Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dull Blades

Not so bad on second look.

I couldn’t put it off any longer; the grass was getting too long and shaggy. And so for the first time since mid-May, I pushed the lawnmower around the front and back yards. No sons around to delegate this chore to. I would have preferred to take a bike ride, but then the pangs of guilt would have limited my enjoyment of it.

I’m not particularly happy with the results. The mower’s blades need to be sharpened. The mower itself, a Sears Craftsman model which we purchased 8 or so years ago, has received minimal maintenance. The motor always starts like clockwork after a few presses of the primer bulb, even after the unit has sat in the shed all winter, and runs just fine. Now the question is: Do you tackle this sharpening chore myself (the instructions I found online are more complicated that I would have guessed) or take it into our neighborhood hardware store.

I used to do this when we had a manual push mower. It worked beautifully the first two times, but after that it became difficult to tell where it had made a cut. The boys absolutely hated using it – oh, did they complain about it! – and at the end of a second season of less-than-adequate service, I gave up on it. The spring sharpening didn’t seem to have made a bit of difference – probably because I purchased one of the cheapest models.

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