Friday, June 21, 2013

Go Green: Reel Mowing

My new baby

Lately we've been trying to be greener. Recycling more, turning out lights, turning up our thermostat, etc. I'm wanting to teach M about conservation and protecting our planet. So, when our lawn guy retired, and we were looking for a new mower, I turned to a greener option. I thought about an electric mower, but that's still using energy. So, after researching like crazy, we decided to go with a reel mower.

It came in yesterday, and I had B set it up as soon as we got home with it, and of course had to try it out right away. Pro tip, don't mow with a reel mower in the heat of the day. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. So far, I'm in love with it. It's definitely more work than a regular push mower, but it's a good choice for us. I wanted to share some pros and cons in case someone else was considering a reel mower. You know, since I'm an expert after owning it a whole day.

Pros:

  1. It's so much better for the environment. No engine, no exhaust. 
  2. It's better for you! I definitely didn't need to hit the gym because mowing with a reel mower is a workout all on its own.
  3. It's healthier for your grass. A regular mower with a motor chops your grass while a reel mower slices it more like a pair of scissors, which results in a healthier cut. 
  4. It's extremely lightweight. I can pick it up with one hand without difficulty. 
  5. It's much quieter. I was up at 7 this morning to finish up and didn't wake M when I went by her windows.
  6. It's insanely easy to put it together. B had it together in less than 10 minutes. Maybe even closer to 5. 
  7. It's cheaper! Not only does it cost less than a engine powered mower, it doesn't use gas or oil. Nothing but man power. 
Cons:
  1. You have to have the right kind of lawn. We're very lucky in the fact that our landlords have nurtured our lawn and it's lush and green, but if you've got a weedy lawn, it can be hard to cut. It's also hard to cut a bumpy or large lawn. We have a couple dips in our yard that the mower wouldn't cut completely, so we had to bump it with the weed eater. We also have a somewhat large yard, but not huge. It would be a lot of work if you had a huge yard. 
  2. It misses some of the grass. The way the blades turn causes it to miss pieces of grass here and there, so it's important to go over it again in a different direction, or hit the missed spots with your weed eater. 
  3. Sticks stick. You've got to make sure you pick up all of the sticks in your yard, otherwise they can get stuck in between the blades. 
  4. You've got to stick to a schedule. We hadn't mowed for about two weeks, and our grass is pretty thick, so it was a bit harder to mow. Our plan is to mow once a week, unless we get a lot of rain, then we'll have to mow more. 
  5. You might have to know how to sharpen blades. Obviously the blades have to be sharpened, and since reel mowers aren't as popular as they used to be, not many mower shops specialize in reel mowers.
  6. People will stare. We live on a busy highway, and everyone that drove by looked at us like we had two heads. I really don't understand what's so strange about it. 
  7. Some come with clipping bags, but I'm not sure they're worth it. Ours came with a bag, we had it on for three passes in our backyard, and it was full. It was kind of a hassle to keep taking it off and cleaning it out, so we just left it off. I'm sure if our grass had been shorter, it wouldn't have filled as quickly. It's really just a personal preference if you want to use one or not. 
Overall, the pros outweigh the cons in my opinion. If we had a larger yard, I might rethink it, but it works for us at this house. If you're looking for a new mower, I'd definitely suggest considering a reel mower.

Have you ever mowed with a reel mower before? How are you trying to be more green in your home?


6 comments:

Melissa {Persnickety Plates} said...

My parents have one of these & I thought it was the best thing ever when I was little. I loved using it :)

Now, my across the street neighbor has one and uses it DAILY. Shirtless (he's old & portly). It cracks me up.

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