Backwards Compatibility Failure

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed that our lawn mower has been cutting the grass a little less efficiently. It’s easy to spot when your mower blades are getting worn down, you’ll notice that your cutting width is narrower than normal and you’ll often leave a trail of grass behind you – similar to what happens when your grass catcher is full.

Before heading down to pick up a new set of mower blades from Bunnings, I checked if there was any particular type I should be buying for my Victor lawn mower. To my surprise, it was stamped into the steel on the blades themselves that they were type X – which I thought would make this process very straight forward.

Arrived at Bunnings and I had no idea that the various lawn mower manufacturers could have so many different variations of their lawn mower blades. Just within the Victor lawn mower range, I think there must have been between five and ten different types. I sort though the different packs and pick up two packets of the appropriate type and assume that it’ll be smooth sailing from here on in.

After going through the painful process of removing the first of the old lawn mower blades, I compare the new to the old and feel confident that it’ll go back together nicely. At this point, the fine folk at looking after backwards compatibility of the Victor lawn mower blades clearly had a fuzzy brain day – as the bolt didn’t fit through the disc that the mower blades are attached to. At first glance, it looked nearly identical – the same half moon shaped bold, similar thread, similar length and thickness – however the new bolt was about 1mm too thick!

As you can imagine, the bolts for lawn mower blades get quite worn as well. The packaging rightfully suggests that you replace all of the old parts with fresh parts, however for the moment I’m going to be forced to reuse the old nut and bolt.