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  1. #1
    New Member DJ Carmean's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    9
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    Batesburg, SC
    Tractor
    Mahindra 4110, Satoh Bull

    Default Using Bush Hog Rotary as Finishing Mower??

    Hey Folks, Got a question. Been looking at a finishing mower. Had a guy tell me today that what he did was grade his property out smooth enough to run a new 84 inch Bush Hog Rotary as low as it would go and uses it as a finishing mower. He says you can't tell the difference as long as the blades are sharp and you run it at 1000 rpm. I have a Howse rotary cutter now and have never tried this. I am looking at cutting about 6 acres on 2 peices of rental property and also have about 6 acres of pasture which I cut now with the Howse. Anyone tried this before? Will it work with the rotary or should I belly up to the bar and buy the finisher? He is loking at it money wise and I just want it to look half way decent but I do not want to be cutting it every 2 weeks! Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    3,676
    Location
    Grayson County, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota B2710

    Default Re: Using Bush Hog Rotary as Finishing Mower??

    If you mow often enough it will look halfway decent, but not as good as what a finish mower would do. If the grass grows to a foot tall or so the cutter will likely cut BETTER than the finish mower going the same speed.
    Alan L., TX
    South of Bugtussle
    North of Mustang
    On the banks of Buck Creek
    We don't rent pigs.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    1,421
    Location
    East Texas, USA
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4740, B2400 and F2680

    Default Re: Using Bush Hog Rotary as Finishing Mower??

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan L. View Post
    If you mow often enough it will look halfway decent, but not as good as what a finish mower would do. If the grass grows to a foot tall or so the cutter will likely cut BETTER than the finish mower going the same speed.
    You called it. If you're trying to cut tall grass with a finishing mower it'll start to stall out, the belts will slip and start smoking unless you take small bites at a time. If you mow it regularly the finishing mower will give a much better appearance that a rotary cutter but both will work. It just depends on how often you will cut it and what you want it to look like when you are finished.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    Jan 2009
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    965

    Default Re: Using Bush Hog Rotary as Finishing Mower??

    I wouldn't run mine at 1,000 but thats just me.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    529
    Location
    Chicago suburban
    Tractor
    Kubota 2710

    Default Re: Using Bush Hog Rotary as Finishing Mower??

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan L. View Post
    If you mow often enough it will look halfway decent, but not as good as what a finish mower would do. If the grass grows to a foot tall or so the cutter will likely cut BETTER than the finish mower going the same speed.
    I agree with this, but only because I've heard it so many times I believe it must be true. From the grass's perspective, how does it know whether it's being cut with a finish mower or a bush hog? Both are sharp blades spinning at a high speed, so why does the finish mower cut better? Is it because there are more blades on a finish mower- or are they spinning faster?
    Mark Leininger

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    May 2009
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    824
    Location
    South Mississippi
    Tractor
    2008 John Deere 5303 MFWD

    Default Re: Using Bush Hog Rotary as Finishing Mower??

    I use a John Deere MX6 rotary. I use it for a wide variety of situations from mowing woods roads, food plots and the areas adjacent to my regularly mowed yard. I have been very pleased with the performance of my cutter and do not have a need for a finish mower as I do not have any areas that are cut regularly except for the yard. When reviewing rotary specs, I did notice that some rotary mowers allow for a closer cut than others. It also seems that the rotary would be better suited for taller grass. I expect the rotary deck can handle a larger volume of grass. We also have a Howse 6' rotary, but it does not seem to cut as close as the MX6. It has been a very dependable tool though. My vote is to stick with the rotary.

  7. #7
    Gold Member Thumper & Buttercup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    417
    Location
    North Dakota
    Tractor
    NH T2220

    Default Re: Using Bush Hog Rotary as Finishing Mower??

    For many a year we mowed with the below mower. We added a set of Woods wheels and it did a great job. Yes a finish mower did a little better but you do what you've got to do when you are making your money do more.

    Thumper

    Farmall DX60
    Case LX360 Loader
    Allied 74" Snowblower
    Berlon 4400 lb Forks
    King Kutter Pallet Mover
    Farm King 7 1/2' Cultivator
    John Deere 390 Flail Mower

    NH T2220
    240TL Loader
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  8. #8
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    21,014
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Using Bush Hog Rotary as Finishing Mower??

    If you are cutting a total of 12 acres and not doing it every two weeks, then I think the rotary cutter is your best choice. Finish mowers do not handle tall/tough weeds well and you will have a much slower speed making the job take much longer. The wear and tear on your mower would be higher and you'd spend a lot of time doing blade sharpening and maintenance. A rotary cutter/shredder seems the obvious choice for this job.

    You can get some impressive results with a rotary cutter if you keep the blades sharp. Actually, you will probably find your blades only have to be sharpened once per season if you only cut grass and weeds with no rocks or other hard objects. Rotary cutter blades are very thick and tough compared to mower blades.

    I think the advice of running your cutter at 1000 rpm is rubbish. I'm not sure what the person meant, but a cutter is designed to run at your tractor's 540 rpm setting. If you run at a higher rpm, you'll surely damage the cutter and be causing a very dangerous situation. I don't even know if your tractor's engine could run at a high enough rpm to produce 1000 rpm at the PTO, probably not. You either misunderstood the person's statement or that person is very, very misinformed.

    A mower has much smaller blades and runs at a higher rpm. The average push mower for yardwork runs at the engine rpm of around 3000 to 3600. The blades have fins that cause a suction on the lawn and the sharp blades cut the grass smooth. I'm not sure what a tractor type finish mower's rpm is, but I'm sure it is very fast (probably around 2000 rpm) and the blade design is similar to the push lawnmower or a riding lawnmower's deck with multiple blades. The idea is to cut the grass into tiny pieces and deposit it back on the lawn as mulch. It just does not have the brute force that a rotary cutter does.

    I think you'll be happy with a rotary cutter. If you maintain it well and keep the blades sharp, you'll be able to keep those 12 acres looking very nice. they won't look like the fairway of a golf course, but they will look like the short rough, and that ain't too bad.
    Jim


  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Nov 2005
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    Default Re: Using Bush Hog Rotary as Finishing Mower??

    Of the different brands of rotary mowers I have used, a Bush-hog squealer made the best quality cut by a wide margin. I would stick with a Bush-hog, light-duty rotary mower if you want a cut-quality that aproaches that of a finish mower.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member have_blue's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
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    1,730
    Location
    Eunice, Louisiana
    Tractor
    L4400

    Default Re: Using Bush Hog Rotary as Finishing Mower??

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Carmean View Post
    Anyone tried this before? Will it work with the rotary or should I belly up to the bar and buy the finisher? He is loking at it money wise and I just want it to look half way decent but I do not want to be cutting it every 2 weeks! Thanks for the help!
    I use my 6' Squealer as a finish mower (my 6' Woods did just as well, maybe even better). From the road, you can't tell the difference. If you want it to look real nice, don't let the grass grow too long or the windrows will make all the nice mowing in vein.

    Keeping the blades sharp make a huge diffenence in the appearance and the amount of horsepower it takes to mow smoothly. I'm set up to do a touchup on the blades every time I mow, and it takes 20 minutes tops.

    My RC mows so well that my finish mower has been largely idle. I'm going to start using it to mow the bermudagrass on my roads about 1" high. My RC won't go that low.
    -

    Bob

    From the heart of Cajun Country

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