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Old 07-30-13, 07:24 PM   #1
101Volts
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Default Manual Reel Mowers

I'm rather surprised I didn't see a thread about this type of mower here.



I got one for $5 recently and after a few adjustments and oiling it, It runs pretty well. I might sharpen it yet, Though.

I was using it on the day I posted this, And I think it's a great way to mow grass if you have a small yard and keep up with it. You can get exercise while doing it, It doesn't stink up the planet, It's quieter than gas mowers, It's a low-maintenance machine and it's also safer as far as kids are concerned (Though supervising is still recommended.) You can still get cut on it but if you see one in a yard sale, Why not buy it?

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Old 07-31-13, 07:31 AM   #2
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My cousin bought a new one a couple years back when he bought his house. He really likes it. It apparently does self adjusting/sharpening which I think is pretty cool. How would you manually sharpen those blades?
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Old 07-31-13, 08:00 AM   #3
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I'm by no means an expert on reel mowers but you very rarely need to sharpen the reel. Usually the only time is if you run over a lot of pebbles, sticks, or hop curbs or pavers.

Most times people misdiagnose dull reels when all that it needed is the spacing adjusted.

If you do need to sharpen the reel it is pretty darn easy with a backlapping kit. Basically you take one wheel off and attach a hand crank in the kit, then paint on the lapping compound, finally crank the reel to "sharpen" the blade. All this does is grind a new edge on the reel. When a good edge is on the reel and the spacing is set right the mower should happily mow for a very very long time.
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Old 07-31-13, 08:16 AM   #4
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The blades should not touch, so when they are clean and dry they should glide past each other with about a 1/10,000" between them or less, so if they get rusty they start to bind up and it gets harder to push.
the lapping compound is easy and it makes sure the gap is even on all of the blades all the way across, I skip the crank and just use a cordless drill with a rubber band on the trigger to run it backwards.

Fiskers sells some really nice new reel mowers, if I was planing to buy one new I'd get one of theirs, they can handle taller grass and they use really good steel in their blades so they stay sharp longer.
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Old 07-31-13, 11:25 AM   #5
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Gang,

I grew up in the "Nawth" and spend plenty of time pushing a reel type mower. It does a superb cut, and when adjusted correctly, just breezes through the grass.

But . . . .

They simply do NOT work in the tougher southern grasses such as bermudagrass. I brought one down here some 25+ years ago and though I would die pushing it through the warm season grass we have in the south. St. Augustine grass (deep south) will be even worse.

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Old 07-31-13, 08:17 PM   #6
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We have at least one thread on reel mowers, I'm sure. Here's the best reel mower that I have used, and I have used at least 6 different units.

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/tools/...ush-mower.html

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/lawn-g...-mowing-5.html
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Old 08-04-13, 06:38 PM   #7
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I didn't think southern grass could be so thick, Wow.

Also, I don't have a picture but while I was at the Hazen, PA Flea Market today I saw a tricycle that had a reel mower attached in place of the front wheel and it was for rent.
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Old 08-05-13, 08:53 PM   #8
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I grew up pushing a metal wheel mower just like in the first post.

About 1955 pop got a new sears push mower with rubber wheels, that was a lot better.

Got a one lung smog producer circa 1959, used. Think pop paid $20 used then, they were pretty pricey compared to pay scales. (note: bought a running 1953 chevy in 1961 I drove to school for $20 to illustrate relative prices.)

Man, was a power mower nice - never will catch me pushing a push mower - in fact, much prefer the one ya ride around on!

For those small corners, do prefer small electric mower vs gas though, but the big ford 4500 for serious grass.


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