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Many homeowners can be very particular when it comes to maintaining their lawns. Whether it be their choice of fertilizer or their choice of mower, each one is selected to give the best results for the healthiest lawn possible.
But one key element that sometimes gets overlooked is the lawn mower blade. Perhaps because it goes mostly unseen, but the sharpness of the blade can have a huge impact on the health and appearance of your lawn.
A dull blade can seriously harm grass blades and repeated cutting with a dull blade is even worse.
So if you need to sharpen your mower’s blade, we’ve compiled some of the best sharpeners out there to help you tackle this DIY project.
Lawn Mower Blade Sharpening Basics
Before we get to the products, it’s best to just run through the basics of blade sharpening and what the main options are.
Most sharpeners will fall into 3 basic categories.
- Manual sharpeners
- Drill attachment sharpeners
- Grinder sharpeners (either attachments or all-in-one units)
The first and least expensive are manual grinders. As the name suggests, you use the tool to manually run it along the length of the blade, slowly honing the edge.
These work great, but being manual, they take more effort and time to achieve a good result.
Next up are attachments that are used with a standard drill. These are grinding stones or wheels with a set shape to help sharpen the blade. They are faster than manual sharpeners and achieve good results.
Finally, there are attachments for bench grinders. These allow for precise sharpening if you have a specific angle you want to achieve. They are fast once set up, but you will need a bench grinder or choose a unit that comes with a grinder.
So with those basics out of the way, let’s move on to our top picks for lawn mower blade sharpening.
Smiths 50603 Lawn Mower Blade Sharpener
The Smith’s Blade Sharpener gets high marks for being both simple and affordable. Of course, it’s a manual sharpener so you have to provide the elbow grease yourself.
If you’ve used a standard kitchen knife sharpener, then you should have no issues using this tool. The angle to sharpen is already set, and you simply drag it along the blade’s edge.
The handle is large enough to accommodate large gloves, which is a requirement when sharpening mower blades. It also comes with a wire brush to clean up the blade and sharpener when finished.
The brush stores in the handle so you won’t lose it in between sharpenings.
At under $20, this is a great choice for both price and ease of use.
All American Sharpener 5000
Type: Grinder attachment
If a manual sharpener isn’t to your liking, then this next pick may be right for you.
Assuming you already have a standard 4.5-inch angle grinder, the All American Sharpener 5000 is the perfect way to turn it into a precise blade sharpener.
This tool does require a bit of setup as the jig needs to be held in place by something like a bench vise. The unit has its own vise for holding the blade.
From there, you choose your angle between 15 and 30 degrees and then start sharpening.
Once you get going, it takes less than a minute to do the actual sharpening and you get a very precise edge with minimal effort.
Ankda Drill Attachment Blade Sharpener
Type: Drill attachment
Next up is for those that may only have a drill instead of an angle grinder, or simply prefer to use their drill with less set up time.
These are also pretty simple to use and there is very little room to make a mistake.
You get three stones of various grit when you buy the complete kit. Choose one then place it in the drill. The stones all have a built-in guide that will sharpen the blade at a set 40-degree angle. Rest the guide against the blade then simply drag the stone along the edge while running the drill.
These take a bit longer than an angle grinder to sharpen but still far less than a manual sharpener. There’s also no set-up time other than putting the stone wheel into the drill.
There is a bit of room to get sloppy though if you don’t keep a close eye on the guide and make sure it’s solidly against the blade. So these can be slightly less accurate than an angle grinder attachment.
But overall, a great powered option as almost everyone has a drill laying around their garage. The price is right as well.
Oregon 88-023 Lawn Mower Blade Grinder
Type: All-in-one grinder
If you want a step up in precision over the other options, this sharpener from Oregon may be the perfect fit.
The Oregon all-in-one unit requires no additional tools as it has a 1/2 electric motor built in. Simply attach the unit to your workbench and you’re ready to start precision sharpening your blades.
The dials make adjustments easy and the unit comes with a professional 8-inch sharpening wheel. There’s even a built-in light to see exactly what you’re doing.
The only downside is that this unit is meant to be a permanent fixture somewhere in your workshop. So if you don’t have the room, it may be a pain to always stow this away and bring it back out when needed.
But for those with the room who want precise sharpening, this is a great option. It’s also affordable considering the quality and what you get.
Sharpal Mower Sharpening Kit
The Sharpal is another manual sharpener but it comes as a kit with two separate sharpeners. One is for the mower blade but it has a second sharpener for other garden tools.
It works like most manual sharpeners although these do feature very sturdy construction and feel premium in the hand. The handle is also comfortable and large enough for use with gloves.
These are great sharpeners and you get the added benefit of a second sharpener for your other garden tools. These can also be great if you just want to repair an edge without dragging out a bunch of equipment.
Work Sharp Knife And Tool Sharpener
We’ve included this unit because it can essentially sharpen almost any knife or blade you may have. It’s an all-in-one unit and uses a flexible and replaceable sanding band.
This can work on lawnmower blades but it also works on knives, even ones with unique shapes. Of course, it can work well on all your garden tools as well.
If you want versatility as well as a powered option, this sharpener has you covered.
Mower Blade Sharpening Tips
Whichever tool you use, make sure to follow basic safety guidelines since you are dealing with sharp blades and power tools. This means safety glasses and even hearing protection for some options.
As for how often to sharpen your mower blade, for most homeowners, it will be about twice per season or every 25 hours of cutting done by the blade.
You can also tell if your blade needs sharpening by simply looking at your lawn after a cut. If the lawn doesn’t look as neat and uniform or if you are noticing more resistance when mowing, it’s probably time for a sharpening.
You can also look closely at the grass blades, as a dull mower will leave the grass with a rough and jagged tip. This is unhealthy for the grass and can also dry it out.
So if your lawn is showing any of these signs, grab one of the sharpeners we’ve listed above and with a little bit of work, your lawn should start looking neat and trimmed once again.