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Topic: Reel mowers - suggestions?

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Subject: Reel mowers - suggestions?
Date Posted: 5/9/2009 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,373
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I use a reel mower to mow the lawn.  I like it--I can mow safely in bare feet, it's quiet, no gas/oil/charging to muck with, etc. It does have problems with grass that has gone to seed or similar weeds.  I had thought this was just a given with the type of mower.

I saw today someone mowing with a reel mower who just mowed down seedy grass!   I should have stopped and asked them what mower they had, but I was trying to get to a plant sale before all the plants were gone and didn't think of it.

If you have a reel mower what do you think?  What brand/model do you have? 

I am all green with envy and want a new mower.   Maybe my SO would even use it (he dislikes the reel mower) if it worked better.

Date Posted: 5/10/2009 12:31 AM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 104
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I have a friend who had a Husqvarna, but I never asked him about this issue. I think a lot of folks use scythes, but this may not be ideal with bare feet?

Subject: Reel Mowers
Date Posted: 5/25/2009 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 2
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I have the Deluxe Light Reel , by American Lawnmower. I got my mine from Ace Hardware, but you can order them from CleanAirGardening - they have a big variety including some that will probably mow long seedy blades of grass. Mine will leave the occasional long blade, but I don't care - I LOVE it! If you order from Cleanairgardening, they also have grass catchers. There are tons of places online to look at reel mowers if you google it. While I was at it , I ditched the weed eater and bought some old fashion clippers. My arm muscles are getting VERY strong! Lol. Good Luck.


Date Posted: 7/18/2009 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2007
Posts: 394
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My DH got a reel mower for our "tight" areas that he can't get to with a lawnmower.  Yes, a lawnmower.  Sorry, 1.5 acres is too much to ask a 69 y/o man to do by hand.  But he doesn't use a weed whacker -- he got himself a sickle (sp?) 4 years ago and while it hurts his back, he likes using it.  Now that might not seem like an amazing feat, but here they have drainage ditches along the side of the road and they are expected to be maintained by the homeowners.  Hubby is a whopping 5'5" tall (IF that) and the ditch is 4' deep and not all that wide.  He uses his reel mower in there and the sickle to clean up what he can't reach with the reel.  So, while it's nothing great and grand, it's his little part.

Shaz H. (shaz) - ,
Date Posted: 11/26/2009 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 119
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I have never heard of reel mowers before.  I like the idea of it  and the not spending money on gas.  My question is is it harder to push then a gas powered lawnmower?  I am just 5' tall and kind of on the weak side so before investing in something I just want to make sure I could handle it first.  Does it take longer to use it compare to a gas powered lawn mower? Right now without stopping it take a solid hour to mow our lawn and almost 2 if you take breaks.  What kind of maintainence is required ?

Date Posted: 11/28/2009 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,373
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I don't find it harder to push than the gas mower I used, but there were a few years between those impressions.  The reel mower does depend on how long your grass is--if I let it go too long it gets harder to push!

Speed may be faster or slower.   I found a lot of the reel mowers are narrower than the gas mowers, which will make it slower.  So be careful on the width.  On the flip side, if you like to go very fast the reel mower can keep up with you (since you are spinning the blade), while a gas mower only spins at a certain speed.  My SO regularly left patches because he used to push the gas mower too fast.

Maintence is minimal.  For our new one we had to spend some time adjust the blade b/c, despite what the directions said, it was NOT done correctly  and didn't cut worth anything.  I don't expect to have to touch that for a long time in the future--I can adjust the height easily and completely separately from the cutting adjustment.   Our old one the most I did was sometimes clip grass that wound around the edges of the reel--even then it was more because it bugged me than because it bothered the mower.  The grass doesn't really stick to the blades which is nice--no clumps of grass to knock off like a gas mower!

Shaz H. (shaz) - ,
Date Posted: 11/29/2009 1:24 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 119
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Thanks I found your input helpful.

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 556
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Cat Wrote:

I think a lot of folks use scythes, but this may not be ideal with bare feet?

I have a scythe, and I don't think it would be particularly more dangerous in bare feet *, I can't see scything in bare feet.

because I don't think a scythe would work all that well for mowing a typical lawn - too short, wet, and soft.  But I

admit I don't have any experience in trying to use it on green turf.

The stuff I use the scythe on would leave stubble that would be very uncomfortable with bare feet.


*don't get me wrong here, scythes are very sharp and can be quite dangerous, but the danger is more

to people who might be around you.  If you are being careless with a scythe you are as likely to cut your

unprotected calf as your foot.