Those who balance blades

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawn Tek, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. Lawn Tek

    Lawn Tek LawnSite Senior Member
    from u s a
    Messages: 457

    After hours of thought , I have a debateable question reguarding the balancing of mower blades . We all know that adding 1/2 ounce of weight to a drive shaft can affect the balance /vibration of the shaft . Now , if you clean a mower blade , and balance it ,and run through the grass blades , some of the grass gets stuck to the blade almost instantly . Thus the freshly balanced blade is now out of balance . After removing many sets of blades with caked on crud on them is balancing a waste of time ?Ckecking for straightness / bent is not the question
  2. kels

    kels LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    You are probably correct, but does that mean you should not balance your blades?

    With that line of thinking take this scenario, when you sharpen your blades to a fine edge and you run it through a couple of yards, is it as sharp, should you go through the trouble of sharpening them?

    Scenario two, leveling your deck and setting the pitch should be done on level ground, are the yards you cut level, should you go through the trouble of setting your deck.

    Just my thoughts
  3. Lawn Specialties

    Lawn Specialties LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    At the end of a long day I tend to feel and hear more vibration in the deck indicating that the blades are going out balance. Throughout the course of the day grass will get stuck to them and they will become nicked which will knock the balance of. This is why we I sharpen and balance after every full day. I may mow my last three yard with blades that are out of balance but I can't imagine always mowing that way. Besides if you never balance can you imagine how bad they will get over the life of a blade.The balance lost due to stuck on grass and nicks is minimal compared to constanly being ground on and never balanced. Running out of balance blades continuously will shake you and your deck to pieces in a very short tome.
  4. I clean my blades to balance them. I wondered about the stuck on grass & dirt too. So I put some on the balancer both before and after cleaning. No difference. Grass don't weigh much. Plus it's so near the center it don't affect the balance much. Plus it's often caked on equally on each side.

    What does really affect the balance is getting the center hole really clean so the blade centers properly on the balancer.

  5. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    honestly i can say that i have never balanced a blade before and never noticed any problem with them. It would seem to me tha tyou would have to take the blades off a few times each day and rebalance them cause they are always wearing a little bit with every cut.
  6. captken

    captken LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,704

    I look at it this way, what are the reasons high performance engine builders take the time and effort to balance an auto engine? How about the tires on your truck? Are they balanced?
    I used the nail method before I bought the Magnamatice blade balancer. I found that I was not even close. I may be way off base, but to me, I believe that using properly balanced blades=higher blade tip speed. The vibration caused by unbalanced or bent blades is inertia or friction [or something] that the engine has to overcome. I'm spinning six on my Hustler, Fine, the govenor can compensate. However, when under a load, [mowing grass] the unbalanced blades [six of them] all turning at however many feet per second, pulls down the available horsepower. I'm running a 23 hp Kaw engine on a Hustler Z turning double Gator Blades. I now balance using the Magnamatic blade balancer. The ZTR seems, to me, to run smoother, and the engine, it appears, to handle grass loads better. Again this is only my opinion, but I never skimp when it comes to my equipment and it's upkeep and maintence.
    I see my ZTR as the high performance machine that it is, and I will take advantage of anything that can improve its performance.
    For me, there was a definate impovement after using the Magnamtic blade balancer.
  7. BobR

    BobR LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 714

    captken has the right idea.
    My equipment for blade maintenance is Fireball Jr for a grinder, Makita hand held grinder with a wire wheel attached and a G-Matic blade balancer.

    Procedure - new blades, sharpen & balance you will be surprised at how many of the 'new' blades are not perfectly balanced.

    used blades, wire wheel blade surfaces to remove any grass / dirt buildup then sharpen and check balance.

    You probably will not hear or feel an out of balance blade(s) but your spindle bearings will suffer if you continue to use them.
    Treat your equipment right and it will serve you well.
  8. wriken

    wriken LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,154

    Me too, I did when I 1st started, but don't balance any more. That was over 3 years ago, no spindel problems yet. I keep them greased daily, I dont plan to keep my mowers over 3 years anyway, my 2001 will be leaving the fleet this spring.

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