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Tips for safely sharpening your lawn mower blade

To prolong the life of your lawn mower, it is important to clean thoroughly after every cut. Remove grass clippings with a brush or scraper and avoid using water to prevent rust. Dry the underside with a cloth and regularly check screws and bolts, and grease hinges for smooth operation.

At the end of the gardening season, it is time for a thorough maintenance of the mower, including sharpening the blades. Sharp blades save time, effort and money, and are better for the grass because they cut the grass properly instead of pulling it off. This prevents diseases and fungi in the grass and reduces wear and tear on the lawn mower engine.

There are different types of lawn mowers, including circular mowers, robotic mowers, reel mowers and hover lawn mowers, each with their own cutting technology. For example, reel mowers have spiral blades on a horizontal shaft, while circular mowers have a horizontal blade that rotates at high speed in a circular tray. It is important to use the right sharpening technique for the specific type of blade on your lawn mower.

It is important to regularly sharpen the blades of your lawn mower, but sharpening a reel mower and circular mower requires different approaches. As a first step, check that there are no cracks or breaks in the blade or cage. If so, replace the blade or cage and discard the damaged one. Pay close attention during removal and sharpening to avoid injuries.

If you want to sharpen the blade of your lawn mower, it is important to know that the sharpening process differs between a reel mower and a rotary mower. In addition, safety is essential. For instance, you should always check that there are no cracks or breaks in the blade or cage. If there are, replace the blade or cage and discard the damaged lawn mower parts. This is because a mower blade with a break or crack can be very dangerous and cause a lot of damage to the mower.

Sharpening the reel mower:

To sharpen a reel mower, you need sharpening paste and a sponge.

  • First adjust the lower blade so that the blades on the horizontal cylinder just touch the lower blade.
  • Then remove the C-clips attaching the wheels to the axle and swap the star-shaped drives from left to right and right to left.
  • Then put sharpening paste on the sharp side of the blades.
  • Run the mower around for a few minutes so that the motion does the grinding work for you.
  • Remove the paste left with the sponge and check the screws and C-clips before mowing again.

Rotary mower sharpening:

To sharpen a rotary mower, you will need WD-40, a wire brush, a vice and a grinder.

  • Turn the circular mower over and lay it on its side.
  • Remove the cutting blade by loosening the bolt in the centre with WD-40.
  • Then secure the cutting blade securely in the vice and use the wire brush to remove the dirt.
  • Then sharpen the end of the blade with the grinder.
  • Replace the blade and make sure the bolt is tightened well.
  • Remember to balance the blade by making the weight of both ends equal.

Blade balancing:

  • Drive a nail at right angles (both horizontal and vertical) into the wall and smear some grease on it.
  • Hang the knife with the fixing hole through the nail and check that it hangs horizontally.
  • If not, slightly grind the side that is too heavy and repeat until the blade sticks horizontally.

If you don't have the necessary skills or tools, you can always choose to replace the blade of your lawn mower. But whatever you do, remember to work safely!