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DIY Mower Blade Sharpening picture

DIY Mower Blade Sharpening


DIY Mower Blade Sharpening

Lawn mowers are expensive and drain this week’s pay check. When a lawn mowers blade dulls, it loses the ability to cut the grass efficiently. The grass will be cut jagged and will not grow properly. A sharp lawn mower blade is needed to maintain a healthy lawn and reduce the time it takes to mow. Sharpening a lawn mower blade seems harder than it is. It will take a few tries but can be done in 10 minutes. A mower blade should be sharpened twice a season.  Keeping the blade sharpened will preserve the health of the lawn.

The following steps are for any mower that must be pushed. Riding mowers require different instructions.

Safety First

Find a clear area to work outside and give yourself plenty of room. Below is a list of what is required for this DIY project:

  • File for sharpening blade
  • Gloves
  • Rags
  • Socket wrench       
  • Vise to hold the blade in place
  • 2X4, when removing the blade from the mower
  • WD-40 Lubricant

Remove any spark plugs on the mower to prevent the blade from hurting your hand while dismantling. When turning the mower over to get the blade, keep the carburetor side of the mower facing up. This will thwart oil and gas from dripping into the air filter. The carburetor can be identified by the throttle cables extending to it. Use a rag to dispose of any oil that does escape from a gas cap or leaks. After the blade is off, the mower can be placed on the wheels until the blade is sharpened.

A single nut or bolt is usually holding the blade in place and can be tight. Wedge a 2X4 in-between the blade and the deck of the mower to clamp. Then use a screw to loosen the nut or bolt with a wrench turning counterclockwise. Remove the blade from the mower and have the file ready.

 

Filing the Blade

After the blade is removed, inspect the blade to see if it needs sharpening. A blade will need to be sharpened if the cutting edge is thinning or the blade is rusted. Most mower blades will not need more 50 strokes from a file. The mower blades are made of a soft metal and do not require much to make it sharp. 

Sharpen from the cutting edge of the blade, this is the most durable part of the mower blade. The file will only cut the blade in one direction. The file will cut into the steel and it can be felt as it sharpens. If this sensation is not happening, the blade is too dull or there is not enough pressure building from the motion. Remember not to make it too sharp or the blade will dull quicker.

Balance the blade to see it shifts to one side. If it does, shave more metal off that side and retry. An unbalanced blade can ruin the blade shaft. Put the blade back on the mower with the 2X4 and the wrench. Tighten the bolt as far as it will go or it might hurt the mower’s engine.

 

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