Outdoor Equipment Advice

How To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing Them

Top Gutter Guard is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

No matter how much you mow your lawn, you will end up with uneven or jagged cuts if the blades aren’t razor-sharp.

Sharpening lawn mower blades is the key to achieving that clean and freshly cut lawn that will be the envy of the neighborhood.

The problem is that this task requires time and effort.

To help make the job easier, we’ll teach you how to sharpen lawn mower blades without removing them.

When To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades

Time will tell when it’s time to replace your lawn mower, but buying a new one isn’t always the practical answer.

A lawn mower not cutting properly most likely indicates it’s time to sharpen the blades.

Cutting with dull blades causes damage to your grass, resulting in torn grass that eventually browns your lawn.

If you notice that your grass has spiky tips and has faded to brown or yellow shades, you likely used dull blades for mowing.

In comparison, sharp blades give your grass less stress and less recovery time, which shoo away the possibilities of infestations.

Regular sharpening of blades will not only make your lawn presentable. At the same time, it will prevent rust and extend the lifespan of your mower.

If the blades do not have significant cracks, nicks, or bends, sharpening them twice a year is ideal for maintaining their quality.

That said, if you use your lawn mower more often than usual, you might need to sharpen the blades more frequently.

Things You Will Need

Here are things you need to prepare for the job:

  • An electric angle grinder with a metal plate or a flat file at least 10 inches in length
  • A 2 X 4 or 4 X 4 wooden block
  • A bucket of water
  • Steel brush

Dealing with sharp objects such as blades requires extra precautions to avoid accidents. Be responsible by preparing these safety essentials:

  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Cut-proof, thick gloves

How To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing Them

Learning how to sharpen lawn mower blades without removing them requires more effort in attention and safety.

With proper lifting and angling, you’ll have your lawn mower in its best condition once again.

To achieve this, simply follow this step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Enhance your protection.

Before we plunge into the task, make sure your hand-braked lawnmower is on a spacious and flat surface.

This step is crucial because this kind of workspace ensures your comfort and lowers the risk of accidents.

It goes without saying that you must schedule this activity in daylight, as it will be a great source of noise to your neighbors.

After gathering everything that’s needed, wear your goggles and cut-proof gloves.

For electric lawn mower users, make sure it’s not plugged in to any source of electricity.

For gas-powered mowers, it’s best to drain the fuel tank before sharpening the blades.

You may also want to put a plastic sheet between the opening and the lid to avoid leaks.

Detach the spark plug and double-check if the key is not inserted to ensure no accidental starting will occur.

tips on how to sharpen lawn mower blades without removing

Step 2: Secure your mower.

You need to tilt your lawn mower for better access to the blades.

You can do this by positioning the mower sideways and putting the wooden block underneath to stabilize it.

If necessary, you may also install another wooden block on the other far end for reinforcement and better access.

Don’t start with the sharpening when you don’t have your mower properly secured. Also, the carburetor and gas tank should be facing the top side.

Step 3: Clean the blade.

There is a 100% chance that the blades have grass and soil buildup from regular mowing.

You could also see rusting, depending on how much time you’ve owned your mower. Remove these first by washing off the dirt with a steel brush and bucket of water.

By getting rid of grass, soil, and rust, you’d be able to figure out which parts of the blades need more effort in sharpening.

Step 4: Do the main job.

Depending on what’s more doable and on your comfortability, you can choose a flat file or an electric grinder to sharpen lawn mower blades.

You’ll know you’re doing it correctly if you maintain a 45-degree angle with your sharpening tool against the top face of the blade.

Always start from the center of one blade, lifting the grinder or file from time to time.

You’ll also want to work in one direction only to ensure the blades are sharpened properly.

It is best to take time sharpening each blade, as this method is more challenging than actually removing the blades to sharpen them.

Not rushing it will result in evenly sharpened blades.

After sharpening the first blade, spin it using your gloved hand to have a better view of the other edge.

Do the same meticulous procedure to sharpen the other edge.

Step 5: Get ready to mow!

You will know that the blades are thoroughly sharpened when the surface and edges are shiny.

If necessary, you may also test their sharpness by sliding through a small piece of paper and observing how quick and effective the cutting is.

After that, carefully lower the lawn mower by removing the wooden blocks.

For gas-powered mowers, unfasten the fuel tank lid and remove the plastic.

Now, your lawn mower is set and ready to give your yard a clean and even cut. 

Sharpening Lawn Mower Blades

Dull lawn mower blades don’t always mean you need to buy a new one. Instead, you can try sharpening them yourself to save money.

Even better, doing it yourself without removing the blades means the job gets completed more efficiently.

By maintaining your lawn mower blades and keeping them sharp, you won’t have to worry about keeping your lawn healthy.

About the author


Leave a Comment