Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Reel Deal

Great news! The rose bush seems to be springing back to life! It rained for most of yesterday, which seemed to help the bush. When we got home from work, a bunch of new flowers were about to start blooming....yay!

While we're on the topic of yardwork and gardening, I thought I would get "reel" about our lawn mower. This was mostly John's decision since he has the most mowing experience and will be cutting our grass 99.9% of the time. Since our lot is less than a quarter acre (and we have the world's largest hedge), John wanted to buy a reel (manual) push lawn mower. No self-propelled or riding mower for us. Other reasons for purchasing a reel mower include:
  • Environmentally friendly - no gas fumes spewing on us or into the environment
  • Easy to maintain - the blades will only have to be sharpened every so often
  • Less expensive - won't have to spend $4+ per gallon for gas, oil, parts, or maintenance
  • Quiet - John can mow the lawn at any time since there isn't a loud motor
  • Good form of excersize - it's not very hard to push, but you do need to walk briskly to keep up the momentum

After copious amounts of research, he settled on the Scotts 20 in. Classic Reel Mower with a clippings catcher ($139). When we went to Home Depot, they were all out of the 20 in. model. The sales associate said they had been selling like hotcakes. Particularly to people in their 20's and 30's. Who knew we were so hip?

Therefore, we settled for the Scotts 18 in. Supreme Reel Mower ($109). The reviews said the grass catcher was a little annoying, so we're OK that we didn't get it. Plus, we can easily mulch the grass with the clippings.

The mower was pretty easy to assemble and John didn't need to use any tools. As you can see below, there aren't very many parts.

John is 6' 2" and the mower is a good height for him. I pushed it around the other day and the height of the handle works for me too.

Since John has used the mower for about a month, I think he can give a pretty good assessment of the mower:
  • First, it's definitely important to note that we don't have a very large lawn. It only takes John about a half hour to cut the lawn, so a reel mower is definitely a good fit for us. If you have a larger lawn, you better be ready for a good workout.
  • While you can adjust the height of the blades, the mower doesn't do very well with super tall grass or weeds. He waited about two weeks to cut the grass once and dandilions sprung up between then. The mower just pushed over the weeds, so he had to go back and pick them by hand. Or he has to mow over the area multiple times.
  • The reel mower doesn't do well with twigs at all, so you have to pick them up before mowing. If you don't, the blades will jam.
  • The mower can be a little hard to maneuver around corners, but it's easy to push.

Overall, we're totally happy with the decision to buy a reel mower! We definitely recommend it to anyone in the market for a new lawn mower.

Anyone else keepin' it real with a reel mower?

(We weren't compensated to review the lawn mower. We bought it with our own pennies and the opinions are ours.)
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1 comment:

  1. i love those manual lawn mowers! i live in a condo so don't need one, but i think they're a great idea: as you say, more environmentally friendly, they're so retro, they're really cute!
    (found your blog thru comments on kerf, i think, and was intrigued because of our same name!)


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