Quick Guide: The Different Types of Mowing Decks



The three most common lawn mower deck types are; Collection, mulching, and side/rear discharge. Each method has its own application and unique advantages.

COLLECTION MOWING leaves the best aesthetic lawn finish. It involves using a collection mechanism on the mower, which collects the clippings as they are discharged from the deck. This results in a clean finished turf, leaving behind minimal cut grass. (Can also remove other lawn debris, such as leaves or mulch). The grass clippings can be used as mulch or compost in other areas of your garden. However if you have recently top-dressed your lawn or have loose soil, you may consider a mulch cut option, as collection mowing will also remove the loose soil. If you have a large lawn, you may have to empty the collection unit (grass catcher) often, resulting in a longer overall mowing time. For lawn contractors, this could potentially reduce efficiency. Check out our collection deck options.

MULCHING is another efficient way of achieving a perfectly clean finish. Mulching utilises a ‘double blade’ system, and a closed deck (ie; no debris discharge area). The grass clippings have no way to escape the deck, so they are sliced multiple times into much smaller clippings. This leaves very little visible cut grass on the lawn, and can be beneficial for the turf as the clippings are returned to the topsoil as a fine mulch, returning nutrients to the remaining grass. Mulching gives a ‘collection’ finish, but without the need to empty the grass catcher. The disadvantage of this kind of cut is that it can not work on grass that is too long, as the grass will accumulate under the deck and won’t be mulched. Mowing your turf regularly will avoid this problem. Check out our mulching deck options.

Our most popular cutting option is SIDE or REAR DISCHARGE. This is where there is an opening in the deck side, allowing grass to discharge evenly from under the deck, giving a greater chance for all the grass blades to be evenly cut – especially in long grass. The opening is either at the side of the deck, or in larger mower models, at the rear, and allows the air to flow smoothly under the deck, sucking the blades of grass up into the cutting blades, and out through the opening. This means a perfectly even cut, but there may be visible grass left on the lawn with can be unsightly, especially as it dries out in the sun and turns yellow. This method also increases the safety risk around the mowing environment with the danger of stones or sticks being flung by the blades out of the chute. For this reason all our mowers come with a rubber or plastic covering to reduce the risk, and help disperse the cut grass more evenly. Check out our rear discharge and side discharge deck options

Can I do a combination of the above?

Yes! We supply mowers that can do all the above mowing methods, and decks built specifically to give you an option depending on what you’re mowing. We supply a combination mulch/side discharge deck that is great for larger properties, or areas of fast turf growth. We even supply a deck that is capable of all 3 options! With the removal/addition of simple screw-on baffles, it can be converted from a collection deck to a mulch deck, or a discharge deck in seconds. Built specifically with contractors in mind, this MULTI-DECK is the most convenient deck available on the market!

Each Walker deck is uniquely configured to meet a very specific maintenance niche. Whether your most important consideration in looking for the perfect deck is cutting width, material capacity, or grass type, there is a Walker deck that will suit your needs.


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