Change & Sharpen Your Cub Cadet Mower Blades

by Jack Grover
person riding yellow colored lawn mower
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Many homeowners want to achieve a beautifully manicured lawn. However, equally many of them don’t know how to change and sharpen their mower blades.

It can cause several problems.

For example, since dull blades tear the grass rather than cutting it cleanly, it may lead to an uneven appearance and potential damage to the health of your turf.

Regularly changing and sharpening your mower blades is crucial to avoid these issues and keep your lawn looking its best.

This article will provide you with valuable tips and step-by-step instructions on how to change and sharpen your Cub Cadet mower blades.

Whether you choose to tackle this task yourself or seek professional assistance, our comprehensive guide will equip you with all the knowledge and tools necessary to maintain a healthy, vibrant lawn.

Key Takeaways

  • Regularly changing and sharpening your Cub Cadet mower blades leads to better and cleaner cuts on the lawn.
  • Replacing or sharpening mower blades at least once a year is recommended to maintain a precise, clean cut.
  • Removing the blade from the deck and bringing it to a shop for sharpening can save money.
  • Uneven grass height, torn grass tips, large dents or chips in the blade, and thinner blade thickness are signs it’s time for blade maintenance.
  • Blades can be sharpened using different tools like a flat metal file, drill-powered blade sharpener, or disc grinder.
  • When sharpening the blades yourself, ensure you use the correct tools and techniques to maintain their balance and integrity.

Why Change Mower Blades?

Over time, mower blades become dull and worn, resulting in an uneven cut that may leave behind ragged grass or bare patches. It also stresses the mower’s motor, leading to decreased efficiency and higher fuel consumption or battery usage.

Your mower blades may lose sharpness due to contact with rocks, sticks, or other debris in the yard. By changing the blades at least once a year, you keep them sharp and ready to provide a precise and clean cut.

If you don’t want to replace the blades each season, sharpening them is a viable alternative.

Regularly sharpening your Cub Cadet mower blades is an excellent way to maintain their cutting effectiveness and reduce stress on both your lawn and your equipment.

One of the best options is to remove the blade from the deck and bring it to a shop for sharpening.

Yet, while professionals charge around $10 to $40 per blade for sharpening services, learning how to sharpen them yourself can be even more cost-effective.

Additionally, owning an extra blade is recommended so you always have one available while another is being serviced.

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How Often to Change Blades?

Regularly replacing the blades of your Cub Cadet mower ensures a clean and precise cut, allowing your lawn to thrive.

The frequency at which you should change the blades depends on various factors, such as the condition of your yard and the type of terrain it has.

Generally, you would want to change your blades annually. This way, you can guarantee your mower will make quick work of cutting the grass in your yard, leaving you with more free time on your hands.

Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and may vary depending on individual circumstances. For instance, if you have a large yard or frequently mow commercial properties, you may need to change your blades more often.

Pay attention to these signs, which indicate it’s time for blade maintenance:

  • Look for unevenness in your lawn after mowing. Grass should all be the same height after a singular pass of the mower. If inconsistencies appear, it could mean your blades are dull.
  • Grass health can reveal a lot about your mower’s performance. Take a closer look at the tips of the grass blades. Blades that are torn, not cleanly cut, hint towards dull mower blades.
  • Inspecting the physical attributes of the blade itself is also beneficial. Look out for large dents or chips in the cutting edge. They’re the culprits that tear grass, preventing an even cut.
  • Checking blade thickness is also helpful. With time and usage, dirt, sand, and debris erode the blade’s metal structure making it paper-thin. In such cases, renew the blade immediately to avoid any mishap. A thin blade could break during mowing, potentially causing injury.

Steps to Remove Blades

When it’s time to give your Cub Cadet mower the care it deserves, you’ll want to know the steps for removing those blades and unleashing a whole new level of precision on your lawn.

Removing the blades may seem daunting, but it can be done quickly with the right tools and a little guidance.

  1. First, make sure you have all the necessary equipment: a ratchet, work gloves, safety glasses, a torque wrench, and a cordless impact gun.
  1. Remove the spark plug boots and ignition key before working on the mower for safety purposes.
  1. Once that’s done, use sockets and ratchets to loosen and remove the bolts holding the blades in place.
  1. Take extra care not to damage or bend the blades as you remove them from their position.

After successfully removing the blades from your Cub Cadet mower deck, take some time to thoroughly inspect them for wear and tear.

Look out for signs of chips, dings, bends, or large cracks — if any are present, it’s best to replace them rather than trying to sharpen them.

person trying to cut a metal blade

Steps to Sharpen Blades

After successfully removing the blades from your Cub Cadet mower deck, it’s time to give them a sharp edge for an impeccable cut.

Follow these steps to sharpen your mower blades:

  1. Clean the blades: Use a rag or wire brush to remove any debris and grass clippings from the surface of the blades. Doing this will ensure that you have a clean working area for sharpening.
  1. Choose a sharpening method: There are various ways to sharpen mower blades, including using a flat metal file, drill-powered blade sharpener, or disc grinder. Select the method that works best for you and gather the necessary tools accordingly.
  1. Secure the blade: Place the blade in a vice grip or clamp to hold it securely in place during sharpening. It will prevent any accidents and allow you to have better control over the process.
  1. Sharpen one side at a time: Start by filing or grinding one side of the blade at an angle that matches its original angle. Maintain consistent pressure and strokes along the cutting edge until you achieve a sharp edge free of nicks and dull spots. Repeat this process for the other side of the blade as well.
  1. Check for balance: After sharpening both sides, check if your blade is balanced by placing it on a balancing tool or on top of an empty soda can. If one side dips lower than the other, continue filing or grinding until both sides are balanced.

Safety should always be your priority when handling sharp objects like mower blades. Remember to wear protective gloves and goggles throughout this process to avoid any injuries.

Importance of Balancing Blades

A balanced blade in your mower is crucial to ensure a flawless and professional-looking cut for your lawn.

When your mower blade is unbalanced, it can lead to uneven cutting, scalping the grass in some areas while leaving it too long in others.

On top of that, an unbalanced blade puts unnecessary stress on the mower’s motor, causing it to work harder and reducing its efficiency.

It can also result in an uneven weight distribution on the deck, leading to vibrations that can damage the mower over time.

If you find an imbalance, you can either remove material from the heavier side or add material to the lighter side until both sides are level.

For example, you can grind down small amounts of metal from the heavier side using a file.

Remember that even slight imbalances can significantly affect performance, so taking the time to balance your blades properly is well worth it.

The Bottom Line

Regularly changing and sharpening your Cub Cadet mower blades is the best way to ensure cleaner cuts, prevent damage to your grass, and prolong the lifespan of your mower.

Dull blades can tear and shred grass instead of cleanly cutting it, leaving behind ragged edges that are more susceptible to disease and pests.

Replacing your blades solves this problem, promoting healthier growth for your grass.

Sharpening your blades is equally important as changing them. It allows for a precise cut every time you mow, reducing strain on the machine and grass.

Follow the tips and techniques outlined above, and you’ll have no issue keeping your lawn healthy, vibrant, and perfectly trimmed all year round.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a regular metal file to sharpen my Cub Cadet mower blades?

Yes, you can use a regular metal file to sharpen your Cub Cadet mower blades. Make sure to securely hold the blade in a vice and carefully run the file along the cutting edge at the correct angle.

Is removing the spark plug and ignition key necessary before removing the mower blades?

This step is necessary for safety reasons, as it prevents accidental starting of the mower while you are working on the blades.

What is the recommended torque for fastening the blade bolts?

The recommended torque for fastening the blade bolts on your Cub Cadet mower is specified in the owner’s manual. Follow these specifications to ensure proper blade installation and prevent damage to your mower.

Can I use a wire brush to clean the blades before sharpening?

Yes, you can do that. It will help remove any debris and buildup on the blades, resulting in a cleaner and more effective sharpening process.

How can I determine if my Cub Cadet mower blades are balanced after sharpening?

You can use a blade balancer to determine if your Cub Cadet mower blades are balanced. Place the blade on the balancer to see if it rests evenly. If one side is heavier, remove small amounts of metal until it balances.

Alternatively, you can check if your blades are balanced by placing them on top of an empty soda can.

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