When mower blades are not balanced, the first thing that you will notice will be shaking and excess vibration of your mower. It might even be a little louder, as unbalanced blades put undue stress on the spindles, the blade shaft, and sometimes even your engine. To avoid this, be sure to always balance your blades after sharpening or you risk greatly reducing the working life of your mower.
In today’s article we’ll talk more about balancing and also the importance in using the proper height for different seasons. There are times when you need to cut your grass lower or leave it higher than usual and if you don’t, it’s definitely going to show in your lawn. Read on for the facts that you need to avoid these issues – you’ll be happy that you did!
Do lawn mower blades have to be balanced?
Yes. Mower blades need to be balanced following a sharpening. It’s not just a matter of a bad mow if the blades are unbalanced. An unbalanced blade will definitely do that, but it can be much worse. Unbalanced blades tend to cause vibrations at the rotate and aside from poorly cutting your lawn, they can actually damage your motor.
So, always be sure to balance your blades after sharpening. Skipping that step can be a costly mistake.
How do I know if my lawn mower blade is unbalanced?
An unbalanced mower blade, whipping round and round at high speeds, is going to be very noticeable. The vibrations that it causes will definitely be felt, and while these are occurring your engine is getting stressed. There will be undue pressure on the spindle, shaft, and the blade will be more prone to damage.
If you don’t have time for balancing the blades properly, keep in mind that most hardware stores will sharpen and balance blades and it’s really quite inexpensive – generally $5 to $15 per blade, and since you only need to sharpen them every 20 to 25 hours of use then this might be a better option if you don’t have a lot of time.
Should mower blades be staggered?
No, mower blades don’t need to be staggered. By design, you don’t have to manually time them or worry about overlap if you are using multiple blades. Simply install them and the way that they are designed will ensure that they do not collide or cause other issues.
Just be sure that the blades are being balanced after sharpening — poor or no maintenance can definitely cause problems.
Do lawn mower blades need to be aligned?
Nope. When you install new blades, the blades are being help in place by means of spindles and pins which are already part of your mower’s design. This means that they will already be aligned and it’s done on purpose by the factory to ensure that your blades are delivering the ideal cutting angle every time that you use your mower.
What causes a lawn mower to shake?
A shaking mower is a big, red flag, as this indicates that your blades might be out of balance or they could even be damaged. When you notice this, stop mowing, prop up your mower, and take a look at the blades. Look for visible dents, dings, chipped areas, or even curling of the blades. If you see this, then it’s time for a blade replacement.
If not, then it might be time to balance your blades.
Do riding mower blades overlap?
No. When installed properly, riding mower blades should have a gap between them, as this will ensure that there is not a danger of your blades colliding during operation. This is very, very important, as it prevents what essentially amounts to a high-speed collision from occurring underneath your feet!
Can you adjust lawn mower blade height?
Yes! Most mower models will have a level, which in turn has a groove that allows you to move it up or down, as well as a horizontal niche to set the level in place. These are typically numbered so that you can reference your owner’s manual to know what each setting indicates.
Usually it just indicates inches above the ground, but check your manual to make sure that they aren’t customized settings specific to your make and model.
What is the best height to set lawn mower?
3 inches is the ideal setting for height on your lawnmower. This leaves enough grass to help keep away sun damage, while still looking quite nice and neat, and it also promotes deep rooting of the grass, improved density and color, and less susceptibility to disease that a taller or shorter lawn would be more vulnerable to.
When should I lower my lawn mower blade?
While 3 inches is the optimal height for most mowing scenarios, the exception to this is going to be fall mowings. During the fall, you should lower your mower to the lowest setting that is recommended for the type of grass in your yard. Leave it at this setting until the first 2 mowings of spring, after which you can raise it back to 3 inches.
How short should you cut grass in hot weather?
While it’s easy to think that shorter grass will be cooler and happier in the summer, this is not the case. You should leave your grass just a little longer than usual in the summer. The density works in its favor, as dense turf is going to require less water, and there is also some additional protection from the blazing sunlight above.
4 inches is going to be the optimal height for these warmer months, so raise the mower just a little and you’re lawn will be much better prepared for the heat.
Is it better to leave grass long or short for winter?
For winter, the ideal height is going to be about 2 ½ inches and we’ll tell you why. At this height, your grass is still tall enough that it should be able to readily photosynthesize so that it may continue to keep its roots nourished. Anything smaller is going to be risky at best and at worse, might well ruin your lawn in patches or throughout.
If the grass is any higher, it is also in danger from becoming overly matted by frost. So, as a general rule, trim it down to 2 ½ inches when it gets cold for your best chances against those cold winter months.
How short should I cut my grass the first time?
When you’ve got new blades of grass sprouting for the first time, you want to leave it alone for awhile. Sprouts need awhile to build up their strength and cutting them too early can prove disastrous. For best results, let those seedling sprout and grow to a height of just over 3 inches before you mow them.
By this time, your new grass should be strong and you won’t have to worry about damaging it by mowing.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.