How Often Should You Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades? Signs, Tips & FAQ
A beautiful lawn is the envy of every homeowner. Most of us spend the weekend attending to our grounds, while others hire professionals to do it for us. But if you enjoy getting your hands dirty and doing it yourself, it can be frustrating when you don’t get that clean straight cut in one go. This can force you to spend precious time chasing after the ever-elusive lawn perfection.
Dull blades are a leading cause of underperforming lawn mowers, and as such, you should always keep track of the hours you have used your blades. On average, a lawn mower blade will require sharpening every 20 to 25 hours of use to maintain its optimal performance. However, the usage hours are not the only indicators your lawn mower blades need sharpening.
This article will examine the crucial information needed to keep your lawn mower blades sharp and cutting efficiently. So if you’re ready to sharpen your knives, keep reading to learn more.
How Do I Know When My Lawn Mower Blade Is Dull?
Do Brand New Lawn Mower Blades Need Sharpening?
When changing the blades, you might wonder if they need sharpening because they often don’t look that sharp at a glance. However, you will be glad to learn that you don’t need to sharpen a new blade.
Most replacement blades have a powder-coated paint finish making them look thick at the cutting edge and less sharp to the touch. But they leave the manufacturing facility ready to start cutting.
You should also note that the powder-coated paint around the cutting edge starts to disappear after a few minutes or so of mowing.
How Much Will it Cost to Sharpen a Lawn Mower?
The cost of sharpening your blade will depend on whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a professional to do the work. Let’s explore each separately.
Sharpening the Blades Yourself
The only cost of sharpening your blade is the initial cost of buying the right tools. But if you’re like most diligent homeowners, you most probably have them lying around in your garage. However, a simple sharpening tool will set you back $30–$50.
Hiring a Professional
When you hire a trained professional to sharpen your lawn mower’s blades, the cost will depend on the mower type. However, you can expect the payment to range from $20–$60. The price might be less when taking your mower for servicing maintenance, as they will sharpen your blades as part of the service.
Is it Better to Sharpen or Replace a Mower Blade?
You do not need to replace your blades when they get dull. Blades are made for durability and from rigid materials to help them withstand sharpening and harsh mowing conditions. In addition, regular sharpening will smooth out most of the minor dents and chips. But if you notice a large bend on your blade, it is time to replace it with a new one. Furthermore, it is best to replace the blade when it has 1-inch of the original width eaten up or is overly damaged.
On the other hand, manufacturers will also suggest when to replace your blades and include instructions for sharpening in their manuals.
Can I Sharpen My Lawn Mower Blade Without Removing it?
If you want to sharpen your lawn mower blade, it is safer to do it when it is not attached to the mower. Removing it will help when inspecting for balance. However, if you are in a hurry or unable to separate your blade, follow these steps to sharpen that blade perfectly while attached to your mower.
How to Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades
The crucial thing to do before you decide to sharpen the blade is to check whether there are any fractures. The blade’s structural integrity will tell you if it needs replacing, or a simple sharpening will do the trick.
Do You Sharpen Both Sides of a Mower Blade?
Lawn mower blades should only be sharpened on one side, never both. Always ensure the file is against the direction of the cutting edge. You will note the file meets resistance in a bite-like manner. That is when you know you are doing it right. If there is no bite, the file is worn out and will need replacing.
What Kind of Sharpening Tool Should You Use to Sharpen a Lawn Mower Blade?
A file is preferable when choosing a sharpening tool as it is affordable and better than a fast-moving grinder. It is also easier to control and maintain the desired angle for a better finish. The most favorable file length is an all-purpose 10 or 12-inch mill file. It has a good edge and is not overly aggressive to damage your lawn mower blade.
If your blade has several dents from hitting rocks, then a file will not do. Instead, you will need a grinder to smooth those dents and then go back to the file for the angle and an even, shiny finish to the blade.
A nice-looking lawn makes it worth your effort to maintain it. A well-sharpened lawn mower blade influences not only your lawn’s evenness but also the grass’s health, evidenced by its color.
A sharp blade is the heartbeat of your lawn, and you should always inspect it before mowing. Furthermore, remember to keep track of the hours you have used the blade and sharpen it every 20 to 25 hours.
Featured Image Credit: Ocskay Mark, Shutterstock