An important, often overlooked, aspect of your lawn mower maintenance, is the sharpening the blades. There is a misconception that mower blades need no sharpening or attendance because all they cuts is grass, when in fact a sharp blade will make a huge difference on how your mower operates. A well sharpened blade can help prevent the grass from just bending over. It also helps to prevent clogging and puts less stress on the machine. Imagine shaving with a new fresh razor versus a dull old one. One produces a better, cleaner shave.

How do I know if my blades need sharpening?

  • To start, you can tell by paying attention to how they are cutting. If you find yourself having to pass over the lawn multiple times because of strands of grass being left long or if the cuts aren’t even, then you probably need to sharpen your blades.
  • Secondly is by checking the blade itself when doing regular maintenance on the mower. If you feel or see the blade as dull, then you should sharpen it.
  • Lastly, you can gauge how often to sharpen your blades by keeping track of the hours you’ve mowed with it since its last sharpening. If you mow more than 15 minutes per week, you should probably be sharpening your blade more than once per year.

It is also a good idea to check for cracks or nicks in the blade, which could mean you might need to replace the blade entirely. These things can happen when mowing over rocks, roots or other items hidden in the grass.

Can I sharpen them myself?

Unless you feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can take your blades over to True Value, where they’ll sharpen your blade for a few dollars. If you decide to sharpen them at home, a bench grinder typically works best, but one could also use a hand grinder, remembering to exercise caution and to wear leather gloves when handling the blade. The blade does not need to be extremely sharp, but it is important to maintain the original angle of the cutting edge.