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MICHPLOWER
06-12-2011, 12:15 PM
What does everyone use to sharpen their blades and how often do you sharpen them. TIA

Get Some...
06-12-2011, 12:22 PM
I use a blade grinder.

Sharpen often.

ffemt1271
06-12-2011, 12:25 PM
i use a 4 1/2 handheld angle grindes, i also change blades daily

ed2hess
06-12-2011, 12:28 PM
i use a 4 1/2 handheld angle grindes, i also change blades daily

Angle grinder for me too.......I run a little longer unless I am in King Ranch bluestem then it is daily.

DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING
06-12-2011, 12:29 PM
We use a 10 inch grinder with a composite grinding head. We change blades each day of mowing.
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vencops
06-12-2011, 01:04 PM
When you guys say "every day". How many hours of mowing on these blades?

Thanks.

cut level
06-12-2011, 01:19 PM
There is absolutely no way to keep the tips square with just a grinder. Just no way.
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Get Some...
06-12-2011, 01:23 PM
There is absolutely no way to keep the tips square with just a grinder. Just no way.
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A blade grinder is definately a wise investment.

If you let the word out, sharpening some other folk's blade's can pay for it pretty fast.......

weeze
06-12-2011, 01:44 PM
will you sharpen my blades for me?

Get Some...
06-12-2011, 01:46 PM
will you sharpen my blades for me?

YUP...........

But the pick up/drop off service would not apply..:nono:

:laugh:

Penncare
06-12-2011, 01:47 PM
Do you really sharpen and change blades daily. I cannot see that being necessary if the blades are high quality and you are not using the mower as a brush cutter.

Get Some...
06-12-2011, 01:52 PM
Blade's dull fast.....take at look at the grass tip's after you cut....

R & R Yard Designs
06-12-2011, 01:57 PM
All blades are changed each and every day in spring time. When people pay for a great service you have to provide great service. Not once have I had anyone ***** about the way the grass looks now the complex next to us that may only change them once a week looks like crap. All ways use clean Sharp blades. It saves gas.
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TuffWork
06-12-2011, 01:58 PM
The every day thing depends. I do it every day usually, but this year we haven't had any rain (seriously less than an inch all year) so the grass is pretty dry and crispy and doesn't dull them out as bad. Even on well irrigated lawns the salt and chemicals in the treated city water is reeking havoc on the soil.

As far as how many hours. Lets see. I use two 21" mowers and a 36" walker. We mow 12-17 yards in a 8 to 9 hour day. So I'd say at least 5 or 6 hours on each mower. My dealer says to do it every 20 lawns or so. That would be a day and a half for me so I just do it every day.

As far as what to sharpen with I just use a bench grinder. Use the side with the brush to get all the crud off of them then sharpen with the other side.

kwiltfan
06-12-2011, 02:01 PM
I use a belt sander, its the one with the grinder on the one side and belt on the other! I find it easier to keep a good angle on my exmark mulching blades. I change blades every other day! I cut mainly plush st augustine yards, so the blades stay sharp a little longer, not much sand being sucked up!!

ProStreetCamaro
06-12-2011, 02:05 PM
I use a dedicated oregon blade grinder. In the spring with heavy growth I sharpen 2 to 3 times a week. In the summer I sharpen once a week.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v426/prostreetcamaro/th_VIDEO0019.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v426/prostreetcamaro/?action=view&current=VIDEO0019.mp4)

Lehighlawnpros
06-12-2011, 02:35 PM
I check our blades at the end of every mowing day (about 6 to 8 hours of runtime) when I scrape any build-up from under the deck with a putty knife.

If the blades aren't damaged and are still visibly sharp and square at the tips I'll run them another day.

How long they stay sharp and un-damaged depends a lot on the mowing conditions (sand, rocks, debris, heavy growth, Bahia grass, etc.).

What I've been doing lately is to square up the tips and remove any nicks with an angle grinder, and then bring them back to a 30 degree angle with a magna-matic 9000 sharpener and balancer system. Balancing is important, it makes the deck run with noticeably less vibration.

This works great, and blades that I would have thrown out before can now be brought back to perfectly usable condition.

I don't make my blades "razor" sharp, but I leave a small visible flat edge on them, if I do get one too sharp I hone it down a little with a sharpening steel
(it's like a round file). I think that I get more service life from the blades this way, and that the square tip is more important than a razor edge.
Also, there's less chance of cutting yourself when handling the blades.

Be sure to wear safety glasses and a particle mask when sharpening, hearing protection and gloves are highly recommended as well.

agrostis
06-12-2011, 04:32 PM
I have seen warm and cool season grasses cut with blades that were sharpened with a hand grinder and blades that were sharpened with a dedicated sharpening grinder. It is no contest. The dedicated grinder wins.
I have seen people that can put a pretty good edge on a blade with a hand grinder. But there really is not a comparison. Dedicated grinders are better but you will pay big bucks for it.

Landscape Poet
06-12-2011, 04:50 PM
I change blades daily - bought a dedicated grinder this past winter...nothing fancy, a bradly off of ebay for roughly two bills. I love it - I sharped all my blades once a week and change in the morning before I go out.

It most likely is not needed to change daily - but given the number of lawns my mower sees in a day - I would rather take a few minutes to change them out than spend that same amount of time listening to a client of True Green's tell me that me not having sharp blades is causing their grass not to grow and the weeds to stay in the lawn...you know cause the True Green Tech is so educated and all.

STIHL GUY
06-12-2011, 05:59 PM
i use a bench grinder to sharpen mine. i have more than one set of blades so i just sharpen them at the same time and change them out as i need to

ed2hess
06-12-2011, 07:04 PM
I have seen warm and cool season grasses cut with blades that were sharpened with a hand grinder and blades that were sharpened with a dedicated sharpening grinder. It is no contest. The dedicated grinder wins.
I have seen people that can put a pretty good edge on a blade with a hand grinder. But there really is not a comparison. Dedicated grinders are better but you will pay big bucks for it.

I realize that it gives a better edge but is that really necessary? One thing for sure if we both sharpen our blades weekly won't you need new blades a couple times a year? I guess this comes down to if you got the money get the dedicated grinde. Similar to using trimmer to do edging .

cut level
06-12-2011, 07:31 PM
Getting the sharp edge is not the big deal with me it's keeping the blade tips from getting rounded and from what I can tell a dedicated sharpener such as magna matic is the only way to keep the squared off blade tips.

I cannot stand a rounded tip on my blade! I can see the tiny strip the rounded tips leave. Most homeowners won't notice it but if you want the look we are striving for and spend **** tons of money to get then why not have a dedicated sharpener. IMO if you don't have a dedicated sharpener you might as well be mowing with a 16 hp craftsman residential belly mower!
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Khowell0
06-12-2011, 07:42 PM
My teeth. WHat do you think?

Penncare
06-12-2011, 07:56 PM
I do it every third day; however, I have a friend who does more work than probably any other LCO around who changes maybe every third week, Hutsler Zs and those things run 10-12 hour days every day from April to October. He has been in the business for over 30 years. I asked him and he said I would be a fool to do that; however, I will say he does only commercial work and I do primarily residential. Friend of mine works for him and he says the guy is not kidding, that he goes to the dealer every third week and they switch out for brand new sharp balanced blades. I have never had any cut quality issues doing it every three days, but I do not run my mowers even five hours per day as we spend most of our time on the flowers, shrubs, and the large potted plants, which are becomming very popular.

WJC
06-12-2011, 08:02 PM
8" bench grinder, change blades every Wednesday eve.

agrostis
06-12-2011, 08:16 PM
I realize that it gives a better edge but is that really necessary? One thing for sure if we both sharpen our blades weekly won't you need new blades a couple times a year? I guess this comes down to if you got the money get the dedicated grinde. Similar to using trimmer to do edging .

I think it is necessary. Yes you will go through some blades in a year. And yes it is all about the money.

coopmaster
06-12-2011, 08:27 PM
One man operation here. On my 36" walk behind I sharpen blades every two weeks. On my 21" Toro 20192 I sharpen every Monday morning. Use a 4.5 angle grinder with medium grit sandpaper wheel. I take as litte off as possible.

Magna-Matic
06-13-2011, 10:17 AM
Hello All,

Just making a post so people interested may review our equipment.

Glad to hear more and more poeple are paying attention to the TIPS of the blade and understanding they are the primary cutting tooth of the blade. As many of you have mentioned depending on conditions the tips are worn after 8-12 mowing hours or less.

Thank you,

Will P.C.
06-13-2011, 04:38 PM
I have always thought guys on this site overhype the whole 'sharpening blades' thing.

They sharpen the blades at the golf course once a month. A simple bench grinder with a mechanic who has been doing it for 30 years. These mowers run all day. No breaks to drive around to clients home.

i am sure some conditions require constant sharpening.

If I was running a large number of machines, I would buy a dedicated blade grinder and let it pay for itself by charging other companies

Magna-Matic
06-13-2011, 05:26 PM
Hello Will PC,

The quality/frequency of maintenance is directly related to the quality of what a machine will perform at.

If you do not mind a less healthy lawn or brown tips, you can sharpen less frequently. It is choices like this that provide various levels of quality from one lawn care professional to another. There are also some golf courses that are nicer than others, all of these things are variable.

It is possible to sharpen a mower blade with a bench grinder, but it is difficult and time consuming, and not easy for any person to do it. Our intent is to provide a more simple, consistent, faster way for anyone to sharpen a mower blade and trust that will provide them a quality cut.

In even perfect conditions (rock free lawns, etc) the steel of a lawn mower blade's TIPS will wear into a radius (become rounded) after 8-12 mowing hours. Once the tips are rounded, the blade is now tearing the grass rather than cutting it.

Running one mower or running one hundred mowers should not change a service interval. If you had one truck and changed the oil at 6,000 miles would you change the oil of a fleet of one hundred trucks at 3,000 miles just cause you had more trucks.

Just "food for thought" - I'm not trying to be combative, but rather provide information and stimulate discussion.

Thank you,

epm
06-15-2011, 02:10 PM
I have always thought guys on this site overhype the whole 'sharpening blades' thing.

They sharpen the blades at the golf course once a month. A simple bench grinder with a mechanic who has been doing it for 30 years. These mowers run all day. No breaks to drive around to clients home.

i am sure some conditions require constant sharpening.

If I was running a large number of machines, I would buy a dedicated blade grinder and let it pay for itself by charging other companies

Golf courses run reel mowers on fairways, greens and tee boxes. Then either have a few z's, large grounds mower or a gang of reels pulled by a tractor for rough. When you say sharpen these once a month, my guess is your referring to the z's or grounds mower as it isnt as crucial of a cut. Reel mowers have two cutting edges; one on the reel and a bed knife and they create a scissor affect. most often these mowers are sharpened once a year and backlapped a few times a year. That also may be what your saying when you say they sharpen once a month is the backlapping. A reel will stay sharp much longer than a conventional mower blade though because you can tighten it down. Either way, the sharper the blade; the better the cut.

Peter93
06-16-2011, 06:09 PM
I have about 10 lawns i do a week in the neighborhood with a 36 bobcat wb. i change the blades every month or two. I really do not notice that it makes a difference. Sharp blades make the same little brown tips as duller blades. The blades are not really dull, they wont cut your skin but it isnt like a butter knife either. I really cannot see spending the money to have it professionally done or doing a questionable job with a bench grinder. How is balancing done without a cone that i have heard about?

Magna-Matic
06-17-2011, 11:30 AM
Hello Pete,

The only repeatable and reliable method of balancing a lawn mower blade is by using the MAG-1000. We invented the product in 1958 and it continues to be the standard in the industry.

Here is a link to the MAG-1000 information
http://www.magna-matic.com/product/mag-1000-blade-balancing-instrument

Here is a link to our online store
http://www.magna-matic-direct.com/MAG-1000-Blade-Balancer-p/mag-1000.htm

Here is a link to the MAG-1000 Manual
http://www.magna-matic.com/page/instruction-manuals-magna-matic-products

Thank you,