Image via pigsonthewinguk on flickr.
As with any machinery, make sure all power to the lawn mower is turned off. Disconnect the spark plug to prevent accidental power supply. Always wear gloves and safety glasses when working on machinery to prevent accidental damage.
This maintenance is a great way to boost fuel efficiency since sharper blades reduce fuel usage by approximately twenty percent. Mowing with sharp blades also protect the grass. By not tearing and ripping the grass when it is cut, it prevents many lawn diseases, which can be relatively expensive to fight. Mowing with sharp blades also offers a more crisp, clean cut and lessens the possibility of thatching, meaning some areas will have more or less grass cut or possibly even pulled free from the roots.
Installing a lawn mower blade does not have to be for the fact that the blade is broken. Changing the lawn mower blade is recommended if the blade is too dull to sharpen, if it is dented or if it is chipped. Checking the mower blade is recommended before doing the first mow of each season, and any time the cut quality deteriorates.
First, make sure to disconnect the spark plug to prevent accidental ignition of the motor. If you have to turn the lawn mower on its side to reach the blade housing, make sure to drain the fuel tank to avoid fuel leaks or contamination. Using your wrench, loosen the bolts holding the blade in place and remove the blade. Place the bolts back in position loosely so they don’t get lost or mixed up. If you don’t have the serial number of the blade, you may want to take the blade to the auto parts store to ensure the purchase of the proper blade. You do not want to buy a blade too big because, quite simply, it just wouldn’t fit. You do not want to buy a blade that is too small, either. This is because a blade that is too small won’t completely fill the blade housing and will cause an uneven cut if you follow the patterns.
Once the new blade has been purchased, put the gloves on your hands to protect from accidental cuts off the blade. Remove the bolts and position the new blade appropriately. Always make sure the curved or beveled edge is facing upwards into the blade housing. This helps produce an appropriate air flow that pulls the grass upwards in order to be cut. Place the bolts back in position and tighten them up using a wrench or socket set. If using a torque wrench, one click set at thirty pounds is generally adequate. Always make sure the blade is firmly secured. A loose blade may become a dangerous flying object.
Now is a great time to check the blade housing for grass or dirt clumps, or any other debris that may be damaging the blade, or may be reducing the blade velocity. After all this is done, set the mower back upright and refuel. It is now time to get ready, get set, and mow!