DIY Tips on sharpening lawn mower blades using bench grinder
Exposed to just about anything on our yard, the lawn mower blade takes the most abuse out of all the mower's parts. Not only does it encounter grass as intended, but it also encounters small rocks and other pieces of hard debris every time you mow. The blade may be made of steel, but it's not indestructible.
Wondering what to do to help maintain your blade's lifespan? The solution is simple: sharpen the blade regularly to keep its edge and repair minor nicks on the surface. With the help of the best bench grinder, the blade will be in and out of the lawn mower in no time.
Employing a bench grinder for blade sharpening requires a few safety precautions.
First, check the stability of your work station. A bench grinder's stone spins at high speeds, and the machine could fall if the workspace is unstable.
Next, perform a visual inspection of the grinder and its components. Ensure that the wiring has no exposed spots and that the stone itself has no damage. Also, check clearances between the stone and its protectors.
Lastly, gather your protective equipment and keep them handy. At a minimum, you should have safety goggles, cut-resistant gloves, earplugs, and a long-sleeved shirt.
Retrieving the blade
Make sure you disengage the lawn mower's power source by disconnecting the spark plug and the battery. You don't want your mower to turn on while you're handling the blade.
Next, ensure that the gas tank is protected from potential spills. Do this by siphoning fuel, running the motor, or by placing some plastic on top of the tank to prevent the fuel from escaping.
Next, turn the machine on its side. Create a visible marking on the side of the blade that's facing you to ensure that you can reinstall the blade correctly. Then, using a grip or two, clamp a block against the blade housing to keep the blade from moving too much.
Start loosening the nut or bolt that fastens the blade in place. You may have to knock some dirt off to get it to budge. If it's still not moving, use some oil or lubricant and let it sit for a few minutes before trying again.
It's sharpening time
Got the blade on your hands? Good. We're now on the fun part.
After wearing your protective equipment, observe the angle of the blade's cutting edge. Adjust the grinder stone angle to touch the cutting edge of the blade. Once it's ready, turn on the grinder.
Hold the blade with both hands on the dull side. Stand with the grinder stone facing you, then gently pass the cutting edge of the blade towards the direction of the wheel. Ideally, you want the wheel to rotate away from you so that the sparks and debris are sent away. Keep doing this until all nicks are gone and the edge feels sharp. Repeat the same process on the other side.
The balancing act
To balance the blade, you can use a balancer. If you're using a balancer, rest the center of the blade on top of it. If the blade leans on one side, bring it back to the grinder to grind the heavier side. Keep doing this until the blade no longer leans on one side.
Finishing the job
Got your blade sharpened and balanced? Congratulations, you've just extended your lawn mower's lifespan. Safely mount the blade back on the lawn mower, and feel free to test it. As such, the best time to sharpen the blade is before you start mowing the lawn.
Depending on how much you use your mower, you shouldn't have to sharpen the blade more than once every year. But if you have a mowing business or have a large lawn to maintain, you may have to do the process more often. Always keep an eye on how the grass looks to get a clue about the blade's status.
Video on How to Sharpen a Lawn Mower Blade
Sharpening lawn mower blades should never be a difficult task. With the help of the best bench grinder, you can extend your mower's life with just a few hours of work every year. Never skip this routine maintenance, and your healthy lawn will thank you. Also you can visit this Tools related website for more DIY tips & Reviews.
Thomas is a Pro himself, who has been in the business of home renovation & construction, working with various tools. He used to be the owner of 2 local construction companies with over 18 years experience. His works also include writing inspiring Do IT Yourself Tips & Tricks.