Oregon is well known around the world for producing quality cutting products including blades and chainsaw equipment. Many would not be aware that the original blades on their mowers are quite possibly manufacture by Oregon. The Gator blades I recently tested come in three variations: G3, G5 and G6.
G6 FUSION Tip blades were fitted to the comfortable Ferris zero-turn mower that was supplied. They are the closest aftermarket replacement blades to standard blades for someone wanting to mulch the cut grass back into the lawn. The side discharge is also excellent, designed with progressive geometry on the cutting edge for a cleaner cut and an aggressive blade angle to increase air flow for superior bagging or side discharge.
Cutting wet and thick buffalo grass proved no problem for the G6s with a neat clean cut achieved and no residue left on the lawn after a single pass. In the past I’ve noticed a second pass is required to remove cut grass residue with some other mulching blades.
The unique design of all three Gator blades sees them thicker and wider than many others and with a higher lift. The higher lift keeps cut material suspended longer so it can be cut more, resulting in much smaller clippings, which disappear back into the grass. The teeth on the blade help in this process because their twist and angle creates more turbulence and throws the clippings back towards the centre, ensuring multiple opportunities for finer pulverising of the cut material, resulting in a finish that rivals catching.
The G5 and G6 are designed for tougher applications because they are both wider and higher with a width of 3” and an air lift of 1.25”. The G5 is the same thickness as the G3 at 0.203” and the G6 is the heaviest duty at 0.250” thick. The extra width and thickness ensure longer blade life, which is required for tough commercial applications.
The G5 and G6 also have Oregon’s X-tended Cutting Length™, which is up to twice the cutting length of some others. The most exciting feature of the G5 and G6 Gator blades, which is not available on any other brands, is Oregon’s Fusion process, which uses electro-fusion technology to apply an incredibly tough tungsten carbide material into the blade along the critical cutting surface. This tungsten material ensures the blade stays sharper for longer, therefore producing a neat clean cut for longer. It also ensures sharpening intervals are greater thus reducing maintenance time and costs, as well as increasing the life of the blades. It is worth noting that sharpening these blades is no different than sharpening standard blades.
Overall, the Gator blades are extremely well engineered and performed exceptionally. The longer intervals between sharpening and extended life also add to the appeal. I am a huge fan of these and of mulching in general. Why would any commercial operator catch the grass clippings and then have the problem of disposing of them, when with a proper mulching system and a decent mower the same finish can be achieved.