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Old 06-20-2012, 09:42 AM   #1
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Default How exactly do I sharpen 1 of these reel lawn mowers?

I bought this lawn mower. I like it and want to use it so don't laugh at me, ok? It doesn't look all that old but I definitely need to sharpen it and nobody around here knows how to do it. Our small engine repair shop closed down and the Stihl dealer guy was polite but said he had no idea how to sharpen them or he'd try for me. I'm on my own I guess since the businesses selling lawn mowers all but laughed at me when I brought it in for service. I read somewhere.... lost the link.... that these were self sharpening if we used some grinding compound but there were no directions and no YouTubes on how to go about "self sharpening" them.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:02 AM   #2
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I found this product from Sears
Reel Mower Sharpening Kit--Lawn & Garden-Lawn Mower Parts & Accessories-Specialty Parts

And this article that explains how to do it.
Reel Mowers Sharpening how to sharpen a manual lawnmower
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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I use an ancient reel mower I bought from someone on Craigslist, but I never sharpen it. :P Helps work out those triceps!
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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That's because you are a young (and I'm assuming, strong) guy amelanchier. Some of us are old and creaky, like equil's reel mower! Plus I like a good sharp edge on tools, my pruners, my spades and shovels, and especially my kitchen knives. Makes life easier! Work smarter not harder!
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
I bought this lawn mower. I like it and want to use it so don't laugh at me, ok? It doesn't look all that old but I definitely need to sharpen it and nobody around here knows how to do it.
We had one of those when I was a kid. That wasn't long ago at all! Odd that nobody there knows how to sharpen it. ???
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
I bought this lawn mower. I like it and want to use it so don't laugh at me, ok? ...
I would never laugh at you...for that. In my late teens or early twenties I got a reel mower to use on the lawn where I grew up. I figured it was better for the environment and a good workout. I bought one new, but I suspect it wasn't as good quality as the older ones...after a while the roller thing (made of plastic, I think) came apart.

I wouldn't mind having another, better one...but I'm not sure how well it would cut my hodgepodge of "lawn".
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:37 PM   #7
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linrose> Cool beans!!! I shop at Sears. I’ll buy the kit you found!!! I found this too now that I figured out what exactly to go searching for, How to sharpen the blades on a reel mower, Another much easier way to sharpen a reel mower is to run it backward with sharpening compound. I have an “American Lawn Mower” branded unit and they sell a kit that includes a handle, a small container of gritty compound, and a paintbrush. Take off the wheels and the gears, put the handle on, brush a little gritty compound on each rotating blade, and turn the handle for a few minutes (occasionally tightening the blade down ever so slightly as needed).
It also gives you the opportunity to put some grease in all the gears and the sharpening process also makes sure that the rotating blade and fixed blade are in perfect alignment, so you can set it to “just about but not quite touching” for a perfect cut and minimum resistance.”
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amelanchier> Triceps, eh? I can usually lift 50# of chicken feed no sweat so here's hoping I don't end up busting guts or something pushing this thing. Maybe check out those links above on sharpening and aligning. That same guy went on to say that if everything is sharpened and aligned properly that he could push it with 1 finger. I don't know that I believe him but.... it's worth a shot if you've never sharpened or aligned your mower.
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BeeW> ask your parents if they know any secrets they want to share!!!
--
Dappy> Supposedly they cut pretty good. Maybe check Freecycle or Craigslist?
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:42 PM   #8
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This thing is so ancient I bet all the parts are rusted together; I could probably never get the wheels off. And for about 50 square feet of grass altogether, it's hard to justify spending any amount of money on a maintenance kit. But... I may get a new mower when we move to our next house, which will happen in about a year.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:50 PM   #9
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When I was looking around for more info I found they were still selling the kind I picked up. They're not that expensive new so maybe when you have more lawn than what you've got out front, it might be worth buying a new 1 that isn't all fused together.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:10 PM   #10
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Yeah, I did research buying new when I got this one... I was surprised that the good ones were still $120 easily, which is not that much less than a light-duty gas mower. But you do save on gas and oil and all the maintenance that goes with a gas mower.
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