Sharpen blades with a handheld belt sander????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Rons Rightway Lawncare, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. Rons Rightway Lawncare

    Rons Rightway Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    Who does and what kind of sander and belt do you use? I read in a thread recently where someone else tried doing it with a belt sander and was having good luck, I want to buy the same stuff he has and try it myself. I just can't remember what thread his post was in.....
  2. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    I've done that. I used a standard 4" belt sander with a 50X aluminum-oxide grit. That's pretty coarse, but I don't think it matters much if the edge isn't razor sharp. Seems to work better than a hand-held 4" disk grinder and a lot better that a bench grinder. It's a bit time consuming, however, because I have to put the blade in a vise. But because of the 4" grind, it's pretty easy to get a nice straight & even plane for the sharpened surface. That surface on the blades for my ZTR is 5" wide, so it might be better if I had a 5" wide belt sander, but I've never seen one of those.
  3. brudot

    brudot LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 57

    I use a combination 1" belt and 6" disc sander. (I only use the belt). I use Blue Zirconia belts which do a fantastic job in a short time and last a long time. Sanders are reasonably cheap as are the belts.

    Blue Zirconia
    Zirconia belts are a combination of aluminum oxide and zirconium oxide, extremely hard, long lasting, and very resistant to particle dulling. Designed to grind hardened steels of all kinds, including stainless, the 40x is used for major stock removal (e.g., lawn-mower blades), while the 80x and 120x are for hand tool blades.
  4. Rons Rightway Lawncare

    Rons Rightway Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    I went to our local Harbor Freight today for the 1st time... wow, what a lot of stuff!....... Anyway, picked up the only handheld belt sander they had, a 3 inch by 21 inch job that was only 19.99$ plus tax. It came with one 120 grit belt and I bought 3 packs of 5 each, 80 Grit belts.... the roughest they had in that size.

    Got home and changed the belt to the 80 grit and gave it a try on one blade that was dull and slightly dinged up and it gave it a more even edge across the blade and good angle than I have ever been able to do EVER on a bench grinder or with the hand held angle grinder.

    So, so far I like the way this looks like it will turn out.

    BTW, I just remembered... the last time I went to the local lawnmower shop, the guys in the back were using a small air powered belt sander to do the blades too. So this may be the hot ticket. It did take about 2 to 4 minutes per side to get the blade looking right, but if I didn't have the dings I am sure I could have done each side in less than a minute.
  5. saw man

    saw man LawnSite Bronze Member
    from utah
    Messages: 1,037

    hand held sux!

    Buy a bench belt sander and dont worry about the headache of a handheld!

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