Reel Mower Comparison :: Reel Mowers America

By: Reel Mowers America  09-12-2011
Keywords: Mowers, Reel Mowers

We carry sophisticated reel mowers that are a pleasure to use, last for years without any maintenance and are easy to push and maneuver. The

are our flagship mowers, as we feel the manufacturer took care in ensuring a reel mower that set a new reference for other mowers to be measured to. They are designed to cut most North American lawns and address many small details that have bothered consumers about other reel mowers. We also feature the

that started the non-contact evolution of reel mowers. We will be adding a few other mowers over the next year or so to provide mowers that fill a specialty niche requirements of Canadian lawn owners.

Touch versus touch-less mowers.

Many of us remember what reel mowers used to be like- a real chore to push. These older style mowers use steel that is relatively soft and require frequent sharpening. Lawn mower shops love to carry these mowers because they provide a steady income from constant sharpening and adjusting. Parts are readily available (and, unfortunately required). Granted, people can claim to have a mower that is ancient and still working but the reality is that their mower is essentially an expensive, constantly rebuilt mower. Newer non-contact or minimal-contact mowers such as the NaturCut and

have hard blades that have a very small gap between the cylinder blades and the stationary blade. This gap allows the mowers to be pushed with relative easy and allows for a long blade life due to less abrasion.

Flame hardened steel.

The

have blades that are tempered completely through. The

are tempered on the edge and partly through. The American lawnmower family of mowers, manufactured under a wide variety of brand names use a softer steel that requires frequent sharpening. The NaturCut mowers, when adjusted to the best non-contact setting (or the recently approved minimal-contact settings for cutting dandelions) will retain a cutting edge for 8- 10 years for a normal North American lawn. Brill mowers used to claim a similar cutting life but recently, in the United States, the distributor introduced a 'sharpening kit' that can be installed on the mower to keep the edge honed. This is a new wrinkle and we are waiting to see how it works out- our initial impression is that it is unnecessary.

Build quality.

The

and the

enjoy enviable reputations for build quality. We experience very few complaints on either brand. What few complaints there are often relate to the handles 'popping' off when owners are trying to hold their Brill mowers to a true path on a slope. The twisting forces required to maintain a straight track can cause the handle, which is held on with a clever 'keyed' mechanism, to become disengaged from the mower body. The NaturCut mowers have handles that are held on with tried-and-true washers and pins so they won't accidentally come off.

Wheel size and handle arc.

The

have 10 inch wheels to transfer more power to the reel than the Brill 8 inch wheels. Both the NaturCut and Brill mowers have handles that allow for a usable arc that accommodate users of almost any height.

Weight.

A gas mower can easily weigh in at 80- 100 pounds. Some reel mowers like the Scotts Classic and the Fiskars Momentum are over 30 and 40 pounds. That is a lot of weight to maneuver on today's lawns that often need a complicated cutting pattern to cut around flower beds etc. Remember that if you get 40 pounds moving forward you still have to stop it and get it going again to cut most lawns. This can be quite fatiguing. The

and Brill mowers are a much more manageable weight at around 20 pounds- heavy enough to do the job but light enough to push easily and maneuver with little effort.

Catchers and mulching.

Chemical fertilizers are a relatively new development in lawn care. When our fathers and grandfathers fertilized with composted manure lawns grew at a more modest rate and the shorter clippings were a welcome addition to the lawn nutrients. However, modern fertilizers promote quite vigorous growth that produces enough clippings that most lawns can't keep up with turning our clippings into mulch that decomposes into helpful compost. Instead we wind up choking our lawns with clippings that don't get a chance to decompose simply because they are added at such a prodigious rate. Witness how often modern lawns need to be 'de-thatched' and you know we are right. Even power mowers that claim to mulch by pulverizing the clippings simply add layer upon layer of grass dust to the lawn that eventually needs deep cleaning. Consequently, we recommend using a grass catcher to collect clippings during periods of vigorous growth and that the clippings then be composted separately and added back as finished compost.

Keywords: Mowers, Reel Mowers

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