Lawn mowers come in various sizes, ranging from hand-pushed mowers, which are used for home lawn, to large sophisticated mowers, which are used for larger areas such as a golf course. Regardless of which of these you take into consideration, mowers use sharp blades to cut the grass at an even height.
Depending on the blade used, these mowers are broadly classified into two types: rotary mower and reel mower. The blade in the rotary mower rotates on a vertical axis, whereas the blade on the reel mower rotates on the horizontal axis. It is important to use well-sharpened blades in the mower, as dull blades rip off the grass instead of cutting it in a sharp and even manner, and that makes the grass vulnerable to various diseases. Therefore, it's important to sharpen the blades at least once in a month.
Tips to Sharpen the Blades
The foremost thing to be done, is to make sure that all the sources of power are disconnected. If the mower is powered by a battery, remove the battery. Make sure that all the power controls are off; in fact, disconnecting the spark plug is the best option. Once you are done with this, the next step is to remove the blades, for which you will require a spanner, as you need to remove the nut that attaches the blades to the mower.
Be careful while doing this, as a little negligence and the blades will cut your fingers. While removing the blades, make sure that you number them. It would be helpful as you will have to fix them back in the same order. If you notice any specks of rust, use steel wool or steel brush to get rid of them. Though the blades may appear to have become blunt, they can still be dangerous for your hands. Always use a stable holding or a vice to grip the blade while you sharpen it.
Most of the large mowers come with a sharpening kit. If you have such a kit, you can use it. If not, you will need a sharpening device, such as a grinding wheel or a file, to sharpen the blades. Follow the contours of the blade and sharpen it along the edge. Make sure that all the blades are sharpened in an even manner. You can also sharpen them without removing them from the mower, using a flexible shaft angle grinder. Although this process saves time, it can be very uncomfortable. If you don't have either of the equipment, then you can remove the blade and take it to the mower shop. Doing this you will save time and, more importantly, you won't have to take the risk of leaving the mower at the repair shop.
While refitting the blades into the mower, make sure that they are properly balanced. You can use a balancer to check whether the blades are balanced. Another easy way is to support the blade at the center to check the balance. If it is not balanced, adjust it on either side until the balance is achieved. If the blades are not fitted correctly, the lawn mower will make some weird noise. In such circumstances, open the mower, crosscheck the blade fitting, and refit them. If the blades have been totally worn out, you can use the same removing and refitting methods to replace them.
It is important to keep your lawn neatly trimmed and clean, and for that you have to take proper care of your gardening equipment. If the lawn mower is one of the most important equipment in your gardening shed, it is largely because of the sharpness of its blades.