new mower blades need sharpened

rick123456May 29, 2012

I bought a new set of oregon gator blades like this http://www.oregonchain.com/commonImages/productFullSize/96-394.jpg

they come not very sharp. Are you suppose to sharpen first as they arent very sharp and painted?

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baymee(LehighValleyPA)

There are a few reasons for the "dull" blades. The flat edge provides two cutting edges. A very sharp blade quickly dulls anyway. Homeowners are cutting their hands by installing razor sharp blades. Just some of the reasons I've heard. I don't think you'll ever notice the difference in cut.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 8:21PM
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javert

Rick, no the blades should not be sharpened. Just put 'em on (making darn sure that they're right side up) and go like heck!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:06PM
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1saxman

There is no valid reason to not sharpen a blade to an edge if you want. This is assuming you have sense enough to handle and install a sharp blade without hurting your little self.
Sharp blades cut great, and the edge seems to last fairly well in normal grass cutting. The thing is, once the sharp edge dulls a little, the blade is no worse at that point than a brand new one, so by sharpening you actually extend the time between servicing the blade.
Additionally, we use sharpening as the method of removing steel to balance a blade. You sharpen both ends then balance, then re-sharpen the heavy end while putting the blade on the balancer often to avoid over-cutting. So, if you put a fine edge on both ends and have to remove material from one end, the sharpness of both ends will still match.
I clean my blades first, then paint them black after sharpening. I have two mowers that take the same blade, so I have 5 blades in rotation. I'll take one off and put on a painted one that has been finished usually for several months. Then, soon after, I'll service the blade I just removed and hang it up for later use.
I judge a blade to be useful if the airfoil on each end is at least 1/16" thick at the thinnest point. When the airfoils get thinner than that, I consider the blade finished - I don't want shrapnel under the mower if I hit a small rock and the airfoils start to come apart.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:38PM
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evdpgh

*I don't think you'll ever notice the difference in cut."...I have to agree with this. I have a mower with a blade I have sharpened once in 8 years and even then I just dressed it up a little with a file. I didn't notice any difference before and after. However, if you are anal about blade sharpening no one will stop you.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 1:41AM
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roadbike

Yes, I think the urge to sharpen rotary mower blades is largely a carryover from the time when reel mowers were the dominant design. The two cutting surfaces had to be aligned and properly finished to function. Old habits get passed down through generations of mower owners whether they are relevant or not.

The slight benefits of rotary blade sharpening are probably a visual inspection if blade integrity and assuring the blade is still in balance.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 1:45PM
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rcmoser

you can sharpen all you want, but it you mow in sandy or dry conditions with the deck low the blades will take sand blasting. Higher you cut your grass the longer the blades will last IMO.

Blades will dull then after years or months of use in the right conditions they will shapen themselfs. Usually the tips are very worn and the metal is worn thin at the end shaped like C. I touch mine up about every 4 weeks, rebalance, in my conditions due to the sand and dry conditions. My conditions usually the blade ends or tips wear causing me to replace the blades within year or two.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 5:53AM
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bsmith717(6)

I just have to say that a sharp or better yet "properly finished" blade will give your grass a much better cut. If you cant not tell the difference between an old worn out blade and a newly "finished" blade/brand new blade either you just arent paying attention/looking at your grass or you dont know how to "finish" a blade properly.

A dull/worn out blade will leave ragged edges on the cut grass. This is is very hard for the grass to recuperate from and can lead to an unhealthy lawn. If your blade is in proper repair, your grass should have a perfectly straight edge and not be ragged in the slightest.

I dont look at my blade to tell if I need to run a file across it, I look at my grass.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 7:04PM
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twelvegauge(8)

Somehow I missed the part where someone said that an old worn-out blade would perform as well as a sharpened one. I had the impression that the discussion was about using a new Gator blade just as it came from the factory, or sharpening it. I will agree that a sharpened blade will do a better job than the old worn-out blade that bsmith introduced into the discussion.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 12:58PM
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tomplum

"I dont look at my blade to tell if I need to run a file across it, I look at my grass." Good work if you can get it. Personally, I'm not that discerning. Tho, I've gotten strange looks when I tell someone their blade was installed upside down and they didn't know the difference. On repairs, I sharpen to about .015 if they are on the machine and if they end up in the customer's hand nice and razor sharp like they want to see them...

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:12AM
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