The Q&A Archives: Lawn mower blades

Question: My husband and I decided that we could use the exercise we would get by using a manual push mower. We also like that we don't need to worry about purchasing gas for the mover either. This is our second full summer with this mower. I think the blades need to be sharpened. Can I do this on my own or do I need to take it to a professional? If I can do it, how do I go about it?

Answer: You've chosen a terrific way to get exercise and reduce air pollution. My hat's off to you! You can, and should, sharpen your lawn mower blades. It's an easy do it yourself project. All you need is a file and a little bit of time. Place the mower on the ground and look at the angle of the revolving and fixed blades. Rest the cutting head on your thigh and hold it steady with one hand, and grab the file (or a ceramic sharpening stone) in the other.

Use gentle strokes to file across the beveled edge in one direction only. Push the file away from you and across the blade. Move over one file width and do it again.

Repeat the process on each revolving blade to smooth out its nicks and rough edges. Wipe each blade with a soft, oily cloth to finish the job, and get mowing.

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