Posts Tagged ‘Sharpening’

File Sharpening for Your Yard

When it’s time to clean up outside and do the yard, certain tools are commonly used no matter where you are.   But I’m not talking about gardens and gardening tools.   I’m talking about the yard itself.   If you’ve got a lawn, you’ll probably own a lawn mower.   If you have trees in your yard, you may have a chain saw, even an axe.  
What’s your plan when your blades become dull?  When the lawn looks unhealthy after you’ve just cut it, when your chain saw is taking too long to do its job, when you’re forced to keep swinging away with your axe because it’s just not cutting right?  Well, you know it’s time to sharpen up those blades up.  
Believe me, you don’t need to buy new blades.   You needn’t go to a professional blade sharpener.   Not everyone likes, or is able, to turn their blades in for professional sharpening once or a few times a year, anyway.   You can do the sharpening yourself, right at home with your own hands using a sharpening file.  
This could be the fastest sharpening because you’ll be doing it yourself, right there where you are.   It could be the cheapest sharpening because you won’t be paying anyone to do it for you.   You won’t be spending gas money to go drop them off to a professional and then to pick them up.   You won’t have to buy new blades or chains.   Isn’t all that worth it?  
Why use a sharpening file?  Sharpening files are lined with strong cutting ridges that abrade, or smooth, metal or wood.   There are many kinds to choose from.   Each type is meant to work on a specific type of surface.   The coarse grade file is meant to remove a lot of metal, like when you’ve got to reshape a blade edge that has been dinged, nicked badly or banged up.   The smooth grade file is meant for edges that need to have a nice smooth finish.   This is usually the last step in sharpening.   Your choice will depend upon just how sharp you want your blade to be.  
To sharpen a lawn mower blade, a bastard file is a good choice.   It does a fine job of sharpening lawn mower blades.   It’s able to sharpen, as well as put a razor-sharp edge on your blade.   If you prefer, there are special rotary blade files that can be used.
If home owners are fortunate, there are trees that enhance the look of their yard and home.   Periodic use of a chain saw becomes necessary, in such cases.   To sharpen the many cutting teeth of a chain saw, round files are used.   They’re also called chain saw files.   The teeth on a chain saw come in different sizes.   They’re specified in the owner’s manual, so be sure to check and use the right size.   Don’t just buy what you find.   You could really ruin your chain.      
Maybe you don’t have a chain saw.   Maybe you’ve got an axe.   If you do then you’ll probably know that working with a dull axe will make you frustrated and tired.   You’ve got to make it sharp for your own safety and not just for the job you need to do.   An axe file or a cross cut file may be used to get your axe in good working condition.   If you prefer a razor-sharp edge, a flat file or a smooth grade file could do the trick.   Tough working axes don’t need such a sharp edge.   But they do need it to be sharpened correctly in order to cleave through the wood.   It all depends on just how sharp you need it to be.  
Whether you have a lawn mower, a chain saw or an axe for maintaining your yard, you can do the fastest, and cheapest, sharpening job ever by doing it yourself.   And it really isn’t hard to do.   It just takes a bit of time, patience and practice.   You’ll be developing very useful skills that could save you hundreds of dollars and a great deal of time.   If you do it right, your blades could last your lifetime.   Be careful.  
Len Q. is a master blade sharpener and an adventurer who strives to protect the natural world.   If you would like to learn about
            ▪  Knife Sharpening:  How to Sharpen Knives, Maintain and Store Them
            ▪  Tests for Sharpness, Sharpening Angles and Much more
            ▪  How to Sharpen, Maintain and Store Lawn Mowers, Chain Saws and Axes
            ▪  Sharpening Gardening Tools (Maintain and Store Them)
Find it here at www. MakeKnivesSharp. com

Biologist and Environmental Consultant. Former high school science teacher. Medically retired at 26yo. Been that way over 13 years. The world waits. Changing my world.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Categories: Electric lawnmowers   Tags: , , ,

Knife Sharpening Experts: Electric Knife Sharpening’s Come a Very Long Way

If you’re a person who has many knives, many edges to sharpen at a fairly consistent pace, electric knife sharpening is for you. So much time and effort will be saved. But take heed. Using these devices without proper training and only a little experience could be a regrettable move.
Electric knife sharpeners are well known for producing great heat while sharpening. Friction from the metal edge against the sharpener over time will do that. You’ve got to know just how hot you’ll allow the metal edge to get. If your blade changes color on you, if you’re waiting for that to be the sign, you’ve blown it. If you see sparks, forget about it. Your blade edge has been overheated and has lost its temper. Yeah, you’ve got an angry knife on your hands! (Ha!) No. To lose temper on a blade means that you have weakened it. Made it brittle, even pliable. Just imagine using it now. That is a knife that you don’t want.
Even knowing that, electric knife sharpeners have improved a great deal over the last decade. Some of them are astonishing in what they claim they’re able to do. Many are quoted as saying that they “will never detemper” a knife’s edge. Wow. Wouldn’t that be something? To never, ever have to worry. Truly amazing.
What about the sharpening angle? This is the angle of the bevel that determines the functionality and durability of each knife. Some modern electric knife sharpeners have high precision knife guides that it is said will achieve the exact sharpening angle they want, precisely. You needn’t concern yourself over it. Some sharpeners actually claim that they will do as much as convert the existing sharpening angle of some knives to a different, more high performing sharpening angle. Another says that it’ll get the edge to a condition that is better than the factory edge. It’ll give it a sharpening angle that performs better than that given by the one’s who’ve made the knife. Truly awesome declarations, one and all.
Many of the latest electric knife sharpeners have improved to having several sharpening stages all in one. The first stage is meant to get the edge to sharpness. You could stop right there if you wanted. The second stage is usually a finer sharpening with smaller abrasive particles than is found in the first stage. It is meant to get the edge to razor-sharpness. The third stage is meant for stropping. How about that? An electric knife stopper to get your edge silky smooth. Absolutely extraordinary.
Electric knife sharpening has definitely grown by leaps and bounds. If everything they claim is true, why would anyone want to know how to manually sharpen their knives? A very good question. Here’s your answer: It isn’t possible to take most kinds of electric knife sharpeners away from home and out into the field. Many of them are battery powered but they’re size or bulk doesn’t make transport very practical. It isn’t very wise to take an electric knife sharpener out camping or on a fishing trip. You really shouldn’t take it out on a boat or on a hunt. With electric knife sharpeners, you’ve got to be near an outlet or in a secure and safe location.
Most times then, it just isn’t reasonable. Too many times you’ll need to sharpen your knife’s edge right where you are, where all you’ve got is yourself, maybe a pack and your own two hands. But most of all, more than all of this, sharpening on a sharpening stone will still get you the sharpest edge possible. It is still the most reliable way to sharpen your knives.
If you only need to sharpen your knives while you’re at home, an electric knife sharpener is probably all you’ll ever need. But if you’re an active individual who often needs to do some sharpening while you’re out in the world, you’ll want to learn how to sharpen knives with your own two hands. And don’t worry. You’ve got many choices to make that happen.
Knife sharpening isn’t difficult. It just takes a bit of practice. Once you’ve got it, you’ll have a very valuable skill that’ll last your lifetime. And you can do this almost anywhere, at any time. That’s pretty amazing right there? And when you’re home, surrounded by the many advantages of modern living, your electric knife sharpener can get your knife sharpening done for you in two flashes. Truly incredible, to be able to manually and electrically sharpen your knives. There’d be nothing slowing you down.

Len Q. is a master blade sharpener and an adventurer who strives to protect the natural world. If you would like to learn more about

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm

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Sharpening Mower Blades

Sharp blades give a sharp appearance to your lawn. By the same token, dull mower blades leave your lawn looking shaggy and poorly cared for.

How can you tell if your lawnmower is clipping your grass properly? Here’s a simple test; after you have finished mowing, bend down and pluck a few blades of the grass for a close-up examination. If your mower blade is sharp, the cut edge of the grass will appear evenly sheared as if it had been cut straight across with a pair of scissors; if the cut edge is uneven and jagged, the blade is not adequately sharpened and is actually tearing off the top of the grass blades rather than cutting them.

What are the negative effects of tearing rather than cutting the grass? Appearance and health; first of all, the top edges of the torn grass will quickly turn brown as the moisture dries from the damaged part of the grass blades. This damage will weaken the grass plants and make them more susceptible to disease. Imagine what the result would be if you used a stick to knock off the tender new growth of an azalea, boxwood, or other shrub in order to prune it back, shape it, or control its growth! This is what a dull lawnmower blade does to your millions of tiny tender grass plants.

Cutting the grass with a dull blade is also a drag to the lawnmower itself—literally. The engine of the mower is under a greater strain, working harder than it should have to in order to push the dull edge of the blade through the grass. This strain can shorten the life of the engine since it is not able to operate at maximum efficiency; it also increases gas consumption.

Since we know now that a well-sharpened lawnmower blade is important to the health of the grass and to the life of the machine, how do we go about achieving the desired sharpness? With knowledge and caution, of course! First of all, put on a good thick pair of work gloves before you begin your sharpening adventure; there are lots of opportunities for scraping, mashing, cutting, and otherwise damaging your fingers in the process of removing a blade from a lawnmower, sharpening the blade, and properly securing it back onto the mower. You’ll need a short block of wood (about a foot long piece of 1”X2” pine works well), to wedge between the end of the blade and the underside wall of the cutting deck to keep the blade from free-wheeling as you loosen the bolt that holds the blade on. It is much easier to use a ratchet and the proper size socket to loosen and re-tighten the bolt than it is to use an open end, box end, or adjustable wrench. For walk-behind mowers, whether they be the 21 inch cut single blade kind or the larger deck 3 blade variety, tilt the mower deck up by pushing the handlebar down to the ground and securing the front edge of the deck off the ground with concrete blocks. The smaller mowers can be turned up on their side briefly to gain access to the blade, if you do not work too slowly, causing the gasoline to spill from the top of the gas tank.

The preferred method of sharpening is with the use of a bench-mounted emery stone electric grinder. Hold the blade securely with both hands and move it slowly along the surface of the spinning stone, being careful to maintain the original angle of the cutting edge of the blade. If you do not have a bench grinder at home, I recommend taking the blade to a professional lawnmower shop and having them sharpen the blade for you. The expense of this procedure is small and the results are well worth it in order to have a properly sharpened blade. Sharpening devices are available that can be used with your portable drill, but the results obtained are usually not very acceptable, and you certainly can not do much useful sharpening with a file or other hand tools.

Take your lawnmower blades to a pro for sharpening or take your time and do a careful professional sharpening job yourself in order to have a healthy great-looking lawn!

The son, grandson, and great-grandson of farmers and gardeners, Douglas L. Bishop, the chief-editor of was born and raised on a small farm in east Tennessee. Much of his love for and his knowledge of gardening and the green and growing world of Nature and the outdoors came from those early days. He received a degree in Forestry from the University of Tennessee and has worked in some aspect of horticulture or landscape management all his life.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm

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Lawn Mower Sharpening and Repair – What You Need to Know

Maintaining a thriving green garden needs proper care and the right equipment on hand. Having the right lawn mower for your landscape’s glory that will cut the grass and not actually rip them up is a must have. If you wish to buy one, the primary thing that you need to consider is your landscape. Do you have a flat lawn or do you own the slope type? In case the work calls for cutting grasses on a slope then you could go with the one that contains high wheels so you won’t find it hard to push it into the hill. On the other hand, if you wish to get rid of the messy job then the cordless or the electric munching lawn mower is the thing for you. After purchasing, review the maintenance schedule and ensure that you are aware of the guidelines when it comes to lawn mower sharpening and repair. A good kind will allow your equipment to last for more than a year while at the same time giving your grass a better cut. When spring time comes, all of the parts must be properly cleaned and maintained. Even the spark plug should be replaced from time to time as to achieve good firing. Ensure the condition of every nuts and bolts and see to it the proper tightness is achieved. In addition, the underside deck calls for proper cleaning all throughout the season in order to get rid of unnecessary dirt and grass; doing this is a great advantage for grasses since it hinders the spread of diseases among them. For you to successfully clean the deck, ensure first that the spark plug is not connected and empty the gas tank first. After then, you can now start to stand the mower in an upward position and spray the equipment with water. Scrub the rest of the grimes then you’re done. In addition, lawn mower repair also calls for checking the air filter and the oil. The later must be cleaned and replaced when needed and you should oil the equipment from time to time. When it comes to lawn mower sharpening, the process should be done after 1 or 2 months varying upon how often you use it. Dong this will benefit you of having nicely cut grasses instead of ripping them up. When sharpening, simply detach the blade and sharpen it with the use of a file. Be extra careful with the blade as to not cut your fingers, don’t allow your kid to do this and never even attempt to do it right in front of them so they would not emulate you later on. You know how harmful it s too play with sharp objects. When the mowing season is over, it is about time that you gear yourself with the proper step of correctly storing the machine until winter time. It is highly recommended to remove the gas and the oil before storing. If each owner would only do the proper care for the mower then they will be ensured of great seasons and years of service.

PART 2 – For part two of this article, head on to Lawn Mower Sharpening & Repair, which is a popular website that provides advice on where to go to save money when buying scotts lawn care products.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 13, 2009 at 4:29 pm

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Tips On Sharpening The Lawn Mower Blade

A lawn mower rotary blade is designed to cut grass by slicing It Off at high speed. The blade runs on many lawn about 3000 revolutions per minute. But this great speed the blades become ineffective if chipped or dented. However, keeping the blade of the mower Sharp is often a simple task that takes only minutes with the tools and techniques.
  That work will require the mower to be given to remove the blade, for safety reasons, it would be helpful to drain the gas depending on the model. It is possible to tilt some models without leakage, but others can not. In any case, at least remove the spark plug for the duration of the task. This is mainly required for models with a self-starter attached. There is very little chance that the mower could start accidentally, but do not stand a chance anyway.
  Turn the mower deck and place it on a piece of wood between the sub-deck and the blade to prevent blade twisting. Wear proper protection on your hands like leather gloves, and use the right size or a wrench on your lawnmower.
  Remove the blade and wipe all traces of dirt and grass. At the same time, use a scraper or putty knife to remove any built grass sub-section of the bridge as well. Now, clamp the blade in a flat lawn-vice for manual sharpening. Inspect blades for cracks. The size of all chips present, will determine if you need to use a method to deposit thin metal or, in some cases, a file size of course.
  Lightly oil the blade of the mower with fine machine oil. Now take metal file in both hands and Shove It to the beveled edge around the center to the edge in a regular motion. Aim to keep the file at an angle identical to that of the bevel as much as possible.
  Be careful not to place the flat side, unless it is essential to stabilize on a chip that has pushed metals, making it uneven at this point.
  With a pressure to produce the same amount of shots on both sides of the blade. The intention here is to maintain the balance between the blades, with the same amount of metal on each side of the hole of the nut. If blades are out of balance, it will cause extreme vibration in the mower.
  The ultimate device for sharpening the blade of a lawnmower is an electric bench grinder, but if used inappropriately, they have the potential to wipe the blade very quickly. It is vital for tightening blades precisely the right angle. Most mills will make this easy, using clamps attached.
  If you are performing this task, free hand, make sure you have a very steady hand. Or, you may end up grinding too much off the blade in one stroke. Who could be wreckage of the blade, or at least to lose if the balance. By understanding the proper technique and appropriate use pliers, you can do this work completed in minutes. Always wear safety glasses, of course. Shards of metal can devastate sight for life.
  As it may take a few moments to re-sharpen the effort is useful, because you save a visit to the store. Sometimes, however, it may be easier to replace the mower blade if the damage is too great.

Darren Lintern writes extensively for – which covers a range of gardening topics including Brush Mowers

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 9, 2009 at 5:26 pm

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