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heyu1021's avatar

What are the pros and cons of a reel mower (manual, no gas)?

Asked by heyu1021 (262points) April 18th, 2008 from iPhone

I am interested in purchasing a reel mower but am undecided. Is it really that much harder to use? I really want to get away from my gas mower (too loud and it pollutes). Help me out.

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26 Answers

Hollister0221's avatar

its simple. Gas is easier and yes it does pollute so if that is a issue get the reel mower. Be prepared for a food workout. That last could be a pro or a con. You be the judge on that

jrpowell's avatar

We have one. You really need to stay on top of mowing. Ours starts to fail if the grass gets to long. I actually find it easier to push than our gas mower. And the one we have automagically sharpens the blades while we use it. I have never done any maintenance with it.

wildflower's avatar

You’ll get a great work-out, be greener and able to mow regardless of fuel or power availability

Whether these are pros or cons us subjective.

kevbo's avatar

Second on keeping the grass a reasonable length. Otherwise, it falls over and the reel mower doesn’t catch it. Then you have to rake it to get it to stand up and repeat the process.

I use one for two very small yard areas, and I’m happy with it. Cost was about $75.

jrpowell's avatar

And I should add that our lot is 1/2 acre.

Randy's avatar

Be careful if you get one. My grandpa is missing 1/3 of his index finger because of one of those mowers. Not that it couldn’t happen on any other mower, but just be careful.

judochop's avatar

Keep up on mowing and oil your blades. Manual is so much better

delirium's avatar

I keep thinking of getting an electric reel mower for my lawn. I can afford it, and it sounds like an environmentally acceptable idea…

Plus, i’ll be able to mow at night. I hate doing it during the day because its too sunny.

robmandu's avatar

Reels don’t mulch the clippings, nor do they bag ‘em for disposal. I tried a reel for a season here, but the clippings (Bermudagrass) refused to decompose in a timely way and so, towards the end of summer, the reel mower was choking on weeks-old clippings plus the new growth.

If your grass doesn’t induce that kind of dilemma, then a reel is actually kinda fun.

A ½ acre is kinda not small. And a reel mower has a comparatively narrow cutting swath (vs. a motorized mower). So expect it to take a bit longer.

delirium's avatar

You can actually get a bag for a reel type.


Seesul's avatar

@Hollister..“Be prepared for a food workout. ” Did you really mean that, or are you using that WONDERFUL feature on your iPhone. That would be a good question….funny typos as a result of the iPhone suggestion feature. My son gets a food workout every time he mows the lawn, or so it seems.

gailcalled's avatar

@seesul; I started to keep a list of really off-the-wall fluther typos, well before iPhone. I ran out of patience and RAM. Two examples cerebullum ( a part of the brain for storing BS, I guess) and tree days in Yosemite ( prob. meant three.)

boffin's avatar

Reel mower for Bermuda grass…
Rotary for everything else….
That was easy…

susanc's avatar

I have a big old gas mower, because I have a big slanted “field” and as you know am old, fat and therefore weak. I mow the field five times a year but I feel horrible about it because I know it pollutes worse than a car, because no emissions control.
I want to know about this automagically self-sharpening push mower that johnpowell has>
Tell us
johnpowell, tell us all.

gailcalled's avatar

Here is the solution – one of the funniest Craigslist items to have ever appeared.

The third and best choice, insteal of reel or gas mower:

Seesul's avatar

Actually, gail, they use those quite frequently here. Landowners use them for fire prevention on the hills, there are actually companies that take herds of them around to trim the hills near the freeways. It’s quite a site, and think of the milk and cheese that can be had as a byproduct. In New Zealand, people often put a sheep in the front yard for the same purpose. Unfortunately, we have just had a mountain lion kill in the area and did away with 5 of 8 goats that a person in the foothills had as working pets.

gailcalled's avatar

@Seebul: Where is “here”? And I think it is a wonderful solution; this guy did, too. The only one to thwart the plan was the inept organic lawn mower.

My next door neighbors (we have 30 acres of land separating us) bought a small flock of sheep to keep their hillside shorn. It was a bucolic and charming sight, but eventually the owner’s children (I was going to say kids but thought better of it) balked at doing the winter chores (very cold winters here) and the parents ran out of steam. So I shudder to think where those sheep ended up, and I am sure it wasn’t The Bide-A-Wee Home for the Ovine Aged.

nephrons's avatar

i go for reel mower, you can save in a lot of things;
– gas ( no need for it )
– medical check up ( no more pollutants; gas and noise )
– paid work out at gym ( with how many yards pushing, you will surely sweat it out )

writewoodz's avatar

Quieter is better. The sweet reel’s whuur-ch-ch, so soft. Instead of power-mower roar. Maybe work toward a quieter, no-gassed yard all year-round and you’ll get a great workout, sawing, clipping, mowing…even shoveling snow with only soft shovel-scrapings, enough to make the deer curious. Our muscles, joints need workouts; our minds need peace. Gyms cost money; reel movers only need a blessing of oil and your effort.

gailcalled's avatar

I still like the goat that was on Craigslist. ^^

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PrairieWind's avatar

The reel type is great for a small grass lawns.
We have one that I use.
It does not cut dandelions stems very well.
Leaves them still standing but cuts the grass very well.
Gives me a bit of a workout as well

MissA's avatar

We have a reel mower for backup. My daughter has a great CORDLESS electric mower. That is a dandy. You can get them with 24 or 36 volt engines. That would be my best idea for someone like you.

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