How Do You Sharpen a Reel Mower?

16040_5080_600I sometimes have people asking me, “How do you sharpen a reel mower?” I find it interesting because although it’s such an antiquated lawn mowing tool, it’s still being used to this day.

Reel lawn mowers are eco-friendly, and they give you more of a workout when you use them. The downside is that a reel mower doesn’t have an engine, so it takes longer and uses more of your physical energy to get the job done.

If you’ve got a large yard, it may not be the ideal choice, but a small to average lawn is doable as long as you keep up with it on a regular basis. Shorter grass is much quicker and easier to mow than longer grass.

But how do you sharpen a reel mower to keep it efficient? The best way

First, you’ll want to remove the bolt on the left side of the reel mower. Use a wrench to do this, and understand that it may take quite a bit of torque to get it loosened. If you’re having trouble, call in an assistant for some help. is with the use of a reel mower sharpening kit.

Second, you’ll need to remove the cover on the outside of the wheel and find the small piece of metal sticking out approximately 3/4 of an inch.

Take out the hand crank from your sharpening kit, slip it over the piece of metal, and lock it in place. Rotate the handle in a counter-clockwise motion to ensure that it’s working properly.

Brush a liberal amount of the sharpening solution from your kit onto the blades. Then, using your hand crank, rotate the blades in a counter clockwise direction for 10 or more minutes.

When you first begin cranking the blades, you’ll hear a loud grinding sound, but the sound should lessen as you see shinier and sharper blade edges emerge.

Repeat by adding more sharpening solution and grinding until the blades are sufficiently sharp. Once they are sharp enough, you may wipe the remaining solution off of the blades and reassemble the mower. Tighten the blades only enough to get them close but not touching.


How long it takes may vary depending on whether you have a 4 blade reel mower, a 5 blade reel mower, or a 7 blade reel mower.

Lubricate the nuts and bolts and test it out on a section of your lawn.

For more information on mowers and accessories, visit


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