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Reel Style Lawn Mowers

Aug 11 2015

           

            Several years ago there was a push for people to go green and cut back on the natural resources we use in our daily lives. One of the items that fit into this category was going back to the reel style lawn mower. The one with four to five blades that spin as you push it across the lawn.

In this blog I will attempt to explain how these mowers work, and why they can be a good thing. There is no motor to wear out, and when adjusted properly, they will not only leave your lawn looking better, they are also better for the health of they pass over the bed knife, the flat metal bar on the bottom of the mower, they shear off the blades of grass. Unlike the gas powered counterpart, that whips the blades using a metal blade rotating at a high speed. When properly adjusted the blades will pass closer than the thickness of a blade of grass, and yet pass with very little resistance. The reel cage is powered by a gear in each of the wheels, so as you push the mower the cage will spin.

            The wheels usually have three positions they can be mounted on. The one you use will determine the height the front of the bed knife will ride above the lawn. This is usually set at the manufacturer, and most people don’t know that they are adjustable. The second place to adjust the cut height is at the roller bar. This is where most people adjust the cutting height and leave it at that. Most of these mowers will only rise up to a 2 ½ inch cutting height.

            Because the mower is powered by pushing it, there are times when this style of mower would not be advisable. One would be if your lawn is usually soggy, and the other would be if you tend to let the lawn grow over your ankles before cutting it.  On the other hand, if you like to have a nice clean even cut on your lawn, have a small yard or very little grass to mow, and like the idea of building your leg muscles. This could be your kind of mower. When sharp and adjusted properly, these mowers will cut as fast as you can push them. When you stop walking, the blade stops turning. Although the blades are out in the open, there is little danger of someone getting hit from objects launched by the moving blade. They are quiet to use, the neighbors will never complain if you start cutting the lawn before 6 AM. They are also great for yards where there are sparse patches instead of a lush lawn. There is very little dust kick up making it easier to breathe while cutting.

            These mowers do have a hard time cutting twigs and sticks that collect under the trees, but then they usually stay sharper longer for that reason. They are easier to store as well. They can be hung on the wall in the garage and leave the floor space open for other things. They don’t need gas to run on, a little lubrication when they are sharpened and that is all there is to it.

            Although these are not for everyone, they are a very good choice for some. It all depends on your preference. I like to test them out after sharpening, and have found that I can cut a half acre lot in the same amount of time with one of these as I can with a non-self-propelled power mower, about 45 minutes to an hour.

            If this sheds some light on the concept of these fine machines, I have accomplished my goal. As always, happy cutting.

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