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jason41987 06-02-2012 07:29 AM

broken lawn mower, now what?
hey everyone.. my lawnmower finally bit the dust, it blew a gasket and siezed so... yeah, its done... but i still need something for lawn care so im looking for some advice as to what would work for lets say a 30x60 lawn? (i dont know the exact measurements, but close enough)

i dont want to go with another gas mower, so i was considering an electric mower, or reel mower.. are the newer reel mowers pretty easy to use?... also since the lawn isnt very big, for cost, portability i was considering using a trimmer..

so, reel mower vs gas or electric trimmer vs this third option i have...

i have a 1 1/2hp, maybe 2hp electric motor from a plunge router.. motor works fine, however it spins at 25,000 rpm or so.. and lawnmowers spin more at about 3500... so i was thinking of stepping this down to 3500-5000rpms, either by electronically reducing the watts probably with a large rheostat, or by using a pully to decrease speed while increasing torque....

if i went either route, would there be enough power to cut grass?.. and if so, am i better off hooking this contraption up to a set of blades, or use the wire/cables like a trimmer uses?

joecaption 06-02-2012 09:12 AM

Do you want to mow the lawn this summer of spend the summer in the garage trying to make something work?

TarheelTerp 06-02-2012 09:19 AM


Originally Posted by jason41987 (Post 934411)
...for lets say a 30x60 lawn?
i dont want to go with another gas mower, so i was considering an electric

Consider? That's about it for the choices if you don't use gas engine.

Go to Lowes... find the mower aisle.
Point your finger then close your eyes and turn in a circle three times.
Buy the one you're pointing at when done.

SPS-1 06-02-2012 06:39 PM

Why not a reel mower?
You won't run out of gas, you don't have a cord to lug around.
Its a litlle more work, but most of us could use the exercise anyways.
Depends where you live, too. I don't think I would want to be pushing around a manual mower in Lousiana in July.

WayneBollman 06-03-2012 04:05 PM

I HIGHLY recommend a reel mower. I use one for my home (with about the same sized lawn) and love it. I can mow, drink a beer and talk on a hands free phone all at the same time. No gas, no chord, no noise, no repairs, last forever, and it's healthier for you lawn for a variety of reasons which I invite you to google. (Gulf courses cut their grass with multiple reel mowers tethered to a tractor; that should tell you something about lawn health right there.) You can get a top of line, bran new reel mower for $140 but a $80-100 should suffice. I ocassionally see used ones for around $25 and somtimes people just give them away (assumably because they are moving into an apartment or simply don't understand the value of what they have.) You can even get one with a bagger on the rare ocassion that most people should need one.

framer52 06-03-2012 04:20 PM

Bought my wife one 5 years aGO, STILL WORKING WELL ON OUR SMALL LAWN.

SPS-1 06-03-2012 04:44 PM

I have bought a couple of battery mowers. My conclusion is the battery will last about 5 years.

WayneBollman 06-03-2012 04:48 PM

With all due respect, I love the idea of lithium battery powered tools, but for a guy that's so frugal he's considering building a lawn mower in his garage out of spare sparts (god bless him) I wouldn't think he'd be interested in shelling out $500 for such device. Get a reel mower, Jason. You might find one on craigslist in your area for $20. And lawn mowing will become a zen-like experience you'll look foward to if you don't already.

WayneBollman 06-03-2012 04:57 PM

I don't know where you live, Jason, but, for example, it just now took me all of 20 seconds to find a reel mower for $20 here in Austin:

jason41987 06-04-2012 12:13 PM

yeah.. ill end up getting a reel mower, found out theres some new USA made reel mowers available at decent prices (around $100).. so ill probably pick up a 16"...

just a question though, since i dont have one to look at, but are each of the spinning blades actually sharpened, or do they just push the grass into a fixed blade?... just curious.. and ill probably pick up a small hand sharpening tool to keep it nice and sharp

WayneBollman 06-04-2012 04:22 PM

No, the blades on the reel are actual sharpened 'blades'. You won't need to sharpen a new one for a long time after buying it, but if and when you do need to sharpen it there's a sharpening kit you can get that will sharpen all of the spinning blades as you push the mower. I've never used it so I don't know how well it works. Congrats on your choice; I think you're making the right one. There are so many people out there that would be happier with a reel mower but if they've never used one then they just don't know.

TarheelTerp 06-04-2012 04:34 PM


Originally Posted by WayneBollman (Post 935418)
it just now took me all of 20 seconds to find a reel mower for $20 here in Austin

ask the seller how many times he used it before deciding to stop using it
and what he's using now

Ravenworks 06-04-2012 05:15 PM

Lightly oil the blades when you are done using it and don't miss a mowing or it becomes a real PITA.

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