A must have tool if your sharpening mower blades is a grinding wheel dressing tool. It’s easy to use and only takes a few seconds to clean or dress your grinding wheel. There also inexpensive, about $24 from Amazon.
Why do you need one? As you sharpen your mower blades the grinding wheel becomes compacted with the metal from the blades as well as grass. When this occurs the efficiency of the grinding wheel to do its job of sharpening the blades is reduced significantly. When the wheel gets compacted with dirt it requires more effort, energy and time to sharpen the blade. This also equates to heat which can deteriorate the strength of the blades.
The dresser tool only takes a few seconds to clean the wheel and should be done when you start to see the grinding wheel becoming compacted with dirt or loses its texture/grit. You’ll also notice as it takes longer to sharpen your blades. I have noted that after dressing the wheel I can easily sharpen my blades in half the time. It also requires less effort or force to grind the blade. When the wheel is dirty it can take twice the force and up to fifteen passes to sharpen one side of a blade. After the wheel is dressed the number of passes is reduced to maybe four or five depending on how dull the blades are.
Here is a clean wheel. You can see the texture of the grit.
Blades sharpened after dressing the wheel. Notice the clean even grinding pattern.
It’s also important to sharpen your blades to the manufactures specifications. As in the correct degree of angle. I.g. Exmark mower blades recommend a 28° angle. This will ensure the proper clean cut of your lawn.
Tip: It’s easier to sharpen your blades frequently/as needed vs letting them become very dull.
F.Y.I Mower decks have a pitch or an angle of rake. I.g usually around a 1/4″ drop in the front for commercial machines.
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