When lawn edger blades become dull, they begin to tear and rip at the grass rather than make a clean cut through it. Fortunately, there are easy fixes to the frustrating problem of a dull lawn edger blade.
How do you sharpen a lawn edger blade? There are several ways to sharpen a lawn edger blade. The quickest way to sharpen a lawn edger blade is to use a bench grinder or an angle grinder. You can use a sharpening file to sharpen the blade in a more precise manner, or to perform quick tune-ups on the blade.
Included below are instructions on how to safely sharpen a lawn edger blade. You will find that sharpening the blade depends on which specific type of lawn edger tool you have. You will also learn of the telltale signs that it is time to replace your lawn edger blade.
Check The Owner’s Manual
Always be sure to check the owner’s manual for your specific lawn edger. If you have an electric or gas-powered lawn edger, you may see a stark warning in the owner’s manual to not even attempt sharpening the blade. This is the case with the Greenworks 12 Amp Electric Corded Edger.
If you own a manual lawn edger blade, such as the one found here, then you will want to sharpen it occasionally. The frequency with which you will need to sharpen your lawn edger blade depends largely upon use.
There are a couple of recommendations for when and how to sharpen your lawn edger blade, courtesy of Kansas State University:
- Before using a brand-new edger: bevel the front edge of the blade to enhance performance
- Clean the blade after use and before sharpening to remove rust and debris
- Use an electric grinder to repair a dull or damaged blade
- Use a hand file as an alternative to an electric grinder, this method is much more labor intensive
Bevel The Front Edge Of The Blade
Beveling the front edge of the blade will improve the performance by ensuring that soil is pushed up onto the blade. A thin cutting edge on a sharp tool increases the pressure per square inch that is applied for to the soil. It is usually recommended that you aim for a 20-degree angle at the bevel for lighter duty tools and an increased angle for heavy-duty tools.
Please be advised that sharper is not always better when it comes to edgers or other garden tools for that matter. Try to maintain the same bevel angle on the blade that was there when you first bought the lawn edger blade. If you make the angle too sharp, then you will weaken the edge of the blade and wear out the blade with just a few uses.
Clean The Blade
Before you sharpen the blade, you should remove any rust or dirt and debris from the it. This is also a good way to keep the blade maintained, even when you are not planning on sharpening it. You can clean the blade by using a stiff brush (buy on Amazon) or a scouring pad.
Sharpening With An Electric Grinder
This sharpening technique applies to the manual lawn and landscaping edgers that appear as shovels, such as this one. Although this article is specific to edgers, the techniques here can be applied to sharpen the blade of any type of shovel or garden hoe.
You can sharpen edgers like these quickly by using a bench grinder, such as the Dewalt 6-inch bench grinder (buy on Amazon). In order to sharpen the manual lawn and landscaping edger, you will use the fine tuning wheel of the bench grinder rather than the coarse grinder.
- Before you start, make sure that you are wearing safety glasses and work gloves
- Ensure that all rust and dirt has been removed from the surface of the blade
- Sharpen the inside edge of the blade, making sure to keep the bevel angle the same as the factory angle for the edger
- Avoid allowing the piece to overheat by occasionally immersing the edger blade in water
- You should be able to sharpen the edger adequately with just a couple of passes, clean off any burrs by using a sharpening stone
Use An Angle Grinder
It may be easier to use an angle grinder, rather than a bench grinder to sharpen your lawn edger blade. If you don’t have an angle grinder, you can buy a good one from Amazon.
To sharpen your manual lawn edger using an angle grinder:
- Start out by putting on safety glasses and work gloves
- Place a grinding stone disk in the angle grinder
- Hold the grinding disk perpendicular with the thin edge of the blade
- Run the angle grinder side to side along the edge of the blade in order to level out any nicks
- Since the grinder removes metal quickly, keep the grinder constantly in motion and only take a little bit off at a time
- Follow the angle used to sharpen the blade at the factory
You can also use a sharpening file to smooth out the blade of a lawn edger blade. The methods for using a sharpening file on a manual lawn edger will be very similar to the methods used to sharpen a shovel.
- Start out by placing the manual edger in a vise
- Use the angle already on the shovel as a guide
- Push the file forward in even passes, never towards you
- Continue to sharpen until you feel a burr along the entire length of the cutting edge
- Remove the burr by making a few light strokes along the backside to remove the burr
- Then finish with a few light strokes on the beveled side
Rotary Lawn Edgers Are Self-Sharpening
Rotary lawn edgers, such as the Truper Tru Tough Lawn Edger, contain two steel honing blades that lightly grind each tooth on the rotary blade as the blade goes in motion. For this reason, the blade is designed to be self-sharpening.
However, you may notice a dip in cutting performance after a while. If this is the case, then you can touch up each tooth in the rotary blade with a file sharpener every time you start to feel the blade going dull. Be sure to push the file sharpener forward along the edge of the blade and never towards you.
When Should I Buy A New Lawn Edger Blade?
You should buy a new lawn edger blade when sharpening the blade fails to improve performance. You shouldn’t have to replace your lawn edger blade very often. Replacement may be necessary, if the blade comes into contact with rough dirt, rocks and other debris.
You can always smooth out the blade using a sharpening file. Some dents will leave the blade edge beyond repair. In this case you can easily replace the edger blade with a replacement blade found online.