Sharpening reel mower blades is an essential part of routine maintenance for any lawn, but necessary more so on turfgrasses that are more abrasive to the cutting surface. Sharp blades will act as mini sandpaper across your lawn’s surface, which is better than the alternative.
Reel mowers are popular because they’re environmentally friendly and produce beautiful, green grass. They also require less maintenance than other power mowers. But without regular sharpening, your blades will start to become dull, which means the blades won’t cut through the grass properly and will tend to get caught up in weeds.
The reel mower blade is made from steel, requiring periodic sharpening with a blade grinder or whetstone. It should be done on a bi-monthly basis to keep your reel mower cutting at its best potential.
Sharpening the Reel Mower
It’s important to note that different sharpening methods are best for blades with different cutting widths. It would help if you used a whetstone or grinder on a smaller blade and a belt sander in a broader blade. If you have an extensive lawn, you should sharpen them before mowing so they stay extra sharp all day and don’t dull as quickly.
The method you use to sharpen the blades will vary depending on the type of reel mower you own – there are several types – and whether your mower is gas-powered or electric. The kind of blades you should sharpen include:
- Wood or fiberglass blades are designed to cut through soft grasses and weeds. These blades come in different widths and lengths. Usually, narrower blades are sharper than wider ones, and you should use a whetstone or belt sander for this type of blade.
- Metal blade with serrated teeth that functions as a file. This type of blade is beneficial when cutting through thicker grass or weeds but may require regular sharpening with a whetstone to keep them sharp enough for optimum performance.
- Metal blades with a razor-sharp edge on the front of the blade. The blades may use a metallic-synthetic material that can be sharpened with a whetstone. They also have a thin razor’s edge, which allows the blade to cut thin, even slices of grass that can create a more manicured lawn.
You will need to follow the instructions on your reel mower’s blade sharpening kit. The kit usually comes with instructions on how to use it, what method of sharpening is provided, and the frequency of the blades’ sharpening process. Follow these instructions to ensure you are getting the most out of your reel mower blades.
A one-off or ongoing job on your lawnmower is required every six months for gas-powered mowers and ongoing maintenance on electric machines. If you are experiencing uneven or a low-quality cut, then it sharpens more frequently.
Sharpening a Push Reel Mower
- Secure The Blades
Ensure all the blades are properly secured. It includes both the blades that are still attached to the mower or ones you plan to sharpen. If your mower has removable blades, make sure you take them off. If they are already off, use something like a stick or nail around the same diameter as the blade to secure them. You won’t have to worry about accidentally cutting yourself before or after sharpening.
- Clean The Mower Blades
If there is any grass stuck on to your blade, it can cause an uneven surface, making it difficult for your blade to cut correctly, so be sure you remove all grass clippings from your reel mower’s blade. To do this, you can use a cloth and warm soapy water.
Scrape The File On The Blade Between When sharpening your blade, you want to scrape the file against the edge of the blade. Not against the flat surface of the blade. It will prevent any damage to your blades when sharpening them and is more effective in sharpening them.
- Repeat Previous Steps For All Blades
After scraping all your blades with a file, repeat this process on every other blade you sharpen. If your mower has more than one row of blades, do this for each row of blades one row at a time.
- Use Grease And Lubricate To Protect Blades After Sharpening.
As a final step, you need to grease and lubricate your reel mower’s blade so it operates smoothly and doesn’t rust. To do this, put a little bit of the grease all around the edge of the blade and work it in with your fingers so that it is evenly coated all around the blade. Not only will this help protect your blade, but it also gives you a smoother, easier cut. The blade should be refitted into your mower for this lubrication to take effect. You can also use WD-40 or motor oil if you don’t have any reel mower-specific lubricants on hand.
Reel mowers are an excellent choice for anyone that is looking for a simple, reliable lawnmower. They are easy to use, have minimal maintenance requirements, and produce an even, smooth cut every time. Plus, the types of blades available in various widths can be used on multiple types of mowers, so you will always have suitable blades when you need them. The best way to maintain your reel mower’s blades is to follow the instructions that came with your reel mower’s blade sharpening kit.
How Sharp Should Reel Mower Blades Be?
Standard reel lawn mower blades should be sharpened with a double cutting edge – this means that both sides of the blade’s cutting surface should meet and eliminate any inconsistencies. Sharpen each side at a 20-degree angle for standard blades, using a 10-degree angle on the first side and a 20-degree angle on the second side.
- Inch: .75″ – 1.25″ inches for Reel Mower Blades recommended cutting width range from 3/4″ to 3-1/8″.
- Meter: 19mm – 33mm for Reel Mower Blades recommended cutting width range from 17mm to 32mm.
- Mass: .25lbs – 1.0 lbs for Reel Mower Blades recommended cutting width range from 2-1/8″ to 13-3/4″
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Reel Mower?
Reel mowers are quiet, lightweight, and self-propelled. Reel mower blades are simpler to sharpen, don’t require replacement as often, are lightweight, and are more durable. They also produce fewer greenhouse gases than motorized lawnmowers.