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Theory is one thing, this one seems logical. BUT, rocks, sand, rodent dens, lost tools, roots, all hitting those hardened edges are quite another thing. Each month, I still touch up my JD blades and find blunt edges, dings, and rollovers. Wonder if hardened steel edge will just chip out.
Wait and see I guess. Nice if it works in practice, but is sounding sort of like no oil change.. no way!
 

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I take the blades off before scraping the deck, I can do a better job and it saves the knuckles. Hardened edges seem like a 10 dollar solution to a 2 dollar problem. Most blades are cheap, I kept a spare set and changed them halfway through the season rather than wasting time sharpening.
 

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I'm on the fence with the idea of 'self sharpening', too. The Gator blades I use have a hardened lower surface, too, and while they do stay sharper longer than the standard blades I've had, they still need a touch-up about a 1/3 of the way through cutting season, and a full resharpen near the end of cutting season. I don't have the perfectly manicured lawn I'm sure Deere has in mind for these blades to work as advertised. I mow lawn and pasture with mine, and a bit of very light brush (blackberry bramble stuff along the edge of the pasture), so I don't expect my blades to escape damage like occasional rock dings. I put over 100 hours a year of mowing on my tractor, and a set of blades will last me a couple of seasons at best.

What do these new 'self sharpeners' cost, compared to standard or Gator blades?
 

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Anyone ever hit a down fence line with a mower deck. Barb wire will ruin blades in a blink of an eye. Even on brush mowers!
 

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Anyone ever hit a down fence line with a mower deck. Barb wire will ruin blades in a blink of an eye. Even on brush mowers!
Hit a piece of rebar one time when I had my old MTD LT. Dinged the blade good but it twisted the rebar in two.

I mow rough, rocky fields here in NW AR. The last time I sharpened my blades I knocked the edge down slightly blunt. Always knife edged them in the past.

Just changed them ~1 year later expecting them to be rounded over like they usually are. To my surprise they are still in great shape. There's something to blunting that edge--at least in my situation.
 

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OK, the guy in the video is from and has a farm in Indiana. In the video, it clearly states that the blades are to be used only on grass and only certain types of grass with no weeds, sticks or stones mixed in. Never work on my yard with the high sand content, wiregrass, weeds, small sticks from the pecan trees and other. Not to mention the exposed roots all over. My Gator blades, even with a hardened edge, last about 16 months before new ones have to be bought and have to sharpen every three mows.
 

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Tractor Tim




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Join Date:Oct 2014 Last Online:Today @ 12:33 PM Location:Lebanon, IndianaPosts:1,441 Thanks:594Thanked 745 Times in 324 Posts





Here is Tim: The Tractor Time Guy made a reply to my thread over on the JD Ztrack forum





Quote Originally Posted by kbeaag View Post

I happen to see a video of Tim the Tractor Time Guy showing the John Deere Self-Sharpening mower blades. At first I thought this was a joke... and it very well may be a joke. I cannot find anywhere where John Deere makes or sells a self-sharpening mower blade. Number two. I don't see how, why, and what way a mower deck blade can sharpening itself. But, I'm willing to learn and believe it when I see it.

Tim the Tractor Time guy always making videos of what he can do to make a few bucks on some of his many John Deere equipment and some make sense.

So, those here that have or use these self-sharpening blades....speak up.
I have no idea how well they work...and I stated that in the video. However, I DID explain the technology. From that standpoint, it makes sense.

Also, had no idea this episode would take off like it did. We would have done some things differently in the video had we realized it would get 620,000+ views in such a short period. Oh well!

Tim
 

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Re: Blunting the cut edge.
This has worked for me. I too used to razor sharp the edges, but the JD Manual has a diagram for edge geometry. I believe there are 2 or 3 angles. The angle at the edge is approaching a vertical edge when in service. It reminds me of the blunting of the edge mentioned earlier in the posts. I've used this JD geometry since I got my JD X500 in 2015. They remain sharp much longer with less damage. I've increased the facing edge to as much as 1/8th inch and it holds up really well among my exposed roots, large sticks, the occasional rock, and other surprises lurking in the lawn.
 

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Hint: If you want your cheap push mower blade to turn into what looks like a steel bow tie, hit the darned grounding rod hiding in the grass near the foundation.
 

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Re: Blunting the cut edge.
This has worked for me. I too used to razor sharp the edges, but the JD Manual has a diagram for edge geometry. I believe there are 2 or 3 angles. The angle at the edge is approaching a vertical edge when in service. It reminds me of the blunting of the edge mentioned earlier in the posts. I've used this JD geometry since I got my JD X500 in 2015. They remain sharp much longer with less damage. I've increased the facing edge to as much as 1/8th inch and it holds up really well among my exposed roots, large sticks, the occasional rock, and other surprises lurking in the lawn.
Check the diagram in the JD manual again. My X500 manual shows the bevel angle and states the thickness of the sharpened edge is to be no MORE than 1/64-inch. That means no duller than 1/64-inch. So sharpening to 1/128-inch or 1/256-inch is fine. Any new JD blades I've ever purchased were always RAZOR sharp right out of the box.
 

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After having used a sicle cutter as a teen I have always wondered why mower blades are not curved like a sickle. Has anyone ever seen such a blade and have any of you ever wondered about that shape? It would seem that the outer curved tip would catch grass that normally might be slung outward away from the straight blade. As an alternative, it would also seem that blades with cuts into the blade body at right angles to the cutting edge would trap and cut more grass. It means that there is more cutting edge available. I have seen this type of blade.
 

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After having used a sicle cutter as a teen I have always wondered why mower blades are not curved like a sickle. Has anyone ever seen such a blade and have any of you ever wondered about that shape? It would seem that the outer curved tip would catch grass that normally might be slung outward away from the straight blade. As an alternative, it would also seem that blades with cuts into the blade body at right angles to the cutting edge would trap and cut more grass. It means that there is more cutting edge available. I have seen this type of blade.
Probably has to do with lift, manufacturing costs, and discharge of cut grass. Weedeater string proves you don't need a razor to cut grass.
 

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After having used a sicle cutter as a teen I have always wondered why mower blades are not curved like a sickle. Has anyone ever seen such a blade and have any of you ever wondered about that shape? It would seem that the outer curved tip would catch grass that normally might be slung outward away from the straight blade. As an alternative, it would also seem that blades with cuts into the blade body at right angles to the cutting edge would trap and cut more grass. It means that there is more cutting edge available. I have seen this type of blade.
My theory is that it's all about velocity. Speed of a scythe or sickle is a fraction of the blade tip speed of a mower. As Steve Urquell more or less states in his post, even round piece of monofilament will cut grass at velocity albeit I prefer the dimensional string myself.

With that said, it is surprising that no one has patented the concept and tried to use it as a marketing gimmick.
 
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