How to Balance a Lawn Mower Blade?
Not many people tend to consider balancing a lawn mower blade a worthwhile operation. But it is.
You can make a mower work a lot more cleanly, last longer, and be smoother on the grass. That will make every grass-cutting operation a total pleasure.
Sadly, not everyone knows how to balance a mower blade. And because not everyone does it – finding a comprehensive guide on how to do so can be pretty tough.
Luckily for you, we know what to do and why. Here, we’re going to show you everything there’s to know about balancing a lawnmower blade.
3 Reasons to Balance your Lawn Mower Blade
While not many people do it – there are few things you can do to a mower to improve its performance as much as balancing the blade does.
What do you get by doing so? Here are 3 things you’ll experience after balancing a blade:
If your mower is not cutting evenly and/or leaving weird blanks on the grass – then it probably means it is unbalanced.
When you fix this unbalance, then you’re likely to enjoy way better cuts. Even in the trickiest lawns like hills, the cuts will improve exponentially.
An unbalanced blade also wears up your mower engine faster. Remember that blades spin at very high speeds. If the sides are uneven, the shaft and spindle will move awkwardly, putting a little more strain into the engine.
If you fix the unbalance, then you can expect the engine to wear off slower. This will increase its lifespan and make it work a lot more efficiently.
Last but not least, you can always get rid of any unwanted movement from the mower. Because an unbalanced blade makes the spindle and shaft move awkwardly, this could cause unwanted vibrations and other weird things to happen while mowing.
If you’re using a self-propelled mower, for example, you’ll feel how the machine moves a lot smoother after balancing the blade. This will make it easier to operate and achieve precise cuts.
Step-by-Step Guide: Balancing a Lawn Mower Blade
Now that you have a clearer idea of how to balance the mower blade, you can start with the process.
Remember that balancing the blade is about distributing the weight evenly across the blade.
This process is not necessarily easy. But it doesn’t take a rocket-science degree to do either.
We recommend doing this once you have the mower at home after buying it. If the mower is old, then you can do this every year to make sure the blade stays balanced.
Without much further to say, you can start to balance your mower blade.
Things to Consider:
- Balancing the blade of your mower may be a little time-consuming and exhausting. But with enough effort and time, you can make your mower get rid of grass like never before.
- You can always check the owner’s manual from the machine and check whether it gives you a hint on how to do this. Whatever the manufacturer recommends can be pretty useful to balance the blade more easily.
- A lawnmower blade can be pretty sharp, so you should use safety gear such as work gloves, goggles, and a long-sleeve shirt.
- While working with the blade, try to keep away from any sharp part.
These are wise-to-consider tips that will make your balancing process a lot easier and safer.
Tools You’ll Need:
- A socket wrench
- A flat file
- A grinder (Optional)
- A blade holder
- A screwdriver
- A pair of work gloves
- A pair of goggles
Without these items, balancing the blade of your mower will be too difficult. So don’t proceed without first having all of these things ready.
1. Look for a Flat Area
The first step into balancing the blade of your mower is to look for the ideal place to work.
That would be a flat and even area. Like always, a driveway or garage will do the job.
This will prevent any discomfort and make the whole process a lot safer.
2. Prepare the Mower
Then you can proceed to prepare the mower. Because you’re replacing the blade, you’ll have to adjust it well:
- Start by disconnecting the power cable from the battery. Then disconnect the spark plug cable.
- You can also get the spark plug out. Remove the ignition key as well.
- If you want to be completely safe and prevent any spillage, then you may proceed to empty the gas tank as well. Secure the oil dipstick too.
As long as the mower doesn’t turn on or spill any oil while balancing the blade, then you’re set to keep on.
3. Turn It Sideways
Once you’ve prepared the mower to prevent any issue while working on it – then you’re ready to turn it sideways:
- Turning the mower sideways will give you direct access to the blade. This will help you remove it more easily.
- Be careful not to turn the mower too fast as it could hit the ground too harshly and cause damage.
- If you can place a plastic sheet or something softer to support the mower while it is sideways, you can prevent damage to the paint and other parts.
With the mower sideways, you can start working on the blade directly.
4. Remove the Blade
If you want to balance the blade, you need to remove it. There’s no other way to do it. Here’s how:
- Grab the socket wrench. Put it directly on the bolt that keeps the blade connected to the mower.
- Now grab the blade with one hand and the socket wrench with the other. Be sure not to grab the sharp part of the blade.
- In this position, you can now turn the socket wrench counter-clockwise and release the bolt. This will get the blade off the spindle and shaft.
After removing the blade, you’re ready to check it thoroughly.
5. Check the Balance
To balance the blade, it should have an unbalance. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time. Here’s how to check it:
- Grab the screwdriver and place its metal through the hole in the center of the blade.
- Now place the screwdriver upwards and let the blade balance itself. The blade should stay at a 180-degree angle if it is appropriately balanced.
- If it doesn’t stay in the 180-degree angle and instead falls to one of its sides, then that probably means it is unbalanced. Check it several times to see if it falls to one side only.
- The cause it falls to one side is because that area of the blade is too heavy, is damaged, or simply has any buildup.
Once you’ve checked the blade and found the reason it is unbalanced, you can proceed to fix it.
6. Get Rid of the Blade Excess
In case the problem is buildup, you can always clean it up with a wire brush. And if it is a broken blade, then you’ll have to replace it entirely.
But in case the blade is in pristine condition, but one of the sides is heavier than the other, you’ll have to sharpen it.
Our guide on How to Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades may help you out. Here’s a brief of what you should do:
- Now look for the blade holder. Place the knife on the holder and secure it.
- Then use the flat file and eliminate the excess of materials on the proper side.
- If a flat-file seems like too much work, you can always use a blade grinder. This machine will get rid of the blade metal faster.
- You just prepare the grinder on a table, secured for the job. Then you turn it on.
- Grabbing the blade from the non-edge area, you will place it on the grinder and let it cut the blade excess accordingly. Be extra careful when using this machine.
Sharpening the heavier part of the blade will directly balance it out.
7. Re-Install the Blade
Now it’s time to make a final check of the blade. If it seems balanced, then you can install it.
- Grab the screwdriver and put it through the hole in the center of the blade. Then let the blade balanced itself.
- The blade should stay at a 180-degree angle on both sides from where the screwdriver holds. If it stays balanced, then you’ve successfully fixed it.
- Proceed to re-install the blade by putting it on the shaft. Screw it in with the bolt and socket wrench.
- Grab the blade with one hand and grab the socket wrench with the other. Now turn it clockwise, so it tightens up.
The blade should fit in place and be ready for some mowing.
8. Straighten the Mower and Test
Finish by straightening the mower up again. Then you can test it up.
- Remember to pour the gas on the tank again.
- Connect the battery cables and spark plug too.
- Make sure everything is in the proper position. Then start the mower accordingly.
- Test that it doesn’t vibrate, and it cuts evenly.
If it works like a charm after balancing the blade, then you’ve done it. You’ve fixed an unbalanced blade.
Balancing a lawn mower blade won’t be as easy as you think. But with our guide and set of steps, it shouldn’t be much of a problem either.
So don’t let an unbalanced mower blade cause problems on your grass. Fix it right away by following this guide, and you will fix it faster than you expect.