Blade Sharpening with Hand File

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mes37fan, May 24, 2006.

  1. mes37fan

    mes37fan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I did a post on this subject before and received very good information. I plan to use an angle grinder to sharpen my blades. However, my father is driving me crazy because my blades are in pretty good shape and he says that I need to use a hand file to sharpen them so that I will not take to much metal off of the blade. What do you think about this issue.

    I want to keep my customers happy and avoid any potential problems. I plan on sharpening blades every 10 to 20 yards.
  2. ozd12005

    ozd12005 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    if time is on your side then the old school way of sharpening with a hand file will do just fine, magna matic would be the ideal way to go if you can afford it
  3. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 677

    Tell your dad to sharpen your blades if he thinks they should be done by hand. See how long that lasts. Other wise he is just trying to control you... Tell your dad thanks but no thanks. I grew up with a dad that tried to control everything. I moved out at 16 and never went back. I am now 37 and live 1500 miles away and he still trys to tell me how to do things. I say, gotta go the phone is ringing.
  4. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    With the sand in FL, you'll probably wear the back of the blade off before you grind too much away on the front side.

    Get an inverter and sharpen them away from home if that's what it takes.
  5. JFizzle

    JFizzle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    I too have been wondering about blades. Do you guys sharpen them after a certain number of hours or what determines how often you sharpen them? How long before they need to be replaced altogether?
    What other options are there as far as sharpening tools/equipment? Thanks!
  6. JFizzle

    JFizzle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    Oh yeah- I was also wondering today- what makes a
  7. JFizzle

    JFizzle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    Oh yeah- I was also wondering today- what makes a blade/deck stripe well? What would you guys use for a good mulching blade on a 36"? Thanks
  8. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    I never really tried by hand but I've settled on a combination of angle grinder (to sharpen) and bench grinder to balance them if neccessary. The only reason I use the bench grinder is so I dont have to clamp them down to the table again.

    Angle grinder does a great job.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It may not be quite that bad but I still agree, if he thinks it ought to be sharpened by hand, then let him do it for you.

    Now as far as steel getting taken off, just be careful with the angle grinder and go light on the blade. I get well over 100 sharpenings per blade before it's gone to that point, just remember to let nicks and burrs work themselves out over time, just take enough off to restore the edge and leave it be.

    As for clamping them down, hehehe you have to be careful but I hold the blade in my hand or sometimes let the other end rest between my legs or get creative, anyway you don't have to clamp it down but DO be careful ! Also be watchful where the sparks fly, don't let that stuff fly near flammable material (even wood is flammable when it hasn't rained in weeks).
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    I sharpen my blades with a hand file. For hand mower blades it is quicker than a grinder. The key is not to let them get very dull -- I change blades out after about 8-12 hours of service; every day, or every other day. Hand mower b lades have lasted me a couple of years. W/B blades, 0.205"thick last at least one season, usually much more. The blades that are thicker, 0.25" are more difficult and I will use a grinder every few sharpenings, then touch with hand file.

    Another factor is having the blade in the best postion for filing. It should be a the right angle and also have good light so you can see how the surface is being taken away. I use a bench vise, with a swivel so it is properly positioned.

    Hand files don't last very long. They work great for the first dozen uses, then start to loose their effectiveness.

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