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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    164
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240 HST

    Default Sharpening bush hog blades

    I have about 25 hours on my Squealer SQ160 now and after taking about 12 achres from partly overgrown fields with apple, cherry, birtch, and other brush to a nice planed off look I think I might need to sharpen the blades a bit.

    I hit some pretty big rocks here and there the first pass through and planed my fair share of high spots off so when looking at the blades the other day i noticed there are a few BIG dents and flat spots in the cutting edge.

    The biggest would be about an inch long and into the edge about 1/8 of an inch.

    How do you sharpen these bledes and get the big flat spots out?
    I was going to take the big ball pein hammer on the anvil to at least bend the edge back to the profile.

    Any tips you guys can share?

    Thanks......
    GL3240 HST, 724 FEL, Loaded R4s, Squealer 160 Bush Hog, 72" Box Blade, and more everyday.
    Ford 655 TLB
    Cat D6B Dozer with root rake
    Chev C70 Dump truck
    Just having fun in the dirt.... Well it started out that way.

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    38,502
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Sharpening bush hog blades

    Some folks use an angle grinder to sharpen blades without removing them. I've sharpened some two different ways. In both cases I removed the blades, which wasn't a big deal for me since I had a pneumatic impact wrench. I've sharpened some using a 6" bench grinder, and I've also sharpened some using a 4.5" angle grinder with the blade locked in a vise.

    And while I never had to do it, I'd probably try straightening the edge as you said, with a big hammer and the anvil, although bending them may weaken the metal, or even break it. Depending on how bad the blades are, I might just replace them. In fact, back when I had a Bush Hog Squealer, I was surprised that new blades were as cheap as they were, but that's been a few years ago.

    If you have to grind off too much, or pieces break off, then blade balance may become an issue. Personally, for brush hogs, I simply "balanced" them by weighing them and ground enough off for them to weigh the same.
    Bird

  3. #3
    Platinum Member JDeerekid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    877
    Location
    P-Town, Upstate New York
    Tractor
    Montana 4340C w/Loader, JD GX345 w/54in. mower

    Default Re: Sharpening bush hog blades

    If they aren't to bad I usually leave them on and just block the mower up or lift it up with the loader and lean it against the barn and take the angle grinder to it. If they have alot of gouges or notches in them I will take them right off and pound them out with the maul and then grind a sharp edge on it.
    Montana 4340C w/loader, AgroTrend FU78 rear snowblower with hydraulic shute rotation, Horst 48" pallet forks, 3pt. 2-bottom plow, 6ft. bush hog rotarty cutter, 3pt. Woods 7ft back blade, 3pt. cultivator, 5ft 3pt. york rake, 6' KKII tiller, JD494 4-row planter. Future attachments: backhoe, grapple

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    529
    Location
    Chicago suburban
    Tractor
    Kubota 2710

    Default Re: Sharpening bush hog blades

    Ditto on the angle grinder. Like Bird said, blades are surprisingly cheap. Maybe get an extra set and do surgery on the old ones some cold winter day when there's nothing else to do.
    Mark Leininger

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    173
    Location
    West Monroe, La.
    Tractor
    JD 5105, 3005, and '49 8n

    Default Re: Sharpening bush hog blades

    I sharpen mine with an angle grinder and leave about a 1/16 in. edge on them for cutting saplings, this way it will "shatter" the stump off even and not leave a sharp stob that will puncture tires. It will still cut grass.

  6. #6
    Silver Member botayota's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    132
    Location
    CT River Valley - NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240Hst

    Default Re: Sharpening bush hog blades

    What should the blade edge on a bush hog be like, knife edge sharp?
    I bought a Bush Hog SQ160, and finally started using it this past week, after
    cutting a field, and doing some brush beating I blocked the deck up to take a look at the blades. There was a couple nicks on the edges, but noting real bad, but touching the edge of the blade it didn't really feel that sharp, just like a blunt edge. Maybe I need to check the blades closer, but thought I'd ask here.

    Tks,
    Grand L3240Hst, LA724 FEL, R4's Loaded, BH90, Bush Hog SQ160, MK Martin SB68

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    217
    Location
    NW Mississippi
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800 HST

    Default Re: Sharpening bush hog blades

    The blades are typically a blunt edge, they're not designed to shear grass blades like a finishing mower, rather they pulverize whatever they come in contact with. they sling around with a lot of speed and momentum. thats why nicks should be addressed as soon as practical. You don't want a nick to turn into a crack which in turn will vibrate into a split and soon the blade slings out in whatever directions it's heading when it came loose.
    L2800, various attachments & hardware, most of which the receipts are well hidden from my wife.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    4,341
    Location
    Windsor, CT.
    Tractor
    Kubotas: L3240GST B2320HST B5100D & G5200H

    Default Re: Sharpening bush hog blades

    What Bird, 6string & Crash said.

    I take them off & use a big bench vise and a double cut flat bastard. Same as for a dinged felling axe. Haven't had to address anything with the anvil ... yet (crosses fingers). Try to keep that 1/16inch flat, leading edge from getting too knife like - your tires will thank you.

    If you do take the blade off, make sure you put some anti-gallant (moly disulphide or similar) on the bolt's shank & threads. That will reduce fretting and make removal the next time a lot less dramatic - I had to use a 6 foot long 2 inch gas pipe for a breaker bar the first time around.

    -Jim
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    38,502
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Sharpening bush hog blades

    What should the blade edge on a bush hog be like, knife edge sharp?
    Nope, as the others have said, they tear, pulverize, and shatter, brush and such. A knife edge would be quickly damaged, bent, nicked, or dulled in such use. I think the recommended edge is approximately a 1/8" flat edge.

    Now of course if you happen to only use your brush hog for grass and weeds with no woody material or rocks, etc. and you want to sharpen the blades more like a knife or lawnmower blade there's nothing wrong with that.
    Bird

  10. #10
    Veteran Member have_blue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,730
    Location
    Eunice, Louisiana
    Tractor
    L4400

    Default Re: Sharpening bush hog blades

    Quote Originally Posted by botayota View Post
    What should the blade edge on a bush hog be like, knife edge sharp?
    I bought a Bush Hog SQ160, and finally started using it this past week, after
    cutting a field, and doing some brush beating I blocked the deck up to take a look at the blades. There was a couple nicks on the edges, but noting real bad, but touching the edge of the blade it didn't really feel that sharp, just like a blunt edge. Maybe I need to check the blades closer, but thought I'd ask here.

    Tks,
    After years of trial and observation, here's what I've found is best for my situation. I mowed my 7 acres often enough that I have a few light weeds, among the grass.

    I sharpen the blades very sharp on my Woods BB72, every time I mowed. It took around 15 minutes, just a touchup was needed.

    I found that with very sharp blades, I could back the RPM way off from 540rpm. Instead of the cutter making a lot of loud banging and grinding noises, it makes a quiet swishing sound. Instead of exploding the grass into big fluff balls, it lays most of it down flat, where it decomposes quicker. The sharp edges last very well because of the low RPM, and not recutting the grass. Near the end of mowing when the blades become slightly dull, I can feel the horsepower (and fuel!) requirement going up slightly. Bottom line, very sharp blades make light brush hogging much more pleasant and economical for me.

    Now,,, if you have rocks and bushes, or you let your weeds get out of control, I suppose it doesn't help much to sharpen the blades very sharp.
    -

    Bob

    From the heart of Cajun Country

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