A Guide To Sharpening Blades While They Are Still On The Lawn Mower

Keeping your lawn mower’s blade sharp is critical when you want to continue to keep your garden’s grass in the best state possible.

Lawnmowers are essential gardening tools, yet they must indeed be sharpened every year to be efficient.

A Guide To Sharpening Blades While They Are Still On The Lawn Mower

While this may appear to be useless, that’s not because it greatly facilitates your lawn and garden workflow.

So, if you want to find out what the best way is to sharpen your lawn mower’s blades without having to remove them, keep reading below!

Why Is It Important To Maintain The Lawn Mower’s Blade?

When a mower’s blade is sleek, it yields an extremely good shave, similar to a pair of cutters cutting through a piece of paper.

As a result, honing your mower’s blades enables you to trim the lawn smoothly and easily, resulting in healthy and flawlessly cut grass.

Whenever the blade becomes rough and dirty, it’s like trying to tear the same paper piece with your hands. The end result? Damaged and badly looking grass.

Here are some of the negative effects rough blades have on the grass:


When you use a dull blade, the torn, deformed ends you are seeing on the grass result in a reduction of moisture. The grass completely dehydrates and dries up, resulting in brown spots that are visible to the naked eye.

Diseases And Endurance

Bad blades end up leaving gaping sores on the grass, similar to how an old razor blade leaves cuts on our body after shaving, providing disease microbes with a clear access point.

Therefore, grass in poor health is more susceptible to bug infestations and is not as capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and drought.


Even though it’s not as extreme as several of the other problems that arise, the very look of your lawn will simply be bad and unappealing to the eye.

In other words, rough blades aren’t good at cutting through grass and end up tearing it.

Therefore, maintaining your lawn mower’s blades is essential if you want your yard to be less susceptible to diseases and bugs.

What Is The Best Way To Sharpen The Lawn Mower’s Blade?

The correct method to refine your lawn mower blades is by removing them from the machine and then moving on to sharpening and simultaneously balancing them.

Several landowners, nevertheless, are unable to remove the blades. That might be caused by a lack of the appropriate tools, excessive rust, or purely a time constraint.

Regardless of the cause, what most people want to know is how to actually manage to sharpen the blades without having to remove them from the mower.

In this article, we have the answer to that, so keep reading below to find out!

Can You Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing Them?

You can sharpen your lawn mower blades without having to remove them. While most people tend to remove them before sharpening them, you can definitely do that without removing them from the lawn mower.

We have enumerated the steps you’ll want to take below because sharpening your lawn mower’s blades without removing them necessitates a slightly different methodology than standard blade honing.

List Of Steps To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing Them

  • Unplug the ignition system cap, wire, or battery from the lawn mower.
  • Tilt your lawnmower sideways.
  • Support the lawn mower with some wood.
  • Scrape off any dirt from the blade.
  • Secure the blade.
  • Begin by grinding the leading layer of the blade on one side. Keep in mind that you must grind at a 45 ° angle away from the centre.
  • Do the same on the blade’s opposing side.

Analytical Steps For To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades Without Removing Them

A Guide To Sharpening Blades While They Are Still On The Lawn Mower

After giving you the list of the procedure, we’d like to get into the specifics of sharpening your lawn mower blades without having them removed.

Even though it may appear to be a complex undertaking, it really is quite an easy and straightforward one.

Provided that you have the proper tools, you can easily sharpen your lawn mower blades, so check out below to see how to do it.

Step 1. Assemble Your Equipment

Before we get started on how to sharpen lawn mower blades without removing them, we’ll go over the equipment you must have to do so.

Fortunately, no more than a handful of items are required for this project:

  • Cut-resistant gloves are recommended.
  • Eye protection is essential.
  • Hard brush, putty knife, prybar, or other scrapers to remove any debris from the lawn mower’s deck and blade.
  • A couple of pieces of scrap wood or another item to support the mower.
  • Steel file, angle grinder, or drill (with a grinding attachment).
  • Place your mower on your workstation or in any other place that allows you to bow down and get working on it once you’ve gathered your equipment.

Step 2. Turn Off The Power Supply

Before proceeding, ensure that you have unplugged or turned off the source of electricity to your lawn mower (You might want to check out Everything You Need To Know About Brushless Lawn Mowers). On electronically controlled mowers, that implies either extracting the battery or unplugging the cord.

If you have a gas mower, all you are required to do is separate the ignition system cap from the ignition system. This stops your mower from suddenly starting.

Step 3. Turn the Lawn Mower On Its Side

After you have positioned your mower, you will need to turn it on its side to gain access to the blade. This is a crucial step to complete. Many people are unaware that there is both a correct and incorrect way to turn your mower to the side.

The air filter and carburetor should be facing the ceiling when you turn your mower to the side. This ensures that gas and oil do not leak from their storage tanks and end up somewhere they aren’t supposed to be.

Step 4. Brace Your Mower

You’ll really need to keep an eye on your mower while it is turned on its side to ensure it will not fall down. You can do that by grabbing a couple of scrap wood pieces and by placing them in a diagonal direction against the mower.

If you can’t find any wood, use any other item that can properly hold the mower and its weight. While on its side, a lawn mower will probably stay stable, however, it is highly recommended you add some extra protection just to be on the safe side.

Step 5. Ensure That The Mower Deck And Blade Have Been Cleaned

Take this chance to scrounge any dirt particles or dust that has accumulated on the undersurface of the lawn mower.

Having a clean lawn mower, especially a clean deck and blade on a regular basis is advisable, though let’s be frank: like dental floss, most of us forget or undermine this step.

Remove every bit of dehydrated dirt and turf off the deck and blade with a hard brush or any other hard tool there is available.

Some water can go a long way toward removing persistent spots of goo. We would typically start with the deck and afterward proceed with the cleaning blade. If you were not to remove the blade, this would be harder to do, yet try to have it as better cleaned as possible.

Step 6. Secure Your Blade

After you have cleaned the blade, secure its position so it doesn’t move when you are attempting to sharpen it. In case you possess a specialised blade locking tool, that is fantastic, yet the simplest way to secure your blade is by using a pair of locking pliers or a wooden block.

To prevent the blade from rotating, you can lock the pliers to one of the mower deck’s edges. Alternatively, get a wooden piece with the proper size and wedge it between the blade and the deck’s side.

Several people simply grab the blade with either hand while sharpening it with the other, although this is risky, particularly when you are using a drill or angle grinder. Furthermore, attempting to hone the blade at the proper angle with a single hand is much more challenging.

Step 7. Sharpen The Blade

Once you’ve completed all of the required steps, you can finally sharpen the lawn mower’s blade.

There are a number of alternatives for sharpening the lawn mower’s blade, but we think it’s best you use whatever you feel the most confident with and have in your possession or available at that time.

Regardless of the equipment, you will use, there will be three major steps taken to sharpen the lawn mower’s blade:

At A 45 ° Angle, Grind Just The “Upper” Part Of The Blade

The upper part of the blade in this case will be the edge facing the mower’s motor instead of the one facing the floor. It is not necessary to grind at precisely 45°.

You must be capable of following the established angular position on the blade, so see where it appears to be roughly perfect and proceed slowly and steadily.

Move Towards A Single Direction From The Centre To The Blade’s Tip

It is critical to file or grind as smoothly as possible and in a single direction. Starting from the blade’s back side and from the spot that’s close to the centre where it is attached to the lawn mower, and moving slowly and with gentle movement toward the edge.

You do not need to be a professional or crafty person to manage this, although any slashing or back-and-forth motion should be avoided.

Do Your Best To Scrape The Same Quantity Of Debris From Both Edges Of The Blade

As you are not going to remove the blade to test its balance, do your best to equally sharpen its two sides.

Even though there is no way to determine precisely how much substance is being removed from both sides of the blade, you can take an educated guess.

Simply keep tabs on the number of runs you make with your file or grinder and go on with replicating that.

Some Things To Keep In Mind

Now that you know how to sharpen your lawn mower’s blade without having to remove it, there are a few aspects you must keep in mind.

Despite the fact that it’s a simple undertaking, there are a number of things to keep in mind before you begin, as you are working on it, and after you wrap it up.

Does The Blade Need To Be Sharpened Or Replaced?

There are instances when sharpening your lawn mower blade is unnecessary as it actually needs to be replaced.

Lawn mower blades do not have a set life expectancy, yet they ought to be replaced every couple of seasons.

 Examine your blade to determine whether you need to replace it. In case you see that your blade is bent, has big nicks/dents, or is severely rusted, you must consider replacing it.

Understanding what the blade looks like when it needs to be replaced is essential if you want to save yourself some time.

Sharpen The Blade When The Fuel Tank Is Depleted

You might not have a lot of options, yet when you can, sharpen your lawn mower’s blade when you run out of fuel.

Because your mower will be turned on its side for an extended amount of time, it is best to perform this task after you have exhausted your gas.

This method will keep gas from spilling in places it should not go. Leaks are unlikely, but they should be avoided if at all possible.

Look Out For Excess Vibration

After you have sharpened your blade and are back out mowing the lawn, pay attention to the way your mower is operating.

In case you notice any extra vibration from the mower than what is normal, that means that you could have sharpened the blade out of balance.

Running your mower with a poorly balanced blade may result in a bad cutting quality or even functional failure of the machine. When you seriously doubt your blade is balanced, remove it from the mower and inspect it. Trying to balance lawn mower blades is a simple task that can save you time and money over the long term.

The Bottom Line

After having read this article, you should have a better understanding of how to sharpen your lawn mower blades when you do not wish to remove them from the lawn mower.

While most people tend to remove the blades before sharpening them, you can sharpen them while they are still attached to the lawn mower. However, make sure to follow our tips above so that you can do it successfully!

Brian Freis