View Full Version : Reel lawn mowers (i.e. - no gas, electric)

05-23-2008, 11:52 AM
I would like to buy one of these to save gas $$$ now that gas has hit $4.20 a gallon here :scared1: :eek: Have you used one of these lately? I've heard that they are not as hard to push as in the past and they get you some exercise too :yay: Any info. good or bad would be appreciated! :flower3:

05-23-2008, 12:04 PM
I bought one a few years ago I'd say it did an OK job if the grass was already reasonably short but after a few days of rain not so much.

05-23-2008, 12:10 PM
Is it worth it to get one? I know there are differences in quality too.

05-23-2008, 12:17 PM
We use less than 4 gallons of gas per season for our mower.

Even at $5/gallon, that's only $20. I can't imagine the extra time and effort required to use a reel mower is worth saving $20.

05-23-2008, 12:24 PM
We bought one when our gas powered mower quit working. It does okay. It does not cut the weeds though. It does okay on regular grass, as long as you cut it regularly. We are buying a new gas powered mower this weekend. We have a lot of weeds, so the time my hubby spent weed-eating what the reel mower left behind is not worth it.

05-23-2008, 12:44 PM
I have one. It works great IF the grass is still fairly short; however, if you wait until it's high, you'll have no chance with a reel mower.

05-23-2008, 12:54 PM
I've got one....this our second season with it. We also have a very small lawn. I'd say it does an okay job....the cut isn't as clean as with a gas powered mulching mower. My husband was complaining about it last week. We decided to tough it out this year with it and probably get a gas powered one next year.

05-23-2008, 12:58 PM
We have one but rarely use it because like others say, it doesn't cut weeds well at all. You don't realize till you start cutting wiht one of those how many weeds you have in your yard. :scared1: I like it because I stink at starting the mower, and I feel relatively safe pushing it around while I listen out for the kids playing in the front yard or whatever. Mostly, we use the regular mower.

05-23-2008, 01:02 PM
We have an acre, so we use a riding mower and a puch for trim. We don't use that much gas for our size lawn, I can't imagine it saving enough to make the labor of the reel mower worth it.

05-23-2008, 01:08 PM
We borrowed one once and it did OK on the grass. However, we can't own one because we have a lot of trees that drop pine cones, sweet gum balls and sticks in the yard and every time the mower picked up one of these, it jammed the blades and I had to go and pick the obstacle out of the blades. If you only have grass, I think it would do OK, but if you have a lot of trees or other debris to contend with, you need something heavier duty.

05-23-2008, 01:38 PM
We got one when we moved into our home about 3 years ago. DH was very enthusiastic about it. We did two passes of the yard and returned the damn thing. It did an awful job of cutting the grass, even brand new. We got an electric one (Black & Decker) since we only have grass in our front yard and I LOVE it.
I wouldn't waste my time with the reel lawn mover - they are not very effective at all.

05-23-2008, 01:49 PM
We went with the elec. Black & Decker, too. LOVE it. And it mulches.


05-23-2008, 08:07 PM
We have one that is over 50 years old!!! It belonged to DH's grandfather. It is old and rusty, but he remembers his papaw using it so it is hanging in our basement..:goodvibes

05-23-2008, 08:27 PM
I wish I'd thought to ask this question before I bought mine last summer. We have a pretty small yard, so I figured this was a good solution. It's not the cost of gas that concerned me as much as the actual act of having to fill up a can and then fill the mower. PLUS the reel mower cost about $100 as opposed to over $300 for gas or electric.

Unfortunately it really hasn't worked very well. I usually need to take two passes over the lawn for it to cut even most of the grass. As others have said, it doesn't work on weeds, so I've recently bought an electric trimmer and I have to use that on the weeds, or you could cut them with garden shears. But my biggest complaint about it is that it gets stuck VERY easily. I mean even the tiniest twig will cause it to stop moving and you'll have to stop, and un-stick it. It sometimes even happens once every few feet. If you have a small yard, it won't be too much effort or energy to use, but I don't think the end result looks very good.

The bottom line is that I'm probably going to end up having to spend that $300 plus, and I'm out the money I spent on the reel mower originally. I would go with a cordless electric mower next time.


05-23-2008, 08:44 PM
Bought mine for $10 at an antique fair (Brimfield) while trying to decide what kind of mower would be the most green/cost effective. Never got another one. It cuts fine - takes alittle while but I like the exercise. If we let the grass get to tall, it will take more than one go...but we love it. Not using gas or electricity - just getting some exercise and it only cost $10!.

05-23-2008, 08:52 PM
I gave ours away on freecycle

I found you had to cut the grass pretty frequently. You also couldn't mow backwards.. that may not make sense, but I often pull the mower behind me.. and that didn't work.

also, any tiny twig will mess it up. We have a lot of trees.

It worked well, for when our mower was on the fritz.. but, I'm decluttering, and it had to go. Sorry Earth.

05-23-2008, 11:08 PM
We have a reel lawn mower and love it. We have a pretty good size yard and it works well. But we don't have many weeds. We also use it every weekend so the grass does not get very tall. My husband was in the lawn care business for several years, and tells everyone that those are the best mowers for your lawn. Because he knows so much about grass we have always had nice yards. We recently moved into a new house, so we are trying to get this lawn in good shape. But I do use the reel mower when he is gone. (He works in the oilfield now, so is gone quite a bit.) I don't really know much about any of it. I just put out the preemergent and fertilizer when he tells me, too.

I, personally, like to use it because I hate having rocks and things shot back at me. And we have 2 small children who are usually outside with me/us when we are doing yard work, so I feel safer with a reel mower.

05-23-2008, 11:44 PM
I suggest since you're in the KZoo area you hop on 131 and head south. When you get to 120 in Indiana go east to 5 then south to Shipshewana. It's an Amish town so I'm sure you can find a reel mower that does a good job at one of the businesses there. Possibly Middlebury on 13 would have a dealer too.