Reel mowers are an efficient way to trim the grass on your lawn. This is especially true when the lawn is small to average sized.
The equipment needs very little sharpening and maintenance thanks to their basic design and operation which produces a scissor-like motion to cut the grass. This motion rarely dulls the blades.
However, there comes a time when you need to sharpen the blades on your reel mower.
The main way through which the blades of a reel mower get dull is when trying to cut through tough twigs, or a lawn full of pebbles and rocks. An example of this is when cutting driveway grass. With a sharp reel mower, you will get the job done in no time.
A blunt reel mower is that much harder to push will vibrate a lot when pushing and is more likely to cause injuries in your elbows. This is why you need to ensure that the blades on your reel mower are in pristine condition.
It is important to observe proper procedures when sharpening the blades to protect you from accidentally cutting yourself.
Here we wish to look at the basic steps to keep those blades sharp and working at full capacity.
Details Guide On How To Sharpen A Reel Mower
Using a Sharpening Kit
This is perhaps the easiest method to sharpen the blades of your reel mower. There is a procedure to be observed. You must use good quality lawn mower blade sharpening kit to get the job done easily.
Take Out the Handle
Start by removing the handle of your reel mower. This will make it simple for you to get to the blades. Once the handle is out of the way, simply turn the wheels on one side and remove the cap that hides away the screw that holds the wheel in place. You can do this with the help of a screwdriver.
Remove the C Ring
Take out the c ring that surrounds the screw and holds the wheel in place. Again your good old flathead screwdriver should do the trick. Once it is out of place, the wheel should have no trouble coming off. Put it aside to access the blades.
Remove the Wheel Gear
This step involves removing the equipment that is situated inside the wheel. This gear allows the wheel to move the blades. With the wheel taken out, it should be easy to get this done.
Using the Crank
The sharpening kit should have a crank. Where the blade turning gear was located, put this crank in and turn the blades backward. This is how you sharpen them by using the backward slapping method. Compared with using a grinder, you will not damage the blades through over sharpening.
With this step complete, it’s time to move on t the next.
Apply the Compound
The sharpening kit will come with a paintbrush as well as a container made of plastic. It contains the sharpening compound. Use the paintbrush to apply this compound on each blade of the reel mower. Once this is complete, continue cranking the blades backward and they should sharpen nicely.
Are You Tired?
The sharpening could get a bit tiresome, but its good practice to keep going. Take regular breaks but continue with the cranking until a smooth edge appears on the blades.
Reassemble the Reel Mower
Once you are certain the blades are sharp enough to your liking, remove the crank, put the gear back on the wheel, place the wheel in the correct position and attach the C ring. You are now ready to show off your newly sharpened reel mower.
Any Other Methods To Sharpen A Reel Mower?
It is possible to sharpen your reel mower with the normal knife sharpening tools. However, this presents specific problems. You are that more likely to overdo it and damage the blades. You could also inflict serious cuts on your fingers. To be safe, simply use the right backslapping sharpening kit.
If you still find it useful to use the conventional knife sharpener, there are a few basic measures you will need to put in place. First, disassemble the reel mower and take out the blades. If this cannot be done, look for an arresting feature to lock the wheels from spinning.
Only then should you attempt to sharpen the blades. If the reel mower doesn’t allow for this, look for a plank of wood and insert it between the blades to prevent them from spinning.
The most vulnerable part of your hands when using a knife sharpener are your knuckles. Ensure you have a handy man’s gloves on. In case you do not have these, try using a more specialized sharpening tool such as those used on pruners.
You can also use metal finishing sandpaper to sharpen the blades of your reel mower. While it is not as efficient as using the backslapping kit, it will get the job done. All you will need to do is place the sandpaper on the back reel. As you push the mower, the sandpaper will brush on the cutting edge turning it sharp.
It is advisable to apply oil on the newly sharpened edges. This will stop corrosion from taking place. You can use vegetable oil for this. The benefit is that there won’t be any residue left on your lawn while keeping the blade from getting moisture that could cause rust.
Remember, before opting to your lawn mower, note that up to 95% of all issues are as a result of the blades being spaced the wrong way. First, ensure that there is correct spacing between the blades and if you still find need to sharpen, then go ahead and do so.
It is more efficient to mow your grass regularly. This will stop it from becoming too tall and hiding things that could damage the blades. When the grass is short, the reel mower does an excellent job and is easy to push.
To allow the blades make a fine cut, it is good to ensure that they are well adjusted. The grass will benefit from this and grow healthier.