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Front of a John Deere X300 series lawn mower

Buy new lawn mower blades or sharpen old ones?

After mowing a lawn for a while, you have a pretty good idea of where all the stumps and roots are. That being so, I still find myself grinding down a small tree stump every few months. Even if you’re easy on blades, they still wear down and need to be replaced or sharpened regularly.

Why does it matter?

Dull mower blades shred grass, leaving frayed ends or even failing to cut it. This makes your lawn uneven, white or brown at the tip, and susceptible to disease.

Grass cut with dull blades compared to grass cut with sharp blades Grass cut with dull blades (left) vs sharp blades (right).

Sharpening vs Replacing

To avoid an ugly, unhealthy lawn, you should sharpen your blades regularly and replace them as needed. When you sharpen them really depends on your individual usage. Most manufacturers give recommendations in their product manuals, specifying how thick the cutting edge should be before replacing. They also typically include instructions for sharpening.

How to sharpen mower blades

Can’t remember where you put your manual? Cleaning up the edge with a grinding wheel or file will generally do the trick. It doesn’t take much, so don’t go too overboard with the grinder. After sharpening, make sure the blades are balanced and you’re ready to put them back on.

To make the process even easier, we recommend keeping an extra set of blades around. If one set is dull, put the new blades on and you can sharpen the dull set one rainy afternoon. You will also avoid getting stuck without a set if the blades have reached the end of their life.

When’s the right time to replace them?

A good rule of thumb for the average homeowner is to replace your mower blades annually. You may also think about replacing them if they become damaged. Dig up that product manual if you want a more clear-cut answer.

Always make sure to take protective measures whenever sharpening your mower blades at home. Wear gloves and eye protection and disconnect the spark plugs.

Buying new blades

If you’ve decided it’s time to let the old blades go, we’re here to help you part with them. Check out our guide on choosing mower blades to find out what you’ll need. If you use the Hutson Customer Portal, you can order new blades online and we’ll have them ready for pickup. Visit a Hutson location near you and we’ll fix you up with a new set.

If you need help sharpening your blades, need to buy replacement lawnmower blades, or have any other questions, give Hutson Inc a call.

Additional Resources

Top-down view of a John Deere Residential Zero Turn mower
Choosing the right mower blades
Weeds growing in a yard
Controlling Weeds with Herbicides
John Deere Z900 Series ZTrak mowers
E vs M vs R: John Deere Commercial Zero-Turn Mowers