Register free!
Search
 
     

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-09-2013, 10:24 PM
matt_m matt_m is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 28
Recommend a sharpener for a homeowner

Sorry for a really long first post! I have 10 acres and mow about 4 of that excluding what's occupied by buildings and driveway plus about 3/8mi of grass trail. Last spring I bought a Husqvarna PZ6034. Before that I used a mid-mount mower on a compact tractor.

With the tractor I was downright bad about sharpening blades. When I did I did them with an angle grinder freehand and didn't even know I was supposed to check balance. They were sharp, but not straight and not consistent. I probably sharpened max 2x a year if that and replaced the blades every other year when they got really (and I mean REALLY) ugly.

With the new mower and a MoJack lift I can now change the blades in a couple minutes and have vowed to keep them sharp--I figure this means I should sharpen about once a month. Taking them in is $18 and two trips to the local place about 1-1/2 miles away. I think they do a mediocre job. Taking them to my dealer is about $27 and 2 10-mile round trips.

I'm thinking about doing my own sharpening. I've got 4-1/2" angle grinders, an 8" bench grinder, and a 1x42 Kalamazoo belt sander. Past attempts with the first two have not offered great results with my skills. The belt sander seems like it would work good but doesn't have clearance to get to the last 1/2" or so of the edge.

I've been reading threads here on sharpening and looking at various options online. I'd love to get a Magna Matic and while I'm not ruling it out, it would take a LONG time to pay back that purchase. I've looked at the Wall BG121 and there's one fairly local I could get about 1/2 of new. I've also see the inexpensive Oregons and Bradley on Amazon/Ebay. Wall has a disc-type that looks interesting too.

And blade balancers--how are the Tecomec/Oregon? Since I only have one blade size I also could make one from 5/8OD bearing. Or use the screwdriver or nail method which I'm reading aren't very accurate? Also reading the argument that the crud stuck on the blade throws it off pretty quick anyway so its not that critical?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-09-2013, 10:54 PM
Nate'sLawnCare's Avatar
Nate'sLawnCare Nate'sLawnCare is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nashville, NC
Posts: 936
I typically sharpen blades every 8 hours of cutting or so. If it takes you 2 hours to cut your 4 acres and you cut it weekly, you would be sharpening about once a month. Look at it from that standpoint, if your cutting season is 4 or 5 months, you have to sharpen 4 or 5 times a year. Use that to justify the purchase of whatever you get. You'll get plenty of different recommendations on here - I personally use a bench grinder, but I'm pretty experienced with power tools and have developed a good technique. For the money, some people like the Bradley.

For balancing, I'd recommend a good bearing-type balancer. The nail method is very inaccurate.

Sharpening is very important. Your grass and your mower will thank you
__________________
Snapper Pro S200XT 36 HP Big Block
BOP 36 Inch Dually
Honda HRX217VKA Mower
Husqvarna 223L Trimmer
Husqvarna 326LS Trimmer
Husqvarna 580BTS Blower
Husqvarna BT150 Blower
Kawasaki KHDS600 Hedge Trimmer
Toro Multi-Tool
RedMax BM46i Backpack Sprayer
Carry On 5.5 x 10 Open Trailer
2004 Toyota Tacoma

The next time someone complains about your pricing, ask them how much their barber would charge to come over and cut their hair.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-10-2013, 08:19 AM
hdtvluvr hdtvluvr is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 438
I was in the same boat as you and wanted a sharpener. The last time I took blades in, they wanted $10 each to sharpen. I had an angle grinder and and bench grinder and ruined some blades trying to use those. There is a thread on this site that shows how someone built a sharpener out of an angle grinder using a flap disc. I started to build one of those but decided not to spend the time to build one and $ to purchase flap discs as I didn't know how well I would be able to use it.

I decided to purchase the Bradley. It is inexpensive compared to the others and for the amount of time it is used, will last me a lifetime. After setting the angle up correctly (as with all of them) it is very easy to use. Good luck with your decision.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-10-2013, 08:26 AM
Sprinkler Buddy's Avatar
Sprinkler Buddy Sprinkler Buddy is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 969
Shop Craigslist in your local area, you might pick up a good sharpener cheap. Test it before buying, take a blade with you and put it under a load to test.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-10-2013, 08:49 AM
Magna-Matic's Avatar
Magna-Matic Magna-Matic is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Waldo, Wisconsin
Posts: 798
Hello All,

These same questions were just asked in another thread, here is a link to the balance questions.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=401012

Here was another thread where people were asking about differences between the sharpeners out there and about wheel diameter differences.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.p...=1#post4723812

Tecomec balancers are made in China, they are quite inaccurate, and the magnets they use are very weak. They will hold up push mower blades well, but commercial blades are more of a struggle.

Never use a nail, screw driver, or "close sized bearing". None of these will be in the center of the hole. If the blade is not being balanced from the CENTER OF ROTATION you will be throwing the balance off more than you would be correcting it. If your options are a NAIL or NOTHING - do nothing, so you don't make a bad situation worse.

If you are on a budget and there is a used RGB available, i would suggest buying that before you look at the China made Oregon and Bradley products. RGB is made in Indiana.

Let me know if you have any technical questions about balance or sharpening that was not covered in the threads above.
__________________
Gerd Ferdinand Bauer II

Magna-Matic Corporation
Waldo WI USA
800-328-1110 (toll free USA & Canda)
920-564-2366 (PHONE)
gbauer2@magna-matic.com
www.magna-matic.com
www.magna-matic-direct.com
www.youtube.com/magnamaticcorp
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-10-2013, 09:15 AM
matt_m matt_m is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 28
Thanks--already watch CL too. There's a Wall I'm considering but its a good haul and I passed on a Magna Matic closer by because it was missing some parts and would have been > 75% of a new one by the time I replace them. I've got two sharp sets of blades though so I'm not in a huge hurry.

I have no doubt a Magna Matic would do a good job ~$900 is around a 9 year payback though at $20 a set for sharpening. $300 is a lot more feasible.

Magna-Matic--can your equipment sharpen and balance a 3-wing brush knifefor a trimmer? Like: http://www.stihlusa.com/products/tri...es/brushknife/
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-10-2013, 09:15 AM
Grassmechanic's Avatar
Grassmechanic Grassmechanic is online now
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 2,709
RGB makes a decent sharpener for straight blades, but for mulching style blades the Mag 8000 is the only way to go.
__________________
Mike
"the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties" Barack Hussein Obama

If you like the job Granholm is doing for Michigan, you'll love the job Obama will do for the U.S.

“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” Winston Churchill
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-10-2013, 09:20 AM
matt_m matt_m is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 28
Oh, good point--I'm using straight blades.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-10-2013, 12:14 PM
Magna-Matic's Avatar
Magna-Matic Magna-Matic is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Waldo, Wisconsin
Posts: 798
Hello Matt M,

**REGARDING THE STHIL BLADES POSTED ABOVE**
The picture is difficult to see the edges, but if you were doing just the "V" shaped ends - then yes Magna-Matic sharpeners would have the clearance to sharpen them. If you sharpen the whole perimeter, it appears the MAG-8000 would have clearance for that.

Thank you,
__________________
Gerd Ferdinand Bauer II

Magna-Matic Corporation
Waldo WI USA
800-328-1110 (toll free USA & Canda)
920-564-2366 (PHONE)
gbauer2@magna-matic.com
www.magna-matic.com
www.magna-matic-direct.com
www.youtube.com/magnamaticcorp
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-10-2013, 12:15 PM
matt_m matt_m is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 28
No, just the v's on the ends.

Can the balancer balance them?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.com™ - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:28 PM.

Page generated in 0.07515 seconds with 9 queries