What Does A Dull Lawn Mower Blade Do
Dull lawnmower blades dont just affect the look but also the health of the lawn. Dull blades dont cut the blades of the grass cleanly, and the grass gets ripped or torn instead, resulting in the brown grass. Such ragged edges also make the grass prone to parasites and diseases. The dull blade also splits individual grass blades rather than cutting through them. This can lead to more strain on the mower and longer mowing time.
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Position The Mower On Its Side
The first step may seem obvious but weve been around for a whileand weve seen some crazy stuff. In case it isnt already clear, dont sharpen the blade on the mower. For one, it doesnt give you enough room to maneuver the grinder. Secondthe majority of the work needs to take place on the top side of the blade. Third, its dangerous since theres no good way to keep the blade from spinning around on you.
To remove a lawnmower blade, first, get the mower into a safe position. For a gas mower, remove the spark plug wire to ensure the motor cannot fire. Then turn the mower onto its side to expose the blade. Turning it this way helps keep the engine from flooding and oil from leaking.
How To Use An Angle Grinder To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades
Using an angle grinder and vice grip is probably the most common way people sharpen their lawn mower blades. This goes for homeowners and small businesses alike.
Many homeowners, and even some businesses, will actually take their blades into the local mower shop to have their mower blades sharpened. Although this is an option, we feel the cost and time involved in this makes it less than ideal, to say the least.
Here is a great video on blade sharpening with an angle grinder:
If you watched the video or were already familiar with this method of sharpening mower blades, it simply involves removing the blades from your mower, inserting them into a vice grip 1 at a time, and grinding the cutting edge with an angle grinder. After grinding one side of the blade, you need to rotate the blade 180 degrees in the vice to grind the other side of the blade.
Although this is a relatively quick process, the other options are much quicker and more accurate. Lawn mower blades come from the factory with a specific angle on the angled edge. This angle should be kept as you grind your blades over time.
The most common lawn mower blade angle is 30-35 degrees. When sharpening your mower blades it is important to keep this 30-35 degree angle over time.
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Where To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades
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Keeping sharp blades on your lawnmower is a simple way to get a clean cut on your lawn. Do you have a problem with your mower ripping up chunks of your sod? Having a sharper blade is an excellent way to fix that problem! So let’s say you’re interested in having that done, how would you go about it?
Every area will have a local lawnmower mechanic who can sharpen the blade, but you can also sharpen your lawnmower blades at home! There are several options, but the easiest one generally only involves some simple tools that many people already have, and are very easy to find.
When it comes to lawn care, it’s easy to remember the big things, like mowing your lawn, maybe even aerating it once in a while. But when it comes to the small things, like sharpening your lawnmower blade, they can fly under the radar while we’re on autopilot. Let’s go into detail on how you can get your lawnmower blade taken care of!
What Are The Downsides Of A Mower With Blunt Blades
If your lawnmower is blunt, you end up tearing grass instead of mowing it. The edges can tell it, and instead of giving the grass an even appearance, the grass will discolor with greyish to brownish at the edges of the blades.
Ideally, it would help if you realized the effort you put in unusually while mowing.
The best way to sharpen the blades to your mower is to use a bench grinder. The other essential requirement is to have the right wheel on the grinder.
Pro-Tip: Always keep extra blades sharp and within reach. When a current set gets blunt, you should not stop at that for sharpening.
With extra ones, swap and carry on with mowing. You can always sharpen the detached blades much later while the sharp one gives you all the convenience you required and the right time.
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Some Feedback From Our Customers
Only One Regret: That I did not get your mower blade sharpener before now. It arrived timely and well packaged. Your You Tube instructional videos make it all so easy and your Customer Service Dept was very helpful answering some pre-sale questions. Today, in just a few minutes, I assembled my new 5005 and then mounted it in my vice. I was blown away by its simplicity and precision. Even though I will turn 74 this December, I KNOW that with this amazing tool, I will be able to sharpen my three 60 Ventrac commercial mower blades with more precision than the place I have been taking them for years. The design and quality of this tool surpasses even my fussy expectations. One day, I will leave it to my son and he can do the same for his son, knowing that it will serve them well. Many thanks,
I wanted to drop you a line just to say how pleased I am with this blade sharpening jig! Quite excellent. The machining of the jig is top-notch and the performance is superior. Thank you so much! I wish you guys great success!Kind regards,
Accidentally came across your videos on You Tube looking to see how others sharpen their mower blades because I struggle doing it by hand. And I was like that looks so easy its ridiculous. I had to have one….I bought one and used it today on 3 blades it was just too easy. I am a tool and die maker so I can see how well you guys have done with the quality design and craftsmanship. I am so happy I came across your video, thank you so much.
What Are Two Reasons Mowing Harms The Grass Blade
The most common two scenarios where mowing can do more damage than good are when the blades are dull or when you are mowing too low to the ground. Mowing with dull blades can result in uneven cuts, tearing at the grass blades and eventual browning, or even ripping out the grass by the roots.
Mowing too low can cause clumping, which in turn keeps your grass from getting enough sun in those patches if you dont take care of them, and by cutting your grass too low it will get warmer much more easily, so the sun can end up damaging your lawn from the reduced heat resistance.
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How Often Do Landscapers Sharpen Mower Blades
Lawn Care professionals tend to sharpen their blades every 20 to 25 hours, much like you would with personal use. Barring those incidents where your blades get dinged or dented by running over rocks or the occasional small tree hiding in the weeds, your blades can generally take a beating, so every 20 to 25 hours a good sharpening session is generally all you need.
Other Methods Used To Sharpen Lawnmower Blades
We dont typically recommend the use of a file when sharpening your lawnmower blades. The process is slow and manual, and the results wont get you a nicer lawn or a longer blade life. Instead, pick one of the grinder methods above and get to work. If, however, you enjoy using a hand fileby all means, go for it.
If you happen to sharpen mower blades regularlyenough to warrant a faster processseveral commercial models do exist to save you time. A newly-created tool from Noracore called the Easy Mower Blade Sharpener has particular promise. In fact, this tool won a 2019 Pro Tool Innovation Award.
This pneumatic tool drives a die grinder with both a mirror and a camera interface that lets you sharpen the blades on zero-turn mowers without removing them. It takes some finesse and skill to use, so its not for everyone. You also need to watch that you dont sharpen one side more than another or you risk unbalancing the blades.
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How To Sharpen The Lawn Mower Blade
Next, gather the tools to sharpen lawn mower blades. Mower blades have a 3- to 4-inch cutting edge on opposite sides of the blade. Check to see if the blade is dull or damaged.
- Clamp the mower blade into a vise or onto a worktable with the first cutting edge facing up.
- Examine the blade. Decide if it is better to sharpen it or replace it.
- If your blade has cracks, is missing large pieces, or is severely bent, replace it. You shouldnt sharpen a heavily damaged lawn mower blade.
- If your blade is just nicked, chipped, or dull, try sharpening it.
Lawnmower blade sharpening can be done several ways. You may already have some of the blade sharpening tools you need:
- Sharpening a lawn mower blade by hand uses metal files or abrasives.
- Sharpening a blade by machine uses a blade sharpener, bench grinder or angle grinder.
Only sharpen the blade so its as sharp as a butter knife. The edge shouldnt cut your finger. A razor-sharp blade dulls more quickly. Youd have to replace the blade more often after constant resharpening. A gently sharpened and shiny edge is the goal.
Safety Tip: Always wear gloves, long sleeves and eye protection when working with grinders and blades. Wear ear protection if youre using a machine method of sharpening.
Sharpen a Lawn Mower Blade by Hand:
Sharpen a Lawn Mower Blade with a Drill-Powered Blade Sharpener:
Sharpen a Lawn Mower Blade with an Angle Grinder:
What Are The Extra Costs
Some people choose to sharpen their own lawn mower blades because it is a more cost-effective choice. If you are going to do this by yourself take into consideration the price of a sharpener.
If your blade is overused, it may be time to invest in a new one. Blades can range anywhere from $20 to $35 depending on the type.
If the mechanic discovers other problems with your mower, you may have additional repairs to do, each coming with its own price.
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How Would You Know You Have Sharpened Your Mulching Blade
After you have sharpened your blade, install it on your mower and mow doing one pass on your lawn.
After that, check the grass closely. If the grass has a nice clean cut like they are whipped by a sharp knife, then congratulation you have sharpened your mulching mower blade.
But if the grass is ragged on the top then you havent sharpened it well.
Ragged means uneven cut which you should avoid for two reasons
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Set Your Table Angle To Match The Existing Blade Angle
A bench grinder reverses the process of sharpening. Rather than move the grinder across the blade, you move the blade back and forth across the grinder wheel. Most bench grinders feature a table that tilts. Using this you can really get consistent results using this method. Set the angle of the table before you turn on the grinder and begin sharpening.
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How To Sharpen A Lawn Mower Blade With An Angle Grinder
As we mentioned earlier, you can sharpen a lawnmower blade using any number of tools. One of the easiest involves using an angle grinder. Of the people Im aware of who already know how to sharpen a lawn mower blade, most use an angle grinder. The reason this works is that lawn mower blades dont need to be razor-sharp. They do, however, need a clean cutting edgepreferably at the proper angle. This clean edge lets the blade slice, instead of chop, through the grass at high speed. Its the difference between cutting carrots with a knife and a piece of 1/8-inch steel swung wildly through the air
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Remove The Blade From The Lawn Mower
Use a 1/2-inch impact wrench if you have one. While this may have been an obscure tool for a consumer to have just a few years ago, manufacturers are bringing cordless impact wrenches more and more into the mainstream. So grab a grinder if you have one. If you dont, use the longest ratchet you have with the appropriate socket. If its still not budging, use a piece of 2×4 or similar material and tap the ratchet handle with a hammer via the wood . Be careful as the ratchet can easily slip off the center bolt.
Get Your Lawn Mower Ready
The first step is to get your lawn mower ready. Mostly, that means making sure its not connected to any power sources, and that its in an area where you can easily turn it on its side and reach the blade underneath.
I recommend moving your lawn mower onto a tarp or a sheet to help make cleanup easier if there are any grass clippings stuck underneath the lawn mower.
If you have a battery-powered lawn mower, now is the time to disconnect the battery. If its a cord-powered lawn mower, unplug the power cord. For gas-powered lawn mowers you should remove the spark plug.
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Can I Sharpen My Own Lawn Mower Blade
Many homeowners and landscapers sharpen their own lawnmower blades, and you can too. The most time-consuming part of the task can be removing the blades from your mower, and the most dangerous aspect can be using a blade sharpener or other cutting tool to remove metal from the edge of your blades until theyre sharp.
I actually enjoy sharpening my mower blades. But I find the most mundane part of the process to be removing the blades from the mower. If you have a push mower, you will want to drain its gas, turn it on its side, secure the blade from spinning, and use a socket and ratchet to remove the nut holding your mower blade in place.
If you have a riding mower, you will need to jack it up to access the bottom of your mower deck and remove your blades. The Home Depot recommends you fix your blade in place by wedging a 2×4 between your blade and deck, then clamping the board to the deck.
I have seen some mower mechanics slip a length of wide-diameter pipe over the end of the mower blade, then hold the pipe in place with one hand while using the other hand to spin the ratchet loosening the nut holding the blade in one place. But I feel that clamping each blade in place is safer mower maintenance for an amateur like me.
Finally, you may need some penetrating oil and even a breaker bar to remove your blades if they have been rusted in place for a while.
Getting To The Bottom Of Your Lawn Mower
Regardless of whether you have a push mower, a self-propelled lawn mower or a robot lawnmower, they all have one thing in common: a blade underneath. Without it, they wouldnt be able to cut the grass.
A good blade leaves a good cut
The first step to sharpening your lawn mower blade is to get access to the underside of your mower. To do this, unplug the spark plugs and power source of your mower before turning it on its side. The idea is to prevent the motor from accidentally turning on and causing a severe injury. Safety first!
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When Should I Replace My Lawn Mower Blades
You should replace your lawn mower blades if they have large chips or dents. Usually, these damages cannot be smoothed out and sharpened. Another way to tell if you need a replacement is to inspect the thickness of your lawn mower blade. The metal can become paper-thin and weaken over time due to dirt and other yard debris. For your safety, youre better off hiring a Tasker to replace your lawn mower blades properly.