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Reel Mower

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Jacktheknife, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    Lakota, Iowa

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  2. Guyerst

    Guyerst Member

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    No experience with that mower specifically, but I had a Scott's version I used at the old place for years. I loved how the grass looked after cutting with it. Lawn never looked so good.

    But... Using it was a pita. For trim work this would be a good option... anything more than a small yard it's going to take too much more time. If the area your cutting is uneven, this might not be a good option. I had a lumpy section that I could never get cut smooth, mower would bounce too much. It's also best to cut more frequently, more than you would with a power mower. Cutting more than an inch and I would have to go over it twice.

    Saying all that, I would still be using it if I had a small smooth yard
  3. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    I like mine for my 1/3 acre lot. I have a TaskForce one from Lowes.
    Pros: Quiet (hello Sunday 7am mowing:), very low maintenance, runs on beer and sandwiches, lightweight, easy to push if grass is manageable length, easy on the lawn, reasonably fast for smaller lawns, mowig is enjoyable with it (to me anyway).
    Cons: You HAVE to cut often if grass is growing quickly, otherwise it will just bend the grass over. Sticks stop it dead. Bagging clippings (if you're in to that) is kind of a joke, rough ground is a bit challenging.
    keninmich likes this.
  4. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Fiskars makes one ;) As crazy as everyone is about there other cutting tools, it should be built fairly well.
  5. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    I have used one from Home Depot. I agree with Guyerst. Interested in what others have to say about this because after 9 years it might be time for an upgrade.
  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I tried one and found that the smallest twigs would stop it cold. I had to spend a lot of time cleaning the yard up before using because we had a lot of trees.
    Maybe a rechargeable or corded electric instead?
  7. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    We only have two trees Atm, a maple that is coming down in the spring and a young mulberry. I will be putting in a northern catbwa and a few fruit trees in the spring, but I am not that worried since I still have the rider doing the heavy llifting
  8. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    My totally unapproved method for dealing with twig-stops is to give the reel a kick with the sole of my shoe. It usually snaps the twig & I'm back mowing. Only works for twigs smaller than m pinky, but that's most of them.

    I think the Fiskars has a flywheel that might get it through some small twigs.
  9. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    My method is to pick them up and pack them away in brown paper bags to be burnt in the fall as a wwhole
  10. I had the craftsman 'deluxe' reel mower. It was well built and made in the USA. But it's no longer sold. Worked great when I lived in town. Some of the neighbors went out and got one after seeing it work. Better than struggling to get a push mower going again every spring, ecspecially for peopl who have a hard time pulling a cord 20 x.
  11. ROVERT

    ROVERT Member

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    I have the Fiskars and it works nicely. It will handle small twigs, nothing too big though.

    These mowers work best if you cut your grass pretty short. They still work on longer cuts, but don't produce such as even a finish as a rotary mower.
    DexterDay likes this.
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Reel mowers work best with cut-heights under 2", smooth terrain, and no debris in the yard. The key is to have level, smooth terrain where you want to run it. If you don't, then you're probably not going to be happy with t.

    Still interested? They are difficult to properly sharpen (but seldom need to be), cheaper to replace with the unit in the link. Back-lapping is possible with some homemade ingenuity and that should sharpen all but the worst reels.

    Sub-$200 gas powered rotary mowers are available.
  13. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    Yes, I'm still interested. The ground is pretty even and if its not even enough I will add dirt to level is out even more. We keep a debris free yard so we can burn the sticks in the fall and compost the rest so that wont be an issue either. The last thing I want is another gas powered mower, as I seem to be the only one who can manage to start them.
  14. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest



    Like you need another reason to head to your Stihl dealer.... ;lol

    Being a member of their Li-Ion series I imagine they are not cheap. But I wouldn't mind trying one out!
  15. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    Looks pretty sweet mm, but I think I will stick to the original plan. Makes me feel better about sending the kids out to do it.
    MasterMech likes this.
  16. charly

    charly Guest

    I use to work for a commercial turf equipment company.. We sharpened all the golf course reel mowers... They give you a nice cut because your cutting with two blades, like a pair of scissors,, verses one blade just making a swiping cut. Much easier on the grass.. Use small sheets of paper to check that the blade cut all the way across the bed knife.. If you tighten one side to get it cutting,,, sometimes you have to back off the opposite side as that will become too tight and bind.... Once you fool with it you'll see what I mean... then she'll cut beautiful.. I always tried to cut my own lawn when I used one when it need about a 1/2 inch or less removed... Sometimes I would mow one direction and then go over the whole lawn in the opposite direction...Back then I had a 50 x 50 ft lawn... My neighbor use to say I need to put a cup in the ground with a flag;).. Usually take lapping compound and brush it onto the blades while spinning the blades in reverse with a cordless drill at a slow speed... Usually there is a spot after taking a wheel off that will accept a 1/4 x20 bolt, add a lock nut to lock the bolt into place on the drive gear and then use a 7/16's socket on the drill... This is called back lapping... I'm sure there are YouTube videos... I remember setting some of the commercial the greens mowers to a 3/16's cutting height. They do have a cut all of their own..... Good luck!
  17. charly

    charly Guest

    Run times?
  18. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    No idea on time but supposed to cover 3800 sq ft.
  19. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Many of these small reel mowers have the bedknives set to the reel by spring tension. Self-adjusting and no user intervention is usually possible. I haven't seen one with hard adjustments in years.

    Hah. We set ours to .125 (that's 1/8") and that's long by PGA Tour standards. I have heard of greens getting mowed @ .090 for tournament play. Yikes.
  20. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    Here's a half of one, made like this as a trimmer; works great.
    Trimmer 1.jpg Trimmer 2.jpg
  21. charly

    charly Guest

    Last two I had you could adjust the bedknives,, I know one was a Scotts. Those new ones must eat the bedknives up fast, as they barely need to be touching the blades for a nice cut....too bad

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