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  • Lawnmower blade sharpening.  AKA, I need to sharpen my lawnmower blade?

    As a Long Retired small engine Technician I have some help suggestions as well as some don't do's.1) Every new mower as an owners manual - read it- the manufacturer put it with the new mower for a reason. And while on that front, the engine manual will tell you to put gas stabilizer/extender into the gas container with the gas you just bought. This stops the buildup of bad Gas due to the ethanol in gas sucking up moisture. Failure to do so will lead to hard and harder starting till you end up with a fouled carburetor. And that will mean that many of you will throw away the mower in disgust. Take care of the equipment and it will take care of you. And yes the fouled carburetor can be either cleaned/parts replaced or completely replaced and still cheaper then buying a new mower.2) DO NOT...

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    As a Long Retired small engine Technician I have some help suggestions as well as some don't do's.1) Every new mower as an owners manual - read it- the manufacturer put it with the new mower for a reason. And while on that front, the engine manual will tell you to put gas stabilizer/extender into the gas container with the gas you just bought. This stops the buildup of bad Gas due to the ethanol in gas sucking up moisture. Failure to do so will lead to hard and harder starting till you end up with a fouled carburetor. And that will mean that many of you will throw away the mower in disgust. Take care of the equipment and it will take care of you. And yes the fouled carburetor can be either cleaned/parts replaced or completely replaced and still cheaper then buying a new mower.2) DO NOT MOW WET GRASS - it is hard on the mower, causes buildup under the machine, will not allow mulcher setup to work or will jam the opening into the collection bag. Also it is bad for the grass and may cause fungus to attack the wounded grass blade tips causing your lawn to get serious dead spots.3) Tipping the mower non carb side up will cause engine oil to go back thru the carb to the air filter and possibly to the gas tank - not only will you need a new filter but the carb will have to be cleaned and if gas is contaiminated , draining and replacing it. (got any ideas where you will put all the bad gas?) Also do not store a mower outside subject to the weather but do not put it in the house either(fire/explosion possible if gas is not drained out - shed, garage or under a tarp that keeps it dry. ) 4) I have found that trying to put a knife type edge on a blade is hard and actually will wear down quicker,. When you think you have a good edge gently remove the edge and leave a slightly square edge, it will cut as well but since that sgaure edge really has two edges it means it has a little bit more metal backing it up. And quench the blade frequently in water or quenching oil to retain the temper of the metal. And last the blade should be balanced - small nylon/plastic devices can be bought for a few bucks allowing you to balance it visually. There is a reason when you buy new tires or rotate your existing ones that they balance the tire rim combination. A mower blade is no different - don't run it unbalanced and risk having the vibrations go to the upper part of crankshaft and connecting rod for piston area. Oh one more thing visually check and make sure the blade is relatively flat from one edge to the other- it may have normal bends from the Manufacturing of it but if when you mount it one end protrudes lower then the safety of the edge of the deck, then buy a new blade and next time keep it from hitting rocks, roots, kids toyes etc.. 4) As suggested wire brush the underside of the deck after using a putty knife to take of the thick layers.A nice cup wire brush csn be bought at box stores to use on your hand drill. Wear gloves and eye protection. I personally think spraying your snow thrower with spam or other cooking or silicone sprays is a great idea, I do not think it adds any value to a mower deck except maybe a new mower with a virgin unused lower side of deck. If you want to make the mower more efficient then mow dry grass which will not clump and stick to the deck. 5) SAFETY - Not only should the spark plug wire be removed, it must also not be in a position where it can flop down and make a touch contact - if any kind of contact is made the mower can start as you rotate the blade to get it in removal position. Also keep in mind if you spill gasoline tipping the machine and if there is a spark and gas fumes , then an explosion is possible. Last thought is DO NOT use antiseize fluids/grease on the mounting bolts or in the case of some mowers on the thread of the crankshaft. While it may make life easy when you decide 2 years from now that the blade is dull, it also increases the risk of vibrations loosening the bolt or nut. I love my ankles - do you? Mow the blade at the start of mowing season and during the year as needed depending on how much cutting you do.

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