Mowing the lawn is always an important task, but when your mower blades get dull, it can make that task a lot more challenging. Not only is mowing with a dull blade a lot more difficult to do, but the lawn simply won’t come out looking as good as it could in the end. Sometimes, though, the clues that you need to replace your lawn mower blade are subtle, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t signs to tell you that you need to sharpen or replace your blade.
Indeed, if you want your lawn to look neat and manicured and not messy and choppy, you need to stay ahead of your lawn mower blade and make sure it is always sharp and not bent or out of shape.
Why Sharp Blades Are Important
Sharp blades on a lawn mower are important for numerous reasons. First of all, when you cut your grass, it causes some trauma to the grass itself, but with a sharp blade, the cut is a lot cleaner and neater. Because of this, the grass recovers from the cut a lot quicker, which means there is less of a chance of it getting diseased due to the cutting.
Sharp lawn mower blades also mean you won’t have to work as hard to get the job done, and this alone can save you both time and money because the grass won’t suffer with as much trauma and will stay healthier longer. It also saves your motor, because the harder you have to work at cutting the grass, the shorter life span your engine will have.
Sign 1: Unevenness in the Lawn
The bottom line is, dull lawn mower blades will cause unevenness in the grass itself. This is because instead of quickly slicing the grass and cutting it evenly, it will perform more of a chopping motion that causes each piece of grass to be a different length. Picture it like using a butter knife as opposed to a steak knife when cutting your steak. It works the same for lawn mowers.
When the mower blades are dull, you simply can’t get a nice, straight cut like you can with blades that are sharp.
Sign 2: Torn Grass Tips
Torn grass tips are a sure sign that you need to check on your lawn mower blades. Dull blades will storm through the grass and will hit some pieces of grass and not others, leaving behind an uneven lawn with many pieces of grass being torn off instead of cut properly. When the tips are torn off and not cut evenly, there is a greater chance for the pieces of grass to get all types of diseases, which means a greater chance of the grass dying at some point.
Sign 3: Dull Blade Upon Inspection
Inspecting the lawn mower blades is important because as a general rule, they need to be replaced roughly once a year.
If you have lots of sticks and other debris in your yard, you may need to change them more often than that. When you inspect the blades, look for dents, breaks or chips, or an indication that they could just be worn out, which isn’t as difficult as it might sound.
Check with the user manual for more information on what to look for, but the important tip to remember is that as soon as your grass is difficult to cut or just doesn’t look neat and well-trimmed after you mow it, you need to take a good look at the blades on the mower.
Problems Experienced by Frayed Blade Ends
There are numerous problems that could occur when your lawn mower blades are too dull. For one thing, without a clean, neat cut, the grass can become dehydrated simply because it won’t be able to soak up enough moisture to stay healthy. This can cause the grass to become yellow and unattractive, and it can also cause the pieces of grass to die eventually unless something is done about the problem.
Cleanly cut grass will let in moisture and sunshine to help it grow. Uneven and choppy pieces of grass can’t let in enough sun and moisture to survive. Cleanly cut grass is also much more likely to fight back against any types of pathogens that can cause various diseases, which means it will stay healthier than grass that is unevenly cut.
Don’t Confuse Dull Blades with an Underpowered Engine
If you aren’t sure if the problem is with your blades or with the engine of your lawn mower, you’ll need to do some detective work to find out more. If the problem is with your engine, here are some possible reasons for the problem:
- The spark plugs are corroded or need to be replaced.
- The carburetor may need to be cleaned.
- The valves of the engine might be improperly sealed.
- The engine may have old gas in it.
- The oil might be dirty or too old to work right.
If you have problems with the way your mower is cutting, check the engine first. If the problem isn’t there, it is likely your lawn mower blades need to be sharpened or replaced altogether.
Cutting Long Grass Can Also Cause Ripped Blades
Another tip is to cut your grass more frequently to keep it healthy. If your grass gets too long, the mower blades might work much the same way they do when they are dull or need to be replaced. They may “chop” the grass instead of cut it, leaving you with pieces of grass that are uneven and downright ugly. To cut long grass, the best thing to do is mow the lawn twice, using a different height level each time, so that you get all of the pieces of grass and not just some of them.
Dull mower blades on your lawn mower can cause a lot of problems for both the mower itself and your lawn. Knowing what to look for is the first step to preventing these problems, and whether you choose to sharpen the blades or replace them altogether, make sure you do so in a timely manner so that your grass can start looking good again.