Lawnmowers are very important in making your lawn look neat and attractive. While your lawn mower has different components that work together to keep your property looking well cut, the part of your lawnmower that does the cutting is the blade. As a result, it is essential to do a routine inspection of your mower blades to determine the extent of their damage and if they would need to be replaced.
Mower blades become dull over time. A replacement isn’t necessary in this case. You can fix this quickly by sharpening it with the right tools. However, sometimes your mower blades could become irreversibly damaged. In this case, it is advisable to replace the blades.
Lawnmower blades can last for between 200-300 hours without any need for replacement. However, this is dependent on how frequently you use your mower. If you mow once a month, you should expect your lawnmower blades to last longer than if you use them every day. Unevenly cut grass can indicate a dull or damaged blade, and as such, if you notice this, you should check the condition of your blades.
How Do You Know When To Replace Your Lawn Mower Blades?
Due to various reasons such as terrain, weather, and use over time, your lawnmower blades could become chipped, bent, dented, or damaged. As a result, it is essential to inspect your blades regularly. Damaged or dull blades can cause further harm to your mowing machine. It can also be hazardous to you during the mowing process.
Apart from the routine checks you do on your lawnmower, there are signs that you might notice that indicate that there’s a problem with your mower blades. The following are some of the signs that indicate that your lawnmower blades need to be replaced:
Grass With Uneven Lengths
When you notice several patches of unevenly cut grass on your lawn, it is an indication that your mower blades are dull. Dull lawnmower blades make it more difficult to cut your grass evenly. You would notice several grass areas of differing heights or discover that the grass needs to be cut multiple times to achieve your desired length. This is because mowing your lawn with a dull blade takes a lot more effort, and you would have to go over the missed areas several times to achieve your desired result.
On the other hand, when your lawnmower blades are sharp, mowing doesn’t require effort, and it is easy to cut your lawn evenly. Once you notice uneven patches of grass after mowing or that it takes more effort to mow a patch of grass, your mower blades might need to be sharpened or replaced.
Jaggedly Cut Grass
One thing to look out for after you’ve mowed your lawn is the neatness of the cut. Sharp blades cut grass neatly. Hence they don’t leave jagged or rough edges on the cut grass. If your cut grass has jagged edges, this could indicate that your mower blades need sharpening in some cases or replacement in other cases. While damaged mower blades can cause more damage to your mowing machine, they can be more harmful to your grass in the long run. Dull blades weaken your lawn and impede healthy grass growth. Also, it increases the risk of grass infections and diseases. Once you notice jaggedly cut grass, you need to look at the blades and replace them if necessary.
State Of The Blades
One sure way to know if your blades need to be replaced is to check them out. However, there isn’t always a need for blade replacement after inspection. Sometimes, your blade needs to be sharpened to cut correctly. When you check your mower blades, one thing you should check for is dents. If you notice these on your blade, you need to change them as soon as possible because prolonged usage can be dangerous to you and your machine. Also, it would help if you took note of the thickness of your mower blades. Over time, they can become thin from excess sharpening and a compilation of dirt. Thinner blades mean weaker blades. Weak blades are dangerous because they can break off and become airborne during mowing. This is an obvious hazard for you as a mower and other people around you when you’re mowing. It would be best if you replaced it immediately once you notice that your lawnmower blade is thinning out.
How Often Should Your Lawn Mower Blades Be Replaced?
How often you change your mower blades depends on how often you mow your lawn. You can use a good-quality blade for as long as 300 hours before there would be a need to replace it. As long as your mower blade is appropriately maintained and sharpened, it will serve you well.
How To Replace A Lawn Mower Blade:
The following are the steps to take to change your lawn mower blade:
- Disconnect The Ignition Wire And Empty The Fuel Tank
The first step to take when you want to replace your lawnmower blade is disconnecting the wire connected to the spark plug. It is best to do this to prevent your lawnmower from starting up by mistake during the replacement process. If your lawnmower doesn’t have a cord, locate the battery and remove it. It has the same effect as disconnecting the spark plug wire. You would need to tilt your machine to the side to change your blades. Therefore, to avoid any fuel spillage, you should empty your fuel tank before turning it over or tilting it.
- Tilt Your Mover
After the step above has been done, you would need to tilt your machine to the side to access the bottom, where the blades are usually located. Lawnmower blades are usually secured tightly to the machine’s base with nuts and bolts.
- Remove The Securing Bolts
You would need to use a spanner to loosen the security bolts. Once this is done, the blades come off quickly. Be careful not to misplace the bolts, as you would need them to reassemble the new blades.
- Note The Position And Direction Of The Blades
It is essential to note how the blades are placed originally so that you can replace them with new blades in the same manner. Blades that are not bolted in the correct orientation can cause your machine to malfunction. If you didn’t take note of the direction of your blades before you removed them, you could check your user’s manual for the proper position.
- Install The Replacement Blade
Installing the replacement blade is the most crucial step in changing your mower blade. You can replace the damaged blade with a used blade that is in good condition or a brand new blade. Install the replacement blade in the correct orientation and screw the bolts you removed earlier to secure it. Ensure that the bolts or nuts are screwed tight enough to secure the blades to the mower’s base. However, it would be best if you didn’t make it too tight because this can cause heavy vibrations during mowing. Also, put on proper protective gear during this process to avoid injury, as the replacement blades would be sharper than the old ones.
Check that the blade is fixed correctly and make sure you didn’t miss any bolt or nut.
- Refill The Fuel Tank And Reattach The Spark Plug Wire
Pour the fuel you emptied from the fuel tank back into it and reconnect the spark plug wire. Wait a few seconds for the oil and fuel to get to the motor before starting your mowing machine. After doing all these, your mower is ready to use.
Common Errors Home Owners Make When Replacing Their Lawn Mower Blades:
- Sharpening the blades too frequently. It’s a common misconception that frequently sharpening your mower blade would increase its efficiency and lifespan. This is false. Sharpening too often would lead to the thinning of your blades, and they would become too weak to use eventually.
- Another error homeowners make is replacing their mower blades instead of sharpening them. Some blades don’t require replacement. They need proper sharpening to get them back into suitable working conditions.
- Replacing the blade without emptying the fuel tank is very dangerous as it can cause fuel leakage, which is a fire hazard. The fuel tank needs to be emptied as you would need to turn your machine over to get to the blades.
- Replacing the blade in the opposite direction: It is essential to note the orientation of the damaged blade before putting the replacement blade.
- Another common error homeowners make is replacing the blade without a manual or previous experience.
Can I Manage My Dented Lawn Mower Blade?
No, it would be best if you didn’t do this. Prolonged usage of damaged lawn mower blades is dangerous because they can break off into fragments and injure you. It is advisable to replace your blade when you notice it is damaged.