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Old 09-01-2016, 01:36 PM   #41
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This youtube makes reel mowers look light touch on flat lawns.
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Old 09-01-2016, 01:52 PM   #42
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I have a patio home on a lot that is 50'x100'. Of course the house eats up a big chunk of it so not a lot to mow. With my old gas push mower it might take 10 minutes on the front and 15 on the back including the sides. I love small yards . But the mower is on it's last leg and I'm starting to look at my options. Maybe an old fashion reel mower or an electric mower. Although I weed eat with a corded unit and handle the cord fine, I'm afraid a corded mower might be a pain. I have looked at cordless mowers, but poor reviews on battery life gives me pause. Anything you look at has pros and cons however.

I guess my question is.....any one using reel, electrical or battery powered mowers? If so any recommendations? I can always buy a small gas push mower again, but thought it might be nice getting away from oil and gas. At some point I will just hire it out, but I'm still young enough to do it and need the exercise.

I have lived on similar sized lots since 2005 and have used a reel mower the whole time. **LOVE IT!**

After the first reel mower (an off brand name) broke I got a corded electric. Yes the cord is a bit of a pain but it's not as bad as it looks. However i didn't like using it. It's heavier to push and the cord does restrict how you approach
the lawn. It comes in handy in the Fall at the new place because I have one tree. I found that simply plowing through the leaves and mulching them and letting the wind do the rest is easier than raking and bagging and calling for a pick-up. If you have no leaves to worry about, you're golden.

Also, if I get caught in one of those spells where the lawn needs to be cut but we're having 5 days of rain, the extra long grass can be dispatched faster with the electric. Not absolutely necessary but nice to have.

All in all though, since 2011 when I bought the electric you can count the number of times I've actually needed it vs the other 99.999% of the time when the reel mower was just fine, and a lot more fun to use. Makes me feel like it's 1965 again when I use it.

My personal observations of neighbors who spent a ton on battery electric mowers is, if you have a lawn that can be done with a rechargeable electric, you are better off with a reel mower. Those shaky reviews you've read are accurate.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:10 PM   #43
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I have lived on similar sized lots since 2005 and have used a reel mower the whole time. **LOVE IT!**

After the first reel mower (an off brand name) broke I got a corded electric. Yes the cord is a bit of a pain but it's not as bad as it looks. However i didn't like using it. It's heavier to push and the cord does restrict how you approach
the lawn. It comes in handy in the Fall at the new place because I have one tree. I found that simply plowing through the leaves and mulching them and letting the wind to the rest is easier than raking and bagging and calling for a pick up. If you have no leaves to worry about, you're golden.

Also, if I get caught in one of those spells where the lawn needs to be cut but we're having 5 days of rain, the extra long grass can be dispatched faster with the electric. Not absolutely necessary but nice to have.

All in all though, since 2011 when I bought the electric you can count the number of times I've actually needed it vs the other 99.99% of the time when the reel mower was just fine, and a lot more fun to use. Makes me feel like it's 1965 again when I use it.

My personal observations of neighbors who spent a ton on battery electric mowers is, if you have a lawn that can be done with a rechargeable electric, you are better off with a reel mower. Those shaky reviews you've read are accurate.
Thanks. I plan to get an electric down the road for occasions as you mention. My belching and spitting gas mower will serve that need until it goes belly up. No trees or leaves to worry with in my yard. A handful of leaves blow over from a small tree a couple of houses over, but not much of a bother.

I emailed sales at Great States and they said a 7 blade would work better in my situation so will give that one a try. I'm either going to be happy or will be consuming more alcohol.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:15 PM   #44
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Thanks. I plan to get an electric down the road for occasions as you mention. My belching and spitting gas mower will serve that need until it goes belly up. No trees or leaves to worry with in my yard. A handful of leaves blow over from a small tree a couple of houses over, but not much of a bother.

I emailed sales at Great States and they said a 7 blade would work better in my situation so will give that one a try. I'm either going to be happy or will be consuming more alcohol.
There are several threads here about exercise. Some of them currently in motion. I find mowing the lawn with a reel mower quite a pleasant way of getting exercise on an "off-exercise-day. Warren Buffet, who lives just a few miles from where I am typing, said he used to mow is own lawn till he was in his sixties and was proud of that fact.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:28 PM   #45
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We used to have a manual reel mower, but after moving to the current house, we needed something which would mulch leaves in the fall.
We are mowing 2/3 of an acre and for last to years quite happy with corded Lowe's Kobalt brand, which is selling now for $199:
Shop Kobalt 13-Amp 21-in Deck Width Push Corded Electric Push Lawn Mower with Mulching Capability at Lowes.com
I'm using it with 100ft 14-gauge extension cord.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:29 PM   #46
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During my high school and college days, I sold lawn mowers at the local hardware store.
Went to several training seminars for different manufacturers, however I am not familiar with newer electric mowers. Some points I think are still true:

1) 2 cycle engines require a gas/oil mixture which actually allows you to cut grass upside down. The engine is always lubricated if the mixture is correct. A 2 cycle will last longer if your lawn has hills, because a 4 cycle has oil in a pan, and parts may run dry momentarily when oil runs to the low side of pan.
2) Reel mowers are easier on the grass and give you a true cut, instead of by a high speed "machete" at 1000+ RPM. But with all mowers the blade must be sharpened often.
3) 2 cycle engines if provided proper fuel/oil will last longer. I purchased a 1979 Lawnboy mower for DF, and he gave it to me for my use in my rentals in 2001. I used it til 2007, and replaced it with another Lawnboy. My current mower is a commercial Lawnboy that I bought in 1991, when I was relocated. Still going strong.
4) The stupid mandate requiring alcohol in modern gasolines reeks havoc on lawn mower carburetors ( as well as automotive), so expect a rebuild every 5 years.
5) If you get an electric mower that requires a cord, get the biggest gauge wire at the minimum length extension cord you need. This minimizes voltage drop and will extend the motor life.
6) Battery mowers weren't around back in 1978 that I remember, but I used batteries in mobile equipment in an industrial setting for 35 years. They sucked in the 80's, and they still sucked when I FIRED in October 2014.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:32 PM   #47
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What kind of grass did you have? Mine is mostly centipede but does have a little bermuda in the back, but not a lot. Most reviews I have seen suggest buying a 7 blade for bermuda. I'm assuming 7 would be fine for centipede too.
My small yard was mostly centipede but had some bermuda as well. Not sure whether a 7 blade would be better or not but the 5 blade (I think) worked very well for me.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:59 PM   #48
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I've used electric for much of my adult mowing life - today's are much cheaper and better than 20+ years ago. I see two major advantages: 1) I never have to store/carry/transfer gas, and 2) It is MUCH quieter than any gas mower.

You learn to do the cord dance thing pretty quickly, I've only severed one electric cord in my life.
+1. Have a small lawn. Can't beat electric. Always starts. Do not have
to store gasoline, change spark plug, and worry about stale gas and varnish.

Had gas mowers in the past. Compared to electric. to much maintenance.
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:57 PM   #49
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We have a reel mower. It works well on grass but our back yard has a fair amount of crabgrass and other weeds and it doesn't do well on that so I rarely use ours. Perhaps you can find a friend or neighbor who has one and try it out on your lawn. ....
I applied weed & feed in the spring and the lawn is more grass than weeds than it was in the past. I used the reel mower today and it worked fine. Good exercise too.
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Old 09-02-2016, 02:02 PM   #50
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Heh..if you want exercise, don't buy another mower, just 'mow' your yard with a weed eater.
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:32 PM   #51
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This youtube makes reel mowers look light touch on flat lawns.
...
I do like the idea of the new reel mowers, as a teenager I got to use a cast iron one, of course back then men were men.

Funny thing in that video, all the shots of him mowing, didn't seem to do much as the grass didn't seem to need a mow.

I would have been impressed if he had been cutting 2 inches off the grass, instead of running over cut grass. There is one shot where it almost looks like he is cutting the grass to not much effect.
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:50 PM   #52
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Heh..if you want exercise, don't buy another mower, just 'mow' your yard with a weed eater.
Actually there exist wheeled string trimmers with up to 6 hp motors and an 18 inch swath, including the expensive DR trimmers Trimmer Mowers (string trimmers) | DR Power Equipment cheaper models from other manufactures can be found at Lowes and Home Depot and Amazon. This does work for long grass and has the thickest nylon string of trimmers.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:29 PM   #53
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Funny thing in that video, all the shots of him mowing, didn't seem to do much as the grass didn't seem to need a mow.
Yea, I noticed that.
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:26 PM   #54
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How do you sharpen those reel mower blades?
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Old 09-03-2016, 02:10 AM   #55
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I've had a Honda mower for 15 years. Starts on one pull. Never any issues. I wish every product was this reliable. Best value for your $, even with a smallish yard.


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My last mower was a Craftsman push, with a Honda engine. No problems, but it only lasted about 8 years. New one is a Toro, cheaper model, purchased from HD for about $200 (very light, which is nice on the inclines). Starts with 1-2 pulls, and no problems. Most of the time I mow 2 yards and put many "miles" on a mower, so mine may not last as long as someone else's.
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Old 09-03-2016, 07:17 AM   #56
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How do you sharpen those reel mower blades?
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:24 AM   #57
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I vote for Honda mowers and week whackers.....reliable, start EVERY time, so when you are ready to get to work, so are they!!!

I didn't see it mentioned, but go to mowersdirect.com and you can order all kinds of mowers and lawn equipment, and see many reviews.

Mr. Brown (UPS) brought my Honda mower and my Honda trimmer right to my door. Didn't have to horse around with boxes and loading and unloading...the price was comparable, and I don't think there was tax or shipping! Just broke out the razor knife, added gas and oil, pulled the cord, and off I went!!!

I take very good care of my equipment, which I think is part of the equation no matter what you own. And they are kept inside, out of the weather, so the gasoline doesn't cook in the hot summer ( like, in a shed for instance) and the garage is heated for winter.

Try that website. They also offer reel mowers. My lawn needs a zero turn, which I did buy locally from a dealer, not a box store, so that when/if it needs servicing that I can't do, there is a local place to do it. Something to think about when buying a large rider..if you buy at the box store, don't expect the dealer to put your machine first if it needs repairs!!!

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-03-2016, 06:38 PM   #58
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How do you sharpen those reel mower blades?
The above video actually shows how to lap in a mower reel. When I was a kid, I worked in a lawnmower shop that has an actual sharpener with a grinding wheel that ground the blades uniformly, then we would lap them to perfection.
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Old 09-03-2016, 07:08 PM   #59
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I prefer a reel mower but my experience is that unless the grass was bone dry it didn't work well, just kinda flattened it
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Old 09-03-2016, 07:29 PM   #60
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I prefer a reel mower but my experience is that unless the grass was bone dry it didn't work well, just kinda flattened it
What do you do in those situations when it stays wet for days and by time it dries out, it's too thick or tall? Are you able to just run over it a couple of times and it cuts it well enough? I'm planning on keeping my old beater gas mower for backup.
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