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What is the best way to sharpen blades?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Mr. Magpie, May 21, 2007.

  1. Mr. Magpie

    Mr. Magpie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    Does anyone sharpen their mower blades without taking them off?

    I bought a Dremel tool, with a plastic mower blade guide, thinking I could reach under and do them up without taking 'em off..... seems this little thing is not up to the BIG challenge. Not enough power I'm afraid.

    Let me know if this is too much to ask. I am not lazy, I just want to maximize efficiency and employee happiness. Thanks
  2. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 688

    I probably wouldn't do that, just take the extra two minutes to take them off and make sure they are nice and sharp...thing about the time you will save the next day. Work smarter not harder
  3. Mark in MD

    Mark in MD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I agree with dc.
  4. Ironic

    Ironic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    I have to do several dozen blades every week. I take them off, stick 'em in a vice and grind 'em down with a 7" grinder. Balance is pretty important too, so I always balance them on an old Magna-Matic blade balancer.
  5. mike r

    mike r LawnSite Member
    Messages: 143

    please take those blades off and get a professional to sharpen them.
    the reason for this is YOU must BALANCE these each time you sharpen your blades. if by chance your in need of a blade grinder (sharpener) talk to gerd
    magna-matic he'll fix you up with a grinder and balancer.
  6. cariboulou

    cariboulou LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    why is it so important to balance the blades? ive sharpened my own blades for years and never blalnced any of them!
  7. Mark in MD

    Mark in MD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    It's not as important as with a 21 inch mower, but if your blade isn't balanced, it will eventually prematurely wear out the bearings in your blade spindles -- and it could eventually lead to warping of your blade deck.

    Balancing is cheap and easy and only takes a few secs.
  8. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 949

    Maybe I am having great luck but I have never balanced a blade in my life and have also never had to replace a spindle in 15 years. My bobcat walk behinds have over 2000+ hrs and my exmark laser has about 1600 hrs so far.

    How long do most spindles last? I am not advicating against balancing the blades but I just don't think that it is all that important.
  9. Ironic

    Ironic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    for some reason, Bobcats and Exmarks hold up better to imbalance and general abuse, in my experience.
    some others don't hold up so well, like John Deere 1145.
    years ago, our old mechanic never took the time to balance our blades. and on 2 mowers, we were going through 3 spindle assemblies a year.
    but now I'm the mechanic, and I'm kinda nitpicky about details, like balancing.
    now those same 2 mowers have gone 2 years without a spindle problem.

    another plus, is that the decks vibrate less when the PTO's on.
    theoretically, it frees up horsepower, and saves fuel...since it takes less effort to keep a balanced mass spinning.
  10. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    Balancing is about useless as far as a Z is concerned, IMO. On a 21'' push where your hands are being jarred from the handles due to imbalance ok but not on some 16 or 20'' blades spinning from a 200lb deck.

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