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Blade sharpening / How often?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by SW Landscape Maintenance, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. SW Landscape Maintenance

    SW Landscape Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    Blade sharpening is important especially in the finished cut. I try to sharpen my blades at the end of each day... if not every two days. If you let them get real dull than you have to take more off. Sharp blades are great as well when the grass is wet. And of course you can tell after the lawn has been cut if the blades are dull or sharp. I think its a good practice and as well good to tell your customers that you do that. :canadaflag:
  2. steve in Pa.

    steve in Pa. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    our blades get sharpened every day. we run doubles on all the mowers!
  3. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 798

    Everyday! Everyday!
  4. iluvscag

    iluvscag LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 743

    Every 8 hours.:)
  5. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    It depends how often the machine is used. When I had my 52" WB, It was only getting used on 6 properties a week which was about 8 hours a week. The 36" was getting used about 25 hours a week. The 36" blades would get sharpened 2 times a week. The 52 (which runs the same size blades) would get sharpened 1 time every 2 weeks. All the machines were greased when the blades are changed.
  6. Andyinchville

    Andyinchville LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    I hate to admit this in view of so many people sharpening their blades daily or so....BUT I have gone for weeks without sharpening mine....Just don't hit things other than grass and you will be OK....It's hard on blades if you hit dirt from scalping, rocks, sticks etc....I am careful and know my yards and have had no problems with this schedule....Oh yeah, when my help was using the fixed deck 48's we would have to sharpen often but since we got floating decks set to 3.5 inches and better help haven't had problems....and Yes we keep our customers year after year and yes there are no problems with our cutting.
    Hope this helps.
    PS - we sharpen our blades when they get dull like the new factory blades or if they get too many nicks in them.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    You do make a good point because there are times when I either get too busy or more accurately, I just can't deal with sharpening them again. You can, technically, run blades for 2-3 days or 20 yards and more, because:
    The razor's edge that you get from sharpening only lasts about 20 minutes, after which it's dull, and dull is dull regardless of how often it is sharpened. So really, only the first yard of the day gets the benefit of the fine edge but blades do reach a point of dullness after about the 8th yard, after which there is another noticeable decline in quality (by noticeable, I mean you do need a keen eye, but noticeable it is). Thus, the sharper the blade at the first of the day, the better the last yard of the day will look.
    Yes, grass dulls blades, even if you never hit a stick or a pebble. But, so does dust or dirt (to some degree, even more so).

    I give my blades a once-over (actually twice over) real nice but quick, I don't take off a lot of steel while sharpening. When a nick or burr comes along, it doesn't usually come out in the first sharpening, but instead gets worked out over time. This not only maintains the blade and prevents me from having to shave off a 1/4 inch of steel, but by sharpening it frequently, it keeps the blades balanced (yes I use a balancer) and balance is important because an out-of-balance blade will result in a loss of rpm (due to vibration). Now on my fixed deck, if I don't get at least 3 thousand rpm out of the blades, the mower streaks and I hate that (streaking is when it leaves blades of grass uncut), because now I have to run over everything twice. So, sharp and balanced blades helps prevent streaking.

    But no, I don't sharpen my blades at the end of every day if the mower didn't get used (hence why I said, every day or every 4 yards). If I cut less than 4 yards in a day, no thank you... If I didn't cut that day, no thanks.
  8. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    I change my blades 2x's a week. Sometimes I can stretch it to once a week.

    Lots of things will dull a blade. Grass dulls them the LEAST.

    Dry dusty lawns
    Blowing off driveway with deck.
    Mowing lower than 3"

    It all affects the blade.

    A razor sharp blade will dull and nick quicker than a one with a slightly dull edge.

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