Reel Mowers are Real Mowers

Reel Mower

Reel Mower

It’s our first full summer since moving into this house, and time to buy a lawn mower. I envisioned spending $300 on a gas mower, but in the end spent less than half that for a good old fashioned reel mower. (The cheapest ones were $70, but we splurged for a fancy $130 model.)

This is full of advantages and has no discernible disadvantages.

First, it uses no gas. There’s a cost savings, an environmental savings, and a noise savings. I can mow the lawn whenever I want and bother nobody, and I don’t spew pollution into the atmosphere every time I do it. This is what got me looking in the first place and it’s a big selling point.

Second, it’s inherently a “mulching mower”. It doesn’t leave ugly rows of grass clippings or require disposing of bagged clippings. It conveniently leaves the clipped grass right where it started, where it serves as fertilizer for the lawn.

Third, it’s faster and easier to use. For straight rows of grass it’s no easier or harder than a gas mower; you just push it down the row. (And no, it’s not even a tiny bit hard to push.) But it corners more easily and can handle edges that might be dangerous for a gas mower. For example, I can push it more slowly over rocks, so if one does get kicked it up won’t do any harm — a gas mower would kick the thing right up.

I can mow our entire yard, front and back, in about 10 minutes. That’s about as much time as our neighbors spend yanking fruitlessly on the starting cord for their gas mowers.

2 thoughts on “Reel Mowers are Real Mowers

  1. JustPIxelz says:

    There is one discernible disadvantage to reel mowers which you will discover if you let the grass grow too tall. The scissors action of the mower depends on the blades of grass being short enough to fit between the rotating blades and the stationary blade. Too tall and grass just gets bent over and slides under. At that point you have to rent a rotary mower or a goat or a peasant with a scythe. IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: Peasants with a scythe wear ill-fitting clothing in earth tones. Deathâ„¢ — who also carries a scythe — wears a black hoodie.

  2. We got a “middle of the road” model which includes a height adjustment, so we have some margin of error to let the grass get away from us. If it gets too tall we can just raise the entire mower up a few inches.

    It’s still a finite limit, but we’re hoping it’s enough to compensate for the times the lawn grows a little more than we’d planned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *