Our current house has a fairly small yard, and firing up our 6 hp, gas-powered, self-propelled mower every week was just feeling inappropriate and very non-green. So we thought we'd give the reel variety a try. And this evening, we did exactly that.
We're totally enamored with it! It didn't exactly produce a classic manicured cut, but we're not big fans of that look, anyway. It was lightwight and very easy to maneuver around. The whole lawn was finished in less than 30 minutes, and it felt great to be pushing a mower that wasn't gulping gasoline or belching smoke. A few observations:
- It took a much different "hold" than a gas-powered mower -- I had to be conscious not to push downward on the handle, or I'd raise the reels up in front too high to cut.
- Rather than taking the classic back-and-forth laps around the yard like I'd do with the old mower, the reel mower seemed to perform best with more vacuum-cleaner like motions -- it didn't leave tracks, so no weird patterns in the lawn from mowing that way.
- The mower came with a detachable fabric tray to catch clippings, but it seemed to handle much more easily when we took the tray off. The blades in the reel seem to shred the clippings pretty finely, anyway -- and even though the grass was pretty long, the mower didn't leave any discernable clumps of cut grass behind. So we have the added benefit of leaving those shredded clippings behind as good, natural nourishment for the lawn.