Lawn mowers are tough. Like any machine though they need regular maintenance to run their best. Worse neglect can cause a mower to fail completely. So before the summer mowing season really kicks into high gear prep your mower right. From cleaning it to changing the oil to sharpening and balancing its blades this guide lays out steps to get your mower and your garden in tip-top shape.
Gather what you need First gather your tools and equipment. You will need a power drill eye protection work gloves and a blade sharpening kit. The kit should come with a ceramic blade sharpener and balancer. Expect to pay about $8 for the kit at your local hardware store. You will also need a torque wrench (or a socket wrench in a pinch) and a wooden block. Consider having a rubber mallet on hand too.
After sharpening both sides of the blade place it on the kits cone-shaped balancer. If one side dips below the other continue sharpening it until the blade rests level. Return the sharpened blades to the mower and reattach. If you have a torque wrench its a good idea to use it here. Often you need to tighten the blade mounting bolt/bolts to a specific tightness level. Typically measured in pound-feet your instruction manual should list these specs. For example my personal machine the Honda HRR216VKA between 36 to 43 lb-ft of torque is required.