How do you know when it’s time to change your lawnmower blade? If there are patches of grass where you have already mowed-it’s time to modify the blade. Sharp, new blades make cutting easier, and you won’t have to mow as often. Replacing a blade is not as complicated as you may think. Here are some easy to follow steps:
1. Expose the blade by lifting the mower deck.
(Important: Don’t tilt the mower too far or oil can spill everywhere)
The safest way to raise the mower deck is a partner. Tilt the mower toward the handle. You can prop the mower with something if you don’t have anyone to help you. Another important thing to remember is not to tilt the mower if there is gas in the tank because it will spill on the body.
2. Make sure you unplug the spark plug.
This is an extra safety precaution to make sure the spark plug doesn’t come into contact with gasoline. This shouldn’t be a problem, but it is better to double check.
3. The blade mounting bolt must be taken off.
You can remove the mounting with a socket wrench, while preventing the blade from moving, with your other hand. Keep up with washers and hardware so that you can reuse them with the new blade. Also, note the position of the blade when you take it off because you will mount the new one, the same way. Commonly, the sharp end of the blade will go counterclockwise when the assembly turns. Some mowers may be different, however.
Replacement blade kits can be purchased at hardware stores for minimal amounts of money. Check your owner’s manual if you aren’t sure what type of blades to buy.
Recycling your old blades to be sharpened is an option, but if you are missing pieces to yours, it is best to invest in new ones.
4. The new blade must be mounted in the correct direction.
You can line up the blades based on how they were before. You can reuse the hardware to install or purchase new washers, etc. Do not overtighten because this can damage your blade. Many blades are universal fit but check with the old blade for length. Some are straight like a ruler. Also, check clearance to ensure distance from the deck is the same. Attach the new blade but be careful of its newly sharp edges. To ensure safety, wear thick work gloves and use a small piece of wood placed in between the deck and the blade to prevent the blade from turning.
The blade should not have any movement in it. Move it around firmly to check. You can remove any jacks and allow an hour for oil to return to its proper level. Check oil level before you use the mower.
That’s all there is to it. Make sure you do a pre-cut check of gas and filters to ensure everything is ready to go. You will see a much improved, even cut with your new blades.