Lawn Tool Sharpening

Hedge Trimmer Sharpening Service

Mobile Alabama
Hedge Trimmer Sharpening Service

Terry Platt aka Big Daddy

Terry Platt
aka
Big Daddy
Proprietor
Big Daddy’s Fixit Shop
Super Sharp Shop

Sharpening hedge trimmers takes a little time but it gives instant gratification when you see that shiny sharp edge appear from beneath the dull crusted teeth. I was again honored by being entrusted with the sharpening of a Homelite Model UT44160 electric hedge trimmer. The trimmer was dropped off by the owner, Mr Bart H.

In addition to the sharpening services I provide, I have begun writing blog posts about various jobs. I started doing this for two reasons:

  1. Google likes it
  2. To tell my customers how much I appreciate their business and leave information that I hope will be of use to them in the use and maintenance of their tools.

It was over 100 degrees in my shop when I started sharpening this hedge trimmer so I elected to relocate to my back patio where it was only about 90 degrees or so. A quick inspection of the trimmer showed that they were in pretty good shape overall. Only one cutting edge had a small chipped edge. The lower reciprocating blade was bent downward from the top blade but only effected the cutting of the first pair of teeth on the blade which is seldom used. So, I adjusted it slightly and started sharpening.

For the benefit of of Mr Bart and any others that may want to sharpen their hedge trimmers I will give an explanation of the process and show a few pictures:

  • Always start with a visual inspection. If you find bent blades or teeth, they must be corrected before proceeding.
  • Check to make sure the trimmer actually works. Then unplug it.
  • Adust the reciprocating blades so that you have enough clearance for the file and a wee bit more. You can do this by prying between an upper and lower cutting edge.
  • Use a standard mill file which is wide enough to cover the width of the cutting edge. Do not use a smaller file as it is impossible to maintain the correct angle along the entire width of the edge with a file that does not cut the entire width of the edge.
  • Find the correct angle for filing. To do this place the file on the edge and make a few downward strokes using downward pressure you can feel in your forearm. If the sound you hear sounds like a screech or a handsaw cutting wood, you are not at the right angle yet. Adjust the angle of the file until the sound is a good solid steel on steel sound. When you have found the angle that makes this sound you are cutting at the right angle. All strokes made with the file should now be with more pressure – enough pressure so that you now feel it in your shoulder. Four, five or six of this strokes should do the job. Do not makes dozens of strokes with a lighter pressure unless you really just have nothing else to do and want to spend all day doing this.
  • Now that you have the correct angle and know the process, it’s simply a manner of getting the job done. This trimmer had a 17 inch blade with one upper and one lower cutting edge per inch – 17 on top and 17 on bottom. After you have sharpened the top 17 edges, turn the clipper over and do the 17 edges on the lower blade. Thirty-four edges in all took me one hour and 15 minutes but I stopped a lot to drink iced tea and stand in front of the fan.
  • After all sharpening is done, lubricate the blades by putting one small drop of oil between each upper and lower cutting edge and one small drop in the valley between the teeth. I recommend you obtain a quart of non-detergent motor oil, 30 weight is fine, and an old pump oil can. Do not use a spray can lubricant. If you have questions as to why I recommend this oil, give me a call.

Mr Bart, thank you for your business. If you do pick up you oil and oil can, take it with you when you go to trim your hedges. Just a wee bit of oil every once in a while will make your work go faster and make your trimmer last longer. If you are in the Semmes Alabama area, you can pick up the file at Ace Hardware at 7380 Moffett Road. They have everything you need, are great people and I want to thank them for the many referrals they send every year. Their phone number is 251-645-1001.

If you are happy with my work, please leave reviews at:

If you are unhappy with my work, bring the clippers back and I wll correct any thing that makes you unhappy. If you need an owner’s manual, you can download it here: Homelite UT44160 Owners’ Manual Download

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Published: June 18, 2015

Mobile AL Lawn Mower Blade Sharpening

Mobile AL Lawn Mower Blade Sharpening Service
Mobile AL Lawn Mower Blade Sharpening Service

Mobile AL Lawn Mower Blade Sharpening Service

Some of the best advice I can give you concerning sharpening lawn mower blades is to always have a spare set on hand. This way you will be able to continue with your lawn cutting if your blades become unusable.

If you are not very experienced in removing and installing lawn mower blades and know which side is up and which side is down, mark the blade before you take it off. Use a tool to scratch the blade or a can of spray paint. Mark the lawn side so you will know that side faces the grass when reinstalled.

You can sharpen your blades yourself. I certainly appreciate the business but if you would like to, you can do a very good job yourself. Just remember that a lawn mower blade is not a knife. It does not need a sharp knife edge. In fact, if you sharpen the blade like a knife, normal lawn cutting will quickly destroy the edge. Sand, small pebbles and miscellaneous bits of hard debris hit the cutting edge of lawn mower blades at a very high speed. A sharp blade cannot hold up to this type of assault.

When you sharpen your blades, sharpen them only as sharp as a butter knife edge. That edge will last ten times or more as long as a knife sharp edge.

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Published: May 11, 2015

How To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades

How To Sharpen A Lawn Mower Blade

Mobile Alabama Sharpening Service
How To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades

 

There’s a lot of methods used to sharpen lawn mower blades. There are almost as many techniques for sharpening blades as there are ways to cut yourself while sharpening. Almost! Not intended to be a little bit of humor, that opening sentence is just to provide a bit of information you should be aware of: the bacteria that causes tetanus are found in soil, dust and animal feces. This information comes from the Mayo Clinic which I quote here:

The bacteria that cause tetanus, Clostridium tetani, are found in soil, dust and animal feces. When they enter a deep flesh wound, spores of the bacteria may produce a powerful toxin, tetanospasmin, which actively impairs your motor neurons, nerves that control your muscles. The effect of the toxin on your motor neurons can cause muscle stiffness and spasms — the major signs of tetanus.

 Every lawn I’ve ever seen had some soil, dust and animal feces. So, if you work outside and especially if you work with hand tools and sharpening instruments, keep that tetanus shot current. And, one more thing, you probably treat your lawn mower and lawn mower blade sharpening way to casually. In 2010, 253,000 people were treated for lawn mower-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Children under age 19 account for nearly 17,000 of these injuries. The number of lawn mower-related injuries increased 3 percent since 2009.
I’m not passing on this info for its “scare factor.” It’s just that you need to be careful. As far as trying to convince you that you need to let me handle the job, that’s really not the case either. In fact, being a firm believer in self-sufficiency, I think you really should do your lawn mower blade sharpening yourself or at least know how to do it. Lawn mower blade sharpening is easy – really easy. It can be difficult to remove the blades and its usually always a dirty job but nonetheless any guy or gal should be able to do this. Now, let’s get on with it:
  1. Know your objective. You do not want the lawn mower blade to be super sharp. The edge should be more like a butter knife.
  2. Remove the blade from the mower. I know it can be sharpened while on the mower but the very important visual inspection of the blade cannot be complete unless you view each side of the blade. You are looking for hair-line fractures or anything that lessens the integrity of the blade. Clean the blade of dirt, rust and grass if needed so you can clearly see any small fractures. If anything at all looks like a crack (usually indicated by a dark line that cannot be easily removed), discard the blade. Save it for my scrap metal bin.
  3. Clamp the blade in a vise or use some other method to secure the blade so it does not move.
  4. Using your preferred sharpening tool, small low-speed grinder (hand-held), file, rotary tool, etc., grind the cutting edge at the same angle as what you will find on the edge.
  5. Balance the blade. If you need to remove any metal to balance the blade, remove from the back of the blade, not the cutting edge.
  6. Before you decide to sharpen your lawn mower blades, you should first consider the cost effectiveness. I charge $7.00 per blade for sharpening. Obviously, if you can purchase a new blade for little more than $7.00 it just dosen’t make sense to sharpen the old one. However, if your cost is say $10.00 or more you may save a few bucks. Blades that have been maintained and not abused by their owners may be able to be sharpened two times or more. That is a real savings. If you are guilty of mowing sand and gravel pits, tree stumps and other such items, you probably don’t need to call me. Go get a new blade.
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Published: March 4, 2015