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Old 07-14-10, 04:33 PM   #21
NeilBlanchard
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Wyatt, can you post links to some/all of those reel mowers, please? They sound very well designed.

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Old 07-14-10, 05:48 PM   #22
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Cordless Powered Reel Mower (Old Model, Discounted) $350
Cordless Powered Reel Mower (New Model, Out of Stock) $400 with free grass catcher
13" Reel Mower (Refurbished) $120 (discontinued, newer model is $210)
Front throwing, non-grass crushing (before you cut it), up to 4" cutting height $250
You can search for "Scotts Classic 20" and find a 20" mower. Of course, you can search for any/all of the above online, maybe find a better deal, or maybe even find them locally. I really like the innovations on the Fiskar's mower, I don't think I would get any (enough) benefit out of a motor operated reel... but that's just me. I got the $20 reel mower on Craigslist, and figured if I hate it, I can sell it again for $20... If I love it with the exception of a few things (it throws fresh cut grass on my shoes), maybe look into getting a "better" one... or maybe I just make a grass catcher. For now, this one fits the bill quite nicely.
Also, I see that I posted two times before... not sure how that happened...

Ryland, how much gel do you get with the kit? Enough to sharpen a mower several times? You did two mowers right? Enough left over for several more times? I don't really need the handle since I will be using the drill, maybe some place sells just the gel... I can get cheap paint brushes anywhere, or use a rag...
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Old 07-15-10, 09:36 AM   #23
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Thanks Wyatt. I'm not sure how the Fiskers model avoids the knocked down grass? There are still wheels out in front, and the gray bar that runs across the "intake" side of the reel is still going to make tall grass lean over; making it hard to get cut. And it appears to be driven only by the right rear wheel?

I'd have to use it to see how it works. But it doesn't look like it is any better than a conventional push reel mower.
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Old 07-16-10, 01:35 AM   #24
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It isn't actually avoiding knocking down the grass, it is just not crushing it first with the large drive wheels. I too would have to see it to be sure on how it works, and I would have to sharpen up the one I have, and get it in top working order then compare them. My guess is that it would be superior in some aspects, but not in cost. My mower also has a bar out front, it is to keep you from running the spinning reel into trees and such. Yes it does knock over the tallest stuff, but I guess that's the price you pay.
Just a note, I haven't used reel mowers much (once on the front lawn), and I am not trying to push any of the mowers I listed, they each just had a bit of a different quality that I thought was worth listing. I just know enough to get me in trouble!
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Old 07-16-10, 10:23 AM   #25
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The sharpening kit I have came with around half a cup of grit gel, enough I would say to sharpen a mower almost 10 times.
From what I have read it sounds like it's 120 grit lapping compound gel so if you can find a source of it it should work, from looking around it would appear that a gallon or so of it is about $70.
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Old 07-23-10, 04:09 PM   #26
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I looked for the kits at Home Depot and Lowe's... neither had it and I only found one guy that knew what I was talking about. I stopped at O'Reilly Auto Parts on the way home and asked if they had valve lapping compound, they did, for $2.50. It looks like I need a snap ring pliers to get the gear off, but then I should be able to see how well it works. It came with both "coarse" and "fine"... not sure what grit they are, but I figured it was worth a shot. I will report back on how well it works.
Just adjusting the blades made a huge difference. The taller grass that was taking two to three passes is now cut on the first pass, and adjusting the blades took less than one minute.
My wife likes using it. We mowed some of the front lawn with it last night, and she was amazed at how well it worked. I was wrong before also, it's a 16" mower, not 18".
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Old 07-23-10, 08:53 PM   #27
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It is my understanding that these reel lawn mowers are self-sharpening.

And yes, adjusting the clearance is very important. The Scotts model I have takes some doing and a little trial and error, to adjust and tighten each side correctly. The Gilmore and the Husqvarna models have spring-loaded screws, so adjusting them is completely easy.
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Old 07-26-10, 01:45 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
It is my understanding that these reel lawn mowers are self-sharpening.

And yes, adjusting the clearance is very important. The Scotts model I have takes some doing and a little trial and error, to adjust and tighten each side correctly. The Gilmore and the Husqvarna models have spring-loaded screws, so adjusting them is completely easy.
I think you may be correct on the self sharpening aspect... My blade and reel were very rusty to begin with (lack of use, sitting outside), and after mowing the front lawn twice, and the whole yard once (a total of less than 1 acre), the blade is visibly rust free, and the reel looks much less rusty. I think I will still sharpen the mower, since there still appear to be sizable dings in the blade (perhaps from past encounters with rocks?). As a side note, the whole yard (1/2 acre) took me a little over 3 hours to mow... barefoot. I think the time could be cut down if it wasn't so hot out (100+ with heat index), and also faster if the grass wasn't so tall (one week is almost too much).
I built a grass catcher out of old campaign signs (the small ones), and I think with a bit more tweaking, it will work pretty well. I think it would work better if it were made out of something less slippery, and less rigid (canvas perhaps). It would be easier to stow, easier to maneuver, and the grass would have less of a tendency to slide forward when going down hill.
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Old 05-24-11, 06:08 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Oops, sorry for the delayed response. (Then again lawn mowing season is over, isn't it?)



I think 3 inches is probably at or just past the limit of the mower my parents have (Lee Valley Tools branded).

Aside from that, I can't speak for other brands. I'm not a reel mower aficionado, but I do wish sometime I could try different brands and see if there is a superior design out there...
There are a few out there these days, it seems the bigger the deck of the reel mower, the higher it will go. However, even the biggest (20 inches) only go up to 3 inches, except for the the Fiskars. Its the highest I've seen when I was doing my research, up to 4 inches which is a huge jump compared to the other models.

Last edited by FSB99; 05-24-11 at 06:10 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-26-11, 12:14 AM   #30
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The Fiskars 6201 looks pretty nice. Has anyone here used one??

Thanks,
Rich

Edit:

Never mind.

I went to HD and picked one up this afternoon. The reviews are right on. This thing is neato!
I mowed last week (gas), so there was just a medium amount of grass sticking up above the average height.

I set the Fiskars to remove about 1" off the top and mowed most of lawn. 90%
It was stop and go, (Hot day, need lots of water breaks) but the total
mow time added up to maybe one hour.
I think the workout was about equal to about 30 minutes on the bicycle at about 12-14 MPH.
Calories Count
About 358 calories burned.. (It actually felt more like 400 calories, but who's counting)..


Last edited by Xringer; 05-26-11 at 06:01 PM.. Reason: HD run
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