Do New Lawn Mower Blades Need Sharpening? [Solved]
As a new lawn mower owner, you may wonder whether your mower’s blades need sharpening before use. We have you covered. We’ll explore whether new lawn mower blades require immediate sharpening, the importance of maintaining sharp blades, and tips for keeping them that way for optimal lawn care.
We’ll also discuss the signs that your blades need sharpening and how to check for blade dullness. By the end of this article, you’ll clearly understand whether new lawn mower blades need sharpening and how to keep them sharp for a healthy and attractive lawn.
Let’s Get Right to It: Do New Lawn Mower Blades Need Sharpening?
New lawn mower blades come pre-sharpened from the factory, so immediate sharpening is usually unnecessary. However, even new blades can become dull over time due to exposure to debris. Therefore, regular blade maintenance is essential to ensure optimal performance and prevent uneven cuts, grass weakening, and susceptibility to pests and diseases.
Why You Need Sharp Lawn Mower Blades
Maintaining sharp lawn mower blades is essential for keeping your lawn healthy and attractive. Dull blades tear and shred the grass, which results in uneven grass height and frayed tips on the grass blades. Not only does this make your lawn look unattractive, but it also weakens the grass and makes it more susceptible to pests and diseases.
On the other hand, sharp blades cut grass cleanly and evenly, resulting in a neater appearance and healthier lawn. In addition, when the grass is cut cleanly, it can recover more quickly from mowing, which helps it stay lush and green.
To Sharpen or Not to Sharpen? The Surprising Truth About New Lawn Mower Blades. Pros and Cons
Plus, the grass is less likely to be stressed or weakened, which makes it more resistant to pests, diseases, and environmental stresses.
But why does this matter? A healthy lawn is not only visually pleasing but also provides a multitude of benefits, from cleaner air to reduced soil erosion. In addition, a well-manicured yard can increase property value and make outdoor space more enjoyable.
To maintain a healthy lawn, it’s essential to keep your lawn mower blades sharp by regularly checking them for dullness and sharpening them as needed. By doing so, you’ll promote a healthy and attractive lawn resistant to pests, diseases, and environmental stresses.
Telltale Signs That Your Lawn Mower Blades Need Sharpening
How do you know when your brand new mower blades need sharpening? There are a few telltale signs that your lawn mower blades may be dull and need a tune-up.
The first sign is uneven grass height. When your blades are dull, they may leave behind uneven patches of grass, which can make your lawn look patchy and unkempt. Another sign to look out for is brown tips on grass blades. This occurs when the dull mower blades tear the grass instead of cutting it cleanly, causing the tips to turn brown.
Lastly, ragged cuts on the grass are a surefire sign that your blades need sharpening. When the blades are dull, they can tear and shred the grass instead of cutting it cleanly, resulting in ragged cuts that can make your lawn more susceptible to pests and diseases.
To check for blade dullness, you can inspect the blades for nicks, gouges, chips, or dents, which can indicate that the blades need sharpening. You can also run your hand over the blade to feel dullness. If it feels dull or rough, it’s time to sharpen the blade.
Preventing Blade Dullness
Keeping your lawn mower blades sharp is crucial for a healthy lawn, but it’s even better if you can prevent them from becoming dull in the first place. Here are some tips to help you maintain your blades and keep them sharp:
- Avoid mowing over rocks or other debris: Mowing over rocks, sticks, and other debris can cause the blades to become chipped or bent, leading to dullness over time. Before mowing, make sure to clear the lawn of any debris. And if you come across any objects while mowing, stop and remove them before continuing.
- Adjust your mower’s height settings: Cutting your grass too short can cause the blades to tear and shred the grass instead of cutting it cleanly, which can lead to a dull blade. Adjust your mower’s height to the appropriate level for your grass type, and avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass blade at a time. This will not only keep your blades sharp, but it will also promote a healthier lawn.
- Clean your mower after each use: Grass clippings, dirt, and other debris can accumulate on the underside of your mower, which can cause the blades to become dull more quickly. After each use, clean your mower thoroughly using a wire brush or rag to remove any debris. This will not only keep your blades sharp, but it will also prevent rust and other types of damage.
How to Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades
When sharpening your lawn mower blades, the first step is to disconnect the spark plug wire to ensure the mower doesn’t accidentally start. Next, remove the blades from the mower.
Depending on the mower, this may involve removing a few bolts or simply sliding the blades off the blade shaft. Follow the instructions in your mower’s user manual for proper blade removal.
Once the blades are removed, inspect them for damage. Replacing them with a new set of replacement blades may be best if they have deep nicks, dents, or other damage. If they are only slightly dull, they can be sharpened using a sharpening tool such as a metal file or angle grinder.
Sharpening Lawn Mower Blades with a Bench Grinder
A bench grinder is a powerful tool that can quickly sharpen lawn mower blades. While it’s less precise than a file or sharpening stone, it’s great for heavy-duty sharpening jobs and can promptly remove nicks and chips from the blade.
To sharpen a lawn mower blade with a bench grinder, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Disconnect the mower’s spark plug wire to prevent accidental startup.
- Remove the blade from the mower.
- Inspect the blade for any signs of damage, such as nicks or chips.
- Secure the blade to the bench grinder using a clamp or vise.
- Turn on the bench grinder and slowly run the blade along the grinding wheel at a 45-degree angle. Be sure to maintain the correct angle to avoid over-sharpening.
- After a few passes, turn off the bench grinder and check the blade for sharpness. Repeat the process as needed until the blade is sharp.
Sharpening Lawn Mower Blades with a File
A file is an excellent option for a more hands-on approach to sharpening lawn mower blades. A file is affordable, easy to use, and can sharpen blades at the correct angle.
To sharpen a lawn mower blade with a file, follow these steps:
- Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental startup.
- Remove the blade from the mower.
- Inspect the blade for any signs of damage, such as nicks or chips.
- Secure the blade in a vise or clamp, ensuring it’s stable and won’t move during sharpening.
- Use a flat file to sharpen the blade at the correct angle. Move the file in long strokes along the blade’s cutting edge, ensuring the right angle is maintained.
- After a few passes, check the blade for sharpness. Repeat the process as needed until you get a sharp edge.
Once the blade is sharpened, use a metal file or sharpening stone to smooth out any jagged tips or burrs along the edge of the blade. This will ensure a clean cut and prevent the blade from damaging the grass.
Checking the Blade’s Balance
After sharpening the blades, check their balance by placing them on a blade balancer. An unbalanced mower blade can cause excessive vibration, which can damage the mower and cause uneven cuts. If you have an unbalanced blade, use a hand file to remove small amounts of metal from the heavier side of the blade until it’s appropriately balanced.
Before reinstalling the blades, clean them thoroughly using a wire brush or rag to remove any grass trailings, dirt, or debris. Consider adding a protective finish such as spray paint or powder-coated paint to prevent rust and other types of damage.
Once the blades are clean and dry, reinstall them on the mower in the correct position, ensuring to tighten the bolts or other fasteners are secure. But remember to use the proper torque.
Using a Torque Wrench when Reinstalling Blades
When reinstalling the blades after sharpening, it’s essential to use a torque wrench to ensure that the bolts or fasteners are tightened to the manufacturer’s recommended specifications. This will prevent the blades from becoming loose during use, which can cause damage to the mower or create an unsafe situation for the user.
Finally, reconnect the spark plug wire, and you’re ready to mow your lawn with sharp and properly balanced blades.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Avoiding common mistakes when sharpening your lawn mower blades is crucial for maintaining their optimal performance. Here are some mistakes to avoid when sharpening your blades:
- Over-sharpening: While it’s crucial to sharpen your blades regularly, over-sharpening them can be just as bad as not sharpening them at all. Over-sharpened blades can become too thin and weak, which can cause them to bend or break easily. It’s essential to maintain the correct angle and not over-sharpen the blades.
- Incorrect blade balance: An unbalanced blade can cause excessive vibration, which can damage the mower and cause uneven cuts. It’s essential to check the balance of the blades after sharpening them and adjust them as needed.
- Using the wrong tools or techniques: Using the wrong tools or techniques can damage the blades or not sharpen them correctly. For example, using a bench grinder can quickly remove nicks and chips, but it may not be as precise as using a file or sharpening stone. Choosing the right tool and following proper techniques for sharpening your blades are essential.
- Not replacing damaged blades: If your blades are worn, damaged, or bent, it’s best to replace them instead of trying to sharpen them. Sharpening damaged blades can cause further damage to the mower or create an unsafe situation for the user.
Using Professional Sharpening Services
If sharpening your lawn mower blades makes you uneasy, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Fortunately, plenty of lawn equipment professionals out there are more than happy to take care of the task for you.
A professional blade sharpening service can offer several benefits, such as saving time and hassle. It can also ensure that your blades are sharpened correctly and to the appropriate angle, essential for optimum mowing performance.
To find a professional blade sharpening service in your area, start by checking with your local lawn and garden center, home improvement store, or hardware store. They may have a list of recommended sharpening services or be able to provide you with some leads.
You can also search online for blade sharpening services in your area using websites like Angi’s list. Look for companies specializing in sharpening lawn mower blades; they will likely have the expertise and equipment needed to do the job right.
When choosing a professional sharpening service, ask about their experience and qualifications. A reputable service should be willing to answer your questions and provide references if requested.
Remember that using a professional sharpening service may come with a cost, but the investment can be worth it for the peace of mind and the improved performance of your mower.
Maintaining Your New Lawn Mower Blade
To keep your lawn mower blade in good condition, it’s crucial to maintain it regularly. Here are a few tips for maintaining your lawn mower blade:
- Clean the blade after each use to remove grass clippings, dirt, and other debris that can cause the blade to become dull more quickly.
- Inspect the blade regularly for signs of damage, such as nicks, chips, or dents.
- Sharpen the blade at least once per mowing season or every 20-25 hours.
- Replace the blade if it’s worn, damaged, or bent.
- Keep an extra set of blades on hand for quick replacement when needed.
Maintaining sharp mower blades is crucial for optimal lawn care. A dull blade can cause uneven cuts, weaken the grass, and make it more susceptible to pests and diseases. Regularly checking your blades for dullness and sharpening them as needed can promote a healthy and attractive lawn resistant to environmental stresses.
Whether you prefer using a file, bench grinder, or drill-powered blade sharpener, there are several methods for sharpening lawn mower blades. By choosing the best method for you and following safety precautions, you can keep your lawn mower blades in good condition and ensure optimal performance. So, next time you’re getting ready to mow your lawn, check the condition of your blades and give them a good sharpening if needed. Your lawn will thank you for it!
Does New Lawn Mower Blade Need to be Sharpened?
There’s nothing like that fresh factory smell when you take delivery of your new tractor. Of course, the first thing you want to do is take it out for a spin, only to notice that the blades look a bit dull.
You then begin to wonder: does new lawn mower blade need to be sharpened? You would expect that, but experiences don’t always match expectations.
This article will explore that very topic as well as how to sharpen mower blades, the frequency and how to tell if the mower blade is sharp.
Does New Lawn Mower Blade Need to be Sharpened?
No, a new lawn mower blade does not need to be sharpened. The manufacturing process produces blades that are already sharp and ready for use. Sharpening can actually reduce the life of a blade by blunting its edges over time, making it less efficient at cutting grass. It’s recommended to only sharpen a blade if it becomes damaged or wears out from use.
Do You Need to Sharpen New Lawn Mower Blades?
No, you don’t need to sharpen new lawnmower blades. When a lawn mower or lawn tractor comes from the factory, the blades come ready to cut according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
The same is true if you’re buying new lawnmower blades to replace your old ones. The reason some people think they need to be sharpened is that replacement blades come looking blunt.
That’s because they have a powder-coated paint finish that feels dull. However, don’t let the dull appearance deceive you – those blades are ready for work!
Do New Painted Mower Blades Need to be Sharpened?
No, they don’t. Replacement blades come with a coat of paint for three reasons.
To protect you
Chances are high that you will try to handle the blade without protective gloves because, well, people are stubborn! If that happens, the manufacturer doesn’t want you suing them.
To protect the blades from impact
It’s almost a rite of passage to drop new lawnmower blades when trying to fit them in. when this happens, you’ll be glad to know that the sharp edge has been protected from abrasions and impact.
Of course, some of this paint will come off when it falls, but it’s still not a problem.
To protect the blades from rust
Who knows how long lawnmower blades sit on the shelf before they get sold? Well, frankly, nobody cares as long as they come ready to do their job.
Needless to say, rusty lawnmower blades are useless to the owner and a waste of money for the manufacturer to issue a refund. So, what happens after you install the blades?
As you start mowing, the powder coat will gradually chip away, revealing the sharp underbelly. It usually takes about half an hour for this breaking-in phase to occur.
What Happens if You Sharpen New Lawn Mower Blades?
Unfortunately, there is such a thing as having too sharp blades. Trying to sharpen new lawnmower blades beyond what the manufacturer has done will compromise the integrity of the blades.
Instead of making it sharper, you’ll only be making the edge so thin that it begins to crack and chip away even before it has made any contact with grass.
Sharpening new mower blades will also affect their balance, which opens another can of worms.
You would need to rebalance the mower blade before using it, or it will affect the spindle and the engine.
By compromising the integrity and balance, you have shortened the lifespan of your brand-new mower blade. So, when you get it out of the box, install it and start using it.
How Often Should I Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades?
How often you should sharpen your lawn mower blade will depend on your manufacturer. However, the general rule is lawn mower blades need to be sharpened every 25 hours.
For residential lawnmowers, that could mean just once a year at the beginning of summer.
For commercial lawnmowers, this could mean once a week, especially if you mow a few acres multiple times a week.
If you mow a lawn with many stones, you might need to sharpen it more often. So, the soft rule is every 25 hours, and the hard rule is to sharpen your lawn mower blade whenever it gets dull.
How Do I Know When a Lawn Mower Blade Needs to be Sharpened?
When you mow a lawn that has a lot of obstacles or tough grass, you often won’t need to wait 25 hours before you need to sharpen the blades.
You should sharpen the blades when the leading edge has indents. You should also check to make sure it still has a bevel.
Wear safety gloves before inspecting the surface of the blade. If you feel the dents, even if you can’t see them, you must work on your mower blade.
Can I Use a Dull Mower Blade?
Many people forget to sharpen their mower blades or don’t think they need to because it still cuts.
The problem is a dull mower blade puts an unnecessary strain on the lawn mower, will slow you down as a user, and cost you more money.
The main problem with mowing with dull blades is that you won’t get a clean cut. The blade will pull the grass instead of cutting it, leaving a ragged edge.
The rough cut on the grass will start to turn brown and will leave the grass vulnerable to disease.
Dull mower blades need to work harder to cut grass, meaning more energy is being used by the lawn mower, which affects the battery, the engine, and the fuel system.
A dull lawn mower blade also affects airflow, which can affect the mower deck by forcing the parts to work counter to design.
In summary, unless you want to replant your lawn or buy a new lawn mower, it is best to keep the blades sharp at all times or replace them.
How Often Should I Replace Dull Lawn Mower Blades?
Lawn mower blades typically need to be replaced every 200 hours. Considering the average American will spend 384 hours mowing in their entire lifetime, this would suggest you only need to replace blades once.
Some experts recommend replacing mower blades once a year. However, if you sharpen your blades every season, they can last about four years before they need to be replaced.
The 200-hour rule is better applied to professional landscapers, which will amount to once a season.
However, Oregon Gator blades last considerably longer and can go 400 hours before needing to be replaced.
Do I Need to Remove Mower Blades before Sharpening?
No, you do not need to remove the mower blade before sharpening. Many tools, such as palm grinders and power drills, can sharpen the blade while it’s still on the mower.
However, it does pose several challenges, such as not being able to ensure the right balance, and there is no vise to keep the blade in place while you work.
As much as it may seem like this will save you time, you will still need to remove the blade to check the balance, so we don’t recommend it.
How to Sharpen Dull Lawn Mower Blades
There are different ways to sharpen a lawn mower blade. The easiest way is to outsource it to a professional, making it the most expensive.
Fortunately, tuning your blades is pretty simple, so most manufacturers include a step-by-step guide in the manual.
Here is a general method for any mower blade to return its razor edge.
Tools you’ll need to sharpen a lawnmower blade
- Protective gloves
- Safety goggles
- Ear muffs/protection
- Microfiber cloth
- Sharpening tool
- Metal file
- Drill-powered sharpening stone
- Bench grinder
Step 1: Stop the power flow
Before you begin this step, you need to wear your safety gloves and safety goggles. Next, you need to disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent any ghastly accidents.
Even with the engine off, a spark plug could misfire, causing the blade to spin incorrectly. If it is an electric mower, remove the battery or unplug it.
Step 2: Tilt the lawn mower
Depending on who you ask, they might tell you to drain the gas tank and empty the engine oil before removing the mower blade.
However, if you tilt the lawn mower on its back – not side – the gas and oil will remain intact and not flow into the air filter.
You will also be keeping the carburetor upright. However, this only works if your lawn mower has a standard configuration. Consult the manual on how best to angle your mower.
Step 4: Unscrew the blade
Before you take off the blade, it helps to mark it so you know which side should be facing down when you put it back together. A permanent marker or a bit of paint should suffice.
To remove the blade, some people recommend you put a plank to wedge it in place. However, if you’re not careful, the plank could bend the blade.
Lawnmower blades aren’t so sharp that they can cut you, so it is better to hold the blade (wearing safety gloves, of course) while you unscrew it.
Ensure you have the right size socket, or you can round them off very easily. Once the blade is off, keep the nut or bolt safe. You may clean the mower deck now or wait before you reassemble it.
Step 5: Clean the blade
Get your microfibre cloth and gently clean the surface of the mower blade. This will help eliminate any dirt that might impede your work, but more importantly, it’ll help you better identify any dents and bruises.
If you notice that the lawnmower blade is cracked, get rid of it and buy a new mower blade. Otherwise, move on to the next step.
Step 6: Sharpen the blade
There are many ways to sharpen a blade, but we’ll discuss the top three.
Sometimes, not all the time, old school is the best school. The first thing you need to do is clamp the mower blade with a vise, ensuring that the sharp edge is facing upwards.
Next, place the file on the bezel of the blade and file in one direction only, downstroke away from the blade.
Ensure that you place the file on the exact slope of the dull blade so you don’t change the cutting angle.
You should keep filing until you’ve gotten all the nicks out, which may take a few minutes. Once it’s smooth, flip the blade over to the other side.
Using a metal file may not be the fastest method, but it is the best because it protects the integrity of the mower blade. However, if you don’t have the patience, try option 2.
Sharpening stone/blade sharpener
If you have a power drill, you can palace a sharpening stone on it. It is a circular stone that sits on a tough bit of plastic, which provides the right angle for sharpening.
Place the plastic guide on the backside and run the drill right across the edge. Unlike with a metal file, you can go in both directions.
An electric bench grinder is the quickest way to sharpen a mower blade. Simply turn it on, and press the dull blade against it sweepingly. You must wear ear muffs for this, but it only lasts a few seconds per side.
Step 7: Check the balance
Sharpening will shave metal off the dull blade, so you must carefully remove the same amount from both sides. To make sure, you should place the mower blade on a blade balancer.
If one side of the blade drops, you have an unbalanced mower blade, so you need to shave it off some more.
Another way to check the balance is to hang the lawnmower blade on a nail in the wall. The same thing will happen. There will be very little movement if the blade is balanced.
Step 8: Put the blade back
You may decide to give the blade one final polish with the cloth to get rid of any lingering metal shavings before you reassemble it.
Ensure you have screwed it the right way up and it’s tight before you tip the lawnmower back down.
As Sharp as a Mower Blade
Taking care of a lawn is hard work, but it is a lot easier with a new blade. Perhaps what is even better is knowing that a brand-new lawnmower blade does not need to be sharpened.
Now that you’ve learned how to sharpen a lawnmower blade, perhaps you won’t be so quick to get rid of a dull lawnmower blade.
However, before you sharpen the dull blade, you need to know where the carburetor on a lawn mower is located.
Rhys is a passionate landscaper, a self-proclaimed barbecue expert and the author of this site. He combines his lawnmowing expertise with his engineering background to teach you about how to not just take care of grass, but also the equipment you use.
Don’t sharpen your lawn mower blades! Do this instead!
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How to Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades: 5 Steps To Get A Sharp Blade In Minutes
The grass is green, and the blades are sharp, right? That’s not always the case. lawn mower blades can become dull over time, making them less effective and causing more wear and tear on the machine. This article will show you how to sharpen lawn mower blades in five simple steps. By following these steps, you’ll be able to get a sharp blade in minutes – and save yourself time and money in the long run!
Sharpening your mower blades is an easy way to keep them at their best. If your mower runs slower or harder to push, you may need to sharpen the blades. That will keep your lawn looking sharp and healthy. However, it’s important to remember that mower blades will become dull over time, especially if you have a thick lawn or use your lawn mower frequently.
The beauty of your lawn will be at its finest when you give it the attention it deserves. To decorate your lawn, do the first thing and cut the grass to the perfect size. You may need to dethatch your lawn too. A lawn mower should come in handy for this task.
A lawn mower blade is the most important part of your lawn mower. It keeps the blade sharp, keeping the cut perfectly even. You will not achieve the desired result if the blade is not sharp.
Why do I sharpen my mower blade?
Cutting the grass with a blunt blade will create jagged edges. This will increase the chances of disease and make the lawn look ugly. After two or three days, the edge of the grass will turn brown. It doesn’t look good at all. These are the main reasons to sharpen your lawnmower blades.
How often do I need to sharpen my lawn mower blade?
When your mower’s blade becomes dull, you’ll know because the grass it cuts will have a jagged edge. If the top of the blade is cut cleanly, it is just as sharp as ever. But the grass will look ragged on the edges if the blade isn’t sharp enough.
Sharpen your blade before cutting on the first day of the season; after that, cutting twice or three times will do before you need to sharpen it again. But don’t hit a rock! If you hit a rock, sharpen your blade.
How sharp should lawn mower blades be?
You do not need to sharpen the blade to the same degree as a sword when cutting grass. A clean cut is always better than a rough one. Your blade is sharp enough if you get an excellent clean cut without jagged edges.
What are the best ways to sharpen a lawn mower blade?
Depending on the condition, you can use different methods to sharpen a lawn mower blade. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the various processes for sharpening to make an informed decision.
Ensure your safety
It would be best to take a few safety precautions to sharpen your lawn mower blade safely. You’ll need to remove the spark plug wire to ensure the engine cannot start while you’re working, wear thick gloves while handling sharp objects, and use eye protection.
Remove the blade
Mowing blade removal is a simple task. After unplugging the spark plug, turn the mower on its side, preferably straight up. If it turns on its side, gas or oil can spill out of the machine.
It’s always a good idea to tip your mower after you’re done with it. If you unscrew the two screws, you will see the blade. Be careful when putting pressure on the nuts because they can be very sensitive. You don’t want to bend the blade, which would cause it to be ineffective.
Once you’ve removed the blade, the real work will begin. Here’s how to do it:
Use a metal file
A blade will need to be sharpened from time to time. One cheap and easy way to do this is by using a file. Hold the blade in your left hand and use the file in your right hand to stroke it one direction at a time.
The correct angle for sharpening lawn mower blades is 45°. Dirt and rust must be removed before sharpening. Keep the blade down while you sharpen it to get a nice edge. Using a vise to hold the blade in place while you sharpen it is better.
Place your lawn mower blade on a flat surface with the cutting edge facing up.
Place a grinding wheel on top of the blade and turn it on so you can see sparks coming from the wheel.
Hold a piece of 1-inch thick medium-grit sandpaper in your hand and start rubbing it against the blade from side to side.
What is the best file for sharpening a lawn mower blade?
We found that the Sharpal 1SHARPAL 105N multipurpose sharpening garden Tool is the most reliable among all the files on Amazon. It has thick industrial monocrystalline diamonds electroplated onto a stainless steel base. It has a perfect grip. We found it most valuable because you’ll also get a leather sheath with it.
If you’re looking for a durable outdoor sharpener, look no further. The Sharpal 1SHARPAL 105N is excellent for knives, axes, lawnmower blades, drills, etc. It’s made with high-quality material and comes with a 3-year warranty.
How do you sharpen a lawn mower blade with a drill?
Sharpening your lawn mower blades with a drill is pretty easy. You will need a drill machine, a sharpening stone, and safety goggles. Attach the sharpening stone to the top of the drill, and buy one with a plastic plate attached for protection.
Place your drill on a lower setting. Slowly run the blade’s edge across the guide, ensuring it’s between the stone and the plastic. With some know-how, this lawn mower sharpener is quick and easy to use.
Get the help of a bench grinder.
A sharpening stone might not cut when you’re in a jam and need to sharpen a knife. A grinder might be the perfect solution for your problem. You’ll want to start spinning the grinder and hold the blade at a 45-degree angle. Be sure to wear your safety glasses.
Do you sharpen both sides of a lawn mower blade?
Many people are so careful about what they do with their blades, but not about the process. You are cutting off metal from each side when sharpening the blade edges. The blade will shake while spinning if you don’t cut off the same amount of metal on both sides.
So when the blade doesn’t hold its position when you’re mowing the lawn or trimming your yard, it’s not a good thing. The screws should be there to prevent the blade from slipping and causing damage to your lawn mower.
How to balance lawn mower blades?
Find a nail or something to use as a guide to fix this problem. Place the blade’s center on this guide and see if any part is heavier than the other. If you find that one side is heavier, take some metal off of the heavy side. When both sides are at the same level, your job is finished.
Put the blade back into the machine.
After you’ve sharpened the blades of the mower, clean the mud and dirt underneath. Put the screw that fits the blade back into place. You’re ready to mow again! These tips will help keep your lawn-mowing session perfect.
Need a quick reference on how to sharpen mower blades? Here you go. I will cover the most frequently asked questions regarding sharpening lawn mower blades.
How to sharpen mulching lawn mower blades?
Mulching lawn mower blades are special, new versions of the regular blades. They have a sharper cutting edge and a more curved area on end. You should use a handheld grinder to sharpen these blades.
You can put your blade on vice and run the grinder across the blade at a 40° to 45° angle. The angle will vary each time, depending on your blade’s condition. When you’re done, use a file for better finishing.
Do brand-new lawn mower blades need to be sharpened?
You just bought a new mower blade, and I wonder if you need to sharpen it. The answer is: no! When a blade is made, it’s sharpened and ready to go. Therefore, change the blade and enjoy the benefits of a freshly cut lawn.
How to sharpen mower blades at home?
Don’t be afraid to take care of your lawn by yourself. You may not have the equipment for sharpening a heavy lawn mower blade at home, but there are two methods to choose from. One way is to sharpen it with a metal file or a drill machine with a grinding stone. Using a file will do the trick if you have the time and patience.
How to sharpen lawn mower blades without removing them?
To sharpen your mower blade, you must remove it. If you try to balance the blade while it’s mounted, you may experience discomfort. Balancing the blade is only possible when the blade is removed. However, if you’re unwilling to remove the blade, this is what you should do.
Take a handheld grinder and slightly run it through the cutting edges of your blade. Repeat this for a few minutes before cutting your grass. This will make the blade sharper, giving you a perfect cut.
How much does it cost to sharpen lawn mower blades?
Sharpening a lawn mower blade typically costs around 5 to 15 per blade, but it can be as much as 5 cheaper if you take the blade to them. A professional sharpener will usually charge 15 per blade.
Is it okay to wash a lawn mower?
The lawn mower has been working hard all day. Take a few minutes to hose it off before you end the day. Avoid spraying water on the engine; never use a pressure washer on the blades. A thorough clean-down at the end of the season will be good for your mower’s health.
If you use a manual lawn mower, you’re probably very familiar with the importance of sharp blades. Dull lawn mower blades can result in an uneven cut, which can mean torn grass or clumping. Fortunately, sharpening lawn mower blades is something that most people can do themselves.
The lawn mower blade is a component of a mower that cuts grass. The blade is attached to a spinning wheel and is responsible for cutting grass as it spins. The blade needs to be the right length and have sharpened edges to do its job properly. A properly maintained mower will cut grass evenly, which leads to a healthy lawn.
By reading this article, you know how to sharpen lawn mower blades. We hope it will come in handy shortly.
I love gardening and hope you enjoy reading my post as much as I enjoy writing it. I FOCUS on plant-based living and believe that you will be healthier and happier by incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet. By providing helpful tips and advice on everything from garden design to growing techniques, I want to help make gardening easier for everyone.
Mulching and Mower Decks
What is mulching? Why should I consider doing it? How will it make my lawn look better? Learn all about mulching now.
A John Deere exclusive. The MulchControl™ Kit with One-Touch Technology.
Grass mulch can help keep your lawn healthy and looking its best. It’s easy to do with our many lawn mower and mower deck offerings. Check out the tractor mower compatibility.
This is grass mulch.
The easy way to feed your lawn. To make grass mulch, grass is cut into easily absorbed grass clippings to help keep your lawn healthy and lush.
Mulch with the push of a button.
The John Deere MulchControl™ Kit with One-Touch Technology is the easy way to mulch. With the push of a button you can mulch when you want to.
Push the button and mulch. The chute closes and you have a dedicated mulching system. Perfect for regular, weekly, or bi-weekly mowing.
Side-discharge mow or bag mode.
Push the button again, or pull the lever, with your MulchControl™ System, the chute opens and you can side-discharge mow or bag. The choice is yours.
Eight things you need to know about mulch mowing.
Fertilizing your lawn just got easier. Just let your grass clippings do the job for you. Grass clipping mulch is the natural way to feed your lawn essential nutrients. Here are eight things you need to know:
Mulch mowing allows clippings to be cut finely enough so that they can’t be seen when redistributed into the lawn.
Make sure your blades are sharp. Sharp blades help ensure a precise, quality cut.
Mulching returns nitrogen-rich nutrients to your lawn. This feeds your lawn and can reduce the amount of fertilizer you need.
Follow the “one-third” rule when mulch mowing, taking no more off than the top third of the grass blade. Fast-growing conditions will warrant more frequent mowing.
Mulching works better when the grass is dry.
The MulchControl™ System from John Deere is the easy way to mulch while you mow.
If tall or wet grass conditions result in unsightly clumps, your MulchControl™ System should be used in side-discharge mode.
If conditions warrant using your MulchControl™ System in side-discharge mode, clippings are likely to be visible for a few days as they decay.
This exclusive technology is available with One-Touch Technology on the John Deere X350 Select Series Riding Lawn Tractor with a 42-in or 48-in Accel Deep™ Mower Deck and other Select Series mowers.
MulchControl™ Kits, with the pull-of-a-lever technology, are available on S240 Riding Mowers with Accel Deep™ Mower Decks, Select Series Mowers, Signature Series Mowers, and all Residential ZTrak™ Mowers.
All MulchControl™ Kits from John Deere include mulching blades for best grass mulching results.
The science behind mulching.
Who loves lugging a heavy bag of lawn clippings to the compost pile or yard waste bin, or endlessly raking leaves in the fall? Pretty much nobody, that’s who. Fortunately, for the sake of aching backs and nutrient-hungry lawns, it’s best to forgo the bag and opt to mulch lawn clippings and leaves instead.
Each little bit of plant material is full of nutrients, and being organic matter, when left in place, can improve the overall health of the soil which in turn, better supports the turf and potentially decreases inputs.
“In the lawncare industry, we’re realizing that rather than feed the lawn synthetically with fertilizers, we can choose to do it more organically by mulching grass clippings and leaving them on the lawn to sift in,” says Richard Hentschel, University of Illinois horticultural extension educator. “Leaving clippings on the lawn provides the equivalent of 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. That’s nitrogen you didn’t have to buy and apply.” Removing the clippings means also removing those nutrients from the system.
Besides nutrients, clippings return carbon to the soil, which helps build soil organic matter by feeding the microflora that decomposes that organic matter. Soil organic matter (SOM) is measured as a percentage of organic matter in the soil and is the primary indicator of soil health, and therefore the health of the lawn growing in the soil. The higher the percentage of SOM, the more nutrients and water the soil can retain.
“Every 1 percent of SOM holds 1/3 gallon of water per cubic foot of soil,” Hentschel explains. “So, a soil with a fairly good measurement of 3 percent SOM can hold as much as 1 gallon of water per cubic foot.” The ability to hold more water means more of the water applied to the soil through irrigation or falling on the lawn as rain will stay put and turf will be more resistant to swings in temperature and drought conditions.
“SOM also is Mother Nature’s slow release fertilizer. It’s not just the usual nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium either, it’s all 16 of the nutrients essential for plant growth,” Hentschel says. Constantly removing lawn clippings and other organic matter results in decreasing levels of SOM, and lawns will become increasingly dependent on the application of synthetic fertilizers.
While lawns benefit from clippings, they don’t want to be smothered by them. Using best mowing practices can leave grass room to breathe and looking as clean as it would with bagging. The key is to mow with sharp blades and frequently enough that no more than 1/3 of the plant tissue is removed per cutting. This will result in less plant material for the lawn to reincorporate per pass.
“If you mow often with a sharp mower blade, even a conventional mower — as opposed to a mower designed specifically for mulching — will cut the grass up fine enough for it to sift back into the standing grass and break up quickly releasing nutrients to the soil and growing grass as it decomposes,” Hentschel says.
It may be a relatively simple task to stay ahead of grass to get a nice fine mulch that disappears quickly into the lawn, but what about leaves in the fall? Hentschel says to go ahead and mulch them, too. Leaves should be mowed frequently as they fall. To ensure finely parsed leaves that will move into the thatch layer more quickly, it may be necessary to make two or more passes with the lawnmower per mowing. When more leaves fall, simply keep making passes to chop up the material and help speed the composting process.
Hentschel says the leaf residue will work its way into the soil taking valuable nutrients with them and creating a barrier that can help control weeds. With multiple years of mulching leaves, which returns more nutrients to the soil through the extra organic matter, lawns may not need as much fertilizer in the spring. And because the leaf residue covers up bare spots where weeds can gain a foothold, it’s possible over time to see fewer dandelions and crabgrass issues after multiple years of mulching.
No raking, no lugging, less fertilizer, more efficient water use, and fewer weeds—for once, the easy choice is also the best choice. Go ahead and leave the mower bag in the shed if you’re so inclined, and leave the organic matter right where it belongs, on the lawn.
Which Side of the Lawn Mower Blade Is Up? Tips and Tricks
Which side of the mower blade is up can be tricky for those who have only recently bought a lawn mower. Both sides of the mower blade have different purposes in grass cutting, and we understand that it might be confusing for new mower owners to differentiate between the two sides.
You cannot interchange both sides because this can damage the grass and the mower, sometimes even beyond repair.
In this complete guide, you will discover which side is up, along with several methods to determine this side practically.
- What Side of Your Lawn Mower Blade Is Up?
- – Clearly Written on the Blade
- – Doing the Wobble Test
- – The Wing Side Faces Up
- – The Non-cutting Side of the Blade Is Up
- – Rotate the Blade
- – Mulching Blade’s Top Side
- – Reel Lawn Mower’s Up Side
- – Prevent Damage to the Mower
- – Prevent Damage to the Grass
- – Top Side Cuts Grass Unevenly
- – Blade Gets Bent
- – The Crankshaft Might Break
- – Is the Right Placement of Lawn Mower Blades Side Important?
- – Are There Left and Right Blades for Lawn Mowers?
What Side of Your Lawn Mower Blade Is Up?
The side of your lawn mower blade that is up is the one with slightly raised edges. This side faces the lawn mower deck and has a dull cutting edge compared to the other side, which has a sharper cutting edge.
Here are some fool-proof ways to figure out which side of the lawn mower blade is actually up.
– Clearly Written on the Blade
Even the manufacturers understand that it gets confusing to tell both sides of the lawnmower blade apart. To make things easy for us, most of them put clear stamps to indicate which side is which on either side of the blade. The cutting side will be the “grass side” or the “downside,” while the other side will usually be the “upside.”
A sticker will be attached on both sides, if not a stamp. However, most of us lose this important sticker from our mowers with frequent use and washing. We like it best when proper engravings indicate both sides of the blade. Engravings make things so much easier and do not fade over time.
You can buy your stickers and stick them on the right side. Double-check that you are sticking these stickers on the right side first. If you have a laser engraving device, that would be even better than stickers.
– Doing the Wobble Test
It is okay if your lawn mower did not come with engravings or stickers marking the sides of the cutting blade. You can always tell which side of the blade is up using the wobble test method. This method always yields accurate results and is very easy to perform.
- First, you want to turn the mower off before doing anything with the mower blade. We even turn the spark plug off so that there isn’t any risk of the mower starting accidentally, either.
- Tilt the mower over on one side so that you can gain easy access to the blade. The mower needs to be balanced while tilted; otherwise, it will end up falling on you.
- Hold the lawn mower blade in one hand and the deck with the other hand.
- Tug and gently pull the mower blade downward and notice whether or not it wobbles.
- The blade will never wobble unless it has been attached the wrong way. Check that the bolt securing the blade with the mower is tight because this can also cause wobbling.
- If the wobble test indicates that the blade was attached incorrectly, remove it and reattach it on the opposite side. Perform the test again, and you will see how the wobble will have disappeared this time around.
– The Wing Side Faces Up
The side of the lawn mower blade that faces up has a blunted and dull cutting edge. The blunt edges have very slightly raised edges that look like tiny wings. They have been specially designed to produce an air vacuum and lift the grass blades. Once the air pressure lifts the grass blades in a vertical position, the blade’s cutting edge smoothly chops them down.
Sometimes, the raised wings on the edges of the upper side are more challenging to see visually. You will feel these wings rise if you run your finger along the edge. Using your tactile sensation, you can easily gauge which side of the blade is up and which is down.
– The Non-cutting Side of the Blade Is Up
Once you identify the cutting edge of lawnmower blades, you will never again confuse its two sides with one another.
The cutting edge is the one that should always face the ground because it is going to cut grass. Unless your blade is really old, the side with the cutting edge will be visibly sharper and shinier than the other side, which will have a dull and blunt edge.
The side of the blade with the blunt edge should always face upwards towards the lawn mower’s deck. If you need clarification on both edges after a simple visual inspection, use a piece of paper to see which edge cuts through it more smoothly.
– Rotate the Blade
Do you want a quick test to see whether you have fitted the mower blade correctly? Once you have finally installed the blade, keep the mower tilted to the side and rotate the blade in the mower. If the lawn mower has been tilted on the right side, move the blade in the counterclockwise direction.
If the blade has been installed correctly, the lower side with the sharp edge will be the leading edge. Otherwise, you must remove the blade and turn it upside down correctly.
– Mulching Blade’s Top Side
Mulching blades are different from regular mower blades because they cut grass and convert it into mulch. These mulched pieces can then be used to make compost, mulch, or rake for the benefit of your lawn. You can tell a mulched blade from a regular one just by looking at it, as it is more curved.
Most standard mulching blades have a serial and model number engraved onto them on the bottom. The smoother side will naturally be the upper side. These engraved numbers and wordings are easily visible under bright light, and this side should always be towards the grass.
The second way to tell which side of the mulching lawn mower blades should face up is by determining its cutting edge.
The cutting edge of the mulching blade is more easily identifiable than that of a regular blade. The blade’s non-cutting or the upper side will have slightly-raised edges or tiny flaps that bend upwards. You need to ensure that this side always faces the mower deck.
Lastly, look at which side of the blade has a beveled cutting edge. It is easier to notice this bevel under sunlight or light from a torch. This is most definitely the upper side of the mulching lawnmower blade.
– Reel Lawn Mower’s Up Side
The reel type of push mower is an exception because its cutting blades have no ups or downsides. The mowing blade of these mowers is arranged in a cylindrical manner and rolls like a wheel while cutting grass.
Since the edges of the blade are equally sharp, it doesn’t matter which side is up or down in a reel mower.
Why Is It Important To Attach Mower Blade Right Side Up?
It is important to attach mower blade right side up or the wings side up because this is what keeps the mower working properly. Otherwise, the mower and the cut grass end up incurring damages, and the grass will not be cut evenly.
– Prevent Damage to the Mower
You can imagine how a machine will react when its parts are not attached correctly. The grass-cutting property of the mower will be impaired negatively, and the inner working parts might get damaged too.
It also matters how long you have been misusing the mower blade. The longer the blade is used upside down, the more damage you can expect the mower to incur. The mower’s undercarriage, including the deck area, is particularly prone to damage. The engine gets strained as you push it harder to cut the grass.
– Prevent Damage to the Grass
When you accidentally install the blade upside down in a mower, the dull cutting edge has to do the work of cutting the grass. This edge was designed for something else and will do a terrible job overall. When the grass blades are cut using a dull blade, they get damaged.
Observe closely and you will notice that the grass seems crushed at its growing edges instead of being trimmed smoothly. A grass cut from the top side of the mower will grow back slowly and healthily. Your lawn will also not achieve the refined, clean look one expects after a grass-mowing session. It will look untidy and choppy, with patches of grass cut unevenly.
If you carry on cutting grass using the wrong blade side, your grass might eventually stop growing, and the lawn might develop bald patches.
– Top Side Cuts Grass Unevenly
Both sides of the blade have their purpose while cutting grass and must be installed correctly. When the blade gets attached upside down, the upside creates no air vacuum. The grass blades will only be forced to stand upright with a vacuum.
The result will be that the grass will be cut at varying heights throughout the lawn. This is the worst nightmare scenario for any lawn care enthusiast. A grass cut unevenly will also grow unevenly and make the lawn look like one huge mess.
– Blade Gets Bent
Mower blades installed wrongly upside down get damaged and broken easily, especially if you have been neglectful and have been using the mower this way for a long time. Remember those raised wings that are present on the upwards-facing side? These wings are supposed to face the mower deck and remain untouched as the blade rotates.
When one uses the blade upside down, these wings are constantly getting hit by the ground, grass blades, rocks, and other stuff.
Eventually, cracks develop and spread from these wings. or the blade gets bent. Once a lawn mower blade becomes damaged, it rarely gets fixed. You must let go of it and buy a new one instead.
– The Crankshaft Might Break
The crankshaft of the rotating mower blade is also at risk from blades installed improperly. The upside has raised edges and wings that frequently bump with stuff present on the ground. All the extra pressure generated is then transferred to the crankshaft.
If the blade gets cracked or bent, the shaft is also at risk of getting bent. In the worst-case scenario, you might have a broken crankshaft altogether.
This will lead to a much more extensive repair from a professional. All this effort and money could have been spared if only the blade had been attached with the right side up.
Frequently Asked Questions
– Is the Right Placement of Lawn Mower Blades Side Important?
Yes, the right placement of lawn mower blades side is important for cutting grass smoothly and working the mower. Otherwise, your grass will be cut in a choppy, rough, or uneven manner. In some instances, doing this might even damage your mower beyond repair.
This is because the top side of the blade has a blunt cutting edge and has not been built to cut grass. Instead, its job is to lift grass blades via an air vacuum so that the cutting edge of the lower blade can cut it.
– Are There Left and Right Blades for Lawn Mowers?
Yes, there are left and right blades for lawn mowers. This means that the blade’s cutting edge is either present on the right side of the blade or the left side. Consequently, a left-sided blade is not interchangeable with a right-sided blade.
When changing your old blade for a newer one, check which type of blade works with your lawn mower so that you buy the right one. A wrong side blade should not even be installed onto your mower.
This is the end of our exhaustive guide on which side of the mower blade is the upper side, and here are the key take-away points.
- The side with tiny raised wings and edges on it is the side that should be facing up towards the mower deck.
- The cutting edge of this upside is dull and blunt, while the cutting edge of the downward-facing side is sharper.
- If the lawn mower blade has been attached incorrectly, you can test it using the wobble method. An improperly attached blade is not going to stay still and will instead wobble.
- Fortunately, most companies either engrave the name of the sides on their blades or attach stickers.
- If your mower has no engravings, you can always post stickers to prevent future inconveniences.
Learning to identify both sides of the mower blade is very important because these are different from one another. Once you accidentally attach the mower blade the wrong way and keep using it like that, it could seriously damage the mower and the grass.