Have you ever wondered how to sharpen lawn mower blades with a bench grinder? Sharpening your lawn mower blades is often critical; fortunately, using a bench grinder is one of the most effective ways to go about this.

By holding the lawn mower blades gently against your bench grinder wheels, you can lightly sharpen the mower blades while achieving an excellent final finish. However, for the best results, you will need to choose the most suitable type of grit type and grinding materials to ensure the bench grinder is effective.

Why Sharpening Lawn Mower Blades with a Bench Grinder Is Important

Investing in a new bench grinder can represent a fairly significant expense if you don’t already own one. As such, it’s worth considering why you may need to sharpen your blades.

It’s Energy Efficient

When you keep your lawn mower blades sharp, your mower will have much less difficulty cutting the grass. In turn, this can help ensure that you get the most energy-efficient solution, helping cut the costs of powering your mower (and the impact of doing so on the environment). 

Keeps the Grass Green

Have you ever mowed your lawn, only to find yourself feeling a little underwhelmed by the final result? If so, you may want to consider sharpening the mower blades for an even and cleaner cut. This gives your grass a more vibrant finish. It’s also a great way to reduce the risk of disease on your lawn.

Finally, preventing the lawnmower from tugging grass out of the lawn can also be a simple way to ensure that the lawn looks thick and fresh all year round.

It’s Much Easier for You!

As a further benefit of sharpening your lawn mower blades with a bench grinder, you’ll likely also find that you simply enjoy far better ease overall. When your lawn mower blades are kept sharp and smooth, you’ll find that it takes a lot less energy to move your mower, since mowers can move more easily along the lawn when the blades cut the grass cleanly and sharply.

In turn, this can help ensure that you’re able to enjoy the best mowing experience without having to dread the almost workout level of energy that dull mower blades can cause. 

Why Use a Bench Grinder To Sharpen Blades?

bench grinder to sharpen lawn mower blades

To begin with, chances are, you’re wondering: why should I use a bench grinder to sharpen lawn mower blades? There are numerous benefits associated with using a bench grinder, but the most notable of these include the following:

  • Sharpening blades with a bench grinder gives a more consistent finish overall
  • When sharpening lawn mower blades with a bench grinder, you’ll see much faster results than when using old fashioned methods
  • Bench grinders have varying grit types, which allows you to choose a less course grit to sharpen your mower blades without causing damage.
  • Using a bench grinder to sharpen blades is, simply, a lot less hassle for you!

How to Sharpen Mower Blades with a Bench Grinder

lawn mower blades

Thus far, we’ve considered the benefits that mowing your lawn can offer. However, there’s still a critical question to consider here: how can you actually sharpen your lawn mower blades? There are a few ways you could go about this. However, to get the best results, we recommend one of two different methods.

The traditional method is simple: using an old fashioned vise and a little elbow grease. However, most of us don’t have time for this sort of hassle these days. If this is the case for you, we recommend trying something a little different instead – using a bench grinder to sharpen your lawn mower blades. 

Check Whether Your Lawn Mower Blades Need Sharpening

First of all, you should check whether or not your lawn mower will actually need its blades sharpening. Indeed, sharpening blades that are still in good condition could actually leave you doing more damage to the blades, making them wear out more quickly. As such, you should always check to see whether your lawn mower blades likely need sharpening.

If you’ve recently sharpened your lawn mower blades or purchased a new lawn mower, you likely won’t need to worry about sharpening the blades. However, if you have noticed that your lawn mower is taking more effort to use than normal, or if the lawn mower seems to be tugging out clumps of grass rather than cutting it neatly, you’ll probably need to consider sharpening the blades.

After removing your lawn mower’s blades, we highly recommend you gently take a piece of paper to see if the blade can easily slice through this sheet. If the blades struggle to slice the piece of paper cleanly, chances are that the blades need to be sharpened to keep them working at their best.

Safety Is Crucial At All Times When Using a Bench Grinder

Before you look any further at the opportunities that blade sharpening might offer with a bench grinder, we must stress the importance of safety. Indeed, even when they’re blunt, blades on your lawn mower can still potentially do a great deal of damage; as such, it’s critical that you’ve got the most effective solutions in place to stay safe when sharpening your blades. 

What’s more, if not safely used, bench grinder machines can also be highly dangerous. The rapidly spinning wheels on your bench grinder, even if used with a fine blade, could easily tear your skin from your fingers and hands; as such, bench grinder gloves must be worn at all times. 

We also recommend that you do what you can to protect your eyes from sparks and flying debris. Many models now come with screens installed, but we also recommend wearing face protection when using a bench grinder to prevent any injuries.

Consider Your Clothing

A key tip to consider when using a bench grinder to stay safe is to choose tight-fitting clothing that won’t drape over the grinder blades. This reduces the risk of the clothing getting trapped in the grinder and dragging your hand into the path of the blades inadvertently.

Tight-fitting clothes and gloves that cover your wrists can be a highly effective way to reduce the risk; always ensure you’ve considered your outfit carefully when working out what to wear for use with your bench grinder.

Be Careful with the Mower

Finally, you should always ensure you take great caution when actually removing the blades from your mower. Indeed, to prevent the mower from accidentally starting, it’s imperative that you’ve removed the mower’s spark plug. 

In addition, to ensure that the mower doesn’t spill any gas or oil, we recommend keeping the carburetor upwards. Naturally, oil and gas spills could put your working space at a great risk, so it’s highly advisable to prevent this where possible.

Using a Bench Grinder to Sharpen Mower Blades

sharpening lawn mower blade with angle grinder

We’ve outlined the importance of caution when it comes to removing mower blades. Fortunately, the process of unfastening the blades is largely the most difficult bit. Thereafter, the actual process of sharpening the blade is relatively simple; however, you need to ensure that you’re experienced with using a bench grinder before getting started. 

Before turning the bench grinder on, we recommend you start by checking that you are comfortable holding the blade at the necessary angle, particularly with gloves on. 

Once you’re confident that you can handle the blade without risk, you should then turn your bench grinder on slowly and carefully hold the blade against the wheel, slowly moving the mower blade across the surface. 

If you feel your wrist becoming sore during the process, it can be incredibly tempting to change the angle of the blade. However, this can actually put you at great risk of catching the blade at an odd angle, which could damage the blade or cause injury. If you need to change the angle of the blade for any reason, always fully turn off the bench grinder before repositioning the blade.

You will need to balance the blade throughout the process to ensure that you’re getting a suitable cut. You may need to reassess the blade each time you rebalance the wheel. The easiest way to rebalance the wheel is simply to place a nail through the blade with the bolt hole. You may find you need to rebalance your blade several times during the sharpening process.

Key Tips When Sharpening Mower Blades with a Bench Grinder

At this point, we have considered some of the key methods you could consider to sharpen your lawn mower blades with a bench grinder – but how can you ensure that this goes smoothly? 

If this is something you have been wondering, we’ve outlined a few key things as follows to hopefully help make sharpening blades a little easier. Hopefully, these tips might help make things safer and more effective, regardless of whether you choose to use a bench grinder or if you follow one of the other methods we’ve presented.

Take Care When Removing the Blade

Removing the blade from your lawnmower is one of the trickiest parts of the entire process, and just a little mistake at this point could leave you getting injured. As such, we recommend extreme caution when removing the blades from your lawn mower.

Always wear thick gloves to protect your hands a little more; in addition, you may need to use a little lubricant on the bolt nuts if they appear to be too tight to unscrew.

Clean the Blade Before Sharpening

Before you begin sharpening your lawn mower blades, we highly advise you gently clean the blades of any existing grass and debris that could still be clinging to the blades. We’re not necessarily saying your blades need to be pristine, but a quick wipe down with soap and water and an old rag may be a good option in this regard.

Indeed, debris can potentially clog up the wheels of your bench grinder, and any old grass on the surface of the blade could make them slippery; this could make it much harder to control the blades while using the bench grinder.

Ensure the Blade Stays Cool At All Times When Using a Bench Grinder

When using a bench grinder to sharpen your mower blades, it’s incredibly easy for the blade to get exceptionally hot due to the buildup of friction. However, this could cause numerous concerns, and one of the biggest issues is that hot blades could easily deform in shape due to bending. 

Naturally, this could leave the blades much less effective for cutting your grass, and it’s even possible that this could do severe damage to your lawn mower or the lawn. As such, we highly recommend using extreme caution when using a bench grinder on your mower blades. In addition, you should be very cautious when grinding, and give the blade a chance to cool periodically rather than trying to complete the work in one go.

Choose the Right Grinding Wheel

When it comes to sharpening your mower blades, the right grinding wheel will play a prominent role when it comes to your success. Indeed, depending on the type of metal used for your blades, you may need to choose a slightly different type of wheel.

For example, if your blades are made from non-ferrous materials, you’ll likely want to opt for a grinding wheel made from silicone carbide. However, for generic steel mower blades, your bench grinder may be more effective with an aluminium oxide grinding wheel.

Ensure Your Bench Grinder is Well-Balanced and Heavy-Duty

When choosing a bench grinder for sharpening your lawn mower blades, you should ideally opt for a heavy-duty device. We also recommend choosing an 8-inch grinding wheel and securing the grinder down to a surface to reduce the risks of vibrations impacting your grinding efforts (as this could cause chips and damage to your mower blades, preventing the blades from cutting cleanly).

If you want to know more about how to balance bench grinder wheels check our latest post.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve been looking to discover new ideas and solutions for your lawn mower blade management, then we hope today’s guide may have helped. Indeed, in far too many cases, people can find themselves feeling a little lost when it comes to keeping their lawn mower blades sharp and in top condition.

However, this doesn’t need to be the case; in fact, one of the key applications of a specialist bench grinder is to keep blades sharp, and this could be ideal for your lawn mower blades as well.