Mowing the grass is an essential step in maintaining the health and appearance of your lawn. It can mean the difference between a lush green expanse and a flat, drab letdown. Moreover, mowing discourages the growth of weeds and makes the grass more resilient. And that is where the lawn mower comes in! Let’s dive in and find out so, do brand new lawn mower blades need to be sharpened?
Photo Credit A sharp cutting blade improves the look of your lawn and helps keep it healthy.
Many people who have used lawn mowers will tell you how simple, easy and quick it is to cut your grass with a lawn mower. People do, however, have many questions regarding lawn mowers, just like they do about everything else.
For instance, one of the most often asked questions on naturallist.com is whether new lawn mower blades need to be sharpened or not.
There won’t be a need to sharpen the blade if your lawn mower is brand new. Almost all new lawn mowers and lawn mower blades are pre-sharpened from the factory and do not require sharpening before use. So you can simply go ahead and use your brand new lawn mower or lawn mower blades and start mowing your grass.
Continue reading this article to learn more about inspecting, sharpening, removing, refitting, balancing, and torquing your lawn mower’s blade.
Why Do Some People Sharpen New Mower Blades?
Photo Credit If you sharpen a brand-new mower blade, you will probably end up damaging it.
It makes perfect sense why so many individuals find themselves perplexed by this question. After all, why on earth would you need to sharpen mower blades that are brand new? Shouldn’t it be ready to use right as you take it out of the box?
The powder-coated paint finish that most brand new and replacement lawn mower blades have is the main reason why so many people think that new blades should be sharpened. The paint is especially dense near the cutting edge of the blade, and on touch, it may give you the impression that the blade is dull.
And we are all aware that a dull blade isn’t going to do your grass any favors! However, there are a few reasons why this paint finish exists:
It Prevents Rust
You don’t want to have rust on any part of your lawn mower, especially the blades. The paint coating provides a higher level of protection for your blade against water and thus rust.
It Protects The Blades
If you’re clumsy like me, you may drop or scratch your new mower blade before even fitting it. The protective paint finish shields the blade from this type of damage.
It Saves You From Injury
Clearly, you will have to handle the new mower blade when installing it. The paint dulls the cutting edge, so you won’t cut yourself installing it, even without gloves.
Why Not Remove the Dull Protective Finish?
Photo Credit The protective coating on new mower blades dissolves on its own after a few minutes of use.
You probably don’t understand how abrasive grass is, and the protective layer that covers your new blade is not meant to last for very long. Indeed, after a brief “breaking in” period, you’ll notice that the paint is beginning to peel.
If you check at the blade after about half an hour of mowing, you’ll notice that the protective layer that was once wrapped around the edge of the blade has worn away. The time it takes to complete this “breaking-in” stage may vary depending on the grass type, with certain species being much thicker and abrasive.
The important thing to remember is that this paint coating will eventually wear away, revealing a blade edge that is precisely tuned for cutting your lawn.
Drawbacks Of Sharpening A New Mower Blade
You not only save time by not having to sharpen new lawn mower blades, but it might also save you from potential future headaches. This is because sharpening a new blade can cause it to become unbalanced and jeopardize its integrity.
Unbalanced blades can have a host of knock-on effects, including causing a lot of vibration and placing your blade shaft and engine under greater stress.
Is It Okay To Use A New Mower Blade Even If It Appears Dull?
Remember, new lawn mower blades are not dull. Instead, they have a flawless edge that extends the amount of time they can cut before they need to be sharpened. Simply attach the new blade to the mower, and then begin cutting the grass.
You should be able to go for 25 hours without having to examine it for nicks and scratches. After that, examine it and sharpen it as needed.
When Should I Sharpen My Mower Blade?
Photo Credit If your lawn mower blade has any dents or gouges, it needs to be sharpened.
You can examine your blade by tipping your mower on its side and turning it over so that the carburetor is looking up toward the sky (this prevents gas spill). Next, slide your fingers along the blade while wearing a glove. Are there any deep indentations or gouges?
The lawn mower blade needs to be sharpened if the answer is yes. Be mindful, however, that a mower blade does not need to have a knife-sharp edge; rather, the leading edge of the blade should have a beveled edge, and its front should be free of gouges.
How Often Should Mower Blades Be Sharpened?
Photo Credit Ideally, you should sharpen your mower blade before the start of every new season.
It is essential to sharpen the blades of your lawnmower on a regular basis. A sharp blade will cut smoothly, which is better for the lawn, easier on you, and more efficient for your mower motor. On the other hand, the grass is stressed by the dull blade, and the tips of the wounded grass often turn yellow, ruining the aesthetics of your lawn.
Ideally, the mower blade should be sharpened before every new season. However, this will need to be done more frequently if your yard is rough or expansive. As for new lawn mower blades, they will need to be sharpened after a use period of 25 hours.
How To Sharpen Your Mower Blade?
Photo Credit When sharpening the mower blade, make sure it is perfectly balanced.
Most homeowners opt to employ a professional when it comes to keeping the lawn mower blades sharp. You can, however, do it yourself if you prefer. You may find detailed instructions on sharpening the blade by consulting the product manual that came with your mower.
It will tell you how thick the cutting edge should be for optimal performance. However, if you do not have the instruction booklet, you can simply use a grinding wheel to smooth the edge.
Here is a detailed guide on how to do it:
Take Safety Measures
First, secure your lawn mower properly. Make sure that you shield your eyes and ears while you are sharpening. Moreover, it is also necessary to disconnect the wire leading to the spark plug in order to prevent the blades from turning by accident.
In addition, don’t forget to wear gloves. Even though the edge of the blade is dull, there may still be jagged dents and edges on it that could cause injury.
Tip The Mower To One Side
Before tipping the lawnmower onto its side, it is strongly advised that you run it until the gasoline tank is entirely empty. Mark the underside of the blade with paint or a marker once the lawnmower is on its side.
This will prevent you from reattaching the blade in the wrong direction.
Also, in order to avoid any engine oil from getting into the carburetor or the air filter, you need to make sure that the lawnmower is flipped over onto its side with the carburetor and the air filter facing upwards.
Remove The Blade
Now use a piece of wood to fix the blade by trapping it between the blade and the deck. This will prevent the blade from moving when you use the wrench to open the bolt, which will keep your hands safe. The next step is to get a wrench and loosen the bolt that is located in the center of the blade so that you can take out the blade.
Sharpen The Blade
After removing the blade from the mower, you should first check it for any damage and then continue to sharpen it. Using a sharpener that is mounted on a drill and built explicitly for the task is ideal since it makes it easier to get the angle just right.
However, you might try using a wheel grinder or perhaps a file if the blade isn’t in too bad of shape. Also, it is essential to check that the blade is well-balanced. This prevents excessive vibration, engine wear, and noise from occurring.
If you don’t have a tool specifically designed for balance, all you need is a nail driven into the side of your workbench. If the blade does not hang level when suspended from its center on the pin, the heavier side should have some more material removed.
Reattach The Blade
Make sure to add some WD-40 to the bolt of the blade before reinstalling it into the lawnmower. These bolts have a tendency to rust over time, so applying a lubricant will help avoid any premature rusting. In addition, it is essential to appropriately install the blade by orienting it so that the side you marked before removing it is facing downwards. Incorrectly installed blades will cause the lawnmower to lose its cutting ability.
Does Sharpening A New Mower Blade Pay Off?
No, sharpening a newly purchased blade is not worth the time. It already has a clean, crisp edge and is ready to be cut. Never attempt to sharpen a brand-new blade. You risk damaging it, which will necessitate more sharpening and take even more of your time.
How Often To Replace Lawn Mower Blades?
Another question that people frequently ask is how often they should replace the blades on their mower. If your lawn mower’s blades are severely damaged, or the functional edge is worn past the point of repair, then it is absolutely necessary to change them.
However, as a general rule, you ought to aim to change the blades once every three to five seasons at the very least. However, certain lawnmowers may have varying suggestions for when to replace the blade, and it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Overall, it is usually a good idea to keep an eye on the condition of the blades and the quality of the cut to determine when they should be replaced.
Tools Needed For Sharpening Mower Blades
Power tools, such as angle grinders, are available, but they are not recommended for homeowners because of their high cost and risk of injury. Also, when sharpening with power equipment, you need a vice grip to secure the blade in place.
Other protective gear, like goggles and gloves may also be necessary for operational safety. Generally speaking, a ten-inch file is an excellent tool for regular use around the house. We prefer this since it is less expensive than using power tools.
In addition, most people do not balance their blades while sharpening, which results in the mower’s performance being subpar. Using a mower with an imbalanced blade causes the mower to vibrate. Therefore, the significance of blade balancing is something you should consider before purchasing any sharpening tools.
So, make sure to pick up a blade balancer at the same time when purchasing sharpening tools. Moreover, investing in an additional set of blades and storing them away as backups is an intelligent choice everyone should consider.
Most individuals who purchase new lawn mower blades believe that they must be sharpened before they can be installed in their mowers. However, in this post, we have demonstrated that newly purchased blades do not require sharpening.
We have also discussed ways to lessen the amount of wear on blades, as well as how to sharpen them and how frequently they should be replaced.
Furthermore, the blade does not need to be razor sharp to perform well. If the blade is extremely sharp, it is at a greater risk of being damaged by the debris on your lawn.
Sources for Further Reading
Lawn Mower Tune-up – University of Delaware
Lawn Mower Care and Safety – University of Florida
Mowers and mowing safety – University of Minnesota
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