Blade changes

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SteveInMD, May 10, 2005.

  1. SteveInMD

    SteveInMD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Am I correct that most people think an impact wrench is the best way to do blade changes? If so is there a brand that is better than any other? How about electric vs. pneumatic?
  2. Glenn J

    Glenn J LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    I use a Chicago Pneumatic impact with a small Porter Cable oiled compressor. Like with mowers, you'll get different opinions based on brands. If you're going to invest in a compressor, get a good named brand. Same goes with air tools. If you spend a bit more and get a good tool, it will last you.
  3. SteveInMD

    SteveInMD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Do you recall what the torque rating is on your wrench? How much torque do you think I need?
  4. Glenn J

    Glenn J LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    I think the max torque is something like 300 lb/ft. I "think" I paid less than $100 for the impact a few years back.

    I'm not sure what a good max torque value would be. I'd think the one I have is fine. I try not to crank things down as tight as they wrench will allow...things may start to break.
  5. oughtsix

    oughtsix LawnSite Member
    from oregon
    Messages: 10

    Get a slip clutch for the impact wrench with a preset torque for your mowers. A lot of tire stores use these. You get the right torque every time without over tighting. Not as acurate as a good torque wrench but it doesn't really need to be for mounting blades. (The better tire stores I have seen use a slip clutch with a torque rating lower than the suggested torque and finish up with a torque wrench. This is not needed for mounting blades)
  6. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 811

    I use a 24" braker bar with a 1/2"ratchet. I just don't see the need to use an impact wrench. The nut comes loose and spin it off with your fingers. I'm sure you'll find many reasons to purches an impack wrench, but to me this just isn't one of them. Then use a torque wrench? I don't think so. Tighten till it snaps, then back it off a 1/2 turn.
  7. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    I just hand shake tighten blades - they will only get tighter when mowing - then to change them, just drive up on a set of ramps, reach under with a box end wrench - take them off and sharpen them. If you hit a 4x4 chunk of wood, it may tighten them to the point of an impact, but I have never had a blade come loose with just a slight snug job on install. (We are talking 8000 hrs of mowing)
  8. SteveInMD

    SteveInMD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I only have trouble removing blades. I agree that you don't have to tighten them very much because they only get more tight. I did some searches for impact wrench slip clutches, but didn't find much. I guess I don't really need one just for blade removal. I just know that I'd sharpen more often if I had an impact wrench.
  9. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,588

    I don't think you need impact wrenches...just a couple normal socket wrenches with about a 12" handle. I run Scag and Snapper so don't know if there are other brands that are real difficult to get off.
  10. barnard

    barnard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    To each his own. Most Mechanics, at least those that make their living that way, use air tools and a variety of them, such as 1/2 inch pistol type ,3/8 butterfly, 3/8 ratchet type, for the same reasons we use 21's 36's 48's walk behind and zero turns. The right tool for the job makes any job faster and easier.Sure you can change blades without an impact wrench. I doubt that anyone owning an air wrench prefers to do it with a break/over or a ratchet. It eliminates the possibility of busted knuckles or bad cuts and you can easily hold the blade by hand while removing or installing. NO BLOCKS OF WOOD.To answer the original post. I use air. Inexpensive ones (Taiwan )work fine I have a 3/8 air ratchet I've been using for 25 years also a 1/2 inch pistol thats 20+ years. Both still work well. But if in doubt by CP or Ingersol rand you can't go wrong with them.

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