Reel Mower Buyer’s Guide

Reel mowers are a move backwards for most folks but people who understand the importance of saving resources, lowering noise pollution will love these traditional lawn mowing machines. They are like scissors on steroids. With many blades spinning in tandem, they slice and dice through grass and weed with ease. The only place where you will face problems with a reel mower is when you come across branches and twigs.

One – Number of Blades

Usually reel mowers use a configuration of 4 to 7 blades at once. It all depends on what kind of weed or grass you will be dealing with. For St. Augustine or Bermuda grass, or in other words heavy grass, opt for a 7 blade mower. On the other hand, with Kentucky or Fescue, or in other words thinner grass, a conventional 5 blade mower is just perfect.

reel mower buying guide

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Two – Width Of The Head

The cutting width usually varies between 14 and 20 inches for a reel mower. A mower with a wider mouth will mow faster but are harder to push or pull. A 20 inch mower in comparison with a 14 inch mower decreases mowing time by 30 percent. Thankfully, a well built 20 inch mower weighs no more than 50 pounds.

Understanding Why Bigger Does Not Necessarily Mean Better With Reel Mowers

As mentioned beforehand, wider mowers usually reduce mowing time but is it better? Let’s first look at what it means to mow with a 16 inch vs a 20 inch mower. In the former, you mow through 16 inch of grass while in the later you complete 20 inch area in a single pass. However, the proportionate increase in effort is what makes a lot of difference. While you can push a 16 inch mower quicker around your yard, a wider mouthed mower can take much longer to complete the same area if its difficult to push it around.

Ultimately, it depends on what you can handle with ease. If you are a big and bulky person then a large reel mower will not matter but for folks with a smaller build, try to keep the weight down as you may have to pick it up and move around, especially when transporting the mower from the garage to the yard. After all, you are the motor for the reel mower. If you can’t push the mower, there is no use getting it.

Three – Cut Height

It all depends on what you are cutting. Different kinds of grass require different cutting height. You must keep in mind to not remove more than 1/3rd of the grass when mowing the lawn. Anything less than that, and you will damage the top soil. Hence, choose the height of the reel mower based on when you prefer mowing the lawn. For Tall fescue, St. Augustine, Perennial Ryegrass, Bluegrass, Fine Fescue and Buffalo grass, choose a reel mower that can operate between 2 and 3 inch. For Zoysia, Centipede and Bermuda grass a mower with only 1.5 to 2.25 inches mowing height is fine.

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