In praise of the reel mower.

So I’ve been using my new reel mower for a couple of weeks now.  I’m ready to sing the praises of the reel mower.  Here’s why:

1. They’re inexpensive.  I paid about $120 for my 18″ mower.

2. They’re even more inexpensive in the immediate future, as they are very fuel efficient.  They take no fuel, other than the energy you would use to push any lawn mower.

3.  In the long run, they are even more inexpensive.  Reel mowers have few moving parts.  It’s a fairly uncomplicated machine.  Very little could go wrong if you maintain it properly, which means fewer repair bills (and possibly longer lasting).

4. They say reel mowers are better for the grass, since they shear the grass rather than tear it (you’d think a sharp blade would cut rather than shear, but whatever), which means (for whatever reason) less browning due to burned grass tips.

5. They are environmentally friendly.  See #2 above.  Also #3.

6. They are convenient.  They are light and portable.  And I can just up and decide to mow my lawn without worrying about gas, oil, getting it to where it needs to be, etc.

7.  Related to #6, they are safe.  I can mow at any time without having to lock the kids in the house or boarding up the windows to save them from flying debris.  Due to their shearing action, reel mowers are effective at any speed.  The blades don’t need to be turning very fast to cut the grass.

8.  They are fun.  I don’t know if it’s nostalgia, or watching little bits of grass thrown into the air above the blade, or the soft sound of grass being sliced between the blades, or maybe it’s everything from #1-7 above, but I actually look forward to mowing my lawn with this thing.

To be fair, there are some negatives: they’re not practical for large lawns (unless you get one of them big riding reel mowers), they take more time because you have to rake (debatable—reel mowers are so convenient that one doesn’t spend much time fussing with the contraption before starting to actually mow), but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

The Eagle & Child: Sinking to New Blogging Lows since 2003

12 thoughts on “In praise of the reel mower.

  1. Mark

    I too have one. Although it seems to not cut as uniformly as a gas mower, I do smile everytime I think about the gas I am saving.

  2. Angie

    I have honestly contemplated getting one, once we have a lawn…..but I just don’t know if I could be bothered to rake the whole lawn every time. Even if we have a tiny little yard.

  3. Jobina

    ours actually has a little catch bag for all the clippings…no raking! I love the sound as I cut the grass, and the smell, no gas fumes.

  4. Marc

    Does it catch all the grass? Because on ours, the clipping just sort of gather behind the blades. Unless I’m pushing the mower while running.

  5. Jyl

    I would add one more reason to the list: You can mow the lawn at 7:00 in the morning (if you so desire) without waking up the entire neighbourhood.

  6. Jobina

    It catches most of it. Every once in a while (when it’s not moving) I sweep it out with my hands to clear the blades. I do go fairly fast though when I mow…burns more calories 🙂

  7. Al Long

    I don’t believe any Christian should be using a reel mower because God gave people the intelligence to invent gas engines. Plus, if your on the lazy side, it sounds good.
    Good to see yur still alive. Happened upon this site while i was googling Jesse Cook !?!
    Hope you’re still tryin to catch fish.

  8. Marc

    Hi Al! What a lovely surprise to see your name pop up here.

    Just went fishing with my two oldest kids yesterday for the first time in years.

    Maybe I’ll shoot you an email instead of replying here…

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