How to Sharpen Push Lawnmower Blades


Think of a reel mower, and you'll probably recall Dad's rusty, old push mower. Today's push mowers are lighter weight and aren't anymore difficult to push than a gas-powered mower. Environmentally conscious homeowners love reel mowers for their quiet operation and low-maintenance use. As you mow the lawn, you'll hear only the birds singing and the quiet swish of the blades. You'll smell only the scent of freshly-cut grass and your flower garden. Best of all, there's no uncooperative starting mechanism and no gas or oil. The mower stores easily in your shed or on a wall.

Step 1

Unscrew the screws on the mower handle to remove the handle.

Step 2

Turn the mower on its side. Unscrew the wheel cover. Underneath the wheel cover is a C-ring holding the wheel in place. Place your screwdriver under the C-ring, and gently pop it off. Remove the wheel. Inside the wheel, closest to the blades, sits a gear. Slide this gear off.

Step 3

Slide the crank from your sharpening kit over the metal pipe where the gear was. Open the can of sharpening compound, and dip your paintbrush in it. Apply sharpening compound with your paintbrush to all five blades of your push mower.

Step 4

Turn the crank counterclockwise to sharpen the blades. The blades will turn in the opposite direction of normal operation. Keep turning until you see a smooth, metal edge on the blades.

Step 5

Remove the crank, and slide the gear back into place. Attach the wheel, followed by the C-ring and wheel cover to reassemble your push mower. Replace the handle, and tighten all the screws with your screwdriver.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Sharpening kit (includes crank, sharpening compound and paintbrush)


  • Reel Mowers: How to Sharpen a Manual Reel Mower
  • Reel Mowers: Sharpen Your Reel Mower
  • Reel Mower Guide: A Complete Guide

Who Can Help

  • Cornell University Horticulture Department: Mowing
  • Reel Mower Guide: Scotts Reel Mower Information
Keywords: sharpening mower blades, using push mowers, reel mower

About this Author

Julie Christensen has been writing professionally since 2001. She is a full-time freelance writer and former teacher with writing credits from several regional and national publications, such as Colorado Parent and LDS Living. She specializes in parenting, education and gardening topics. Christensen studied early childhood education at Ricks College, and spent 20 years as a teacher and director in university and public school settings.