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Thread: Need a bench grinder for sharpening mower blades

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    eepete's Avatar
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    Need a bench grinder for sharpening mower blades

    The last time I had my mower blades sharpened, it was $8 each. That's about half the cost of a new blade, and up considerably from $3 a decade ago. So it's time for me to get a bench grinder so I can sharpen my own blades. These are the blades on my mid mount mower, not the big MX6 rotary cutter.

    I got a flyer from Northern Tool with some discount coupons it in. They have a 6" grinder on sale and you can also apply the coupons. Now I don't want the one they show because I'd like one with a light on it.

    Now keep in mind this is for weekend warrior use. I don't even have a welder (there was one for sale in the catalog, but I'm not going there....). I've got a 4.5" hand held grinder, but it sure seems like using that on mower blades that are off the mower is going to cause more trouble than it solves (although they are tempting to use to touch up the MX6 blades). So what should I get?

    Size of the grinding disk?
    Work light?
    Stand or Table top mount?
    HP of motor if it matters?
    RPM?
    And all the other stuff I just don't know enough to ask?

    TIA and when the mowin' is over I can't wait to get to the seasonal grind .

    Pete
    '09 JD4520 Cab (60HP), '97 KubotaB21 TLB (21HP), 400cx loader, MX6 rotary mower, SB1106 6' Sickle Bar, BB3272 6' box blade, GradeMaster 7' Landplane, Frontier AF11E Front Blade, 4' Pallet Forks, 6' landscape rake, ballast box, Woods GTC 40" tiller, PHD 9" auger, 4' x 8' chain harrow, '90 JD318 (18HP gas) with 48" MM mower, 54" front blade, 47" snowblower.
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    Kennyd's Avatar
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    I like 8" grinders, with variable speed.

    The lights are usually a joke, as are the stupid plastic lawyer shields they come with. What makes a good grinder IMO is the tools rests...cheap ones usually come with stamped steel ones that never stay where you want them so you end up freehand grinding-which then leads to screwed up angles or what you are sharpening jammed between the wheel and the wanna be tool rest.
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    jfoi's Avatar
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    you can use a hand grinder on mowing blades, and your brush hog blades. just don't put to much pressure on the grinder or you will gouge the blade
    John Deere x320
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    tackit's Avatar
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    Pete if you just mow lawn and never hit rocks a couple of quality 12" flat files will work, they're better because they they don't cut as fast and are easier to control.

    I use a 12" flat mill file when I finish up my rotary cutters blades. A quality file will bring an edge on fast and it feels and sounds good working the metal... you'll get the hang of it fast and enjoy it.


    http://www.evenfallstudios.com/woodw...iling_2006.pdf
    Last edited by tackit; 08-21-2011 at 09:36 PM.

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    DRobinson's Avatar
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    I prefer a file instead of a grinder because it is easier to keep the correct angle on the cutting edge.
    Don

    2320, 54D MMM, 200CX FEL, Omni Transformer Hitch
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    80 dump cart, 21 walk behind mower, 826 snow blower

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    Kennyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfoi View Post
    you can use a hand grinder on mowing blades, and your brush hog blades. just don't put to much pressure on the grinder or you will gouge the blade
    Great link Tackit
    -John Deere 4110HST
    FEL, MMM, Artillian 42" Forks, I-Match, Ballast Box, #380 plow (modified to fit), Markham LD-48 Grapple, Trac-Vac 854 and lots of other STUFF.
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    tackit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennyd View Post
    Great link Tackit

    Glad you liked it kenny.

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    eepete's Avatar
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    Tackit, tnx for the link. Learned good stuff, and saw that how I use a file isn't too far off the mark . I've got lots of small precision files for chassis work, but only one big one that could be used to sharpen a blade.

    The driveway is only 4 years new, so there are still a few places where I mow the gravel and the grass is collateral damage . With time, as I work the gravel out and bring the dirt up, this will get better.

    So I'll give a shot by hand (both file and hand grinder) and be on the lookout for the "Kenny approved" style of grinder for when I find an ugly patch of rail road ballast. My take on all this is "either do it all by hand, or get a really good grinder not some cheapie".

    On a related filing note, for years I filed my chainsaw chains by hand so I could get the hang of it. At first, I filed and then took it to get sharpened () but now I can do OK. My goal is to be able to sharpen the chain good enough to use for those rare weather events where you don't have the luxury of being to take a break and have it sharpened. That skill (and having 3-4 chains on hand) have got me through situations and helped the Fire Dept. clear the district after ice storms.

    Thanks for the comments, more are welcome if other have them. Guess I have to post a picture of my sharpening...

    Pete
    '09 JD4520 Cab (60HP), '97 KubotaB21 TLB (21HP), 400cx loader, MX6 rotary mower, SB1106 6' Sickle Bar, BB3272 6' box blade, GradeMaster 7' Landplane, Frontier AF11E Front Blade, 4' Pallet Forks, 6' landscape rake, ballast box, Woods GTC 40" tiller, PHD 9" auger, 4' x 8' chain harrow, '90 JD318 (18HP gas) with 48" MM mower, 54" front blade, 47" snowblower.
    Volunteer Firefighter.

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    tackit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eepete View Post
    Tackit, tnx for the link. Learned good stuff, and saw that how I use a file isn't too far off the mark . I've got lots of small precision files for chassis work, but only one big one that could be used to sharpen a blade.

    The driveway is only 4 years new, so there are still a few places where I mow the gravel and the grass is collateral damage . With time, as I work the gravel out and bring the dirt up, this will get better.

    So I'll give a shot by hand (both file and hand grinder) and be on the lookout for the "Kenny approved" style of grinder for when I find an ugly patch of rail road ballast. My take on all this is "either do it all by hand, or get a really good grinder not some cheapie".

    On a related filing note, for years I filed my chainsaw chains by hand so I could get the hang of it. At first, I filed and then took it to get sharpened () but now I can do OK. My goal is to be able to sharpen the chain good enough to use for those rare weather events where you don't have the luxury of being to take a break and have it sharpened. That skill (and having 3-4 chains on hand) have got me through situations and helped the Fire Dept. clear the district after ice storms.

    Thanks for the comments, more are welcome if other have them. Guess I have to post a picture of my sharpening...

    Pete
    Sounds good Pete, it's good to know how to do things without power. Sounds like filing your blades would be an easy job for you...

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    mjncad's Avatar
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    A number of years ago I ordered a Delta 8" bench grinder with stand, and ended up with a Delta 10" grinder with stand. I agree with Kenny about not wasting your time with a 6" grinder, and the stamped sheet metal tool rests. I'm really glad I ended up with the 10" grinder by mistake.

    I looked at a Jet 10" bench grinder a few years back and liked it better than my Delta.

    If you use a stand, bolt it to the floor as these things are like drill presses...top heavy.
    Just call me a refugee from Taliban-By-Net.

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