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How many sharpenings?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Alan, May 20, 2001.

  1. Alan

    Alan Member
    Messages: 1,185

    OK,, got a major Bozo here who says he can see the difference after he sharpens blades (60" Lazer Z) twice, so he tosses them out and gets new ones. This is the same dweeb who quit running doubles because the grass packs under the deck too much. This is a dry year and it bothered,, after he ran them all last summer, when it was wet and sticky all the time. And he insists on keeping blades in sets,, says he can see the difference if he mixes sets. Am I wrong in thinking he is somewhere from around Alpha Ceti 5 or something?
  2. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Hey.....don't call me a major bozo:mad: just kidding.

    See if you can get his "throw away blades" after 2 sharpenings and when you get a bunch sell em on ebay !

    Maybe he is screwing up the angle badly when he is sharpening them and by the second time his blade face is more like a 90 degree wall then a 30 degree bevel ?
  3. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    Maybe he's just particular! If he were closer to me, I'd offer to buy his twice sharpened blades for a buck apiece and get a few more cuts out of them [quite a few!] There's just no telling about some folks though. My dealer thinks I'm crazy because I've got 6 sets of blades for my 60" LazerZ and put sharp ones on every 4 to 6 hours--Of course he charges $7 to sharpen one blade, which is about what I paid for them so he'd be glad to sharpen them for me except I've just about paid off the RBG at that rate and gotten a better cut to boot!

    I have tried different blade configurations to see what will help reduce buildup under my deck when mowing wet [which is most of the time even in the so-called drought we're supposedly having--yeah, tell my rain gauge that]. I've tried the Exmark brand blades in mulching, low lift, high lift and Bahia, the Gator high lift and the Chopper high lift. The high lifts do pack a bit more grass under the deck but they do a much better job of throwing the clippings. I don't use doubles much when wet as it seems the high lifts alone do a better job when side discharging wet grass. Every double combination I've used on wet grass seems to reduce the clippings to mush which then pack under the deck only to fall out along the way. The doubles do work excellent in drier conditions though but not that much better than singles. I like the extra long 9inch cutting edge on the Chopper high lift and and low lift Exmark blades, especially on wet grass.

    The point of all this is that I've had to experiment with my mower to find what works best under what conditions and if only two sharpenings works for him, so be it--I'd just like to pick up his discards for whenever mine eventually wear out! WillM.
  4. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,117

    Don't worry Alan your not crazy he is.
  5. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Not 2 sharpenings, but if the tip is rounded back towards the lift wing, then the blade doesn't cut nearly as well. The tip is what cuts, and you need a 90 degree angle here, not rounded off. You have to measure a blade from blade tip to blade tip, any shorter causes the cut to diminish. My Lazer seems to keep blades noticabally sharper than my Dixie or JD's. I guess its the anitscalp rollers preventing it from cutting dirt/rocks. I'm a stickler for sharp, perfect blades, but even I'd buy this guys blades too!
  6. Fallguy

    Fallguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    it actually is the right thing to do to scrap blades after about 2 sharpenings - however that depends on the blades them selves - also - it takes a heck of a whack to destroy a blade or gouge it to the point of useless - if you have noticed ,on three blade mowers its always one blade wearing faster than the other two - my 52 and my 36 use the same sise blades except there is one more on the 52, duh ,- but this is what i do - i keep the best two from each used set of 3 that i take off my 52 - sharpen them then use them for my 36 - any blade that i ever seen has a wear indicator - but its safer to scrap them before they get to that point - also - i have found that mulching blades work your mower harder - i would stick to the factory blades that it came with - also - do not grind your blades - a file works much better - you just have to get you a big industrial sise file like the ones that electric motor companys use on shafts of motors they are rebuilding then mount you a good vise on a sturdy table and put your back into it - im also a firm believer that the sharper the blade the better it is and you WILL be able to tell the difference in that.:rolleyes:
  7. SMB

    SMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    We are running double regular lift blades, and it keeps the deck pretty clean (a lot better than Gators/reg. lift combo.) And it also does much better in the wet!
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    If you spend one hour sharpening blades, rather than just 15 switching out new for old, could you have made 50 bucks mowing in that 45 minutes? with blades running about 10 bucks apiece online for gators and 6-7 for straights, If you can in fact mow to replace the time grinding AND get a superior cut, why not do it? Some thing else I've noticed- The first time I use new blades, they last 3-4 days. after the first sharpening, it is sharpen every day or every other. maybe new blades all the time ain't a bad deal if you can sell the dull ones to your friends for half price!!! dave g :cool:
  9. Fallguy

    Fallguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    i have noticed that my blades stay sharper when i have a filed edge on them - and i dont know how you guys sharpen but between myself and a giant file and a pair of 23in biceps it takes me a average of 20 to 30 minutes to sharpen a set of blades for my 52in snapper..also a set of razor sharp filed blades cut grass 100x better than the edge you get on a brand new blade - course everyone has their own oppinion but it just appears to me to give a way more level looking cut - also being a fitness buff its some pretty good exercise for the little time it takes.:blob3:
  10. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    Welcome to LawnSite Fallguy, but now you've got me scratching my head. How does a blade know if it was sharpened with a file ["20 to 30 minutes to sharpen a set"] or if it was sharpened with a RBG [rotary blade grinder] which takes 5 to 10 minutes a set after the initial sharpening? So long as the blade was not overheated, which is evident by a bluish/black tint at the hot spot, the end result of a smooth, 27 to 30 degree bevel angle is all that counts. Even if you do overheat the blade on the grinder, all you have to do is cool it down and grind the soft spot out and you're good to go. I do use a file on the back [flat] side of the blade to level it out, but if the blade is really nicked badly, I'll put it on the grinder or take an angle grinder to it before I grind a new bevel. Either way, using just a file would probably be good for my forearms and biceps, but I just don't have enough time! I'm acutally getting a pretty good workout emptying my UltraVac bags since the grass is growing at least an inch a day here.

    David, it takes just as long to put on a brand new set of blades as it does a sharp set so the only time savings would be in not sharpening the blade, but as I'm sure you've noticed new blades are not sharp out of the box and need to be sharpened anyway so there is actually no time saving by using all new blades. If you don't use a RBG or other brand dedicated blade grinder, you owe it to yourself to try one out. If you're using new blades right out of the box you're not using sharp blades! There is definitely a difference in a correctly ground blade and one right out of the box with mill marks and a coat of paint on it. You really ought to track someone in your area down and get them to demo a dedicated grinder for you; it'll open your eyes. Good luck, Will M

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