Sharpening your lawn mower blades

When you own a lawn mower, you need to know that there is basic maintenance that you should perform on your unit each year. One of the most important things you should do to the lawn mower is to learn how to sharpen your lawn mower blades. Your lawn mower blade will develop dings and nicks from hitting rocks, branches and random debris.

A dull blade will cause havoc.

A dull blade will wreak havoc on the health of your lawn by ripping grass instead of cutting it. The grass blades will turn white at the tips and harden. It also leaves your grass more open to disease.

Disconnect all power.

First, be sure you turn off the power, if there is any going to the mower. This means you should remove the battery if your mower has one or the spark plug wire. This will protect you from being injured by the mower accidentally coming on.

Remove the lawn mower blade.

Next, you need to remove the blades from the lawn mower. You should be very careful when you are doing this. The blades are likely still sharp and will cut you. You might need to use spanners to help you with this step. As you take the blades out of the mower, be sure to number them. This will help you put them back correctly.

Sharpen, balance, grind.

Place a blade into a stable holding or a vice to keep it from slipping while you work. Then start sharpening the blade with a grinder or a metal file. Follow the shape and contour of your blade's factory bevel to work effectively.

Lastly, balance your blades. To do this you will need a balancer. Plastic balancers can be had at lawn equipment shops and home centers for a few dollars. If your mower vibrates more than usual after you refit the blades, it is likely they are not balanced. In this case, you need to grind a bit of steel from the end that dips down. Now you just need to refit the blades.

Repeat this process yearly.

You should sharpen your lawn mower blades at least once a year. Many people like to do it at the end of the season, so that when Spring comes, the mower will be sharp and ready to go!