Prepping your mower

First, mower blades are sharp so wear gloves when inspecting your mower and keep your fingers away from the interface between the CUTTING REEL BLADES (1) and STATIONARY BLADE (2).

The reel spins when the mower moves forward so be sure the mower can’t roll forward by positioning it on a firm, level surface with blocked rear wheels.

Raise your mower to its highest cut height position, to improve access. 

Inspecting the blades

Facing the mower’s front, slowly rotate the reel down, one blade at a time. Look for imperfections, listen for scraping and feel for resistance.

Are the CUTTING REEL BLADES (1) and STATIONARY BLADE (2) touching?

If there is no contact and cut performance is good, no repair is needed. If you see an imperfection or contact is caused by a nick or burr, see “Removing nicks and burrs”. If there is contact and it is not caused by a nick or burr, see “Paper cut test”. If there is no contact and there are no nicks or burrs but cut performance is poor, see “Paper cut test”. 

Removing nicks or burrs

If you’ve got some nicks and burrs, use a flat, fine, narrow file to remove.

Make long, straight strokes flush against the blade surface, perpendicular to the blade. File only the raised material that stops the reel from spinning freely. Avoid filing the cutting edge.

Inspect your blades again. If that didn’t do the trick, see “Paper cut test”. 

Paper cut test

To test if your blades are properly aligned, you’ll need several 1" wide strips of standard printer paper, not newspaper, about 8" long.

Perform this test on each side of your mower. Rotate the reel with one hand. As you do, slide a paper strip straight up against the STATIONARY BLADE (2). Think of the paper like a blade of grass.

Rotate the reel down through all five CUTTING REEL BLADES (1) moving the paper strip up as it cuts. The paper should cut cleanly. If most of the blades cut on both sides, the system is set correctly, if not see “Adjusting the blades”. 

Adjusting the blades

If the paper test shows that you need to adjust your blades, you will need an 11 mm and 13 mm wrench. If issues exist on both sides of the mower, you’ll need to work on them one side at a time.

Using the 13mm wrench, unlock the two LOCKING BOLTS (3) on the side that needs adjusting. If the blades are touching, rotate the ADJUSTMENT DIAL (4) counterclockwise until the blades don’t make contact. If the blades are too far apart, turn the ADJUSTMENT DIAL (4) clockwise, just until the reel makes contact. Then turn the dial counterclockwise only slightly, to back the blades off the stationary blade.

Tighten the LOCKING BOLTS (3) and perform the paper test again to make sure your adjustment worked. If necessary, repeat this on the other side of the mower.