Mower Blades: The Sharper the Better!
Mowing your lawn is very similar to shaving. You definitely notice the difference between a dull and sharp blade. With a dull razor, your skin is more likely to get nicks or cuts on it which will leave you open to infection. However, with a sharp razor, you can get a nice clean shave with little to no effort. It’s the same concept with mower blades.
When your lawn mower blade is dull, it will tear off the top part of your blade of grass instead of giving it a nice clean cut. This ripping action creates unnecessary stress for your grass. Your lawn becomes more susceptible to diseases and it could also potentially lead to fungal growth. Alternatively, when using a sharp mower blade, your grass will be cut cleanly. This reduces damage, stress, and produces an overall healthier, greener lawn.
Inspecting Mower Blades
It is important to inspect your mower blades at the beginning of each mowing season and then again after 8-10 hours of service. When you are inspecting your blades, it is important to know what you are looking for. You will know that your blades are not sharp enough for cutting your lawn if you see any bends, nicks, and/or dents. Some obstacle that can cause nicks or dents that you should look out for on your lawn are rocks, sticks, and other debris. The best thing to do is to inspect your lawn even before you start mowing it. Ensuring it is clear of these debris will help preserve the life of your mower blades.
Now that you’ve looked at your blades, you should be set and ready to mow your lawn… But if you saw any type of damage on your mower blade, keep reading! I’m going to tell you how you can properly sharpen your blades. Don’t worry! You’ll be a pro within the first couple times you try it.
How to Sharpen Mower Blades
Firstly, it is important to know exactly what a sharp mower blade looks like so that you can work towards that. To do this, I would recommend going to your nearest hardware store to look at a sharp blade yourself. You will notice that the blade is at a 45-degree angle; this is the angle that you want to sharpen your blade at.
Secondly, play it safe. Remove your mower’s spark plug, otherwise, any sudden movement could result in an injury to your hand.
Thirdly, make sure that you are working outside. Some mowers will leak oil, and you don’t want that in your garage. Then, you’ll have to look for the blade. Typically, the blade will have one single bolt holding it tightly in place. Once you get the bolt off, you can evaluate the damage and decide whether to continue or not. I would recommend using a file to sharpen your blade. Lawn mower blades are usually very soft and aggressive grinding might destroy them. 50 strokes or less with the file should get them looking much sharper!
Finally, when you are putting the mower blade back in place, be sure that it is balanced. When you put the bolt back in place, do so with your hand. It’s tough to over-tighten the bolt, but make sure that it isn’t under-tightened so that your mower still starts with ease.
Other Tips and Tricks
Now that you know how to sharpen your mower blades, take a look to see other Lawn Maintenance tips. As you cut your lawn, make sure you mow your Kentucky Bluegrass Sod around 2 ¼” tall; no lower than 1 ½” and no taller than 3”. Lastly, your lawn requires weekly attention! Be sure to mow your lawn consistently so that your lawn will be healthy and green all season long! Happy mowing!