How Often Should You Sharpen Mower Blades?

Worker sharpening his lawn mower blade

When it comes to your lawn, the grass isn’t the only thing that should be looking sharp. You need to sharpen your mower blades every 20 to 25 hours so that they can do their job effectively.

Without sharp mower blades, your lawn can suffer damage with every mow. It may not seem like an important thing, but your mower blades and their sharpness have a big impact on the health, growth, and appearance of your grass. Read below to learn more about when to sharpen your mower blades.

Best Schedule For Sharpening Mower Blades

On average, you need to sharpen your mower blades every 20 to 25 hours of mowing. This means that if you mow for an hour each time, you should sharpen after 20 to 25 mows. If you have a large lawn, this is a good rule of thumb to follow. 

If you have a small lawn that doesn’t take long to mow, plan to sharpen blades at least once or twice each growing season. Sharpen the blades at the beginning of each season and again in the middle if your blades become dull. 

How to Tell if Your Mower Blades Need Sharpening

close up of the bottom of a lawn mower and blade
Photo Credit: Phil Gwinn / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Sometimes your mower blades will dull faster than expected. If your blades show signs of growing dull, even if you haven’t mowed for more than 20 hours, you should sharpen them right away. Here are some signs that your blades need sharpening:

  • The best way to tell if your mower blades need sharpening is to look at your grass after mowing. If the grass blades are torn or ragged, you likely need to sharpen your mower blades.
  • Your grass may also be uneven after mowing due to the dull blades ripping the grass.
  • Of course, you can also tell if your blades are dull by examining them manually. If you choose to do this, take care to ensure that you don’t cut yourself while turning over the mower.
  • You should sharpen the blades right away if they have dents or nicks.
  • You may notice that your mower is running more slowly if your blades are dull, since dull blades force the mower to work harder. The engine may also stall more often.
  • Your mower may also use more fuel than normal if the blades are dull.
  • Likewise, if you have a push mower, you may have to work harder to push it than you would if your blades were sharp.
  • Finally, while mowing, you may find yourself having to pass over the same areas multiple times to cut them down to size if your mower blades need sharpening.

Why You Need to Sharpen Your Mower Blades Often

lawn mower blade sharpening
Photo Credit: isuaneye / Canva Pro / License

Sharpening your mower blades is very important for the health and appearance of your lawn. Here’s a short list of things that can happen if you let your mower blades stay dull.

  • Dull blades rip the grass as opposed to cutting it neatly like sharp blades do. As a result, the grass blades become ragged and will turn brown, which is both unsightly and unhealthy.
  • In addition, dull mower blades can rip entire patches of grass out of your lawn, which needless to say, you want to avoid.
  • Your grass also recovers more slowly after being mowed with dull mower blades, which can lead to a variety of different lawn diseases.

To sum up, keeping your mower blades sharp keeps your lawn much healthier and better-looking than it would otherwise. Read this guide for more information about regular lawn mower maintenance.

How Do I Keep My Mower Blades From Becoming Dull?

You can keep your mower blades from becoming dull by keeping the mower clean and maintained. You should also avoid hitting anything that isn’t grass with your mower, especially hard things like rocks and sticks. Finally, try adjusting the mower height if you find that your mower blades are getting dull quickly.

How to Sharpen Mower Blades

tightening a lawn mower blade
Photo Credit: KathrynHatashitaLee / Canva Pro / License

While you can have your mower blades sharpened professionally, you stand to save time and money by doing it yourself. Sharpening your own mower blades is simpler than you might think, and can be boiled down to just a few simple steps.

  • First, gather the appropriate supplies. 
  • Second, prepare the mower to prevent accidents.
  • Next, sharpen the blade with either a metal file, a drill-powered blade sharpener, or an angle grinder.
  • After, balance the blade to ensure both sides are even.
  • Finally, reinstall the blades.

If you’d like more detail, you can read this article on how to sharpen lawn mower blades.

FAQ About Mower Blades

How often do I need to replace my mower blades?

As you sharpen your mower blades, you’ll be removing some of the metal, so you’ll eventually need to replace the blades. It depends on the quality of the blade, but you should typically replace them after 5 to 10 sharpenings, or if the blade becomes less than half an inch thick.

Is it better to sharpen mower blades by hand or with a machine?

If you’re inexperienced with sharpening mower blades, it’s best to do it by hand. However, if you have a good amount of experience, the angle grinder or drill sharpener can save you a lot of time and effort and gives better results, so it’s the better method.

Can I sharpen my mower blades too much?

Yes. You should only sharpen your mower blades until they’re as sharp as a butter knife. If your blades are too sharp, they’ll get dull quicker and will have a shorter lifespan.

Find Your Grass Pro

Sharpening your mower blades is important for the health of your lawn. Set reminders so that you don’t accidentally skip this important chore.
If you want to remove lawn mowing from your chore list entirely, contact lawn care professionals near you. They can take care of your grass so that you won’t have to sharpen your mower blades as often.

Main Photo Credit: Luckykot / Canva Pro / License

Austin Geiger

Austin Geiger

Austin Geiger is a lover of all things nature. He enjoys writing comprehensive, easy-to-swallow articles about pest management solutions, landscaping tips, and ways for people to help their local pollinators.