Friday, April 24, 2009

"Reel" Mowers

A couple years ago our family made the switch from a gas powered mower to a reel mower. Some consider the reel mower to be an ancient tool of the past :) but we are finding that there are many benefits. Ironically, as I am typing this I hear someone mowing their lawn two doors down.

Here are a handful of reasons we made the switch:
*Rotary mowers tear the grass - reel mowers cut grass like scissors, leaving a fine spray of clippings as mulch for your yard. Additionally, the way that reel mowers cut helps the grass maintain moisture and keeps diseases out.

*Less noise pollution - instead of the roar of a mower, you hear the quiet mechanical sound of the blades and the chirping of birds (or in our case the squawking of chickens).

*My husband doesn't stink when he is finished - Instead of the smell of gas exhaust, you have the smell of fresh air and fresh-cut grass.

*Mow early or late - we don't have to worry about waking the neighbors or interrupting someone's afternoon nap. The temperature will be cooler!

*Per hour of operation, a gas lawn mower emits 10-20 times as much hydrocarbon as a typical automobile (1).

*Reel mowers offer a great work-out. The new designs are definitely easier to use that those 30 or so years old but using a reel mower is not an effortless task.

*You don't have to worry about starting up your mower and having it break down on you. The pull chain won't snap and you'll never run out of gas.

*Gas powered mowers cost more: you have a higher purchase cost, a higher maintenance cost, higher fuel costs and a higher cost to our environment.

*Reel mowers are light enough to lift and store on a wall in your garage.

Some drawbacks:
- They do take some effort, but they aren't any harder to push than an 80-pound gas mower that isn't self-propelled. You are your mowers engine!

- It does take a bit longer to mow with a manual mower than a power mower.

- Manual mowers are harder to push when the grass gets too tall, so keep your lawn mowed weekly.

- Your lawn will look cut but not manicured.

-Blades should be sharpened every two years (i think this is the same for a gas powered mower).

- Reel mowers don't chop up sticks.

- You will have grass clippings left on your lawn - we feel like this is better for your lawn as it provides natural mulching but some may be bothered by it.

All in all, our family has enjoyed the benefits of using a reel mower. So next time you're in the market for a new lawn mower maybe you'll consider a reel mower!!!

(1) www.eartheasy.com

7 comments:

Emily said...

Thanks for this post! I have been thinking about making the switch to this kind of mower. Not sure the hubs will go along with it, but this is good info to know before we make the decision.

VeganLinda said...

We love our reel mower too!

Anonymous said...

When everyone had the reel mowers years ago they used to have a bag you could get that attached to a metal housing that you could buy that collected most of the lawn clippings as you mowed. It sat of course just behind the mower like the grass catchers do today but was an open design. Don't they offer this any more? Jody

emerrube said...

I tried to get my husband to do this...he won't. :(

Syd's Sensible Solutions said...

We have one and love it! One major plus for us is that I can actually mow the yard now. I have asthma and (between the exhaust and the blade blowing all the dust, pollen, and you name it up in the air) the gas mower almost always gave me an asthma attack and occasionally bronchitis. I can now mow without the fear of getting sick!

JenW said...

I've used a reel mower for nearly 15 years, and I love it. We have also moved to having a clover lawn. Less mowing and watering.

Eice Bleu said...

I just got a Fiskars Reel Mower! I love it!!!