the leaves in the fall. Definately alot thicker and stronger than the factory blades that came with the factory mulch kit I installed. I used them for 2 seasons and sharpened them about 6 times. They held up well and still had plenty of life in them when I sold them with the tractor.

The factory blades I have on my 522xi however are really good and do an excellent job of pulverizing the grass clippings. I have the 52" recycler deck and I think the high lift blades. Not sure if I'll switch to gators when the time comes for a blade change - why mess with a good thing.
 

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I'll let someone else comment on what "real" gators are. From what I've seen even the "knock offs" have the same thickness and design as the "real" ones are. We're talking about a piece of steel here, so I guess metallurgy does come into it.

Be aware that you'll have to decide on whether you want "hi-lift" useful if you have a bagger, or mulching which seems to be essentially hi-lift with V serrations cut into the back of the blade to accomplish the mulching function. I put a set of mulching blades on my GT with a 50" deck and am satisfied with the result. My deck is definitely NOT set up for mulching but immediately noticed that a lot less grass was coming out of the discharge chute so some mulching is going on. Add to that the blades are much thicker, heavier, and tougher as in harder to sharpen so Gators are the way to go in IMHO.

Something I previously commented on here, was that when I put the new gators on, I checked them for balance, two were fine, one was off and had to be balanced. So, if you get them check for balance.

Good luck,

Ev
 

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Oregon is the maker of the real Gator blade. There is more to the blades than thickness and shape. Oregon claims to make their blades harder to resist bending and dulling. The Gator is not known to have exceptionally high lift nor does it move large quantities of air for clog-free bagging.
 

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BTW, here is a blurb from Oregon on their technology.
www.oregonchain.com/OEP/pdfs/BladeBenefits.pdf

They talk about two processes of hardening, R50 throughout the blade, and Fusion surface hardening of the cutting edge. I've heard that some people don't think the factory edge is sharp enough and that they sharpen new blades before installing. That needlessly removes the Fusion hardness and exposes a more fragile edge.

Some mistake the heavy powder coat as the edge not being sharp. Some report that the powder coat at the bolt hole may cause the blade to loosen. There have been reports of new blades not being straight or balanced.

Check them for balance before mounting. Spoon them together to check for straightness. If both tests fail, return them for exchange. If they pass, remove the powder coat from the bolt centre area before mounting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everybody for the suggestions & information, I am going to get the blades this week, I will let you know how they work out!
 
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