Sharpen the lawn mower blade on your own

Sharpen the lawn mower blade on your own

The lawn mower is an essential home use machine used in every home. The lawn mower blade goes dull after using it on rough surfaces and hard bushes and grass. Although it is very durable and last for a year. But at least one time you must sharpen the blade of your mower every 6 months for better trimming of your turf. For commercial lawn mowers, you do not need to worry because the company maintenance department maintains your mower and you just call the company number. But if you are a home user, there is always a mess to go to the market with the mower and sharpen the blades. Therefore, in this article, I try to give you a better solution at home to sharpen your mower blade easily.

How to Sharpen a Lawn Mower Blade

Why Is Blade Sharpening Important?

Imagine looking out your window to see a lush, vibrant lawn that feels like a soft carpet under your feet. Achieving that dream starts with something simple yet important: keeping your lawn mower blade sharp. It’s the secret sauce to a healthy, beautiful lawn. Why? Because a sharp blade does more than just cut grass; it ensures each blade of grass grows back healthy, strong, and green. Let us explore why sharpening the blade on your mower can drastically improve your lawn.

Clean Cuts: A sharp blade slices through grass effortlessly, ensuring a clean cut. Just like a sharp knife makes a clean cut through a tomato, a sharp mower blade gives your grass a precise cut. This is vital for the health of your grass, helping it heal quickly and stay lush.

Less Damage: Dull blades tear and damage grass, leading to a ragged and unhealthy appearance. It’s the difference between a careful trim and a rough chop; one nurtures, the other harms.

Efficiency: Sharpening your blade means your mower works less hard to achieve better results. This not only saves you time but also prolongs the life of your mower.

How Many Types of Blades are used in Lawn mowers

In today’s world, when inventors and manufacturers are busy introducing new products and advanced technology. Similarly, in lawn mowers, different types and shapes of blades are used in lawnmowers and it depends upon the user’s requirements on which type of blades is suitable for their lawn and backyard. The most common type of lawnmower blades are:


The reel blades are basic blades that are normally used in reel mowers and manual lawnmowers. These blades come up with a helical shape and cut the grass like scissors cut the paper.


The second type of blade is the Standard blade which is most commonly used in lawnmowers nowadays these blades are also called deck blades. If you like smooth cutting and efficient blades, then you use these blades. These blades are straight and cut the grass smoothly, giving your lawn a beautiful look.


The third type of blade which is used in lawnmowers is the lifting blade. These blades are used to send the clippings to the side discharge or bagging. The lift is also responsible for circulating the grass clippings to use in the mulching procedure. There are three categories of lifting blades.

  • Low Lift (Under ¾ Inches, less power needed, and low noise).
  • High Lift (¾ to 15/16 inches, suitable for bagging).
  • Extra High lift (Height horsepower needed, used to cut the tall grass).


The mulching blades are different from the rest of the blades, these blades are used to keep the grass clippings in the deck and the design cut the clipping into smaller pieces which are used to enrich the grass and lawn. Mulching blades are come up with a wide cutting edge, and not used in the long grass as it create a clog in the deck.


If you recently started gardening and you do not have much information about lawn mowers and their common issues. Don’t Worry! My blog will provide you with all the essential information so that a beginner can easily perform the task and easily resolve common issues. Here are a few common signs of dull lawn mower blades:

Uneven and Raged Grass:

The first sign of dull blades is uneven and raged grass. If you noticed after mowing that the grass is not cut properly and you see raged and uneven patches it means your lawnmower blades need to be sharp.

Grass that appears discolored or brown after mowing:

Another sign of dull blades is brown and discolored grass after mowing. Dull blades can cause stress and damage to the grass, which leads to discoloration of the grass.

Lawnmower exerts more power while mowing:

If you are using a push mower you can clearly notice that you need extra power to move the mower on grass this is also a clear sign of a dull blade. In riding a lawnmower, you can notice that you need to give extra power while mowing.

Vibration & Noise:

The most common sign of dull blades are vibration and noise in your lawnmower. If you are noticing that your mower is vibrating more than normal vibration or generating more noise it means you need to sharpen the blades immediately.

Regular maintenance and sharpening of lawnmower blades are essential to ensure a clean and healthy cut. If you notice any of these signs, it is a good idea to sharpen or replace your lawnmower blades to maintain a well-groomed lawn.

The lawn mowers blades must be sharpened for the following reasons

Smooth Cutting of Grass:

The first requirement of using the Lawnmower is to smooth and equal cutting of grass. If your mower cannot cut the grass equally and left some bushes and leafs uncut it means your blade needs to be sharpened for better working.

Easy to use:

If your mower blades are less sharp it means that when you use a mower it might be hard on the surface of your lawn because the blade of the mower might not work smoothly so you need to sharpen the blade on priority.

Professional Look:

Another reason for sharpening the lawn mower, is to give your turf a professional look, due to the un-sharp blade your turf does not look beautiful.

Tools and Accessories need to sharpen the blades of the mower at home

There are basic tools and accessories needed to sharpen the blades. These tools and Accessories are available in every home. So, you do not need to buy any kind of tool from the market. The list is as follows:

  • Basic Tool Kit.
  • Electric Grinder
  • Files
  • Emery paper
  • Gloves
  • Google
  • A piece of Wood

Basic Tool Kit:

The Basic Tool kit comprises Spanners, Adjustable Spanners, Pliers Set, and Screwdriver Set.

Electric Grinder:

Electric Grinder is the most important tool to sharpen the blades. These basic grinders are always available in every home. If you have not available you can borrow from your neighbors. If not arranged you can sharpen the blades using files but its time taking process.


Files are used for finishing the work. After using the grinder you can use files to smooth the blade surfaces. Due to using, of files, your mower blades are smooth and sharp correctly.

Emery Paper:

Emery paper is used if you see corrosion/rust on the surfaces of the blade. Before sharping you remove the corrosion/ rust using emery paper. It is a very useful paper to remove rust and corrosion.


Always use gloves when starting any maintenance work it’s very mandatory for your safety.


Googles are very important to protect your eyes from any damage during work. Eyes are so precious so always use goggles before starting any work.

Piece of Wood:

A wood piece is used to put the blade on it so that blade doesn’t slip during the sharping process. It is also helpful while sharpening the blades.

sharpen lawn mower blade at home

Step by Step guidelines to sharpen the blades of mowers

Step 1: Remove the Blade

In the First step, you need to remove the blade by using the appropriate Spanner and screw drive, loosen the nuts and bolts, and remove the blade. Be careful while removing the blade and always use gloves.

Step 2: Visually inspect the blade from both sides

After removing the blade put it in a safe place and visually inspect the blade for any damage, rust, and corrosion on the surface of the blade.

Step 3: Remove the Corrosion using Emery Paper

If you see any kind of corrosion in your blade use the emery paper and clean the surface of your blade using emery paper.

Step 4: Sharp the surfaces of Blades using a Grinder

After removing the rust/corrosion from the blade. Hold the blade carefully and start sharpening the blade. Adjust the speed of the grinder according to your ease. Be careful and try to grind the surface equally on both sides. Use water while grinding for smooth and better sharp blade surfaces.

Step 5: File the Blade

After sharpening the blade using a grinder now use a file and smooth the surfaces of your blade. By file work it will not only smooth the surfaces but the places which are left from sharpening through the grinder can be sharpened by using files.

Step 6: Balance the Blade:

After completing of sharpening work, you have to check the balance of your mower blade. It blades are not balanced, your lawnmower starts vibrating. Balance blades are effective for the smooth operation of your mower. To check the balance follow the following steps

  • Use a blade balancer or nail to determine the heavier side of the blade.
  • Gently file metal off the heavier side. Be careful to remove only a little at a time.
  • After filing, place the blade back on the balancer to check if it’s level. Repeat filing if necessary.
  • Once balanced, reattach the blade to the mower.
  • Ensure everything is securely fastened before using the mower

Step 7: Fix the blade to the mower

After completion of work, fix the blade on the mower and check if there is any loose nut or bolt. Tight the nut and bold carefully.

Step 8: Switch on the Mower

After tightening the nuts and bolts switch on the mower and check if the blades are working correctly and fitted correctly in their base.

Step 9: Secure all the tools

Secure all the tools and kept in a safe place.

Sharpening of Blade without Opening the Blades

If you want to sharpen the blades of your mower without removing the blade then the steps are the same as described above. However, it is difficult to use the grinder on fitted blades. Therefore you use files. Files are easily moveable and you can sharpen the blade edge but it takes time and energy. If you have appropriate tools, open the blade from the mower and then sharpen the blades.

Types of blades used in riding lawn mowers

There are several types of blades used in riding lawn mowers, but the most common types are as follows:

Standard blades:

These blades are most commonly used in lawnmowers and used for general purpose.

Mulching blades:

Mulching blades are designed so that after cutting grass clippings are returned to the lawn which is used as fertilizer.

High lift blades:

As the name indicated these blades are designed with high lift as compared to standard blades which increase the airflow.

Gator blades:

Gator blades also work like mulching blades. These are designed with serrated edges which cut the grass into smaller pieces.

Bagging blades:

These blades pack the grass clippings into the bag for disposal.

Blades are the mandatory part of lawnmowers and you can select the blade according to your requirement. Wrong selection leads to damage to the grassroots and instead of making your lawn manicured, it will damage the grass.

Common Mistakes to Avoid During Blade Sharpening

Sharpening your lawn mower blade might seem straightforward, but falling into some common traps is easy. Avoiding these pitfalls can be the difference between a well-maintained blade and one that does more harm than good. Let’s highlight some mistakes you’ll want to avoid to ensure your blade sharpening efforts are effective and safe.

Improper Securing: Not securing the blade properly before starting can lead to accidents or uneven sharpening. Safety first!

Over-Sharpening: Blades need to be sharp but not razor-sharp. Overdoing it can wear down your blade faster.

Skipping Balance Checks: After sharpening, always check the balance. An unbalanced blade can damage your mower and leave your lawn looking uneven.

Ignoring Blade Condition: Sometimes, a blade is too worn to be saved by sharpening. Knowing when to replace it is key to maintaining your mower’s performance.

Frequency of Blade Maintenance

Knowing when to sharpen your lawn mower blade is like understanding the best time to water your plants. It’s not about sticking to a strict schedule; it’s about observing and responding to needs. Let’s explore how often you should maintain your blade to keep your lawn looking its best, ensuring that your mower is always in top condition.

General Guideline: Sharpen at least once per cutting season or every 20-25 hours of use. This is a good starting point for most lawns.

Adjust According to Use: If your lawn is large or if you often encounter rocks, dirt, or other hard materials, you might need to sharpen it more frequently.

Watch Your Lawn: The condition of your lawn is a great indicator. If the grass looks frayed or discolored after mowing, it’s time to sharpen the blade.


In a nutshell, after reading this article, you will be able to sharpen the lawn mower blade at home easily. Although removing blades from the mower is a lengthy process but once you go through it you find it very easy. After sharpening the blades of the mower you are more confident and next time you will go through the process easily. By sharpening the blades at home you can not only save your time to go to the market or bring the blacksmith home but also save money. I hope you find this article helpful. In case of any questions, you can comment or email us for further guidance.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

A simple home sharpening won’t hurt your mower.

No, you cannot need any kind of special tool besides, the Grinder to grind the surface of your blades.

At home, you use emery paper to remove the corrosion/rust from your blades easily.

If you want to buy the Grinder, You just order online or go to a hardware shop in your city and ask for the Small Grinder for home use.

In your home tool kit you must have Spanner Sets, Adjustable Spanner, Pliers Set, and Screw driver Set.

Yes, you can sharpen your mower’s blades without opening the blades by tilting the mower and using a file to sharpen the blades.

Naveed Aanjum author

About Naveed A Hashmi

In my childhood, I used to see my parents while working in the land, for these reasons today I have been serving the same as our own tradition and culture. I thus love to stay in it, because I want to learn something advanced and new so that I may improve my farm’s contour and help others with my experience.

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