Lawn mowers require a certain amount of regular maintenance to ensure that they are working properly. Checking the oil, the gas, the air filter and carburetor are regular practices for the mower owner, but the blades need special attention as well. A mower will not cut a lawn effectively without sharpened blades. If your lawn looks uneven when cut, or if you have a hard time cutting long blades of grass, it may be time to sharpen the blade.
Unplug the sparkplug to prevent the engine form accidentally starting.
Remove the gasoline and oil from the mower engine to prevent it from getting into the carburetor.
Turn your mower onto its side with the carburetor over the oil crankcase to prevent spillage into the carburetor.
Place the block of wood at the bottom of the mower and push the blade against it to prevent it from moving while you are removing the blade.
Turn the wrench to loosen the bolt on the mower blade. If it will not move, use the rubber mallet to tap it gently to remove the bolt. Remove the blade.
Sharpening the Blade
Turn on your grinder and grind the tapered edge of the blade against it wherever you see nicks. Apply only a small amount of pressure.
Sharpen the ground edge of the blade (right at the end of the blade) with a 10-inch mill file by running the file along the blade in long strokes away from you, using good pressure at a consistent angle.
Place the blade on your plastic blade balance to ensure it is balanced properly on both ends of the blade. Grind away a small amount of metal from the heavy side of the blade.
About this Author
Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on eHow.com, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.