Reel mowers have five to eight spinning spiral blades that contact a stationary blade to cut the grass in a "scissor-like" fashion. The clean cutting of the reel mower seals the end of the grass blade and helps it retain moisture and keep out diseases. Over time, the blades begin to get dull. To restore the cutting quality, you must sharpen them. Otherwise, not only will it be more difficult to push the reel mower through the grass, the cut won't be as clean and fungus and disease can penetrate the grass.
Purchase a reel mower sharpening kit. This kit is available at your local hardware store or online.
Turn the mower on its side and pop off the plastic cover in the center of the wheel. A screwdriver should work sufficiently for this.
Remove the "C" ring that keeps the wheel in place. Again, a screwdriver should remove it with a gentle prying motion.
Pull the wheel off the reel mower. Look for the gear that turns the reel and remove it. It should slide right off the gear shaft.
Take the crank that came with the sharpening kit and slide it over the gear shaft. Apply sharpening compound to all the blades on the reel with a paintbrush.
Grab the crank and use it to turn the blades backward. Keep turning until you see a clean, smooth edge on all the blades.
Remove the crank, replace the gear and put the wheel back on. Lock the wheel in place by replacing the "C" ring. Snap the plastic cover back on the wheel.