The Complete Guide to Lawn Mower Blade Sharpness

Grass cut with sharp blade

The Benefits of Sharp Lawn Mowers Blades

Start your spring season strong with a great cut from the start. When it has sharp mower blades, your mower will get the job done faster and deliver a better quality of cut. That’s why one of the top maintenance items for any rotary mower is to ensure blades are properly sharpened, balanced and in good working order.

How Important is a Sharp Mower Blade?

Think about the difference between the times you shave with a brand-new razor blade compared to when you are trying to get one last shave out of an old blade. With an old blade, your skin is more prone to cuts, infection, and irritation. When you use a brand-new, sharp blade you get a nice, clean shave.

The same thing happens with your grass. Sharp mower blades make your lawn look great and help keep your turf healthy. If the mower blades are dull or nicked, it will smash the edge of the grass blade, leaving a torn end rather than a clean cut. This torn end will usually turn your grass brown a few days after mowing. The grass then becomes more susceptible to pests and diseases. However, if your mower blades are nice and sharp, the grass will get a clean cut with greatly reduced damage and stress.

How To Check Mower Blade Sharpness

At the beginning of the mowing season and after roughly 8-10 hours of service, do a thorough inspection of your mower’s blades. If you’re wondering if you need to sharpen blades on a mower, look for the signs of a dull blade.

Signs that your blades are too dull for a clean cut include bends, nicks, and/or dents on the blades. You’ll want to ensure the blades are properly sharpened and balanced. To keep your blades in good condition after sharpening, do a quick inspection of the lawn before you begin your mowing. Clear away any rocks, sticks, or other debris in the immediate area. As you mow, keep an eye out for these blade-nicking items.

If you’re a new lawnmower owner waiting for an answer to the big question: “Do I need to sharpen a new lawnmower blade?” the answer is simple. No. New lawnmower blades are ready to go when they arrive and don’t need to be sharpened.

How to Sharpen Blades On Mower

What’s the secret to getting a perfect cut? It all starts with a sharp mower blade. Keep in mind these few basic tips for sharpening your blade:

  1. Wear protective gear, such as safety glasses and cut-resistant gloves
  2. Disconnect the spark plugs
  3. Remove the blade. You can find the instructions in your owner’s manual.
  4. Use a metal file to smooth nicks or grinder to sharpen
  5. Work in one direction only; blades usually have an angle of 45 degrees
  6. How Sharp Should a Lawn Mower Blade Be? Blades should be sharp like scissors, not like a knife. A knife edge will get dull much faster.
  7. Consult your owner’s manual for procedures specific to your mower.
  8. Depending on usage, replace your lawn mower’s blade or blades every one to three years. Always use genuine Toro blades designed for your specific mower. Universal blades may save you a couple of dollars but can create potential safety issues such as thrown objects. Using blades that aren’t made for your Toro mower can cause additional concerns getting the correct mount fit. A lot goes into designing and manufacturing a Toro blade, so it’s worth making sure you’re maintaining your Toro mower with the correct blades.

Properly Balancing Your Blades

There’s more to maintaining your mower than checking for sharp mower blades. Having properly balanced blades is every bit as important as blade sharpness. An unbalanced blade can effect your whole mower. The vibration causes stress on the engine and cutting deck

After you sharpen the blades on a mower, test its balance with a blade-balancing tool. If you don’t have access to a specialized balancing tool, you can hammer a nail partway into a wall in your garage and hang the blade from it using the center hole. A blade that hangs horizontally is in balance. If one side drops, remove excess material from the side it leans to using a grinder. Material should only be removed from the end of the blade, in the sail area.

Professional Mower Blade Sharpening

If you would like to have the service done professionally, contact your local Toro dealer. They can quickly sharpen and balance blades for you. No matter how you get it done, using sharp blades will help you have a perfectly mowed lawn, every time.

Replacing Dull Mower Blades

You can change a set of blades in less than ten minutes. It’s well worth the time and effort. One pro tip? Get an extra set of blades for your mower to swap in when your blades lose their edge. You’ll always have sharp, balanced blades ready to go, with no downtime required for sharpening. However, if you’re not comfortable changing the blades yourself, your Toro dealer will be happy to do it for you.

Beyond Mower Blade Shade Sharpness: Toro YardCare Lawns

If you’re a homeowner or landscape enthusiast, new questions are always popping up. Maybe your lawn is looking a little dull and you’re wondering when to reseed your lawn. Toro YardCare has an article all about that. Want to read about what to do with fall leaves? We’ve got some suggestions for that as well. Remember, no matter the season, Toro YardCare is here for your landscaping needs!

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