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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Rotary Cutter Options

    I will be getting quotes on J-D, Bush Hog, Woods and maybe Rhino 4' rotary cutters for our "new" used J-D 755. I've learned a lot by searching this forum, but still have some questions:
    1. What are the pros and cons of straight vs. oval vs. pan blade holders?
    2. Solid rubber vs. laminated tail wheels?
    3. Rubber vs. chain safety shields?
    4. Anything besides price to differentiate between these high end brands?
    I've already decided on shear pin over slip clutch, size, etc.

    Our main application is cutting 45 acres of overgrown pasture so we can find and clear the rocks so we can have someone else hay it.

    Thanks in advance!
    - Paul

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    NY... way up north

    Default Re: Rotary Cutter Options

    Oval / Pan blade holders are known as "stump jumpers". I would recommend them over the straight. With the straight holder, if you hit something solid, you can bend or break the shaft while the oval or pan holders "jump" over the obstacles. You have already decided on the shear pin over slip clutch so the other choices really are personal preference. I would check warranty because I know one brand does have a lifetime warranty on the wheels.

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000

    Default Re: Rotary Cutter Options

    Good questions, Paul; wish I knew the answers.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    <font color=blue>1. What are the pros and cons of straight vs. oval vs. pan blade holders?</font color=blue>

    I think the oval stump jumper will jump stumps a little better, but don't have any proof. I used to have a Bush Hog with the oval pan and now have a Howse with the round one.

    <font color=blue>2. Solid rubber vs. laminated tail wheels?</font color=blue>

    I used to have a solid rubber wheel on the Bush Hog and now have the laminated wheel on the Howse. Sometimes, but not always the laminated wheel costs extra; must be better, right?[img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    I wouldn't let either of those two factors make a big difference to me.

    <font color=blue>3. Rubber vs. chain safety shields?</font color=blue>

    I made my own rubber shields for each of my brush hogs; neither one lasted long enough to mow 10 acres. And I've talked to some other people who had the same luck. I'd definitely want the chain guards even though they cost more.

    <font color=blue>4. Anything besides price to differentiate between these high end brands?</font color=blue>

    Look for things like total weight, thickness (gauge) of metal in the deck, width and thickness of the blades, blade tip speed, maximum diameter of saplings it's rated to cut, and hp rating for the gear box.

    Be sure you're comparing apples to apples because each of those companies make light, medium, and heavy duty models. In other words, don't compare a light duty model of one brand to a heavy duty model of another. Good luck with your shopping. All 4 of those companies make a good product.


  4. #4
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    SW Michigan
    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Rotary Cutter Options

    Good questions Paul. It looks like others have provided good info. I'd just add my STRONG suggestion to get the chain shielding. I've got it on my JD 513 and it works well and is holding up just fine.

    My only other comment is that with 45 acres, you better have a comfy seat [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]. I get about an acre an hour with my five footer in heavy weeds. Also stock up on ear plugs and allergy pills (if you are so-affected) [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000

    Default Re: Rotary Cutter Options

    Like you, I am looking for a cutter and I have many of the same questions! I have formed an opinion on the subject, don't know if it's worth the paper (er, electrons?) it's written on, but here goes;

    I am down to only Woods BrushBull 600 and JD MX5 cutters. I axed the Rhino medium duty 5' and BushHog 285 (and all the light duty cutters). Here's why,

    1)Only the Woods and JD have the top of the cutters engineered so that they can't hold water and trash.
    Top failure mechanism is deck rust out due to water and trash on the deck's top surface.
    2) Of the 4 models, the Woods and JD are the beefyest. The woods is the most at over 1000 pounds without chains! The JD is 820. The rest are in the mid700's. Close, but put the check marks to W & JD.
    3) Blade speed - Woods and JD are up there in the 15,000 ft/min range. The others, are close but again the check mark is for W & JD
    4) The biggest users of both are county's around here for the road crews, the only problems are running them over by semi's and other "dumb stuff"
    5) The woods has an oil dipstick for the gear box to check the level. They are the only ones to list that as a feature.
    6) JD has the Double deck. Dings on the bottom cutting deck, don't cause paint to fall off on the top - no rust.
    7) Woods has the highest HP rated gear boxes and the longest warrantee.
    8) JD is $150 less than Rhino and BushHog. (Waiting quote from the Woods dealer....) JD MX5 = $1650, Rhino $1800, BushHog 285 $1800. All with chains and laminated tires. I think the Rhino is the "TS 5", but i don't have the lit with me...
    Be sure to quote each the same! Get the chains for each, too.
    9) The JD is rated at a 25 HP minimum, the others are rated at 30 Hp. My tractor is a kubota 3410, with ~28 HP at the PTO.
    10) The light duty models, while 1/2 the price, seem to have corresponding lower quality. For example gear box HP ratings under 1/2 that of the Medium duty models. I also cut in the rocks and stumps and nasty S--T! Give me the beef. If I didn't have to worry about the major abuse, I would probably have already gone the "standard duty" route.

    Could you please update us on the price quotes you have gotten? It would help me, for sure.

    Best of Luck,
    John Bud

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Re: Rotary Cutter Options

    Thank you all, for your inputs!

    RobS, we are certainly going to take our time with those 45 acres and just clear 10 or 15 each year!

    john_bud, here is what I have so far:
    First of all, our 755 only has 15 PTO HP, so I am pretty much limited to a 4' light/standard duty unit.
    Bush Hog SQ480: $795-$849 No chain guarding available.
    Woods XT148: $800-$880 w/o chains; $972 with.
    J-D 413: $850 Chains are std.
    Rhino SE4: ~$700 w/o chains.

    My perception is that the quality of these brands is similar. It looks like we will end up with the J-D because of price, resale value, and dealer proximity.

    All these prices were about $100 higher than I was expecting. Maybe it is the time of year, or just my area?

    Thanks again,
    - Paul

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