Have you ever tried cutting paper with a blunt pair of scissors? Tough isn't it! This is what will happen if you try and cut your grass with a blunt cylinder cartridge. It is important that your cylinder has a sharp edge on every blade so that your grass is cut evenly all the way across the width of the stripe. A blunt blade can cause disease in your grass. Mowing with a blunt blade with create a tearing action pulling the grass plant up from the roots rather than cutting it cleanly at the desired height. You will end up with similar to the rotary cut below.
How to tell if your mower blade needs sharpening
We suggest checking your cylinder with a piece of paper regularly. You can do this after every mow or at least once a month. Things to look out for if your blades are blunt are ....
- Your cylinder isn't cutting paper cleanly
- A yellow tinge to your grass meaning it is getting damaged and diseased by the tearing action
- An uneven grass plant length in places
- Grass blades that aren't cut cleanly and are jagged at the ends
- Needing to go over the same area several times
See our paper test video here
How often do you need to sharpen the cylinder?
We recommend sharpening your blade really when it is not cutting paper cleanly. This depends how often you mow as to how blunt your blade is. You can do an in-season sharpening known as back-lapping to keep you going through the season. We recommend getting your cylinder sharpening professionally by an Allett dealer at the end of the season ready for the following spring. A dealer can check cylinder to bottom blade contact as well as the condition of both your cylinder and bottom blade for stone chips etc. If your blade is damaged it will need replacing- no amount of sharpening will help.
If its not cutting at one side and cutting at the other it may simply need an adjustment. Find a video here to help
How to sharpen the lawn mower blade yourself
Make sure that your mower is disconnected from it's power source. If you have a petrol machine you may want to remove the spark plug as well as making sure your fuel switch/mower on-off switch is turned off. A safer option may be to remove the cylinder from the mower altogether. If you have a battery mower make sure the safety key is removed as well as the battery. Make sure you wear gloves.
Find our back-lapping video here showing you how to sharpen your cylinder yourself. Good Luck!
NOTE: As previously said you will need to get your cylinder sharpened professionally by an Allett Dealer once a season (more so or less so depending on your usage). You can find your nearest Allett Dealer here