The discharge of grass clippings is a major concern when mowing the lawn. Different scenarios often call for different approaches, so having a lawnmower that is equipped for versatility is a big plus.
EZ Chute is a movable plate designed to be placed over the discharge chute of a mower and easily moved by a lever. This allows a mower to quickly be converted from side discharge mode to mulching with a quick handle movement. The lever allows for many more types of mower installations.
Chute blockers are among the best tools for giving a mower this unique edge. The following article is a brief discussion on how chute blockers work, as well as the comparative advantages they offer. We will also talk about EZ Chute, one of the major chute blocker brands, and how this company can help with your discharge needs.
Let’s get started.
What Is A Chute Blocker?
You probably know of the discharge chute. On most lawnmowers, this part is located on the side of the mower deck, which is why it is commonly referred to as a side discharge chute.
A chute blocker is a piece of equipment that is attached to the discharge chute opening to (quite literally) block grass clippings from being ejected from the sides. It is often in the form of a panel that can either be fixed to seal the chute entirely or one that can work as a flap.
Discharge is the default way to manage clippings on most machines, but sometimes it may not be the most practical move for your yard.
One common problem with side discharge, in particular, is grass clippings being flung onto undesired surfaces like driveways, beds, roadways, or even the inside of your house.
If your lawn is growing in patches, or otherwise showing signs of poor health, mulching your clippings back into the lawn is the better way to go.
Mulching Grass Versus Side Discharge
Mulching is kind of similar to side discharge in that the clippings end up back in the turf. However, the major difference is that with mulching, the clippings are fired downwards to directly under the mower deck rather than the sides.
If you are also working with specialized mulching blades, these will suck up clippings and re-shred them to make them even more refined.
Mulching presents several key advantages. For starters, the clippings can return certain nutrients to the soil when they break down. Nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK) are key to the development and sustenance of a healthy lawn.
Mulching your clippings also helps the turf with moisture retention, which is useful for patchy lawns or excessively hot climes. In addition to nutrients, grass clippings also have some water content that can be retained in the grass. The clippings can also form a physical barrier for transpiration and evaporation.
In other cases, neither side discharge nor mulching may be appropriate. This is particularly true for healthy lawns, tall lawns, as well as lawns that receive adequate water volumes consistently. Mulching or discharging clippings from a diseased or infested lawn back into the turf is not a great idea because that may spread these problems.
In such scenarios, the best course of action is to bag your clippings. Most modern lawnmowers (whether reel or rotary) are designed to make use of some sort of bagging/collection attachment. As the mower does its thing, grass clippings are sucked up and into the collection bag or container. The collection container can then be emptied when it gets full or after the mowing session.
For you to be able to mulch or bag your clippings efficiently, it is paramount that the discharge chute is closed. If it remains open, half (or more) of your clippings will just be flung out the sides.
This is where chute blockers come in.
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Chute Blockers Versus Mulching Kits
Chute blockers are often mistaken for mulching kits (or, more specifically, mulching plates), and one could argue that they are the same. However, a mulching “kit” refers to mulching plates and mulching blades, not just a chute-blocking panel.
Now, the fixed-style chute blockers do work the same as your typical mulch plates. However, the flappy iterations often employ a little more engineering.
These chute-blocking flaps are formally known as “operator-controlled discharge chutes” (OCDC). These types of chute blockers continue to grow in popularity due to their convenience and flexibility (no pun). OCDCs are most common on lawn tractors and zero-turns.
If your mower doesn’t come with one from the factory, several aftermarket retailers are more than prepared to hook you up.
So, let’s take a look at the “operator-controlled” part.
An OCDC is designed to open and close when needed. The most common method of triggering the movement mechanism is through the use of a foot pedal. If pressure is applied to the pedal, the chute blocker opens up.
This is very convenient because it allows an operator to open and close the chute opening without hopping off (or even switching off) the mower. This way, one could discharge clippings when needed and block them off when not. More advanced OCDCs allow operators to open or close chutes very slightly to enhance control of where clippings land.
What is EZ Chute?
One way to describe the EZchute is “a game-changer”.
This OCDC brand is one of the star names in this particular niche market, and for good reason.
The EZchute was specifically designed to enable a quick transition between side discharge and mulching modes. However, unlike most other OCDCs, the EZchute is operated via a handle rather than a foot pedal, which means it can also be installed on riding, stand-on, and walk-behind lawnmowers.
As we have seen, this is more than simply a mulching kit. Let’s look at what makes EZchute so innovative.
EZchute Controllable Discharge Rates
Your lawnmowing sessions will undoubtedly get much neater thanks to the variability of the flap’s positioning. Opening the chute slightly allows you to channel the clippings in any fashion you wish, making it the ultimate solution to mowing around obstacles.
Closing the EZchute entirely will forcibly mulch your clippings and prevent them from being flung everywhere.
However, that is not to say that opening the EZchute will create wild messes…because it won’t. The OCDC is designed to distribute clippings evenly to minimize the occurrence of the clumping we commonly associate with side discharge. So, if you do decide to discharge your clippings, you still won’t have that much cleaning up to do.
The chute opening is well-positioned and unlikely to cause you any problems when navigating past obstacles.
EZchute Design And Build Quality
The EZchute was designed with commercial mowers in mind, a fact that is reflected through its build quality. You get a premium-grade steel design with a two-year warranty, which is always a good sign.
The operator’s handle is the key to controlling the chute. It is positioned right next to your standard operator controls, which means you won’t have to break stride when engaging or disengaging the chute opening.
If you are after an OCDC that is safe, efficient, and easy to use, then look no further than the EZchute. Head on to the official EZchute website for more information today!
The Final Touches On EZchute…
There are many uses for an adjustable chute blocker. It helps when mowing and drives, beds, or other undesirable locations for grass clippings are coming up. It also can allow for clippings to be directed to thin spots in a yard.
The handle instead of a foot pedal makes this an application usable on more types of mowers. Because of this, the main clientele the guys at EZchute have been targeting is commercial landscapers and lawn crews.
This is an advantage even for residential customers because the build quality and design is stronger in many ways. It is a very useful attachment for any mower, professional or private.
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