School me on rotary cutters for a tractor

Thread starter #1

bnew17

Senior Member
Ok, I have a JD 5310 which is 58hp to the p t o. Like many others on here I will primarily use it for mowing tall grass on road sides, blackberries, brush, and maybe some small saplings here and there. I am not very knowledgeable about rotary cutters so I am hoping you all with more experience can chime in, good and bad. I am thinking I need something around 6 ft. A 7ft would overhang the tractor slightly. I don't have a great amount of land to cut anyways. I think the 6ft gives me the ability to get stuff done and still have maneuverability to get in places. A few points I have made while looking into various cutters.

-A thicker gauge deck is a must. At least 7ga or 3/16"
-Definitely need a "stump jumper"
-Does the gear box need to be rated at least 58 hp?
-What brands to look for and what brands to ignore?

I am looking for something that will last me and not constantly give me problems. I would like something heavy duty but I will probably not be using it that often for heavy duty stuff. It is nice to have that option. I would entertain something used, but the way that rotary cutters are used makes me very skeptical. Thanks
 

Deer Fanatic

Cool 😎 Useless Billy Deer Guide
I have a Rhino and love it. My tractor is 55hp and the gearbox is rated for more than that. Also I like to have a slip clutch rather than a shear pin at the gearbox. Another thing to consider... try to get one that is as close to the wheel base of your tractor as possible especially if you are gonna be in the woods a lot. that way you can run as close to trees or other obstacles as you want without worrrying about hitting them with the mower deck
 

Mackie889

Senior Member
I have a Rhino and love it. My tractor is 55hp and the gearbox is rated for more than that. Also I like to have a slip clutch rather than a shear pin at the gearbox. Another thing to consider... try to get one that is as close to the wheel base of your tractor as possible especially if you are gonna be in the woods a lot. that way you can run as close to trees or other obstacles as you want without worrrying about hitting them with the mower deck
100% agree w/ this ... especially the “slip clutch!”
 
Thread starter #4

bnew17

Senior Member
I have a Rhino and love it. My tractor is 55hp and the gearbox is rated for more than that. Also I like to have a slip clutch rather than a shear pin at the gearbox. Another thing to consider... try to get one that is as close to the wheel base of your tractor as possible especially if you are gonna be in the woods a lot. that way you can run as close to trees or other obstacles as you want without worrrying about hitting them with the mower deck

There is a 2010 Rhino "SE6" model that is 6ft. I cant find any specs on it and have not called the dealer yet. But it is listed for $1,500.
 

Deer Fanatic

Cool 😎 Useless Billy Deer Guide
There is a 2010 Rhino "SE6" model that is 6ft. I cant find any specs on it and have not called the dealer yet. But it is listed for $1,500.
Mine is a model172, it's 78" wide and sticks out past the rear tires maybe 5-6" on each side. it's pretty much perfect
 

Dbender

Senior Member
The deck design is more important than anything. Beefier deck without all the little gussets is best. Not sure how to check gearbox rpm but some are slower than others and do a great job on brush but suck in grass. I'd look for one with a repalceable wear skid on the sides. Slip clutch beat a shear bolt every day of the week. There are plenty of good used ones cheap. Just pay close attention to top of deck and welds to look for cracks. 6' is a good all purpose. Just make sure to check them out good before/ after heavy use and weld up any cracks. I've never seen where the stump.jumper did much honestly, I've torn a couple off.
 
Rotary cutters are designed to shatter saplings and cut tall, thick weeds which is why the blades - even when new- are not sharp. They were not meant to cut grass. The pto shaft is difficult to connect to the tractor splined shaft. I use my cutter once a year and try to do everything that might need doing for 12 months. Periodically you need to separate the inner from the outer shaft and clean and grease both parts which will make hook up less of a chore.
 

Spotlite

Senior Member
John Deere MX6. I cut up to two inch saplings (cut a little slow in high rpms) and run through 3 inch pine like it’s paper.

A clean field will never slow it down. Had mine since 2004 and haven’t done anything to it except keep it greased up. Bushhogs over growth in pasture and on hunting lease about as clean as you want it.
 
I'm in the market for one too. I got a 4ft which is too small for me. Im looking for at least 5 and probably 6ft.
Jbar makes one. They are out of Trion Ga and build them there. I think they buy the gear box from some one but build everything else. They have a couple of models. Way cheaper than the name brand stuff but appear heavy and well built, to me.
I have a shear bolt on mine, I plan on a slip clutch. I have heard you just have to get them adjusted to slip/work correctly.
I agree they can be a butt if the shafts are not greased.

Also saw these. Supposed to be made in Tn.
https://bham.craigslist.org/grd/d/jasper-new-titan-6ft-orange-cutter/7206232871.html
 
Brown is the only rotary mower I will own. I have had a 484 for years now and it has performed well for me. My tractor is 85 hp and coupled with the 7 foot mower it runs in line with my rear tires and it is heavy duty for my needs on my farm. Stump jumper and slip clutches are a must. EEB00309-28CC-48D9-896B-F5A454B22FCD.jpeg
 

ChattBuck

Senior Member
I'm in the market for one too. I got a 4ft which is too small for me. Im looking for at least 5 and probably 6ft.
Jbar makes one. They are out of Trion Ga and build them there. I think they buy the gear box from some one but build everything else. They have a couple of models. Way cheaper than the name brand stuff but appear heavy and well built, to me.
I have a shear bolt on mine, I plan on a slip clutch. I have heard you just have to get them adjusted to slip/work correctly.
I agree they can be a butt if the shafts are not greased.

Also saw these. Supposed to be made in Tn.
https://bham.craigslist.org/grd/d/jasper-new-titan-6ft-orange-cutter/7206232871.html
JBAR is high quality and reliable. However, as of a couple of months ago you couldn't get anothing from them in Trion. He had cut staff due to Covid and wasn't doing any direct sales or taking any orders from individual consumers. Was only selling wholesale to dealers and you'd have to buy from them.
 
That makes me feel better that someone else thinks the same about the jbar.
I had looked at them in Trion. When I got prices they were lower from the local tractor dealers. Dealer in Mcdonough has them listed around 1000 for a 6ft"HD"
 

kmckinnie

Useles Moderator
Staff member
Can’t remember where But some little town I ride through in Alabama I’ve seen a galvanized Roto Cutter. Looked heavy duty.
 
Thread starter #16

bnew17

Senior Member
JBAR is high quality and reliable. However, as of a couple of months ago you couldn't get anothing from them in Trion. He had cut staff due to Covid and wasn't doing any direct sales or taking any orders from individual consumers. Was only selling wholesale to dealers and you'd have to buy from them.
I saw some listed on market place ( on facebook). It had limited information so I messaged the lady who posted the ad. She replied that she was at work and didn’t have time to answer, to call the store. The website looks like their cutters come with shear pins but slip clutches are available for extra money. I wonder if they warranty anything?
 

Spotlite

Senior Member
Can’t remember where But some little town I ride through in Alabama I’ve seen a galvanized Roto Cutter. Looked heavy duty.
LaFayett AL has those. Not sure if that’s the same town you’re talk about.
 

fishfryer

Senior Member
I've used rotary mowers for well over forty years on a homeowner/small acreage basis. What I can say is: get a mower that is more heavy duty than you think you'll need. A slip clutch is more user friendly than a shear pin also.
 

R and D

Senior Member
I got tired of tearing up cheap bushogs. Bought a Brown 672hd a few years ago...dont think my tractor is strong enough to tear anything up on it, its a beast. If i can back over it, it gets cut.
 

ChattBuck

Senior Member
I got tired of tearing up cheap bushogs. Bought a Brown 672hd a few years ago...dont think my tractor is strong enough to tear anything up on it, its a beast. If i can back over it, it gets cut.
I can go through four and a half of my cheap($1500) ones before I'd pay what that Brown 672hd costs!

That thing is a beast.
 
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