The Reel Story Behind Eco-Friendly Lawnmowers

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reel-lawn-mower.gifIf you’re looking for a more enjoyable lawn-mowing experience, look no further than today’s manual push reel mowers. They’re lightweight, quiet, non-polluting, and better for your grass as they cut like scissors and don’t tear it like rotary power mowers.

Two misconceptions regarding reel mowers are:

  • They are hard to push. Today’s reel mowers are easier to push than many power mowers.
  • Lawns must be mowed to a height of no less than 3″. That recommendation is only for rotary power mowers in order to compensate for the repeated disturbance to the lawn, as well as to avoid browning and scalping injury. With reel mowers, you may always cut to the lowest recommended height.

Here are some reel mowing tips:

  • Walk at a quick, steady pace to keep the blades turning fast and you’ll get the best results.
  • Overlap your rows a little bit with each pass.
  • Experiment to see which direction of mowing works best for your lawn.
  • Mow your lawn weekly to avoid it getting too tall which makes a reel mower harder to push.

Here are some things to keep in mind with reel mowers:

  • They are designed to mow grass, not weeds. They tend to roll over dandelions and other weeds that are more than 6″ tall.
  • It takes a little bit longer to mow with a reel mower, but that just allows you more time to enjoy nature. (If it takes 45 minutes with a power mower, then it’ll take 60-70 minutes with a reel mower).
  • They’re ideal for lawns that are less than a 1/2 acre in size. If you have to buy a gas powered mower for a huge lawn, look for one that is CARB certified for lower emissions (Honda and Lawnboy offer these types).


Tag(s): Going Green, Greenhouse Gas Emissions / Global Warming, The Great Green Outdoors


6 Responses to “The Reel Story Behind Eco-Friendly Lawnmowers”

  1. GreenPlanetz on April 25th, 2008 7:30 pm

    I once used a similar mower like this except it was a much older version. When I was in my early teens, my grandmother had one and I always used it to mow her lawn. Even though the earlier versions of this concept didn’t work as well as the newer ones, I never had a problem with it and actually preferred it over a gas mower. I’m happy to see people willing to get out and exert themselves while maintaining the lawn and preserving the environment.

  2. Blake on April 29th, 2008 1:53 pm

    I never thought I’d see the day when these things started becoming more mainstream, but with the rising energy costs and the green movement, that is a very real possibility. I’d like to try one out, but at about 2 acres, I’d be out there all day mowing our lawn!

  3. Kelly Crouch on April 30th, 2008 10:43 am

    Do you know the best type of mower for the money?

  4. joyceb on May 1st, 2008 7:46 am

    I know a few people who have purchased reasonably priced reel mowers over the past year or so, and they’ve all said that they actually enjoyed mowing the lawn! Just keep in mind that reel mowers are designed to mow grass, not weeds, as they will ride over (and not cut) weeds like dandelions.

  5. Laurie on May 14th, 2008 12:10 pm

    Is there anybody out there in St. Louis Missouri that has a reel mower? How does it work for you? What type do you have?

  6. joyceb on May 15th, 2008 1:03 pm

    Your local Lowe’s store has them for $89.99 and $129.99. Several people with them have told me how much they like them. They work very well on grass, but not so great on tall weeds.

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