A dull lawnmower blade pulls and rips the grass blades and it leaves ragged tears as a result, which promotes fungal growth in plants and weaken them.
On the other hand, a sharp blade allows plants to heal and recover at a quick pace by cutting them cleanly.
A lawnmower sharpener is a great tool that lets you carry out your lawn-cutting chores more efficiently.
While sharpening your lawnmower blades is an important task, balancing them is equally essential.
Sharpening and balancing lawn mower blades are simple tasks, even for beginners. However, it might take some practice to master the technique.
Once you get used to the process, you will be able to conduct it within 10 minutes of time. Plan out your blade balancing sessions twice every mowing season.
We have prepared the following guide to help you learn how to balance your lawnmower blades after you sharpen them to help you get started with the process:
If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown of the lawnmower blades balancing, we got you covered:
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- 1 Remove the Blade – Remember to Play It Safe
- 2 How to Sharpen a Lawn Mower Blade
- 3 Balancing Your Lawn Mower Blades
- 4 Avoid Slacking
- 5 Replacing a Lawn Mower Blade
- 6 Bottom Line On Balancing Your Lawnmower Blades
Remove the Blade – Remember to Play It Safe
When you are working on a lawnmower blade, remember to always remove the spark plug in advance.
If the piston is placed at the top of the mower’s compression stroke, a slight bump might be all it takes to force that piston over the power hump and into the stroke.
If such a situation occurs, the blade might lurch around and cause your hand to break!
Next, look for the air filter and the carburetor.
The carburetor is has throttle cable running into it and therefore it’s usually quite easily recognizable.
Remember to keep the carburetor side up while tipping the lawnmower over to work on the blade.
This will help you avoid any cloud of smoke from leaking oil when you start your unit the next time.
Some lawn mowers come with gas caps that feature air holes.
A small leakage of gas can occur on your garage floor. In order to prevent this from happening, keep a rag handy to clear up any unwanted drips.
As soon as the blade is off, set the lawnmower back onto all of its wheels until you are prepared to install the blade into the mower.
Typically, a single nut or bolt holds the blade in place; however, the fastener is usually extremely tight and requires you to clamp the blade in order to loosen it.
For this purpose, you need to wedge a short 2 X 4 between the deck and the mower blade to clamp the blade.
Then, all you need to do is loosen the nut or the bolt using a long-handled wrench.
Turn the wrench counterclockwise and remove the fastener as well as the blade.
How to Sharpen a Lawn Mower Blade
Once the blade has been removed, examine if it needs sharpening or you need to entirely replace the thing. It is recommended to sharpen your blade using a hand file as lawnmower blades are manufactured with fairly soft steel.
Firstly, collect and equip yourself with essential safety tools required for sharpening a mower blade such as thick gloves (that go up to your elbows), safety glasses and something to catch the sparks in.
Although for this method, an RBG blade grinder is required, you can also opt for electric powered or air powered drills that come with sharpening tools, or any other hand sharpening tools such as a filer.
When using an RBG blade grinder, use the flat bottom edge to act as your guide.
Now move towards finding and setting the cutting edge face of your blade and set your grinder angle in a manner that it matches the pitch of the angle of the blade.
Now follow the same angle that was marked on the blade already and sharpen that angled portion of your mower blade. It is important to target the entire angled portion i.e. from the blade’s tip to where the angling stops.
Do not take your grinder any further as you might risk hurting yourself or damaging the blade.
Before you fully sharpen the blade, make test cuts to ensure proper sharpening of the entire face of the mower blade. Check if it’s sharpened evenly and do not leave a single bare spot below or above.
If you notice dings or nicks in your blade, make even passes at them until they are completely removed. If there are burrs in your blade, pass the blade’s backside lightly along the RBG grinder to get rid of them.
Avoid storing the blade in the same place for a long time as this might damage the tempering of the blade. Moreover, it might have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the mower blade.
Once you are done with one side of the blade, flip it around and work on the other side.
As you go about the sharpening, keep inspecting your work to address any problems right away.
Balancing Your Lawn Mower Blades
Why Should You Balance Lawn Mower Blades?
While most people want to immediately move to reinstall their lawnmower blade once they have sharpened it, the practice is highly discouraged.
Before reinstalling a lawnmower blade, it is essential to balance it first. An unbalanced blade can possibly ruin the shaft or bearings of your blade and / or even cause excessive vibration.
Balancing a mower blade simply means that you are making sure that the weight of that blade gets distributed evenly from one side to the other.
A blade usually becomes unbalanced when we grind more metal off of one side of the blade than the other.
However, checking and correcting the balance of your blade is a simple task. We have provided detailed a step-by-step guide to explain how to balance lawn mower blades in the next section.
How to Balance Lawn Mower Blades?
Find the center hole of the mower blade and place it firmly against the tapered cone using a magnetic blade balancer.
While a magnet allows the blade to spin freely, a cone will only allow the blade to go down a particular amount if one side of the blade is heavier than the other.
Now, hold your blade in a manner that one end remains flat.
If anyone side of the blade swings down, chances are that that side is heavier.
This means that you need to sharpen the heavier side a little bit more in order to remove the excess weight.
Flip the blade at an angle of 180 degrees and double check its heavier side.
Once you figure out which side is heavier, you will have to remove a little metal.
Bring your sharpening gear on board again and run the blade a few times through the grinder.
Then, return to the blade balancer.
While this process can become frustrating and time-consuming, remember that multiple attempts will allow you to balance your blade correctly.
Dedicate a set of tools and equipment for sharpening your lawnmower blade to get in the habit of keeping it maintained.
Keep them in handy so that they are ready to go.
Moreover, it is also recommended to keep an extra, sharp blade around.
This way you can get done with any urgent project on time and take care of maintenance later.
Replacing a Lawn Mower Blade
Examine the blade of your lawnmower, if you think it is damaged and overused to an extent that it can’t be utilized anymore, replace it.
If you are unsure of the blade condition, you can always take it to a home center or a hardware store and have it examined.
Make sure you replace your lawnmower blade with a blade recommended in your manufacturer’s manual or an exact replacement product.
Do not try to convert a regular mower with a straight-blade to a fancier mulching mower simply by upgrading its blade.
Chances are that your lawn mower’s performance won’t change, or it might not even work at all. The design of the mower is as important as its blade.
Bottom Line On Balancing Your Lawnmower Blades
Now that you have learned all about sharpening, balancing, and replacing a lawnmower blade, pick up your tools and get started!
It’s not near as hard as you think.