How often should you change your mower blades?

The sharper your mower blades are, the better the cut. But how often should you be sharpening your mower blades? Daily? Weekly? Every two weeks? I asked the members on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum how often they sharpen their mower blades. Understandably, I got a lot of varied responses but the benefit to all these answers is you can compare and contrast how often you sharpen your blades with them. From there you may find you need to sharpen more often or possibly you are being too much of a perfectionist and you might try sharpening less often. One thing to keep in mind is, the more time you spend taking blades off, sharpening them, and putting them back on, takes away from the time you could be out there mowing and making money. So it is a fine balancing act.

One lawn care business owner said “I change my mower blades/sharpen daily if not twice daily during the summer. I run 2 mowers (3 man crews) serving 25-30 properties a day. Some lawns are nice st. Augustine, Some are a mix of bahai, weeds, & sand (very hard on blades). The grass is wet pretty much all day long every day down here, so that does quickly effect cut quality.

As soon as they stop cutting well, I swap them on the spot at the back of the trailer where ever we happen to be. I have probably 6 sets for my older machine (had it a little over a year) & 3 sets for my new one (about 2 months old). In doing this I find that it makes for a better cut in less passes. Less passes is easier on the wet lawns down here as multiple passes tends to rut them up pretty bad. It saves on fuel & labor too. Also because I don’t let the blades get so bad that they’re essentially flat, they sharpen easily as I don’t have to take much off to get a nice edge back. I sharpen them with an angle grinder. I don’t use a vice, instead I simply hold them in one hand & grind with the other!

Yes it’s on my trailer & yes I have had blades get bent before & had to sharpen a dull blade once or twice outside a customers house to keep going for the day.

It’s hard to say how long they last as I use multiple sets & replace as needed but I bet I get a new set for each machine about once a month during my busy time of year. So if I have 3 sets, I guess they last 3 months? New in & the oldest out.

I don’t use a lift or air guns when I change the blades. I just put the deck up & back the back tires about a foot up the trailer ramp & I set the brake. This gives a little extra clearance. Then I swap em out right there & keep going.”

Another lawn care business owner said “that’s a lot of sharpening dude! I personally have 2 sets of mower blades that get swapped out weekly. I send one set to the the tool sharpener on Monday and pickup/dropoff on Friday. Now I’m wondering if I’m not giving my customers, at the end of the week, a good clean cut.”

A third lawn care business owner said “I change my mower blades once per week and only have enough customers to fill about 20 to 25 hours per week. If I were at full capacity, I could see at least 2 changes per week. Edger blades are about the same.

I made a jig to hold the blades and I sharpen them with a side grinder. It’s nothing fancy. I have 6 sets of blade (I get a quantity discount). With that many, I only have to sharpen once a month or so. When I remove a set, I number them so that they always stay together. I change them every week. I might could go longer, but the dull blades start to show in cut quality.”

A fourth suggested “I have 5 sets of blades and put a fresh set on each day. This was suggested to me by a friend in the business and it works well for me. I have 33 accounts at this time and it always give a nice clean cut. The blades get sharpened weekly, $3 per set.”

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