Deck baffles

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  #1  
Old 06-14-18, 11:52 AM
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Deck baffles

Not quite sure where to ask this, so I'll ask here, feel free to move anywhere suitable.

I have mower with "mulching capability". Basically, what that means is it's raised depth deck and I switch blades to mulching ones instead of cutting ones.

ALSO, I have to install 3 baffles that create three enclosed chambers around mulching blades.

Deck, as it is, being 60 inch cut and having 3 blades, already has waved baffle running across its entire underbelly. Additional baffles simply create partitions between the blades.

To be honest, adding those baffles sort of chokes mower. It does OK but, you can't do anything but very dry grass and low trim. Going aggressive trim definitely can choke deck as clippings have nowhere to go.

So here's stupid question.

Do I actually must add those baffles or it will mulch as is, with mulching blades and half deck baffle? At somewhere between 4 and 5 acre to mulch, I don't really care if it's golf course perfect, I just need it done and not creep through it, letting blades to work through clippings.
 
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Old 06-14-18, 01:59 PM
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Try it without the baffles and see if you like the result.
 
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Old 06-14-18, 02:18 PM
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IMO mulching mowers are overrated. As noted they only work well with dry grass and you can't let it get too long. I'd rather cut normally and either rake a little or go back over the clippings with the mower to further cut/disperse them.
 
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Old 06-14-18, 03:16 PM
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You can't mulch like you mow if you are going to mulch it will be necessary to mow twice as often. Have a good one. Geo
 
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Old 06-14-18, 03:46 PM
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I'm sure that that different decks have different results, and can't give too many specifics because this was probably about 20 years ago, but the baffles on my Toro make a huge difference. I bought it with a standard deck, and after trying a set of recycling blades alone I bought and installed the baffle kit and could not be more satisfied. As mentioned, it definitely performs better when the grass is not damp, but even when damp it's a huge improvement. I remember being impressed with the mower in general, but as far as I can recall the mulching blades took it from say a "5" to a "7", and the baffles pushed it over the top to a "12". They looked rather insignificant in the box but were huge once in use.
 
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Old 06-14-18, 04:46 PM
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It's just very awkward to re install those baffles, to be honest. Also, bolts in them are cheaply welded into the metal and last year I broke one off. dealer replaced it as courtesy. Entire baffle.
Thing is, if I mow as is, I end with huge amount of clippings that do not get decomposed before the next mow comes. At least, until growth slows down so that I mow twice a month.
Clippings, swaths, keep piling up and with every mow I am not only mowing new grass but the old clippings swaths same time.
When I switch to mulching, I end with a much cleaner mow, but am simply trying to not overtax mower. I am next to switching to mulching as growth slowed down enough to go that route. But I will have no choice but to go over the last mows clippings.
hence the question. It's not as easy as it reads in the post. As far as I get past the first two runs with mulching set up, the rest goes easy, as I do not have piled up clippings. Makes sense, why i asked?
 
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Old 06-14-18, 04:52 PM
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I'll go over the lawns first run without baffles added, only with mulching blades. Just to give deck some extra room for clippings. And maybe mulch old swaths. If it does not work, then baffles it will be. Then, if I get past ridding of old swaths, I can add baffles. got mower lift, got to be used.
 
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Old 06-14-18, 09:17 PM
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You can mow without the baffles. I prefer mulching blades on a mower but without any other added parts, just the blades. It's easier on the deck, a bit less clippings to worry with, and still able to go fast and cut normally. Consider that my grass in the SE is different than yours in the NW though, so what works well here may not there.
 
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Old 06-17-18, 06:38 AM
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To be honest, I saw no difference without baffles yesterday. In mow quality. If there is concern with "quality" to start with, as I have lawn from hell, I care less about quality, more how to get through hrs of extremely bumpy, uneven lawn with hundreds of mole mounds.
So far, see no need for baffles.
Thank you all for insight.
PS. Yes, I installed mulching blades (they went chipped and dull after one mow, thank you mole mounds) and converted deck back to mulching. I had to rig it, as I had to cut deck chute opening wider, to allow better clippings discharge. That resulted in mulching chute cover not being able to be attached per OEM connection. So some drilling and extra bolts did the job. It tosses clippings from under the deck some, I really don't care. One day I'll shoot video of what it takes to mow this lawn. Whoever graded it has to be hung upside down in the sun for half day. How mower frame didn't crack in half yet I have no idea. Good side to "mulching" though is - goes faster. Clearly.
 

Last edited by Gunguy45; 06-17-18 at 12:48 PM.
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