Chute blockers have really made a name for themselves over the past few years. Historically, side discharges of mowers is a bit of a safety concern. Especially as a lawn care owner, the last thing you want is to sling a rock out of the side of the deck and hit a window or, even worse, a person.
One of the original options was a mulch kit. There are man reasons someone would want to use a mulch kit. Their primary benefits were to cut the grass clippings numerous times in order to recycle the clippings back into the soil as a natural fertilizer. The other benefit is it closes off the side discharge chute so objects don't fly out from the deck.
Mulch kits are somewhat limited though for lawn care business owners because every yard you're cutting isn't the same. For homeowners, sure a mulch kit could be fine. When mowing different types of grass with different lengths and terrains a mulch kit can sometimes be a burden.
Another alternative to side discharge is bagging. In some applications and geographical regions this is the superior option. For a business owner it is a lot more time consuming to use a bagger. Many lawn care professionals have turned to mowers like Walker if they want to bag clippings. They are a niche mower designed specifically for bagging.
But what if you don't always need a mulch kit and you don't want to use a bagger…
Then came the invention of the chute blocker. These amazing accessories are a hybrid between mulch kits and standard side discharge. By way of a hand lever or foot pedal, you are able to raise or lower the blocker to either mulch or side discharge depending on what is needed for the application.
In this article, we will explain what a chute blocker is and the 3 best on the market.
Should you use a chute blocker?
Simply put, if you are mowing mostly residential or smaller commercial properties I would 100% recommend a chute blocker. The versatility of having a mulch kit and side discharge is very handy.
Outside of the safety aspect, a chute blocker is great to have to keep clippings out of flower beds and other places you don't want clippings to be. It is very easy to lower the blocker in certain areas of the lawn.
Chute Blocker VS Mulch Kit
A mulching kit attached to the lawn mower helps the machine to mulch the grass and leave it in the lawn to nourish it whereas a chute blocker is a blockade that covers the storage of the cut grass or the mulching kit so that they do not offload the clippings all around the lawn.
A chute blocker helps the mower not deposit any of its grass content in areas such as a pool or flower bed that needs to be protected from such weeds.
It is very important to understand the difference… a chute blocker with the flap down is not exactly the same as a mulch kit. It will not perform quite as well but it usually does a good enough job that operators don't notice much of a difference.
The big advantage of a chute blocker is speeding up your mowing time. If you are using side discharge you will be able to mow faster than with a traditional mulch kit. Having a hybrid between the two will all you to save time while mowing the open areas where a mulch kit isn't needed.
If you've decided a chute blocker is the best option for you we will review the 3 best on the market below.
GrassFlap is a great chute blocker as it fits with most models of commercial mowers. It is especially engineered to be foot-operated so that it is more effective and easy-to-use.
The product has been designed and developed by David Luking who himself has been an avid mower since childhood. He seems to understand what an ideal chute blocker should be like.
Of the three products that we are reviewing here, GrassFlap is the only chute blocker whose control is attached to the foot pedal. When you attach this to a zero-turn lawn mower, it seems to be a perfect fit. The foot pedal control gives the user complete control over offloading of the cut grass, which can be done without stopping the mowing operations.
- Clean design
- Pivoting motion
- Rugged construction
- A little complicated installation
2. Qwikchute Chute Blocker & Deflector
This is a truly advanced chute blocker that would help you in managing the grass clippings on the lawn like no other chute blocker.
It fits with the mower in a few minutes and can help in mulching, full or partial discharge. It’s controlled by a hand-controlled lever system. This is a simple mechanical solution that offers years of hassle-free mowing even in restricted areas. It takes about 30 minutes to install it on your mower.
- Hand Lever engagement
- Clean design
- Great Reviews
- Not suitable for walk-behind lawn mowers
3. Advanced Chute System
Produced by Chute system, Advanced Mower Discharge Shield is a perfect fit with virtually all kinds of lawn mowers. However, the manufacturer maintains a compatibility chart that lists outs all the brands and models in which this chute blocker can be fitted.
This chute blocker gives you complete control over the mower discharge. It is controlled by a hand-controlled lever system that can open, partly-open, and close the flap. In short, you can completely regulate clipping discharge.
- Lever engagement
- Easy installment
- Some clumping problems
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How to install a chute blocker?
The three chute blockers that we have reviewed here have their own installation process. The installation of a chute blocker is a simple but a mechanical process that may require drilling holes in mower’s steel body parts and use of nuts and bolts.
Depending on which chute blocker you are going to use, the installation process will be different from one another. The first chute blocker under our review, GrassFlap is foot-operated where cables from the flap are attached to the footboard.
In the other two varieties of chute blockers under review, the control is in a handle. Each of these products comes with their detailed installation process outlined on the instruction pages of the owner’s manual.
The manufacturers have also made available videos that give a detailed account of how they can be installed. The installation process takes about 30 minutes and it is easy enough to be done by oneself.
If you are concerned about installation you can always take it to your local dealer to have them install it.
However, the installation process can be summed up in couple of steps:
Step 1: The shield plate needs to be attached to the base plate with the help of nylon washer, bolts, and nuts.
Step 2: Slide handle needs to be fitted as per the direction.
Wrapping it up
A chute blocker is a great accessory that is relatively new to the market. They have helped to increase the efficiency of mowing lawns. The convenience of being able to switch between mulching/blocking the chute and using side-discharge is a huge time saver.
If are were to start a lawn business again tomorrow I would definitely have a chute blocker on most of my mowers. They are a huge asset to the average business that is regularly cutting many different types of yards.
Do you currently use a chute blocker? If so, let us know in the comments which one you use and how you like it!
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