THINKING ABOUT A REEL LAWN MOWER - HAND PUSHED OR POWERED
Here are my prioities for any reel type lawn mower whether it be a hand pushed job or one that is powered:
1. You want to get the widest reel mower that has everything else you want. The modern machines push a whole lot easier than those that I used 25 years ago. If you can get 18 inches or more that is good.
2. Most important - you don't want a reel lawn mower that does not allow you to cut the lawn at least two inches tall. Any lower damages the health of the grass.
The reel mower gives the turf a much more even cut than do any of the rotary type machines.
I have learned that the difference in evenness of the grass surface, power mower vs. reel mower, is a function of how each machine actually cuts the grass. The power rotary mower at a very high speed tears at the grass, with the efficiency of the cut controlled by the sharpness of the blade. Most of us have dull blades on our mowers. Reel mowers snip the grass, cutting each blade like a pair of scissors producing that clean, even cut. I guess that is why the mowers I see on the golf courses are mostly gangs of reel mowers.
So, a reel type mower is probably a wonderful and appropriate tool for mowing grass on any lawn that is less than 3000 square feet. A smaller patch of turf seems to look better if it is mowed with a more even cut.
Check out Fiskars' new reel mower
As a student of the art of mowing grass, I have always known that the reel-type mower is better for the health of grass than any rotary mower. The rotary mower bludgeons the grass while the reel mower cuts it cleanly.
As a kid I spent a lot of time pushing a reel mower when I could have been having fun. During the past 20 years, I've tested a number of new models from various companies, but the basic weakness of the reel mower had not been solved. It is hard to push if the grass has gotten a little taller than you would like. It can't cut grass at 2 inches or higher, and it always needs sharpening.
Next spring, you will be able to take advantage of the benefits of the cutting action of a reel mower with none of the disadvantages. Manufactured by Fiskars and called the Momentum, this machine doesn't look like any reel mower you've seen before.
A large diameter cutting reel and heavy blades store energy much like a flywheel, so the Momentum delivers twice the power to cut through small twigs, weeds or dense grass that clog other reel mowers. The mower also requires 30 percent less push force than standard reel mowers when cutting long grass.
The Momentum can cut grass up to 4 inches high, it cuts the edge of the lawn three times closer than any other reel machine, and the blades never need to be sharpened.