Why Sharpen So Much?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Coumbe, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Coumbe

    Coumbe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    Why Should I Sharpen My Blades More Than Once Every 2 Weeks Or So? We Mow Between About 15 Lawn A Day. St. Augustine Grass.
  2. jgtxusa

    jgtxusa LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    We mow around 35 hours a week on the zeros and around 30 a week on the babies and only change blades every other week also. No problems most of the time. The zeros you can tell a little difference the second week when you are trying to go fast, but not too much. Now sand is a different story. I have some municipality accounts that have a lot of dirt areas and sandy turf medians, and they eat the blades up.
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    The intervals between sharpenings can vary but generally as long as you're cutting the grass and not tearing it you're good. If you're leaving a lot of grass uncut then you're not sharpening the blades often enough. I sharpen mine weekly during the heavy growth season, bi-weekly in late summer and early fall and at this time of the year I put a set of Gators on and run them till the end with no sharpening.
  4. gumper48

    gumper48 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    i'm in sw fl and mow mostly bahia,lots of sandy soil.
    blades need to be sharpened at least every 2 - 3 hrs.
    some st aug i cut is like cutting butter probably only need to sharpen once a week if that was the only type of grass i had.
    was sceptical concerning balancing the blade, keep the correct angle on cutting edge thing.
    now have both the expensive balancer and grinder.
    makes all the difference in the world in cuts. i did not believe it was necessary before but it is if you want a great smooth cut with no vibration.
    i don't know about fescue, it looks real tender, probably if you didn't mulch, a blade would last a long time.

    good luck
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Ripping the grass instead of cutting it cleanly lends itself to infestation and disease as well for the turf.
  6. Justcutitshort

    Justcutitshort LawnSite Member
    Posts: 187

    I've yet to ever have blades so dull they actually don't cut, though that doesn't mean it can't happen. Then again, Richard's comment of tearing the grass is the more important detail. Dull blades will tear the grass and leave the top of each blade to turn brown, ruining the rich green look of an otherwise well kept lawn.
  7. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    How often blades need sharpening or switched depends on a few things. I've read posts where operators change blades every evening and sharpen several sets on the weekends.

    Grass types, soil and or sand conditions and of course how many hours each day the mower is used are variables.

    Looking at the cut on the grass and a visual inspection of the blade are good indicators of what needs to be done.

  8. The Cowboy

    The Cowboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 617

    If my blades are dull they may leave the lawn with a white haze. When that happens, I'd better change them pretty quick. The haze seems to be caused by millions of torn grass blades being cut too short. Usually takes the second week on a blade to start doing that. The high blade tip speed helps a marginal blade to cut pretty well for quite a while.
  9. lawnworker

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    Some baldes hold up better then others. The eXmark blades seem to last a long time between sharpening.I think I broke a record this year, and the grass was still cutting clean.
  10. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    I sharpen atleast 3 times a week in the heavy growth season

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