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I have a Honda stone-flinger with a cutting blade and a mulching blade, both steel of some flavor. I remove the blades about every other time I mow, and touch up the edges with a file, or the angle-grinder if needed.

Every season, about the 2nd time I do this I gets to thinkin' (as is my wont when faced with hard work) that a blade of a different material might be more resilient to the stones and tree-carcasses I often excavate with the derned thing.

a) How much more brittle than a typical blade would a titanium blade be? b) How much longer than a typical blade would a titanium blade keep an edge?

I don't know anything about the different grades of titanium billet, or titanium alloys, but that might have an effect on performance.

Yes, I know that titanium is super expensive. Price is not a consideration, for this question.

  • I am not saying that sharpening doesn't matter - it does if you need the perfect lawn. One point I want to make is - have you ever looked at your blades just 3-4 times used after sharpening vs after 50 times... Looks virtually the same and they dull almost instantly. – DMoore Jun 6 '16 at 21:16
  • Yes, I have. They don't look remotely the same. That's why I sharpen them. – mHurley Jun 6 '16 at 21:26
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    Get a flail mower. Small ones are a bit hard to find, but can be if you look carefully and price is no object. Pretty much nothing takes intermittent rock-bashing all that well and holds an edge (even things that could be used to cut rocks don't like slamming into them suddenly, and tend to suck at cutting grass.) A flail mower folds more gracefully when you hit rocks with it, but still works best when you avoid or remove the rocks (my great-aunt and great-uncle painted every rock that would hit the mower white to help avoid hitting one twice.) – Ecnerwal Jun 7 '16 at 1:01
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    If you looking to spend money on titanium, why not just take the existing blade to a welding shop and have them hard face it? – spicetraders Oct 6 '16 at 14:56
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    Might consider a local outfit that does nitride, diamond, or similar coating. Steel is nice, tough and usually non-brittle. The proper coating might also keep it sharper longer, for a reasonable price. If local isn't possible, I expect the internet is chock full of places that'll put on the exotic coating of your dreams. – Wayfaring Stranger Mar 18 '17 at 21:05
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I assume you want longer blade life ? As a metallurgist I can't think of any advantage for Ti. I have weld hard-faced steel blades ( 5% Cr+ C ).They cut well but it was very difficult to grind a sharp edge on the rounded weld deposit. My current cheap mower blade is doing very well and I realized all that is needed is to harden it - quench and temper ( Q & T ). The large majority of blades are just cold rolled steel , not hard. They are relatively low carbon like nearly all ordinary steels , that can make Q & T difficult. But it can be done with high austenitizing temperature ,like 1650F, and quenching into salt water. There are other more expensive things that can be done.

  • yeah, I've really enjoyed how much easier it is to mow with a really sharp blade. I've also recently started mowing my Dad's 1 acre lawn. So I'd like an edge that stays sharp longer. ALSO, now that I'm mowing often enough, it's common that I'm taking off less than an inch. Taking off that little makes a very sharp edge all the more important. – mHurley Jun 5 '17 at 20:50
  • I like the idea of hardening the blade I already have... – mHurley Jun 5 '17 at 20:50
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If titanium held an edge all that well I have to figure it would be used for cutlery. It is not.

Wikipedia has a good article on materials used for knives here's:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_blade_materials

Titanium says it chips frequently. It is very rust proof but that is not a quality desired in a lawn mower blade.

Stainless steel might be more what you are looking for.

If you really want to stop sharpening blades use a bush hog type mower. Of course the lawn will look pretty bad then.

Good luck!

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    You are talking about a blade that actually does work not something to add to your go bag. Nothing listed on the site you linked to would make titanium a good lawn mower blade. "Self healing" I love their marketing. No doubt it will sharpen itself. These people have been making blades much longer. "Henckles knives are all forged from a single piece of high carbon stainless steel." en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._A._Henckels – ArchonOSX Jun 6 '16 at 22:04
  • My only point is that it is done. Whether or not it's a good idea remains to be demonstrated, but it cannot be safely assumed that "if it were a good idea, it'd be done." – mHurley Oct 7 '16 at 14:46

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