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“My Experience With Cutlass Mower Blades”
John J. Strickland, Keysville, Ga.: “A reader in a previous issue reported on how much he liked his Cutlass mower blades, so I decided to tell you my story. I bought two Cutlass blade systems for my 2000 Woods 72-in. mower and my 2014 Cub Cadet 54-in. mower. Both have 3-blade mower decks. We have a lot of Bahia grass in my part of the state which is tough to cut as it has a tall thin stem that’s difficult to pick up once it’s been knocked down plus it’s abrasive to blade edges.
  “The Cutlass system has four small replaceable blades that pivot like the knives on rotary disk hay mowers. They improved the cutting ability of the Woods mower, but the Cub Cadet cut worse, due to the 1-in. setback between the blades and deck. I used both mowers a lot throughout 2019 and learned a lot. The 4-blade concept cuts cleaner than a single-blade system and the pivoting feature saves blades when you hit an object.
  “However, the blade pivots wore excessively, and the spring clips became nonfunctional after grass goo caught underneath, jamming them upward. This meant the quick-change feature became useless. Also, the soft steel center discs were weak and bent.
  “Since I’m a mechanical engineer, I decided to redesign the blade system. I contacted Cutlass and ordered straight flat blades with no ‘sails’ because they were wearing out quickly, leaving portions of the blade unused. Then I made my own center discs out of alloy steel with no cutouts. I made new blade pivots out of heat-treated tool steel so they would stand up to grass strikes and eliminated the spring clips completely. The blades have to be unbolted now to remove them, but that’s rare because I made my own blades out of one 5mm spring steel. To remove the disc assembly, I remove one bolt that holds the center disc in place.
  “Finally, I modified each deck by cutting out all shrouds and the front deck lip to allow grass to come into the blades standing up. I also set the wheels wider apart.
  “Mowing now is beautiful. It looks like my barber cut the lawn with nothing left standing. There’s no dust cloud and no need to go over any area twice. Interestingly, the only parts left from the original Cutlass system are the button head screws that hold the pivots in place.”

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #5