All blades and cutting tools will eventually be dull over time. In this article, you will find out how to sharpen a bush hog blade using different methods. We will also show you some additional methods using a more practical technique.
The blades used were from a brush hog mower. It was used in large areas like farms and fields to cut down thick brush and vegetation. It has spinning blades parallel to the ground and is attached radially to a central axis. These mowers are usually attached to the back of a farm tractor.
It is important to maintain the sharpness of any blades or cutting tools to be more effective while mowing or chopping. A sharp blade will help you work faster and safer. You should sharpen the blades regularly to maintain the performances of your machines or tools.
How To Sharpen A Bush Hog Blade Using Different Methods
Equipments Needed For Sharpening
Bush hog blade
The blades of a mower used for mowing down thick brush and vegetation. It is best to use a dull blade
Also known as a side grinder or disc grinder. A handheld power tool is used for grinding (abrasive cutting) and polishing. It can be powered using an electric motor, petrol engine of compressed air. Some angle grinders can be used as sanders.
Bench Grinder Wheel
Also known as abrasive wheel. A bench type of grinding machine. These types of grinders are used to hand grind various cutting tools like blades and knifes. The grade of the grinding wheel can be adjusted according to the user’s specifications.
Whetstone or diamond stone
A fine-grained stone used for sharpening cutting tools
A ceramic material can be used to sharpen a blade. The bottom part of the ceramic mug is usually used.
These equipments are needed for every methods cited below. A blade is also necessary to perform those different methods.
Angle Grinder Method
- Step 1: Place the blades in a vise with the cutting side facing upward.
- Step 2: Use a wire brush to remove any debris from the blade.
- Step 3: Pass a heavy- grit piece of sandpaper over the blade to roughen up the edge.
- Step 4: Use a grinding stone disk on the angle grinder.
- Step 5: Pass the disk perpendicular along the edge of the blade.
- Step 6: Keep it in a constant motion, levelling out the nicks and cuts on the blade.
- Step 7: Follow the angle of blade with the grinder and continue until the bare metal is visible.
- Step 8: Remove the blade from the vise.
- Step 9: Turn it over to the opposite side.
- Step 10: Repeat the process.
Bench Grinder Wheel Method
- Step 1: You can control the blade as it passes over the belt.
- Step 2: Wear a pair of heavy-duty gloves to ensure that the grasp is firm and to prevent injury.
- Step 3: Hold the blade at a 45-degree angle.
- Step 4: Move the blade naturally with the wheel.
- Step 5: Be sensitive in applying pressure to the blades as it hits the wheel.
- Step 6: Move the blade in an even motion to have a uniform sharp edge.
- Step 7: Turn it over to the other side.
- Step 8: Repeat the process.
- Step 1: Pick an angle to sharpen your blade. Usually angles chosen are between 10° - 30° per side. But to have a more durable blade, an angle of 17° - 20° is advisable.
- Step 2: Lubricate your whetstone or diamond stone with a very small amount of mineral oil.
- Step 3: If available, use an angle guide to control the blade’s angle. (a tiny piece of metal)
- Step 4: Start off on the rough grit side of the stone.
- Step 5: Grind the blade at an angle by dragging it across the stone in the opposite direction you would move it to slice a thin layer off the stone.
- Step 6: Continue grinding until the grind goes roughly halfway through the blade.
- Step 7: Flip it to the other side of the blade to create a new edge.
- Step 8: Flip the stone over and start sharpening one side, this time using a finer grit.
- Step 9: Begin to alternate the grind from one side to another until the desired sharpness is achieved. Do this several times to achieve the best result.
Life Hacks (Ceramic Mug Trick)
if you do not have one of fancy equipment, try using the bottom of a ceramic mug. The ceramic material of the mug is coarse enough will bring you a very good result.
- Step 1: Maintain a 20 degree angle and sweep one side of the blade across the grit of the coffee mug several times.
- Step 2: Repeat the process using the other side of the blade.
- Step 3: Alternate grinding the blade from one side to another.
- Step 4: Repeat until desired result is achieved.
There are several ways of sharpening the blades of the brush hog. Each of the methods has certain risk and should only be performed by informed and experienced individuals. People who are not familiar with grinding blades should be supervised by someone and a first aid kit should be readily available to respond quickly if accidents occur.
The Do’s Of Sharpening Blades
- Perform a visual inspection and a ring test to check for cracks, chips and other problems that might cause interruption during grinding
- Perform a test operation for at least 1 minute before the first grind.
- Before using any grinding tools, be sure to wear proper protective equipments such as gloves, laboratory gown, dust proof mask and protective glasses. Be sure to be properly equipped and oriented before starting to grind blades.
- You can also use shield plates to protect yourself and the environment from the sparks. The sparks from grinding are very hot and can cause fire if it's in contact with flammable objects or liquids.
- In order to prevent respiratory illness, make sure to ensure dust control and sufficient ventilation when grinding the blades.
The Don’ts Of Sharpening Blades
- Do not directly touch a rotating grind wheel with any part of your body because this will result into injuries.
- During test operation, do not stand in front of the grinding wheel at the direction of rotation.
- Do not perform grinding where there is the risk of explosion or ignition.
- Do not exceed the maximum operation speed that is marked on the wheel.
- Do not change grinding wheels or perform test operation unless you have completed all necessary education and training.
These are the following basic rules based on the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health and on Structural Standard for Grinders and Related Equipment. The rules must be followed in order to have a safe operation.
The sharpening of blades should only be done if you notice the bush hog is struggling to cut through brush and trees with precision. Dull blades on the equipment can cause harm to the machine by allowing foreign objects to wrap around the blade and can cause malfunction. Signals such as high vibration, streaking or windrowing can be observed if the blades are already dull. Make sure to tighten the bolt back after removing from the machine to prevent damage to the machine and injuries to the users.