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Old 05-16-2010, 06:19 PM
 
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do they work? i've always used a motorized one, be it gas or electric, any tips on making the push type work?
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
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For small lawns and short grass. That is what we used way back when. Long before power mowers were common. Good way to burn a few cals too. Blades a little harder to sharpen.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:42 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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The newer ones have a self-sharpening setting. My yard is small (lot is 50 x 150) and is chopped up with flower gardens, trees, tables, a patio (old garage floor), vegetable garden, etc. so isn't really set up for a power mower. I use a reel mower.
The trick is not to let the grass get too high. A reel mower will take it down but you have to go over it several times.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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I am not familar with self sharpening reel mowers. Maybe if you keep it spotlessly clean that function might work, just maybe... Once I did sharpen reel mowers and the machine that does it is complex. If I were interested in such a machine as a push reel mower the first thing I would do is find a competent shop, which has to be as rare as hens teeth these days.

A small deck 3 hp Briggs and Straton can do anything a push reel can do, and as well.

I have no idea if you can buy a engine powered reel mower today, but you could once. I still wouldn't with out a reel mower sharpening service close by.

The one thing about reel mowers is they really do cut the grass, and not beat the grass into submition. Reel mowers are all about proper care. The first time you allow one to hit the wriong things, or let it get dirty, it is a hunk of junk and a misery for for a slave.
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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so far,

1) don't let the grass grow too tall
2) keep the blades clean
3) don't damage the blades

make sense, thanks a bunch! keep them coming...
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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Still there huh? The next thing is learn how to adjust the shear. That is where the reel meets and clips off grass. The fit is critical, not to tight not too loose, and even across the reel. To tight and the reel binds. Too loose and the reel won't cut, if it is uneven then one side could be too tight and the other too loose. This needs to be accurate with in about 0.005 inch.

A bit of grease before and after use on the drive and driven gears. I assume the wheels have the driving gear and the reel has the driven gear. If you have a time if year like fall/ winter, store the mower clean and wax the blades, so they can't rust and the same for the shear.

There is a good rattle can mist for this, but off the top of my head I forget what it is called. When it comes to me, I will report back. This is a machinshop sealer leaving a waxey coat. It is great for cast iron saw tables and drill presses in a humid envrio, WHEN these tools might be stored longer term. It will dry and not attract dirt.

In the older reels were fine bearings which needed greasing too. Sometimes the drive gear wheel needed to be dismounted for cleaning and lube. There is no set time since it depends on use. You must have a fairly refined lawn.

Is there any link to see this mower in any detail? I am curious about the self sharpening feature. Assuming a grinder isn't mounted on a lath rail, actting in the place of a shear, I can't even guess how this feat is pulled off.

My best guess is there is a lath rail and a diamond file can be set to follow the reel, and at the correct angle.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:16 PM
 
Location: NW Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brassbin View Post
do they work? i've always used a motorized one, be it gas or electric, any tips on making the push type work?
I have one, but bought an electric power mower several years ago and don't use the push mower anymore. I have a lot of old trees, and they are constantly shedding little pieces of bark and small sticks. With the push mower, if you hit even a very small stick or other piece of debris, it makes the mower stop suddenly, causing you to jam the handle right into your midsection! Ouch! Especially if you're moving along at a good clip (ha - no pun intended!).

If you don't have a bunch of trees, a push mower is great. I love that it is quiet and does not use any energy except my own physical power! I miss using it.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brassbin View Post
do they work? i've always used a motorized one, be it gas or electric, any tips on making the push type work?
Nut-busters. Had one when I was a kid--would never get one of these if I had to mow grass now. Luckily, I live in an apartment, and someone else does the grass.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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Trying to mow when the grass is wet is more problematic with a reel mower than it is with a motorized mower. The wet grass will stick to the blades and keep them from cutting. So you have to be more methodical about your lawn care schedule.

And the problem of the abrupt stops from sticks and things can be exacerbated by the operator's height. I have no problems now but when I was a kid and still growing, my family's mower really got me hard in the chest a few times. Trees or no, its good to take a turn around the yard before you start and pick up any debris that might interfere with the blade rotations.

I really love the sound they make.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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i just got one from Lowe's for $99, doubt it has the self-sharpening feature, but it does have height adjusting, guess i have to experiment a bit before settling on a height, also i gather it should only mow over grass, anything else would either damage the blades or at least render it unoperable, got'ya, thanks also for the tip on doing it while the grass is dry

now i'm not a "mechanical" kind of guy, so all those waxing and storing sounds really alien to me, but i'll keep them in mind
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