Looking at reel mowers

earthworm73(WA z8)May 27, 2008

I am seriously considering a manual reel mower for several reasons. My only concern is I have adopted the highest setting when mowing idea. On my gas powered mower my highest setting is about 2.5"-3". Are most manual reel mowers able to accomandate this?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
decklap(5IL)

Nope. Most reel mowers are not able to mow very high at all. Scott's mower has the highest setting that I've seen on a reel, either just at or just under 3".

Just FYI. I'd suggest you not throw the gas mower out. Reel mowers are great but will not cut well when it gets high and at the upper settings the cut can look a tad ragged with only one pass. I trot my reel mower out every so often and I have more success with it when I mow more frequently, a couple of times a week at least. When I can give it that kind of time it looks great but do consider the effort.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 8:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spat72(zn_9/10)

I have never owned a reel mower of any type. However I did work on them as a golf course mechanic for a couple years. I can assure you they do not perform well at the higher settings and do not perform well at cutting off more than 1/4 at a time regardless of hight setting. This is a large factor in golf courses cutting grass on fairways every 2-3 days and daily on the greens. Also reel mowers are high maintenance for a clean cut. If the blade is dull it will pull and tear the grass rather than cut it which will stress the grass. This is simply my opinion not a fact! As I said I never owned one. I doubt a home reel mower differs much from the pro type other than the power source driving the reel and moving the asymbly.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 2:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
decklap(5IL)

The Scotts reel mower ( my favorite) differs from others in that it can actually cut at a much higher setting. Its rare to see a reel mower of any kind that even goes to 2". And sharpening the Scotts couldn't be easier, though it hardly ever gets dull. They sell a brush-on sharpening compound that's worked great for me. If you can sharpen your gas mower blade you can do this. Reel mowers in general do have some drawbacks but I haven't struggled to maintain mine.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 1:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hipgardener(8)

I had one and it worked great when it was very sharp. However, I don't have a closed garage or store room, just an open air carport, and before long the elements got to the blades, rusting them. It doesn't cut now and I will have to find someone in town to regrind the reel. I agree that for a reel mower to work well it must be in tip-top shape.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 3:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spat72(zn_9/10)

Personally I love the idea of a reel mower. However the "drawbacks" are rather discouraging untill some new design overcomes them. Though I think they are still good for the more fine blade grasses provided you properly maintain them.

hipgardener - try to find a golf course mechanic or a repair shop that caters to that industry. You may even get it sharpened for free if you are patient and want to volunteer it as a demo job for a company trying to sell a new reel grinder to a nearby golf course. You should also ask if they need the reel on or off the mower. Most old systems require the reel off depending on the reels mounting design. I recommend a golf course mechanic simply due to this is someone who grinds reels on a regular basis. Unlike a standard machine shop or mower repair shop that may only do a few per year or couple years. There is an art to getting a long lasting edge and they do need regrinding as the blade wears down. The sharpening compound is for keeping the cutting edge sharp. As the blade wears down you get a larger surface of the blades face which increases heat build up causing the blade to dull faster and faster. For a manual reel I would guess you only face regrinding every 4-5 years if properly maintained. A power reel about every 60 hours of operation. Both will be drastically reduced if rust is allowed to set in. I would guess you could find an organic spray to protect the reel or at the very least cover it with a tarp.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 12:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hipgardener(8)

Thanks for that advice. I was wondering just where I was gonna find someone to barrel grind the reel, but that suggestion is awesome.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 8:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
earthworm73(WA z8)

thanks for your input. i think i am gonna stay with old dusty. i like to mow my 'grass' kinda on the long side to shade out the weeds.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 10:33AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
DC Please Post Your Organic Lawn FAQs
I am considering going to organic fertilizers, DC could...
claga
Why not use herbicide to control Ground Ivy?
I have always practiced organic lawn care. I mow high...
tomp123
Increasing height of celebration bermuda
Our lawn was sodded with bermuda celebration a bit...
trussin.22
Is It to Late in the to Apply Organic Fertilizers in Zone 5b
The condition of my lawn: The lawn is thick, but lacks...
claga
Kimmsr...
Kimmsr, I should mention that I have an acre of lawn...
Aggranduser
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™