So many people take their poor lawn mower for granted. It sits forlornly in the garage waiting to be taken outside for a run and is often overlooked in the maintenance stakes. Lawn mower blades are one of the most neglected parts of the machine, with the gas tank and oil reservoir the most attended to. The spark plugs get a regular look-in and even the wheels are tightened from time to time but the lawn mower blades, the very things that enable the unit to do its job, are out of sight and out of mind.
Ever tried cutting a tomato with a dull knife? It is frustrating and you will not stand for it. You immediately sharpen the knife as best you can and return to the task at hand. Yet when the grass does not seem to come up looking its best after a mow, you wonder if perhaps it is your eyesight, you did a lousy, rushed job or maybe the grass is a little poor. Hello, how about checking the lawn mower blades?
What to do when your blades are blunt
If you do not consider yourself a handy person around the home and garden, take your entire lawn mower to a store that specializes in mowers and ask the staff to show you how to take the blades off. If sharpening them is beyond your capabilities, you can have the store sharpen them for you and the next time, all you will have to do is remove them and not take the whole thing with you.
Why it is Important to Keep Blades Sharp
With any machinery, it is important to keep all of the elements in good working order. A holistic approach is necessary for the longevity and efficiency of the machine. Any part that begins to fail will let the entire unit down. Just as a cars tires help maintain the fuel efficiency of the car, lawn mower blades can mean the difference between making the motor work harder or not so hard.
How to Keep the Blades Sharp
Apart from the obvious, sharpening them, you should also endeavor to avoid ploughing through areas of vegetation that lawn mower blades are not meant to cut. Tough weeds, muddy patches and excessively long grass will all have a detrimental effect on the blades.
Sharpening them is a matter for professionals unless you are the proud owner of a grinding wheel and the appropriate filing discs. It can be a bit of an exacting science, determining which ends of the lawn mower blades are unbalanced, so ask for advice from the aforementioned staff.
Signs that your lawn mower blades need sharpening
If your mower starts spitting out roughly chopped grass and not cleanly cut fragments, it may be time to check the blades. An abnormally vibrating mower is also a sign that one or more blades may be damaged. Either diagnosis can be made with a simple visual examination.
Two or three times a year, it is advisable to check the lawn mower blades for any nicks or other damage, and have them sharpened as a matter of routine. If you live in an area where your mower is out of action for a few months due to snow, be sure to give your lawn mower a complete check-up before sending it back out to work.