do brand new lawn mower blades need to be sharpened

Do Brand New Lawn Mower Blades Need To Be Sharpened?

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as cutting the grass with a brand new lawn mower. A lot of people wonder: do you need to sharpen new lawn mower blades? But what if your new lawn mower blade seems dull? 

No, it’s not necessary to sharpen brand new lawn mower blades because new lawn mowers come with blades that have been pre sharpened. Your new tool is ready to use out of the box. 

But after some time, there will come a point when you need to sharpen your lawn mower blades. Being able to tell when you should do this and knowing how to do it correctly is an important part of owning a lawn mower.

In this guide, we will be looking at why, how and when you should sharpen lawn mower blades as well as telling you when is the best time to replace a lawn mower blade. 

There is no need to sharpen a new lawn mower blade straight out of the box since the manufacturer will have already done this for you. However, there are some people that believe sharpening the mower blades before the first use has some benefits.

One of the main reasons people do this is to remove the paint cover over the blade. They are of the belief that this dulls the blade but this isn’t true. In fact, there are several reasons that this paint is beneficial to the blades.

For starters, it reduces the chance of injury as the cutting edge will be slightly more protected which makes it safer to install. Moreover, if you bump the blade during the installation process, this paint will protect it from damage. Not to mention that the paint provides a protective layer against moisture which could result in rust.

But there will come a point when you need to sharpen your new mower blade and this will depend on the cutting conditions and how often you use the mower. Generally speaking, mower blades should be sharpened at least once a season but you may need to do this more often if you have a rocky garden or you mow more than average.

Why Is It Important To Sharpen Mower Blades?

If you mow your lawn with dull mower blades then you will definitely be doing more harm than good. You see, dull blades pull at the grass and tear it as opposed to cutting it cleanly. If you want a neat, clean cut then it is incredibly important to make sure that your blades are regularly sharpened.

Not only will dull blades rip the grass which can make it look terrible, but this will also affect the health of your lawn.

How Often Should Mower Blades Be Sharpened?

If you mow your lawn with dull mower blades then you will definitely be doing more harm than good. You see, dull blades pull at the grass and tear it as opposed to cutting it cleanly. If you want a neat, clean cut then it is incredibly important to make sure that your blades are regularly sharpened.

lawn mower blades being sharpened

Not only will dull blades rip the grass which can make it look terrible, but this will also affect the health of your lawn.

How Often Should Mower Blades Be Sharpened?

As we have discussed, the frequency that you sharpen your lawn mower blades will depend on several factors. However, most people would agree that you’ll need to sharpen the blade at least once every mowing season. Usually, it’s most convenient to do this at the beginning of the season to get it out of the way.

However, if you have a stony garden, a very large lawn or you use the lawn mower more than is considered normal, then you may need to sharpen the blades more frequently. It’s also worth considering how you use the mower. When you set the cutting height lower, there is more chance of the blade impacting items on the lawn which can cause the blade to become dull more quickly.

How To Sharpen Your Mower Blade

For a lot of us, the idea of sharpening a lawn mower blade fills us with dread. Not only is it something that not all of us are familiar with but it can just feel like an extra chore. For this reason, a lot of people like to take their lawnmower to a professional who will sharpen the blades for them. That said, it’s more than possible to do it yourself.

It’s essential to remember that all mowers are different so the best thing to do is to check your user manual which will provide you with the exact method for sharpening your blades. It’ll give you instructions on how thick to keep the blade edge and this will ensure efficient performance.

But, if you’re anything like most people, that owner’s manual might be long gone. But don’t worry, pretty much all manufacturers have an online version so just type the model into Google and you should find what you’re looking for.

It is possible to use a grinding wheel to sharpen the blade edge but you need to be really careful when doing this. If you go too crazy, it can alter the shape which in turn ruins the performance of the blade.

You might be able to sharpen your mower blade without actually removing it from the tool. However, this shouldn’t be attempted if the blade is very dull or has been damaged in any way. That said, if possible, it’s always a good idea to remove the blade regardless of its condition.

As we mentioned, it may be possible to sharpen the blade while it remains in the mower but this comes with a risk of making it unbalanced. This will cause the mower to vibrate while you use it and affect the overall performance.

Tools For Sharpening Your Mower Blade

Before we look at the best tool for sharpening your mower blade, let’s consider safety. Even when they’re dull, there is a risk of mower blades causing an injury so it’s really important to make sure that you have the right protective gear. You will need to make sure that you have a strong pair of work gloves and some form of eye protection.

Now onto sharpening! It’s easy to find a lawn mower sharpening tool online on marketplaces like Amazon. In addition to this, you will need to get your hands on a mower blade balancer. Not doing this will mean a risk of knocking the blade off balance which can affect how well the mower performs.

What Happens When You Mow With Dull Blades?

If you use your lawn mower when the blades are dull, this can make your lawn look lifeless and unattractive. You will notice that the color changes to a yellow or brown and the grass just looks raggedy.

Moreover, dull blades can pull so intensely on grass that they may end up tearing huge chunks out of the lawn. This is because the blades will pull the plant up from the roots as opposed to cutting through the blades cleanly like a sharp blade would.

That said, your blades don’t need to be razor sharp. Take a look at the blade face; are there any gouges that would benefit from being bevelled? You will need to be careful when inspecting the mower blades so put the mower on its side and make sure that the carburettor is facing up otherwise you may end up with a fuel spillage.

Is It Better To Sharpen or Replace Your Mower Blade?

You should keep an eye on how well your mower blade performs. If it’s starting to make the grass look yellow, dull, ragged or is ripping it up then this is a good indication that it needs to be sharpened. As well as checking the blade as we described earlier, you can also put on a heavy duty glove and run the finger along the blade. If the blade doesn’t leave any indentations in the material then it’s likely it needs to be sharpened. NEVER DO THIS WITHOUT WEARING A GLOVE.

With all of that in mind, there are times that it is better to replace the blade rather than just sharpening it. If the blade is older than four years then it’s usually a good idea to just replace it. Don’t worry, even the best quality blades won’t break the bank and it’s certainly cheaper than buying a whole new lawn mower!

That said, you will need to invest in a torque wrench to change the blade if you don’t already have one. If you don’t use this tool then there is a risk that you won’t tighten and align the blade sufficiently and this can cause the blade to come loose, causing damage to other parts of the mower, including the engine.

lawn mower blades being tightened with torque wrench

How Often Should Your Replace Mower Blades?

Again, how often you replace your mower blade will depend on how often it is used and the conditions you use it in. But as a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to replace the blade at least every three to four mowing seasons.

Making Sure You Maintain Your New Mower Blades

When you buy a brand new lawn mower, you won’t need to worry about sharpening the blades as this will have already been done in the factory. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep the blades well maintained. Doing this will ensure that they last longer and perform as well as possible.

A lot of people feel worried about sharpening their mower blades but there are other options such as taking the blade to a professional or replacing it with one of the many products you can find online. If you are going to do this, just make sure that they are sharpened in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations as this will ensure they perform as expected.

Further Reading

Andrew Fisher

Andrew Fisher

Andrew is a dedicated father of three who really takes pride in his lawn and garden. You'll find Andrew behind the scenes of almost everything Edge Your Lawn produces. When he's not helping readers find all the information they need, he's in his backyard working on his lawn and garden landscaping. This year he hopes to build an outdoor deck and sort out his veg patches.

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