Sharpening reel mower blades doesn't have to be an intimidating chore. Most reel mower models provide their own sharpening kit and sharpening only takes a matter of minutes after you easily remove a few parts on the mower. Evaluate when sharpening is absolutely required to save time wasted on unnecessary blade sharpening.
Sharpen blades based on the model of your reel mower and what kind of blades it has. Reel mowers with alloy steel blades require sharpening as often as once a year. Those made with flame-hardened steel blades typically do not require sharpening for five to 10 years.
Sharpen blades if adjusting the blades does not change how the mower blades cut. Many times, properly adjusting the blades to account for higher or lower grasses fixes the mower's ability to cut the grass well.
Sharpen blades based on use. The size of your lawn, how often the reel mower is used, condition of the lawn and moisture exposure all affect how long the blades remain sharp. Consider these factors when determining how often to check the blades' sharpness.
Sharpen blades when a paper test shows jagged edges. Place a piece of paper between the blades. Move the reel mower forward to cut the paper. Sharp blades will cut the paper cleanly. Blades that require sharpening will cut the paper with jagged edges.