How to Sharpen Mower Blades | Living the Country Life
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How to Sharpen Mower Blades

When it comes to off-season machinery maintenance, sharpening blades is a mower must. Get a better cut and save money by properly honing your own blades at home.
  • Stay Sharp!

    Your mower is sure to cut better with sharp blades! Fortunately, it's a chore you can do yourself with the help of a few simple tricks. Troy Behrens, service manager with Van Wall Equipment, a John Deere dealer, gives some pointers. 

    Date Published: January 5, 2018
    Date Updated: January 5, 2018
  • 1. Sharpen Twice a Season

    If you sharpen your mower blades every 20 to 25 hours of service, that's about twice per season. If your mower chops up twigs and debris often, you should sharpen more often. When you let your blades go dull, your mower tears at grass instead of chopping it, giving a poorer cut and straining the mower. The duller blades become, the more steel you have to remove at the next sharpening, which reduces longevity. Regularly and properly sharpened blades should last about 10 years. 

    Date Published: January 5, 2018
    Date Updated: January 5, 2018
  • 2. Clean Up Surfaces

    Scrape accumulated grass clippings off the blade and the inside of the mower deck. Grass buildup dulls the lift side of the blade, leading to decreased airflow. With less air movement, the grass doesn't stand up for the cutting edge, giving a poorer cut. 

    Date Published: January 5, 2018
    Date Updated: January 5, 2018
  • 3. Stick to Basics

    You don't need fancy tools for this chore. A vise or other clamping device to hold the blade steady, a handheld grinder, and a sharpening wheel work well. Wear eye goggles and ear plugs for your own protection. Avoid loose clothing that could get caught in the spinning disc. 

    Date Published: January 5, 2018
    Date Updated: January 5, 2018
  • 4. Make the Grind

    Mount the blade horizontally on a vice. With the flap disc spinning, move the grinder in quick back-and-forth movements along the cutting edge, working from the inside to the outside of the blade. Do your best to maintain the angle of the factory bevel on the edge. After multiple resharpenings, that angle can get off. When that happens, take the blade back to a dealer, who will grind it back to factory specifications.

    Date Published: January 5, 2018
    Date Updated: January 5, 2018
  • 5. Don't Oversharpen

    The biggest mistake when sharpening a mower blade is oversharpening it. Don't aim for a razor-sharp edge. Instead, shoot for butter-knife sharpness. Extra fine edges will roll back, quickly dull, and be readily damaged when struck by twigs or debris. 

    Then, make a final pass of two. Grind along the bottom of the blade's cutting edge to clean up any nicks and burrs.

    Date Published: January 5, 2018
    Date Updated: January 5, 2018
  • 6. Balance the Blade

    Place the blade's center hole over a nail secured horizontally in a vise or pounded into a wall. Rotate the blade horizontally. If one end rotates downward, grind away more steel from that end to rebalance the blade. 

    Date Published: January 5, 2018
    Date Updated: January 5, 2018

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