Tools That Make It Easy To Safely Sharpen Your Lawn Mower Blades

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There are almost as many ways to sharpen lawn mower blades as there are ways to avoid sharpening them, and that's saying something. It's not that the task itself is unpleasant — it's actually pretty satisfying, especially when you get to see sparks flying. The trouble is usually with getting to the blade or blades. This is often an unpleasant task, especially on riding mowers, and some sharpeners require that the blade be removed for sharpening. So there are really two different ways to make the process "easy" once you've figured out how to tell when it's time to sharpen them. The first uses a set of products that make the act itself easier, and the second includes products that make it easier to do a perfect sharpening job — but require you to remove the blade from the mower. And there's not a lot of overlap between the two categories.

Before we dig deeper into these categories, a word of caution: We're intentionally excluding some of the oldest, most common, and most popular ways of sharpening mower blades simply because they don't fit into either category. This includes using a bastard file to put an edge on the blade, and tools that don't exactly make things easy, like the Smith Edge Eater Sharpening Stone.

Tools that make sharpening easy

Easier blade sharpening generally means leaving the blade on the mower or mower deck. None of these solutions are perfect because they don't allow you to properly balance the mower blade, which can lead to stress on the engine and other mower components. However, these tools are so easy to use that they might offset the benefits of a slightly longer mower life or slightly less frequent mower repairs. For freehand options, try anything from angle grinders or rotary tool grinding stones and die grinder bits to highly-regarded hand tools like Smith's 50603 Handheld Lawn Mower Blade Sharpener and the SHARPAL Chef Knife and Scissors Sharpener & Garden Tool Sharpener. Perhaps the most familiar of these is the GardenSharp Lawn and Garden Tool Sharpener ($12.99 at Tractor Supply), which is identical to the popular AccuSharp knife sharpeners.

For handheld electric options like an angle grinder or Dremel, mower-specific grinding wheels for drills like this one from Amazon might seem promising. But the many models for this approach are often panned and never universally praised by purchasers. The better solution (by far) seems to be the Dremel A679-02 mower sharpening attachment (around $22 from Amazon), which guides the sharpening angle and should prolong the life of the blades and keep them more balanced than freehand approaches.

Tools that make perfect sharpening easy

While the A679-02 might be one of many genius ways you can use a Dremel rotary tool around your home, the sharpening solutions that require you to remove the mower blade will usually give you higher quality results — at a significantly higher price. Many of these are little more than guides that use your angle grinder or a supplied tool as the actual cutting device, such as the All American 5000 Sharpener Kit ($269.99 from Amazon). The benchtop or vise-mounted All American comes with an angle grinder, but at least one user reports that the tool came apart during its first use. The similar but much cheaper Model 5005 Lawn Mower Blade Sharpener ($47.98 from Amazon) doesn't come with an angle grinder, but it does come with much better reviews.

The VEVOR Lawnmower Blade Grinder ($290.99) is presented more as a solution for mower repair shops, and it looks the part. But in the end, it's a spinning grinding wheel with angle guides, and it isn't substantially different from the drill grinding wheels available for a few bucks. Its reviews are very inconsistent as well. At the other end of that continuum are the Work Sharp Ken Onion Knife Sharpener Tool ($139.95 from Amazon) and an accessory, the Work Sharp WSSAKO81112 Blade Grinder Attachment for Ken Onion Edition Knife and Tool Sharpener ($79.95 from Amazon). These highly regarded tools use hardware designed by renowned knife designer Ken Onion for belt-grinding mower blades with near-perfect results.