How to Sharpen Blades on a Manual Mower


Manual lawnmowers, also known as reel mowers, are commonly used to cut species of grass that require shorter mowing such as Bermuda grass and bent grass. Instead of a rapidly spinning rotary blade, they utilize a reel. This reel contains multiple blades that spin and cut the grass against a stationary blade, also known as the bedknife. Like all other lawnmower blades, these blades will need to be sharpened at least yearly to ensure a healthy lawn.

Step 1

Lay your manual lawnmower down on either side and look at the side of the wheel. Slide a flathead screwdriver under the plastic cap and slowly pry it off.

Step 2

Pry off the "C" clip with your flathead screwdriver that holds the wheel on to the shaft.

Step 3

Pull the wheel off the manual mower and pull off the gear that is underneath the wheel.

Step 4

Pull the crank out of the sharpening kit and place it over the shaft that the gear was on. Pull out the paint brush and sharpening compound. Brush the sharpening compound on each blade of the reel.

Step 5

Turn the crank so that the reel spins backward. Keep turning until the blades get a smooth and shiny edge.

Step 6

Remove the crank from the shaft. Place the gear back over the shaft and place the wheel back on the lawnmower.

Step 7

Push the "C" clip on to the shaft to hold the wheel in place and snap the wheel cover back on the wheel.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves when handling any parts of the reel. The reel is extremely sharp and will cause serious cuts.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Sharpening kit


  • Reel Mowers Sharpening: How to Sharpen a Manual Reel Mower
Keywords: sharpen blades, reel mower, manual mower, bedknife, sharpening compound

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.