As a homeowner, it’s paramount that you understand as much as you need to know about lawn mower blades. Here are some of the things you should know:
What are the different types of lawn mower blades?
When you are looking for lawn mower blades, did you know there are many types of these blades in the market you can go for. Some of the most common ones are:
Low lift blades: These are primarily for side discharge mowing. They feature a less-drastic swoop than their high lift counterparts.
Due to this design, the blades encourage the cut grass to stay low where you can access it. This makes it easy for it to be ejected out on the side of the lawn mower.
High lift blades: They have a more vertical swoop shape and often tend to mow better than low lift blades. The fan-like suction of the blades makes them an ideal choice when you are looking for blades that you can use for bagging purposes.
Bagging is not only more efficient with these high lift blades, the blades also reduce the chances of the cut grass getting clogged up in the mower cutting area.
Mulching blades: Mulching blades are usually low lift blades with an extra feature: a short dip in the blade’s profile. The working of the low lift feature and the extra dip helps the lawn mower to toss the grass around under the lawn mower so that its mulched before its ejected.
3-in-1 gator blades: Are you looking for an all-around solution? These are your go-to units. They combine medium lift with the mulching feature. When buying, it’s easy to notice them as they have serrated segments at either end.
How do you install the mower blades?
After buying the blades, you need to install them. For you to install them you should slip your lawn mower up and on its side.
You can jack up the lawn mower to create more clearance or you can remove the mower deck and flip it over if you are looking for unlimited access.
Once the lawn mower is in place, place the blade over the mounting hole at the center of the deck.
You should be cautious when installing the lawn mower blades as many people install them the wrong way. The best way of going about it is to place the beveled or sharpened side of the blade facing the deck.
The unsharpened or straight side should face outward towards you.
Have you placed the lawn mower blade properly? Place a washer over the hole then thread your blade-mounting bolt. You should tighten the bolt firmly with the right wrench and socket.
When you are installing the blades, take care you don’t hurt yourself. As rule of thumb, wear gloves when you are handling the blade. The gloves will protect you from getting cut in the event you accidentally touch the sharp areas.
For you to have an easy time tightening the blade, use a little spray lube in the mounting hole. The lube will allow you to turn the bolt when tightening it with your hands.
How can you sharpen lawn mower blades?
Have you been mowing for some time and you have noticed that the lawn mower isn’t as effective as it used to? It’s most likely time to sharpen the blades.
For you to sharpen the blades you need to prop up the lawn mower and inspect the blades for nicks and burrs. Are there any? Remove them by holding a file flat against the blade and push them away from the edge.
You should note that it’s no point sharpening damaged blades. You are better off simply replacing them.
While you are at it, check the cutting bar. The bar should meet the blades along the entire length of the blade. For you to confirm that it’s in the right spot, grasp the wheel and turn it forward. If it’s in place, you should hear a whispery sound as the wheel blades pass the bar.
In the event the bar is out of alignment, adjust it using screws on the ends of the bar.
Is everything in place? Place an even coat of automotive valve-grinding compound on the blades and you will sharpen them.
You should then grasp a wheel and turn it slowly backward so that the grinding compound is squeezed between the cutting bar and blades. When you do this, you sharpen both of the cutting edges as they pass each other.
For ideal results, ensure that each blade touches the bar as you rotate the wheel. You should make about a dozen turns while applying the more grinding compound.
Once you are done, inspect the blade edges. Do they look sharp? If they are, wash off all of the valve compounds with soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Before you go to the yard and start mowing, test the blades for sharpness.
You can do this by inserting a sheet of newspaper between the blades and cutting bar. You should then rotate the reel forward. Do the blades cut the paper as easily and cleanly as if they are new, you are ready to roll. Go to the yard and start the mowing.!
You should note that you should minimize the frequency at which you sharpen the blades. This not only increases the life of the blades, it also makes your work easy.
You can do this by cleaning the lawn mower as soon as you are done with the mowing. Have you just bought a new lawn mower? Sometimes you may have to sharpen the blades. For you to do it right you should check the owner’s manual for any specific sharpening guidelines that might be there.
You should always sharpen the blades by hand. Never use an electric drill or grinder. This is because the heat generated during the process can destroy the temper of the metal.