Keep Your Lawn Mower Blade Sharp and Ready
If you’ve looked outside recently, you may have noticed that the winter snow has begun to melt. (Or you may be wishing that it would!). Soon enough, your grass will be growing up like… well… a weed. As you prepare for the lawn mowing season, you need to know what preventative steps you can take to keep your lawn mower blade from getting too dull. You also need to know how to sharpen your blade when it does get too dull. A sharper blade makes cleaner cuts that will keep your lawn healthier throughout the year. A dull blade rips the grass blades instead of cutting them cleanly, which will make the grass plants more susceptible to disease.
- Keeping Your Blade Sharp. There are a number of things that will dull your lawn mower blade very quickly. Each time you mow your lawn, make sure you do a walk around first to clear away rocks, sticks, stray toys, and anything else that may nick your blade as you go along. Also, try to mow your grass when it is dry. Wet grass will cause a lawn mower blade to dull much faster than dry grass will.
- How to Tell If Your Blade is Getting Dull. After you mow your lawn, check the grass to see if the cuts to the blades of grass are clean. If they are, then your blade is sharp. If the cuts are rough and split, then your blade is dull and you should sharpen it before your lawn suffers the ill effects of ragged cuts.
- Sharpen. Plan to sharpen your lawnmower blade at least twice each season. First, power down your lawn mower, then remove the spark wire if it is gas powered, unplug it if it is electric, or remove the battery if it is cordless. Remove the blade, clean it off, and sharpen it. To sharpen your blade, clamp your blade in a vice and file both edges of the blade with a fine tooth file . Make sure that you file at the same angle as the existing cutting edge. For detailed instruction on blade removal and sharpening, including some tricks to maintain good blade balance, check out this video.