One way to tell your blades need sharpening is by looking at the cut ends of the blades of grass. Read more to see how you can do it yourself quickly and cheaply.
If the ends of your blades of grass look torn or frayed instead of cut then your blades probably need sharpened or replaced.
As mentioned in my DIY Zero Turn Mulch Plug Post, I put some mulching blades on my mower a while back, but after a season they seem to need some freshening up. I was noticing that I was having to mow a little slower to get a good cut, also the ends of the blades of grass were looking frayed.
New Toys: Grinding wheels and blade balancer
I decided to try my luck at sharpening blades myself to see how it goes. I was looking around on Amazon and found some items that I hope will make it easier. One is a blade balancing tool and the other is a two pack of mower blade grinding wheels.
Now that I got them in, I decided to try them out.
I tried two different methods with these blades. The first was with my nifty new drill powered grinding wheels and the other was with the tried and true bench grinder.
Notice in the pics above on the blade sharpened with the drill powered grinding wheels I had some problems. Since these are mulching blades, the drill powered grinding wheels with the plastic guard wouldn’t allow me to sharpen the multiple angles of the blade, only the straight parts. Maybe they would be better on regular blades, but they were still pretty slow. Also the default angle of the grinding wheels were a slightly different pitch than the factory edge on the mulching blades.
The drill powered blade grinding wheels are… pretty much useless. I only stuck with it as long as I did so I could take some pics for this post. Once I abandoned them and just used a common bench grinder things went much faster (about 5 min per blade).
Here is an after pic of my blades, I tried to keep them at the same angle and make sure they are balanced.
Safety Note: Don’t sharpen or otherwise use damaged or bent blades. Always make sure they are balanced before reinstalling. Unbalanced blades can cause premature wear and potential injury if they were to fail.
If you are balancing your blade and notice one side is heavier (the side that is lower to the ground) than the other, you can grind some more on the heavy side to get them more even. I used a metal ruler to measure from the blade to a flat surface.
Make sure you knock most of the grass off the blades so they aren’t throwing off your balance measurement
Viola! I just saved myself $50 with only about an hour worth of work. Now YOU, get out in the garage and work on something!