Knife-edges of any type, including mower blades, require special attention after frequent use. As a maintenance tip and an effective way of ensuring efficiency while working, filing the knife is mandatory. However, many fear doing it at home due to safety challenges and lacking in the proper know-how.
The first step is understanding that roller mowers function differently from other lawnmowers. Roller mower knife-edges spin in a vertically as it top-down motion similar to how scissors or shears work.
How do you do it?
The first step towards accomplishing the filing task is ensuring the availability and compliance of all safety measures. These involve:
- Securing the mower
- Avoid touching or coming into contact with the edges of the blades
- Eliminate any form of distractions from the task ahead; limits chances of an unwarranted accident.
- Be sober, and if under any form of medication, postpone the function for late.
- Ensure your clothes are tight-fitting. Loose clothes tend to catch, and jewelry may fall off, causing an accident while filing the roller.
- Protect your feet by wearing slip-resistant boots. Make sure they are thick and couple them with firm trousers or pants to protect your legs from possible mishaps. Anything can fall, get caught by the mower, or thrown when filing and injure you personally.
- A face shield or protective glasses for your eyes are also advisable. The friction involved when filing metal against meatal can result in smaller metallic particles falling. The roller might kick up sand and stones on the ground while you are trying to file or whenever you apply force. These items will protect your eyes.
What to use?
There are several items you can use to increase the cutting sensitivity of your roller mower. These include:
- Metal files
- Regular kits
- Black lapping
- Add-ons on a power drill
- Sandpaper that many use while finishing on a metal
Using Metal Files
Metal files are the most efficient means of achieving a sharp edge. They help mold and hone every corner to the brightest it can ever be. Before you start filing, it is vital to firmly hold the wheels in a way that restricts their movement. It prevents debris from flying all over once you begin the process.
Clean the blade to remove dirt and other debris holding onto it. These can obstruct the file. Place the edge on a flat surface but ensure that it is elevated and held in place.
Wedge a solid material like a sturdy broom handle into the roller blades. These prevent movement once the roller is in place, and you start filing. Go forth and backward on a frequency suitable to you to achieve the sharpest edges for your roller. Proceed to scratch in the same directions as indicated a few more times.
Reposition the roller to fit the space if you want to file the other end of the blades. Follow the same procedure to file and ensure the edges are as desired.
Since roller equipment comes in different dimensions and the number of knife-edges differs from one to another, you will have to repeat the procedure with each knife. Repositioning the roller will follow every finished edge until every single one is severe when cutting.
Apply a coat of grease or lubricant to prevent the rusting on the blades. Oils cover the metal blocking oxidation from occurring. You can use a spray or a rag to apply the grease.
Pros and Cons
Black Lapping filing Method
Using a compound to file the knife-edges seems more straightforward in comparison to using metal files. Well, it is direct and highly effective in delivering the best possible outcomes. It comes as a package containing a filing element or chemical compound, and a firm handle. The mixture is grainy in texture and requires a brush to apply it to the blades. Filing occurs through friction amongst the knife-edges in use.
Secure your mower to avoid accidents if it moves during the application process. Take a brush and apply the black lapping compound on the blades. Complete the application by assessing whether all sides of the blade have enough coating. Start pushing the mower back to help move the edge; the movement allows them to rub and increase friction, causing a similar process to the forward and backward movement when using the metal file.
Use a drill to push or move the roller mower from the friction to start. Otherwise, you may have to push it to accomplish the desired effects manually.
Pros and Cons
Adjusting the blades
If your blade is not cutting the vegetation as productive as last time does not mean there are dull. Another reason behind such activity for your mower may be misalignment. A small shift in their position can cause havoc to your lawn and in the mowing process. The knife-edges can crank against each other. Grass cuts might be uneven, and you may need to apply extra force to move the mower than before and more.
Place the mower on the nearest work surface. Secure the wheels by wedging them to hold it in place.
Problems with alignments are quite diverse, and none is like the other. Therefore, use your hands to spin the roller mower blades. The spin helps identify where the misalignment is and will present a screech or scratching sound.
If it produces this sound, it means the problem away from the knife-edges cutting edges and require re-adjustment. A loose spin presents a different challenge indicating that the knives are far from the cutting edge and require coming closer.
Use your flathead screwdriver to repair the problems identified in step two above. If too loose, tighten the bolt visible via the screw hole on the side of your mower. If too tight and produces the screeching sound, loosen the bolt to achieve distance amongst the blades.
Adjusting should be a gradual process to avoid overdoing it or completely losing control over the blades. The process is crucial to the effectiveness and efficiency of the mower, and damaging the equipment should not precede it.
The cutting edge screws should face the opposite direction from other mower equipment screws. When adjusting, be sure to go slow to avoid tightening or loosening far beyond the safety measures.
Continue testing the mower through spinning to keep any unsteadiness from the blades. Continue to adjust until you reach desirable levels that are both effective and work.
Filing any blade can seem like a tedious job while it is simple and straightforward. Therefore, there is no need to spend extra cash on finding a professional to do the work. Just follow the simple steps enumerated above, safety procedures and wear protective clothing and proceed to file the equipment yourself.