Clean Mowing: Reel Mower Roundup by

Issue 21 · On the Lawn · May 24, 2012

Clean Mowing: Reel Mower Roundup

Issue 21 · On the Lawn · May 24, 2012

Easier on the budget, the environment, and the health of your grass, the new breed of reel mowers is worth serious consideration.

Reel mowers come without gas, emissions, and noise. What they offer is low maintenance, a healthy physical workout, and a superior cut (your grass will look tidier and enjoy better health) over gas or electric mowers' rotary blades, which tear rather than cut the grass. While the core design of the traditional reel mower has remained the same, enhancements have been made to eliminate some of the frustrating drawbacks that, as kids, caused us to moan every time we were asked to mow the lawn. Improvements to blades keep them sharper longer, and features have been added to increase stability, maneuverability, and smoothness. These newer models may just change the way you think about mowing the lawn.

Above: Features to consider when shopping for a reel mower include the cutting width, weight, blade height adjustment, and availability of a grass catcher (keep in mind that there are benefits to letting the grass clippings mulch back into the soil, acting as a natural fertilizer).

Above: Leave it to a scissors company to reinvent the lawn mower. Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower offers a cutting system that cuts grass without the blades touching, greatly reducing blade wear. Long-lasting performance is maintained without the cost and inconvenience of annual blade sharpening; $199 at Amazon.

Above: The German-made Brill Razorcut 38 Push Reel Mower weighs in at an easy-to-handle 17 pounds; $169.99 at Clean Air Gardening

Above: The heavy-duty Mascot Silent Cut 21 Deluxe Reel Mower weighs 50 pounds, which makes it heavier than other reel mowers. However, many reviewers prefer a heavier mower that allows you to push through grass and over weeds and bumps; $279 at Lehman's.

Above: The highly rated NaturCut HD Classic Reel Lawn Mower is $219.99 at Hayneedle.

Above: For the traditionalist, the Scott 20-Inch Classic Reel Mower has snuck in a few improvements over the years (like a second set of small wheels for stability) to keep it on the best-seller list; $119.99 at Amazon.

Above: The Hudson Star Classic Reel Mower is the Jaguar of the reel mower category. Designed and used for putting greens, it offers a lower cutting height than other reel mowers and has professionally coated parts and sealed bearings and drives for long life; $1,499.99 at Hayneedle.



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