Hardened mower blades

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Gyrobob, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Gyrobob

    Gyrobob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Where can we buy hardened mower blades?

    The stock blade that came on the Lawnboy 10323 (21") mower loses its edge after just a few hours of mowing.

    What sources are there for blades made out of tougher metal that will hold an edge for a while?

    I knew a fellow several years ago that would braze 5" x 1" pieces of metal cut out of old skilsaw blades to the cutting edges of his mower blades. He'd cut out a 5"x1" section of the mower blade, and braze the piece of skilsaw blade in its place. Thicknesses were about the same. He'd braze it into place -- he said brazing had less effect on heat treatment. He also said it was hard to grind an edge on the newer metal because it was tougher, but that it held the edge much longer.

    Anyway, I'm tired of putting edges on these soft blades, and I'd like to find a source of hardened blades.


  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,505

    Generally cheaper blades use a softer steel. Feel a brand new blade. The edge isn't and shouldn't be razor sharp. The 30 degree angle is more important to the life of the blade. I don't recommend heating a blade as that will change the hardening characteristics. Too hard a blade could shatter if you hit something. As for brazing or welding pieces to a blade that just sounds foolish. Do you really want to be standing near that thing when a piece of skil saw blade comes flying out. Its normal maintenance. I mow in very sandy conditions and may use 2-3 sets a day. Quality blades last longer.
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  3. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    You beat me to it......

    Getting a blade too hot while sharpening can change the hardening characteristics as well, Use quick light strokes of the grinding wheel to reduce heat buildup.
  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,505

    Lawnboys newest model. The "Grenade". No pin included.
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  5. BigFish

    BigFish LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,192

    Those "Fusion" blades are supposed to be pretty tough. They seemed to last a tad longer on the commercial units I worked on. But it appears to be just a "coating" of sorts and after a bit, your down to bare steel. 'Course the base steel might be a tougher steel, dunno.
    As others have said, buy good ($) quality blades.

    When I sharpen blades, if they're not too worn down, I use a big old flat file.
    Most of the time,though, I end up using my 1/4" die grinder with a 3/4 X 1"
    cylindrical carbide burr. Works great and absolutely will not burn the edge!
  6. Gyrobob

    Gyrobob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Okay, can I infer from your response that there are both cheap blades and quality blades available, then?

    Since the Lawnboy/Toro blades seem to be rather soft, where do I go for quality blades?
  7. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,505

    Gator blades have always been my first choice for many years. I run one on my LB. You can order from Jacks Small Engine. It was 18 bucks last March. Soft steel is usually import junk with little heat treating.
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  8. Gyrobob

    Gyrobob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Yup, looks like Oregon Gator Mulchers, and Oregon Fusion blades are the ticket. Heat treated and quality manufacture.


    I'll investigate further. thanks.
  9. Gyrobob

    Gyrobob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I was at Lowe's today. They have a 21" blade for $18 specifically for a Lawnboy 21" mower.

    I wonder if this blade can be any good for that price.
  10. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,510

    My personal experience w a number of sets of gator blades is that they do not perform as well as a high lift blade. I hear the new G6 gator is awesome although i have not tried it yet.

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