Reel mowers...anyone have experience?
The key is to cut often. If the grass gets too long then you're in trouble.
If you wheel the mower out to give the yard a trim on a regular basis, always before the grass gets too long for the reel mower to handle, it works great.
I used one for 10 years on a small lawn in a previous house and so long as I stayed on top of it, it worked great. And they are not that hard to sharpen yourself if you have the wherewithal.
I grew up mowing three acres of lawn with a walk behind, self-propelled, reel mower that was already ancient when my father got it from a neighbor for a bottle of whiskey. It was huge, red, ornery, and tempermental but boy was it fun when it was working well...as fun as powered mower can be, that is.