Sharpening Mower Blades
Sharpening mower blades is an important part of the mower performing at its best, as well as contributing a clean cut to maintain the healthy lawn. Lawn mower blades should be sharpened to maintain the health of the grass and the efficiency of the mower.
Cutting the lawn with dull mower blades shreds the top of the blade of grass rather than making a clean cut making the blade of grass vulnerable to being split and developing brown edges. Split blades of grass also make the lawn susceptible to disease and other infestations.
The recommended intervals to sharpen the lawn mower blades vary from every couple of months to once a season. Rotary blades require the least amount of time between sharpening – generally once per month. Inspect the grass periodically to see the results of the mow, if the grass looks torn or ripped rather than having a clean cut across the top than this is an indication that the blades require sharpening. Again, this all depends on the amount that the lawn mower is used, as well as the size of lawn it is used upon. Professional mowers often sharpen blades at the end of each day – after eight solid hours of mowing. That comes to equal about two months for a regular sized yard with a general lawn mower.
Sharpening the blades of your lawnmower is a process that can simply be done in the garage. It is helpful to have a general idea of how lawnmowers work, and simple mechanical skills but is relatively easy to accomplish.
Prior to attempting to disconnect any of the blades all power sources should be removed from the mower and/or unplugged. If the mower comes with a locking mechanism ensure that it’s enabled. After ensuring all power sources are disconnected remove the spark plug for extra measure. A lawnmower that starts while you are working on it could not only cost you a limb, but your life.
While removing the blades from the mower be careful to ensure that the blades do not slip. Although dull, the blades are still dangerous and it is important to wear safety gloves and use the proper equipment while maintaining the mower.
Be sure to remember the order in which the blades were removed as well as where they belong once they have been sharpened. It is important to replace the exact blade in the mower. Before sharpening place the blade in a vice, or other device to hold the blade still while sharpening.
Sharpen the blades with a grinder or a file, ensuring that all blades are sharpened to the same level to ensure a uniform cut to the lawn. While filing, or grinding follow the blades contour until you have reached the desired level of sharpness. It is important to use short strokes while sharpening to decrease the risk of injury. Armed with the proper information and safety equipment the job should be injury free.
Once the blades are sharpened attach them to the mower it is important that they be properly balanced. If the blades are unbalanced the mower will indicate by vibrating while it is running. It is important to rebalance the blades so that there is no vibration.
A balancer can be obtained from your local home and garden store for less than five dollars. It is a helpful tool in determining the balance of the mower and could save countless hours of trial and error. A balanced blade will maintain a healthier and more pleasing lawn than an unbalanced blade.
It is possible to sharpen lawn mower blades without physically removing the blades from the lawnmower. This is a difficult and tedious task and requires specific tools and a mechanical incline.
For additional information on lawn care or related topics please visit our lawn care article center.