Nope, reel mowers are the cleanest, greenest, most econmically and environmentally savvy way to get that great green and nicely manicured lawn.
As with anything else, there are pros and cons, so let’s explore them here and see if a reel mower might your next step towards a better lawn, thicker wallet, and cleaner earth.
L Hundley, Chief Gardening Evangelist at Clean Air Gardening says,
"There is a real element of pleasure to using a manual mower…Reel mowers are light, quiet, and virtually maintenance-free. The mowers are environmentally friendly, and also better for your grass."
Wait, reel mowers are actually better for your grass?
Yup, powered rotary mowers really tear the grass, reel mowers actually cut it, like scissors.
7 Reasons to Use a Reel Mower
1. They’re light.
2. They’re quiet.
3. They’re environmentally friendly.
4. They’re better for your grass. (Rotary mowers tear the grass. Reel mowers cut the grass like scissors, leaving a fine spray of cuttings as mulch for your yard.)
5. They’re maintenance free.
6. They’re as easy to push as much heavier motorized mowers.
7. They don’t blow exhaust into your face while you’re mowing.
What are some other benefits to using a reel mower?
Just like with electric push mowers, there are a TON of benefits. Some include:
- you get to avoid the pollution equivalent to driving 350 miles in a car
- no longer deal with the obnoxious and defeaning noise
- save money by never having to buy gas, oil, filters, or spark plugs again
Of Course, There is Always a Down Side
What are some of the troubles you might encounter with a reel mower?
- If you have many mature trees in your yard, a reel mower will bind up whenever it rolls over a branch, twig, or even a large piece of mulch
- Grass or weeds that are too tall will have to be passed over 2 or 3 times (but mowing at least once per week should avoid this problem)
- It takes slightly longer to mow, due to the fact that you must overlap your cutting rows
- As with all push mowers–electric, reel, or gas–reel mowers are not recommended for yards over 1/2 an acre
In a twitter conversation about reel mowers with one of my followers and blog buds, NashVeggie said that if you keep the blades on a reel mower sharp, the results are actually better than a gas powered mower!
Reel mowers have height adjustments that range between .4-2.8”. Don’t let that scare you, the cutting height chart for all of the popular grasses at Organic Lawn Care Tips clearly debunks the 3” myth.
The Bottom Line
A reel mower is cheaper than other electric and gas powered push mowers. It will allow you the freedom to cut your grass at any time of day you choose, spare your health and the environment by not spewing any toxic fumes from the inefficient 2 stroke engine, will save LOTS of money over the life of the mower (and immediately), and will give better end results.
The tradeoff is that it will take a little bit longer to mow and you’ll have to deal with the mower binding up (which is quickly and easily fixed) if attempting to cut tall grass or weeds or if running over twigs or mulch.
With this being the lawn mowing and buying season, would you consider a reel mower as your next mower? If you already have one, how do you like it?
Post image from InventorSpot.com