How to Safely and Effectively Sharpen Your Mower Blades

We’re deep into the mowing season, and it’s important to maintain an aesthetically-pleasing and healthy lawn. Keeping your equipment summer-ready is crucial. Here is a step-by-step process on how to safely and effectively sharpen the mower blade.

Do I Even Need to Sharpen the Blade?

In order to tell whether you should even sharpen your lawn mower’s blade or not, look at your grass. If your lawn is brown and the grass appears uneven, it is likely that your lawn mower is proving ineffective. In addition, if the blades are dull, this is a sure sign that you need to sharpen your lawn mower blade. Before beginning, make sure you’re wearing protective gloves and eyewear!

  1. Remove Spark Plug Wire

Remove the spark plug and disconnect from the power source. Do this so you don’t accidentally start the lawn mower while you’re working on it! 

  1. Remove and Clean the Blade

Turn the lawn mower sideways so you can access the blade, and make sure the air filter and carburetor are facing up. Use a dry rag to clean out the dirt, mulch, and grass that are gathered in the blade before moving on to the sharpening.

  1. Sharpen the Blade

Before you begin, make sure that you’re wearing sturdy gloves and a long-sleeve shirt. 

You have a couple options for sharpening. You can either do it by hand with flies, chisels and punches, or with a machine, such as a bench grinder. 

  • Sharpening by hand: Sharpen the edge of the blade with a file or grindstone, and make sure the blade is at about a 45-degree angle when doing so. Follow the edge and even out all rough spots.
  • Sharpening with bench grinder: Make sure you are wearing glasses, as these machines can emit sparks and debris. In order to sharpen, move the blade back and forth against the grinder wheel. Follow the edge and even out all rough spots.

When all is said and done, you want a blade that is close to the sharpness of a butter knife (rather than a steak knife). 

  1. Check the Balance 

In order to ensure that the mower runs smoothly, check the balance of the blade by supporting the center of the blade and then spinning it.

  1. Reinstall the Blade

Replace the blade and remove any dirt that may have accumulated in the process. Use a wrench to tighten the bolt, and then reconnect the spark plug. 

  1. Maintaining Your Lawn Mower

During the lawn-mowing season, you should sharpen the blade once or twice. If your blade is dented or cracked, you should replace it for optimal performance. 

If you follow this procedure, your lawn should be pristine and green in no time! When in doubt, schedule an appointment with our professional Minnesota Equipment team for more assistance.