Lawn Mower Maintenance tip-blades involves sharpening your mower blades. In the case of sharpening a push mower blade you will need to tip the mower on its’ side as we did when we removed the oil plug to allow for the oil to drain from the bottom of the mower.
You will also need to remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug and put the plastic gasket between the gas tank and the cap to prevent gas from escaping through the gas cap vent. To remove the blade I just use a thick work glove to hold the blade in place and with my ratchet and socket I loosen and remove the blade bolt or bolts. Most bolts are 9/16” sockets but you will have to experiment to find out.
Remember that old saying “Lefty loosey, Righty tighty” which means turn the socket to the left to loosen the bolt and turn it to the right to tighten the bolt. Once the blade is off inspect it for any major nicks or chips and to make sure it isn't bent. To check to see if it is bent set it on a surface that you know to be flat and level. Check for any gaps between the blade edge and the flat surface.
If it is bent then it will not want to sit flat on the table, also by holding the blade carefully and looking down the blade you may be able to notice the far end of the blade is pointing down to the ground or up towards the sky more than it should.
It would most likely be bent and need replacing. It is not normally wise to try and straighten this blade as you may be weakening the blade itself.
This weakening may cause the blade to break apart at a later date while you’re mowing your lawn, thus increasing the risk to innocent bystanders or to your mower when this blade breaks apart. If there are only minor nicks then continue to sharpen the blade with a metal file.
I cases where the end of the blade is worn out then replace blade with exact same size. If you don't have a parts manual for the mower take the blade with you to your local lawn mower parts dealer and have the match the blade for you. You don't want one that is smaller as it will not fit the mounting bolt pattern on the under side of the deck.
Put the blade in a vice. Use the file to clean up the edges (paying attention to the existing angle of the blade) and make a few strokes over the angled part of the blade. There is no need to take a lot of metal off the blade.
You should be able to tell that the blade is sharper as it will come to a finer point than when you first started sharpening the blade. Try to keep the number of strokes or passes made on each side of the blade the same. This will help to keep the blade balanced.
If you don’t keep the blade balanced and you put it back on the mower it will cause premature wear to the bearings on the engine or in the case of riding mowers then wear to the spindle bearings on the deck.
To make sure that the blade is balanced all you need to do is hold a long screwdriver parallel to the ground. Place the blade onto the screwdriver (using the centre hole on the blade) and hold it still for a few moments, if the blade stops level (parallel to the ground) then it is balanced.
If the blade drops to one side or the other then you need to remove a little bit more from the side heavy side in order to balance the weight evenly.
Once the blade is balanced then install it back onto the mower in reverse order as removal. It never hurts to apply some type of lubricant to the bolt to ensure that the bolt will come off easier next time you remove the blade.
Hope this helps with your lawn mower maintenance tip-blades
“Keep It Simple to Succeed” lets get out there and make our lawns healthy and green!