How to Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing Them

Did you know that you can sharpen lawn mower blades without actually removing them?

Let’s confess it: lawnmowers are awesome and help us keep our gardens in optimal shape, but when the time for maintenance comes, we tend to postpone it, especially when it’s time to sharpen its blades.

But, we shouldn’t be doing this when you mow your grass with dull blades, you worsen the grass’ health, speed up the browning, and the tips of the blades will tear up.

On the other hand, when you’re working with sharp blades only, the mowing is precise and the grass will look fresher and more beautiful for longer. We recommend doing the sharpening before the season for the best results.

Below, check out how to sharpen the blades without taking them out of the mower!

Man trying to remove lawn mower blade

6 Steps to Sharpen Lawnmower Blades without Taking Them Out

Following these several easy steps, you can figure out how to sharpen mower blades without removing them.

  • Get the needed equipment

Before you begin the sharpening, you need to collect the necessary tools and keep up with the measures for safety. You’ll need to have a wooden piece, some water, a steel-wire brush, a flat file, or a metal blade angle grinder.

Wearing goggles for your eyes and protective gloves is always a good idea.

Place your lawnmower in a wide area and take out the spark plug to prevent sudden starting. Don’t forget to apply the parking brakes too.

  • Close the gas tank. Provided that the mower is electric, you need to remove the power cord!

Make sure you open the lid for the gas and cover it with a PVC bag. This is done to avert gas spillage with the mower being placed upside down. If you have an electric mower, you need to unplug the cord.

  • Bend the mower and stabilize it by putting the wooden piece under it on the other side. Make sure the blade is facing you so that you can work with it closely.

After you’ve bent over the lawnmower successfully, check if the fuel tank and carburetor are on top. Put the block in a diagonal manner, at the far side of the machine. This is to optimize the steadiness which is crucial so that you can finish the sharpening easily.

  • Clean the blade with a steel wire and brush water.

Remove all dirt and rust using the wire brush. Clean under the deck too so that you eliminate any grass and additional debris. Next, using the water, brush, and a putty knife, clean the debris from the blades and from under the mower’s deck too.

  • With an angle grinder or flat file, sharpen the blade’s edge

After the cleaning, it’s time for the sharpening. Using a metal file or an electric or handheld grinder placed over the cutting edge of the blade, start to sharpen and keep the right angle (optimally, 45 degrees).

Try to ensure you’re moving the file or grinder in one direction only and sharpen the top of the blade, i.e. don’t sharpen back and forth, but lift the grinder every time.

Do it gradually and with the entire length of the grinder in each move. Remember, only one side of the mower’s blade should be sharp and the other should stay dull like in scissors.

  • Lower the mower and open up the tank.

When you’ve finished sharpening, you need to lower the machine slowly and set it back as it was. You plug it in and if it’s a gas one, you reopen the gas tank by taking out the bag and closing the lid.

When Is the Appropriate Time to Sharpen a Lawnmower’s Blades?

The answer depends on several factors, mostly on the frequency of using the mower. In most cases, sharpening the blades is recommended after a 20-hour use.

Hence, if you have a bigger lawn that takes around an hour to be mowed, your mower will need to have its blades sharpened every 20 uses or so. But, if you have a smaller garden that can be mowed in around 30 minutes, it won’t need to be sharpened until after the 40th use.

The mower’s age and condition will also influence the frequency of sharpening. Cleaning the blades prior to the cutting isn’t only done to not spread dirt around, but will also ensure the blades don’t go dull from hitting hard objects.

If you’ve sharpened the blades at the beginning of summer, you’ll probably need to do it at least once more in the summertime.

Final Thoughts

As you’ve seen, it’s not hard to figure out how to sharpen mower blades without removing them.

By following the detailed steps in our guide, you can avoid the need of having to remove the blades and then put them back on. In just an hour or so, you’ll have sharp lawnmower blades that will help you keep your garden neat.

In this way, you save a lot of time and finish the task faster. You’ll see: once you do it this way, you’ll be asking yourself “Why did I not know this before?!”

Leave a Comment