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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Grooming Mowers Finish Mowers Forum

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 03-12-2003, 11:34 Post: 51027
John C
2003-03-12 11:34:15
Post: 51027
 Finish mower vs Rotary Cutter

I have 1.5 acres of land to mow, with some slope and a few trees, and need a mower for my 20hp 1957 tractor (2cyl diesel in good shape w/rear PTO/3pt). I can't find any used finish mower and can't afford a new one, but have found a used 48-inch cut rotary cutter for $300. Can this do a decent job on grass and light brush? Is there a problem with tractor width being greater than the mower width (12-inch difference)? Thanks!






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 03-12-2003, 12:06 Post: 51028
BillBass



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 Finish mower vs Rotary Cutter

If you are just looking to keep the grass mowed down, then yes it will work fine. I mow my pasture with a 6' rotary cutter I am guessing to about 2" tall. And if I need to cut some brush, no problem. A 4 footer would probably give an even smoother cut.
If you are looking for a lawn type cut, you won't get that type result.
I don't know how to post a picture here, but I could e-mail a picture of my freshly cut pasture if you would like.






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 03-12-2003, 15:09 Post: 51032
harvey



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 Finish mower vs Rotary Cutter

John the 48" cutter will do a good job as a semi finish mower if you keep the blades reasonably sharp. The beauty of it is you will want to cut at 3-4 inches with is great for a good healthy yard. Unless the used cutter is a name brand $300 sounds high to me unless it is really good shape. I would run mine as far to the side as I could/can that way the rotation of blade picks up the wheel track grass. Don't ask me which side now because depending on what I am doing is how I set it up for that job. I mowed 3-4 acres of pasture around a pet cemetary for a couple of years and it always looked lush. GOOD LUCK! Harvey






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 03-12-2003, 15:10 Post: 51033
JohnCraven



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 Finish mower vs Rotary Cutter

Thanks for the reply. I'm not looking for a manicured lawn, but at least a flat aspect with no blades left sticking up. I would appreciate a picture of your pasture. I have only seen pasture mowed with a rotary cutter when the grass had been very tall, so I couldn't tell mmuch about the quality. I would be mowing at least once a week to limit the amount of cut grass remaining. What is the reason for the inferior finish? Does the cutter lack lift (blade speed?)compared to a finish mower?






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 03-12-2003, 20:54 Post: 51060
harvey



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 Finish mower vs Rotary Cutter

John I'm not sure I would call it a inferior finish. The rotary cutters have blades that are 1/2 inch thick and usually they have a somewhat blunt cutting edge. As I said if you keep them resonably sharp they will do a good job. It is hard to keep them sharp using them on brush, stumps and rocks. Keeping the tail wheel and the front of mower level and follow the contours of the land is a dificult feat. Harvey






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 03-13-2003, 01:22 Post: 51069
JohnCraven



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 Finish mower vs Rotary Cutter

Harvey, I wouldn't be mowing anything tougher than blackberry vines and a few small branches, so the blades should stay sharp. What if the machine had no tail wheel, just skids, as is the case with many models I have seen? Could I follow the contours better? Would the skids leave marks? John






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 03-13-2003, 06:07 Post: 51075
harvey



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 Finish mower vs Rotary Cutter

John the skids will mark the yard if they touch. You'd have to have a perfect flat yard or be a very exceptional operator to keep it flat. It will do pretty good with a tail wheel and the two skids by the tractor. I take it it does not have a tail wheel? If not I'll go back and say again $300 sounds high unless it is an exceptional brand and build.






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 03-13-2003, 12:20 Post: 51091
S. Hamblin
2003-03-13 00:00:00
Post: 51091
 Finish mower vs Rotary Cutter

Just a few comments on finish mower vs. rotary cutter: I mow about 3 acres of hillside. For the first 2 years I used by neighbors borrowed 5' rotary cutter. It did an average job, but due to the rough ground (lots of little sink holes and undulating ground) it left a lot of scalps where the skids dug into the ground. The quality of the cut was good except for the large windrows and clumps of cut grass. (I mow 3 times per year.) Last year I bought a new LMC (made by Sovema) 6' finish mower for $700. This mower has 4 wheels so it rides over the uneven ground nicely. I still mow only 3 times per year and the rear discharge of the LMC leaves no clumps. Based on my experience, the rear discharge finish mower is my choice.






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 03-14-2003, 13:24 Post: 51137
JohnCraven



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 Finish mower vs Rotary Cutter

I really appreciate all the information provided on this subject. I think that a rotary cutter would give an adequate cut for my needs, but following my sloping, somewhat uneven terrain may not be possible without leaving marks. I would like to have a clearer idea of the movement of the cutter: to what extent can it float? It can rotate about the axis defined by the 2 lower points, but is any vertical movement possible relative to this axis? Can such movement be provided (as is done with finishing mowers)? Is there anything to keep the front end from scraping the ground when a bump is encountered? It seems that the tail wheel will keep only the back end clear. How much do the front ends of the skids touch when a tail wheel is used? How much of the cutter's weight is supported by the wheel? Will the wheel sink into soft ground? Would it be possible to put a full-width skid behind the cutter housing in place of the wheel, formed to be able to slide over obstacles, and taking most of the weight off the side skids? At least the weight would be distributed across the entire width; of course the grass would be pushed down after cutting. I wouldn't be thinking about all this if I could find a finishing mower at 750 dollars/euros here in Europe; they seem to start at around 1500 for a 5' model, a new 4' rotary cutter around 1100. Anyway, thanks for any ideas. John






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 03-14-2003, 15:27 Post: 51143
BillBass



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 Finish mower vs Rotary Cutter

John - When mowing the rear of the cutter is supported by the rear wheel and the front is support by the 3PT. You adjust the 3PT to get the front at the height you want. If you have really uneven ground, then the front skids may contact the ground and leave marks. Also, you may even get into a situation where the rear wheel momentarily rises off the ground leaving some grass not cut well. The rear wheel would not sink in unless the ground was really soft. There are models that have 2 rear wheels.
If your ground is really uneven, there are even pull behind models that basically tow like a small trailer and simply follow the contour of the ground.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Grooming Mowers Finish Mowers Forum

Thread 51027 Filter by Poster:
BillBass 3 | harvey 3 | John C 1 | JohnCraven 3 | marklugo 1 | S. Hamblin 1 |




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