How To Sharpen Reel Lawn Mower Blades By Hand?

How To Sharpen Reel Lawn Mower Blades By Hand?

4 minutes

The central functional part of a reel lawn mower is its blades and the bed knife. The blades are responsible for the pristine-looking lawn you get after each cut. But, of course, after a while, they can become dull. As a result, the gorgeousness of the cut goes away.

Don’t worry. We will outline the process for how to sharpen reel lawn mower blades by hand in this article.

We are going to see the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) method that anyone can get used to quickly. The discussion will cover the techniques of sharpening a reel lawn mower’s blades.

How To Sharpen Reel Lawn Mower Blades By Hand?

A push reel lawn mower replicates the cutting procedure of scissors. But here, one blade is static (the bed knife); while the other set of blades (the helical blade) move. Two wheels drive a gear that makes the blades rotate and make a cut. This is the most efficient way of cutting grass as a reel lawn mower is manual.

In this method of sharpening, you will require a grinding compound. We will simply rotate the moving blades in reverse to sharpen them. You also need a half-inch drill to rotate the driving shaft.

Sharpen Reel Lawn Mower Blades By Hand

Now let’s get inside the procedure:

As the lawn mower blades wear down due to contact with the bed knife, they lose their sharpness. Similarly, as a portion of the metal is worn down from the edge of the blades, it loses contact with the bed knife. So, once again, you need to adjust the lawn mower’s blade to touch the bed knife to make it work.

Make contact between the helical blades and bed knife

For our sharpening, the first process is to make the blades and the bed knife touch their respective edges. To achieve that, loosen up the two back screws a little bit. These screws are the ones that secure the bed knife in place with the lower body. Now tighten up two of the font screws. Adjust the screws until the blades touch properly.

Apply the grinding compound

At this point, you’ll need a grinding compound. You can get a whole sharpening kit online or only get the grinding compound. The cost-effective solution will be getting the grinding compound only.

You need to apply a grinding compound on the helical blade’s edges at this stage. It will be best to use an acid brush to apply the substance. Ensure that you have covered the edges of each blade with the grinding compound, otherwise the blade’s metal will not wear down to make them sharp again.

Remove one wheel to get to the driving mechanism

The wheel drives a gear to rotate the helical blades on the lawn mower. So, you have to get to that mechanism to rotate the blades in reverse to sharpen them.

Now take the bolts off from the lawn mower’s wheel and remove them. It should expose the driving gear. Now remove the gear from the body.

Rotate the blades in reverse

To rotate the driving mechanism in reverse, you need to have a half-inch drill. The drill should fit to drive the shaft.

Before you start to rotate the blade, it’s important to consider some of these essential things. Keep your lawn mower on the table. Put the exposed wheel on the table. The second wheel should be off the edge of your working table. If you keep the second wheel atop, the lawn mower will drive away the moment you start to rotate the shaft. So, it can be dangerous in this scenario.

Set the lawn mower down on the cutting bar (bed knife) to not touch the tabletop. Put your drill on the driving shaft and rotate the helical blades in reverse for about eight to ten minutes. After finishing the procedure, the blades should be sharp and shined up.

Now put the gear back on the shaft. Then put the wheel back on the body, in the same way that you removed it.

Finally, your lawn mower is ready to use again. After this, your lawn mower should work like a charm. This is the easiest and most cost-effective process of sharpening your reel lawn mower blades.

Take good care of your lawn mower to keep it healthy, so keep your reel lawn mower clean to avoid any corrosion. Keep lubricating the gears and the driving mechanism to keep them healthy as well.


A reel lawn mower is a mechanical device that makes lawn mowing much more accessible. You don’t have to put fuel in it as there is no engine involved. Its manual mechanism is the key selling point for most owners out there. After all of these quirks and features, the reel lawn mower blades can get dull after using for a while. This is when we feel the need to sharpen the lawn mower blade.

The technique mentioned above on how to sharpen a reel lawn mower blade by hand should come in handy when your lawn mower’s blade is dull and not giving a smooth cut on the lawn. This easy procedure is for everyone. Happy lawn mowing. 

Todd L Miles
Lawn Mowers Enthusiast
I started "Landscape and Lawns Care" to provide clients with lawn care with better service, better products and, most importantly, better ethics. My promise to every customer is to give the greenest grass possible while controlling weeds, insects, and diseases! The most important thing is that I strive to always do the right thing for you, your lawn and your wallet!