Stay Sharp: How To Keep Your Lawn Mower Blade Working Its Best

lawn mower
Have you ever pondered the sharpness of your lawn mower? If so, you are not alone in your consideration of the sharpness of your mower. You can follow all the mowing tips and mowing best practices available for consumption, but with a dull blade, you won’t get too far. The pros at Spring-Green, your neighborhood lawn care professionals, are here with the tips you need to keep your mower blade sharp and your lawn looking sharp!

Guide To Keeping Your Lawn Mower Blades Sharp

Does a sharp mower blade really matter?

Compare the sharpness of your lawn mower blade to your razor. Your goals of a clean-shaven face would fall flat without a sharp blade, wouldn’t they? An old or dull lawn mower blade can leave your lawn looking less than amazing as well as cause damage to your grass.

If your lawn mower blades are dull and/or damaged, it can actually create long-term issues with your lawn. The dull cut can leave a torn grass blade becomes distressed and more susceptible to pests and diseases. As we work so hard to keep our lawn looking great all summer, the state of our lawn mower can actually undo all that hard work if not maintained properly.

How do I sharpen my mower blade?

Lawn mowers have a few options to sharpen lawn mower blades, ranging from a bench grinder, hand file, rotary tool or angle grinder. Your lawn mower blades can also be sharpened with a drill and sharpening stone designed for sharpening dull lawn mower blades. While every lawn mower make and model is unique, here are some guidelines to removing the blades before sharpening:

  • Some mowers allow you to sharpen the blades without removing them, which saves a lot of time.
  • Taking the blade off, however, does allow you to do a more thorough job and avoid damaging any other part of the mower.
  • Take safety precautions like disconnecting your lawn mower’s ignition wire from the spark plug or removing the battery pack before getting started. Also, drain the gas tank, so there is no chance of a fuel spill while you are sharpening the mower blades.
  • Once you have the mower blades removed, take advantage of this opportunity to clean your mower scraping away any debris that’s hard to reach when the mower is intact.
  • Once you’ve sharpened the mower’s blades, be sure to the blade using a lawn mower blade balancer. This step is important as a lawn mower blade that is out of balances can damage the motor and stress the mower.

How often should mower blades be sharpened?

A commonly-asked question is how often, “Should I sharpen my mower blades?” The answer is it depends. Factors such as the type of mower you use, the age of that mower and the condition of your mower can impact the frequency. Your sharpening frequency will also be impacted by how often you mow and how large the space you are mowing is.

A good rule of thumb would be to sharpen if you notice the grass is not cleanly cut or is uneven. Another good frame of reference is to sharpen your mower after every 20 to 25 hours of use. This could be once a year for small, personal mowers or once a quarter for those who mow large areas more frequently.

How much should I expect to spend on sharpening my mower blades?

Some good news…it doesn’t cost a lot of money to keep your mower blades sharp! If you are a do-it-yourself type, you need to invest in the cost of the sharpener or drill bit which will typically be in the ballpark of $20. Of course, you may have to factor in the value of your time, if you want to get an accurate cost.

If you choose to have a local garden shop do it for you, it will cost a bit more (most likely) but will save you time. For those of you doing the math, if you pay someone to sharpen your blade twice during the lawn mowing season, you’ll likely pay enough to cover the cost of the sharpening tool that you could use to do it yourself for years to come.

A routine check of your lawn mower’s blades is essential to keeping your lawn looking good, feeling healthy and keeping your lawn mower working at optimal levels. Sharpening your lawn mower blades is easy to do yourself or have a local professional assist you.

The professionals at Spring-Green are here to provide you tips for proper lawn mowing. Being locally owned and operated, Spring-Green is able to truly understand the lawn care needs of your area so we can create the best value and most personalized yard care programs for you!

Contact your neighborhood Spring-Green lawn care professional today.

Does Your Lawn Have Damage From a Lawn Mower?

lawn mower mowing

I recently received some pictures that one of our Field Service Professionals from Columbia City, IN of a lawn that he has been taking care of this year. Earlier in the summer, the lawn suffered from damage caused by mowing during the heat of the day that resulted in some disease activity on the stressed grass plants. As you can see from the first two pictures, this lawn was seriously stressed by heat and a lack of water.

mower damage to lawn

mower damage to lawn

After telling the customer that what they were seeing was related to the weather, improper mowing and some disease problems, the customer agreed to wait a few days to see how the lawns would recover.

It is important to point out that these lawns were fertilized just prior to the streaks appearing, which led these customers to ask if the damage was the result of the application.

The customer agreed to water the lawn and change the mowing practices. When the Field Service Professional went back 9 days later, the lawn had almost completely recovered. It was fortunate that the Columbia City area did receive some much needed rain during that period as well. As you can see by these two pictures, the lawn looks great and has recovered.

lawn recovery from mower damage

lawn recovery from mower damage

As I stated earlier, turf is an amazing plant. It can recover from a great deal of adversity, especially if it is being cared for with proper cultural practices and a well-balanced fertilizer program like Spring-Green’s Preferred Program.

Turf grass as we grow it on home lawns is not a natural system and needs help to grow. An important component of proper cultural practices is core aeration. I wrote about the benefits of core aeration many times over the years as I know what it can do for a lawn.

The soil found in most yards is usually not good. It is usually full of clay, rocks and even construction debris. Core aeration provides open places for the roots to grow and expand, giving you a better lawn in return.

I have been in the Green Industry for a long time and have endured  my share of droughts, floods, late snow fall, early snow fall and many other types of weather related problems. The one plant that seems to be able to keep coming back year after year is the turf grass plant. Of course, the other type of plant that seems to do even better than turf are weeds, but that is a Blog Post subject for another day.

For question on lawn mower damage or any other type of damage to your lawn, contact your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green.