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Sharpen Your Lawn Mower’s Blade Safely

As the springtime ushers in nicer weather, your grass will begin to grow with renewed vigor as its verdant green blades reach for the sky with fresh life. It might be pretty to look at, but you should cut that grass sooner rather than later unless you don’t mind renting a commercial lawn mower.

Craftsman lawn mowerMowing your lawn is a much easier task if you sharpen the lawn mower’s blade to remove the dullness that settles in after months of use. A sharp lawn mower blade gets the job done more quickly, while causing less damage to the grass, enabling each blade to recover faster and your lawn to look healthier. Dull lawn mower blades tear at the grass, ripping and pulling at it in a way that weakens it.

First, you need to make sure that you remove the wire from the spark plug so you don’t get hurt while removing the lawn mower blade. You could accidentally start your lawn mower otherwise. Next, put on a sturdy pair of work gloves to prevent getting cut as you remove the blade. It’s best to sharpen the lawn mower’s blade when there’s no gas in Craftsman lawn mower bladethe tank so you avoid spillage that might cause the engine to smoke when you begin using the mower again.

Take a socket wrench and undo the mounting nut that holds the lawn mower blade in place. If you put a piece of wood in between the mower deck and blade, you can help to keep it from moving around as you take it off.

To keep the blade steady, secure it in a vise if you have one or can borrow one. Your best filesharpening option is a coarse-toothed file. They’re inexpensive and easy to use. Run the file in short, easy strokes in the direction of the sharpest edge of the lawn mower blade. In most cases, you’ll need to hold the file at a 45-degree angle to accomplish this.

Don’t attempt to sharpen the flat side of the blade and don’t be alarmed when you see shavings appearing as you run the file along the blade. This is supposed to happen. You’ll want to lift the file each time you finish stroking it along the blade for the best results.

It’s important to try filing an equal amount on each blade end so the blade remains balanced. Failing to do this can cause your lawn mower to vibrate when you put the blade back on. The best way to ensure it stays balanced is to take the same number of strokes to each side. You can also check the balance by hanging the blade on a nail secured to the wall or with a balancer. You’ll easily be able to see if the sharpened lawn mower blade isn’t balanced, so just take a little more off the heavier end.

When you put the mower blade back on, be sure to put it on with the “wings” facing upward toward the deck. This will enable the sharpest edge of the lawn mower blade to do its work properly.


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  1. you also can sharpen your blade with a bench grinder. In doing so, be sure to not use a lot of pressure or not moving the blade along to slow as this will cause the blade to burn (cutting edge turns blue). Make a few light passes and turn the blade to the other edge alternating back and forth from edge to edge. This will help keep the blade in balance and also from getting too hot. Try to maintain the original bevel that is on the blade for best cutting results. To remove the burr that forms on the backside of the edge, take a file and lay it flat on the backside of the blade and file the burr away, that will leave you with a nice sharp edge.

    1. In response to 1lonewolf

      The final balancing can be done as suggested above in the text. The nail works well if you don't have a balancer

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