One of the most overlooked lawn care maintenance techniques involves your lawnmower. Nope, it isn’t checking the tires, although that is pretty important. Nor is it changing the oil, which hopefully you’re already doing regularly. It actually involves your lawnmower blades, and if you haven’t been sharpening them then your lawn has been missing out. What many lawn care newbies don’t know is that you should be sharpening your lawnmower blades after every 20 to 25 hours of usage time, or roughly two times per year. If you don’t, then unfortunately your grass will be prone to serious issues, such as rips and pulls of the blades, which promotes fungal growth and disease!
But fear not, friends. Sharpening your blades doesn’t require too much effort. In fact, most times you don’t even need to remove the blades to sharpen them. With a few necessary tools and a little bit of know-how, you can have your lawnmower blades sharpened up in no time.
Step One – Gather the necessary tools.
Most lawn care experts require an angle grinder with a metal blade or a flat-file. However, there are also sharpening tools specific to lawn mowing that you can find online. For instance, Smith’s 50603 Lawn Mower Blade Shop Essentials Sharpener offers freshly sharpened blades in just a few pulls.
Step Two – Cut the power or seal the tank.
Make sure that for electric lawnmowers you cut the power or disconnect the battery. For gas-powered mowers, seal the tank. To seal it, remove the cap and put a plastic bag over it. Then tighten the cap again. This ensures that no leakage occurs when you tilt the mower.
Step Three – Tilt the mower.
Tilt the mower over on its side. You can rent it on a wooden block, or something stable so that you can work carefully.
Step Four – Clean the blade.
Use some soapy water and a rag to clean the blades of any grass or debris. You can also use a steel wire brush for stuck-on-grime. Just make sure that you are being extra careful during this process. Just because blades can be dull doesn’t mean they aren’t sharp.
Step Five – Start sharpening the blades slowly.
Using the grinder or sharpener you’ve prepared, start grinding. Keep your handheld or electric grinder at an angle as you work. Take your time working from one side of the blade and then to another. Move the grinder in only one direction and make sure to only sharpen the blade’s top face. You don’t want to go back-and-forth like a sawing motion, just smooth strokes across the surface.
Step Six – Lower the mower and unseal the tank.
Lower down the mower back to the original starting point. You’re finished! Just make sure to remove the plastic bag to unseal the tank or plug the mower back in.
So, what do you think about sharpening your lawnmower blades? Have you ever tackled this project before? Share with us your thoughts in the comments section! Or, as always, if you need some help from the people with the sharpest blades in town, give us a holler at Handsome Lawn Service.