I didn't know they still made these "old-fashioned" lawn mowers, but saw a man down the street from me using one several weeks ago. The image stayed in my mind and wanted to go that route too, but had a perfectly good gas mower. Well, on Saturday I was mowing my grass (with that loud, polluting gas mower) and it blew a gasket! Just suddenly stopped working (my dad told me what was wrong, I didn't know). He said it's not worth fixing and suggested just getting a new one. It was hilarious b/c that was my cue from the universe that this is the time to make the switch. I went to Lowe's the next day and bought a reel mower (I didn't even know what they were called). I read all the reviews online for different models and bought the one with by far the best reviews (by Fiskars). I got it home, put it together in a snap, and finished mowing my lawn. It was amazing! Yes, you have to push it, but my gas mower was a push mower too, so this isn't any harder than that. But the quiet is what amazed me. I always hated mowing the grass b/c it's so freaking loud! I like being outside and enjoying it, but with a loud mower in my ear, it's anything but enjoyable. Dare I say, I actually enjoyed mowing my grass with the reel mower. I could hear the birds sing as I mowed! Since my grass was long I did have to go over a few sections more than one, in the cross direction. But if I don't let the grass get so long, or cut it when it's drier (it was a little damp too), I think it'll work better. I'm just SO happy with it and wanted to tell all of you. Not only was it simply more enjoyable to do a non-fun household task, I felt so much better about not adding to the pollution on our planet. Anyone else have, or have tried, a reel mower?
How big is your yard? The reason I ask is because I was looking into these last year but, the store guy said for big yards (anything close to and over a quarter acre) the mower really doesn't work - that the mowers themselves are meant for smaller yards.
I would say that it is not that the mowers do not work on that much lawn but that it would be far more time comsuming than anything else. Both me and my parents have a reel mower and love them. My parents finally caved when they had to fox their regular mower every year, and sometimes more than that.
When my sister and I bought a house a couple of months ago we also got a reel mower. We love it.
I live in Minneapolis, MN so there is the upside of only having grass to mow for half the year (but then there is the cold and the snow to shovel!) We do not have a really large yard, but it takes about an hour to mow. I, personally like to think of it as a workout, since I usually break a sweat doing it.
There is some backtracking that we do to make sure all the lawn gets cut, but I used to mow my parents' lawn with their reel mower and did not have to do that for their lawn.
If you are concerned just the mower that has the widest blade to cut back on some of that. good luck!
I'm not great at estimating the size of something. How big is my yard? Not sure. Less than an acre for sure. Probably less than 1/2 an acre. It took me about an hour to mow both the front and the back yards with my gas-powered push mower. I haven't yet mowed the entire yard with the reel mower, since I was partially done when my gas mower blew last time. If I cut it when it's short and dry, I'm thinking it'll take about the same amount of time b/c it really requires the same amount of effort to push it. Actually the reel mower is about half the weight of the gas mower, so it's easier to push. But if I let the grass get long (like it was last time), it will likely take longer since I may have to go over the thicker areas twice. Either way, it's just SO much more enjoyable not to be walking behind a noisy, polluting mower, so I don't mind as much.
It was funny when I went to buy it. Normally I walk into a store, buy what I need, and no one says anything to me. But I got comments from 2 different people in the short time I was there. Both commenting on the mower, such as "trying it the old way, huh?" Stuff like that. Another guy said, "More people should do that." Hey, maybe I put some ideas in people's minds when they see me with the reel mower (like when I saw the guy down the street using his, it made me want one too). But I've also heard, and read, many people saying the reel mowers are only good for small yards. I don't see any logic in that. Perhaps those people are used to a self-propelled mower, so they woudln't want to actually PUSH the mower, and therefore say they'd only do it with a small yard. I don't know. It just depends how much time you want to spend on your yard, and how "green" you want to be. But I think reel mowers would work for any size lawn.
Ok, I just mowed my entire yard, for the first time, with my reel mower yesterday. It was great! Even better than I expected. And no, it didn't take longer at all! In fact, it took LESS time than with my gas, push mower! My gas mower would often get clogged with grass underneath, so I'd have to pull it backward, or lift it up slightly, to blow out the grass that had accumulated underneath, before continuing on. In some areas of my yard (where the grass is particularly thick) I'd have to do that every couple of steps! I didn't have to do that ONCE with the reel mower, or even unclog it at all! Also, with the gas mower I had to go kinda slow so it wouldn't clog up. But it's actually better to go faster with the reel mower, b/c the blades will turn faster. So I could just plow through the thicker grass areas. Also, there's no starting up the reel mower. It's just 1. Pull it out of the shed, and 2. start walking. I LOVE it!!!
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