The lawn mower blade will sooner or later become dull due to dings, nicks and curls caused by the blade hitting rocks and branches. Dull blade rips and shreds the grass instead of cutting it cleanly leaving it susceptible to diseases.
Simple lawn mower blade sharpening goes a long way in maintaining a healthy lawn and saving you money for costly repairs. Dull lawn mower blades also put strain on the engine and uses more fuel to get the job done.
Here are simple lawn mower maintenance tips
1 Safety first, always. Use safety glasses and leather work gloves.
2. Unplug the spark plug in order to avoid accidental start up. Empty the fuel by running the mower until the gas is empty or siphoning the fuel out. Cleaning and changing the mower blade requires it to be turned up on its side which might cause accidental fuel spillage.
3. Hose down the housing and blade until all the grass clippings and dirt are all removed. Scrape off the hardened and caked off grass, dirt and debris.
4. Remove the nut holding the blade. If you cannot do it with the ratchet your using try a bigger one or a cheater bar (a long bar that goes over the wrench).
5. Examine the blade . It is important to assess the condition of the blade in order to determine if you may need or be better off just getting a new blade. If you just have minor nicks and one or two larger nicks you are okay. However, if you have a lot of larger nicks, a crack, or a bent blade you definitely need a new blade. A cracked or bent blade can break during use and causes severe damage to the mower and possibly injure the operator.
If the mower blade is still good and just needs sharpening, you can do this using either a grinder or a file.
I. Using a Grinder
a. Put safety glasses on as pieces of metal can possibly fly at your face and eyes.
b. Grasp the blade firmly in your hands or clamp depending on grinder.
c. It is important to sharpen the blade by maintaining the angle that is already on the blade. The angle used on the mower blade must be the most effective for both cutting and keeping an edge.
d. Grind slowly and take small amounts off at a time. Do not jam the blade in the grinder as it will affect the tempering of the blade.
II. Using a File
a. Clamp the blade properly.
b. It is important to keep the angle that is already on the blade. When using a file, you should do only one stroke whether push or pull.
There is no need to get every nick out of the blade, or make it razor sharp. Go until most minor nicks are gone and you have decent edge on the blade.
6. Place the blade back on the mower and screw nut back onto the bolt. Tighten the nut with force. Be warned that blade is now sharp and could easily cut you.
It is recommended to sharpen the blade at least once a season. However, depending on how much you mow or how big your lawn is, you may need to do it more.
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