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tell me about having razor sharp blades

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    generally, i never worried about having real sharp blades. this year, i've decided to carry sharp blades on the trucks, and replace them perhaps twice - three times a day. i'm finding that- you get an obviously nicer cut on the first lawn after putting the new blades on. but, by the 5th or 6th lawn, your blade isn't sharp anymore. our lawns are only 3-4,000 sq ft each. there is no way i'm gonna change blades after every 6th lawn. my conclusion is that- though having a razor sharp blade is beneficial, it just isn't practical. the only lawn that truly benefits, are the first maybe 4 lawns, after the blade change. opinions?
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    dulling blades in 15,000 to 24,000 sq/ft?

    I believe I'd buy some better blades if I were you , bob.

  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I tend to concur with GEO...see if you can't get a better blade that will hold up longer BG.
  4. dad

    dad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    To go along with blade quality I am wondering what you use to sharpen them. You need to pay attention to your angle and finish with something other than a grinding wheel.
    I myself am very anal about sharp blades. I change them once a day need it or not. It just looks better.
  5. JTF40

    JTF40 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 875

    Belt sander - 80 or 120 grit !!!!!!:usflag:
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I am sorry but I am with bg on this one, the razor's edge on a blade really only lasts about 20 minutes, after which it's still sharp but as you can see, it dulls constantly and at a pretty amazing rate. I don't doubt that different finishes on the blade affect this some, but once mine are dull anyone can see that no matter how sharp they were earlier, there's no way they wouldn't be dull now. On that same note, I'm a bit anal about the sharpening too and am not disagreeing that the sharper the blade on your first yard, the sharper it still is for the last.

    My props are larger than bg's and mine are dull after 3-4 yards but much like bg, am in no mood to change blades in the field first, and sharpen at least twice as many blades as I already do second.

    I just change them daily, bg... That's the best we can do, the first 4-6 yards look a little better than the last few but most folks never know the difference and since the schedule and the way I cut it doesn't really take preference over who gets cut first, it's all a bit of luck of the draw, everybody gets the razor's edge on their turf sooner or later, but not everytime.

    p.s.: My truck sometimes kinda steers itself towards the nice yards where folks spend good money earlier in the day and the run-down lots where nobody cares later, don't really understand it but it's just kinda like that (I said sometimes).
  7. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    topsites--I don't believe either you or bob sharpen your blades "razor sharp".

    in fact, I don't think the two of you working together could get a mower blade "razor sharp".

    razor sharp in terms of an "edge" indicates one can "shave" with the blade.

    use "sharp" blades? sure. use "razor sharp" blades? bs.

  8. I've figured out thet having the correct angle when sharpening has a lot to do with how long the blade stays sharp which in turn lengthens the life of the blade.
    I've noticed everyone tends to sharpen at too sharp of an angle. Like they were sharpening a knife or something. Me included.

    The proper angle for my big Toro's is 40 degrees! That's pretty blunt! It looks like it won't even cut grass. But it does. And does it better than any other angle. If the angle is too sharp the edge won't last any time at all.

    I have one of those adjustable angle squares. (I don't know the proper name) It has a wingnut on the corner and a little scale on the side where you can read the angle the square is set at. Think I gave $5 for it at Harbor Freight Tools.
    I hang it on the wall behind the grinder. I also looked up the proper angle for each mower's blade and wrote it on the wall with a felt tip pen right there by the grinder.
    It saves me time grinding. Saves the blades. And they stay sharp longer.

    I'll just bet if your sharp blades aren't lasting till noon, you're sharpening at too sharp of an angle.

  9. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 677

    If your not tearing or browning the tips, then I say sharp enough. I change blades daily and use a RBG21 blade grinder and balancer. I dip the blade in cool water just for good measure to bring bk an temper. I dont think I get blade hot enough in most cases but I made water sizzle a time or 2. Anyone inventing a self-sharping system (like a self cleaning oven) hit the self sharp button and drive to next job and walah.
  10. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 677

    Ours are sharpened at 30 degrees. Scag's

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