Knowing how to sharpen your lawn mower blade is important in getting the crisp, clean cut that keeps your garden looking great. If your grass is ragged and torn after mowing or if your grass turns brown the next day then chances are you have a dull blade causing this damage. Sharpen that dull blade by following this easy, step-by-step guide.
Sharpen Your Mower Blade or Replace It?
Signs that your mower blade needs to be replaced include blade damage that causes mower vibration, and a cracked or severely bent blade. Lawn mower blades can be sharpened several times before needing replacement.
If you are unsure whether a replacement is needed, take the blade into a small engine repair shop and have them take a look at it.
How Often Should You Sharpen Your Lawn Mower Blade?
For the best cut you should sharpen every couple of weeks or, at the least, once a month. In between the scheduled sharpening take a few minutes to inspect your grass after cutting, looking for the ragged and torn edges that indicate a dull blade and sharpen more often, if needed.
Step-by-Step Guide to Sharpen Your Lawn Mower Blade
Here is a simple step-by-step guide to sharpening your lawn mower blade. Always consult the owners manual that came with your mower prior to removing the blade
1. Assemble the equipment you will need:
- Safety goggles
- Ear plugs, if using a grinding machine
- Wrench to remove the blade
- Steel brush
- Metal file, bench grinder, or your choice of a sharpening tool
- Blade balancer
2. Disconnect the spark plug (as required for electric mowers) and tilt the mower on its side.
3. Prevent the blade from moving by wedging a block between the blade and the mower deck.
4. Use the wrench to remove the bolt at the center of the blade then carefully remove the blade to avoid hurting yourself.
5. Using the steel brush remove the rust and debris from the blade. Inspect the blade and determine if it needs replacing.
6. Using the file or grinder of your choice sharpen the blade along the original angle of each cutting edge.
- Maintain the original angle.
- File in one direction only – toward the edge.
- Take equal amounts of steel off each edge.
7. Check the balance of the blade horizontally one way and, then, flip it over and check again.
- If the blade does not balance, file on the heavy end.
- In balancing the blade, avoid filing on the newly sharpened cutting edge.
8. Reinstall the newly sharpened and balanced blade. Be sure to install the blade correctly by making sure the lift wing on each end points toward the deck of the lawn mower.
That’s it. Armed with the knowledge of how to sharpen your lawn mower blade you can look forward to seasons of a beautifully mowed lawn.