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Blade Buster

After spotting the Blade Buster mower-blade clamp, I began to think that using my boot to stop the blade from turning might not be the best idea. Usually when I service the blade I pull the plug wire, wedge my boot between the blade, and break the nut loose with a socket and 18″ breaker bar. Maybe my method isn’t the safest, though — especially if I forget the first step.

The Blade Buster clamps to both push and riding mower decks, stopping the blade from turning so you can safely remove and replace it without cutting up your footwear.  A.M. Leonard claims their mower-blade clamp won’t damage your mower deck and takes only seconds to use.

The Blade Buster or a similar tool will cost you $8 to $10, but I have a hard time parting with my hard-earned money when I know there must be a better way. How you do change your mower blade? Let us know in the comments.

Blade Buster [A.M. Leonard]
Mower Blade Clamp [Lee Valley]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon(B0007LRPQE) [What’s This?] [What’s This?]


37 Responses to How Do You Change Your Mower Blade?

  1. Dustbuster7000 says:

    Any reason a pair of g-clamps with plastic covers (to avoid marring the mower body), one either side of the blade per the photo would do the job just as well? Then you have a pair of clamps to use for other jobs, not just a one-use doohickey.

  2. Joe says:

    @Dustbuster7000: I was thinking the same kind of thing. I’d bet a quick-grip clamp would do the job too, and since they’ve got plastic bodies, you wouldn’t need any extra padding to protect the blade.

  3. Bren R. says:

    I just use the pointed end of a wrecking bar up through a hole in the deck.

    Works okay for the once a year I change to a dethatching blade (and sharpen/balance the mulching blade while it’s off).

  4. Frank Hicinbothem says:

    I grab a brick from the border along the driveway and shove it in the ejection hole. Problem solved. If I owned this tool I would never be able to find it anyway. Half the time I can’t even find the new spool of trimmer string I bought a week ago.

  5. Donny B says:

    2×4 wedged up in there………
    Impact Gun…….and my hand I do this 4 times a year on my mower and it has 3 blades……. I keep em sharp
    C-clamp onto the blad would allow oyu to not hold the blade… (see above )
    Buy New mower………

  6. PutnamEco says:

    Impact wrench, compression usually is enough resistance, of course I use never seize when I
    Old mechanics trick, take the spark plug out and fill the cylinder with rope. Locks the motor up, yet is easy to remove. Great for removing the clutch retaining nut on dirt bikes.

  7. Chuck says:

    Old Philips head screwdriver through a hole in the deck.

  8. SlowJoeCrow says:

    The last time I took off my mower blade I just used an impact wrench, popped it right off.

  9. Gary says:

    Chunk of 2by, socket wrench and a length pipe on the handle for more leverage.

  10. Chris says:

    Same as Gary and Donny B — chunk of wood to stop the rotation, then a wrench with a breaker bar if absolutely necessary. (It usually isn’t.) This thing is a waste of money, and I don’t see how it could keep from rotating along the deck anyway.

  11. austin says:

    I have one of these – I could only find it at Sears when I went looking for one after having an ‘incident’ that required stitches. The edge of the mower deck can be just as dangerous as a mower blade. I think I paid a premium for having the Craftsman label on it – but it works, and is helpful for putting the blade back on too. It is cheaper than buying an impact wrench.

  12. Frank Townend says:

    2×4 for me too; long handled 1/2″ socket wrench.

  13. James says:

    I pay to have my grass cut. Next time I pull my mower out to show off my new Speedo, if I run over a stump, I’ll call the dude who cuts my grass to follow this instruction.

  14. BC says:

    All I use is a leather glove on my left hand. When I got my most recent mower, the blade *immediately* came off, and I slopped some anti-seize on the bolt threads. Comes off easily anytime now.

  15. Bill says:

    Box-end wrench and a rubber mallet.

  16. Jason says:

    Piece of wood and socket wrench.

  17. kif says:

    it seems that 95 out of 100 new “tools” exploit the potential user’s unwillingness to use his/her head. This is a job that most readers of this blog have tackled, and those lacking an impact wrench have used the scrap wood approach. I think the guy in the picture would be well advised to invest his cash in a good set of box wrenches to replace that adjustable wrench.

    I got a catalog in the mail that has a tool that stretches cvj boots enough to slip them over a joint onto an axle without needing to knock a joint off. That’s using the noggin to think up a tool with a real, albeit dubious, use.

    Chalk up another to the Billy Maysians!

  18. Smarter Than All of You says:

    I thought this thread was a lame joke at first, but then I realized that most people are just plain dumb. I’m seriously concerned that any of you are anywhere near any type of power equipment. The bright side is that your continued endeavors will happily result in the elimination of substandard humans. Now you can go back to spitting your chaw and humping your cousin.

  19. I know I’m feeding the troll, but I have to know,

    Smarter Than All of You:

    Please, for the sake of all substandard humans enlighten us in the proper way to remove our mower blades! You might save one of our appendages so we can continue to hump our cousins…


    The impact wrench hadn’t occurred to me for some reason, I’ll have to give that a try. I’d heard about the rope trick too, not that I’d use it to change a blade, but thanks PutnamEco for reminding me about it.

  20. Smarter Than All of You says:

    Send some pictures of your cousin and promise to post any and all videos of future blade changing mishaps and I’ll consider posting instruction on the proper way to change a mower blade.

    and now I shall leave you with the immortal words of Socrates:

    “I drank what?”

  21. Fluffy says:

    Yeah. A chunk of wood, typically a 2×4, and a socket wrench. Now I just hire someone else to do the yard since my mower is buried under a ton of junk being stored in the garage.

  22. SGT_Eldridge says:

    Anyone else notice the way this company photograghs their product?

    1. The mechanic (and I use that term loosely) is using a crecent wrench.
    2. He is using it backwards!

    I think it is an interesting representaion of what this tool means and what kind of market the company is targeting.

    Be Army Strong

  23. Brau says:

    Yes, I did notice that the mechanic is using the wrench backwards (although a socket would be much better) … and not wearing leather gloves in case the wrench slips and the knuckles get sliced on the blade.

    Personally, I simply use a good socket wrench and a pair of thick leather gloves, holding the blade directly. No need for any clamps. Mind you I change it regularly, so it never rusts on.

  24. ToolFreak says:

    I thought this tool was a pretty good idea when I saw it in a Sears hardware store. Not enough to pay the full price when I first saw it, but enough to buy it for a buck on clearance. Somehow I still manage to get by just using a good thick insulated leather work glove to hold the blade while taking the bolt off with a ratchet. If I ever need more grunt on the handle than I can hold with my hand, I’ll use the blade holder.

  25. SGT_Eldridge:

    I got the picture on the right from the Lee Valley, it was the only place I could find a picture of the tool in use. I believe Lee Valley does a lot of their own photography because they always have different and almost always better pictures than anybody else — one reason why I post a lot of their products. I’m not sure who’s responsible for the picture in question, so it may not be fair to blame it on A. M. Leonard.

    I noticed they were using an adjustable wrench and thought it was a bad idea, but I didn’t catch that it appears they are using it backwards. The way the hand is on the tire might lead you to believe that he’s (I’m assuming dude, by the arm hair) tightening the blade, but if you look at the Blade Buster, the blade’s not touching either side, so he’s really only supporting the mower with his left hand and holding the wrench in his right not applying any force in either direction.

    • Dan says:

      As to whether the adjustable wrench is being used backwards or not actually depends on the thread direction, is it a right or left handed thread pattern. But yes it is clearly a posed picture! I personally have a compact tractor with a Cat 0 3-Point finish mower. I usually use a 4 1/2″ angle grinder and sharpen the bottom of the blade. (Yes I know I’m doing it wrong!)When I do remove them for proper sharpening or replacement I do use copper Anti-Sieze and I used a block of wood and a large welding C-Clamp and a breaker bar with a 6-point socket.

  26. Zathrus says:

    Like most others, a chunk of wood, some good gloves, and a decent, non-adjustable wrench. Which is exactly what the owner’s manual for my Toro mower recommends — right down to the 2×4.

    I can’t imagine buying this thing… even if you don’t want to use/don’t like the 2×4 approach, C-clamps are a far smarter option. This is just a waste of money.

    Of course, some pro shops don’t even bother taking the blade off — they just lift the entire mower up and sharpen the blade while it’s still attached.

  27. eschoendorff says:

    One hit with an MG 725 and you don’t need to worry about holding blades….

  28. John Laur says:

    Another vote for impact wrench. Generally no need to stop the blade from spinning either.

  29. SGT_Eldridge says:

    Benjamen Johnson:

    Fair enough on who took the picture, but they are still wrong and it does send a message to someone who is looking.

    As for whether he is tightening or loosening, if you look closely to the picture, you can see that the blade is touching the left side of the Blade Buster.

  30. SGT_Eldridge:

    On closer inspection, you may be right, about the blade touching the left side, but I think his hands are confusing the issue too, which still leads me to believe this is a pose, with no intention of tightening or loosening. I guess that’s academic.

    As for the correct way to use an adjustable wrench, I found this article from Norm at This Old House.


  31. james b says:

    I use vice grips clipped on the end of the blade thru the ejection slot and a socket with a breaker bar. If my air hose was on a retractable reel I might use the impact wrench, but I don’t usually get it out for a single bolt. That is when I’m not spending quality time with my cousin and enjoying tobacco products.

  32. ambush27 says:

    My dad taught me to use a chunk of 2×4, and he not mechanically inclined in the least. I saw a friend just sharpen the blade in place with a dremel.

  33. Coach James says:

    I pull the plug wire, put my foot against the blade and use a box end wrench or socket to remove it. I change blades after each cutting so the blade never gets rust buildup. The soil here(Sandhills of NC) is extremly sandy so blades dull quick. I keep 2 or 3 sharpened so I can change them quickly.

  34. Old Donn says:

    Disconnect the sparkplug, leather work glove on the left hand, the right hand glove in the palm of the left as a safety cushion, especially when installing a sharpened blade, better to slice a glove than a hand. 6-point socket on a flex-head ratchet. The flex-head’s added length provides the extra grunt to loosen the nut. Sharp blade to start the season, change it on or about July 4th. That usually does it, unless I run over something.

  35. JR says:

    I have a different problem. The blade is loose on the bolt and the nut cannot be tightened on the bolt. I opened up the motor and tried holding the bolt from the top end with a vice grip, to tighten the nut, but no luck. Any suggestions? this is a B & D electric mulch mower.

  36. Smarter than Smarter Than All of You says:

    Straight from the Deere service manual – “Remove spark plug, use a block of wood, remove nut”…

    So please elighten us on how you remove your blade

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