Mowing the lawn can be relaxing and enjoyable, as long as the mower works smoothly. However, this calming household chore can quickly turn to unpleasant work if the equipment fails to perform as it should. A regular maintenance routine of some of its components can save you stress. This routine should include sharpening the lawnmower blades. One of the best ways to do it is with a bench grinder. Learn how to sharpen lawnmower blades with a bench grinder by following the steps below.
Keeping the mower blades sharp is one of the ways to keep your mower in good shape. You can sharpen the blades without the help of a professional using a bench grinder. We will explain how.
Here’s how to sharpen your mower blades with a bench grinder
First, uncouple the blade from the mower. This is easy to do as you only have to unscrew ONE bolt from the equipment. After detaching the blades, turn on your bench grinder. When it is at full speed, carefully sharpen the blades on the grinder. Below, we will explain in greater detail the steps to sharpen the blades.
- Safety rules for removing the blades
You should detach the spark plugs from the mower to prevent any accidents, whether it’s electric or gas-powered. Then make sure the carburetor faces up when you turn the mower over so that there are no oil or gas spills. Put on a pair of protective gloves to protect your hands from the blades, as the blades would still be sharp enough to cut.
- Detach the blade from the mower and clean it
The screw might be too tight if you haven’t loosened it in a while, or at all. Put some lubricant and allow the oil to penetrate the bolt before unscrewing. Once you take out the blade, put a mark on the bottom from where you lifted it so that you can screw it back without mistakes. Clean out the dirt and grass that might be stuck on the blades using soap and water. Then wipe it to dry it off.
- Switch on the grinder
Before this, make sure you wear your protective gear for your face, eyes, and hands. A Long sleeve clothing is also better for this work to protect your arm from flying sparks. Then turn on the grinder.
- Sharpen your mower blade
When the grinder is at full speed, hold the blade at the proper position, and shift it forward and backward on the grinding wheel to sharpen it. While you sharpen the blade and the wheel turns, it can heat up. Try to make sure the blade stays cool enough so as not to damage it and injure yourself in the process. In addition, ensure that the blade stays balanced during the process. You can balance it by using an object such as a big nail. Place this horizontally in a vise to keep the blade balanced.
- Re-attach the blade to the mower
After the blade is sharpened, screw it back to the equipment, making sure the upside is on up and the downside is where it should be. Do not screw it too tight or too loose. That way it’s easy to unscrew it next time, and it works effectively on the mower.
Now your mower is ready for some mowing.
Why you should sharpen your mower blades
The mower blades require periodic sharpening to prevent them from dulling. A dull mower blade will not cut the grass. Instead, it will pull the grass from the roots or break it unevenly, causing it to turn brown and ugly within days.
A sharp blade requires less energy and saves time. The mower would move around the grass smoothly, cutting it neatly with a sharp mower blade.
The mower has to strive harder with a dull blade. This drains more fuel or electricity. Yet, the lawn would not come out nicely cut. A mower with a sharp blade would do a much better job, and consume less gas.
The benefit of using a bench grinder to sharpen your mower blades
Unlike a file or other powered and handheld equipment, a bench grinder does a swift and effective job. The grinder can revive a dull blade, removing minor rusts or dents on the edges with little effort on your part.
There are safety guards on each wheel of the grinder, and its wheels turn faster than other equipment, quickening the work for you.
How to tell if your mower blade is dull
- Rough grass with uneven heights is a sign of dull mower blades
If after cutting, you notice your grass height is uneven, this is one obvious way to tell that your mower blades need to be sharpened. With sharp blades, the grass would look smooth and evenly cut.
- If you hit a rock while mowing, you need to check and sharpen the blades before next use
While cutting, if you hit a stone or hard object and nick the blade, you need to sharpen it immediately. If not, it would become weak and might break the next time you hit a hard surface.
- Examine the blade regularly
Look for dents and bends on the edge of the blades. Clean off grass specks of dirt that are stuck on the edges of the blade. Before you turn on your mower, look around your lawn for any sticks, stones, or tough objects and get them out of the way.
What size of the bench grinder is the best for mower blades?
The 8 inches grinder is ideal for mower blades. They are large enough and come with a stronger motor to effectively sharpen objects like the mower blade. These grinders weigh between 20 to 50 pounds, depending on the brand and model. And are usually to a workbench to prevent unnecessary movement.
How often should you sharpen your mower?
Ideally, you should sharpen your mower blades after every 25 hours of use or twice a year. You should also look at your grass one day after you mow the lawn for any sign of uneven cut. If the cut is not as smooth as it should be, then the blade might be getting dull. Follow the steps above to sharpen it with a bench grinder.
After sharpening the blade, make sure that it is balanced. You can do this by sticking a nail in the wall, and placing the blade on it through its center hole. If one side bends then the blade is still unbalanced. Remove some metal from the side that is heavier to make it balanced.
What is the best angle to sharpen mower blades?
It depends on the thickness of your grass. Most manufacturers recommend a 37-degree angle for mowers. For the best cut, some people suggest between 30 to 40 degrees. Any point within this range should be good enough for a mower blade.
How to find the best grinder for your lawnmower blades
Not all bench grinders are good enough for mower blades. When searching for a bench grinder for your mower blades, look out for these:
- The grinder should be 8-inches, not smaller
- Avoid noisy grinders. A less noisy grinder indicates little friction and would make your grinding smooth
- Look for a heavy-duty one
- Make sure the grinder is well-balanced and can be easily fastened in place
With the steps above you can sharpen your mower blades like a pro. You would not need to take the blades to the repair shops for sharpening.
Just remember to use necessary safety precautions to protect yourself while using the pieces of equipment. Make sure you get the angle correctly to complete a perfect job. After a few tries, you will become good at it.
But if you are not sure about doing it yourself, you should contact a professional. Or visit the nearest workshops to get your mower blades sharpened. Bear in mind that sharpening your blade at least twice during mowing season is a crucial part of the lawnmower maintenance. Therefore, doing this at regular intervals is a requirement to keep the mower durable and in top shape.