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  1. #21
    Junior Member
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    Default Re: Mower - mulch or not mulch

    Quote Originally Posted by bk T View Post
    OK. Thanks folks for the inputs.

    Looks, most mowers have mulching capabilities - how do they work?

    Next question is, 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine?
    Get a battery powered electric model. I bought a Stihl 420 last year (on special!) They are a bit expensive, but it has plenty of power, and ploughs into long grass with little trouble.

  2. #22
    Member Zippity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mower - mulch or not mulch

    Or buy an electric Flymo

  3. #23
    pcsourcepoint
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    Default Re: Mower - mulch or not mulch

    You's reminded me about my mulcher plug which I attached to my Sanli 400 OHV mower. Because the weeds/flowers (sunflower I think) were long - not the actual grass. So "clipped" them off - i.e mulched them.

    4 strokes seem to be durable. I have a 1971 -74 Masport Rotacut in my collection of mowers. Had to replace the carb diaphragm. But still solid. Bought B and S 4 strokes cheap from cash converters - not going - but relatively simple fixes - including replacing a oil soaked filter, a bent governor idle spring, weak primer bulb, broken flywheel key, etc. Meaning more can go go wrong in 4 stokes - I think.

    I think a weak spot is how the handles are attached to the body, in recent years. Many have failed (by rust, or widening/loosening of the bolt hole)if bolted directly to the body. Also circular blade carriers and the adapter (typically in Chinese mowers), can shatter around the crank bolt if thrashed too much. I just welded one up, or can use a large washer to reattach. So blade type - bar or short bolt on blades may need be considered. Inspect underneath as well when buying to view blade type...
    Last edited by kahawai chaser; 30-01-2019 at 12:37 PM.
    Computer Tech Links (My Tutorials & Reviews)| Free MP3 Software Reviews (My Reviews)|I Student NZ (My Student Resoucre Tips)

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Mower - mulch or not mulch

    It won't be long and petrol mowers will be banned by Labour..

  5. #25
    tweakedgeek tweak'e's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mower - mulch or not mulch

    Quote Originally Posted by bk T View Post
    OK. Thanks folks for the inputs.

    Looks, most mowers have mulching capabilities - how do they work?

    Next question is, 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine?
    there is two main mulching setups.
    one has a round top of the base so grass is flung up by the blades, the round top directs it back down to the center of the blade where its cut again. typically used with bar blades. you can measly tell by the shape of the base and the blade has two cutting surfaces.
    the other typically uses swing blades. the blades are curved so it flicks the grass up and is cut by the next blade. works better with quad blade setups. the base is generally flat and not rounded like the other method.
    the plug has nothing really to do with it. its just a blockage to stop grass coming out the normal exit, so the grass keeps getting flung around untill its fine enough thats it settles back down into the lawn.

    engine, if its steep use 2 stoke, otherwise 4 stroke.
    electric mowers are ok on small lawns with grass thats easy to cut. they will not handle tough grass.
    Tweak it till it breaks

  6. #26
    Seasoned Member allblack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mower - mulch or not mulch

    Quote Originally Posted by tweak'e View Post
    engine, if its steep use 2 stoke, otherwise 4 stroke.
    Please explain the logic. I'm interested. Does it have something to do with oil pickup on slopes?

  7. #27
    tweakedgeek tweak'e's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mower - mulch or not mulch

    Quote Originally Posted by allblack View Post
    Please explain the logic. I'm interested. Does it have something to do with oil pickup on slopes?
    its to do with the oil being splashed in the crankcase and also the crank case breather. if you tip a 4 stroke mower to much you end up with oil going down the intake and clouds of smoke as it burns oil.
    Tweak it till it breaks

  8. #28
    Smiling Down On Youse SurferJoe46's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mower - mulch or not mulch

    Gonna toss into the hat here...... {Be ye warned that I usually write with numerous parentheticals, multiple dashes and an occasional right-pointy thing that helps to inject my glottal stops and pregnant pauses for you (the reader) to digest the latest cookie (NZ= biscuit) and sweetbreads of my diatribes.}

    Sobeit ---> ever onward.......



    I build and repair mowers for neighbors for some extra cash.... and frankly the term 'mulching mower' is bandied about so much that the truely technical variation, so deftly hidden, from one to another is usually just (either) advertising hype and (more than likely) full-on lies and deceit.

    There are however significant differences in the two ----> er, terms.

    A mower is just that - it supposedly neatly cuts the grass after it has induced it to stand tall by some sort of vacuum generation and then whacks it off to catch it in a bag/bin/container so it can be removed in totality from the lawn's surface.

    On the surface that is a simple rendition of what a 'mower' is, when in reality there are things going on here, in non-layperson dynamically enough scienterrifical whiz-bang happenings that mystifies the average lawn-owning person, to cause it (a 'mower/mulching device') to either work well or sortta good ----> or very badly. "Caveat emptor" here folks.

    But my real reason to be here at this moment is to offer some insight to the way I see of what a 'mulching-slash-mower' is, even though the two terms have been inextricably intertwined by innocuously well-intentioned advertising moguls at best; downright lies at worst.

    In order to mulch correctly, the clipping(s) must remain inside the housing with the whirling, slash-y, cut-y things (blades) sufficiently long enough (time wise) for the newly rendered cuttings to be sliced and diced into particulate matter, just a few steps away from, to, near or at the molecular level, for it to actually work well.

    SO-o-o-o.... there are mulching blades that are specifically designed to not produce sufficient air movement to eject the severed shafts of the grass away from the tempest under the hood, so to say. Keeping the grass clippings INSIDE the maelstrom for as long as is physically possible is the best answer.

    These blades have almost zero lift or vacuum-producing capability, and they just keep on slicing (and dicing; one cannot forget about 'dicing') of the grass until it is very fine. These same blades have many lift spoilers that are in reality just notches in the lifting part of the blade - that upward-turned lip, if you will. Or won't.

    Advertising ploys now: so comes the 'blocking plate' that affixes to the discharge chute on your mower - er, now it's a 'mulcher' in the best Madison Avenue definition.

    It most certainly : IS NOT (a 'mulcher', that is).

    A real US Uh-mer-i-kan mulching device also has a really close-to-the-blades housing that faintly resembles a centrifugal liquid pump ---> in that it will have the blades running much closer to the housing to keep the cut shards closer and inside the activity that 'mulches' as it were --- *

    * or 'is' really. This misnomer in and of a singularity, signifies a shortsighted problem in English and is empirically not MY fault in forming a clear mental picture to help understand the conceptual difference between 'things that are happening' and 'things that are about to happen' tied to 'things that are to have happened yesterday', for instance. . . 'As it were' is a wuss-word (concept: mine).

    I digress............

    To produce the closeness that is required to get the grass stalks into a certifiable 'mulched' condition, it then has to have an additional 'director' that is added to the housing of the lawn mower to make it a true 'mulcher'. Never will the two terms be so intertwined in my mind ever again, but there are a lot of things that are not intertwined in my mind.... and some that are so.

    SO - Just by having a blocker-plate adapter on your herba decapitation device, in and of itself, does not a mulcher make.

    I know the difference. I do!

    This is your NZ-friendly non-resident buddy in Rightsideup Land, helping our confused, blood-drained-from-their-brains-because-they-are-hanging-by-their-prehensile-tail buddies in Upsidedown Land.





    Today has been "A Free Diatribe Of Many Words Friday" for all of us on THIS SIDE of the International Date line. (That'd be 'me'). I'm retired and today I have to wait for someone to hold my ladder so I can go on the roof and use a chain to clean my chimney of the residual buildup of creosote that is somewhat blocking the egress of smoke. It happens every few weeks or so - and especially so if we close the air supply damper that just keeps the fire ticking-over slowly, creating insufficient heat to keep the stack hot enough to keep the formations from being created.

    Youse guys are the proud recipients of this lax time I have here right now. Was it as good for youse as it was for me?

    If any of youse guys are available in about an hour or two ---> to help hold my ladder ---> I'd be appreciating it.

    Thank-y.








    .


    I figger that as far South as I have gone so far, I may now get a break in bad fortune
    until the rest of the world catches up with me.

  9. #29
    Smiling Down On Youse SurferJoe46's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mower - mulch or not mulch

    I'm in the final stages of building what I call The Mother Of All Mowers ("MOAM") to cut my 10 acre field this spring. UN-fortunately, the picture uploader on your end of the interweb is not working and I cannot post a pix of it.

    That being so, I have to ply upon your gullibility to tell you that I put a 22.5 horsepower Kohler Magnum 20 4-cycle, opposed twin cylinder engine on it. It is not required to move itself, just cut weeds and grass and noxious Canada Thistle, which by law, we are required to kill as much as possible since it is an unwanted invasive weed.

    Like most of what comes here from Canada is usually unwanted, it is high on my list in eradication. We also catch errant Canadian tourists at the state line, scoop out their insides and turn them into waterproof snow-suits for our children.

    I cannot say if their invasive weeds are less or more unwanted. It may be a toss up.

    The MOAM will be towed by either my Case tractor (picture won't load) or my Suzuki Quad Runner - (again, no pix!). I have built an a-frame device that mounts on the left side of my tractor, and keeps the MOAM in line with my front axle and sufficiently far enough away from the front wheel to cut the weeds where I can see what it is doing while it cuts and swivels around.

    I MUST do all my cutting in the AM when things are still damp from the dew ----> this to keep the field(s) from being set afire from an errant rock strike causing a spark and instant immolation --------> and negative cash flow.

    I find that using a Bush Hog, one that is towed behind my tractor, doesn't work as well since the tractor tires crush the weeds under the them and a Bush Hog cannot create sufficient vacuum to lift the crushed weeds up for them to be cut. Next day there are two distinct tire tracked weed lines that need to be re-cut to make them level with the rest of the weeds. Two runs to do one job! Not good.

    The MOAM is built so that it can swivel a full 360 degrees (I don't know the sillimetric equivalent of 360 degrees for youse guys) out on that boom and I can steer it around fence posts and obstructions by steering the tractor to tow the MOAM out of difficult areas. I put steer-able wheels from another large lawn tractor, that these are also 'steered' by the four foot 'tiller' that I put in front of the forward axle.

    Kinda hard to envision, but it works very nicely for what I need. This way, the mower deck itself is the first thing to arrive at the weeds and they are not pressed down to make them harder to cut.

    I can cut small diameter trees with it. I have the blades actually sticking forward and outside of the mower leading edge so they have open access to what I need to cut.

    Sitting up on the tractor seat keeps me out of the trajectory of any thrown weeds, blades or small farm animal entrails that might be whacked by the MOAM.

    I just wish I could post those pixs here. Rats!


    I figger that as far South as I have gone so far, I may now get a break in bad fortune
    until the rest of the world catches up with me.

  10. #30
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mower - mulch or not mulch

    I'm sure that's all true, but with the mulching plug in my Ryobi the finely cut clippings end up spread on the lawn and are not noticeable so it doesn't really matter to me if they are technically mulched or just slightly more chopped up than usual.
    I do get strips of clippings if the grass is a bit too long, and where I run over the edges of the concrete path there is some mess - but I clean that up with a leaf blower so it's of no concern either.

    Looking around my neighbourhood right now (yes Joe there is a "u" in that ) I see a lot of dead grass but mine is still mostly green and I never water it. Seems like "mulching" is healthier for the lawn.
    The grass at work looks like straw attached to the ground. (we are having a hotter drier summer than usual round my neck of the woods and are just coming out of a heatwave thanks to our Aussie cousins blowing all their hot air in our direction).
    Ryzen 2700X, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 NVME SSD, MSI GTX1070

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