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Landscape Poet
01-31-2012, 03:34 PM
Here is a video I made recently of me using my blade sharpener. It is a bradley blade sharpener I bought off of Ebay a little over a year ago or so for less than $200. That was the new price ....they are out there in the same price range now for those of you that may want something but have a hard time justifying paying $500 or more for a blade sharpener.
I can tell you that there may be blade sharpeners out there that deliver much more than this does....but for the money it is pretty darn nice to run the blades through and sharpen them and not have to worry if my blades are going to leave a clean cut or not.
I change blades daily so you can see with the edge left on this blade in the video combined with the force modern Zturns put out - the turf is getting treated very nicely.
Let me know if you have any questions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPRLLULoU5g&context=C31bba8dADOEgsToPDskIEYDTclunQtvANGeHl2Gdy

douglee25
01-31-2012, 05:26 PM
That looks like a decent alternative.

Doug

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
01-31-2012, 05:31 PM
Those machines set at the perfect blade angle of 30 degrees? THose are quite a bit cheaper..

Florida Gardener
01-31-2012, 05:35 PM
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Landscape Poet
01-31-2012, 08:11 PM
Those machines set at the perfect blade angle of 30 degrees? THose are quite a bit cheaper..

I am not sure if they are set at anything. You can move the wheel up and down and the guide in and out so I guess you can create a slight variation in angle if you want. I can tell you that it holds its edge and does a great job of giving a clean cut on our SA which at times I cut as high as 5 1/4 inches. No torn blades - I have on occasion when we are running behind left a set on for the second day and the same results. I know changing the blades is most likely overkill but 15 minutes in the morning is nothing compared to the possibility of losing a account because the L & O company told the home owner you did not have sharp blades. Either way the edge holds up and is not knife sharp but sharp enough that it gives a clean cut.


In edit - yes they are much more affordable.

Landscape Poet
01-31-2012, 08:17 PM
That looks like a decent alternative.

Doug

I thought so. I had my doubts after reading all the threads on MM etc. but I was not sure I wanted to dive that far in. I just wanted something to get me started. This machine did just that. As you can see from the wheel you get your monies worth as that is the original wheel. That is 25 blades ((3blade 1 machine 2 the other) 5 blades for 5 days = 25 blades worth going through each week for well over a year, and you can see how much of the wheel is there and how well the machine still works.


Not a bad alternative at all for those that want a entry level blade sharpener.

TNGrassCutter
01-31-2012, 09:44 PM
On your video ot looked like it was only sharpening the edge of the blade, have you cut those blades down to a less steep angle where it sharpens the whole edge?
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Landscape Poet
01-31-2012, 10:55 PM
On your video ot looked like it was only sharpening the edge of the blade, have you cut those blades down to a less steep angle where it sharpens the whole edge?
Posted via Mobile Device

That particular set of blades does not have a very steep angle to begin as it is thinner so it does not take as much off as a blade that is has a little bit more of a edge on it if that makes any sense. But it sharpens back enough that it maintains its edge especially on the first four inches to 5 inches which is all I am concerned about.

If you want to remove more of the blade at anytime you simply just adjust either the wheel or the guide and you will be able to do so.

weeze
01-31-2012, 11:47 PM
nice vid. i'm happy with my bradley as well. it does a great job to me and at a decent price.

larryinalabama
02-01-2012, 12:02 AM
I got a Oregon, similar unit,its Ok. I find myself using a 4 inch angle grinder inbetween using the Oregon.

Do you fellers really sharpen blades everyday?

weeze
02-01-2012, 12:17 AM
i don't. :laugh: i sharpen them about every 25hrs which is about every two weeks for me since i'm solo. i find that the blades dont' have to be razor sharp to give a clean cut. as long as the edge is straight and not nicked up or rounded off too much it cuts fine. that's where the sharpener comes in handy. it helps keep the proper angle and a straight edge. i was using the 4 1/2 angle grinder too before this and i found the angle would tend to be more laid back over time rather than steep like it is when the blade is brand new. i find the best thing to do is try to acheive the same sharpness as a brand new blade. any sharper the metal on the edge is too thin and can get nicked up alot easier. i've done it sharper before and the blades got nicked up. if i do it like a new blade the next time i sharpen there are no nicks in the blades at all. unless you hit a rock or something of course. :laugh:

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-01-2012, 12:21 AM
Everyday is a bit overkill imo
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Florida Gardener
02-01-2012, 08:51 AM
It all depends how much you are cutting each day. If I was doing 25 yards per day in summer growth, I would change blades each day. I do agree with Jason that the blades don't need to be razor sharp. A straight edge will leave a nice cut.
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Landscape Poet
02-01-2012, 11:52 AM
Do you fellers really sharpen blades everyday?

Yes and No - I have a set of blades for every machine for each day it is in the field. I sharpen blades generally once a week. Either at the start of the week or the end so they are ready for the next week. It is just easier to do all at one time for me. Then we change daily before we go out. Takes about 15 minutes to get both of the Z turns done.

Landscape Poet
02-01-2012, 11:58 AM
It all depends how much you are cutting each day. If I was doing 25 yards per day in summer growth, I would change blades each day. I do agree with Jason that the blades don't need to be razor sharp. A straight edge will leave a nice cut.
Posted via Mobile Device

These are are vailid point Diamond. We generally are hitting somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-25 yards each day. That is a lot to ask for each blade to hold up to and still give a clean cut. Like I said there has been occasions where we were just to far behind and I skipped changing and they did fine the next day. However Diamond as you know especially down here with the disease and pest pressures our SA face, the less damage you can do to the turf the better, so IMHO it is better to just change daily and ensure that the customers lawn is getting the best possible clean cut to limit disease and pest pressure as best as we can on our end. Not to mention several low end L & O operators (TG) are the first to blame it on the lawn guy when there methods do not work. If the blades are sharp and the turf has a clean cut - that takes one thing out of the equation that they can blame on the lawn company and they have to face reality. :wall:wall:wall

And no knife sharp blades are not the correct way to go IMHO as Jason mentioned. They lose that edge on the first lawn....it is better to have a thin level line - with the RPM the blades will do the work just fine if you give them that.

Florida Gardener
02-01-2012, 12:52 PM
I use a bench grinder I bought from harbor freight for like $40. It works just fine. The only way I could fathom buying a MM is if I was a huge company with tons of mowers that needed to be sharpened daily. I am all about dropping coin on great products, but I just buy a MM for the amount of accounts I'm doing.
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orangemower
02-01-2012, 01:39 PM
Mike, I noticed when you get to the end of the blade, you're pushing it hard enough that it is rounding the edge. The very tip really needs to be a square as possible (as I'm sure you already know) in order to get a good cut.

Landscape Poet
02-01-2012, 02:06 PM
Mike, I noticed when you get to the end of the blade, you're pushing it hard enough that it is rounding the edge. The very tip really needs to be a square as possible (as I'm sure you already know) in order to get a good cut.

Orange, please understand that I was doing this demo one handed as the phone was in the other hand and I may have let the end stay a little two long...I know at one point you can hear me going back into it, the blade hits the wheel at a weird angle and takes a bite off the end. I can assure you however the ends are not rounded. I took some photos of the blades and am awaiting them to transfer on email so I can post the end result for you when I get back so you can see the ends I hope.

orangemower
02-01-2012, 02:10 PM
I completely understand.

Landscape Poet
02-01-2012, 03:31 PM
Here you go Orange. Here is a couple close ups of the blades that were done that day. I am not sure the blade I demoed is in this group or not but at least you get a idea of what the finsihed product looks like. They may or may not perfect to some and maybe MM does a better job? But for the difference in savings I can tell you that these machines give you are sharp blade faster than doing by hand with angle grinder (more consistent angle too) as well as it does deliver on the results for a much better price.

I am with Diamond that the MM may be great, especially if you have a lot of blades to be sharpened such as a fleet like some of the bigger companies , but for us smaller operations this offers alternative that gives consistent results at a much more pocket friendly cost.

weeze
02-01-2012, 03:47 PM
thanks michael for recommending this product to me. i think it's a great alternative to the more costly sharpeners for solo/small sized operations.

williams lcm
02-01-2012, 07:15 PM
Wow....cutting SA at over 5 inches. My mower only goes to 5 but I do cut my lawn in the trasport lock mode in the summer witch has got to be over 5 inches . It looks nice when cut tall as possible. I also sharpen blades daily.

Landscape Poet
02-01-2012, 08:32 PM
Wow....cutting SA at over 5 inches. My mower only goes to 5 but I do cut my lawn in the trasport lock mode in the summer witch has got to be over 5 inches . It looks nice when cut tall as possible. I also sharpen blades daily.

William, I use Hustler Mowers and they are one of the few that I have seen that consistantely offer a cut over 5 inches. They can actually cut at 5 1/4 without being placed in transport mode.

Here a couple of pics that I have posted on here. I know these were cut at least 4.75 and most likely 5 as they were posted on LS in August.

http://lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=228303&stc=1&d=1313708853

http://lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=228276&stc=1&d=1313631683

Landscape Poet
02-01-2012, 08:34 PM
thanks michael for recommending this product to me. i think it's a great alternative to the more costly sharpeners for solo/small sized operations.

I am glad to here you like it. When I seen you talking about getting the MM but having a hard time coming to terms with the price, I thought it might be a great alternative for you too. When I bought mine I was solo too and could of afforded the MM but just had a hard time justifying that amount of money for it.

weeze
02-01-2012, 08:36 PM
man that looks good. if i cut at 5" here the yards would look like junk. :laugh: i cut them at 2". mostly we have bermuda, centipede, and alot of the yards are just a mix of all kinds of stuff including weeds.

yeah i think the bradley will serve me well for several years and perhaps one day down the road i can spring for the magna-matic 9000.

TNGrassCutter
02-01-2012, 10:32 PM
Yall done got me thinking about getting one now, I am having trouble justifying the MM too.
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Landscape Poet
02-01-2012, 10:46 PM
Yall done got me thinking about getting one now, I am having trouble justifying the MM too.
Posted via Mobile Device

The MM is a large price difference. I can tell you that you will get sharp blades with this one and for under $200.00 it is hard to justify the price difference. I am not going to say that the MM is not better, because honestly I do not know as I do not own one. I can tell you that this one does have the results that you want in the end, sharp blades, in a time saving way, in a way which allows you to get the same edge over and over. And best of all it is the most affordable on the market that I have ever seen, well of anything that looks like it would hold up.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-01-2012, 10:51 PM
How come you only grind the tip and not grind the whole blade surface square?

Landscape Poet
02-01-2012, 11:09 PM
How come you only grind the tip and not grind the whole blade surface square?

Not following your terms, so I am not sure how to give a good answer but I will try. If you are talking about how come I only focus on sharpening the first couple of inches of the blade. That is because that is all that really doing the cutting of the turf...by the time the middle or the inside of blade gets there the grass blade is already cut because of the RPM's in which the blades are moving.

If you are talking about why I don't get more aggressive and take more of the blade back....it can be done ...but I am changing blades daily so the depth at which I go holds up for my purposes. If I were to try to extend the time between changes I would imagine I would be more aggressive on going deeper into the blade, but that also removes more of the blade each sharpening...so I figure with my speed of changing them out...taking off a little and giving me a edge that will last through 20*25 lawns is all I need and will make the blades last longer.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-01-2012, 11:15 PM
Yeah it just looks like your only grinding the very tip of the blade, like 1/16" up the blade, just never seen anyone do it this way but grind the whole blade tip 1/2" up the blade, etc....

Landscape Poet
02-01-2012, 11:34 PM
Yeah it just looks like your only grinding the very tip of the blade, like 1/16" up the blade, just never seen anyone do it this way but grind the whole blade tip 1/2" up the blade, etc....

Yes, No need in my case as the blade will be changed out the following day so removing anymore than what you see is just shorting the life of the blade IMHO.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-01-2012, 11:34 PM
That machine sure is more affordable and looks like it would get the job done, do you know if they offer any bigger guides the blade rests on when sharpening?

pvbooner
02-01-2012, 11:40 PM
I understand why you are only sharpening the first couple of inches of the blade, however with that particular sharpener are you able to sharpen the whole blade if you choose to? It looks like the support leg would get in the way and not allow you to sharpen the whole length of the blade. Thanks in advance for the response, I am considering one if it is able to sharpen the whole blade.

Landscape Poet
02-01-2012, 11:41 PM
That machine sure is more affordable and looks like it would get the job done, do you know if they offer any bigger guides the blade rests on when sharpening?

I do not know that. I would suggest contacting them. I know they offer different size engines but other than I have no idea. Yes the price is much more affordable and lets face it...if you have sharp blades...what difference does it make how you got them. I can tell you that I think this is a affordable option for those that would like a blade sharpener but can not afford or have a hard time justifying MM's steep price.
For $200.00 I can tell you the same thing I told Jasonslawncare from here on lawnsite...buy it and I bet your will be more than happy with your purchase. I mean lets face it....tires for your Z turn most likely cost you more these days so $200.00 is very affordable in the over all picture .

weeze
02-01-2012, 11:45 PM
i don't think they have a different support. i thought the same thing at first but then i realized it's as wide as the flat part of the blade so that's all you need. rather than pushing down on the blade from the top like you do on other sharpeners you can hold it on the side between your thumb and hand and guide it that way since there is room for your hand to slide back and forth. it's actually safer that way because it keeps your fingers farther away from the spinning wheel.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-01-2012, 11:47 PM
Sweet, good to know, it just looks like a small surface, but maybe not so much in person, Probably going to order one, the vise and angle grinder is getting a bit old....

Landscape Poet
02-01-2012, 11:50 PM
I understand why you are only sharpening the first couple of inches of the blade, however with that particular sharpener are you able to sharpen the whole blade if you choose to? It looks like the support leg would get in the way and not allow you to sharpen the whole length of the blade. Thanks in advance for the response, I am considering one if it is able to sharpen the whole blade.

Pvbooner - Again are you talking about the length of the blade or the amount of the blade edge that I am sharpening?

On the length - there would be a limit but I do not know what that would be.. I will try to upload another video with a longer blade tomorrow to help everyones understanding of the size that can be sharpened.

I will also try to highlight in that video how your can adjust the supports back and forth to get more grind on the actual blade tip if you desire.

Thanks,
Michael

weeze
02-01-2012, 11:51 PM
I understand why you are only sharpening the first couple of inches of the blade, however with that particular sharpener are you able to sharpen the whole blade if you choose to? It looks like the support leg would get in the way and not allow you to sharpen the whole length of the blade. Thanks in advance for the response, I am considering one if it is able to sharpen the whole blade.

i think it will sharpen 6" or so which is all you really need. i know some blades have an edge all the way to the center hole almost. it will not sharpen that far unless you turn the blade at an angle and sharpen it to the left of the left support.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
02-01-2012, 11:52 PM
Yeah that's another good point, I use Exmark Mowers, and my blades have an edge almost to the center hole on each side....

orangemower
02-01-2012, 11:53 PM
I understand why you are only sharpening the first couple of inches of the blade, however with that particular sharpener are you able to sharpen the whole blade if you choose to? It looks like the support leg would get in the way and not allow you to sharpen the whole length of the blade. Thanks in advance for the response, I am considering one if it is able to sharpen the whole blade.

The first couple inches are what does the cutting. No need to sharpen the entire length.

weeze
02-02-2012, 12:04 AM
here's a pic of how to hold it while sharpening:

http://i42.tinypic.com/29x85xu.jpg

dnrsslr
03-13-2012, 10:36 AM
I've considered the Bradley. It seems it would be hard to hold the blade steady to get the straight edge. Question: could you completely remove the black "rest" bracket and lay the blade flat on the red "table area"? Then you would adjust the height of the blade to control the angle. This would make it work pretty much like the RGB or Oregon grinders I think. Just wondering...........

TNGrassCutter
03-13-2012, 11:03 AM
How much of the blade can you sharpen before the end hits that support ARM, like how many inches of the edge towards the center?
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Landscape Poet
04-06-2012, 02:02 AM
I've considered the Bradley. It seems it would be hard to hold the blade steady to get the straight edge. Question: could you completely remove the black "rest" bracket and lay the blade flat on the red "table area"? Then you would adjust the height of the blade to control the angle. This would make it work pretty much like the RGB or Oregon grinders I think. Just wondering...........

No need to remove the rest. It allows you do sharpen more than enough of the blade. You have to figure only about 2 inches of the blade is actually going to be doing the cutting...so there is really not a need to sharpen any further.

It pretty much works like the RGB now. Their is a wheel to adjust the height and incline of the blade if desired. The only difference I have seen so far is name and cost.

Landscape Poet
04-06-2012, 02:03 AM
How much of the blade can you sharpen before the end hits that support ARM, like how many inches of the edge towards the center?
Posted via Mobile Device

I have a Hustler 36 inch Mini Z. It has two blades of which one is really long in comparison to the other. The long way I can sharpen at least four inches in without any problem.

Florida Gardener
04-06-2012, 01:40 PM
No need to remove the rest. It allows you do sharpen more than enough of the blade. You have to figure only about 2 inches of the blade is actually going to be doing the cutting...so there is really not a need to sharpen any further.

It pretty much works like the RGB now. Their is a wheel to adjust the height and incline of the blade if desired. The only difference I have seen so far is name and cost.
Mike I use a $40 bench grinder from harbor freight that does just fine and I agree, I think with the MM compared to yours your paying for a name. Sorry, but I can think of a lot better ways to drop $900 on equipment.
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TNGrassCutter
04-06-2012, 02:16 PM
I ordered one and it got here yesterday, I have sharpened 4 sets of blades so far and it is so much easier than a bench grinder. Just go back and forth and it does the rest. I see no need to pay 600-700 dollars when my 160 can do the same.
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By-The-Lake
01-12-2013, 10:38 AM
Can someone post the dimensions (l x w x h) of the Bradley? I am planning to order one later in the spring but want to build a stand for it in my garage. Thanks!

Landscape Poet
01-12-2013, 07:27 PM
Can someone post the dimensions (l x w x h) of the Bradley? I am planning to order one later in the spring but want to build a stand for it in my garage. Thanks!

The height is gong to vary a little depending on the height you have the wheel set too. The width is roughly 12 inches and the depth length I would estimate right around 10 to 11 inches. These are just rough estimates but should give you a idea.

P.M me if you need accurate measurements as I am not subscribed to this thread though notifications.