​How how often should you sharpen your lawn mower blades? Does it even matter?

Written by Gene Caballero on October 29, 2017

Mowing the lawn .. while loved by some homeowners and loathed by others, but hardly anyone loves sharpening their lawn cutting blades. So what is the optimum frequency for sharpening your lawn mowing blades? 

Put another way ? How many times per grass cutting season do you need to renew the cutting edge on your blades?

To get to the bottom of this, GreenPal recently conducted a poll of over 1000 lawnmowing professionals to get the professional answer to this question for lawn mowing service professionals and homeowners alike.

While most homeowners may feel that sharpening their lawn mower blades is not that critical or important, as it turns out, it really depends on what your goals are for your lawn.

Think about it… Let’s say that all you care about is just knocking down the vegetation in your yard down once every couple of weeks to keep your neighbors at bay and the city from sending you a nasty letter in the mail. If that’s the case, and this describes how you feel about your lawn and you’re not concerned with having the best looking lawn on the block then you can probably get away with sharpening your l’amour blades once every season.

Put another way, if you do not really care about what type of grass is growing in your yard or the overall health of your turf grass, well then shopping your lawn mower blades is not that important. 

That's the bottom line. Now, What does this mean for you?

Let’s assume that you’re the type of homeowner who is wanting to improve the health of your lawn and you’re concerned about things like turf diseases that can damage the look of your lawn, unsightly weeds mowing in, bare patches, and brown patches in your turf grass. Well then by all means sharpening your lawnmower blade is critically important to the health of your turf grass.

Why does it matter? Well think of it this way, as your mower’s blades are spinning and cutting your lawn… This is crazy but they are not actually cutting the grass, moreover those blades are actually tearing the grass. Have you ever seen frayed brown edges on the tips of your grass when you go to cut it on any given mowing?

No wonder… because this is a good indicator that on the last mowing you did so with dull lawnmowing blades. 

Simply stated the sharper the edge the better quality of a cut and less damage that you’re causing to your turf every time you mow the yard. 

So if you think about it this way, the sharper the cutting edge on your lawn mower’s blades, the less damage the blade cases to your precious turf as it is spinning and tearing your lawn shorter. Now for the good best part.

How often do you really need to sharpen your lawn mower blades? Our research indicates after polling over 1000 professional lawn care services on how often they sharpen their blades over 75% responded that they sharpen your blades once a week. Now I know what you might be thinking that sounds a bit excessive, and if you are a homeowner just mowing your own yard one time a week it probably is, but think about it another way they sharpen their blades once a week or every 25 hours of yard mowing. This means that you can follow the same advice and sharpen your blades every 25 hours of cutting your yard.So how can you use this to figure out how to best make sure that your sharpening your blades just the right amount?

First.. next time you cut your lawn simply set up a quick timer on how long it takes you to mow your yard. 

This can be easily done with a smartphone these days and calculate the actual time you spent cutting. Moreover most people can mow their yard in 30 minutes to an hour so let’s say for example and for rough math sake, it takes you an hour of actual cutting time to mow all of the grass in your yard.

Simply stated you could figure that you need to sharpen your blades every 25 cuts, make sense?

What's more, the 25 hour rule of thumb will ensure that you’re not causing undue damage to your yard and turf grass every time you are shoring it. 

Now keep in mind, sharpening your blades more often is indeed better for your lawn, however there is a point of diminishing returns for the amount of time and money invested in blade sharpening, so just keep that in mind.

Bottom line, as long your sharpening for every 25 hours of grass cutting, you should be good. 

Put another way , one or two times per lawn mowing season for most homeowners depending on what part of the county you live in. Now the best way to sharpen your blades is the subject of another blog post that we will be conducting research around in the coming weeks, however you could use an angle grinder, a bench grinder, or just take the blades to your lawn mower shop nearby and they will sharpen them professionally for you. But it's crazy, the technique and method with how you sharpen your blades is just as important with how often you sharpen them so you want to make sure that you’re using the proper procedure and putting the correct sharpening angle on the blade every time you sharpen them.

So in conclusion you don’t need to sharpen your blades every time you cut your grass, however you need to do it more often than you're probably initially thinking, and a good rule of thumb is every 25 hours of grass cutting time go ahead and invest in putting a nice clean sharp mowing edge on your blade. Your lawn will thank you for it.

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