If you’re in charge of lawn maintenance, you’re probably already aware that a sharp cutting surface is the best way to achieve professional quality results with your lawn maintenance and landscaping. Sharpening the blades yourself helps save time and money while also ensuring top performance.
But, with so many styles and types of sharpeners on the market, it can be difficult to narrow down the best lawn mower blade sharpener options available.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at five of the best models, and learn a bit more about the best lawn mower blade sharpeners…
Let’s jump right into our short list of the five best lawn mower blade sharpener tools you’ll find on the market. Our list is far-ranging and covers easy to use hand tools as well as professional quality grinders, as well.
1. Smith’s 5063 Mower Blade Sharpener
If you’re looking for a no-frills manual blade sharpener that’s perfectly suited for occasional use, Smith’s 5063 sharpener may be exactly what you need.
This tool is one of the safest and easiest to use on the market. It has a large molded handle which is comfortable to grip, even when you’re wearing gloves.
The 5063 works just like a standard kitchen knife sharpener. It’s something you’re probably already familiar with using. Inside the blade sharpener are two replaceable carbide tipped abrasives. These allow you to easily restore a perfect edge to your worn mower blade. Sharpening the blade takes just a few pulls per side.
A wire bristle brush is also included. This allows you to put the finishing touches on your newly sharpened blade. And clean out any metal shavings from inside the sharpener. When the brush isn’t in use, it stores away conveniently in the handle.
- Easy to use
- Replaceable sharpening stones
- Sharpening stones wear out quickly
2. Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener
The Ken Onion edition knife and tool sharpener from Work Sharp is a favorite of machine shops and professional landscapers, and it’s easy to see why. It allows you to achieve professional quality and easily repeatable results without costing an arm and a leg.
This electric sharpener features a 1.5-amp variable speed motor that’s capable of speeds between 1,200-2,800 SFM, which makes this sharpener uniquely qualified to handle both grinding and precision honing tasks.
The sharpening module is adjustable from 15-30 degrees in five-degree increments, which is an improvement over many grinders which only work at either 15 or 30 degrees. That way, you’ll be able to get tons of extra use out of your tool sharpening knives and other edged tools.
Premium abrasive belts are also included, which allow you to hone a precision, razor-sharp edge. While this may not be as important when sharpening mower blades, it’s sure to come in handy when sharpening other knives and tools.
There are five belts altogether, including extra coarse, coarse, medium, fine and extra fine. The belts are 12” Norton NORaX belts, which is the industry standard when it comes to abrasive belts for sharpening.
There are also attachments available for this sharpener which allows you to use it with an even broader range of yard tools and blades.
Work Sharp makes this sharpener in the United States, and it’s backed by a one-year warranty on parts and workmanship.
- Top quality construction
- Fully adjustable sharpening angles
- Replaceable belts allow for multi-stage sharpening
- Abrasive belts wear out quickly
4. AccuSharp 006C Tool Sharpener
Another option in the manual category is the AccuSharp 006C, which can help restore a sharp edge to your lawn mower blades for less than you spend on coffee each week.
This sharpener is ideal for sharpening all single beveled blades, which covers most yard tools as well as lawnmower blades. It offers a full-length finger guard to help you safely restore the edge to your mower blade.
This tool comes from America and it features a diamond-honed tungsten carbide sharpening blade, which is reversible, thereby doubling the life of the sharpening surface.
Cleanup is a breeze, and you can even pop your sharpener in the dishwasher to get it nice and clean.
Unfortunately, replacement sharpening surfaces aren’t available, so you’ll reach a point where the tool is no longer useful. Considering they only cost about $10, you’ll have gotten more than your money’s worth from it at that point.
- Most affordable product on the market
- Safe and easy to use
- Restores a perfectly sharp edge to lawn mower blades and all garden tools
- Sharpening surface isn’t replaceable
4. All American Sharpener 5000
Do you already own an angle grinder? If so, you’re probably already scheming on how you can use it to sharpen your mower blades.
But, unless you have the steadiest hands known to man, and years of experience sharpening blades, chances are you’ll end up butchering your lawn mower blade by using an angle grinder. That is unless you have a jig specifically designed for blade sharpening. That’s where the 5000 model from All American Sharpener comes in.
The All-American Sharpener 5000 is a universal jig that’s compatible with any 4 ½” angle grinder. It holds the blade at a perfect 15 or 30-degree angle, allowing you to precisely sharpen your lawnmower blade.
The jig securely mounts to any workbench or work surface, and a vise can hold it. The jig itself also has a vise, which secures the mower blade during sharpening.
An articulating arm attaches to your angle grinder and holds it in place at the precise angle needed for blade sharpening.
Once the tool is set up, you’ll be able to restore the edge to your lawn mower blade in a matter of seconds.
While this jig is on the pricey side, and it doesn’t include a grinder, anyone who has an angle grinder already may find that this is the best tool for the job to create a fast, precise edge.
- Made in the USA
- Attaches to any angle grinder
- Quickly and accurately restores edges
- Expensive considering it’s just a jig
5. Oregon 88-023 ½ HP Lawn Mower Blade Grinder
If only the best of the best will do, you may want to take a closer look at the Oregon 88-023, which is a lawn mower blade grinder that’s favored by many professional shops.
This grinder features a sealed ½ horsepower 1750 RPM motor that operates in both forward and reverse, allowing you to grind in both directions. An easy-to-turn adjustment handle and height adjustment knobs make it a breeze to adjust for different blades, and rubber feet reduce vibration, making for quieter operation. An adjustable work light helps illuminate your work.
The 88-023 includes a top of the line 88-047 8” Redstone grinding stone, which is exceptionally long-lasting and provides a professional quality edge every time.
If you don’t plan on using this tool regularly, it’s expensive enough to probably not be worth the investment. But, if you’re looking for professional quality, this machine is one of the most affordably priced models that can provide it.
- Pro quality 8” grinding stone
- Left/right-handed operation
- Includes adjustable work light
- Can be difficult to set the correct angle for newbies
Whether you choose one of the great options above, or you plan to stake out on your own in search of a blade sharpener that fits your needs better, you’ll want to consider the points below to help inform your decision.
All mower blade sharpeners fall into two categories: electric and manual.
As you’d imagine, an electric sharpener is powered by an electric motor which spins a grinding wheel that you use to sharpen the blade.
Electric sharpeners have a bit of a learning curve, and they can be intimidating to use at first. If you have experience working with a bench grinder or angle grinder, you’ll probably feel comfortable from the outset.
Electric sharpeners are the preferred tool of businesses that offer lawn mower blade sharpening as a service, as they’re much quicker and more efficient to use than a manual sharpener.
Many electric sharpeners even sharpen both sides of the blade at once, further accelerating the process.
Meanwhile, manual sharpeners are powered by hand to restore the edge to your lawn mower blades. These sharpeners are quite similar in design to a sharpener for the knives in your kitchen.
Manual sharpeners are easy to use, and they’re usually preferred by people with no experience working with electric sharpeners, which can be a bit intimidating, especially at first.
While manual sharpeners can do a great job of restoring the edge to your lawn mower, the work is a bit more tedious and time-consuming than using an electric sharpener would be.
Keep in mind that manual sharpeners are also considerably less expensive than electric varieties. So, if you sharpen your blades infrequently, or if you’re not interested in shelling out a few hundred bucks for a top of the line electric sharpener, a manual sharpener is going to be best for you.
The most critical thing to keep in mind when shopping for a sharpener is the quality of the materials used to make the tool. Obviously, we all want tools that are made tough and built to last, but it can often be tempting to cheap out in this department, especially on a tool you aren’t going to use very often.
Keep in mind that even cheap models can use premium carbide or diamond abrasives to sharpen blades. Premium abrasives are the key here since poor quality abrasives can end up damaging your blade instead of sharpening it.
Not to mention, carbide or diamond abrasives last much longer, so you’ll be able to get more use out of a sharpener with quality abrasives.
Another important factor to keep in mind is how safe the tool is to use. Tool safety is a major concern, especially when dealing with electric grinders and sharpeners. If you don’t feel comfortable with the tool you’re using, you’re probably at an even greater risk to make a mistake that could cause injury.
High-end electric sharpeners usually have multiple safety features integrated into the design, and they’re meant to keep you and anyone around the area safe and out of harm’s way. Be sure to take a closer look at the safety features available when shopping for an electric sharpener.
While many lawn mower blade sharpeners are universal, there’s also plenty of models that are right-handed by design. There are even a few left-handed designs, although they’re usually much harder to find.
For the majority of us who are right-handed, this will never come into play. But, if you’re a lefty, the last thing you want to do is set your new tool up only to realize it’s going to be impossible for you to use comfortably.
When it comes to electric grinders, they’re available in four, six, and eight-inch grinder sizes.
8” grinders are perfect for sharpening steel or brass blades, or when dealing with any large lawn mower blade in general. However, the larger the size, the more you should expect to pay. If you’re not interested in dropping several hundred dollars on a sharpener, you may want to compromise and opt for a four or six-inch model.
The speed of an electric sharpener is measured in RPM. When it comes to tools, we’ve been conditioned that the higher the RPM, the more powerful and capable the tool is. While this may be true, high speed isn’t always the recipe for success when it comes to sharpening lawn mower blades.
Resist the temptation to go with the highest RPM tool available. If possible, opt for a model that offers variable speed, which gives you much more control during the sharpening process.
Q: How often do I need to sharpen my lawn mower blade?
This is a tough question to answer, and your mileage is sure to vary. As a rule of thumb, you should sharpen your blades every 20-25 hours of use. For most people, that’s going to work out to once or twice a season.
If your grass grows high, or your grass species is particularly robust and difficult to cut, you may find that you need to sharpen your blades more often.
Q: How do I tell when my blade needs sharpening?
If you pay attention, your lawn mower will let you know when it’s time to sharpen the blades. If your lawn doesn’t look as neat and uniform after you finish, or if you find it more difficult to cut your grass than usual, go ahead and sharpen the blade.
Meanwhile, if your mower is working in tip-top condition and your lawn looks great, that’s a good indicator that your blade is nice and sharp.
Q: I see there are lawn mower sharpener attachments for my drill or Dremel, should I get one?
These sharpeners are usually available for just a few bucks, and they seem like an economical way to get your hands on an electric sharpening device.
If you’re new to blade sharpening, these cheap bit sharpeners are usually best to avoid, because you can cause some serious damage to your blade if you don’t use the sharpener correctly. But, if you feel confident in your abilities, you may want to give one of these bits a shot.
Taking the time to sharpen your lawn mower blades is an easy way to prolong the life of your lawn mower while improving the look of your lawn in the process. Lawn mower blade sharpeners are available in many styles and configurations, and they run the full gamut of price points. The five we covered above represent some of the best options currently on the market.
However, one product rises above the top as our personal favorite and has earned the honor of the best lawn mower blade sharpener. The Ken Onion Edition from Work Sharp is the winner.
This sharpener is easy to use and safe, it’s affordable, and it allows you to restore a pristine edge to your lawn mower blades quickly and with little effort. Perhaps best of all, this isn’t a tool specifically designed to only handle lawn mower blades. You’ll be able to use the Ken Onion sharpener to put a perfect edge on virtually any knife or tool you own.
Or, if you’re looking for a more economical option, we’d recommend going the manual route with either the Smith’s 50603 or AccuSharp 006C. Both these tools cost around $10, and they manage to get the job done quickly and easily.