Sharpening blades too often?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Alta Lawn Care, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. Alta Lawn Care

    Alta Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    A friend of mine offered to sharpen a set of my blades in trade for some other work. He was appalled at the condition of my blades.

    He has been in the business for 10 years said that he sharpens his blades every day.

    I use a JD Quiktrak 657 54" deck with a 23 HP Kawasaki. I probably mowed 4 hours a day with it last year but sharpened the blades only once! Never did I get a complaint about the look of the lawn. In fact, I got many compliments. The lawns I did with these "dull" blades looks exquisite.

    So here is what I wonder . . .

    Is sharpening every 8 hours overkill (and a waste of time and money)?
    Maybe my JD is just such a better mower (than his Toro) that it makes up for me using dull blades?
    Have there been any studies that PROOVE that sharpening blades every day is necessary? (If not, maybe I just discovered a new way how to save us all time and money.)
    Or . . . maybe I need glasses.


    By the way, the lawns I cut did not suffer any health issues that I noticed.
     
  2. haybaler

    haybaler LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Posts: 511

    all depends on lawn and soil type. sandy dry lawns will eat blades fast. also if you hit any rocks or not. I would say at least every/every other day you need to sharpen your blades if you do this commercially. turf will get torn and damaged from dull blades.
     
  3. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    A lot will depend on the conditions of the turf, wet grass will dull blades quicker. But IMO every 8 hrs is overkill. You DONT want razor sharp blades anyway,they tend to dull even quicker. We usually sharpen to a very sharp edge then file down the edge a bit, that seems to get us about a week or more (depending on conditions) and in the summer we can usually let the blades go for a couple of weeks.
     
  4. eddings

    eddings LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    I have never had luck sharpening my blade on my Toro 52". Every time I do it leaves strips between the blades on each side. Am I just waiting too long to sharpen them or what? It seems that they should have overlaped the blades a little more.
     
  5. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    Here in FLA about everyother day works good under normal condition. Meet some people that "say" they change there blades every 4 hours thats :dizzy: :hammerhead:. Now thats overkill.
     
  6. Alta Lawn Care

    Alta Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    I'd be curious if there is anybody who has been in the business along time who goes longer than Nobagger's maximum two weeks between sharpenings.

    Anybody feel it's a bunch of hype-people trying to sell you sharpeners, balancers, sharpening services, and blades?
     
  7. MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,566

    Sharp blades every day,when you cut at high speeds how do you cut thick turf.
     
  8. AbsoluteH&L

    AbsoluteH&L LawnSite Member
    Posts: 155

    Once a week, maybe drag it out to two in the summer. But by then I'm cutting half as often. It depends on how many lawns you do. For the lawns I do once a week is fine, but you can tell a difference in mower performance if you put it off to long.
     
  9. mow & snow

    mow & snow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    Once a week.
     
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,314

    We have been around for a few years....sharpen blades about every 2 weeks and that seems to be plenty. We mulch everything so I would consider that worst case but we don't drive 10mph. It depends on blade speed the older scag units will leave stuff if you get into cow pasture environment with weeds unless you sharpen more frequently. And the new Scag blades seem to be harder and hold edge longer. If I sharpened blades daily my most significant cost at the end of year would probably be blades and not labor or gas and I would be wore out.
     

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