mower-blade maintenance

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by LarryF, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    This topic hasn’t been dealt with very much in this homeowner assistance forum, but the commercial guys seem to have discussed it a lot. I went browsing there looking for opinions regarding how frequently one should replace mower blades, because the operator’s manual for my Exmark doesn’t really address that point other than that they should be inspected and sharpened or replaced as required. It sounds like those who mow lawns for a living keep a lot of sharpened spares on hand and they remove and replace them frequently........every 4-to-10 hours for some. I had been doing it only once every 30 hours. But I’m a homeowner, so maybe that’s typical for us. I couldn’t find any post that addressed what other homeowners do, so I thought I’d ask. May I have some feedback? And while you’re at it, for those who own some other manufacturer’s mower, please let me know if it has a recommended interval for blade sharpening and if there is any criteria for when the blade should be replaced rather than just sharpened.

    A related topic is what about the raptor, gator, etc. blades? I realize they are for mulching, but I had never given it any consideration. Sooner or later, however, I’m going to be buying some new blades, so I wonder if it’s worth spending the extra bucks for these. And if so, which one? Any opinions?
  2. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    I do commercial lawn care so I hit sticks and run my machines all day. Now I change every 4-6 hours or when necessary.

    If when you take your blades off to change them they are very dull and rounded over, you need to divide your interval in half. When you take them off they should be just getting dull and for homeowners I strongly suggest you take your blades to your dealer to have them sharpened/balanced.

    Cutting with sharp blades is key to having a great looking, healthy lawn.
  3. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,605

    Sharpen every 8 hours of use.
  4. Pittsburgh Panther

    Pittsburgh Panther LawnSite Member
    from N.W. Pa
    Messages: 94

    I have the exmark CT and in my manual it says to sharpen the blade every 10 hrs I think. If you hit sticks and other things with the blades yes. If you are careful and have a pretty clean yard. Mine where still sharp at 15 hrs. I all depends on how you treat them. I just make it a habit to sharpen them every 15 hrs.
  5. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    We sharpen daily usually
  6. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,245

    we sharpen about every 16 hrs. Give or take a few!!!
  7. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    Thanks! I had a feeling that 30 hours was too long, so I'll shorten that interval from now on. But why is it important to have a dealer sharpen and balance the blades? This current ZTR I have is fairly new, but I've been mowing my own lawn and sharpening my mower blades for decades. I never before had so much power in a mower and I doubt if the blade speed was ever so high, but I don't remember ever running into a problem with blade sharpening. What do you know that I don't? Is the "balance" you mentioned anything more than a static one? All I do is clamp a putty knife in my vise and set the mower blade on top of it at the center of the mounting hole. Usually the balance is right on, but occasionally I have had to grind a little on the side that was heavy. That didn't happen very often though. Do the dealers have some kind of a dynamic-balance machine like the tire shops have? If so, I sure didn't know that.
  8. #1 Exmark fan

    #1 Exmark fan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    The Company I work for we sharpen the blades once a week. Having your blades balanced saves on your spindle bearings. Off balanced blade will mess the bearings or bend the shaft the blade bolts too. had the happen to a Dixie Chopper we had 4 years ago. You and goto a lawn mower dealer and get a blade balance tool fairly cheap.
  9. POPO4995

    POPO4995 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,208

    I usually sharpen daily but if i'm extremely busy, every 2 days.:waving:
  10. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    I called a few shops in my area. None had a blade-balance tool in stock, and they all said they hardly ever had any call for them. So I went on line to Northern and found something. Is this what you are thinking of?

    I have a related question. When you do buy blades, where do you get them from, the dealer who sold you the machine of one of the after-market places. I found this on the web.

    The prices seem reasonable to me. Any opinions you might share with the rest of us?

    blade balancer.jpg

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