Easy Tips on How to Balance a Lawn Mower Blade
Blades are the most essential part of any lawnmower. After all, they are the ones that make sure that the grass is cut even and nice.
However, with time, you might start to notice that your blades no longer do their job quite as they’ve used to. What could be the issue of that?
Well, one of the most common issues is either dulling of the blade or an unbalanced lawn mower blade. And both of these issues can be easily fixed: you can easily sharpen the blade if the situation requires, or balance your lawn mower blade and make it as good as new.
So today, we wish to show you how to balance a lawn mower blade in just a few simple steps.
Importance of Balancing Lawn Mower Blades
When you have unbalanced lawn mower blades, it puts you in danger while you operate the machine. According to the medical records in the U.S – 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%). All of these are mostly due to improper use or/and not following lawn mower safety rules. So for proper and safe usage of you must understand how to balance a lawn mower blade.
But how to understand that the blade needs balance? Well, 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 center 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
To mow effectively, the blades should be sharp and of the right size. That is because dull blades smash through the grass and tear and ragged tips on the ends of the individual grass blades. And this not only turns your grass brown and affects the overall look of the lawn, but also leaves it vulnerable to diseases and pests.
Sharp blades, on the other hand, cut grass cleanly and quickly, resulting in a healthier, neatly trimmed lawn. Hence, it’s best to sharpen the blade of the lawnmower way in advance before the mowing season starts. Thus, you have to sharpen your lawn mower blade at least once a year to extend the life of your mower.
But here’s the thing – when you sharpen the blade, you grind off more metal on one side than the other. And that can cause the blade to 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. Plus, when you’re balancing blades you’re making sure that the weight of the blade is evenly distributed from one side to the other.
Overall, key benefits are:
- Sharpened and balanced blades ensure that the grass is cut evenly and neatly
- They reduce the risk of lawnmower breakage
- Your machine will not vibrate (if it does, it’s a clear sign that your blades need balance since a good lawn mower does not shake)
Lawn Mower Blades Types and Their Benefits
Deck or Standard Blades
AKA straight mower blade, is the most widely used blade on horizontally-rotating lawn mowers. They are also very popular among lawn mowers for 5 acres or more. These blades have 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 allows 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 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 these are usually considered some of the best lawn mower blades.
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 blows the small clippings out into the soil.
But do keep in mind that sharpening a mulching blade requires skill since 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.
- Detach 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 usage.
How to Balance a Mower Blade
So with that said, let’s now take a look at the core of today’s guide, and see 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, 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.
Safety Cautions When Balancing Mower Blades
Of course, when you learn how to balance a lawn mower blade you must also never forget about proper safety:
- 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. Thus, it’s extremely important to make sure that you take proper care of your device, and extend a lawn mower machine’s life. Of course one of the best ways to do that is by keeping the blades sharp and balanced! That way you’ll protect your lawn and mower from any unpleasant accidents.
Thus, we sincerely hope that our little tips helped you learn more about how to balance a lawn mower blade and what you need for it! So best of luck and feel free to let us know if you have any more questions or advice on how to balance a lawn mower blade effectively!