The heart of every lawn mower is the blade. Defective or inefficient lawn mower blades can produce unsightly results while people who sharpen lawn mower blades the right way can expect a great looking lawn with minimal effort. Although there are different types of lawn mower blades, it’s all about the care and proper use of the blade that ensures success during landscaping or any other activities that requires a lawn mower. Everyone interested in landscape or simply making their backyard look great any time of the year should care about the efficiency of their lawn mowers especially their blades.
The Different Types of Lawn Mower Blades
Learning how to identify the different types of lawn mower blades is very helpful not only for landscapers but even for homeowners. With the right type of lawnmower blade, cutting grass will be easier and the expected results after cutting grass is more achievable. Selecting a wrong type of lawnmower blade could easily affect the look of the grass and the lawnmower itself will not perform well and would require additional maintenance.
A Quick Look at the History of Lawnmowers and its Blades
Understanding the types of lawn mower blades are almost the same as knowing the history of lawnmower. You get to know the different types of lawnmower in the past as it slowly but surely evolve into something more useful and practical for everyone.
One of the earliest designs of lawnmower is the push-powered lawnmower that uses vertical garden mower blades. The current design of push-powered lawnmower existed since 1888. The reel model is still the same today which is a testament of its impressive and practical design still useful to this day. The horizontal blade was only made during the 30s after the engines were developed to become small and lightweight enough for home use.
There are two general types of lawn mower blades. The types are based on the motion of their rotation which is also the basis for the design and even the purpose of the lawn mower itself. When you shop at Home Depot for blades, be sure to indicate the type of blade you want to purchase. You don’t want to spend money on a blade totally uses for your lawn mower.
The first type of lawn mower blade is the vertical blade. The blades are placed in a slightly inclined vertical position in order to effectively cut grass. One of the earliest editions of lawnmower (late 19th century) uses this type of lawnmower and some homes still use the manual push mower. The blade design is no longer popular in most homes but it’s still a very popular blade option for agricultural purposes because it can easily widen its cutting range.
The second type of lawn mower blade is the horizontal blade. Current gas and electric powered lawn mowers at home use this type of blade. The blade cuts the grass in a circular motion – think of it as a fan but with blades. In some cases, like the lightweight hand-carried lawn mower, the blade comes in plastic for safety purposes instead of the traditional blade.
The horizontal blade is further grouped into two more types: the mulching and the lifting blades. Lifting blades perfectly describes its function – it has the ability to life the grass so that it doesn’t interfere with the cutting process. The back portion of the blade is lifted a little bit in order to push the grass upwards through airflow. This type of blade is often paired with a mower that sucks the grass for bagging.
There are also two types of lifting blades: high and low lift blades. Mulching blades is specifically designed for tall grass settings although it can work in almost any grass conditions. Its unique feature is the curved blade which allows it to cut grass twice. It’s a very simple mechanism but highly effective when tackling taller grass.
Almost every known manufacturer such as Sears, Gator blades and Honda offer these types of lawnmower parts. Even the tractor supply lawn mower blades are available from well known brands.
Maintenance of Lawnmower Blades
Lawnmower maintenance is essential for every landscaper or anyone who uses this type of equipment at home or at work. If the lawnmower blade doesn’t go through regular maintenance it will become dull and even become useless in the long run. Some blades could be very expensive and purchasing a blade from time to time could be really costly even for home use.
Maintenance always starts with using the right blade for the job. The wrong blade will affect the blade itself as well as the desired results. It’s the reason why landscapers have to choose the right type of lawnmower so that they can easily tackle the job at hand with the right blade.
Sharpening the Lawnmower Blade
Sharpening the blade is one of the most important maintenance activities for the lawnmower. A dull blade requires additional manpower and could rack up the cost of grass maintenance. It’s a relatively easy task as long as you are familiar with the basic parts of the lawnmower.
A safety tip: Before removing the blade, double-check if the lawnmower is completely switched off. You don’t want to end up with shortened fingers because you accidentally switched on the lawnmower.
Sharpening the blade depends on its design. If there are no “v-shaped” or angled areas, a grinding wheel could easily sharpen the blade. For “v-shaped” or irregular areas of the blade, a file could easily do the job of sharpening the blade. It’s also a good idea to remove rust and other undesirable elements in the blade.
Last but not the least: sharpen the blade only to the point that it’s good enough for cutting butter. A very sharp blade can also cut grass well but can be easily destroyed when it hits even a small rock. Blades that aren’t too sharp can still yield the same results compared to razor sharp blades but doesn’t easily dull or get dinged when it hits a small rock.