Do you own a lawn edger? You should if you wish to shape the edges of your lawn and flower beds. An edger blade defines boundaries around your flower beds and gardens for the perfect curb appeal.
But, like lawn mower blades, sharp edger blades work best. Otherwise, you may run into efficiency issues. Moreover, a blunt blade wears faster, necessitating faster replacement.
We’ve developed this guide to help you know how to sharpen an edger blade for the perfect lawn and curb appeal.
How to Sharpen an Edger Blade
The quickest way to sharpen an edger blade is using a bench grinder or angle grinder. First, clean the blade. Remove the debris by hand, then wash the blade using soap and water and allow it to dry. Then sharpen it using a bench grinder or angle grinder at a bevel angle similar to the factory setting.
What’s an Edger Blade?
Lawn edgers, also known as trimmers, are manual or motorized tools designed to cut distinct edges around lawns and flower beds.
It’s the perfect tool to shape your walkways and keep grass from encroaching on the sidewalk.
Edgers depend on sharp metal blades to seamlessly cut the grass on the edges where the mower blade cannot reach.
Many blades are made from hardened steel and come in various designs to suit various projects. A manual lawn edger blade requires regular sharpening.
The sharpening frequency depends on many factors, from the terrain type to how often you use the edger. Meanwhile, electric models are self-sharpening.
Should You Sharpen Your Edger Blade?
This is often a confusing question with mixed responses. For instance, a quick Google search will convince you not to sharpen your edger blades.
However, a lawn care professional may advise you differently. The short answer is – it depends on the type, condition, and age of the edger blade.
First, stick edger blades are not designed for resharpening. Instead, they are single-use tools that you throw away after the first project.
Moreover, the blades are so cheap that sharpening them isn’t worthwhile. On the other hand, large motorized edger blades can be reused many times before disposal.
So, you should sharpen the blade after every use to maintain a sharp, thin cutting edge. The other two factors – condition and age – only apply to large blades for motorized edgers.
You should only sharpen the edger if it’s still relatively new, in good condition, but blunt. Otherwise, consider a replacement blade.
Finally, some edgers are self-sharpening. Don’t attempt to sharpen self-sharpening edgers because you might damage the blade.
How do You Sharpen a Garden Edger?
The best way to sharpen landscaping edgers is by using an electric grinder. A bench grinder is a stationery tool fixed to a workbench.
So, you bring the blade to the workshop and pass it over the rotating grinding wheel. Alternatively, you can sharpen edger blades using a sharpening file, grinding stone, or angle grinder.
The main advantage of these three sharpening methods is flexibility. You can bring them to the lawn and sharpen the blades more conveniently.
Before Sharpening a Lawn Edger Blade
It’s easy to sharpen a lawn mower with any of the tools. But consider a few things before you begin;
1. Read the owner’s manual
Reading the manual is important for two reasons. First, it will tell you whether it’s a self-sharpening blade that requires no sharpening.
For instance, the Greenworks 12-amp Electric Corded edger requires no sharpening. Secondly, if it’s a sharpenable model, the manual will tell you when to sharpen it.
Some blades require sharpening every 50 hours of use, while others must be sharpened every 20-30 hours. Most importantly, the user manual will tell you when to consider a replacement blade.
2. Bevel the edger’s front edge
A sharp tool with a thin cutting edge applies a higher pressure per square inch for a smoother cutting process and greater cost efficiency. This is why beveling is critical.
Proper beveling allows you to trim the grass with minimal effort. Moreover, the correct beveling angle traps less soil and dirt, increasing fuel economy and tool life.
Unfortunately, the correct beveling angle varies from one blade to the next. So, consult your manual for guidance.
But if you’re in a hurry, consider a 20-degree bevel angle for lighter duties and a slightly wider angle for heavy-duty tools.
3. Clean the edger blade
Finally, don’t forget to clean the edger blade before sharpening it. Actually, you should clean it after every use to prevent dirt buildup and premature blade damage.
However, it doesn’t hurt to clean it again before sharpening it to remove stuck-in soil and debris. Scrub it with water and a stiff brush or scouring pad.
Then rinse it thoroughly with running water. After cleaning, allow the blade to dry fully before sharpening it.
You must consider a few safety precautions when sharpening edger blades. The following are a few tips to sharpen your blades safely;
- Wear safety glasses: This is especially important when using power tools like angle grinders. These tools produce sparks that can damage your eyesight. So, protective glasses can be lifesavers in this case.
- Wear protective gloves: Protective gloves protect your hands from heat and sharp blade edges.
How to Sharpen Lawn Edger Blades Using Various Tools
When ready, the following is a step-by-step guide to sharpen your edge blade using a bench grinder, angle grinder, or a sharpening file.
How to sharpen lawnmower Edger Blades using a bench grinder
A bench grinder, such as the Dewalt 6-inch bench grinder, makes blade sharpening a breeze. Choose a low-speed grinder for garden tools.
For instance, a 1750 rpm works perfectly for lawnmowers and edger blades. We recommend the fine-tuning wheel instead of the coarse grinder for edger blades.
The following is a step-by-step guide to sharpening a lawn edger blade using an electric grinder.
- Ensure the grinder is in good working condition and secured firmly to the workbench.
- Adjust the tool rest on the grinder. This is the 3mm space between the rest and the grinding wheel.
- Turn on the bench grinder at the switch and wait a few seconds to ensure it works properly.
- Standing directly in front of the grinder, hold the edger blade firmly with both hands and place it on the tool rest.
- Slowly push the tool onto the grinder wheel to sharpen it, occasionally sprinkling it with water to minimize overheating.
How to sharpen Mower Edger Blades using a file
Have you ever thought of sharpening a lawn mower blade using a file?
Some experts consider sharpening files the best tools for sharpening garden tools as they’re affordable, easy to use, and highly flexible.
For instance, you can sharpen the blade without removing it. Also, you can bring your sharpening file wherever you go.
The first step is choosing the right file sharpener. Hand files are the most common and straightforward. However, a round, bastard, or mill file is just as effective.
Also, choose the best grit for sharpening your blades. 120-grit is the sweet spot for sharpening gardening tools.
When you’re ready, proceed as follows;
- Secure the blade using a vice: Although it’s optional, we strongly recommend removing the blade when sharpening. This provides more flexibility. Secure the blade to the workbench using a vice.
- File at the factory angle: The sharpening angle is vital. A 25-degree angle is often sufficient. However, following the factory requirements is better. Continue sharpening until the blade is shiny and straight. Then file the reverse side.
- Remove the burrs: File sharpeners often leave burrs (also known as foils) on the blade edge. Use a sharpening stone to clean the burrs.
How to sharpen Mower Edger Blades using an angle grinder
Finally, you can sharpen an edger blade using an angle grinder – a powerful electric tool that makes light work of tool-sharpening tasks.
Any angle grinder will do, provided you equip it with the right grinding disc. The Makita XAG04Z is one of the best grinding discs for tool sharpening.
We recommend cordless grinders for greater convenience. Alternatively, use a grinding stone disk for heavy-duty operations.
These discs have a rib edge optimized for heavy material removal on blunt discs. The following is a step-by-step guide to sharpening an edger blade using an angle grinder.
- Remove the edger blade: Loosen the attaching bolt and remove the blade from the lawn edger for easier, faster sharpening.
- Set the angle grinder: Mount the grinding disc onto the angle grinder and secure it tightly. Then apply lubricant to minimize overheating.
- Sharpen the blade: Switch on the angle grinder and run the rotating grinding disc along the blade edges until it’s sufficiently sharp. Then sharpen the reverse side. The blade is ready when it’s shiny and scratch-free.
How to Sharpen Different Types of Edger Blades
The following are basic guidelines for sharpening rotary lawn edgers and half-moon edger blades.
How to sharpen a Rotary Edger
Rotary lawn edgers are self-sharpening. Most models contain two steel honing blades that grind against each tooth on the rotary blade during operation, automatically sharpening the edger blade.
However, sometimes the blade becomes duller than usual, especially as the edger ages. In that case, feel free to touch up the edges with a sharpening file.
How to sharpen a Half-Moon Edger
Sharpening a half-moon edger is similar to sharpening a spade or shovel. The first step is to remove the blade from the edger and secure it to a bench vice for stability and convenience.
Then go over the edges using an angle grinder or sharpening file. Remember that it doesn’t have to be razor-sharp. Instead, you only want it sharp enough to cut the lawn edges.
How to Sharpen Lawn Edger Blades from Selected Brands
The following are basic guidelines for sharpening lawn edger blades from some of the top brands.
How to sharpen Black and Decker Lawn Edger Blades
To sharpen Black and Decker edger blades, use a round file. First, scrub the blade to remove soil and debris.
Then use a sharpening stone to smooth the nicks and rough spots before sharpening the edge with the file. Three to four strokes on every linear inch of the blade ensure a sharp and straight blade.
How to sharpen Ego Edger Blade
Ego lawn edger system blades, such as the EGO multi-head system 8-inch edger blade, are easy to sharpen, just as they’re easy to use.
Remove the blade from the edger tool and secure it to a vice. Then sharpen with a file or angle grinder. Alternatively, use a bench grinder.
How to sharpen Ryobi Edger Blades
Ryobi edger blades, such as the Ryobi AC04215 Genuine OEM8-Inch reversible edger blade, are highly effective but require regular cleaning and sharpening to maintain a sharp edge.
We strongly recommend removing the blade before sharpening. A sharpening file is the best tool for sharpening Ryobi blades.
Also Read: Sharpening Bush Hog Blades
How often should I sharpen Edge trimmer blades?
You should sharpen edge trimmer blades every 50 hours of use to ensure a consistent cutting performance. Alternatively, check your owner’s manual. Nearly every manufacturer provides vital sharpening information and instructions in the manual. An angle grinder, bench grinder, or file sharpener does the job perfectly.
Do lawn Edger blades wear out?
Yes, lawn mower edger blades wear out with time. First, the blades rub against the edges of the sidewalk, which dulls and wears the blade edge. Additionally, sharpening removes material from the blade, slowly depleting the edge. That’s why you should replace the blade every season or two.
When to replace a lawn Edger blade?
Lawn edge trimmer blades can last a season or two without the need for replacement. However, you should strongly consider replacement at the end of the season, especially if you have a large lawn or rough terrain. Also, consider a replacement if the blade edge is damaged beyond repair.
Except for self-sharpening edgers, edger blades require regular sharpening to maintain a sharp, straight cutting edge.
Use an electric grinder, angle grinder, or sharpening file to keep your edger trimmer blades sharp and remove any burrs with a grinding stone.
Interesting read: Do I Need to Sharpen New Lawn Mower Blades?