A lawn mower can be a very cost efficient tool if properly taken care of. Depending on the amount of grass that is cut and the amount of forein objects you may encounter, your mower's blade needs to be sharpened. I will tell you how to do this for under ten dollars.
Things You Will Need
Dull lawnmower blade, lawnmower sharpening stone which will fit into any drill, cost $2.49 at Home Depot, Blade balencer, $2.49 Home Depot, Clean Tuna Fish can. Safety goggles, gloves, dust mask.
First, lets inspect your mower blade. With so many brands out there I will use my personal as an exapmle. My lawnmower is a Troy Built 6.75 horsepower 22 inch mulching convertable. Which means I can use a bagger also. It is self propelled which has no effect on sharpening the blade. My mower has the air filter on the left side. This is the side the carburator is on. Go to this side and lift the mower up. Support it with a jack stand. Remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug. Remove the spark plug . Put spark plug into clean Tuna Fish can. Tie the motor brake handle to the handle using a piece of rope, twine, string or bandana. Get down and look at the blade. If necessary take a picture to be sure of how the blade is on the mower.
Although, you can sharpen the blade on the mower with this particular sharpening stone, I would not recommend it. Find the proper wrench or socket to remove the blade. For mine, it is a 5/8. I use a six point 1/2 inch socket and ratchet. I would not use plyers, adjustable wrench, vice grips or a pipe wrench. Always use the proper tool for the job. Remove the nut by turning it counter clockwise. Righty tighty, lefty loosey is a good phrase to remember when doing mechanical things. Put the nut and flat washer in the Tuna can with the spark plug. Take the blade to a work bench or someplace off the ground where you can hold and sharpen. A vice works well for this application.
Sharpen the blade to a sharp edge. Be careful by using safetygoggles, gloves and dust mask. You can grind the nicks to a sharp edge however, it is not necessary. Place the blade on the balencer. The side which falls needs more ground off. The blade will be level when sharpened correctly.
Install the blade in the reverse order it was removed. Be sure the blade is on properly or it will not cut right. When tightening the nut on the blade be sure it is not cross threaded.
I usually replace the spark plug with a new one. The old can be cleaned up with a small wire brush and gapped to 35. Be sure to put plug wire back on or it will not start.
Set mower on ground, start it up and start mowing.
Lawnmower blade sharpening is one of the services most service centers provide with a tune up. If it is extra or separate it is usually around ten dollars. It is something very important to keep the blade sharp. This helps the mower work more efficiently.
Tips & Warnings
Always use protection. Read and understand the equipment and tools instructions. Push lawnmowers have a section in the owner's manual dedicated to blade removal and insallation. In some situations and manufactures say it is possible to tilt the mower from the front, resting on the handle, to work on and removal of the blade. Always check with manufacturer.