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Old 03-24-2012, 11:11 AM   #1
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Reel mowers...anyone have experience?

My yard is very small and mostly in shade. The grass doesn't grow that quickly and I'm thinking of buying a reel push mower. Any downsides to these? I've never tried one. The only issue I see is with sticks, acorns and such in the doesn't mulch.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:15 AM   #2
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A pain to sharpen, hard to push, jambs up if it picks up soild objects, good exercize though.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:54 PM   #3
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They're nowhere as near as bad as Joecaptain leads you to believe. Many of the newer ones are very easy to push and actually all of them are if they are adjusted correctly. They're relatively expensive to get sharpened but if you take care of them this only needs to be done every four or five years. You will have to pick up any sticks before mowing or they could jam the mower and dull the blade. The only time they don't mow good is this you get tall spikes of grass which they have a hard time cutting.

Overall, for a small lawn that grows slowly they are ideal! Relatively inexpensive to purchase (although buying a good one isn't cheap), environmentally friendly and to get some exercise while mowing.

This is one of the best ones out there:

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Old 03-24-2012, 05:23 PM   #4
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I had a powered reel mower, made in about the 50's. It cut beautifully, there is a reason that golf courses use reel mowers.

However, the issues are that it won't pick up the cuttings and any other detritus on the lawn. That's the main reason I went with a traditional mower is because it was nice to be able to vacuum the lawn of small sticks and pine cones and whatnot without having to go back over it with a rake later.

If you had a relatively small lawn, it wouldn't be much more work than using a gas mower to switch over. Plus it's better for the environment and the pocketbook.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:04 PM   #5
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Man you are bringing back memories,thats all my father ever used and nothing cuts like them either.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:13 PM   #6
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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 fun as powered mower can be, that is.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:23 AM   #7
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Check out the Fiskars reel mower....

It's not the same as those old evil things we grew up using as kids.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:46 PM   #8
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I think they are great for small yards. As mentioned, they do not work well with tall grass. You can still get baskets for the back of them if you want to collect clippings.
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