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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
due to the fact that at this moment i cant afford the type of blade grinder that i really want i.e. neary/magna-matic, i have been taking my blades to a commercial mower dealer for sharpening and balancing. after visiting serveral shops in my area i was astonished to discover that every one of them are using regular old bench grinders to sharpen blades and only two of them have a magnamatic to balance them. sometimes i wish i could get a feel about how many people would pay for professional sharpening on-the-spot and blade sales as a stand alone kind of business. has anyone else out there had less than stellar service when it comes to blade sharpening?
 

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i'd pay about $1/blade if it was convenient to my location, meaning, right on my route where i can drop some blades off as i go by and pick them up in 35 minutes when i'm on my way out.


hell, with all the landscapers around here i should just put my generator on my trailer and buy a mm9000 and just set up shop at lunchtime at the deli!!! i see at least 4 at lunch, and probably pass a good 20-30 of them during my route in one day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
another thing that ive wondered is if you priced the service low enough to get people to stop sharpening their own blades, would the increase in volumn of customers compensate for the low price? completely depends on density of lcos in your area and like you said , convienient to your route.
 

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There's several guys that have bought an inventory of blades and set up a booth at one of the local flea markets around here. Charge $8 - $9 bucks per blade. Better than from a dealer.
 

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I am sure to get flamed on this but I have almost 3,000 hours on my commercial Dixon and I have replaced bearings twice and 1 spindle one time after slamming an iron rod sticking out of the ground. I ALWAYS sharpen them myself and ALWAYS use a bench or angle grinder with no balancer. So for the part ill get flamed about, Idont see why in the world you need a mega buck blade sharpening machine. I have saw a few dealers in my area sharpen to and although most balance they all use bench grinders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i wont be the one to flame you lawnagent. its just that it has always been preached to me that it is imperative to have your blades hollow ground at the correct angle and balanced to obtain optimum performance from your blades and more life from your spindles. i am willing to concede that i may be wrong about this and would invite others to chime in on there experiences in this area. thanks for the replies guys.
 

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Fireball 300-C.

It means business.

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Magna-Matic 1000 balancer.

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:cool:

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;)

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:eek:

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Lawnagent, I agree, it doesn't make financial sense to spend $1K on a sharpener unless you've got a lot of blades to sharpen.
If you can get a decent sharp edge on a blade, that should be good for our usage. In practical terms, the blade and/or its edge is only going to last so long anyway and will need to be resharpened or replaced. Blade expense had better be figured into your overhead anyway.

I thought about a sharpening service. In my area anyway, there are too many shops doing that already. Plus all the LCO's have their own methods of sharpening, it would be way to inconvenient for them to have to take them to a shop then have to pick them up. To have a pick up/drop off route would run too much money to make it practical.

An area of disagreement is the balance. From experience I can tell you it does make a difference in the smoothness of your machines operation and sometimes the quality of cut. The more anal you are in balancing, the smoother the operation, ultimately better for the spindles as well.
I have seen machines in operation with blades so out of balance that it's shaking the operator and machine to death, physically wearing out both ahead of time.
 

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Originally posted by lawnagent
I am sure to get flamed on this but I have almost 3,000 hours on my commercial Dixon and I have replaced bearings twice and 1 spindle one time after slamming an iron rod sticking out of the ground. I ALWAYS sharpen them myself and ALWAYS use a bench or angle grinder with no balancer. So for the part ill get flamed about, Idont see why in the world you need a mega buck blade sharpening machine. I have saw a few dealers in my area sharpen to and although most balance they all use bench grinders.
Im with you on this one. 20 years cutting. Sharpen once a week with a hand grinder. Never balanced. Never replaced a spindle. (4 comm. mowers, only 1 not in service due to blown piston/seal.) One mower has over 2500 hours.
 

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As far as a blade sharpening business goes. I wouldn't pay you to sharpen my blades.

There used to be 2 trucks that drove around like an ice cream truck. They did sharpening of all kinds. They were Veterans. Well with Kitchen knives, scissors and so on being as cheap as they are now-a-days. These guys are not around anymore. They used to charge 3 - $4 for mower blades.

A decent 10" bech grinder is what $60 at Home Depot?

At least 9 of 10 LCO's do their own grinding. If not more
 

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I guess if I was shaking like crazy form unbalanced blades I would definitly hunt up a balancer. But I gotta wnder about how bad out of balance 1 would be to do that. Makes you wonder if the person who did the sharpening had any business shapening any blades atall. You would have to really be a grinding one side and hardly any on the other for a long while it would seem to me. I try to count seconds I spend on each side and try to do each side the same on all three blades. Thus so far ( knock on wood ) no balance problems that I know of.
 

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TLS, those look like the blade on the Honda HR214 I just got....

I always heard about the lifts wearing off, but never seen it before. Scag blades seem to be pretty tough. What are yours off of?

Also, what does the Fireball 300-C run for? It looks like a pretty nice machine.
 

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Dull blades aren't mine. Someone on here posted that pic a year or so ago. Definately caused by sandy soil, and low cut height.



Fireball 300-C cost me $640

Its VERY powerful with its 1hp 3450 RPM and 10" Wheel. Very high Surface Feet/Minute. No bogging whatsoever. Unobstructed sharpening path (the back wall of my shop is the limiting factor on how long of a blade edge I can sharpen.

For some reason, their website doesn't work?
 

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Originally posted by lawnagent
I am sure to get flamed on this but I have almost 3,000 hours on my commercial Dixon and I have replaced bearings twice and 1 spindle one time after slamming an iron rod sticking out of the ground. I ALWAYS sharpen them myself and ALWAYS use a bench or angle grinder with no balancer. So for the part ill get flamed about, Idont see why in the world you need a mega buck blade sharpening machine. I have saw a few dealers in my area sharpen to and although most balance they all use bench grinders.
No flame here. I have never had to replace a spindle part in 12 years and until last year I just used a bench grinder. I have a commercial grinder now but still don't bother with any balancing. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I try to just remove the same amount of metal and I've never had vibration problems that I know of.

I use a lot of blades, though, so I don't have to sharpen any of them to the point where they're worn out.
 
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