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View Full Version : What technique do you guys use to sharpen blades!?


bigstumpyd
01-26-2011, 02:45 PM
Lets take a little pole as to how everyone is sharpening blades. Either hand angle grinder, old school file, bench grinder or a dedicated tool like oregeon etc. Very curious. Right now I use a hand angle grinder but im starting to build more equipment so thinking about a dedicated machine to decrease time.

LawnEnforcement25
01-26-2011, 02:52 PM
hey thats your business if you like to take a little pole. no reason to invite everyone else on the forum to join. J/K

if your looking for a Poll, that might be a little more appropriate.
I would get a cheap bench grinder. my inlaws bought me one of the ryobi grinders from HD. seeing as how they are the cheapest people on the planet, i cant see it costing too much. the dedicated blade sharpener systems seem to be kinda expensive unless you have that much business on the blades every week and a hand file would be torture and the angle grinder might be a bit squirrelly. just plop a bench grinder on the work bench, zap em every now and then and call it a day.

torotorotoro
01-26-2011, 03:36 PM
angel grinder

BINKY1902
01-26-2011, 03:44 PM
Blade in one hand, 4 1/2 inch grinder in the other. If they just need touched up I hit it with a file.

kyajsl
01-26-2011, 03:57 PM
angle grinder

mowerbrad
01-26-2011, 04:05 PM
Local rental shop...

I know what some of you guys are going to say, "But Brad, you're spending way too much money to have someone else do it, just use an angle grinder or buy a bench grinder, it'll be way cheaper in the long run". Here's the thing, I don't care.

DLAWNS
01-26-2011, 04:09 PM
Magna-Matic 8000 with Balancer....best thing to buy for this hands down!

1993lx172
01-26-2011, 05:21 PM
Just a plain old bench grinder

93Chevy
01-26-2011, 05:32 PM
4 1/2" Angle grinder with flap disc.

RodneyK
01-26-2011, 05:32 PM
"Magna-Matic 8000 with Balancer....best thing to buy for this hands down!"

Me too and I agree.

John deer Z
01-26-2011, 05:57 PM
Magna-Matic 8000 with Balancer....best thing to buy for this hands down!

i use a bench grinder 7 in. and angle vise. checked in on a magnamatic but did not have that kind of monet to drop on a sharpener!!!

brianslawncare
01-26-2011, 06:30 PM
hand grinder for me.

bigstumpyd
01-26-2011, 06:41 PM
I dont take that kind a pole! Nice pu though. Man I just dont know if i can justify that much money for a magna matic. I have 4 mowers is there that much difference between the bradley for the money? I know there are lots of discussions about it. Thats why I wanted to see who does what. I guess if you had 10-15 mowers i could see it idk!

bigstumpyd
01-26-2011, 06:45 PM
Are you in MO Lawnenforcement? Ive seen your name around here

StanWilhite
01-26-2011, 07:06 PM
hey thats your business if you like to take a little pole. no reason to invite everyone else on the forum to join. J/K

if your looking for a Poll, that might be a little more appropriate.
I would get a cheap bench grinder. my inlaws bought me one of the ryobi grinders from HD. seeing as how they are the cheapest people on the planet, i cant see it costing too much. the dedicated blade sharpener systems seem to be kinda expensive unless you have that much business on the blades every week and a hand file would be torture and the angle grinder might be a bit squirrelly. just plop a bench grinder on the work bench, zap em every now and then and call it a day.

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

rcslawncare
01-26-2011, 07:07 PM
Angle grinder...

bladesnshades
01-26-2011, 07:51 PM
Bench grinder..

Dirty Work
01-26-2011, 08:27 PM
bench grinder for me

rodzilla94
01-26-2011, 08:30 PM
4 1/2" Angle grinder with flap disc.

this is the best way.....i use 80 grit disc.

SDLandscapes VT
01-26-2011, 08:38 PM
Mag 8000 w/ balancer....a good bit of money, but long lasting and really fast. Not sure how you guys with more than one mower labor so long over one of the other aforementioned methods...time is money and I can have three blades done and balanced in less than 3 minutes

richardcog
01-26-2011, 09:47 PM
I go to my dealer. why, write off on taxes

Patriot Services
01-26-2011, 10:27 PM
Bench vice, angle grinder and a nail on the side of the work bench. I sharpen 12 sets at a time as they get changed daily.
Posted via Mobile Device

chipk1
01-26-2011, 10:29 PM
Angle Grinder. And don't let anyone try to sell you a balancing act. As long as you work each side of the blade a reasonable equal time you will be fine. 1300 hours on original exmark spindles and they are still tight as new.

chipk1
01-26-2011, 10:36 PM
I go to my dealer. why, write off on taxes

I could never figure this out. Buy something you don't need just so you can write it off on taxes? What benefit is that? You end up spending 50 to 75 % more than if you didn't buy it at all??

I guess if your hate the IRS so much that you are willing to loose 50 to 75 percent on every dollar you use to try to avoid paying them, I guess it is alright than.:dizzy::dizzy:

Agape
01-26-2011, 10:48 PM
4 1/2" Angle grinder with flap disc.

I don't know how much a magmatic colonic costs, but I know they're at least $1200 if not more and I still have to take the blades off, so it would save little time if any.
Bench vise- angle grinder- file finish- I gotta try the flap disc sometime chevy (save heat?)

Willing to spend big bucks if I can do it while the blade is still on the mower.

Clark Griswold
01-26-2011, 10:48 PM
4 1/2" Angle grinder with flap disc.

Ditto on that!

Patriot Services
01-26-2011, 10:50 PM
I don't know how much a magmatic colonic costs, but I know they're at least $1200 if not more and I still have to take the blades off, so it would save little time if any.
Bench vise- angle grinder- file finish- I gotta try the flap disc sometime chevy (save heat?)

Willing to spend big bucks if I can do it while the blade is still on the mower.

A "magmatic colonic"? That hurts just saying it.
Posted via Mobile Device

Agape
01-26-2011, 10:54 PM
"Magna-Matic 8000 with Balancer....best thing to buy for this hands down!"

Me too and I agree.

post pics of sharp blades by the mag mania 8K guys

Agape
01-26-2011, 10:55 PM
A "magmatic colonic"? That hurts just saying it.
Posted via Mobile Device

wallet colonic lol

bel-nor
01-26-2011, 10:59 PM
Porter Bench Grinder end of the year tool purchase. I reviewed the cost of sharpening for the 2010 year and realized I should at least give it a try. I agree with BRAD I didn't care either, however I did years ago use a file for my personal 21". The John Deere dealer sharpened my blade so sharp you could shave with them.

Will P.C.
01-26-2011, 11:03 PM
I have only seen it done on a bench grinder. It is usually fast as well. 1 quick pass and your good to go. This is what a few master mechanics I have worked with in the past do as well.

SDLandscapes VT
01-26-2011, 11:09 PM
Agape--Mag 8000 finish job

factory smooth but much sharper

You really will see the savings from a fleet of mowers that are sharpened every two days of mowing

richardcog
01-26-2011, 11:13 PM
I could never figure this out. Buy something you don't need just so you can write it off on taxes? What benefit is that? You end up spending 50 to 75 % more than if you didn't buy it at all??

I guess if your hate the IRS so much that you are willing to loose 50 to 75 percent on every dollar you use to try to avoid paying them, I guess it is alright than.:dizzy::dizzy:

That is business 100% write off. Do your homework first before you write
Posted via Mobile Device

Robert Pruitt
01-26-2011, 11:14 PM
Belt sander at home,or angle grinder with air tank on the truck if it can be repaired on the mower.

richardcog
01-26-2011, 11:55 PM
:sleeping:

chipk1
01-26-2011, 11:57 PM
That is business 100% write off. Do your homework first before you write
Posted via Mobile Device

Yes it is a 100 % write off but how much is that 100% write off going to put in your pocket? 100 % of the money that you spent? NO it actually leaves you with $0.

Say you were in a tax bracket 0f 30%. (Just a random figure)

$100.00 income = $30 to taxes and $70 in your pocket

Spend that 100 on something you don't need like:

$100 sharpen blades at dealer = $0 to Taxes and $0 in your pocket

I think I would rather have the $70.00 in my pocket and give up the 30 to the IRS than give the dealer the whole $100.00!


Am I missing something here???

nathannc
01-27-2011, 12:09 AM
Angle Grinder with 80 grit Flap Disk. The flap disk lasts a good while surprisingly. I have found it much faster than a bench grinder. Someone mentioned that they thought that using a angle grinder would be a little squirlley. It really isn't in capable hands with the blades solidly clinched in a bench vice.

richardcog
01-27-2011, 12:15 AM
Yes it is a 100 % write off but how much is that 100% write off going to put in your pocket? 100 % of the money that you spent? NO it actually leaves you with $0.

Say you were in a tax bracket 0f 30%. (Just a random figure)

$100.00 income = $30 to taxes and $70 in your pocket

Spend that 100 on something you don't need like:

$100 sharpen blades at dealer = $0 to Taxes and $0 in your pocket

I think I would rather have the $70.00 in my pocket and give up the 30 to the IRS than give the dealer the whole $100.

Am I missing something here???
Would you like to do my taxes lol it all cool.

Agape
01-27-2011, 03:18 AM
Audit..............

bc3xx0
01-27-2011, 03:23 AM
I use an angle grinder with a flapper disk, and a hanging nail, if I'm behind time. Mostly I just take em up to the hardware store.

bc3xx0
01-27-2011, 03:27 AM
Angle Grinder with 80 grit Flap Disk. The flap disk lasts a good while surprisingly. I have found it much faster than a bench grinder. Someone mentioned that they thought that using a angle grinder would be a little squirlley. It really isn't in capable hands with the blades solidly clinched in a bench vice.

The flap disk is safer on the blades than a hard disk. They allow for a greater margin of error since they don't bite as hard.

bigstumpyd
01-27-2011, 11:06 AM
im in st louis also bel-nor. Where are you? Jeff co here

RodneyK
01-27-2011, 01:03 PM
post pics of sharp blades by the mag mania 8K guys

Why are you asking for this? Don't really feel like driving to the shop, laying out blades, snapping photos, uploading and posting unless it will help you in some way...

They look like sharp blades with a consistant angle. There are ways of producing the same result without spending a ton of cash if that is your point. For me it was worth it as that is one task I do not like and I feel it makes it easier. The flap disc was my previous method and it works good also.

brian1425
01-27-2011, 01:15 PM
Bench grinder here.....also have a question. Do you guys take a file to slightly break the edge of the blade or leave them razor sharp? I had a couple people tell me you should break the edge slightly.

Patriot Services
01-27-2011, 01:32 PM
Bench grinder here.....also have a question. Do you guys take a file to slightly break the edge of the blade or leave them razor sharp? I had a couple people tell me you should break the edge slightly.
Sandy Florida soil breaks the edge soon enough for me.
Posted via Mobile Device

grassman177
01-27-2011, 02:00 PM
Magna-Matic 8000 with Balancer....best thing to buy for this hands down!

mee too!!!!!! just got it this winter.

used to use a rbg

Agape
01-27-2011, 07:30 PM
Why are you asking for this? Don't really feel like driving to the shop, laying out blades, snapping photos, uploading and posting unless it will help you in some way...

They look like sharp blades with a consistant angle. There are ways of producing the same result without spending a ton of cash if that is your point. For me it was worth it as that is one task I do not like and I feel it makes it easier. The flap disc was my previous method and it works good also.

well then don't do it! I should have put the disclaimer, "if it's convenient" to avoid the goof balls. Jeez.
NO get in your truck, drive to your shop, remove the blades...... Dumb...

LawnEnforcement25
01-27-2011, 07:35 PM
Are you in MO Lawnenforcement? Ive seen your name around here

No im in MS. Gulf coast

RodneyK
01-27-2011, 07:52 PM
Whatever, maybe you should reread this part:

"unless it will help you in some way..."

Not going to do it for kicks but if it helps you in some way I would. I think asking why/what is a fair question...

weve
01-27-2011, 10:51 PM
I started out using a bench grinder, then an angle grinder, then an R.B.G. blade grinder, and for the past 7 years the Magna-Matic 9000 with Mag-1000 blade balancer. Everyone has different needs. Use what works best for you.

Outdoors_Unlimited
01-27-2011, 11:33 PM
Dedicated blade grinders are nice, but pricey. My old job we had a RGB, it was nice, but I can do just as nice of a job with a 4.5 inch grinder. Ive always used a hard wheel, but want to try these flap disc you all talk of.

StanWilhite
01-28-2011, 12:55 AM
Lets take a little pole as to how everyone is sharpening blades. Either hand angle grinder, old school file, bench grinder or a dedicated tool like oregeon etc. Very curious. Right now I use a hand angle grinder but im starting to build more equipment so thinking about a dedicated machine to decrease time.

I know there is a point where spending money on a dedicated sharpener makes sense, but for the people who only have a few blades to maintain (along with a tight budget) I would suggest trying other methods first.

I've been sharpening my own blades for 40 years and I've found that a 7 or 71/2" side (angle) grinder does a great job when you get used to it. You can put a very uniform grind on a blade that would pass any inspection. It's also much quicker (for me at least) than a bench grinder. And, you can see what you're doing much better than using a bench grinder.

Again, let me say, this is not the only good way, it's just easier for me....and a lot of other people.

I think that the main mistake most people make (when using a side grinder) is holding the grinding wheel at 90 degrees to the blade...like the wheel on a bench grinder. This doesn't work because the thin wheel on the side grinder cuts too much material too quickly. The wheel on a side grinder should be held somewhere less than 45 degrees to the blade. (I've never actually measured the angle I use, but I'm attempting to visualize it now). I think with a little practice you'll be able to tell when you get the angle right.

I also recommend balancing your blades by any method you prefer, whether that's a nail driven in the wall, a cone, or any other method that is accurate. This will reduce vibration and prolong the life of your spindle bearings.

PS. Hope I didn't step on any sponsor's toes! *trucewhiteflag*

Man.....I remember a day when talk of "grinding" wouldn't have had a THING to do with MOWER BLADES!!!! :cry:

Patriot Services
01-28-2011, 06:21 PM
At least you guys sharpen your blades. I've started on many sickly lawns that needed nothing more than sharp blades and an extra inch of deck lift. The importance of both are underemphasized.
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RodneyK
01-28-2011, 06:24 PM
Yeah it is nice to have that Magna Matic for that once a year job, goes much faster... :)

Dogbonz
01-28-2011, 08:35 PM
So,,, would rubbin them on the the nearest brick or concrete NOT be a good idea?
LOL :D

Patriot Services
01-28-2011, 08:43 PM
So,,, would rubbin them on the the nearest brick or concrete NOT be a good idea?
LOL :D

Whatever you got Mr. Flintstone.
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grassman177
01-28-2011, 09:24 PM
my grandmother used to sharpen her knives on the concrete front steps!!!!

StanWilhite
01-28-2011, 09:34 PM
my grandmother used to sharpen her knives on the concrete front steps!!!!

Don't bend over in the garden Granny....'em tator's has got EYES!

RozarLawnCare
01-28-2011, 10:25 PM
Yes it is a 100 % write off but how much is that 100% write off going to put in your pocket? 100 % of the money that you spent? NO it actually leaves you with $0.

Say you were in a tax bracket 0f 30%. (Just a random figure)

$100.00 income = $30 to taxes and $70 in your pocket

Spend that 100 on something you don't need like:

$100 sharpen blades at dealer = $0 to Taxes and $0 in your pocket

I think I would rather have the $70.00 in my pocket and give up the 30 to the IRS than give the dealer the whole $100.00!


Am I missing something here???

You are not missing nothing. You are right. It is the same crowd that says it is better to not pay off your mortgage, they would rather send interest to the bank than send tax money to the IRS. Same thing here except the bank is a dealer that sharpens blades.

The difference is when you spend money it is a deduction, not a credit, on your taxes.

StanWilhite
01-29-2011, 01:44 AM
You are not missing nothing. You are right. It is the same crowd that says it is better to not pay off your mortgage, they would rather send interest to the bank than send tax money to the IRS. Same thing here except the bank is a dealer that sharpens blades.

The difference is when you spend money it is a deduction, not a credit, on your taxes.

Same type of situation when someone owns a building and "rents" it to their own business...thinking they're really being shrewd. :confused:

ACA L&L
01-29-2011, 03:49 AM
if you want a blade sharpened like the dealers do it, pick up one og those cheap belt sanders from harbor frieght........about 9 years ago, a guy that worked for me who worked for a dealer talked me into trying this lets just say i was blown away......the blade was razor sharp. I still have the same belt sander, cost me less than 30 bucks, i have a drawer full of replacement belts........we sharpen about 6 blades a day, we change them everyday, it works AWESOME!!!!! can post pics, the ryobi bench grinder i had, is still sitting there, havnt touched it since i switched over, dealer charges 10 bucks a blade, you can also sharpen your hedger blades on it, dealer charges 60 bucks a pop on those, and you get 3x the life outta them, simply becuz there your blades and you care!

bc3xx0
01-29-2011, 04:41 AM
if you want a blade sharpened like the dealers do it, pick up one og those cheap belt sanders from harbor frieght........about 9 years ago, a guy that worked for me who worked for a dealer talked me into trying this lets just say i was blown away......the blade was razor sharp. I still have the same belt sander, cost me less than 30 bucks, i have a drawer full of replacement belts........we sharpen about 6 blades a day, we change them everyday, it works AWESOME!!!!! can post pics, the ryobi bench grinder i had, is still sitting there, havnt touched it since i switched over, dealer charges 10 bucks a blade, you can also sharpen your hedger blades on it, dealer charges 60 bucks a pop on those, and you get 3x the life outta them, simply becuz there your blades and you care!

You must have a hack dealer!

Maybe if you didn't make them razor sharp, you wouldn't have to sharpen them daily!!!!!

grassman177
01-29-2011, 11:30 AM
i dont get the whole not sharpening every day thing for tons of you guys, i mean, buy the end of hte second day on those blades the grass is cutting like crap and the mowe ris not as smooth cutting . they have to be sharp sharp sharp for me to be happy, and after 10hrs of mowing i have yet to see any blade stay sharp

bc3xx0
01-29-2011, 01:00 PM
i dont get the whole not sharpening every day thing for tons of you guys, i mean, buy the end of hte second day on those blades the grass is cutting like crap and the mowe ris not as smooth cutting . they have to be sharp sharp sharp for me to be happy, and after 10hrs of mowing i have yet to see any blade stay sharp

That is why!!!

Robert Pruitt
01-29-2011, 04:13 PM
You must have a hack dealer!

Maybe if you didn't make them razor sharp, you wouldn't have to sharpen them daily!!!!!

A new blade has a 1/32 flat on the cutting edge.

bigstumpyd
01-30-2011, 05:42 PM
i think i might try the belt sander Idea never thought of that. What grit papper do you use?

Robert Pruitt
01-30-2011, 06:32 PM
i think i might try the belt sander Idea never thought of that. What grit papper do you use?

40 to 50 grit.

Patriot Services
01-30-2011, 06:45 PM
I tried the flap wheel today and I like it. When I was done I noticed less mess to clean up too.
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Lefet
01-30-2011, 06:55 PM
Angle grinder

fredmullegun
01-30-2011, 08:27 PM
So,,, would rubbin them on the the nearest brick or concrete NOT be a good idea?
LOL :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG2QqhCTqT8

grassman177
01-30-2011, 11:25 PM
That is why!!!

i get what you are saying and the others, but my lawns will still have a better cut than anyones who follows that ideal. i mean, they are astill ok sharp at the end of the day.! it is evident right here with my competitors. some think that the blade is good enough, to me it is not good enough. i have changed blades at lunch before in heavy cutting conditions. of course i have not done that in a while

also,think of something else here. hours are not the same. we mow a veryhigh volume of grass per day. more than most of the guys on here as alot of you seem to be smaller operations. this is not a jab or insult, just an observation. with this in mind, my 10 hrs saw more grass than others 10 hrs on a machine.

justanotherlawnguy
01-31-2011, 04:18 AM
i have an retired old guy that sharpens everything under the sun and he usesa bench belt sander for the lawn blades. comes out far better then the garage monkeys that use the grinder at the local lawn garage...

bigstumpyd
02-04-2011, 04:25 PM
Thanks im going to get a cheap belt sander and try it out!

D&K Lawns
02-04-2011, 04:51 PM
Oh??? you are supposed to sharpen those...dang...I wondered. :hammerhead:

Patriot Services
02-04-2011, 05:03 PM
Oh??? you are supposed to sharpen those...dang...I wondered. :hammerhead:

Yes and there's a right side up too.
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bmac1996acc
02-13-2011, 07:26 PM
i get what you are saying and the others, but my lawns will still have a better cut than anyones who follows that ideal. i mean, they are astill ok sharp at the end of the day.! it is evident right here with my competitors. some think that the blade is good enough, to me it is not good enough. i have changed blades at lunch before in heavy cutting conditions. of course i have not done that in a while

also,think of something else here. hours are not the same. we mow a veryhigh volume of grass per day. more than most of the guys on here as alot of you seem to be smaller operations. this is not a jab or insult, just an observation. with this in mind, my 10 hrs saw more grass than others 10 hrs on a machine.

Do you take a new blade and grind away the blunt edge and make it a knife edge? I sharpened a set of blades like this ONE time. It was dull in no time. Don't you think the manufacturer would make the blades with a knife edge if it was best? Don't know if I'm allowed to post this here but I guess a mod can delete it if not:

http://www.grounds-mag.com/mag/grounds_maintenance_sharpen_rotary_mower/