How to Sharpen an Old Reel Push Mower


Reel push mowers are manually operated grass cutting machines that utilize five rotating blades to evenly cut through grass. Over time, the reel's blades become dull, making the machine difficult to push and less accurate with cutting. Keep your reel mower in top working order by sharpening the blades at the beginning of each lawn-growing season.

Step 1

Fill the bucket with water and add 1 tsp. of dish soap. Scrub the lawn mower blades with a sponge and the soapy water to remove all dirt and plant particles. Make sure that the blades are completely clean or you will grind the dirt into the blades, dulling the bevel.

Step 2

Fill the bucket with clean water and dip your whetstone into the water.

Step 3

Locate the bevel on the mower blades. The blades should be at a slant, so that one side of the blade is higher than the other. That slant is called the bevel.

Step 4

Sharpen the flat side of the blade first by laying the whetstone flat against the blade with your fingers pressing on the end opposite the blade. Rub back and forth 10 to 15 times until you notice even scratch marks across the entire blade.

Step 5

Re-wet the whetstone and sharpen the slanted side of the blade by placing the whetstone at the same angle as the blade and rubbing in small circles. Rub down the entire blade until it also has equal scratches throughout.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Whetstone


  • "The Razor Edge Book of Sharpening"; John Jurantich; 2000
Keywords: push mower, push reel mower, sharpening mower blades

About this Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.