Easy Tips on How to Balance a Lawn Mower Blade
Lawn mowers are expensive and you should maintain them properly to keep the cost of fixing them to a minimum. After sharpening the blades, and before reinstalling them, it is very important to balance them. In this article, we will explain to you, how to balance a lawn mower blade.
Importance of Balancing Lawn Mower Blades
As per medical records in the U.S. between 2005 to 2015, 934,394 lawn mower injuries were treated with an average of 84,944 injuries annually. Hand/finger (22.3%) were the most commonly injured body parts followed by the lower extremity (16.2%). This is why users must know how to balance a lawn mower blade and use lawn mower safely.
One of the easiest ways to check whether a blade is out of balance, is to set a nail on a vice. Then you place the blade on the pin at the centre hole. If the blade is out of balance, the heavier side will dip more than the other. That is the side that you will have to grind.
Benefits of Well-sharpened and Balanced Blades
For correct mowing, blades should be sharp and also be of the right size. You have to sharpen your lawn mower blade at least once a year to extend the life of your mower. Dull blades smash through the grass and result in torn and ragged tips on the ends of the individual grass blades. This leads the grass to turn brown and leave your lawn more susceptible to diseases and pests. Sharp blades, on the other hand, cut grass cleanly and quickly, resulting in a healthier, neatly trimmed lawn. Hence, experts advise sharpening the blade of the lawnmower way in advance before the mowing season starts.
Balancing blades is to make sure that the weight of the blade is evenly distributed from one side to the other. While sharpening when you grind off more metal on one side than the other, the blade can become unbalanced. You can correct this by using a balancer to test it; then shave off the heavier part of the blade with a grinder until it is balanced.
Lawn Mower Blades Types and Their Benefits
Deck or Standard Blades
It is the most widely used blade on lawn mowers rotating horizontally and is also known as the straight mower blade The blade has slightly curved edges that generate a continuous airflow as the blade rotates. This creates the cutting and sucking action.
Low Lift Blades
People use low lift blades for mowing terrain with sandy soil and have a side-discharge action. The low drastic swoop design enables the cut grass to stay low and is easily ejected out of the side of the mower. This counters its low suction power.
High Lift Blades
The vertical swoop shape of the blade lifts air from underneath the mower and provides the suction power. High lift blades are great for bagging purposes, and the fan-like suction serves its purpose.
A mulching blade serves as an all-purpose blade. It has a curved surface, and there are three ways in which it can be used for mowing. Firstly, the grass is pulled up by the blade before it is cut. Then the clippings travel inside the deck and are chopped into small pieces. Lastly, the air pressure produced by the blade’s innermost curve blow the small clippings out into the soil.
Sharpening mulching blade requires skill. The cutting edge of the mulching blades stretches right from the tip to the entire bent portion.
3-in-1 or “Gator” Blades
This blade combines a medium-lift (high and low) with a mulching feature to blend the three grass cutting techniques into one. They have serrated sections at either end of the blade.
How to Sharpen Mower Blades
- Remove the spark plug.
- Remove the blade and put it on a metal vice.
- Take a metal file and stroke at the angles of the blade until you get a nice sharp edge. The filing is down on the down-stroke.
On average lawn mower blade sharpening should be done after every 20 to 25 hours of use time.
How to Balance a Mower Blade
Sharp and balanced motor blades are a critical part of cutting grass. We will describe below how to balance mower blades by using a lawn mower blade balancer. You should first place the balancer on a level surface and check whether the round hole on the blade sits well on the balancer. After that, you have to place the sharpened blade on the balancer and check whether one side or the other is out of balance. If one part is a little heavier than the other, all you have to do is grind the heavier part to balance it with the lighter one.
Learning how to balance a lawn mower blade and checking it is very important because mowers run smoother when the blade is balanced.
Safety Cautions When Balancing Mower Blades
- Wear hand gloves and goggles.
- Keep your hands in a safe position while working with the blades.
- Carefully move the lawn mower to avoid accidents.
Lawnmowers have been keeping yards and lawn trim and clean for decades, and they have become a piece of very important garden equipment in every home. To extend a lawn mower machine’s life and keep it running for years, you have to invest a little time and money in maintenance. Knowing how to balance a lawn mower blade is an integral part of it.