Hey, I like my manual push-reel lawnmower

I moved into my new house this week, and today was the day to Mow The Grass. I haven’t Mowed The Grass since I was ten, when my dad made me do it twice and then decided it wasn’t worth the grief that it caused either of us.

I remembered the unpleasant noise, vibration, and smell of the lawnmower, and I was also afraid to handle gasoline. I don’t really want to pay someone to mow my lawn every week… and no way am I going to fuss around with an electric cable around rotating blades. So my one choice? A manual push-reel mower.

I bought a Craftsman push-reel at Sears. It was easy to put together–just had to bolt the handle on–and it was cheap. It works well, too. Reviews on the website sometimes complain that the blades don’t cut tough weeds, but they did just fine with my dandelions and lamb’s ear. It was easy to push, except for the uphill parts of the lawn. It’s completely quiet and very lightweight. In short, I think it’s a keeper.

Of course, my house is a ranch-style sitting on one-fifth of an acre. I dunno how much fun it would be on a bigger lot.

If it gets to be too much, they do make cordless electrics.
I loved to mow when I was a kid. I still do it now and then, but Hubby thinks it makes him look bad to the neighbors, so he usually beats me to it.

Your push mower is more dependent on having very sharp blades than a power type. After a few cutting, it might start binding up because the grass gets pulled instead of cut.

Also don’t let your grass get long – push mowers work best at trimming.

Congrats on making a good environmental choice!

You know, a couple of years ago when I had just moved into a rental where I was expected to take care of the lawn I sort of looked at the battery-powered mowers. Eventually I decided to pay for a mowing service every two weeks (a big lawn, but still a rental, so every two weeks was okay). This time around I went looking for those battery powered mowers again and just couldn’t find them. The ones I had seen had disappeared, and there was only one super-expensive model available (like, $500) from a make that I didn’t recognize.

I hope the blades don’t get dull too fast.

I hate hate hate gas mowers. I love love people who use the manual ones. If I were there, I’d hug you.

I have a reel mower. Now all I need is a lawn that doesn’t laugh at it.

When I lived in NJ I had a gas mower, which I hated, but the yard was too big for a push one. When I moved to the Bay Area with our tiny lawns, I got one, and I’m glad I did. If it takes a bit longer to mow, I save it in starting time, gassing time, time to go get gas, and the lack of anything that can go wrong. Better exercise, and I can feel virtuous. I get the blades sharpened every year or so (we mow year round here) but never a problem with binding. It’s a pain when we’re away and I miss a week, but most times it is easy. Congrats on your choice.

My Dad’s got a little tractor mower with a 4-speed manual gearbox and headlights! Mind you, my parents live on 2.5 acres and are in their 60’s now, so I cut him a little slack. Plus, it’s a great tool for entertaining the grandkids at family barbecues - tractor rides around the HUGE back yard!!!

Great choice! One place that I lived in Indiana had a postage stamp sizes lawn that I used a reel mower for…it worked really well. As Sattua said, keep the blades sharp…dull blades will wear you out in a hurry.

I bought one for our yard which is like 10’x20’. I like the idea, but can’t stand the one I got. For some stupid reason the wheels that adjust the height have one bolt on each side, but they are in the middle of the adjuster arm. Every time I went to mow the arm would move and the blades would hit the ground. I ended up having to put another bolt through the thing to get it to work right. I think I just got the cheapest thing made.

Great purchase. I secone (third?) the suggestion that you not let the grass get too long between cutting. If you do, however, just go over it a 2d time at 90 degree angle.

Find someone nearby who will sharpen it. You can do it yourself, but it is not easy to do right. Once you find someone nearby who will do it, just get in the habit of taking it in to be sharpened every November - after you will need to cut the grass, but not in the spring when EVERYBODY wants their mowers serviced.

I moved from apartment life to a house with two yards a year ago and went to Lowe’s and bought a walk0behind push mower. Un boxed it and remembered that I have hay fever, brought on 30 years ago when cutting my parents’ yard, so I reboxed it an returned it. I now hire a landscape service to cut it every two weeks at $45 per trip. My contractor got stabbed 25 times (has *ss was grass and someone was the lawnmower) so I had to change contractors, at the same price. I hope to be at work when it gets cut.

Mr. Neville and I are going to be looking for a mower soon, once we get moved into our house. I have made it quite clear that I don’t like gas mowers. They’re terrible for the environment, cans of gasoline are a dangerous thing to have around the house, especially if you have children (which we want to someday), I hate the noise and the smell of them, and we’ve only got a small patch of grassy yard.

He’ll have to do the mowing, though (I’m allergic to lawn grass), so he will have the final say. We were talking to his cousin in SoCal a couple of weeks ago, though, and he gave us some pretty good ideas on alternatives to gas mowers.

Good for you! I always liked them for the exercise as well as a better-looking lawn than the rotrary power ones give.

I alos enjoyed Scott’s motto for theirs, “Smell the grass, not the gas.”

We always had a gas mower growing up. When we bought our house, Rhiannon8404’s parents gave us an electric mower that I believe had originally belonged to her grandfather. It lasted another 5 years or so, then we bought another (corded) electric. The cordless ones were just becoming mainstream at the time and they were too expensive. I think when this one finally dies we might go back to a goo old-fashioned push mower. I’m certainly not the greenest person around, but I figure every little bit helps, especially when you can get a bit of exercise in the bargain.

We bought our reel mower( <—link to that thread) back in March, and we love it. It is quiet, easy to use, and just all around nifty! We’ve been very happy with it.

i don’t have a lawn anymore, but i have kept my push-reel mower for the day when i do have a lawn again. these things are awesome, as long as you don’t let them get dull. and as long as your yard isn’t too lumpy. but mostly just awesome.

Another vote for the joys of the reel mower. Our lawn is very small, and much of it is covered with ivy, so I’ve got maybe a couple hundred square feet of grass to cut. Having to deal with a heavy, noisy, smelly, smoggy lawn mower for that is kind of nuts. I have the Craftsman model, like the OP. It works like a charm. It does struggle a bit with dandelions, though. So I wind up plucking about 1/2 of the dandelions when they pop back up after the mower goes over them. No big deal. And I love the little snick-snick-snick sound it makes.

I’d love to get one, always liked the idea. But with over a third of an acre of grass to mow, it’s just not practical. Especially because, as noted above, they’re much better at trimming than cutting thick grass. That means I’d have to mow multiple times per week, and there’s just no way I can make time for that kind of unpleasantness. Most times of the year, the grass gets tall enough to choke my 7 HP gas mower after only a week…I shudder to think what a reel mower would do when faced with that jungle.

They still make reel mowers? Neat!

I’ll have to get one, since I can’t stand the noise a gas mower makes. I wonder if I could convince my neighbors to get one too, so I don’t get woken up at 4am by the sound of a mower.