It is important to ensure that your lawnmower blades are in good working condition. Blades that are dull or damaged can make it difficult to cut your lawn and cause the engine to work harder, which can lead to more fuel consumption and more harmful emissions.
If you notice that your mower is not cutting as well as it should, causing the grass to be ripped or torn rather than cut cleanly, it may be time for a new set of blades. In this article, we’ll cover when you need to replace mower blades and how to replace them.
When You Need to Replace Your Mower Blades
Lawn mower blades are meant to cut grass and then stop, even if used quite frequently. They may need to be replaced after prolonged use and frequent cutting to ensure your lawn is cut to your specifications. Here are signs and conditions that will show you that you need to replace the blades.
Uneven Cutting-Length of Grass
The uneven cutting length of the grass is a clear sign that it’s time for you to replace the blades on your lawn mower. If you don’t, you’ll risk damaging your machine, endangering yourself, and creating an unsightly lawn.
Your lawn will become patchy, with uneven cuts and bare spots. This is because dull blades tear the grass instead of slicing it cleanly. As a result, the grass can dry out and die in those spots. In addition, the ripped ends of grass are more susceptible to disease, pests, and weeds.
Sharp blades cut cleanly through the grass so they don’t damage the plant’s cells or expose them to harmful elements. They also make it easier for your mower’s engine to work hard enough to cut all of the grass evenly. This saves you money on gas and helps keep down emissions.
Finally, dull blades can cause accidents. A dull blade won’t create a straight cut through the grass; instead, it will bounce around until it gets through the stalks. Since this happens at high speeds, this can lead to unpredictable flying debris near you or someone else. And yes, that could be very dangerous!
Torn and Uncleanly Cut Grass
If your lawn is looking less than healthy, then it may be time to replace the blades on your mower.
Some signs to look out for are torn grass or uncleanly cut grass. If you’re noticing that your mower is leaving little bits of grass uncut, then it could be that your blades aren’t as sharp as they should be. Torn grass can also indicate dull blades or a blade that has become bent and is not cutting the grass as well.
You should also examine the blades for bends or cracks. If you notice that one of your mower’s blades is bent, this can prevent the blade from making a clean cut across all of the grass, leading to uneven growth patterns in your yard. Cracks in the blade will also prevent it from making a clean-cut, so it’s time for a replacement if you spot any cracks.
It’s best to replace all three blades for an even cut and cleaner-looking lawn. It’s important to remember that these new blades will be very sharp, so handle them with care!
Condition of the Mower Blades
Your mower blades need to be replaced when you notice signs of wear and tear. Make sure that the blades are sharp, free of nicks, and able to cut grass. If you have any doubts, it is smarter to change the mower blade than take chances. The article below will provide the condition signs that a mower blade requires replacement:
- Sharpness: You should consider changing your mower blades when they are not as sharp as before. You can check the blades by running your fingers along the edge of the blade tip. Having dull blades could lead to tearing grass rather than cutting them cleanly. This can cause yellowing and browning at the tips leading to an unhealthy lawn.
- Dents or nicks in the blade: Have you been running over rocks or mowing over tree stumps? It’s easy for dings and dents to develop on your blade from day-to-day operation. The damage is minor and may not affect the performance of your mower initially. But over time, the metal will weaken and develop cracks around those dings and dents, eventually leading to breakage. If you spot any noticeable dings or dents on your blade, replace it immediately, so you don’t damage your mower or hurt yourself when it breaks apart as you use it.
- Cracked blade: The blades on a lawnmower are made of metal and can be prone to cracking or breaking depending on the type of metal. Larger cracks in the blade can lead to complete breakage, creating a hazard while mowing. Cracks that run through the entire length of the blade may also cause it to separate from your mower while you’re using it.
- Worn tip: Blades that are sharp enough to cut through grass cleanly will have a sharp tip. If the tip is worn down and rounded, this is typically an indication that the blade is dull and needs to be replaced. Dull blades impact your lawn by not cutting grass cleanly, which causes jagged ends and discolored blades that eventually die off.
Have to Push the Mower Harder
If you are pushing your lawnmower harder and it seems to be struggling to cut the grass, this may be a sign that you need new blades. Over time, blades become dull and must be replaced. The best blades for your mower can depend on the size of your lawn and how frequently you use the mower. If you want to keep your lawn looking its best, you should replace your mower blades as often as needed.
How to Replace Push Lawn Mower Blades
Replacing your lawnmower’s blades sounds daunting, but it’s pretty simple. Here’s what you need to do.
Disconnect Ignition and Drain the Gas
Disconnecting the ignition can be done by unplugging the spark plug wire from the spark plug that powers your mower’s engine (you should be able to find them under its hood). Draining gas is especially important if you haven’t used it in a while or if you just did some heavy-duty trimming with a lot of thick grass.
Tilt Your Mower
Lift one side of the mower off the ground and prop it up with a small stool or block of wood to expose the blade. Be sure to tilt your mower away from the side you are accessing-you don’t want to cut yourself accidentally!
Remove Blade Mounting Bolt
Remove the blade mounting bolt using an appropriately-sized socket wrench. Counterclockwise rotation will loosen this bolt; clockwise will tighten it. If it’s been a few years since you replaced your lawnmower blades, this bolt will likely be quite rusted and may not come loose easily, even with penetrating oil or other lubricants.
Note the Blade’s Position
It’s important to take a few seconds and note the position of your current blade on the mower before removing it. This will make it easier to reattach your new blade in the correct position later on.
Mount and Test the New Blade
Mount your new blade on the mower and test its location before tightening down any screws or bolts securing it in place. You want to be sure that it’s in precisely the right position before securing it.
Reattach Spark Wire (If Applicable)
In some cases, you may have removed a spark plug wire when removing your original blade. If that’s true in your case, be sure to reattach the spark plug wire after mounting your new blade, but before testing or using the mower again!
You should check your mower blade regularly to determine if the blade is still sharp enough to maintain a clean, even cut. There are a few signs to watch for indicating when to replace mower blades. You can either perform your own inspection or hire someone else to do it. Keep in mind that the timing of when to replace mower blades will vary between different types of mowers, including reel and rotary push mower