View Full Version : Mower Blade Sharpener

04-26-2017, 01:05 PM
First of all, let me offer a bit of a preface/disclaimer to anyone who stumbles upon this posting who might be unfamiliar with a rather "insider" Studebaker term. We Stude guys have a term, CASO (meaning Cheap A$$ Studebaker Owner). Some of our members are offended by the term, while others see it as a "term of endearment." It is not a static condition, but rather a moving target. Mainly, I see it as a rather flexible concept. I like to think of those of us who don't take it too seriously, as being perceptively "frugal," with our money.

Since I have always liked to "tinker" with mechanical stuff, I made it all the way to 70 years old having never bought a brand new mower. Always able to find someones discard, repair it, and not dispose of it until truly "used up." When it comes to mower blades, I have sharpened them with files, bench grinders, & hand grinders. I got by with "eyeballing" the angle, and taking pride in getting it "close enough." As I moved up from push mowers, to lawn tractors, bush hogs, etc., it became obvious, that uniformity, correct angle, & balance was much more critical. Especially, on a large horsepower, multi-blade, unit needing more attention that a little old discarded push mower pulled out of a ditch.

After buying my zero turn mower, I decided to do an internet search for dedicated "Mower Blade Sharpeners." I was expecting something like a bench grinder with some kind of "correct angle" indicator. Gee! Units popped up with an asking price of hundreds to over a thousand bucks. So, I resolved to just take my time and be more careful clamping my blades in a vise and using my Mikita side grinder. Now, it's spring again, been raining, & my grass is trying to take advantage of my age to "out run" me. So, last week, while it was raining, I did another eBay search for mower blade sharpener. That was when this little yellow fixture popped up.

Here's the link http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mower-Blade-Sharpener-Grinder-Motor-NOT-Included-Made-In-USA-/302283299452?hash=item46617d1a7c:g:yZAAAOxyi-ZTb4ER

I don't know this guy, & have no business interest in his business. But, just like some Studebaker parts I have resisted spending a few bucks on, I at first resisted. Especially, since all you get is this fixture without the grinder. I thought, "I can weld that up myself." But as I thought about it, I began to realize why would I re-invent something already done? This guy as done the work, painted it, slapped on the appropriate warning decals, included shipping in the price, etc. Besides, I already have the grinder. So I ordered the "Yellow Hornet," as he calls it. Got it yesterday. Clamped in my grinder while carefully setting the angle. Already had a new flap wheel for the grinder. Sharpened my three spare blades. Counted the strokes as I went. Then made sure to keep the strokes and pressure about equal for each edge. Checking my work with the little balancer, revealed that they were all fairly equal. I installed them on the mower. It never cut this smooth when new.

After finishing the spot I mowed yesterday, I went back & sharpened the blades I had removed. Only six blades, so far. But for now, I'm very pleased with the results. Thought I would pass it on to any of you who could use such a tool. There is a short learning curve. Be sure to wear safety glasses. I also used leather work gloves. Don't be too timid stroking the blades over the fixture. Use moderate (but firm) pressure, and count your strokes. It is a simple fixture. Set up properly, it works, but it will not automatically do the work. It still requires a bit of skill and there are some safety rules. I believe the flap wheel will lower the chances of burning the blade that happens when using a hard grinding disc.

04-26-2017, 02:00 PM
I guess it's like buying a chain saw chain sharpener. If you have no experience then it could get you on the right path. However, on most blades the angle of the blade is obvious when it's clamped to a bench and a $15 HF 4 1/2" grinder will do the job successfully. The jig also assumes you have few rocks in your cutting path as I just took about 3/16" of both blade edges to get enough smooth steel to grind a cutting surface.

When you've been doing lawn mower and chain saw blades for over 50 years with the grinder and a 7/32" file for the chain saw, I'd rather spend the $$$'s on Avanti parts.:)


04-26-2017, 07:22 PM
Lemmesee... You still have to upend the mower and remove the blade........ and clamp something in a vise....... ...and use an angle grinder to sharpen the blade. I've been doing it that way for years .... without a Yellow Hornet gadget. ......... and for way less that $149.00

04-26-2017, 07:51 PM
Lemmesee... You still have to upend the mower and remove the blade........ and clamp something in a vise....... ...and use an angle grinder to sharpen the blade. I've been doing it that way for years .... without a Yellow Hornet gadget. ......... and for way less that $149.00

Nope...no vise clamping of the blade. However, you clamp the angle grinder in this fixture. The fixture has a hole in the base for bolting it to where you want to do your work. The blade is moved by hand at the correct 30 degree angle. No blade wandering, or grinder burn. Even with the $600 machines, the blades are still moved by hand. I had chucked one of those nine dollar wheels in a bench grinder and adapted a blade rest for it. However, it still was not good enough, or repeatable/steady enough to suit me. With this little fixture, the perfect angle is already fixed. A good quality metal cutting flap wheel, apparently cuts cooler. Not one time during the process, did the blade flash any burn on the edge. I'm not trying to sell anyone on the device. The rounded up price is $150 bucks. I'll have to do a bunch of blades to justify it (if ever) but I was impressed with the results. Better, and more uniform than all my years of off hand grinding. His eBay ad shows a short video of how it works.

It does seem like a lot for a few welded pieces of metal. But it works well. And after six blades, it ain't as pretty & yellow as it was before I began. But...it works.:) OH...and I have lifts & ramps for my mowers, & air powered impact wrenches for removing the blades.;)