Mower Blade Sharpener How Effective Are They?
Among the parts of a lawn mower, it is the blade that takes most of the beating that’s why the best mower blade sharpener should always come in handy when the going gets rough with it. Generally, mower blades are made of low carbon with high alloy steel for high impact resistance and durability. For commercial and industrial grade blades, these are also mixed with other softer metals to make them more flexible but tough and not break in case they hit on hard objects.
Mower blades are manufactured to be sturdy so that they can withstand high-speed contact during a collision with a variety of hard objects. So depending on where you need the mower blades, either for domestic, commercial, or for industrial use, you have a choice with their thickness, designs, curves and lengths. But regardless of the blade, it must always stay sharp to produce a wholesome cut on the grass. In a different scenario, some blades that do not require regular sharpening such as the self-sharpening mower blades that are layered with more solid metals on the blade while others are laser treated.
In this topic, we shall be talking about the best lawn mower blade sharpener types which can be significantly used for many different kinds of mower blades. Remember that mower blades are unlike the blades of knives or scissors because they commonly have sliding 30 to 40-degree angles with their blades to prevent them from getting dull quickly. So when choosing a lawn mower sharpening tool, there must also be some considerations to make your lawn mower blades fully sharpened.
How Often Should You Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades?
We often receive questions mainly from people who are first-timers in having lawn mowers and asking us how often you should sharpen lawn mower blades. Well, the rule of thumb according to some experts is that for every 25 hours of mowing, you should sharpen your blade using your best mower blade sharpener. This means that if your mowing session takes only about 5 hours per session, you can do the full blade sharpening after 4 or 5 sessions.
In some instances, people wait for their blades to get really dull before they do the sharpening job and their best indicator of a dull blade is the appearance of the cut grass with raggedly torn tips like the top blades were ripped off. This is wrong because you must not wait for your blades to show signs through the grass otherwise this could have some bad consequences with the grass.
So our advice also is do the 20 to 25-hour sharpening rule and don’t wait for your blades to get dull and ruin your lawn. Now, this does not mean you always have to follow the 25-hour sharpening rule. Like if your blade is already worn out then you may need to resharpen it now and then or better replace it with a new one. Or do what some smart homeowners do by always sharpening an extra blade in case there’s a sudden need for a blade change due to bluntness.
How To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blade Without Removing?
There are many ways to sharpen the mower blades. But if you are wondering if you can sharpen lawn mower blade without removing it from its socket, that’s also very possible. However, some experts don’t agree in sharpening the blades while they are attached to the machines because accordingly, you can produce an imbalanced sharpening result which means you may not thoroughly balance the sharpening process as you will be constricted with your space and movements as you move your hands forward or backward. As such, an imbalanced sharpened blade can create vibration from underneath the deck which in the long run can affect the engine and other parts of the mower.
But then, if you want to sharpen your mower blade while it is attached, here are the things that you should do. First, be ready with your best mower blade sharpener tool. This sharpener could be a grinder or a file or both and some accessories which we will tell you below.
Prepare all the things you will need like grinder or file, gloves, safety glasses, a 4×4-inch block of wood, 2×4-inch wood block with a length of 16 to 20 inches, and steel wool or brush for cleaning up.
Disconnect the spark plug or unplug the power cord if your mower is an electric type.
Tilt the mower on its side with the carburetor facing up. Place the 4X4 block of wood below the engine or under the motor to make the mower stable while using a lawn mower sharpening tool.
Wash the blade using a garden hose to remove the caked grass, rust and debris and brush these dirt using steel wool or a large brush. Wipe the blade with a clean, dry cloth.
Secure the blade by wedging it using the 2×4 wood block over the cutting deck or below the blade. Make sure that the position of the blade will be according to where you should position yourself when performing the sharpening.
As the blade is secured and not moving, wear your gloves and put your safety glasses on. Use the grinder and angle it by following the line of the blade while making quick uniform strokes on the blade without moving the grinder backward. Go to another side of the blade and do the same sweeping motion until there’s no dents and nicks that you see and feel on the blades. Use the file as the finishing tool by making straight strokes over the blade.
To test the sharpness, run your finger slowly and lightly over the sides of the blades. If there’s a slight feel of bump or thickness, either you use the grinder again or the file.
Note that while you do the grinding, stop and check the blade for every single sweep of the grinder to ensure that it’s creating a straight line and not eating up too much metal. Your purpose is only to remove the dents and nicks and balance the sharpness by thinning out thickened parts of the blade. And this is how to sharpen the lawn mower blade without removing it from under the deck.
Nonetheless, when you have time, you must also detach the blade from the machine and check its blade if it’s balanced. Then sharpen it if necessary by clamping it with a table vise and use your grinder. If you have a portable lawn mower sharpener tool that is designed specifically for mower blades, this is more ideal than using a grinder only.
Where to Find the Best Lawn Mower Blade Sharpener
Lawn mower sharpeners are many these days and they come in a variety of designs and modes of use. However, which of these would you pick to satisfy your needs for a sharpening tool that you can use right on the spot where you need it. So here are two best mower blade sharpener tools that we have picked which can be used while your mower’s blade is attached to the machine.
Universal for Any Power Drill/Hand Drill, 4 PCS Lawnmower Blade Sharpener, Lawn Mower Blade Balancer, Drill Bit Sharpener Tool for Garden, Courtyard, Kitchen
We chose this item because this is one of the easiest but best mower blade sharpener kit to install to your power drill and use it right in the field. if you don’t want to remove the lawn mower blade from its socket and want the sharpening done quickly but efficiently, you only have to load any of the small stone sharpeners into your power drill and can do the quick sharpening. The advantage of using these pieces of sharpening tools is that it can save you time and effort without the need of detaching your blade from your machine.
Using these small lawn mower sharpeners is quick and easy. All you have to do is insert one stone piece into the slot of the drill and insert the blade into the space where the plastic protector and the stone meets. This slot in the stone is perfectly angled at a 30-degree angle so there is no possibility that you can create an imbalance sharpening on the blade. All you have to do is move the spinning stone back and forth onto the blade.
There are four pieces of stone sharpeners inside the box to offer you a longer sharpening use with this kit. You can also use these to sharpen your other tools such as machete, scissors, kitchen knives and a lot more. For those who want a lawn mower sharpening tool that can be used while the blade is attached, you should try this very affordable tool kit. Each stone sharpener’s head is about 2-inch in diameter so each of these can also sharpen mulching blades.
We also like this small price of lawn mower sharpening tool because, despite its simplicity and basic use , it is also versatile and can always put up a perfect sharpening performance. It can even sharpen other bladed tools including those with beveled blades such as pruners, loppers, axes, hedge shears, knives and machetes. This sharpening tool is now seen as one of the handiest and the best mower blade sharpener because it can deal with any single or double beveled edged blades.
Constructed with 5 sharpening parts with 3 slots of varied sharpening angle, one slot is loaded with tungsten carbide bars and the other slot has a ceramic bar to complete all sharpening requirements. Tested for its durability, its sharpening teeth will never wear out up to 10,000 uses. Very lightweight with an oversized handle to allow people even with big hands and wearing gloves to use it on the field, the handle is also rubber molded with an enclosed base to ensure a secure and comfortable grip.
This product is also offered with a 3 years limited warranty and 30-day 100% refund guarantee so if you’re not up to it, you can send it back and get your money back.
Now, you may be asking why some blades get dull fast while other blades only require sharpening even once or twice a year. Well, that depends on many factors and below are usually the reasons.
Causes of Blades Getting Dulled Quickly
Underpowered engine. If you are using a petrol-powered lawn mower, even if your machine is equipped with the best mower blade, this will cause a bad cut to the grass because the spinning of the blade would not be fast enough to cause clean snips on the grass blades. Thus, with the continuous slow spinning of the blade, this will get dull eventually and unexpectedly.
Keeping the grass too long. In the spring where grass can grow fast, mowing it should be done about once or twice a week. If not, the long grass can be hard to deal with by the blade which may result in an ugly cut and leaving the grass looking beaten up. The stem of the grass also tends to become harder which is another burden for the blade to cut.
Putting on too much fertilizer. If you are feeding your grass with high-nitrogen chemical fertilizer, this will surely grow fast and long grass is always a problem even for the sharpest and durable blade. This is why a lawn mower sharpening tool should always be on hand if you love seeing your grass getting green with fertilizer.
Cutting your grass too low. Cutting the grass about 1/3 of its length can quickly dull your mower’s blade and even stall your engine because what’s below the softer grass blades are already the hardened parts of the grass. So if you happen to come across clumps of hard grass stems, that could put some beatings on your mower’s blade.
For those who are asking how many hours do mower blades last, this depends. If the blade is an aftermarket product, this may last 150 to 200 hours only. But with the better quality branded ones these may be useful to as much as 400 hours. It also depends on how you use your mower blades because the more you use it on hardy grass, the shorter hours it will stay functional.
Many individuals who do lots of mowing per season claim that it is also in the way on how you sharpen your blade that it will live longer. For example, if you sharpen your lawn mower blade without removing them from the mower while using the best blade sharpener right there, you can prolong the life of your blades compared to changing blades every now and then and sharpen them all inside your shop using grinders or whatever large sharpening machine you have. So again, how often should you sharpen your lawn mower blades will be according to your choice but don’t wait till it gets completely dull.
Lawn mower blades are specially designed to handle continuous beating while crashing on different types of terrains and grounds. So they must stay sharp always and the only way to make them do their jobs efficiently is by pairing them with a lawn mower sharpening tool that should not only be used inside the garage but should also be handy in an outdoor lawn setting.
So what we are suggesting is that if you want to have a complete sharpening system for your lawn mower blades, you should have sharpening tools both inside and outside your garage. The larger sharpening tools will have to settle indoors for more thorough sharpening while the portable and handy lawn mower blade sharpener types must be among your outdoor tools so that you don’t have to detach your blade every time they need a bit of deburring their blades. If you don’t want your mower blades to get completely dull and become harder to sharpen, better condition their sharpness using small tools regularly and you can do this while taking a break from your mowing every couple of hours.
These are the main reasons why we have suggested having the most portable but efficient types of sharpening tools that are not only highly portable but also lightweight, and very affordable they will only cost you less than $20 apiece.
For those who are asking what are the best mower for wet grass since mowing wet grass sometimes is a problem, we shall be discussing this also in our other blog.