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Reel mowers anyone?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I have always wanted a reel mower and our gas powered one has bit the dust so now is the time. I am super excited (we have a tiny lot) but the choices are unreal! I have no idea what brands are "good" and what I should look for/stay away from.


Anyone with experience that could give me some pointers?

post #2 of 17

To be honest, we just bought one of the cheapest models at Walmart. We used it all last summer and it worked just fine. We don't have enough grass yet this year but I imagine it will just need a good oiling and be ready to go. 

post #3 of 17

I picked out Fiskars (like the scissors) last year after reading reviews.  I'm happy with them.  They have a wider cutting area than most which I wanted because we have a large yard.  The only problem with reel mowers is if you are a perfectionist and if you let you grass go too long.  The long seed stalks tend to just bend and not get caught in the cutting blade so you end up standing there pulling the mower back and forth like you are vacuuming.  But I love the peace and quiet and the lack of fumes when I mow!



post #4 of 17

Oh, one of the other reasons I picked the Fiskars was it has an adjustable mow height that goes higher than most.  My back yard grows fast and I figured being able to mow at a higher level would be good if it got a little too long.  A higher mow level is also supposed to be good for minimizing weeds.  They get shaded by the grass and can't grow as well. 


post #5 of 17

We have a fairly cheap brand (purchased at Lowe's about 8 years ago). It has been great. But yeah, we do have to pull up some of the longer grass stalks by hand. Last year we had the blades sharpened, which really made a difference. We have about 1/4 acre of grass. Very easy to mow with the reel mower.

post #6 of 17

I have used a reel mower for our lawn for 10 + years.  You need to keep the blades sharp (my husband does this a couple times a season) and keep it well lubed (our area always WET and things get rusty quick).  I don't know the brand and I def. shopped by price.  I know it has an adjustable height, but I've never bothered to adjust.  If you let your lawn get too long, it doesn't work well, but our yard is of a manageable size to mow regularly.  It's a big plus not to have to worry about storing gas/oil, winterizing, etc..... I also felt comfortable teaching my son to use the mower much earlier than I would've with a power mower.

post #7 of 17

Yes to the bits of long grass and weeds. Our front yard is nice, lush grass so it cuts really well. Our backyard has these weird grass/weeds in it that don't always get cut. I don't really care and just leave them, but sometimes I wonder if it bothers our perfectionist neighbours. It sort of makes me think of a plucked chicken... you know, where a couple pin feathers are left behind? lol.gif

post #8 of 17
I don't think that there are huge differences between various brands... We just got the cheapest one from Sears a few years ago, and it has worked fine (we haven't even sharpened it). We keep it on the highest setting.

However, we have hilly/very uneven land and almost no grass -- it's all weeds -- so it's not *perfect*. DH also got a gas mower last year so that he can use that when necessary. He only uses it if we've let the weeds get too high or whatever, and the rest of the time we use the reel mower. With the price of gas so high now, he's extra committed to NOT using the gas mower this year!

It is quite a workout on hilly land, but we both enjoy it (and love that we can use it with a toddler playing nearby!!)
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

I am glad people enjoy their reel mowers. I ordered this one http://www.amazon.com/Greenworks-25072-20-Inch-5-Blade-Catcher/dp/B002ZVOLZ2/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top. I hope I like it. I would have loved to get the fiskars one, it looks really nice but my budget was not that big for it. The one I ordered is currently out of stock so hopefully it restocks soon. I can't wait to try it out!


Thanks everyone!

post #10 of 17

I would not use the grass catcher. Reel mowers are pretty good mulchers, and leaving grass clippings on the lawn is really cheap fertilizer. Since the clippings are thrown straight out the back, they don't pile up in rows like they can with a gas mower that shoots them out the side.


I used to mow with a baby in a backpack - the reel mower was so light and quiet! It's nice to be able to mow early Saturday morning and not wake up even the next-door neighbors.

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

I was just going to use it to get my "mulch" that  I put on my garden to prevent weeds. I am hoping I can do that with the clippings like I did with the gas mower anyways. After the garden is mulched I will let them go onto the grass and fertilize it. 

post #12 of 17
We have one, too. Just a cheap one from Lowes. Mine is 12-yo-boy-powered, so I love it!
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Mine just shipped yesterday! Hurray!! lol

post #14 of 17

Love ours, but getting the blades sharpened is a pain

post #15 of 17

We love ours!!  Like a PP said - we just got the cheapest one from Sears and it has been 3 years now of using it and this year we're going to get the blades sharpened.  That I would have to say is the toughest part of owning a reel mower, finding a place which sharpens the blades.


Good luck and I hope you love it!

post #16 of 17

Well, we finally have enough grass (I've actually mowed the lawn twice!). It wasn't cutting as well as it had last year and I assumed the blades needed to be sharpened. Turns out the bottom blade had to be adjusted closer in so that it made better contact with the reel blades. (Imagine a pair of scissors where the blades are loose and won't cut anything). I suppose it was from hitting all those twigs and pine cones that appear in our yard. hide.gif Thought I'd mention it here in case someone is having problems with their mower. It wasn't obvious until I fixed it and then I couldn't figure out how I didn't realize it sooner! 

post #17 of 17
Originally Posted by MsFortune View Post

Love ours, but getting the blades sharpened is a pain

We use this kit http://www.amazon.com/American-Lawn-Mower-SK-1-Sharpening/dp/B00004R9UM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306732107&sr=8-1

It's not too tricky to do and it does a great job sharpening the blades.

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