Do you ever feel disappointed after mowing your lawn? That can happen when something is wrong with your mower’s blades.
One of the most common reasons for an uneven or a ragged cut is that you have failed to sharpen the mower blades. The resulting outcome is an unsatisfying experience that does not translate into an elegant looking yard.
Don’t doubt your mowing skills just yet. It is always going to be worth your while maintaining the mower’s blades, making sure they aren’t causing any trouble. With continual use, the spinning blades beneath your mower can become quite dull. This is the reason why they begin tearing the grass instead of cutting it smoothly.
All professional landscapers and homeowners must ensure that their lawn mower blades are sharp enough to take care of their lawn. Routine maintenance and sharpening are sure to keep your lawn in the best shape.
A standard lawnmower blade is occasionally sharpened several times within the course of its life. But sometimes you would have to replace the used blades with a new set. If you frequently mow over rocks, toys, and branches, you may require more sharpening throughout the season. A great way to check if your blades need sharpening is to inspect your lawn after a fresh mowing session. Also look at a freshly cut blade of grass, if it is smoothly cut then your blades are sharp enough, if they look torn or ragged on the top, it’s time to sharpen or replace your blades.
Make sure you inspect your mower every few weeks to keep your lawn healthy and green. Blades that remain sharp and damage free and do not require frequent replacements if you maintain them the right way.
Mowing with sharp blades ensures your grass remains healthy and green.
When to Replace or Sharpen Mower Blades?
Typically, the best times to sharpen the blades are at the beginning or during the middle of the season. Homeowners who have a large front lawn or backyard and users who frequently mow over debris, glass and branches may need sharpen their blades more often.
If the blade of your mower is weak and thin, replace it immediately. The blades get eroded by dirt and become dull over time. Other factors such as debris and sand also damage the blades. If you keep mowing with a dull blade, you can break it and cause injuries to nearby people since pieces of metal may fly out of the mower.
Here are a few ways you can keep your blades in great shape.
How to Sharpen a Lawn Mower Blade
Sharpening your lawn mower blades is not a regular DIY job. Hence, if you don’t know how to do it, you should seek some professional help to get the job done. Regardless of the type of mower you have, be it a riding or a push mower; it is imperative that you must go through the unit’s user manual before beginning any repairs or replacements. In case your machine is under warranty, you can have it done by a professional from the manufacturer.
Moreover, remove the spark plug wire, before initiating any repair to prevent it from starting on its own during the procedure.
AGAIN, if you do not feel 100% comfortable then DO NOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN.
Begin by removing the mower blade. Lawn owners, who have a riding or tractor mower, can benefit from a mower lift that gives them safe access to the blade. In case you have a push mower, you can either use a mower jack or set it on its side to get to the blade. Make sure you keep the air filter up. This way no oil or gas will leak out.
Before you remove the blade, you can also take a picture to remember the direction it is facing, to put it back on the same way. Use an adjustable or a socket wrench for removing the bolt in the middle of the blade. You also need to clean underneath the deck. You can utilize a putty knife for scraping out any dirt, debris or accumulated grass.
Now, you have to sharpen the mower blade. Fasten the blade in place using a c-clamp and block of wood. You can also opt for a bench vise. With the help of a flat medium file, work on removing burrs and nicks in both sides of the edges. Keep the file flat, when working on the flat side of the blade since it should not have a bevel.
Use the medium-toothed file in even strokes, on the beveled side of the cutting edge to follow the blade’s original bevel. Always remember that each edge must get the same number of strokes for keeping the blade in perfect balance.
Removing more metal from one edge than another can make the blade go out of balance. The resulting outcome will be uneven cutting and significant vibration during use.
You can also check for balance by placing the blade on a dowel, screwdriver handle or blade balancer. The blade will lie flat if it’s in balance. If you observe that one side is low, then you would have to sharpen more to remove excess metal.
Now, replace the blade and spark plug wire. The blade must go back on the same way. Secure it tightly to make sure it won’t come off during your next mowing session.
Here is a great video that shows you a few different methods for sharpening your blades.
Dull blades can not only cause unfortunate accidents but are also capable of damaging the health of your lawn. Your grass may also turn from green to brown. Moreover, you should also inspect the mower blade itself to check for dents, inconsistencies, and chips in the cutting edge.
All these imperfections can be smoothed out with routine sharpening. However, if you notice a larger nick or a bent blade, it is best to replace it.