Nothing affects your quality of cut more than a cutting unit that hasn’t been maintained. Dull reel blades and bedknives can damage grass, affecting after-cut appearance and the long-term health of the turf. Dull rotary blades not only produce a ragged cut — they also require more engine horsepower to rotate the blade.

Keeping your cutting units as sharp as possible is key to maintaining a high quality of cut. Sharp blades promote the growth of healthy grass and provide the best after-cut appearance. They also allow your mower to run more efficiently, which helps extend its life and your productivity.

Reel Mower Cutting Units

Sharpening is part of the required maintenance to keep a reel mower cutting unit working properly. Watch for these telltale signs that it’s time for sharpening:

• The grass is not cut cleanly

• The grass has a dull color or brown tips

• The mower leaves streaks or stragglers

• You notice cutting unit noise

Check the cutting edges of the reel and bedknife to see if they are dull, nicked, bent or running without making light contact against one another. Rounded edges will pinch or tear grass blades instead of shearing them off cleanly. When light contact is not maintained, dull edges will soon result. If there is NO contact (a gap between bedknife and reel blade), it can result in faster wear of the cutting edges and more frequent grinding, as well as long-term damage to the turf.

Rotary Mower Blades

Dull cutting edges and bent blades are the most common causes of poor quality of cut from a rotary mower. A bent blade requires more horsepower to operate, plus it adversely affects quality of cut. When the cutting blade is bent, a very small amount of grass is cut from the grass blade frequently. This causes the top of the grass blade to fray, leaving an unhealthy cut edge that appears as a brown die-back from the top of the grass blade.

Here are some tips to avoid these issues …

• Check the cutting blade daily or before the mower is used or stored, as well as whenever the mower is serviced.

• If the bolt holding the blade is loose, tighten it before using the mower.

• If the blade is bent or shows signs of wear, it must be replaced. (Remember: NEVER try to straighten a blade that is bent, and never weld a broken or cracked blade.)

• Keep the blade cutting edges as sharp as possible.

• Check the blade balance each time the blade is reground.

Use Toro Genuine Parts

When it’s time to replace a bedknife or blade, Toro genuine parts are the best way to protect your investment and maintain optimal performance of your turf equipment. When it comes to reliability, Toro delivers replacement parts designed to the exact specifications of our equipment. That means they have been thoroughly tested and engineered to ensure the best quality of cut on the intended machine. They’re simply the best choice to minimize operating costs and downtime with maximum productivity.

Earn Rewards With Your Toro Bedknife Purchases

Sign up for the Toro Loyalty Counts (TLC) Parts Rewards Program at and you can earn points for every purchase of tires, tines, bedknives, bearings, MVP kits, belts and filters. Points can be redeemed for a wide range of Toro logo items and merchandise, or for parts credit toward future purchases and industry-sponsored educational events.

For more information, call your local Toro distributor or visit and download our Bedknife Reference Chart.