Last Updated: 2 / 4 / 2023


Lawn mowers are crucial gardening tools, but for them to be effective, they need to be sharpened at least once annually. Whereas this might feel somewhat unnecessary, it is not as it considerably simplifies your gardening routine. This is because sharpening the lawnmower blades allows you to cleanly and quickly cut grass, thereby having a healthier and perfectly trimmed lawn. By doing this, your garden becomes less prone to pests and diseases.

How to sharpen a lawn mower blade with a file (With Illustrations)
In this guide we’re going to talk about the ways you can get your blade sharpened.

It is thus clear that your lawn mower needs to have well-sharpened blades. However, is it possible to sharpen the lawn mower blades without removing them? Yes, it is, and whereas this method is not as popular taking out the blades for sharpening, it is still useful. Moreover, this method is a lot simpler despite it not being quite as effective at sharpening the blades. Therefore, in this article, you will be taken through an in-depth guide on the steps to follow throughout this entire process. Subsequently, your lawn will look neat and tidy, and you will be the envy of your neighborhood.

Tools you're going to need

Steps to sharpening lawn mower blades without taking them out

When looking to sharpen your lawn mower without removing its blades, there are only two steps that you need to take. These are;

Step 1: Make preparations to sharpen the blade

Preparations to sharpen the blades of your lawn mower blades without taking them out are identical to those when removing the blade. If you fail to follow these steps correctly could potentially lead to a fatal outcome. Therefore, the steps you need to follow to guarantee the blades have been sharpened correctly are;

Assemble all the crucial tools and equipment: These are the necessary equipment you need to enhance your safety while sharpening the lawn mower blades. They include;

  • Grinder or file
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • An extra 4x4 block of wood 12” to 18.”
  • Steel wool and wire brush
  • 2x4 wood block with a length of 16” to 20.”

Disconnect the lawn mower from power sources: Make sure you disconnect the lawn mower from all possible power sources to protect yourself from any accidental starting or turning while you are working. Thus, you need to confirm that the spark plug cable is disconnected from the spark plug or unplug the power cord.

Place the lawn mower on its sides: You should then proceed and have your lawn mower on its side with its carburetor facing upwards on the gas mower. Additionally, place a block below the engine or motor to improve the stability as you are working on the mower. This is a vital step when sharpening your lawn mower without removing its blades.

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Step 2: Sharpen the blade

The steps to follow when sharpening lawn mower blades are the same regardless of whether or not you are taking out the blades. Nonetheless, the execution of these steps differs slightly.

Secure the blade: Whereas backward resistance is not necessary to take out the blade, you still should make sure it is well secured. Doing this prevents any movement as you try and sharpen the blades. Therefore, to confirm the blade does not move when grinding, you can use either wedge a 2x4 over the cutting deck as well as below the blade.

Thoroughly wash the blade: You should then proceed and clean the blade meticulously to get rid of the rust, caked grass, and other debris. After doing this, you will have total access to your blade’s cutting edges.

Sharpen the blade: It will be more challenging to access the blades for sharpening using a hand grinder of the file compared to if the blade was removed. Fortunately, you can still grind the blades if you follow these guidelines;

  • Maintain an appropriate angle
  • Perform uniform strokes as you move away from the center
  • Never draw backward
  • After finishing one edge, switch over to another and then start sharpening it

By carefully following these steps mentioned above, you will be able to sharpen the blades in your lawn mower without needing to take them out.

Useful tips to follow when sharpening lawn mower blades without removing them

There are several valuable tips that you need to observe if you are committed to sharpening your lawn mower blades without taking them out. This is despite this process being relatively simpler to if the blades are removed for sharpening. Some of these tips include;

  • Only sharpening the mower’s blades on an empty gas tank: Make sure the gas tank is empty before you start grinding the blades to prevent the loss of fuel.
  • Know when the blades are blunt and need sharpening: To know whether your blades are dull, you should inspect the grass blades on your line and check for signs of tearing and splitting at the tips.
  • Know when the blades need to be replaced: If the mower’s blade is out of balance, bent, nicked all over, or the driveshaft hole does is completely damaged, then you need to get a replacement. This is because the blades are destroyed beyond repair, thus not as effective at mowing your lawn.
  • Address nicked blades issue: Nicked blades do not necessarily mean your lawn mower blades are destroyed. This is far from it, since nicked blades too can be sharpened, but the use of a bench grinder is advised if you want the best results.
  • Confirm that the blades are balanced correctly: The blades must be well-balanced; otherwise, there will be weird noises coming out from below the lawn mower’s deck. A wallowed out driveshaft hole, as well as a blunt blade, is one of the reasons why the blade can be improperly balanced.


After reading through this article, you now have valuable insight on the steps to follow when looking to sharpen your lawn mower blades without needing to remove them. The knowledge of how to correctly repair your mower using this method is a fundamental part of ensuring your lawn remains tidy and healthy. Furthermore, because sharpening the lawn mower blades utilizing this method is easy and straightforward, your lawn’s overall health is safeguarded. Therefore, carefully adhere to these step-by-step guidelines, and you can rest assured the blades will be sharpened properly.