Tune Up Your Mower Now for a Lawn That’s a Cut Above

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Difficulty: Intermediate
Duration: 2 hours

Garden tips by region lawnmower-maintenance

Lawn mower maintenance and a freshly sharpened blade are keys to a crisp cut lawn that looks sports-turf perfect from day one.

It pays to have two blades for your mower. This allows you to sharpen one at your leisure while mowing with the other. You’ll always have a fresh blade on hand for an easy change before you start the engine, or if the blade is suddenly nicked by a rock. Before you start revving your engine this spring, read these mower maintenance tips.

Five Tips for Mower Maintenance:

  1. Change the oil.
  2. Fill with new gas.
  3. Replace spark plug.
  4. Clean out grass from the undercarriage.
  5. Sharpen your mower blades.

Mower blades, just like knives in the kitchen, need to be sharpened. If the cut ends of your turf grass are ragged or stringy, your blade is dull.

Sharpen it Yourself. Here’s How:

  1. Disconnect the spark plug wire and tip the mower on its side to expose the blade.
  2. Use an adjustable crescent wrench to remove the nut that holds on the blade. Do not use pliers, channel locks, or pipe wrenches as these have ridges that gouge the metal. In general, avoid tools that have ridged teeth on the gripping parts.
  3. Remove the blade and secure it in a vice with the beveled end up. 
  4. Sharpen the blade by running a flat file in one direction parallel to the edge of the bevel.
  5. Count how many passes you make with the file so you can apply the same to the other end to keep it balanced. 
  6. Replace the blade on the mower with the fins on the blade pointing down.
  7. Tighten the nut securely with a crescent wrench.

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