Lawn Mower Blade Sharpening
Mr. J.G. dropped off a pair of lawn mower blades for sharpening yesterday. The blades were in very good shape and the cutting edges were similar to what one would find on a new blade – okay but not really sharp.
I have had to take my lawn mower blade sharpening to a much higher level than that of years ago because todays mowers are designed to cut the grass blades multiple times. The decks of todays mowers are designed with a domed and/or crowned designed which provide space for the cuttings/clippings to be flipped upwards into the deck well above the rotating cutting blade. The clippings then fall back down and are recut multiple times.
Today, the lawn mower blade and deck are designed to work in unison to handle the recut of clippings. The mower’s blade angles and cutting surfaces are designed for efficiency in the overall process so the cutting angle and edge are very important. There is more to it than just blade sharpness. A dull lawn mower blade will sever the grass blades leaving the grasses’ tiny veins sticking upwards. A day or so later, the grass will appear brown or slightly browned out. A sharp mower blade will create a straight clean scissor like cut.
Mr. J.G., while sharpening your blades I followed and maintained the original angle on the straight edge of the blade as well as the curved edge inwards towards the center of the blade. This will keep the blades cutting as originally designed, working in conjuction with the deck design. This allows the deck to do it’s part and not leave stringy grass blade veins behind.
How sharp did I sharpen your blades. Not too sharp. An overly sharpened blade will dull much too fast. I applied edges just shy of razor sharp and used a belt sander with 1200 grit on the original upwards sloping angle. The straight edges were profiled with hand files and finished with 1200 grit on the belt. I then balanced the blades.
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