Lawn Care – Blunt mower blades

As the weather warms up and we get more into the growing season for our lawns, the maintenance usually increases as well. This can vary from around one-mow every couple of weeks in cooler times to as much as a couple of mows per week over spring and summer. Of course that depends on your lawn type and where you’re located. A good rule of thumb when mowing to remove no more than 1/3 of the grass blade height with each cut. Cutting more than 1/3 of the blade off can stress the plant by reducing photosynthesis and subsequent root growth. Both are essential for the  usually dry summer months.

Benefits of sharp mower blades

  • Blunt mower blades rip at the grass leaf and can leave it bruised and rough-ended taking away from its finish.
  • Sharpening your mower blades can decrease fuel consumption by up to 25 percent.
  • Rule-of-thumb is that mower blades should be sharpened around every 25 hours of use.

blunt mower blades

Rough and torn grass leaf ends are a sure-sign that there’s more than likely a blunt mower-blade in use.

The trouble with removing only a third of the length can mean more mowing. However it is usually kinder on the operator as well as the lawn by not scalping or cutting into the lawn thatch or mat too aggressively. If you’ve got everything going fairly well with your lawn; water, fertiliser and no underlying soil or compaction issues your lawn should be approaching its peak condition soon, especially before it gets too hot. If you take a closer look at your leaf edges or even your mower blades you may notice that both may be a bit rough as it can be easy to neglect this part of the maintenance schedule. Mower blade sharpening is an important aspect of your lawn maintenance and can be easily attended to by those who are handy with a grinder, or else a quick trip to the mower shop can get it sorted.

mower blades

How often should you sharpen the blades?

Just how often you should sharpen your blades comes down to personal preference, but for most parts it helps with more than just the leaf-cut and finished appearance of your freshly-mown lawn.

Oversees research reports suggest there are savings to be had with fuel efficiency, in the order of 25 percent with sharp blades. The time spent mowing is also decreased with less resistance and sharp blades have also been shown to decrease the risk of disease incidence in most circumstances. How often you should sharpen your blade can be an item of contention in the lawn-maintenance sector. However, a number of surveys have indicated the professionals sharpen their blades around once every 25 hours of use. That could easily equate to once-per-week if you’re mowing lawns day-in-day-out, but for the average lawn-mowing-punter, that could mean sharpening your blades just once or maybe twice per year for a larger lawn.

So, no matter what type of lawnmower you own, it’s important you keep the blades sharp. Otherwise, you risk tearing or smashing your lawn-leaf instead of slicing it cleanly and healthfully down to size. A sharp blade also keeps your mower running more-smoothly and safely. And keep safety in mind if you’re going to attempt to sharpen your own blades by immobilising the mower and preventing it from starting whist your working on it by loosening a spark-plug cable or similar and taking the appropriate precautions when it comes to taking out the grinder.

Lawn care doesn’t need to be difficult and our simple hints can help keep your lawn in top condition this spring and summer.

Related pages

To sharpen or replace mower blades

Time for a new mower

For more information on caring for your lawn visit our Lawn Care Page.

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