How To Remove A Stuck Blade Bolt On A Lawn Mower
Replacing a lawnmower blade would require you to remove the old one first, but what happens when you cannot get it out because the blade is stuck? You might even want to take it out because it needs some sharpening or cleaning. A lawnmower blade can be stuck for many reasons like the bolt being too tight, threading the bolt the wrong way, rust, and corroded bolts, or when the bolt is old and worn. Not to worry, how to remove a stuck lawn mower blade will be shown to you step by step in this article.
The most common way, which is also the recommended method to remove a stuck blade bolt, is by using an impact tool. If you do not have an impact tool, there are other alternatives you can use, such as tool leverage, welder, hammer and chisel, vice grips, and heat. Removing a stuck mower blade requires that you protect yourself from injuries and hazards. Ensure that the engine is off, the spark plugs are disconnected, and you have on safety gear (safety goggles, gloves) before starting the process.
Why Does A Lawn Mower Blade Get Stuck?
There are a few reasons why your lawn mower blade bolt is so difficult to loosen, like:
- Overtightened bolt
- Rusty bolt
- Old and worn-out bolt
- Bolt threaded in the incorrect direction
The mower blades are not supposed to be fastened too tight; a little allowance and looseness are needed so it can slip. Sometimes, while mowing, you can hit a solid object, and a slightly free blade can avoid any resulting potential damage. However, not only does a tight bolt give issues with operating the mower, but it also makes it challenging to get the blade off.
Rusty Or Worn Out Bolt
Leaving the blade for a long time can lead to corrosion build-up, which stays stuck to the bolts and the parts surrounding it. Lawnmower blades frequently come in contact with wetness, causing the iron to wear out faster if not well maintained. This can cause difficulty in getting the bolt loose also.
Bolt Threaded in The Wrong Direction
To figure out the correct direction for threading, note the direction the blade moves. The blade moves in the opposite direction of the threading; that is, if the blade moves to the left, the bolt has a right-hand thread and vice versa. However, some mowers, such as the tractor type and some push mowers, have twin blades with both right hands and left-hand threading. Threading the bolt the wrong way during installation makes it difficult to undo, especially when it is that way for a long time.
How To Remove A Stuck Blade Bolt
As mentioned earlier, you can use a range of tools to remove a stuck blade bolt, the most common being an impact wrench. Other tools or methods include vice grips, hammer and chisel, heat, welder, and leverage.
Before beginning the process, it is advised that you have the following safety measures in place:
Make Sure To Disconnect The Spark Plug
To avoid a spark and accidental starting of the mower, resulting in injury, disconnect the spark plugs. Also, only work on your lawnmower when the engine is off and allowed to cool.
Drain The Fuel Tank And Oil
Although it is okay to skip this step and still remove the blade successfully, it is best to drain the fuel and oil to avoid spills. Also, you can easily access any parts you need to without worrying about a spill. Another good reason is that tilting the mower lets fuel flow freely and mix with the oil, which is not good for the engine.
Clean The Bolt
Using a steel wire brush, clean the bolt and then apply just enough WD40 to seep into the bolt thread.
Wedge The Blade
Use a block of wood to block the blade from moving. This will save you any potential cuts or scrapes while working on the mower.
Now to fix the problem;
Use An Impact Tool
You can either use an impact wrench or an impact driver. With an impact wrench, you need to slap on the adapter of the correct size, and your bolt is loose in seconds. An impact driver works just as well but might not be so effective in getting the bolt off. You can try other methods if this does not do the job.
Use A Vice Grip
You can use this along with a socket wrench. The vice grip helps get the bolt loose first, and then the wrench completes the work. Attach the vice grip firmly to the bolt, and use a hammer to hit the end of the grip in an anti-clockwise direction. This will free the bolt so you can altogether remove it. A vice grip is an excellent method to use for rounded bolts.
Hammer And Chisel Method
If the bolt is very stripped and the previous methods do not work, the hammer and chisel might just be the tool to opt for. Place the chisel on the bolt in the direction you want to turn it. Tap on it with the hammer to dig into the bolt and loosen it p.
Try interlocking two wrenches together for increased leverage and turn the bolt with one end, putting pressure on the added wrench.
Another hack is to weld another bolt onto the stuck one. However, this should be done meticulously so you do not accidentally join the bolt with the mower blade or break off the new bolt.
Heat is a good option because it helps the metal expand and loosen the grip. A blow torch is an excellent source of heat for this method. Point it on the bolt and heat it; this will get it loose in a short time.
A stuck blade is not a fun problem to face, but it is not impossible to fix. Hopefully, this article helped cover everything you need to get your lawn’s best friends working fine again!