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How often should you change mower blades?

Thursday, March 14 2013 9:43 AM

A sharp lawn mower blade makes a clean cut on grass that will reduce stress and help the grass blades heal faster. Over time mower blades get nicks and dents that can wear down the edge, again leading to bad cuts that can damage your grass. Brown spots, uneven cuts and having to make multiple passes on the your lawn are a good sign you blade is dull. Lawn mower blades are easy to remove and sharpen, and also easy to replace.

How often you change or sharpen your lawn mower blade depends on the type of grass you have, size of yard and how often you mow. For a typical homeowner, every couple of months the blade will need sharpened, or perhaps once a month if you mow more than once a week. Damaged blades, with large nicks and dents should be replaced rather than sharpened. Mower blades can be sharpened several times before the are unusable, and new ones are relatively inexpensive.

First, always consult the owner’s manual of your mower before performing any maintenance or repairs. Also, if your mower or tractor is under warranty, make sure you blade doesn’t need to be replaced or repaired by a professional to keep your warranty in tact.

Always unplug the spark plug before any maintenance. For push mowers, if you aren’t using a mower jack, place the mower on it’s side with the air filter pointed up to prevent oil and gas from leaking. A lawn mower jack will make blade removal and other maintenance much easier. For lawn tractors, use a mower lift for safe and easy blade replacement.

Place some scrap wood between the deck and the tip of the lawnmower blade, or clamp the blade in place. This will stop the blade from turning when removing the bolts. Note the position of the blade when removing so you can be sure your replacement blade faces the same direction.

Sharpening can be done with a file or grinder. Or a new blade will usually run between $10-$20 for a push mower and $20-$50 for a riding mower or tractor. Again, consult your manual and make sure you have the correct replacement part. Make sure the blade is firm and has no wobble before using.

Monitor your lawn closely after each mow and make sure the cuts are clean and grass doesn’t’ look shredded on the ends. A sharp blade is essential for a healthy lawn.