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I am wanting to sharpen my blades on my X540. I have never sharpened a mower blade before so I am a bit uneasy about it. I done a search on here and read about several different ways. My mower has about 16 hrs on it so the blades are not nicked up, they just don't seem to be very sharp. I don't think that they were sharp from the factory. The thing is that I don't have any of the things mentioned in the post that I read. I don't have a bench vise, an angle grinder, a dremel or even a good file:fing20: This is something that I want to learn to do on my own so I am willing to buy whatever it is that I need to do it properly. My gut instinct tells me that a good file would be my best bet being that I am not familar with sharpening the blades and mine are in new condition just dull. I do have an air compressor, an impact wrench, a fold out work bench and a few C clamps:fing32: Please give me some advice here fellows on how to do this and how to do it correctly. I have always just took my old mower to the repair shop and let them do it. I don't want to go that route any more with my new mower. This is something that needs doing so often, I need to learn to do it myself at home. If I go with the hand file route, what is a good brand and what size and type do I need to buy? I could get an angle grinder also if need be. Help a newbie out here guys. Thanks.
 

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First thing I would do is buy a pair of safety glasses and a Dremel tool with the special attachment (#675 Lawn Mower Attachment) made just for lawn mower blades. Next, use your C-clamps to clamp the blade to your work bench and sharpen it using the Dremel. You can’t go wrong with the special attachment because it puts the correct angle on the cut and you will not end up rounding over the edge. You can also use the same attachment on other garden tools, like shovels, shears, hoes, or just about anything that has an edge on it. Regardless of what blades you have, this will do the job for you.

http://www.dremel.com/en-us/AttachmentsAndAccessories/Pages/AttachmentsDetail.aspx?pid=675
 

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I perfer a angle grinder myself. You can get a cheap one from Habor Freight or one of those travling tool shows for about $10, or a pretty good one from HD or the like for about $30. Pick up a flap disc to fit it, and your in Biz. Clamps will replace a vice just fine.
 

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I use the hand file or a sharpening stone on the end of my drill while I hold it in a vice. The cheap easy route to take would be the hand file and use your clamps to hold it. Drive a nail in the side of a wall or stud keeping the nail straight. After your take the same number of swipes on on end of the blade do the other the same amount keeping the angle on the file the same as the blade. Your not looking for a razor sharp edge. After filing balance the blade on the nail and see if it's level. If not take some of off the lower end until the blade sets level. slkpk
 

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Angle grinder is the fastest... I could do around 100 blades by the time a drill or dremel would do one...
 

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angel grinder, dont let the blade turn blue when u are grinding it it takes temperment out of the steel then blade wount stay sharp as long follow same angle on the blade when grinding.
 

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Hi 09 X540 ,

I also use an angle grinder 4 1/2" , you want to try to keep and follow the
factory angle and as for the cutting edge you don't want it razor sharp , you
want the edge to be a blunt 1/32 of an inch and like sal64 said try not to let
it turn blue ...

Later,x595
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies! Keep the tips coming. If I go the 4 1/2 angle grinder route then exactly what type of disc do I need to get? Is there a certain grit or type of disc that works best? Ingersoll444 mentioned a flap disc, is there a certain brand or grit or type to get? Also I am not familar with files. What size and what brand or type of file would work best? Thanks again for the help. A couple of things that I do have that I forgot to mention was the saftey glasses and a small air grinder. Will this air grinder work for the task or would the angle grinder give me a better control of what I am doing? The only disc that I have for it are cut off wheels. Do they sell the right kind of disc for my air grinder that would work? If so what are they? Here is a couple of pics of my air grinder. Sorry for all of the questions, but I am still in the learning mode here.



 

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I've sharpened blades for years with a vise, pair of gloves and a mill ******* file, then cleaned it up with a fine file to dull the edge slightly.
Recently I started using a stationary grinder. It's easy to hold the correct angle and move the blade. I still touch it up with file when done.
The grinder is easier so I tend to sharpen more often and am carefull not to overheat the blade.
 

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Blacksmith
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The grinder disk you show in the picture should work just fine. I have used a bench grinder and an angle grinder, but the best one is a radial arm saw with a grinder wheel instead of a blade. I make up a wooded fixture to hold the blade at the proper angle and pull the grinder across the blade and slide the blade fixture along the saw stop to get the length done. I then rotate the blade to do the other end. By keeping the depth the same you take the same amount off each end and keep the blade balanced. I also make a fixture for my brush cutter attachment for my weed wacker.
 

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I'll use a grinder if the blade is in really bad shape, and needs a lot of metal removed in order to get it ready for sharpening. But, for me, the actual sharpening is done with a good file. The file is almost silent, there's no vibration the cord never gets tangled , and it removes material surprisingly quickly but can be easily controlled. It's just easier for me to get good results with a file and a sturdy vise.:trink40:
 

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Will this air grinder work for the task or would the angle grinder give me a better control of what I am doing?
Just wanted to tell you I would not use that air grinder under any circumstances! :Stop: Never use a hand held tool with the guards removed! Never use a tool with the trigger taped in the on position! If you use this grinder as shown and drop if for some reason it could seriously injure you.
 

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I use a right angle Dotco air grinder here at work. I use 60 Alox Grit 2" discs on a twist lock arbor with flexible rubber backing. 1 disc will do 1 blade. I like using the Dotco as it's smooth running, light and small. 1 handed operation. No need to clamp blade at all.




MU
 

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I have a 2008 JD LA145 (see shiny pic). I have 20hrs on it and haven't cleaned underneath the deck (besides the deck wash thingee) or sharpened the blades. Am I ok, or am I overdue for this maintenance? How am I supposed to do this at home???
 

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Just wanted to tell you I would not use that air grinder under any circumstances! :Stop: Never use a hand held tool with the guards removed! Never use a tool with the trigger taped in the on position! If you use this grinder as shown and drop if for some reason it could seriously injure you.
The last job I had we took all the guards off and put them in the trash...
If you work at a weld shop guards just get in the way... I dint like it but thats just the way it was... You learn to be very carful...
 

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I cut grass ever single day so usually I take mine off ever 10/14 days or so and sharpen them on the bench grinder. That wheel goes around slow enough where it doesn't effect the heat treatment of the blade.

A couple weeks ago I had the deck off while doing another project so I took an angel grinder to them while still on the spindles. But I was careful not to overheat the blades affecting the heat treatment and you should to if you use an angle grinder. It was a less than perfect job...but still an improvement.

I do that to the brush hog but those are the swing type blades that are 5/8/ or 3/4 of an inch thick ...it a big hassle to get them off and it's not necessary that they sharp sharp like a finish mower.

If you sharpen blades frequently you'll be 'cutting' grass instead of pulling/ripping it out. Perfectly cut grass is golf course green, dull blade ripped grass has a frosty white trash look to it. btw I recommend using never seize on your threads that way blades come off easier.
 

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The guards on a hand grinder are kinda like that new can't mow in reverse thing,no amount of junk on your tool will save you from you,[whats that mean,well you got to have some common sense].Plus,in this case[guards on a hand grinder],it will cause more danger and actually stop you from doing with the tool,what you wanted.

Bench grinder is what I use to sharpen lawnmower blades,got hand grinders and files and under stand metal pretty good,[been a welder/inspector for 30 years],don't get blade real hot,if it does more than just make a slight hiss when you dunk the blade in that bucket of water you got near by to cool it so you can handle blade bare handed while you sharpen on said bench grinder,than you are getting it to hot,just a little,than do other end,than dunk in water,repeat.

Now,having said all that,if you've never sharpened any thing,well,you might need a lesson from somebody,you can do so much harm to something so quick,if you don't have a clue to how to go about putting an edge on something.:drunkie:
 

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I use a grinder as well, air or elec will work just as well.

To prevent overheating, I "stroke" the blade with the running grinder; working from center to tip, and always let the sparks fly off the sharp end as this prevents accidental nicks or notches as well as concetrating the heat to the thick of the blade.
 
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