How Do You Sharpen A Lawnmower Blade?
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Do you have a dull lawnmower blade? Have you been cutting grass with your lawnmower and feel like it is longer than it should? Do you see raggedly cut grass? Well, you might need to check your lawnmower blades for their sharpness.
Ask any homeowner what the one most important tool that helps them in keeping their lawns well maintained is? He or She would say it is their lawnmowers. Yet, frequently, it is these machines that are neglected when it comes to their maintenance. It’s easy to overlook blade maintenance as I tend to forget from time to time as well.
The blade is an essential part of the mower. If it is in bad condition, it will affect your grass cutting session. And the adverse effects are not just related to the look of your lawn. A ragged top cut on a leaf of grass opens up the grass plant and creates a perfect situation for grass diseases.
Lawnmower blades often need sharpening. It is recommended to sharpen these blades at least two times every season using a good sharpener. This maintenance action would make it easy for you to maintain a green and healthy lawn. Keeping your lawn mower blade sharp is your first line of defense against lawn diseases.
In this article, we show you the techniques of sharpening your lawnmower blade.
Learn How to Sharpen Your Lawnmower Blade
There are various methods used to sharpen a lawnmower, including the use of a hand file, bench grinder, angle grinder, or rotary tool. A lawnmower blade sharpener helps you make your lawn-cutting job faster and less stressful. Here, we provide a detailed guide for a lawnmower blade sharpener that works for almost all lawnmowers.
- Closed-end wrench
- Dull Mower blade
- Torque wrench
- 10” file
Those who cut grass like a professional service provider should invest in one of the high-end power tools designed and manufactured specifically to serve that purpose. These are called grinders and usually the best choice for blade sharpener tools. One that I have had good results with and what I typically use today is the
Homeowners generally do less mowing compared to professionals and can select from various options available for lower-end power and manual tools. If you intend to save money, you can rely on the manual, traditional file. Most homeowners would find a file would a great choice because they are typically under 20. The Nicholson file shown below is what I use.
What You Should Know Before Sharpening the Blade
Regardless of which tool you use, before you start, you should know some essential things such as:
- How sharp the blade should be
- How frequently you should sharpen
- When sharpening does not work
As you feel eager to fix your lawnmower by sharpening the blades to get better grass cutting, you might think that you should aim for the sharpest possible result. However, that is not the case. You should try to achieve a delicate balance. The cutting edge of the mower blade has to be sharp but not razor-sharp. If you sharp it too much, the edge will not hold up for longer, and you will have to sharpen it again soon.
If you find large bends or nicks in your blade, the sharpening is not going to correct the issue. You should consider replacing your lawnmower blade instead.
Removing the Blade
Before you start anything, take note of the precautions you need to take. Remember, safety comes first. Ensure your work area is free of any clutter, and you are using the proper socket size for the nut on your mower. I have on occasion used a size bigger than recommended and have slipped while loosening the bolt, knocking my knuckles on the blade. Not a fun time.
Tips for removing lawnmower blades:
- Read your lawn mower’s instruction manual
- Wear protective goggles, hearing protection. Gloves and long pants are also a must. Another safety recommendation is to wear sturdy close-toed shoes
- Ensure that you disconnect the machine from its power source. If it is cordless mower, remove the battery pack. This precaution will ensure that the engine won’t start unexpectedly.
- Remove the spark plug especially if you sharpen the blade without detaching it from the mower
We recommend removing the blade before sharpening. However, it depends on the design of your mowing equipment, whether you can sharpen the blades without removing them. Removing blades can save you a lot of time. But removal provides better access to the blade’s edges. It also facilitates better visual inspection of any existing damage that occurred on the blade, such as excessive wear or stress fractures. over, consider emptying the gas tank so that no fuel spills when you remove the blade.
Next, turn the mower on the side that exposes the bolt or nut securing the blade to the mower. Use a short wooden block between the inside surface and the end of the mower blade to keep the blade from turning. Now, with the help of a long-handle wrench with a socket, loosen the bolt or nut. If you find that the bolt is rusted or stuck, use some penetrating oil and try again after a few minutes. Use a metal pipe over the handle of the wrench to get more leverage when loosening a stubborn bolt.
Once you remove the retaining bolt or nut, remove the mower blade and remember which side of the mower blade faced downward. This identification is essential to make sure the blade gets installed back in the same position. Use a permanent marker to mark the side that you need to remember.
Cleaning and Positioning
After you remove the blade, spend some time inspecting and cleaning the underside of the deck with the help of a knife with a narrow blade. Make sure all mud, grass, leaves, and debris are removed from it. Use penetrating oil and a stiff-bristle tool, such as a brush, and clean the two sides of the blade.
Mower blades generally have a cutting edge on both ends located on opposite sides of the blade. These cutting edges are only 3-4 inches long and don’t extend the blade’s length. So, you can clamp the mower blade in a vise in an angular position with any one of the cutting edges facing upwards.
Get a blade sharpener that works with a drill to sharpen your lawnmower blade. This tool has an abrasive stone, a steel shank, and a flat sharpening guide. The surface of the stone is beveled and grinds the right cutting angle for the blade. Watch this video demonstration to see how to sharpen your blade properly.
Though this nail technique works and is a simple method, you can use a mower blade balancer for more accurate results. It is a cone-shaped, multi-tiered metal fixture that can be placed on a flat surface with a blade set on the top. This tool works with a blade with a varying diameter of center holes. When you use a balanced blade, it remains level; otherwise, it tilts towards either side, indicating the heavier side of the blade that needs more sharpening.
Once you sharpen and balance the blade, reinstall it into the original position on the mower and tighten the bolt. Use a wrench to ensure to tighten the bolt snugly. Attach the wire again, fill the gas tank, and put your freshly sharpened mower blade to test.
Hi, Alex Kuritz here. Growing up I remember that my family had one of the best lawns in the neighborhood. Richly green and lush. I did a lot as I grew up in terms of caring and tending for not only my family’s lawn but also my neighbors. I can say I have years of experience, and I am here to share it with you.
Changing Blades On Bad Boy Mower [Quick Step-by-Step Guide]
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As a Bad Boy lawn mower owner, it’s important to know how to change the blades on your mower. This helps ensure you always have a nice sharp cut and prevents brown tips on your grass from dull edges.
Here are some easy steps to follow when changing blades on Bad Boy mowers.
How To Start Changing Blades On A Bad Boy Mower
If you own a Bad Boy lawn mower, it’s important to know how to change the blades. Over time, the blades can become dull or damaged and need to be replaced to keep your lawn looking its best.
This process is not difficult, but there are a few things you’ll need to gather first, including new blades and some basic tools. Follow the steps below and you’ll have new blades on your mower in no time!
To stop the lawn mower from moving while you work, be sure to engage the brake and use wheel chocks on both sides of the wheels.
Remove the blade bolts
To remove the blade bolts, you’ll need a socket wrench. If the blades are still mounted to the deck housing, place a block of wood between the deck housing and the blade to stop it from rotating while you use the socket wrench to remove any mounting hardware, such as bolts and washers.
Take care not to lose any components in the process. Once all of the hardware is removed, you should be able to take off the blades by hand easily.
Remove your Bad Boy mower blades
When you remove the blade, you should be aware of its location. The blade’s sharp edge on the new one may be mounted in the same direction, often with the assembly being turned counterclockwise. Pay close attention to how this blade is placed, then replace the new edge appropriately.
Install Your Bad Boy Mower Blades
The majority of mower designs forbid installing the mower blade with the wrong side down. Majority of blades has a retaining plate that prevents the blade from being installed anywhere other than the proper location. However, mower blades can be installed improperly.
Additionally, a blade can occasionally be installed too loosely. A poor installation will become apparent very quickly due to vibration and subpar lawn cutting performance; in contrast, a properly fitted installation should go unnoticed by users until it is time for maintenance or replacement again.
Clean area under your deck
A clean area under your deck is important for several reasons. First, it helps the new blades to be properly balanced when installed. Second, it keeps old blades from becoming dull too quickly.
Third, it makes it easier to see any potential problems with the deck itself. Finally, fourth, and most importantly – a clean area under your deck simply looks nicer!
Use a putty knife or other tool to scrape away any debris that has built up over time; then sweep or vacuum up the loose dirt and dust before proceeding with installing new blades or sharpening old ones.
When it comes to installing blades, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, be sure that the area you’re working in is clean and free of dust or debris.
Old blades can often times be sharp, so it’s important to take care when handling them. Newer blades should also be inspected for any potential problems before installation.
The blade must be installed correctly; they can fit upside down. The center will be located higher than the edge’s ends if the edge has an offset. To avoid damage when the nut securely tightening, you must ensure that the blade fits onto the spline.
Tighten the bolts using a torque wrench
Tightening the bolts on your lawn mower is important to maintaining its edge and preventing injury. Use a torque wrench to properly tighten the bolts, following the manufacturer’s specifications detailed in your owner’s manual.
Be especially careful when tightening the bladebolt – use a block of wood to help prevent it from turning as you twist the nut tight. Inspect other parts of your mower, like belts and pulleys, before each use to make sure everything is functioning correctly.
How to Sharpen Your Bad Boy Blade DIY
If you own a Bad Boy lawn mower, you know that the blades need to be regularly sharpened to keep the grass looking neat and tidy.
However, taking your mower into a professional shop can be expensive, so why not sharpen the blades yourself? With a little time and effort, it’s easy to do-it-yourself. Plus, doing it yourself will save you money in the long run.
Gather the tools you will need
First of all, make sure that you have all of the necessary materials before starting. You’ll need a blade grinder (which can be found at most hardware stores), gloves, safety glasses, and a new or very sharp file.
It’s also important to note that there are different Bad Boy Lawn Mowers, so make sure you’re using the right blade type for your model!
The wire brush is the best way to clean bad boy blade of dirt and stubborn areas of buildup. Just put on your safety eyewear and work gloves, then begin scrubbing the grime off with the rag. For particularly difficult accumulation, use a wire brush.
Secure Your Bad Boy Mower Blade
Bad Boy mower blades need to be sharpened regularly to maintain effectiveness. This is an important step in keeping your lawn looking its best.
When sharpeniing the blade, it is important to have a secure workspace with good lighting and no cords in the way that could pose a tripping hazard. The Bad Boy blade must be securely fastened in a vice so that it does not move during the honing process.
Once one side of the blade has been sharpened, it should then be flipped over and secured again beforesharpeningthe other side.
File or Grind Bad Boy Blade Edge to Sharpen
When sharpening a blade with a file, it’s important to use the right angle and direction. Hold the file at an angle to the blade and push it along in one direction only.
Avoid sawing motions, which will damage the file. After getting rid of all burrs and jagged edges, flip the blade over and sharpen the other side. Clamp the blade in a vice when doing this so you can work safely.
A drill powered blade sharpener can be used to sharpen a blade edge quickly and easily. To use the sharpener, simply move it up and down along the length of the blade edge.
Once one side has been properly honed without any rough edges or nicks, flip the blade over and secure it in a vice before repeating the process on the other side.
An angle grinder is a great tool to use for sharpening a blade. The blades on most tools get dull over time and will need to be replaced or sharpened. An angle grinder can be used to sharpen the blade by running it along the edge of the blade until all of the rough spots or nicks are gone.
It is important that you hold the angle grinder parallel to the edge of the blade so that you do not remove too much metal from one side.
You should also flip the blade over and secure it in a vice beforeSharpen with an Angle Grinder beginning to sharpen so that you can work on both sides evenly.
How to Balance Your Bad Boy Mower Blade
Before reinstalling your mower blades on your Bad Boy mower, they must be balanced. If you don’t, your crankshaft may vibrate and become damaged. A blade is said to be balanced when each side of it is equally weighed.
Check the balance of your blade using a blade balancer or by following these instructions:
If you don’t have a blade balancer, you can hammer a nail about 3/4 to 1 inch away from the wall into the wall. The blade’s center should be on the nail head with the point facing up.
The hung weight should match on both sides before trimming any more metal off of the lower hanging side until it balances with equal weights
When Should You Seek a Professional Sharpening Service for Your Bad Boy Blade?
If you’re not entirely confident in your ability to balance or sharpen a blade, you should seek professional assistance.
Your crankshaft or engine could sustain more harm if your blades are not balanced properly or are still worn from use. Even though I have the equipment to sharpen my own mower blades, I personally prefer to have them done by my neighborhood lawn mower dealer.
They simply give the blade a nicer, cleaner edge than I can get cutting it myself. Trust us – an injured person AND broken equipment is NOT what we’re going for here!
- It is a far more prudent choice than sharpening the blade on your own.
- In many cases, the cost of sharpening a blade is lower than the cost of acquiring a new blade.
- A skilled specialist can remove big nicks and gouges in the steel blade of a mower by grinding it down. This ensures that the blade is correctly balanced. Because of this, your mower’s vibration and wear and tear will be reduced.
As you can see, it is relatively easy to change your Bad Boy mower blades yourself with just a few tools and safety precautions.
Not only does this save you time and money, but it also gives you the opportunity to be sure that the job is done correctly.
Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations specific to your model before beginning any repair project on your lawn mower.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions Changing Blades)
How Often Should You Change Your Bad Boy Mower Blades?
It is recommended that you change the blades on your Bad Boy mower every 25 hours of use.
How Often Should You Sharpen Your Bad Boy Mower Blades?
You should sharpen your Bad Boy mower blades every 10 to 20 hours of use, or whenever they become dull.
Do New Bad Boy Mower Blades Need to Be Sharpened?
No, new bad boy mower blades do not need to be sharpened.
Are bolts on mower blades reverse thread?
No, bolts on mower blades are not reverse thread.
What size bolt holds the blades on a Bad Boy mower?
The blades on a Bad Boy mower are held on with a 3/8-inch bolt.
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How to Replace the Blades on a Simplicity Broadmoor Lawn Mower
The following picture guide walks through the steps of replacing the blades on a Simplicity Broadmoor Lawn Tractor.
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Procedure for Replacing Mower Blades on a Lawn Tractor
The lawn tractor shown in this guide is a Simplicity Broadmoor 16hp (package 2690008).
The first step is to turn the key to the ‘off’ position. Disconnect the negative battery terminal.
I like to jack up the mower and secure it with some jackstands. Otherwise use ramps. Set the parking brake on the mower.
Peer under the mower deck at the blades.
We will need to remove the cap screw. This requires a 5/8″ wrench or socket.
Use a block of wood to secure the blade against the side of the mower deck. Turn the capscrew counter-clockwise to loosen it (as shown in the manual).
Once the bolt is loose, remove it along with the washers.
These are the parts you have removed.
Sharpen the blades or replace them. These are the blades I recommend:
To re-install the blades, put a block of wood again against the deck to prevent the blade from turning. Install the spring washer, hex washer, and blade bolt.
Note: blades should be installed with the tabs (airlifts) turned up, toward the mower deck.
Use a torque wrench to tighten the blade bolt to 45-55 ft. lbs.
Lawn Mower Blade Bolt Stuck – Mechanics secret tips
I know the feeling, FRUSTRATION. but we’ll get it figured out. The blade bolt can be stuck for a few different reasons. Usually, it’s a combination of rust and over-tightening.
The easiest way to remove a stuck blade bolt is with an impact tool; they make the whole job look easy. Other options include:
You may not have an impact, so I’ll show you a few different options. Some of these options may not suit you; it’ll depend on what tools you have available. Best to don a pair of work gloves. Stuck bolts usually mean slipping tools.
Removing A Rounded Bolt
Over-tightening is common. Mower blades are designed to be tightened to a specific torque, which isn’t as tight as you might expect. That’s because they’re designed to slip if they hit a solid object. The slipping protects the engine from serious damage associated with a curbstone strike.
Also common is turning the bolt the wrong way; hey, it could happen to a bishop. All single-blade walk-behind mowers will have what’s known as a right-hand thread. That means, to loosen the bolt, you turn it to the left. (counter-clockwise)
I cover all you need to know pretty well in this post, but if you need more help, check out the following videos:
Blade Bolt Torque
Mower blade bolts should be torqued to spec. These bolts are usually over-tightened, and when you add corrosion, removing them can be a headache.
Only some large twin blades walk-behind mowers and some lawn tractor mowers are likely to have one only left-hand threaded blade bolt; the other bolt will be a regular right-hand thread.
How do you know which is which?
Simple, if the blade is designed to cut turning right (viewed from above), then it will be a right-hand thread; this is the most common type. To loosen a right-hand thread, you turn it to the left.
The same idea applies to twin-blade tractor mowers. However, a left-hand thread is common on some lawn tractor mowers.
So, if the blade cuts grass turning to the right, as before, it’s likely a regular right-hand thread (left to loosen). But it’s not uncommon for a tractor mower to have one of the blades turn to the left when cutting, and that usually means it’s a left-hand thread (check your owner manual) to loosen a left-hand thread, turn it to the right.
L/H – R/H Thread
A r/h thread loosens to the left. This is the most common type of thread. (counterclockwise)
A l/h threaded bolt loosens to the right. (clockwise)
Typical torque specs for blade bolts are anywhere from 35 ft. lbs. to 90 ft. lbs., you’ll need to check the spec of your mower, it’s important to get it right.
Most of the time blade bolts just get buttoned uptight and aren’t torqued to spec, and that’s OK, but you run the risk of bending the crankshaft if you hit a solid object. I advise using a torque wrench, it’s a lot cheaper than a new mower engine.
Torque wrenches are easy to use, they come in inch-pounds for smaller torque specs, but for mowers, you’ll need foot-pounds. A torque wrench from 30 to 100 foot-pounds is about right.
If you don’t have or can’t borrow one, check out this post on my 1/2 drive Teng Torque, it won’t break the bank, it covers 30 to 150 ft. lbs., it’s simple to use, calibrated from the factory, and has a flexible working range.
I get my torque wrenches calibrated every year but it gets a lot of use. If you set your torque wrench to zero after you use it and don’t throw it around, it should stay calibrated for years.
Damage – The bolt on the right has a rounded head, this kind of damage happens when a tool slips on a bolt head, or corrosion deforms it. Getting the bolt out presents a challenge.
A rounded bolt head is a real pain in jacksie. It usually happens when the bolt is old and corrosion has deformed it. Worn or damaged tools will give you the same result.
It can also happen if the wrong size tool is used. An American mower may use imperial size nuts and bolts, I know the more modern kit is metric and some mowers are a mix of both. If your mower is European or Asian it will be metric sizes.
The trouble is you can get an imperial wrench to almost fit a metric bolt, but it’s loose and will slip, which rounds the bolt head. Typical bolt sizes for mower blade bolts are Imperial 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″ and Metric sizes 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, and 17mm.
Imperial or Metric, be sure your tools are a good fit.
Tools You’ll Need
Impact power tools are designed for this exact job. They cause a hammering action which helps reduce the bolt thread friction and breaks any corrosion loose. So if you have an air or battery impact tool, you going to feel like a superhero when that bolt just walks out.
Basic tools needed assuming you don’t have an impact tool: wire brush, wd40, ratchet sockets, selection of wrenches.
Other tools you’ll need if things don’t go exactly to plan: breaker bar, hammer chisel, butane torch, and if everything goes to crap, a Mig welder. In my workshop, I use an air impact tool, if you haven’t got one or can’t borrow I have other solutions for you.
But the tool I am least likely to be without is an impact tool, it just makes life really easy and saves so much time. The coolest thing about the latest generation impact tools is their mobility, cordless now packs the power of an air tool. Great for around the home and for flat wheel emergency, use it to run the jack-up and take the nuts off.
Although I still use air in the workshop, I bought a 20v Ingersoll Rand cordless for mobile repairs, I know they ain’t cheap but you won’t ever need to buy another.
If you do buy an impact tool, you’ll need to buy impact sockets too. Sure you can use regular sockets, but you run the risk of them shattering. Anyway, you’ll find all these tools on the “Small engine repair tools page”.
Tool Up – Most stuck bolts won’t need all these tools, but some do.
Removing The Bolt
Removing a stuck bolt involves trying different solutions until you ring the bell. In the first attempts, we’ll try the simple stuff and if that doesn’t move it, I have lots more ideas.
Before we start any work on our mower we need to make it safe. Pull the plug wire off and set it away from the plug. Turn your gas off if you have a gas tap, if you don’t know where your gas tap is check out “Gas tap location”.
WD40 is my favorite tool, it solves lots of problems, I also like a product called nut buster, it’s formulated for dissolving rust. Try spraying the bolt liberally above and below the blade, and allow it time to work into the threads.
Disable Mower – For safety, let’s remove the plug wire and turn off the gas.
Turn the mower over with the carburetor side facing up, stops gas leaking on the floor. (see tilting mower over)
Wire Brush to remove any rust. Wd40 Spray front and rear of the bolt and give it some time to soak in.
Impact Tool – By far the preferred way to remove a bolt. An Impact gun hammers the bolt as well as twists it, this loosens the corrosion between the threads.
An impact tool will remove the bolt in seconds and you won’t need to lock the blade. But if the bolt head is rounded, the impact tool is of no use. You’ll need a different solution.
Check out the Amazon link, some of these impact wrench surprised me.
Lock Blade – If you are not using an impact tool we’ll need to use a piece of timber to lock the blade against the body. Longer timber is better than shorter. Cut a length to suit.
Good Fit – Select a socket (6 points preferably) and check the fit. Turn the ratchet left to loosen. Using a breaker bar, or if you don’t have to improvise with your ratchet and some pipe.
Pushing down on the pipe will give you the extra power you need to break it loose. Just be sure the socket is a good fit, and it stays on the bolt head when you’re applying force.
Wrench Leverage – Turn the Wrench left to loosen. If you don’t have a ratchet and breaker bar, try 2 interlocked wrench’s for extra leverage, or use a hammer to shock the bolt.
If it still won’t budge, try tightening it slightly, this often helps, odd I know!
Striking – Try striking two hammers sharply (wear eye protection) while one is placed against the bolt head, this can help break loose any corrosion on the threads. If the head of the bolt is rounded, move on to the next solution.
Rounded Bolt – If your bolt head is rounded, try a vice grip. Get it as tight as you can, and try hitting it to the left sharply with a hammer.
Not all vice grips are the same, for this application you’ll need a flat jawed set. Check out this post on Vice-grips tools.
Chisel – This method is pretty effective, but you’ll need a new bolt, sharp metal working chisel, and a heavy hammer. With the chisel and hammer, take a sideways and downward aim at the bolt, we’re attempting to loosen it by turning it left. This will require good aim, so now’s a good time for those gloves.
Heat – Ordinarily I’ll tell you to get some heat on the bolt, the reason I haven’t introduced it earlier is that it comes with the risk of damaging the crankshaft nylon seal, which would cause the engine to leak oil.
The risk of this is fairly small, once you direct the flame and only use a small amount. We’re not going to redden the bolt, just going to heat it up.
Maybe 2 minutes with a butane torch directed at the bolt. You can now try heat with any combination of the above methods. Heat is very successful at helping move stuck bolts.
Welding – This method will obviously require a welder, when I get a really stubborn bolt with a rounded head, I take a new bolt and weld it to it. This gives me a not-so-pretty but clean bolt head to work with.
This solution has never failed me yet. You’ll need to replace the bolt. Blade bolts have a fine thread, they are a specialized bolt, getting one in the hardware store isn’t advisable.
Torque – Finally, you’ll have to move your timber to lock the blade in the other direction and torque your new bolt to spec.
Check out this post to see why it’s important to torque your blade bolt.
The spindle turns when removing the blades? The easiest way to prevent the blade from turning while loosening the blade bolt is to use a large block of wood to lock the blade against the mowing deck.
Lawnmower blade bolt direction? Turn the mower on its side, carburetor side up, turn the blade bolt to the left (anticlockwise) to loosen.
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I’ve worked on all types of mechanical equipment, from cars to grass machinery, and this site is where I share fluff-free hacks, tips, and insider know-how.
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