The mulching blade on a lawnmower is one of the most important parts of the machine. It is responsible for cutting the grass, shredding the clippings, and then spitting them out, either into an attached bag or out the side of the mower. The mulching blade is sometimes referred to as a “cutting blade” and may need to be sharpened or replaced after repeated use. This is not incredibly easy, but it is much more affordable than purchasing a new lawn mower, as a quick search online or in stores of new lawn mower prices will show you. Set aside a few hours in the afternoon or whenever you are free to sharpen the blade, especially if you have not sharpened one before.
Materials needed to sharpen mulching blade: Screwdrivers, piece of wood (2 x 4), socket wrench, protective gloves, blade sharpening device, protective eye wear for use when sharpening the mulching blade
Part 1: Remove Lawn Mower Blade
1. Turn off lawn mower, disconnect spark plugs, plug gas tank
2. Turn lawn mower on its side, use piece of wood to prevent blade from turning
3. Loosen mulching blade with socket wrench, remove, be sure to save nuts and washers
Part 2: Sharpen Blade
1. Use steel wool to clean mulching blade, removing rust
2. Carefully, carefully sharpen blade using grinding tool or steel file. Follow existing curves as guide, and make sure finished blade is balanced (one end is not heavier than other)
3. While the blade is removed, consider cleaning underside of lawn mower to get rid of extra grass clippings stuck on the bottom
4. Re-attach the newly-sharpened blade using the socket wrench and the original washer and nut (if still in usable condition)
5. Be using the lawn mower, make sure everything is re-attached and reconnected correctly.
For sharpening blades, consider purchasing the American Lawn Mower SK-1 Reel Mower Sharpening Kit, available at Amazon.com for $14.95 new and with good customer recommendations online. It comes with back-lapping crank, application brush, and grinding compound and is designed specifically for the popular 1705-16 and 1815-18 push mowers from American Lawn Mower. For other mowers, look into getting a whetstone, grinder, or other device for sharpening the blades. Consider the recommendations made on these two forums when looking into such grinders: LawnServiceForum and DoItYourself.
Note: These instructions are provided with no liability whatsoever. Use at your own risk.