Blade Sharpening

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by iamthelawnbarber, May 6, 2006.

  1. iamthelawnbarber

    iamthelawnbarber LawnSite Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 87

    Hi,
    I currently have residential properties. How often do you sharpen blades? Can you do it yourself, or do they have to be balanced?
    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. Paradise Landscapes

    Paradise Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    They have to be balanced, otherwise you wll get vibration which will eventually ruin the mower. They sell blade ginders about 150.00 to 350.00.

    www.j-thomas.com Page 235. order free catalog
     
  3. MowerMedic77

    MowerMedic77 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,164

    Well this depends on the quality of cut you want to provide for your customer. Remember that the sharper the blade the easier and cleaner the cut, you will actually cut with a sharp blade as apposed to tearing out the grass with a dull blade this will leave noticeable brown tips and fraid tips on the lawn. As far a being able to sharpen them yourself why not i have tons of customers who hand grind their blades and have no problems even without balancing. Maybe its just me but in over 13yrs of repair spindle failure is less and less they are making many of the spindles much better then in years past. Just my own opinion or two cents you are always better to balance for the best quality. Hope this helps:)
     
  4. oldrustycars

    oldrustycars LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    my friend in the lawn business has 3 sets of blades for EVERY mower. one good set on it, one extra set in the trailer, one set at the shop to get sharpened. he changes them once a week minimum, he has 35 or so lawns, all residential, and is very picky about leaving nice lawns. he has a pro blade sharpener and balances every set, but they seldom need work to be perfectly balanced. sharp blades make it easier on your entire machine. would you rather cut wood with a sharp handsaw or a dull one? i've sharpened my own blades with a hand grinder for years, once in a while i'll do them on his sharpener...its amazing how far off the angle gets after doing it by hand a few times. so if you're doing this for a living, get a pro blade grinder.
     
  5. Metalmacguyver

    Metalmacguyver LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    you could set up a jig on your bench grinder to hold the angle. i always sharpen my own blades and always balance them as best i can using the balancing on a screw driver test. is there really anything wrong with doing it this way?
     
  6. oldrustycars

    oldrustycars LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    [​IMG]


    one of these balancers is $3.99 at northern tool. be a sport and get a proper balancer. the screwdriver method can be way off. better yet is the Magnematic balancer...it also checks for bent blades. its about $200. how much does one spindle repair cost?
    the Oregon 88-023 blade sharpener is $330. dont get those grinders that you use a drill motor to run.
     
  7. Metalmacguyver

    Metalmacguyver LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    yeah i have one of those except its plastic. the problem is that doesnt fit alot of the blades i sharpen. i dunno if it just isnt made right and all the hole sizes are off or what but i use it when i can.
     
  8. oldgreygox33

    oldgreygox33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    I sharpen blades with a $69.00 disc grinder, and don't ever check blade balance. I first start the mower and if there is no excessive vibration, you can bet the blade is pretty much in balance. I remove the blade from the mower and clamp it in my bench vice, cutting edge up. I hold the grinder disc at the same angle as the existing angle of the cutting edge. Starting at the tip of the blade I pass the disc the full length of the cutting edge, then back to the tip. I consider this one pass, even though it is actually two. I do this 20 to 30 times counting each pass, keeping the same angle, down pressure, and feed speed each pass. Repeat this same process on the other end of the blade, same number of passes, same down pressure, and same feed speed. Repeat this process, if necessary, again, on both ends until both cutting edges are sharp. You end up with the same amount of metal off each end of the blade, and the blade is still in balance. For the finishing touch, sand the cutting edge with crocus cloth, 120 grit. top and bottom to knock off the fine metal burrs. I also knock off the razor sharp edge by lightly sanding flat on the cutting edge a few strokes. I do this because a razor sharp infinity edge will just bend over when it hits the blades of grass at 300+MPH. Been using this method of sharpening blades for 7 years. It works for me.
     

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