How to Sharpen Reel Lawn Mower Blades


Although there are powered reel mowers and larger mowers designed to be pulled behind a tractor, most reel mowers are small, human powered push mowers. The blades of a reel mower are mounted horizontally on two rotating drums. The blades spin on a horizontal access, instead of the vertical plane with rotary mowers. Keeping your reel mower sharp is not difficult and will help keep your grass healthier.

Step 1

Remove the handle from your mower. On many mowers, pressing the handles inward will allow them to slip out of their mounts. In other cases, you may need to remove screws or bolts.

Step 2

Remove the mower wheels. Some wheels may have a plastic cover over their mounting bolts. Pop off that cover, if necessary, and un-bolt the wheels.

Step 3

Coat the plate against which the reel blades cut grass with sharpening compound. The compound, and application brush, are usually part of your sharpening kit.

Step 4

Turn the mower on its side and place the crank on the wheel mount. Gently turn the crank to establish the direction that will cause the reel to spin backward.

Step 5

Turn the crank so that the reel spins backward against the cutting plate with the sharpening compound.

Step 6

Turn the reel until you can see fresh, untarnished metal on the cutting edge of all of the reel blades.

Things You'll Need

  • Reel mower
  • Assorted wrenches and screwdrivers
  • Reel mower sharpening kit


  • City University of New York: Sharpening Lawnmowers
Keywords: reel mower sharpening, lawn mower maintenance, lawn mower sharpening

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.