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View Full Version : Blade balance: To check or not to check


Schlepie
12-11-2002, 01:31 AM
Put in a post recently about replacing my spindles on my Metro. One was wobbly and the repair shop noticed it right off. Have had new ones on about a month and the new spindle on that same side is starting to wobble. When I took it in the first time, they asked me if my blades were out of balance? I told them I don't think so. YOu would think if this may be the culpret, they would have checked them for balance. With the new wobble starting , I don't think they did. So, even without me asking them to check the balance, should they have checked them or not?

Schlep:confused:

65hoss
12-11-2002, 02:04 AM
The balance of the blade will be off everytime you sharpen them. Get a magna blade balancer for the precision.

geogunn
12-11-2002, 09:54 AM
schlepie--don't take this the wrong way but you are responsible for knowing whether your blades are balanced, not the dealer.

even if you return your blades to the dealer to be sharpened, you are responsible for asking them if they balanced the blades after sharpening.

and the way you have explained the situation, it sounds as though you never sharpen OR balance your blades. and that is unusual because most of the members here seem to post that they sharpen and balance blades dailey.

but to respond directly to your question, I assume that when you say the spindle wobbles, that the spindle bearing is worn out. no, I don't think an out of balance blade would wear out a spindle bearing in the time you have stated. you may have other problems.

let us know what you find out.

GEO

scott's turf
12-11-2002, 10:07 AM
I know I will get heat for this but I think balancing blades is a waste of time, or at least for me. In 10 years I have never replaced a spindle and have never balanced a blade either. My bobcat wb are 6 years old and still have the original spindles. Maybe I am just lucky.

Schlepie
12-11-2002, 10:37 AM
blades are sharpened, but not on a daily basis. Don't see the need. I think for now, weekly is adaquate.

Schlep

Fantasy Lawns
12-11-2002, 10:58 AM
A good general rule of thumb is every 8 hours of mow time to sharpen & balance

geogunn
12-11-2002, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by scott's turf
...I think balancing blades is a waste of time...

possibly. but it doesn't take much time the way that I do it. so I do it.

and I don't think I can wear the spindles out on my lesco.

they are massive taper bearings and they get greased everyday that the machine is used. it takes about 15 seconds to grease all three spindles.

GEO

Rob T
12-11-2002, 12:49 PM
Balancing is important.

I had a problem with bad bearings on a Scag WB before I got a good blade balancer. All 3 splindles would go bad at about the same time. I didn't think it could make that much diffrence and I really didn't want to spend $120 on a good balancer but, since I've been using the MagnaMatic I haven't had anymore problems.

Also, do you want to risk you, your employees, and your customers due to a equiptment failure (possibly caused by out of balance blades).

Bad things happen when things vibrate at high speeds...

65hoss
12-11-2002, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by scott's turf
I know I will get heat for this but I think balancing blades is a waste of time, or at least for me. In 10 years I have never replaced a spindle and have never balanced a blade either. My bobcat wb are 6 years old and still have the original spindles. Maybe I am just lucky.

:gunsfirin :dizzy: Some days and some things just amaze me.:dizzy:

HarryD
12-11-2002, 12:58 PM
in over 20 years of mowing I have never once balanced a blade and never will . I have never had a problem and if a bearing goes out its not that big of deal to change if you can turn a wrench. but thats just me everyone has there own way of doing things if it works for you then by all means do it

lawncare3
12-11-2002, 01:00 PM
I never balance my blades on my big wb but on the 21" ers i do because it's directly under the engine.;)

scott's turf
12-11-2002, 01:29 PM
65hoss, why does that amaze you. Does it amaze you that I have never lost a spindle??? Those new tapered bearing greaseless bearing are rugged. I don't balance my trailer tires either and the bearing are doing fine on that as well. What little vibration there is should not effect a well built machine. Heck 10 min after mowing with your balanced blades I am sure that they are out of wack again.

65hoss
12-11-2002, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by scott's turf
65hoss, why does that amaze you. Does it amaze you that I have never lost a spindle??? Those new tapered bearing greaseless bearing are rugged. I don't balance my trailer tires either and the bearing are doing fine on that as well. What little vibration there is should not effect a well built machine. Heck 10 min after mowing with your balanced blades I am sure that they are out of wack again.
I did a search to put the past links up about this, and found that in the main link you and I already had this very discussion. Magna-Matic went into great depths to explain why balancing is needed and why the mower manufacturers recommend balancing. Not just for bearing, but the vibration stress on the entire unit.

Oh, I test all my blades on the balancer after I take them off so as I re-sharpen I know what needs to be done. In most cases they are still very very close to balanced. After you get them balanced the first time it is pretty quick after that. Everyone that has used my balancer to try has reported the same results. They feel it immediately in the performance of the machine. Cuts better and quicker with no vibration. That is productivity increase.

I think everyone needs to read this thread, Magn-Matic goes into detail. http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?threadid=34319&highlight=vibration

odin
12-11-2002, 04:18 PM
hoss

For once it was not the lawn choupique who amazed us:dizzy:

ULTIMATE LAWN
12-11-2002, 04:49 PM
I've got mowers with over 2000 hrs. & they have never had a balanced blade on them & never had a spindle or bearing go.

I think balancing is somewhat overrated. You must ensure they are not way out of wack but precision balanced is unnecessary.

The Mag Balancer is a great tool for the believers, I'm just not one of them.

HarryD
12-11-2002, 04:59 PM
this kinda reminds me of the whole Mulching VS Bagging thread . next ill be called a scrub or a idiot because I dont balance my blades :(

bubble boy
12-11-2002, 05:04 PM
i guess it all goes in cycles. in a month or so we'll debate greasing vs. not greasing.

scott's turf
12-11-2002, 05:09 PM
odin00 please do not compare me with lawn choupique. I am not trying to instigate anything merely just stating the lack of problems that I have encountered from not balancing blades. Not sure how magnamatic's balancer works but I would imagine that for a balancer to be effective it would have to be a dynamic one. The static configurations result in too much friction on the center of the blade to even come close to propperly balancing them. I do believe that a propperly balanced blade will slightly reduce drag on the engine. I just have not found the benefits financially to purchase an expensive balancer that would not pay for itself. I don't think that I am the only one on this site that doesn't have a magnamatic balancer or doesn't balance them at all. Maybe if I had them propperly balanced and could feel the results I would be a believer.

bubble boy
12-11-2002, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by scott's turf
I don't think that I am the only one on this site that doesn't have a magnamatic balancer or doesn't balance them at all.

i should have added, for the record, we dont balance. to be honest we sharpen only 2 or three times a week. just to many blades.

odin
12-11-2002, 05:53 PM
SCOTTS TURF

Your right i should not have put your way of doing things down.
I think balanced blades do make a big difference .
But hey if not balanceing blades works for you go for it.

wriken
12-11-2002, 06:08 PM
I have a $3.00 balancer that I used in the beginning, but as I got busier I stopped the balance act. No problems yet.

TLS
12-11-2002, 06:26 PM
Schlepie,

If your "new" bearing job only lasted a month, then it IS probably the dealers fault. Unbalanced blades will NOT kill a spindle bearing in a months time.

What will....?


With a Metro, there are hollow spindle shafts that your long blade bolt goes through. If one is bent only slightly it will kill new bearings quick.

Also if this blade bolt is bent or if your blade hole to bolt tolerence is real loose, this will cause a large vibration and will kill them.

Another thing to check is belt tension on the whole deck. LOOSE is better! I've killed many a SCAG spindle before I was told that my belts were too tight! A light pinky finger tug on the belt sideways should deflect the belt about an inch.

***These are all things that the dealer SHOULD check on every spindle bearing job.***


As for balancing blades....

I do it.

I use a Magna-Matic balancer (they're NOT that expensive!!! :rolleyes: )

Yes I am anal about a lot of things and Blade sharpness and proper balancing IS something I'm anal about!

I can without ANY doubt FEEL if a blade is OUT of balance on my Lazer. Put a new set on a few years back and instantly realized that something was out of wack. Put those blades on the balancer when I got back to the shop and found them to be WAY off! Balanced them, and it INSTANTLY smoothed things out!

I feel balancing is more important on blade sizes larger than 16" and VERY important on push mowers as this is their crankshaft thats recieving the torsional vibrations.
My SCAG 48" isn't as picky with balanced blades, but 60" and 72" machines are much more noticable.


I think I'm done now!! :dizzy:

odin
12-11-2002, 06:31 PM
Tls

In a much shorter reply you hit the nail right on the head about balanceing blades:D Dont use a nail to balance em:D