In the 50s, the introduction of the power mower was a major breakthrough in convenience for the growing suburban markets. Since that time, there have been a number of advances, from the engines to the lawn mower blades themselves. In spite of the many different names and brands of blades, there are actually only two basic types. These are first, the standard mowing blade. The sole purpose of this blade is to provide an efficient way to cut grass and maintain a sharp edge. With these blades, the cut blades are either discharged out of the mower deck onto the lawn or into some form of catching bag for collection and removal. The design of these blades is intended to create a greater and lifting air flow to discharge the mown grass, so it is sometimes called a 2-in-1 blade, for discharge and bagging.
With the design of the second type of blade, the goal is to actually cut up the grass more finely and leave it on the ground as the mower moves over the grass. These blades use a surface that has more of a curve to it and incorporates additional cutting surfaces. The first of these blades used a “+” construction while modern mulching blades use a more complex and efficient construction. These blades are sometimes referred to as 3-in-1 blades because of the added function of mulching. One byproduct of the mulching process is a significant decrease in the grass that is discharged from the deck during the mowing process.