How to Sharpen a Reel Mower Blade


You'll know your blades need sharpening when even after adjusting its height, your mower still cuts poorly. Most reel mowers come with their own sharpening kit, but you may need to purchase it separately. Directions for sharpening blades are similar for most new reel mower models. All kits include a tool, often referred to as a crank or backlapping tool. Reel mower blades cut like new after sharpening.

Step 1

Prop the mower on its side.

Step 2

Remove the "C" clip from the right side by inserting a flathead screwdriver into the clip's retaining ring. Push up on the clip until it pops off. Remove the wheel and set it aside.

Step 3

Remove the pinion gear.

Step 4

Position the provided backlapping tool over the reel shaft where the gear was located.

Step 5

Open the jar of sharpening compound. Place the provided paintbrush inside the jar to apply compound to the brush. Brush the compound over the reel blade edges in smooth, even strokes.

Step 6

Turn the backlapping tool slowly counterclockwise. Continue turning until blades appear smooth and sharp.

Step 7

Reassemble the lawn mower. Place a strip of paper between the cutter bar and the reel. Turn the reel by hand. The paper should cut cleanly so it has straight edges. Oil the blades with a lubricant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear a pair of heavy gloves to protect hands from the sharp blades.

Things You'll Need

  • Flathead screwdriver


  • Reel Mowers, Etc.: ProMow Gang Reel Sharpening Instructions
  • Reel Mowers Sharpening: How to Sharpen a Manual Mower

Who Can Help

  • Reel Mowers, Etc.: Owners Manuals
Keywords: sharpen reel mower, sharpen mower blade, reel mower blade

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.