Keeping it Reel

We got a reel mower a few weeks ago.  It looks something like this:

We just picked the one from Lowes that had the best reviews for the lowest price.  We have a gas-powered one, but I can’t start it.  That resulted in a ridiculous exchange where my husband would have to start it for me (setting the feminist movement waaaay back), then keep it on until I could run outside and take over.  Before that, however, inevitably we would realize the mower needed more gas (it won’t start unless it is absolutely full).  Then we’d remember for the fiftieth time that we don’t own a gas can.  So we’d call our neighbors and borrow theirs.  Most of the time our mower would work then, but sometimes we’d still end up needing to borrowing our neighbors’ mower.  It all felt a little ridiculous.

And remember how I like to have everything I need, on hand?  I kept feeling annoyed at all the running around that was required to mow our tiny little yard.  So instead of having the hubs buy a gas can and fill it up a few weeks ago, I asked him to stop by Lowes and just buy a mower for about $75 more than the cost of the gas can.  Now we can mow without all the complications.

Here’s what I like about it:

  • I came in from mowing and didn’t smell like gas and exhaust.
  • I could mow with the baby in the Bjorn, since nothing comes shooting out of a reel mower.
  • The kids could be in the yard with me while I was mowing.
  • If I need to mow during naptime, I would hear the kids in the monitor above the sound of the mower.
  • It feels like good exercise, since I’m doing all the work to push it.

Here’s what I don’t like:

  • We have a lot of tough weeds in our yard and the reel mower doesn’t cut those very well.  A lot of spots required that I go back and forth, and there were still stragglers that I never got.  The parts of the yard that were mostly clover or better grass cut pretty easily.
  • The wheels on either side of the blades mean that I can’t get close to the fence when I mow.  That means more weed-eating is required.
  • We’ll have to mow more frequently.  Neither of us like yard work, so this requires discipline.

The reel mower doesn’t give a pristine cut to our yard, but I figured that I only notice a person’s yard if it is exceptionally nice or exceptionally terrible.  As long as I stay out of the “exceptionally terrible” category, I’m fine.

Time will tell if this works for us.  If it doesn’t work, we’ll sell it on Craigslist and go back to the gas-powered mower.

Anyone else have experience with a reel mower?  Or maybe there’s someone out there who has a real hankering to do some yard work and wants to come over sometime.  Any old time.  You are welcome.

5 thoughts on “Keeping it Reel

  1. We had one at the last house we rented, which had a tiny yard and it did a good enough job. We just sold it in our garage sale a few weeks ago though, because our yard now is much larger and it just didn’t do a good enough job. My pros and cons were the same as yours! I did like using it because I felt accomplished and like I was helping my husband out. (I never use the gas mower, and I don’t think he’d want me to.)

  2. Wow, I am really impressed! I don’t do the mowing at our house, but I can wield a weed-wacker like no other. If left up to me, I would weed-wack the whole yard because our gas mower is also hard to start (and I’m slightly afraid I will lose a foot).

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