maintenance of riding lawn mower tractor’s blades needs to be
undertaken at least two times every year. This is required because
with use, the mower’s blades either bend or become dull, or even
become unbalanced. As such, they need to be reconditioned or replaced.
A few steps can be followed to care for a riding lawn mower’s
‘Safety first’ should be the foremost concern in all such projects.
For maximum protection, you need to ensure things like - wearing heavy leather
gloves and safety goggles, and disconnecting the spark plug wire from the spark
plug as well as the battery ground wire from the negative battery terminal. In
case of the unit being equipped with a twin cylinder engine, you need to detach
both the spark plug wires from the spark plugs.
Before you start off a maintenance operation, you need
access to the riding lawn mower’s blades, which is possible by removing the deck. Riding lawn mowers
mostly come with removable blades. To prevent any serious damage to the unit,
avoid tipping the riding lawn mower on its side. With the help of a normal long-handled
wrench, turn the blade bolt or nut counter-clockwise to remove the blades. Certain
conditions - like ordinary corrosion, dirt accumulation and initial torque setting – might
make the removal of the blade bolt or nut fairly difficult.
The simple sharpening procedure for all the riding
lawn tractors’ blades
involves the use of a tool - like a hand file - designed for use on toughened
metal. Sharpening the blades like a knife is not essential at all; what is needed
is an edge at almost a 45 degree angle. Be particular about the blade tip area,
as most of the wearing out is around there. A replacement of the blade is required
if it is considerably worn or gouged beyond reconditioning.
Any kind of imbalance in the blades can be damaging for the other
components of the riding lawn mower. In case a blade is not properly
balanced, it will
clatter and vibrate. Hence, balancing the blades is imperative, before
you install a
new or sharpened blade. At a fairly economical price, you can purchase
blade balancing tools from a hardware store in your area.
Generally, two procedures are adopted to check the balance of a blade – the
vertical test method and the horizontal test method. In the first method, with
its heavy side downward, the free hanging blade rotates on its own. In the second
method, one side of the blade either drops towards the table top or rotates downward.
This is the heavier side, and to balance out the blade, it requires more sharpening
or extra removal of material.
With the appropriate orientation, reinstall the blade after sharpening
and balancing it. In an OEM blade, the side of the blade that should
ground is marked
by the word ‘Bottom’. Even otherwise, the blade needs to be installed
with the raised tips toward the top of the deck. After installation, using 70
to 100 ft. lbs. of torque, tighten the blade bolt or nut properly.
do you need to know before buying the lawnmower