The mowing season is fast approaching and maybe you’re one of those who are looking forward to having an attractive and clean lawn.
For this to happen, you should already have well-sharpened blades ready for action. Otherwise, you won’t be able to achieve a thick and lush lawn.
Ways to Know If Your Lawn mower Blade Needs Sharpening
There are a number of factors that can help you determine if it’s already time to sharpen the blade of your lawn mower.
How often do you mow your lawn?
Your mower blade needs sharpening if you’ve used your mower for several hours straight like, for instance, 20 hours. But if you’ve utilized your mower for only about an hour in every use, then you may sharpen it only after using it 20 times.
The physical condition of your lawnmower
If you’ve been frequently using your lawnmower, there’s a tendency that a lot of dirt has accumulated in the blade part, which includes rocks, debris, and other solid objects. These things can reduce the efficiency as well as the sharpness of the blade. And so, you have to sharpen your blade every time the mowing period is about to start.
The purpose of cleaning and checking the blade of your mower is not just to remove dirt and rust, but also to see if you have a dull blade. to it that the blade didn’t become dull from thumping on rock-hard objects.
To know if the lawnmower blade is always in perfect condition or if the blade needs to be sharpened, make it a habit to examine it every after use.
Cost of Sharpening a Lawnmower Blade
Some of you might be wondering how much does it cost to sharpen lawnmower blades. The cost actually depends on how you’d want to sharpen the blades. You have 2 choices: you pay a professional or you do it yourself. Which do you prefer?
Get the services of a professional
Some people are lucky to have skills in repair or maintenance jobs as they don’t need to hire a professional to sharpen their lawnmower blades. But for those with little to no knowledge at all, they have no choice but to run to an expert.
So, how much does it cost to sharpen lawnmower blades? Well, it depends on the type of mower that you have, but it ranges from $20 to $60.
If you have a reel mower, the blades do not need to be taken out of the mower. They can be sharpened while attached to the machine. But for electric, gas and ride-on lawn mowers, they have to be pulled out, and you might need a professional to do this complicated and risky task.
Here’s a tip on how you can save on cost: bring your lawnmower to a service center every year for maintenance. The maintenance package includes sharpening your mower blades.
The most ideal mower for an English lawn is a cylinder mower. But this type of mower does not have regular blades for they have a different build and are shaped in a different way. With this, they can’t be sharpened simply by files.
If you want to restore the sharpness of the blades of a cylinder mower, you must be willing to shed maybe a couple of thousand dollars to get yourself a grinding machine. But this is just so impractical! Since you can already get a number of new lawnmowers at that price.
So, if you want your cylinder mower’s blade to be sharpened, just get the services of a professional.
Sharpen mower blades all by yourself
This is not a complex job if you know how it’s done!
In maintaining a healthy and lush lawn, having a sharp mower blade is one of the most important contributing factors. As much as possible, sharpen the blade 2 times per season.
Here is a comprehensive step-by-step guide to lawn mower blade sharpening:
Tools and materials needed:
STEP 1: Detach the Spark Plug
First thing to do is to detach the spark plug as well as the power source. This is to prevent the motor of the mower from starting inadvertently and also to prevent yourself from getting injured.
To disconnect the spark plug, simply remove the protruded wire found either at the side or in front of the mower’s engine. Once done, there’s no way the engine will be able to start.
For your safety, you must wear thick gloves and also safety glasses while doing your project.
STEP 2: Tilt the Lawnmower
Tilt the lawnmower on its side with the carburetor fronting up in order to get into the blades. Make sure you’re doing it on a flat surface because if you turn the mower in an uneven manner, it might cause the oil to spill right through the air filter and carburetor.
To prevent this from happening, the mower should be tilted facing up, not down. You can even empty the gas chamber if you really don’t want any spillage.
In modern lawnmowers, both the air filter and carburetor are contained in a plastic box located at the engine’s side. If you do not have a clue where these parts are, refer to the user’s manual or you may ask the manufacturer.
STEP 3: Mark the Mower Blade
Once you’ve located the blade, mark it using a permanent pen, masking tape or a spray paint. Marking it will make it easier for you to identify which side faces the bottom or up once you reinstall it. If you re-install the blade the other way around, expect that it won’t be able to cut your lawn.
STEP 4: Take Out the Blades
When you’ve reached the blade part, loosen the bolt that’s positioned at the middle. However, it’s not that easy to remove the bolt using merely a ratchet or a wrench.
What you can do is to cut a solid block of wood and place it between the mower’s deck and the blade. This is to keep the blade stable while you’re loosening the bolt. You may likewise use a clamp or a vise.
STEP 5: Clean the lawnmower blade
Regularly cleaning your lawn can mean that your mower blade has surely accumulated rust and grass clippings, and so you have to clean it.
If you regularly clean your mower, all you need is gloves and a piece of rag the next time you clean it. But if you haven’t cleaned it for some time, then you’ll need a water hose, soap and water. After that, let the blade dry up.
STEP 6: Fasten the Blade
Now, secure the blade in place using a clamp or a bench vise at waist level. This is an ideal level so you can comfortably sit while sharpening the blade.
STEP 7: File the Blade
By using a file, start sharpening the blade. Run the file along the blade’s cutting edge. Begin filing one edge from the inside to the outside. Once it becomes sleek and apparent, move on to the other edge and replicate the process.
Filing the blade creates metal particles that can go through your lungs. So, it is important that you wear a mask.
STEP 8: Mind the Angle of the Blade
When sharpening the blade, you must follow the bevel’s angel. More often than not, a mower blade has an angle of 40 degrees or 45 degrees. However, this is not applicable all the time. You might want to go through the instruction manual to know the precise angle.
By now, the sharpness of the mower blade should be likened to a butter knife. The blade need not be very sharp because if it spins extremely fast, it would be able to cut through the grass efficiently.
STEP 9: Re-install the mower blade
After sharpening the blade and before installing it back, spray a lubricant, or WD-40 to be specific, on the bolt. Then you’re now ready to re-install the blade. Don’t forget to put the washer before securing it with a bolt.
How to Sharpen the Lawn mower Blade without Removing It
Can you really sharpen a mower blade without removing it from the mower? Yes, you can! Here’s how.
Tools and materials needed:
- Block of wood
- Steel brush
- Angle grinder or file
- Safety glasses
- Thick gloves
STEP 1: Detach the Spark Plug
Take your lawnmower into a leveled surface and disconnect the spark plug. This is to prevent the mover from starting fortuitously. In addition, remember to apply the brakes of the mower.
STEP 2: Cover the Tank and Disconnect the Power
Take off the lid of the mower’s gas tank and cover it entirely with a piece of plastic. After which, put back the lid to its original position. This method warrants non-spillage of gas once the mower is turned over.
If you’re planning to sharpen the blade of an electric lawnmower, be sure to unplug it first.
STEP 3: Tilt Your Lawnmower
Tilt your lawnmower to its side for you to have access to the blade. Keep in mind that in doing this, the carburetor, as well as the fuel tank, must be positioned at the upper part.
STEP 4: Keep the Blade at a Steady Position
Now that you’ve secured your lawnmower, it’s time that you also secure the blade. It’s important to keep the blade steady while it’s being sharpened.
STEP 5: Remove Dirt from the Blade
To remove the dirt or rust from the blade, scrape it using a steel brush. Don’t forget to also clean the portion below the deck. To clean it further, you may use a knife and water.
STEP 6: Sharpen the Mower Blade
After accomplishing the steps above, you can now proceed to your main task, and that is to sharpen the blade. Use either a metal file or an electric grinder.
Once you’ve chosen a tool that you’re comfortable with, position it above the cutting edge of the blade and follow the right sharpening angle, which is usually 45 degrees.
Go ahead and sharpen one side and then move to the other side while repeating a similar process. And because you’re just going to sharpen the blade in place, you need to make certain that the edges are sharpened in an even way.
NOTE: Grind the edges of the blade in just one direction, not back and forth.
STEP 7: Put the Fuel Tank Lid Back
When you’re done sharpening the mower blade, you may now take down the mower gently and plug it. Then you may now also remove the piece of plastic that’s covering the mouth of the fuel tank and cover it again with its lid.
STEP 8: Done!
Your lawnmower blade is finally sharpened! Now, you’re ready to mow your lawn!