How to Sharpen Reel Mower Blades


A reel mower uses an assembly that slices grass using multiple blades. Different reels have different numbers of blades, but most have five or six blades. Although most reel mowers are human powered push mowers, some reel mowers are designed to be pulled behind a garden tractor. Keeping the blades sharp will make mowing easier and also will help create cleaner cuts, resulting in healthier grass.

Step 1

Remove the handle from the mower to allow for easier access to the mower base. Different mowers have different procedures for handle remover. For some, simply pressing the two sides of the handle inward will release the handle from the base. Others may require you to remove a bolt, nut or screw.

Step 2

Remove any covers over the C clips or rings that hold the wheels on the mower. Some mowers may not have covers or the covers may have been lost.

Step 3

Use a flat blade screwdriver to work the C-clip off. Be careful as the tension on the clip can cause it to fly off. Hold your hand over the clip as you work it off to prevent it from becoming lost.

Step 4

Pull the mower wheel off and remove the gear that transfers rotational force from the wheel to the blade assembly.

Step 5

Insert the sharpening kit's crank in the place where you removed the gear.

Step 6

Use a paint brush to apply sharpening compound to all of the blades on the reel.

Step 7

Turn the crank to cause the blades to rotate backwards. This rotation will cause the sharpening compound to rub on the blades and cutter surface, thus sharpening the blades. Keep turning the crank until you see a clean metal edge on all of the blades.

Step 8

Reassemble the mower.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches
  • Reel mower sharpening kit for your mower
  • Paint brush


  • Reel Mowers: Getting started with sharpening your reel mower
  • Lawn Mower Review: How to sharpen lawn mower blades
Keywords: reel mowers, reel mower maintenance, reel mower sharpening

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.