Do reel mowers really work?
We are thinking about buying one of these to mow a 30 foot by 70 foot section we have fenced but curious if they actually work before making the purchase. Anyone use one? Do the blades have to be sharpened often?
I can remember as a child cutting the grass with a reel or what is called on this side of the Atlantic, cylinder mower. The lawn was about 2000 square feet which is similar to your 30 x 70 foot section. The mower in those days was a big heavy model and cutting the grass took all Saturday afternoon as we didn't have a box on the mower and had to rake up the grass. Yes, you can cut this area of lawn but it is moderately hard work compared to using a powered mower which would cut this area in about 20 minutes . Firstly you can't cut long grass in the same way as you can with a rotary gas mower, the grass needs to be kept short. The mower needs to be kept well oiled and sharp. The blades on a reel mower work like a pair of scissors and shear the grass. Each blade in turn moves along the bottom blade called the sole plate and needs to just touch but not rub hard against this blade, otherwise it makes the mower hard to push. The blades need to be kept sharp and although tedious, if you learn how, it is not difficult. Basically it involves using a file or sharpening stone to maintain the edge on the blades which are sloped similar to, but not as much as the edge on a chisel. This would need to be done regularly, otherwise the blades would become very blunt and loads of material would have to be filed off.
Wetnosedogs has a hub about cutting the grass using a reel mower here:
http://wetnosedogs.hubpages.com/hub/Rot … -in-Action
they work great. i had one for years and it was awesome. you do have to sharpen the blades occasionally though. the other thing to keep in mind is to make sure you keep them lubricated.
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