Learn why sharpening cylinder lawn mower blades is a necessary part of mower and lawn maintenance.

Do Lawn Mower Blades Need Sharpening?

It does not matter what type of lawn mower you are using; with frequent use of your mower, the blades will become less sharp over time due to frequent interactions with debris.

In particular, robot lawn mower blades will wear fairly quickly due to their use on a daily basis.

Debris includes any small stones or chunks of soil that may be present on the lawn when mowing.

So YES, it is definitely a good idea to keep your blades as sharp as possible as much of the time as you can.

Sharpening Cylinder Lawn Mower Blades

How To Tell If You Need To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades?

The easiest way to tell if your blades need sharpening is through reduced mowing effectiveness.

Another hint is excessive vibration and noise from the mower.

Mowing Abnormalities to Look Out For

Uneven Cut
After use, there will be patches of uneven grass, with some patches partially cut and some not cut at all.

Brown Grass
Grass browning is a telling sign too. The grass will turn brown or yellow at the tips as the dull blades will not have cleanly cut the tips of the grass.

Instead, the grass tips will be torn at the edges. Tearing of grass tips stresses the grass and hinders healthy grass growth.

Increased Mowing
Increased effort and time are required to cut a patch of grass. One will go over a patch of grass a few times just to get the grass to the desired length.

This will increase the fuel consumption of any automated mower as well as overexert the machinery.

Is It Worth Sharpening Cylinder Lawn Mower Blades?

Sharpening your lawn mower blades will effectively improve the cutting experience.

Sharpening will:

  1. Reduce mowing time
  2. Reduce the power the mower will have to exert to mow a patch of grass

Therefore, keeping your rotary mower working as efficiently as possible will extend the life cycle of the mower and reduce fuel consumption.

This will ensure that your grass is cut cleanly, improving its growth and aesthetic appeal. Sharp blades keep your lawn healthy and green.

Of course, you have the option to replace blades instead of sharpening them. But that comes at a cost. Sharpening cylinder lawn mower blades will, at most, cost a fraction of replacements.

What Is The Correct Way To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades?

Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades

First, make sure to wear safety gear.

Most cylinder mowers are manual, but there are a few petrol and electric versions out there, so take the following tip to heart.

A pair of protective gloves and safety goggles are advisable before disconnecting the spark plug or electrical supply cable. This ensures that there are no electrical shorts or accidental starting of the mower while working on the blades.

How Do You Sharpen Reel Lawn Mower Blades By Hand?

A reel lawn mower is generally a person-powered mower with blades that spin vertically, utilising a cross-cut action (like scissors) to trim the grass.

The cutting mechanism consists of a horizontal reel that houses multiple curved blades.

Sharpening cylinder lawn mower blades by hand is not difficult; it is just a little time-consuming and can be a bit fiddly until you get the hang of it.

How To Sharpen Cylinder Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing Them?

The best way to sharpen lawn mower blades while still attached to the mower:

  1. Tilt your mower to expose the cylinder mower blades first.
  2. Secure the cylinder blades to stop them from rotating as you sharpen them. You can use a block of wood or a clamp.
  3. Using either a file or grinder as a cylinder mower sharpener, sharpen the blades at a 45-degree angle.

Backlapping A Reel Mower

Backlapping is a popular and efficient method of blade sharpening on reel mowers.

A sharpened, reassembled, and adjusted reel mower will cut fairly well. However, backlapping will improve the cutting action by removing any nicks and defections from the mower knives.

Backlapping requires the mower blades to rotate backwards. A reel-sharpening compound is applied across the whole width of the blades while they are revolving.

With readily available, pre-mixed, biodegradable reel sharpening compounds available, regular grinding of reel blades is no longer necessary. Lapping with these compounds takes very little time and removes very little metal from the blades compared to grinding.

How To Backlap Cylinder Mower Blades

  • When backlapping, clean the blades first to get rid of any debris.
  • Adjust the bed knife from both sides to make even contact with the reel blades. Apply a reel-sharpening compound to the blades while they are turning.
  • Move the brush from side to side along the reel to spread the sharpening compound to the full width of the blades.
  • Run the mower blades backwards until the reel is quiet.
  • While the mower blades are still running, flush the reel with water from a hose to remove all abrasive grit.

    You now have super-sharp blades.

What Is The Correct Way To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades Individually?

For this method, you will have to remove the blades from the cylinder mower.

  • Tilt the mower over to expose the blades and unscrew the fastened bolt with either a wrench or socket. Make sure to note the right way the blades must be screwed back on.
  • Once the blades are free, secure the blade by clamping it in a vice to keep the blade steady as you sharpen.
  • Before sharpening the blades, make sure to check them first.
  • Make sure they are clean, and then assess if they are not damaged. Check for cracks and wear on the blades. A blade with less wear and few cracks is ideal for sharpening.
  • Sharpen the blades with a grinder or file at the recommended 45-degree angle.
  • Reassemble.

Why Are New Lawn Mower Blades Not Sharp?

Out of the box, the blades will not be razor-sharp for easier and safer transportation and installation.

The blades are sharp enough to cut grass. However, after a few cuts, it is recommended that the blades be sharpened for optimal performance.

In Conclusion

With gradual use, the mower will degrade not only the blades but the machinery as well. Even the simplest man-powered mower will need to be serviced, from the rotating cylinder to the bolts holding it all together.

Sharpening cylinder lawn mower blades will definitely make the grass-cutting experience a happy one. But make sure over time to replace the blades and service the machinery as best you can.

Alternatively, outsource the grinding cylinder mower blades procedure to a trusted professional or supplier. There is sure to be a cylinder mower blade sharpening service near you.

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