If you own a reel mower, it’s important to know how to properly adjust the blade height and alignment for optimal performance.

Reel mowers are a great option for those who prefer a more eco-friendly and quiet way to maintain their lawn, but they do require some maintenance to keep them in top shape.

You’ll learn how to adjust your reel mower blade in this article. We will cover everything from gathering the necessary tools to troubleshooting common issues.

Purpose of Adjusting Your Mower Blade

You’ll want to understand why you’re adjusting your mower blade so that you can make sure your grass is cut evenly and at the right height.

The benefits of regular blade adjustments are numerous: you’ll have a healthier lawn, as the grass will be cut cleanly and evenly, reducing the risk of disease and pests.

You’ll also have a more attractive lawn, as the grass will be cut at the right height, giving it a neat, uniform appearance. Additionally, regular blade adjustments can extend the life of your mower, as a sharp blade puts less strain on the engine and other components.

One of the signs that your mower blade needs adjusting is uneven cutting. If you notice that some areas of your lawn are longer than others, or that the grass is ragged and torn rather than cleanly cut, it’s time to adjust your blade.

You may also notice that your mower is leaving behind clumps of grass, which can be a sign that the blade is dull or damaged.

Another indication that your blade needs adjusting is difficulty in starting your mower. If the engine is struggling to turn over, it could be due to a dull blade putting too much strain on the engine.

Gather Your Tools

Gonna need some basic stuff to get started, like a socket wrench, a screwdriver, and a pair of pliers. Proper tool selection is essential to ensure a successful blade adjustment.

It’s essential to have a socket wrench that fits the nut that holds the blade in place. The screwdriver will be used to adjust the blade’s height, and the pliers will help in removing the cotter pin.

When gathering your tools, it’s important to take safety precautions. Make sure the mower is turned off and unplugged before starting any adjustments. Wear work gloves to protect your hands and safety glasses to protect your eyes from any flying debris.

Locate the Adjustment Screws

Once you’ve gathered your tools and taken safety precautions, it’s time to locate where to make the necessary adjustments on your machine.

The location of the adjustment screws may vary depending on the make and model of your reel mower. Usually, there are two types of adjustment screws: one for the height of the blade and another for the horizontal position of the blade.

The height adjustment screw moves the blade up or down to adjust the cutting height, while the horizontal adjustment screw moves the blade side to side to adjust the cutting angle.

Regular adjustment of the reel mower blade is crucial to maintain a healthy lawn. Over time, the blade may become dull or uneven due to regular wear and tear, which can result in an uneven cut and damage to the grass.

By adjusting the blade regularly, you can ensure that the blade is cutting at the right height and angle, allowing for an even and healthy cut.

Additionally, regular adjustment can help prolong the lifespan of your reel mower by reducing unnecessary strain on the engine and other mechanical components.

Adjust the Blade Height

Adjust the Blade Height

Blade maintenance is key to achieving the perfect cut, and adjusting the blade height is an important part of that maintenance. Here’s how to do it:

  • First, check the recommended grass height for your particular type of grass. This information can usually be found on the packaging of your reel mower or by doing a quick online search.
  • Once you know the recommended height, locate the adjustment screws on your reel mower. These are typically found near the wheels or on the side of the mower.
  • Use a wrench or pliers to adjust the screws, making sure to adjust each side of the mower equally to keep the blade level.
  • Start with a higher setting and gradually lower the blade until it reaches the recommended height for your grass type.
  • Test the height by mowing a small section of your lawn. If the grass is still too long, lower the blade slightly and try again until you get the desired length.

Remember, maintaining the proper blade height is crucial for the health of your lawn. Cutting the grass too short can damage the roots and leave your lawn vulnerable to pests and disease.

Check the Blade Alignment

Make sure your lawn mower cuts evenly by checking if the blade is aligned properly. Misaligned blades can cause uneven mowing, scalping, or even damage to your lawn mower.

Blade maintenance is critical to keep your reel mower running smoothly, and checking its alignment is a crucial part of that. To check the blade alignment, you can use a straight edge to compare the blade’s edge to the mower’s cutting bar.

The blade should be parallel to the cutting bar, and if it isn’t, you’ll need to adjust the blade.

Some alignment techniques include using a reel mower sharpening kit, loosening the blade and repositioning it, or adjusting the cutting bar itself.

Test Your Mower

To test your reel mower, start by measuring the height of your grass to ensure it’s not too long for the mower to handle. If the grass is too tall, it can cause the blades to jam or the mower to struggle, leading to a less-than-perfect cut.

Next, take the mower for a spin and listen for any unusual noises. If you hear any grinding or scraping sounds, it could indicate that the blades need to be adjusted or sharpened. Troubleshooting these issues early on can save you time and frustration in the long run.

Finally, check the quality of the cut. If you notice uneven patches or missed spots, it could be a sign that the blades are not aligned properly and need to be adjusted.

Maintain Your Mower

Ensuring your reel mower is in excellent condition is crucial to achieving a well-manicured lawn. One of the benefits of using a reel mower is that it requires less maintenance compared to other types of mowers.

However, you still need to perform regular checks to keep it functioning optimally. Here are some tips for maintaining your reel mower’s performance:

Firstly, keep the blades sharp. Sharpening the blades regularly will ensure that your reel mower cuts the grass cleanly and evenly. A dull blade will tear the grass, making it look untidy and causing damage to the lawn.

You can sharpen the blades yourself or take them to a professional for sharpening.

Secondly, keep the moving parts well-lubricated. Lubricating the moving parts, such as the wheels and gears, will prevent rust and corrosion, which can cause the mower to malfunction. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on which lubricant to use and how often to apply it.

Finally, clean the mower after every use. Grass clippings and debris can accumulate in the blades and under the mower, affecting its performance. Use a brush or a damp cloth to wipe down the mower after mowing.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you’re experiencing issues with your reel mower, try checking the height of the grass you’re trying to cut – if it’s too long, it can cause the mower to struggle and leave uneven patches.

For example, imagine trying to use your reel mower on a section of your lawn that hasn’t been mowed in weeks – the long grass might jam the blades and cause the mower to stall.

In addition to this, blade sharpness can also cause problems with your mower’s performance. Dull blades can tear rather than cut the grass, leaving it vulnerable to disease and pests.

Different grass types also have varying mowing requirements. For example, Bermuda grass should be mowed at a height of 0.5 to 1.5 inches, while Kentucky bluegrass should be mowed at a height of 2 to 2.5 inches.

It’s important to adjust the blade height of your reel mower to the appropriate level for the type of grass you’re mowing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I adjust the blade of my reel mower?

To keep your reel mower in top condition, it’s important to regularly maintain it. This includes adjusting the blade as needed.

Benefits of regular maintenance include a healthier lawn and longer mower lifespan. Properly storing your mower during the off season is also crucial.

Can I use any type of tool to adjust the blade height?

Did you know that using the wrong tool to adjust your reel mower blade can damage the cutting edge? Different types of tools have different pros and cons for adjusting blade height on different grass types.

Can I adjust the blade height while the mower is in use?

Do not adjust the blade height while the mower is in use. This is a safety hazard that could cause injury.

Common mistakes include not checking the blade height adjustment before starting the mower. Always follow safety precautions for adjusting blade height.

How do I know if the blade alignment is off?

To check blade alignment, observe the reel and bed knife for contact while turning the reel by hand.

Common causes of misalignment include impact and wear. Solutions include adjusting the bed knife as needed. Preventative measures include regular maintenance and sharpening.

Is it necessary to sharpen the blade after adjusting its height?

You may wonder if you need to sharpen the blade after adjusting its height on your reel mower.

The answer is yes. Doing so will enhance the benefits of reel mowers and prevent common mistakes when adjusting blade height.


You’ve successfully adjusted your reel mower blade. Now, you can enjoy a well-manicured lawn without any hassle.

Remember, the purpose of adjusting your mower blade is to ensure that it cuts the grass evenly and at the desired height. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ve taken the first step towards achieving a well-maintained lawn.

As the saying goes, “A job worth doing is worth doing well.” Regular maintenance of your mower will not only ensure its longevity but also save you money on costly repairs.

Keep your mower clean, sharpen the blades regularly, and observe any unusual signs while mowing. By doing so, you can avoid any potential issues and enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained lawn.