How to Sharpen Manual Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing


A manual lawn mower is a traditional type of push lawnmower. It doesn’t have an engine, so you do all the work yourself to get it moving and trimming. This kind of mower has been around for more than 100 years. Pull-type reel mowers date back even further, at least to the 1860s.

Manual lawn mower blades are not self-sharpening like other blades such as chainsaws. Hence, they tend to become dull rather quickly, requiring frequent sharpening to maintain an acceptable level of quality when cutting grass and maintaining your yard. Luckily,

it’s relatively quick and easy for even a beginner with little or no experience in changing/sharpening blades to get the job done correctly. In this article, I will discuss how to sharpen manual lawn mower blades without removing. So let us get to the core discussion.

How to Sharpen Manual Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing

A Detailed Stepwise Guide on How to Sharpen Manual Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing

Maintaining the lawnmower blade is an essential task that needs to be done at least once a year to keep your lawnmower in good condition. After every season, you will need to check and clean your mower blades and sharpen them if you find any signs of wear and tear.

Many simple tools can be used with minimal effort to quickly sharpen the mower blades without removing them from the machine.

Step 1: 

When working with a lawnmower, always place it on a flat surface like concrete or a driveway. Be sure to turn off all switches and that the engine is in excellent condition before starting. Sharp objects near running machines can cause fatal injuries, so be sure to wear gloves and safety glasses before beginning any activity.

Step 2: 

Detach the spark plug wire. If you are not comfortable with detaching it, leave this step out of your list. This is recommended for safety reasons so that the engine doesn’t start while you are working on it. You can also cover the motor with plastic or something to prevent dirt from falling into the machine parts while working on it.

Step 3: 

Start removing all covers and attachments from around the blade area of your lawnmower till you have easy access to it. Now, check if there is a bolt or screw that holds or stops blade movement in place. Removing this bolt will make sure that rotating blades don’t cause injury.

Stepwise Guide on How to Sharpen Manual Lawn Mower Blades

Step 4: 

If you have a bolt instead of a screw, you can use a wrench or socket to loosen it so that blade moves freely. Once this is done, the edge will be able to move quickly for sharpening.

Step 5: 

Before beginning any activity involving blades, be sure to put on safety glasses and gloves. If your lawnmower has multiple blades, each one needs to be inspected for rust, cracks, or damage. Check to see if there are any arrows or symbols indicating the direction in which the blade spins.

You need to check if both sides of all edges are adequately sharpened that cuts into the grass cleanly. If not, they need to be sharpened manually with a hand file, rotary tool stone grinder, or sharpening stone.

Step 6: 

If the blades are still removable, use a wrench or socket to completely tighten all bolts in place. Be sure the blade holder is in position before pulling them. After checking all blades for wear and tear, replace the cover removed earlier in step 3 if needed.

If broken blade pieces are sticking out from the lawnmower, metal parts may need replacement with new ones to avoid injuries when operating the machine in the future.

Step 7: 

The last step is a significant one if you want your mower to return on track without any issues of its performance thus far or till the next few seasons as well. Now turn on the engine and make sure it doesn’t spin the blade before starting this step.

If your car’s engine has a belt, it’s important to check it regularly to make sure it’s in good condition. To do this, first loosen the bolts that hold the belt in place. Then, start the engine and look at the belt to see if there are any signs of damage or if it seems loose.

Tighten the loose belt by hand only, do not use a wrench or socket here as it will cause damage to the belt. Also, make sure the mower is off once you have finished all processes of sharpening blades near the running mower without removing them.

Step 8: 

For safety reasons, always disconnect the spark plug wire before doing any work on a lawnmower. Make sure that the lawnmower is turned off and the spark plug wire is disconnected before performing any maintenance on the lawnmower.

Step 9: 

Another way to sharpen mower blades is by using a sharpening stone or grinder on them with consistent pressure. Make sure your lawnmower is turned off before doing this process, as it will cause sparks from the electricity going through the machine, which can be very dangerous near running machines that have fuel lines connected to the engine.

You Can Check It Out to Tell if Sharpening Stone Is Oil or Water

Necessary Precautions While Performing How to Sharpen Manual Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing

Before sharpening, inspect the lawnmower blades for damage.

1) Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying metal.

2) Make sure you are grounded so that if the mower sparks, you won’t get electrocuted.

3) Work in a well-ventilated area, ideally outside. For example, the fumes created by sharpening lawn mower blades aren’t very healthy to breathe.

4) Keep objects which can cause injury away from the lawn mower. You don’t want somebody walking by and getting hurt by an errant blade!

5) Before sharpening, inspect the lawnmower blades for damage. If there’s any rust on edge or it has bent or broken parts, you should replace it before attempting to sharpen it with this method.

What are the Differences Between Manual Lawn Mower Blade and Automated Lawn Mower Blade?

As far as I can remember, there are no specific differences between manual or automated lawn mower blades. Both do their respective jobs in the same way. The only difference is that you will operate an automated cutter while somebody else does with a hand-operated one.

With mechanical lawn mower blades, you don’t require any effort to push it around your yard since these are electrically powered or gas-powered machines operated by engines. On the other hand, hand-operated ones need all the energy you have within you for them to run smoothly in your yard.

They also need more frequent maintenance than machine blades which you’d only need once every three years depending on how often and how well you maintain them properly and cleanly. So, which one will you choose? I’d go for automated lawn mower blades.

Sharpening manual blades require more effort and time compared to automated ones. When thinking of manual cutters, think of lots of hard work and the time to operate these tools. In addition, you’ll need a file or coarse sandpaper to remove the nicks and scratches on your blade before putting it back into use.

A hand-operated grass cutter is not made for fun and leisure; instead, it gives you good exercise by working your muscles against it. You could also consider removing dulled grass catcher scoops if you want to speed up the process of cleaning your yard with this kind of machine. Manual blades cut grass, but it does it slowly and a little less cleanly than automated blades, which are faster and more efficient.

If you prefer manual lawn mower blades, then you must be willing to exert effort for them to work as they should. As I have mentioned above, manual blades require lots of maintenance from time to time so that they can continue working smoothly in your yard. For example,

you could use a file or coarse sandpaper to remove nicks and dents on your blade, as well as rusts or other dirt build-ups before sharpening it back into action. This will consume a lot of your time because you’ll need many sessions for this task alone.

How to Clean a Manual Lawnmower?

How to Clean a Manual Lawnmower

1. Pour gasoline into a clean container and place your lawnmower upside down on the container so that the gas can drain out of it. Make sure to remove the spark plug from your mower before letting it sit in gasoline overnight. This step is necessary to avoid getting fuel all over yourself and your mower while working on the next steps.

2. Let the blades and engine of your lawnmower cool down thoroughly after taking it apart (if applicable). Remove them both from the lawnmower base carefully, making sure not to damage anything in the process (you may need special tools for this part).

You might also want to make a sketch or take pictures of everything beforehand so you know how to put everything back in place afterward.

3. Take a look at the blades of your lawnmower. They should be attached to a gearbox, either on top or on the bottom of them (some models have a blade belt instead). When you go shopping for new blades,

bring the mower with you and ask a salesperson to help you pick out compatible ones that fit your model. Keep in mind that most mowers have two blades, but some may also have four. Don’t forget to take your old ones with you when buying replacements!

4. Clean off the dirt from old blades before attaching new one they work smoothly after installation. Try hitting them lightly against something metal while washing them and see if they make a sound. If they do, you need to clean them better.

5. Attach new blades to your lawnmower by securing them tightly with the bolts holding the old ones in place (don’t forget to use washers)! When reattaching the engine or gearbox to your mower, be sure not to tighten bolts until everything is lined up perfectly! Otherwise, you may bend something and end up having to disassemble everything again.

6. Fill the gasoline tank back up if it was emptied before starting these steps and enjoy freshly cut grass!


I hope you have obtained a proper idea of how to sharpen manual lawn mower blades without removing them from this article. Thank you and have a nice day!

Jennifer Branett
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