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|Switching to a reel mower|
....a first-hand experience of replacing a power mower with a push mower
Last spring I decided to replace my power mower with one of these new reel mowers. I bought a new reel mower for $180 and put it to the test on my lawn, which is approximately 2500 sq ft. Here are my conclusions after a season of use:
at first it seemed surprisingly easy to push the mower. By the end of
the mowing session, however, I noticed a light sweat on my brow. These
newly designed reel mowers are easier to use than the clunky ones I used
as a teenager, but they are not effortless. Still, after a season of use,
I'm satisfied with the overall ease of use. It gives the light aerobic
workout I need after a day sitting at the computer.
|- how much more time does it take to cut the lawn? - with the power mower it took about 30 min.
to cut the grass; with the reel mower it takes about 40 minutes. (my lawn
is 2500 sq ft) Corner areas slow the job down because, unlike the power
mower, you have to push the reel mower forward, then back a couple times.
- tall grass is a problem - the reel mower will not cut tall grass, such as the odd bits of quack(swamp) grass growing in my lawn which can grow to 8" seemingly overnight. There are only a few small patches, so I can yank them out as I go, but if there were much more of this swamp grass, the reel mower would be inadequate for the job. A simple solution for this is to buy a grass whip (around $15) which makes it easy to whip down the bits of grass which the reel mower may miss.
- only about half the cut grass is picked up by the basket - reel mowers contribute to the health of the lawn by 'grass cycling', that is, they leave the cut grass on the lawn. These cuttings add nitrogen to the lawn, a natural fertilizer. If you don't want the 'look' of the cut grass on the lawn, you can use a basket attachment. However, the basket only catches about half the cut grass, because the blades throw the grass in a forward direction.
- edge-cutting is not as close - the reel mower has its wheels outside of the blades while the rotary power mower has the wheels inset; the power mower is able to cut closer to the edges of beds and fences. I use an electric weedeater to trim the edges and fenceline, so this doesn't matter too much.
In conclusion, I found
the reel mower was pretty easy to use and effective at cutting the grass,
with the following considerations:
|Buy a reel mower online|
|You can buy a reel mower from Eartheasy's online store.
Click any of the links here to see some different models.
In our online store you'll also see electric and cordless rotary mowers. (US sales only)
|Buy Push Lawn Mowers on Eartheasy|
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