Here’s a news flash: unless you have a lawn the size of a football field, you don’t need that power mower. Reel mowers are quiet, pollution-free, and quite simply, a pleasure to use. (Beware: Once you use one, you may be hooked for life!) There’s no earsplitting motor and no messy, expensive fuel is needed. Plus, reel mowers give your lawn a softer, more natural look, rather than the too-immaculate, astro-turf look of highly-manicured lawns. And isn’t soft and natural more attractive in the long run?
Cutting your lawn with a reel mower is an experience in itself, so relish it. You can actually hear the bees buzzing and the birds singing as you mow your grass. Plus, you’ll revel in the pleasant, rhythmic whirring of the mechanical blades. You can even do a little daydreaming. Enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing something that’s beneficial to your lawn, the environment and you.
Many people wrongly assume these old-fashioned mowers are heavy, cumbersome and difficult to push. But these misconceptions couldn’t be further from the truth. Today’s reel push mowers are lighter (the ones Lehman’s carries range from 21-27 lb), more maneuverable and generally work better than their forebears of a few decades ago. They are no more difficult to push than a regular power mower that is not self-propelled.
Just follow a few simple hints and you’ll be on your way to an enjoyable mowing experience and a great-looking, environmentally-friendly lawn.
â€¢ Take the right stance. Stand straight and grasp the mower handles firmly yet comfortably. Keep your arms relaxed. Walk forward, pushing the mower in front of you. It won’t take long to get a feel for maneuvering the mower around curves and corners.
â€¢ Always push the mower forward; don’t pull backward. Most reel mowers do NOT work if you try to pull them because the blades will not turn. Plus, the mower could flip over.
â€¢ Walk at a steady pace. With a reel push mower, you are the “engine,” which means you supply the power. The faster you walk, the faster the blade turns and the better your mower works. The mower can bind up and skid if you walk too slowly. Keep to a steady, comfortable pace for best results. Somewhere between “normal walking speed” and “slightly brisk” is good. In addition to a nicely cut lawn, you’ll be getting a bit of “reel” exercise as well!
â€¢ Mow back and forth, not around and around. Mow in rows, back and forth across your yard, not in a square. This is the most recommended pattern for achieving a smooth, even lawn. Since reel mowers don’t spray grass clippings out the side like power mowers, you can mow close to flower beds and landscaping without covering your flowers with grass. The reel mower provides a light mulch of grass clippings, which, if left on the lawn, break down quickly and act as a kind of natural fertilizer for your lawn.
â€¢ Overlap rows. While mowing back and forth, slightly overlap your new row with the one you just mowed. This ensures a smooth appearance to the lawn and snips off any remaining blades of grass that weren’t cut on your previous pass. In effect, the grass will be mowed twice – once in each direction – ensuring the best possible cut. If grass is on the longer side, you can overlap rows up to half the width of the mower as needed. A reel mower lifts up the grass before it is cut, then snips the grass like scissors. Think of it as a haircut for your lawn. In this way, reel mowers are healthier for grass. Rotary mowers tear the blades of grass, which is harsher and more of a shock to the plant.
â€¢ Monitor grass length. Don’t let your grass get too long between cuttings. Reel mowers aren’t meant to cut extremely tall grass, so owning and using one requires you to keep an eye on your lawn. In general, it’s best to mow weekly, or slightly more often during the lush spring season. The taller the grass gets, the harder it will be to push the mower through it. Although the reel mower will still cut long grass, it will be more of a workout for you. Be aware that the condition of your lawn changes with the seasons. In wet spring periods, blades of grass are fuller and fatter, whereas in mid-summer blades are thinner and retain less water. You may find that you need to mow more than once a week in lush periods, and less often in drier periods. Tip: You can use clippings as mulch or compost. The Brill RazorCut Premium 38 has an optional grass catcher.
â€¢ Find the right mowing pattern for your lawn. Lawns are like their keepers – no two are alike. Experiment with different mowing patterns and cutting lengths to find the method that works best for your grass and the terrain of your lawn. Different types of grass require different cutting lengths to keep their root systems healthy. For the best-looking lawn, do a little research on your type of grass and the optimum length for it to be kept. If you have very thick, dense grass, you can mow in several directions or alternate mowing patterns each time you mow for a better cut. Our reel mowers have cutting lengths ranging from Â½” to 2 Â½”, and the blades can be easily adjusted.
A customer says: We purchased the Brill reel mower mainly because we couldn’t afford the increase to our gas budget that was already taking a hit due to rising prices. We use two gas guzzling riding and push mowers to help mow our large lot. The idea that we could save money and get some exercise at the same time was an exciting challenge to our family. We aren’t ready yet to pass on the “chore” of mowing the entire lawn to our kids, but with the reel mower, I feel safer letting our sons help. We may not totally give up our riding mower this year, but the cost of the Brill will save us in gas on the push mower we’ve used in the past. Assembly was easy and the “little to no maintenance required” helped make our purchasing decision. We are just into the mowing season, and so far we’re really pleased with the results. As with any reel mower, you need to make sure your lawn is free of any sticks or pine cones that could prevent a clean mow. I would recommend this to anyone who is willing to burn a few more calories to get a beautiful lawn the old-fashioned way. Not to mention the quiet whirl of the mower to get your mind off of the noise of the day. Who would have thought this city-born girl would take to an old-fashioned way of doing things? I guess the older I get, the more I want to get back to a simpler way of life. -Renee, Ohio
CAUTION: Mower blades are extremely sharp. Keep hands and feet away from spinning blades!