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Old 10-07-08, 01:17 PM   #1
Ka_Jun
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Sharpening a reel mower

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07137619000P



Anyone else have one of these? When the blades get dull, do you sharpen it yourself, or have someone do it? If so, who?
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Old 10-07-08, 01:20 PM   #2
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There's always a hardware store around, but never more than 1, that knows how to do it. Local hardware store that does everything else does *not* know how to do it (even worse, they think they do but they're wrong) so I'm on my own now. It's pretty simple really, just use grinding paste to sharpen both the reel and the bar it rubs against. Tricky part is optional and you disassemble the rotor to reverse the gearing so that you can push it around and have the rotor run backwards to sharpen itself. You could spin it manually backward though.
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Old 10-07-08, 01:21 PM   #3
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Haven't had to sharpen ours yet, however we're lucky enough to have a business close by that sells and repairs lawn equipment. They also sharpen these blades. You'll likely have to find a similar specialized business.
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Old 10-07-08, 01:25 PM   #4
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So, specialized...huh. If I did it myself, I'd probably end up disemboweled, or rename myself Ka_Stumpy. I like it, but it seems like the cut isn't as clean, lately.
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Old 10-07-08, 01:25 PM   #5
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We always used a reel on our city "cubicle" sized front and back lawn for nearly 26 years. Best one was the first one I got from an ad in the newspaper - an old Scott's for $5. Had it sharpened and it was great for many years.

We used to take them and have them sharpened - but the price went on on that too. $35+

Then we thought we got smart and purchased a "self sharpening" one (actually there are few varieties being carried by home & garden centers) and they basically were sharp for one season.

We liked them - quiet, didn't have to mess with gas or electric cords.
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Old 10-07-08, 01:28 PM   #6
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Self sharpening, dang...if only I had known those existed.
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Old 10-07-08, 01:31 PM   #7
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I got one that my father gave me, which he said he bought in the late 1950's or early 1960's.
Not self sharpening. I got the Lansky sharpening puck at Bass Pro Shops to sharpen the blades myself and have had no problems with it. It just takes a little time to get them sharp. I also have to oil the wheels about once a season.

Here is an example of it: http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/st...il.html?s=LSPK
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Old 10-07-08, 01:39 PM   #8
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PITA ^ or no?
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Old 10-07-08, 01:53 PM   #9
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Yes and no. It is a PITA to sharpen if I let it go too long or have tall/thick grass to mow. But that is more my fault than the mowers. If I hit it with a few swipes every other mowing it only takes about 5 minutes to sharpen all the blades. Which IMO is no longer then pulling out the electric cord (for electric mowers) or filling the gas tank (for gas mowers).

One word of caution about these mowers is that you have to make sure you regularly mow the lawn otherwise it becomes a nightmare to cut once the lawn gets too high or thick.

You might want to purchase lawn scissors too. There are a lot of places along the edge of things that you can't get close enough with. I also don't own a weed wacker to do edging so I have lawn scissors to do that job. I also use the Lansky to sharpen them.

If you don't have a big lawn and live in the city, like me, I wouldn't even consider any other type of lawn mower. Gas mowers are too noisy, smelly and big. Electric mowers are a PITA because you have a cord that is always in the way, too big and still use energy.
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Old 10-07-08, 01:57 PM   #10
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^ Yeah, we have a small urban lawn, got the lawn scissors, and believe me when I say I know how much of a PITA it is once it gets too long. There's something calming about the noise it makes, too, for me. Don't know why.
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Old 10-07-08, 02:06 PM   #11
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All of this talk about mowing the lawn made me realize that is what I will be doing tonight when I get home. I am hoping this is the last one of the season.

Instead of buying from Sears, have you looked at a second hand shop for one? The only reason I ask is I just clicked on your link and was floored by the price tag. You could easily pick up one much cheaper than that second hand.
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Old 10-07-08, 02:10 PM   #12
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Nah, got one of their returns. Had it for about a year, now.
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Old 10-07-08, 03:03 PM   #13
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Old 10-07-08, 03:08 PM   #14
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An oscillating spindle sander worked wonders for me with sharpening many types of blades, although I never did try it on a lawn mower. If the blade is profiled the right way, it should still work quite well.
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Old 10-07-08, 03:10 PM   #15
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I have the wide Scott reel mower, but I haven't had to sharpen it yet. From what I can tell, Scott's sharpening kit involves a sort of sharpening paste and a hand crank. You apply the paste to the blades and bar, take one of the wheel covers off, insert the hand crank, and turn the blade reverse of the normal direction. Supposedly this sharpens it, and I assume a slight tweaking of the bar would be in order afterward.
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Old 10-07-08, 03:14 PM   #16
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I have the wide Scott reel mower, but I haven't had to sharpen it yet. From what I can tell, Scott's sharpening kit involves a sort of sharpening paste and a hand crank. You apply the paste to the blades and bar, take one of the wheel covers off, insert the hand crank, and turn the blade reverse of the normal direction. Supposedly this sharpens it, and I assume a slight tweaking of the bar would be in order afterward.
lapping compound. Most reel mowers I know of are sharpened with this stuff and spinning the blade backwards. The adjusting the cutting bar till the mower can cut a piece of paper without binding.
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Old 10-07-08, 06:31 PM   #17
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My Brill RazorCut 38 is supposed to be able to go ten years before needing resharpening.
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