How to Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing

A lawn mower is an important tool for cutting grass and maintenance of the lawn. A mower blade is a cutting material that is used to cut grass.

It is also a great tool for gardening. Lawn mower will keep your yard look beautiful and attractive. A well maintained and stunning lawn will create an outstanding look for your house.

Do you think your lawn is looking bland and ragged instead of lush or healthy? The reason might be the dull blades of your lawn mower which you are using to cut the grass.

How to sharpen lawn mower blades without removing

You can get back your healthy lawn by knowing the proper way to sharpen blades of your lawn mower.

Taking care of your lawn mower blade is as necessary as looking after grass. It is important to keep blades of your lawn mower sharp enough to get a cleaner cut.

With continuous use, the mower blade will become dull with time. It will reduce its efficiency and consequently it will not be able to cut the grass smoothly and start tearing the grass.

This is one of the reasons sharpening the mower blades is important and you can’t escape this responsibility.

Most of the time people overlook the condition of their mower blades and don’t see how blunt their blades are and continue to run it on the yard irrespective of the cutting quality of grass.

The blunt blades will not produce nice clean cuts which are not only good but also not healthier for the lawn as well.

A sharp cutting edge of the blade keeps your lawn mower running in perfect condition and costs you less effort to you in the long run.

With a sharp blade, you can get a cleaner cut which also helps to improve the health of your grass.

Knowing how to sharpen lawn mower blades without removing is an important part of maintaining a vigorous lawn.

This guide is intended to provide you with a proper guideline on how to sharpen the lawn mower blade and how often you should sharpen it. Before going into procedure let us look at why sharpening is necessary.

The purpose of this guide is to provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to sharpen a mower blade and let you in on some helpful tips, but before we do, let’s look at why sharpening your mower blades is so important.

Why the Sharpening of Mower Blades Is Important?

lawn mower blade

It is important to sharpen mower blades to avoid its worst effects on the health of the grass. Cutting the grass with a blunt or dull blade is like having split ends on hairs.

It obstructs the healthy and vivacious growth of grass. If you cut the grass with a dull blade, it tears the grass instead of cut it properly.

It will not only give the ragged and bland appearance to your lawn but also leave it vulnerable to diseases.

In contrast, cutting with sharp blades give a clean cut which permits your grass to stay healthy and strong.

People usually wonder whether you can sharpen the mower blade on a lawn mower safely.

The answer is yes, you can do it easily and safely. Now you may be wondering how to do it so don’t worry, we will let you know.

Sharpen a Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing it

Technically, there is no method to sharpen the blade of a lawn mower. All you have to know is some general knowledge to do it.

It can be done simply by using a blade grinder or a bench grinder. If you follow the instructions properly, you can sharpen mower blades easily and quickly.

You can sharpen the lawn mower blade without removing it as it will save your time.

Depending on the model and design of the lawn mower you can do it without removing but there can be an issue of balancing as many users face.

You will also not have access to all the cutting edges for sharpening and also not allow proper visual inspection of the damage to the blade.

If you still want to know to sharpen the lawn mower blades without removing, continue reading to find out how.

First, you need to remove the cable from the main power supply and empty the tank from gas to avoid a spill.

Now tip your lawn mower on its side to access the blades of a mower. Now take your grinder and start sharpening the cutting edges of the blade. Continue sharpening until you get a sharp line on the cutting edge of the blade.

If you see the blades are not balanced, you can do it by balancing the blade from the counterpoint on a Blade Balancer, which is a very low priced tool or you can use a nail.

If it is not balanced, try removing some material from the heavy side but keep in mind not to remove it from a sharp cutting edge.

A new device has been launched for sharpening the blade of a lawn mower without taking them off a mower.

It is a portable air-powered mower blade sharpener that doesn’t require blade removal. You can check its details and how it works here.


Blade sharpening can be done in various ways using numerous tools. It includes hand file, bench grinder, angle grinder, or rotary tool.

There is another easier, quicker, and accurate method i.e. use of a drill and sharpening stone that is specially fabricated for getting back the sharp edges from the dull blade of your lawn mower.

Another lazy way to sharpen the mower blade is the use of coarse grit sandpaper.

It is a great option if you don’t have large chips or nicks on your blades. It would be a quick fix and an amazing trick to clean the edges nicely.

How to Sharpen the Lawn Mower Blade

Lawn mowers blade

No doubts, sharpening a mower blade without them off can save you considerable time but it is recommended that remove the blade before sharpening it.

Because it permits proper visual inspection and greater access to cutting edge and fining edge anecom instructipeiances on the cutting of balancing.

As many PD any damage to the blade such as excessive wear or stress fractures.

Given below is the step to step procedure on how to sharpen the mower blades.

  1. First, you should remove the ignition cable from the plug switch. If you have a cordless mower, remove its battery.It will help you to avoid any risk of accidental engine start-up when you are working on it. You also need to empty the gas tank to prevent a fuel spill while removing blades.
  2. Tip your lawn mower on its side to see the underside of a mower where the blade is attached. See the bolt or nut retaining or securing the blade under the mower.If you see the blade is turning, insert a small piece of wedge wood block between the inner surface of the deck and the end of the blade. Now take a large wrench and start loosening the bolt or nut.

Tip: If the bolt or nut is rusted, pour some lubricant or penetrating oil and wait for at least 10 minutes and try to loosen it again.

If you want to increase the leverage while loosening a stubborn bolt, slide a metal pipe over the handle of the wrench.

  1. When you are done removing the bolt and nut from the blade, pull it off the mower. Note the side of the blade facing downwards. It is essential to put back the blade in the same orientation where it was originally placed.
  2. When the blade is taken off, give some time to clean the mowing deck space using a narrow blade knife.There might be grass, debris, leaves, and mud stick and caked on the underside of the mowing deck.Remove it all. Also, clean the blade of a lawn mower using a penetrating oil spray and then scrubbing it with the hard bristle brush. Remember clean both the sides of the blade properly before sharpening.
  3. The blade of a lawn mower usually has a sharp cutting side on each end which is located on the opposite faces of the blade.Every cutting edge has a length of 2 to 4 inches and it doesn’t increase the length of the blade. Hold the blade in a vice with its one cutting edge facing up.
  4. The next step involves the use of a drill powered blade sharpener to sharpen the blade of a mower.It comprises of an abrasive stone, steel shand of 1/4 inch diameter and a flat sharpening guide. The stone comes with an oblique surface to grind the ideal cutting angle over the blade.

sharpening blade

Use safety glasses before starting the grinder. Clamp the stone into a drill. Turn on the drill by squeezing the trigger and run it at full speed.

Move the rotating sharpener onto the cutting edge of the blade. Make sure that the dull edge faces the oblique side of the abrasive stone and the flat side of the guide is facing the rear side of the blade.

Move the stone gradually back and forth along with the cutting edge of the blade applying moderate pressure.

Check the sharpness of the mower blade after five strokes. Repeat the process if necessary, until the blade is sharp enough and all the chips and nicks have been removed.

When done, remove the blade and rotate its side to sharpen its opposite dull cutting edge.

  1. When done with the sharpening of both cutting edges of the blade, there is one most important step i.e. balancing of the blade.The process of sharpening sometimes takes away more metal from one side of the blade as compared to others which results in an unbalanced blade.If you mow using an unbalanced blade lawn mower, it will create excessive shaking and vibrations which can potentially cause damage to the motor and put stress on your lawn mower.

A simple way to check if your lawn mower blade is well balanced or not is the use of a nail protruding from the wall.

Hang the blade from its center hole on the nail and hold it in the horizontal position and then let it go. Now check if it remains level or not.

If yes then it is balanced. However, if one of its ends move downwards and come to the vertical position, it means that the blade is not balanced.

You can balance it by removing some material from the heavy side and retest it.

Nail in the wall method is no doubt an easy technique and works well but it doesn’t give precise results.

For accurate results, you can use a lawn mower blade balancer, cone-shaped, multi-tiered, metal fixture.

Take a balancer and put it on a flat surface. Now set the blade over it. If you see the blade remains level, it means that it is balanced. If not, it will lean on one side which is heavier and needs further sharpening.

  1. When you are satisfied that the blade is balanced and sharpened properly, its time to place it back on its original orientation from where it was removed.Now use the wrench to tighten the bolts or nut retaining the blade. When done, fill the gas tank and reconnect to ignition cable to the spark plug and take your well-sharpened lawn mower out for a test.

Tips to Keep in Mind While Sharpening a Mower Blade

Don’t forget, you need your mower blade to be as sharp as a butter knife. It must not be as sharp as a blade of a razor.

It will not only risk you of cutting but it will be vulnerable to curl up in places where it struck wood or pebbles.

Such high sharpness of a razor is not required for a blade of a lawn mower as at that speed and angle, it can cut the grass perfectly with that sharpness.

sharpen lawn mower blades

Go for sharpening the mower blade when the tank is empty. It will help you avoid fuel loss by removing fuel from the tank prior to the sharpening process

After sharpening, ensure that the blade is balanced properly. If it is not properly balanced, you will hear noises and feel vibrations while mowing.

The reason for the imbalance blade can be the bent blade or the wallow out driveshaft hole.

Know when the blades are dull and not working properly. You should check the condition of the grass and lines of the blades over the grass and look for signs of tearing and splitting at the tips.

Know how to deal with the nicked blades properly. It is not necessary that the nicked blade is always worn out and ruined.

It can be ground out to recover its efficiency. You must use a bench grinder for perfect results.

Know when it is the right time to change your blade. A bent, out of balance blade, a wallowed out driveshaft hole or a blade with nicks that is unable to repair are all need to replaced by new blades.

How Often Should You Sharpen Your Mower Blades?

The frequency of sharpening your lawn mower blade depends on a number of factors. It includes hours of usage, quality of a blade, type of grass and model of a lawn mower.

For a lawn mower, a general rule of thumb is to sharpen the blade every 20 to 25 hours of working. For some users, it means twice a year and for others, it means once a year.

You don’t have to sharpen it after every time you mow your lawn, however, you can do this once a year to enhance the life of your lawn mower.

How Do I Know My Lawn Mower Blade Needs Sharpening?

There are some obvious signs you can look for in the lawn that tells you clearly that your mower blade needs sharpening.

The first thing you will see is the unevenness in the grass of your lawn. When the blade of your lawn mower is perfectly sharp, your grass would cut at exactly the same level with a single pass of a mower every time.

If you have to go multiple times to completely cut the missed patches of the grass, the reason can be the dull blade.

The second indication can the grass itself. If you see that the tips of the grass are torn away and not properly cut, it can be the dull blade, a culprit behind it. It may be the time to change or sharpen the blade of your mower.

Another indication which tells you that your mower blade needs sharpening is the close inspection of the blade itself.

You should look for any scratches or major dents on the blade of your lawn mower. Probably you will see hairline nicks with the time passed, such minor nicks can be worked out while sharpening.

While the bigger nicks or dents which have bent even a small part of the blade up or down will unluckily require replacement of the blade.

Last update on 2020-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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