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How Often Should You Sharpen a Reel Mower?

By Sommer Leigh ; Updated September 21, 2017
Sharpen reel mower blades as often as necessary.
automne image by Didier Weemaels from Fotolia.com

Sharpening reel mower blades doesn't have to be an intimidating chore. Most reel mower models provide their own sharpening kit and sharpening only takes a matter of minutes after you easily remove a few parts on the mower. Evaluate when sharpening is absolutely required to save time wasted on unnecessary blade sharpening.

Sharpen blades based on the model of your reel mower and what kind of blades it has. Reel mowers with alloy steel blades require sharpening as often as once a year. Those made with flame-hardened steel blades typically do not require sharpening for five to 10 years.

Sharpen blades if adjusting the blades does not change how the mower blades cut. Many times, properly adjusting the blades to account for higher or lower grasses fixes the mower's ability to cut the grass well.

Sharpen blades based on use. The size of your lawn, how often the reel mower is used, condition of the lawn and moisture exposure all affect how long the blades remain sharp. Consider these factors when determining how often to check the blades' sharpness.

Sharpen blades when a paper test shows jagged edges. Place a piece of paper between the blades. Move the reel mower forward to cut the paper. Sharp blades will cut the paper cleanly. Blades that require sharpening will cut the paper with jagged edges.


Things You Will Need

  • Paper

About the Author


Sommer Leigh has produced home, garden, family and health content since 1997 for such nationally known publications as "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "Midwest Living," "Healthy Kids" and "American Baby." Leigh also owns a Web-consulting business and writes for several Internet publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in information technology and Web management from the University of Phoenix.