How to Sharpen Bush Hog Blades? Try Multiple Methods!

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No blade stays sharpen if that is used continuously. Sharpening could even be a next step for hardening. Same goes with the bush hog blades. As these blades need to do more tough works than the typical blades, that’s why they need to be sharpened now and then.

Bush hog blades not only have to go through the grass but also they get exposed to rocks and stumps which make the blades dull. If you notice your machine no longer cuts through the brush, it’s probably time to sharpen the blades.

It just the blades, so you don’t need to take your tractor to the nearby workshop. I’ll show you how you can sharpen those blades in this article.

When Do You Need to Sharpen Bush Hog Blades?

When the blades become heavily clogged with debris, you will notice that the blades cannot cut as it used to before. Torn debris makes the blades dull, and they only pull stalks but don’t cut as expected. When you come across this situation, consider sharpening the blades.

Guide to Sharpen Bush Hog Blades

There are different methods and different materials you can sharpen the blades with. However, I’ve chosen methods that are easy to go with, and they no longer need any professional skills to do.

Things you’ll need:

  • Breaker ball
  • Socket
  • Woodblock
  • Vice
  • Bastard mill file
  • Machine oil

Sharpening a small blade outdoors

Remove The Blade

Regardless of the method you choose; you will need to remove the blades first. You need to remove the blades to minimize any chances of injury. Also, you will have better control of the blades while working and prevent the bush hog from falling on you.

Removing the blades is quite simple. Flip the cutting deck to get access to the underside. Wearing heavy-duty gloves and goggles, remove the bolt and washer with a breaker bar. Once you have removed the blades, you are good to go to apply whatever method you like.

Angle Grinder Method

It is one of the easiest methods you can try. To apply the method, follow the given instructions –

  1. First, you need to attach a stone disk to the angle grinder.
  2. Secure the blade to a table or workbench with a vise.
  3. Place the blade in the vise and make sure the cutting side is facing upwards
  4. With a wire brush, clean the blade off any plant debris
  5. Further, clean the blade with heavy grit sandpaper and roughen up the edge
  6. Perpendicularly pass the sanding disk along the edges of the blade
  7. Grind with constant motion and level out all the nick and cuts that are on the blade’s edge
  8. Keep grinding following the angle of the blade until you can see the bare shiny and smooth metal
  9. Don’t round off the corners
  10. When finished, remove your blade from the vise
  11. Flip it over to its opposite side
  12. Repeat the same process on this part of the blade too

Bench Grinder Method

  1. Clean the blade to remove plant debris
  2. Wear heavy duty gloves to prevent injuries while grasping the blade firmly
  3. Hold your blade at 45-degree angle and move it gently against grinding wheel followed by cutting edge of the blade
  4. Gently put press to the blade when it hits the wheel
  5. To get uniform sharpness, move your blade in light motion
  6. Flip the blade to its other side and repeat the same process on the other side

Top view of sharpening a blade

Manual Sharpening

  1. First, pick up a suitable angle for the blade too sharp. Usually, angles between 10-30 degree per side will do the job. However, if you want a durable blade, go with 17-20 degree angle.
  2. Then you will need to lubricate the whetstone with a small amount of mineral oil.
  3. Using an angle guide is advisable.
  4. Start from the rough grit side of the whetstone.
  5. Now grind the blade with an angle and drag it across the stone in its opposite direction and move it to slice a very thin layer off the stone.
  6. Keep grinding until the grinding process goes roughly midway through the blade.
  7. Now, flip to the other side and create a new edge.
  8. Also, flip the stone over and sharpen one side using a finer grit this time.
  9. Alternate the grinding process from one side to another until you got the desired sharpness on the blades. The more you will do the process, the more it will give a better result.

When you are done with sharpening and cleaning the blades, then carefully replace it on the bush hog and screw the bolt and washer properly. Make sure the bolt isn’t too loose. Otherwise, it can be dangerous.

Before taking it to the field, test the blades by lowering the position of bush hog and start it and see if the blades are moving freely.

Things to Do for Sharpening Blades

  1. Run a visual inspection and ring test to check if there are any cracks, ships or other issues that might interrupt the grinding process.
  2. Perform an operation test at about 1 minute before starting the grind.
  3. Before using the grinding tools, make sure you wear heavy duty hand gloves, protective eyewear, and a dust-proof musk.
  4. You can use shield plates to protect yourself from sparks. Sparks that are produced by grinding are very hot can causes fire contacting with any flammable liquids or objects.
  5. For preventing respiratory illness, ensure dust control and provide sufficient ventilation during the grinding process.

Things Not to Do for Sharpening Blades

  • Do not dare to touch a rotating grind wheel. Otherwise, you will have severe injuries.
  • You should not stand in front of grinding wheel and its direction of rotating.
  • If there is any risk of explosion or ignition, do not perform grinding.
  • Do not go beyond the marked maximum operational wheel speed.
  • Do not attempt to change grinding wheels and perform an operation; if you do not have minimum knowledge and training about it.

Sharpening an axe with sparks

Final Words

Be aware of the time when your blades need to sharpen, just as you the time you can sharpen a knife. If you don’t get the usual performance after multiple attempts, only then take the preparation of sharpening the blades.

You can sharpen the blades using multiple methods. But if you get a better result after trying a method first, wait for the next time to experiment with another method. You will know which method suits your need best.