Mowers/Mowing Components (Golf) Category and Grand Winner

MAGKnife, Jacobsen, a Textron Company, Charlotte, N.C.

MAGKnife by Jacobsen has set the standard for bedknives. The revolutionary, patent-pending technology uses powerful magnets to firmly hold the bedknife to the bedbar of reel mowers. The flexibility of the system allows foreign objects to pass cleanly between the cutting blade and the bedknife without damaging equipment. The magnets also eliminate the 13 or more screws used on traditional bedknives, making the replacement process as easy as a snapping the bedknife off and clicking it back into place. MAGKnife has reduced changing times from hours to a few minutes, and enables reel mowers to have a new, sharp bedknife everyday.

Jeff Buchko, inventor, Martin Carlson, Jacobsen engineer and Larry Jones, product manager are responsible for the development of this product. MAGKnife had been under development for nearly two years prior to its release at the GCSAA show in 2004. The original concept was developed to streamline the bedknife changing process. Experimentation lead to the design using 11 rare-earth (permanent) magnets embedded and slightly recessed in the bedbar backing. Extensive testing using a variety of reel and bedknife configurations confirmed the soundness of the design.

A sharp bedknife produces a cleaner, crisper cut. Using the MAGKnife’s magnetic technology, bedknives can easily be changed in seconds, not minutes, ensuring that a sharp bedknife is always available for each reel. Because the magnetic force is even across the entire length of the bedbar, bedknife is held in place uniformly, eliminating the distortions caused from the tightening of screws. And without screws, the MAGKnife has a slimmer profile allowing for one of the shortest cutting heights in the industry.

Traditional bedknives can use more than a dozen screws to hold the bedknife firmly to the backing, so the removal, sharpening and replacement of a single bedknife can take 35-45 minutes. With the MAGKnife, changing time is reduced to seconds. This time savings equates to nearly three hours of labor on one five gang mower.

The magnetic bedknives were used at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis. They were installed on the courses’ GreensKing 518 walking greens mowers partly for their ease of maintenance, but also because the bedknife has a slimmer profile allowing for one of the shortest cutting heights in the industry. But PGA TOUR players aren’t the only ones benefiting from this exceptional cut.

“The mowers seem to be performing better. You get a much more consistent, better cut.” said Tim Barrier, superintendent of Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club, a private course near San Diego, Calif. “It’s just so much easier to switch these things out, and they cut much better because the bedknives aren’t being warped by the tension from any screws,” said Barrier who is using MAGKnives on six Jacobsen walking greens mowers.

MAGKnife technology is patented by Jacobsen, and the unique bedknife kits are only available for Jacobsen equipment. MAGKnife technology also can maintain a high quality of cut, with less maintenance, for much longer than a traditional bedknife can, said J.D. Franz, superintendent of Cottonwood Creek Golf Course near Waco, Texas.

“The MAGKnives seem to last longer between grinding and backlapping than the traditional bedknives did,” said Franz, who is using MAGKnives on four Jacobsen Greens King IV riding greens mowers. “A MAGKnife takes less time to get ready than it would take to get a traditional bedknife to cut to the same quality.

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