Mowing wet grass, sandy lawns or land covered in twigs and debris are all things that will damage your blades. Each time you cut your grass with a dull edging it will make it unhealthy, frayed and susceptible to diseases. So if you’re mower just isn’t cutting it anymore, it’s generally a good indicator that you need to sharpen or change your blades. Here’s some tips on what to do when you ready to put your mower back in to tip top shape.
Do they need to be sharpened or changed?There are generally two reasons why you would need to change your blades. The first is if there is visible damage and the second is if you’ve been sharpening the same edges for more than a year. To decipher whether there is actual damage is quite simple to figure out. When you start up your mower, how much is it vibrating? If it’s a little too effervescent your blades are probably damaged. Once you’ve stopped your mower, flip it over and take a look in the undercarriage. Are there any visible nicks, dents and tears? If so, it means that it’s no longer usable and it’s time to pop down to your local hardware store and purchase a new blade. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg; a pristine one should only be $15 to $20.
Find a safe areaFinding a proper place to complete the job will make it so much easier; a slope isn’t going to be much fun to work on when you’re holding up the mower in one hand and trying to function a wrench in the other. Make sure you place your mower on flat ground, either outside or in the garage, and ensure it is a safe place away from children.
Wear the correct safety gearYou don’t need to be decked out in full safety gear to switch over the blades, but you will need a few crucial pieces. As you are mostly working with sharp objects, it’s recommended that you wear a sturdy pair of gloves to work as a first line of defence again minor cuts, grazes and being covered in grease.We found that Stihl has a great range of safety gloves, check out http://www.stihl.com.au/ to see their range.
Read the manufacturers manualIt may sound simple, but overlooking your mowers instruction manual is a common mistake made by DIYers. Your manual will be able to tell you the ins-and-outs of the machinery including what types of wrenches/screwdrivers it requires and how to detach certain parts.
Taking off the bladeDetaching the blade is a rather quick and painless process. So first things first, ensure that your mower is off and the engine is cool. Then disconnect the spark plug ignition wire to guarantee no accidental fire ups. If you have a push mower, place it on its side with the air filter pointed up to prevent any leakage. Then place a piece of wood between the ground and the blade to stop it from turning while you unscrew the bolts. Finally, position the new blade on and rotate the bolts back on until they are tight.
See, that wasn’t so hard! To maintain your new blade, sharpen it every couple of months and keep an eye on your turf to make sure the cuts are clean. A sharp blade is the key for a vigorous and healthy lawn.
Photo credits: dan – freedigitalphotos.net