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Lawn Mowers

Cutter (sickle) Bar Mowers

Typically called Sickle bar mowers, these have been the traditional mechanized tool for mowing hay for over 100 years. The earliest ones were drawn by horses, and the reciprocation of the blades was powered by the rolling of iron wheels as horses pulled it. The BCS company’s first product in 1942 was a walk-behind motorized sickle-bar mower, the first of it’s kind in Italy, and it revolutionized small-scale hay harvesting in Italy and across Europe.


BCS 853 w. 59” double-action cutter bar

These mowers have evolved considerably over the years. The Single-Action cutter bar mowers we offer are clog-proof due to a ‘guardless’ lower blade design - which we have demonstrated by cutting right through a hay-bale without clogging. The latest innovation in cutter bars was the advent of the “Double-Action” mowers ini 2006; these units have the upper and lower blade assemblies that both reciprocate opposite each other to cancel out at least 95% of the vibrations, which are the most objectionable part of using a walk-behind cutter bar mower. (The double-action units do have “guards [fingers]” affixed to the lower teeth, like a conventional sickle bar, but since these reciprocate with the lower teeth, they shake themselves through material and we have found them to be virtually clog-proof as well.) NOTE: In 2017, BCS introduced yet another cutter bar option…a Double-Action bar WITHOUT “fingers” [guards], which also differs from the “finger-type” in that they are equipped with 2” wide blade sections instead of the tougher 3” wide sections used on the double-action bar with fingers. We are a bit mystified as to why BCS chose to offer this option…as we mention above, the “fingers” are not an issue on the double-action bars in terms of getting clogged…they shake right through the already-cut material. Moreover, the “non-finger” bars are actually MORE expensive per inch-of-cut, AND because they use 2” wide blade sections, the teeth are more prone to breakage than the heavier-duty 3” wide sections that the “finger-type” double action bars have. ??? But anyway, since we are the Nation’s largest BCS dealer, we offer this option as well…prices below in “pricing” section.


Double-Action bar with "fingers" [guards]


Double-Action bar without "fingers"

The double-action bars also come with spring-loaded blade tensioners, which require no adjustments and are extremely easy to disengage when the blade needs to be removed for service. (single-action bars stocked by us all use the standard ‘adjustable’ tensioners, which require periodic adjustment and must all be loosened when removing the blade. The BCS brand single-action bars can be special-ordered with spring-loaded tensioners as well.)

Cutter bar mowers cut down material at the base, kind of like a big scissors, and leave the cut material whole. Therefore they are great for forage (hay) harvesting, or for any mowing application where you don’t need the material “chopped up”. Some folks use the cutter bars for mowing brush (The single-action units will cut saplings up to 1.5” diameter, while the double-action units will cut up to ½” saplings), but if used for this, they will probably require more maintenance compared to a brush or flail mower, due to all the individual blade sections that are riveted into the blade that you may damage on rocks, larger trees, etc. (These blade sections are sharpenable and replaceable, of course, but doing so is time-consuming); plus, as mentioned above, the cut material is left whole, so it takes a long time to decompose and looks ‘messier’.

Cutter bars do have other advantages, however, due to: Low clearance; cutting blade “side projection” which is greater than the wheel width of the tractor for easily mowing under plank, barbed wire, electric or high tensile fence; mowing around pond edges (a reciprocating blade doesn’t care if you stick the end in the water… unlike a rotary mower, which will nearly kill the engine) or mowing under Christmas trees. Also, cutter bar mowers are simply the most efficient mowers around in terms of time and fuel use. They require so little power to run, a very wide width can be powered by a relatively small engine. (Typically, you can figure a cutter bar requires half the horsepower of any rotary mower; therefore the same size motor can run a mower twice the width in a cutter bar than a rotary mower.) So if you need to rough-mow big areas, you don’t mind if the cut material is larger and will decompose slower, and you want to cut it in the least time with the minimum fuel use, the cutter bar is the tool of choice.

NOTE REGARDING CUTTING HEIGHT: Cutter bars cut best when cutting close to the ground, as they rely on the cut material simply falling over backward to clear the material off the top of the blade. If the material is cut too high on the stem and/or the material being cut is too short, the cut material won’t “flow” off the top of the blade properly, and when material builds up on top of the blade, it will “push down” the incoming material you are trying to cut. This is why the standard height-adjustment “skids” that come with cutter bars are not designed to adjust very high; about a 3.5” maximum cutting height is all you can get out of them. The skids are adjusted by means of loosening two bolts on each skid.


"Riser" option for cutter bar skids

NOW, FOR FOLKS WHO NEED TO CUT HIGHER (for example: in pastures where you want to leave some material for livestock to eat, or for areas with lots of rocks you want to avoid), we now produce an option of “Risers” for the standard skids on the cutter bars…these achieve a cutting height from 4” to 7”, depending on how configured. Depending on the particular cutter bar type, skid type (there are 3 different skid styles used over the years), and desired cutting height. the “Risers” may mount on the TOP OR the BOTTOM of the cutter bar frame. The pictures show them mounted on the bottom.) The Risers have 3 positions to mount the upper half of the bracket to the lower half, plus you have the adjustment built into the skids already. See below in pricing section for price.


All cutter bars feature a ‘swivel’ joint in the input shaft assembly which allows the bar to follow the contours of the ground independent of the tractor axle.

We offer several options in cutter bar drive-types: The most economical are the grease-type drive units (only available on single-action bars), suitable for occasional use but they must be kept greased… every 4 to 6 hours of use. Next up are the single-action type with oil bath type drive units… the oil bath drive units are virtually indestructible and require only once-a-year oil level checking (and a single grease fitting lubricating the “swivel” joint, grease twice a year). For large acreages (over 5 acres), a Double-Action cutter bar should be considered not only for operator comfort (virtually no vibration), but also for speed: since the blade reciprocation speed is effectively doubled by the opposite motion of the upper & lower blades, you can simply mow faster (in a higher gear). The Double-action cutter bars all have oil-bath drive units.

IMPORTANT NOTE regarding engine speed: NO cutter bar should be run at full engine throttle; Single-action bars should not be run over 1/3 throttle and Double-action bars not over half-throttle, to keep tractor, blade & operator fatigue at a minimum… and no more power than a sickle-bar consumes, you certainly don’t need the power of ‘full throttle’ anyway! Save fuel, save maintenance cost, and keep the throttle LOW when running a cutter bar mower!!

Click here to see a short video of a cutter bar mower in action

Notes:

  1. Cutter bars with Grease-type drive units are manufactured by Grillo; units with oil bath drive units (single and double-action) are made by BCS. We use a PTO adapter to adapt the Grillo bars with grease-type drive to BCS tractors, or a different PTO adapter to put the BCS oil bath units on the Grillo tractors. So, when figuring prices, make sure to add in the adapter price if you are fitting a BCS cutter bar to a Grillo tractor or vice versa (adapter price on Tractor Accessories page; typically $75).

  2. Cutter bars are relatively light-weight implements, and may require some additional PTO extensions or an implement weight to counterbalance heavier engine options…ask about this when ordering.

PRICING:

Single Action Cutter Bars


30” Single-Action Cutter Bar

  • GREASE drive unit: Item 998111-30 (fits Grillo G85 - G110 / BCS 620 - 853 [NOT 660 or 750] with PTO adapter MSRP:$999 $950
  • OIL BATH drive unit: Item 921.90978 (specify LONG or SHORT gearbox length depending on tractor being attached to…ask an Earth Tools salesperson) Fits BCS 620 - 853 [NOT 660 or 750] / Grillo G85 - G110 w/ adapters MSRP: $1285 Earth Tools Regular Sale price: $1221 YEAR-END PROMOTIONAL PRICE UNTIL DEC 31 2018: $1157
  • Implement weights may be required for proper balance
  • May require PTO extension/s for proper balance and / or clearance

39” Single-Action Cutter Bar

  • GREASE drive unit: Item 998111-39 (Fits Grillo G85 - G110 / BCS 620 - 853 with PTO adapter MSRP:$1049 $1000
  • OIL BATH drive unit: Item 921.90979 (specify LONG or SHORT gearbox length depending on tractor being attached to…ask an Earth Tools salesperson) Fits BCS 620 - 853 / Grillo G85 - G110 w/ adapters MSRP: $1360 Earth Tools Regular Sale price: $1292 YEAR-END PROMOTIONAL PRICE UNTIL DEC 31 2018: $1224
  • Implement weights may be required for proper balance
  • May require PTO extension/s for proper balance and / or clearance
  • Additional accessory required to fit BCS 660 or 750

45” Single-Action Cutter Bar

  • GREASE drive unit: Item 998111-45 (fits Grillo G85 - G110 / BCS 620 - 853 with PTO adapter MSRP:$1100 $1050
  • OIL BATH drive unit: Item 921.90980 (specify LONG or SHORT gearbox length depending on tractor being attached to…ask an Earth Tools salesperson) Fits BCS 620 - 948 / Grillo G85(8hp) - G131 w/ adapters MSRP: $1415 Earth Tools Regular Sale price: $1344 YEAR-END PROMOTIONAL PRICE UNTIL DEC 31 2018: $1274
  • Implement weights may be required for proper balance
  • May require PTO extension/s for proper balance and / or clearance
  • Additional accessory required to fit BCS 660 or 750

53” Single-Action Cutter Bar

  • GREASE drive unit: Item 998111-53 (fits Grillo G85 8hp + - G110 / BCS 620, 722 - 853 with PTO adapter MSRP:$1150 $1100
  • OIL BATH drive unit: Item 921.90981 (specify LONG or SHORT gearbox length depending on tractor being attached to…ask an Earth Tools salesperson) Fits BCS 620, 722 - 948 / Grillo G85 8hp + - G131 w/ adapters MSRP: $1495 Earth Tools Regular Sale price: $1420 YEAR-END PROMOTIONAL PRICE UNTIL DEC 31 2018: $1346
  • Implement weights may be required for proper balance
  • May require PTO extension/s for proper balance and / or clearance
  • Additional accessory required to fit BCS 660 or 750

ET 0160 Riser kit (for cutting heights of 4” to 7”) Includes Riser brackets for 2 skids…[Does NOT include the skids; those come with the cutter bar already]: $65 $55



47” Double-Action Cutter Bar (drive unit type: oil bath)

  • Item 921.90883-O (BCS 620, 722 - 948 / Grillo G85(8hp and up) - G131 w/ adapters) MSRP: $2120 Earth Tools Regular Sale price: $2014 YEAR-END PROMOTIONAL PRICE UNTIL DEC 31 2018: $1961
  • PTO adapter required to fit Grillo G85 - 107
  • May require PTO extension/s for proper balance and / or clearance
  • PTO adapters required to fit Grillo G131
  • Additional accessory required to fit BCS 660 or 750

59” Double-Action Cutter Bar (drive unit type: oil bath)

  • Item 921.90879-O (BCS 739 - 948 / Grillo G85d (10hp) - G131 w/ adapters) MSRP: $2325 Earth Tools Regular Sale price: $2209 YEAR-END PROMOTIONAL PRICE UNTIL DEC 31 2018: $2151
  • PTO adapter required to fit Grillo G85 - 107
  • May require PTO extension/s for proper balance and / or clearance
  • PTO adapters required to fit Grillo G131
  • Additional accessory required to fit BCS 660 or 750

71” Double-Action Cutter Bar (drive unit type: oil bath)

  • Item 921.90881-O (BCS 749 - 948, Grillo G131 w/ adapters) MSRP: $2565 Earth Tools Regular Sale price: $2437 YEAR-END PROMOTIONAL PRICE UNTIL DEC 31 2018: $2373
  • PTO adapters required to fit Grillo G131
  • May require PTO extension/s for proper clearance
  • Additional accessory required to fit BCS 660 or 750

ET 0160 Riser kit (for cutting heights of 4” to 7”) Includes Riser brackets for 2 skids…[Does NOT include the skids; those come with the cutter bar already]: $65 $55


Double Action Cutter Bars WITHOUT “fingers” [guards]


51” Double-Action Cutter Bar (drive unit type: oil bath)

  • Item 921.91269-O (BCS 732 - 948 / Grillo G85 (9hp and up) - G131 w/ adapters) MSRP: $2365 Earth Tools Regular Sale price: $2245 YEAR-END PROMOTIONAL PRICE UNTIL DEC 31 2018: $2187
  • PTO adapter required to fit Grillo G85 - 107
  • May require PTO extension/s for proper balance and / or clearance
  • PTO adapters required to fit Grillo G131
  • Additional accessory required to fit BCS 660 or 750

67” Double-Action Cutter Bar (drive unit type: oil bath)

  • Item 921.91268-O (BCS 749 - 948 / Grillo G107 - G131 w/ adapters) MSRP: $2625 Earth Tools Regular Sale price: $2490 YEAR-END PROMOTIONAL PRICE UNTIL DEC 31 2018: $2428
  • PTO adapter required to fit Grillo 107 - G110
  • May require PTO extension/s for proper balance and / or clearance
  • PTO adapters required to fit Grillo G131
  • Additional accessory required to fit BCS 660 or 750

82” Double-Action Cutter Bar (drive unit type: oil bath)

  • Item 921.91267-O (Fits BCS 660 Hydro ONLY) MSRP: $3070 Earth Tools Regular Sale price: $2915 YEAR-END PROMOTIONAL PRICE UNTIL DEC 31 2018: $2840
  • Additional accessory may be required to fit BCS 660