As for blades, I've tried the mulching type blade on a regular mower.
It did mulch some, but it's not even close to what you can do with a
true mulching mower. My Honda has two blades and really cuts the grass
into small clippings that are unnoticeable, unless you let it get too
long. Also, on a true mulching mower, the deck is designed for
mulching too. And in my experience, all mulching types have some
problems when the grass becomes sparse. When that happens, they tend
to knock the grass down and not mow all of it well compared to a
regular blade. This again is more of a problem with a std mower where
you add a mulching blade.