We've Moved

Reel Lawn Mower

reel lawn mowerDid you know that the average lawn mower produces 93 times more pollution than the average automobile? Don't believe me? Well I got this factoid from this NY Times article that talks about how the effort to make catalytic converters mandatory on lawn mowers is being met by resistance from lobbyists.

93 times is a lot. I've made my lawn smaller with mulched border beds and I maintain it organically and I'm sure that helps a little but I still need somewhere for my kids to play. My lawn isn't going away anytime soon and neither is my need for a lawn mower.

When my Black & Decker Cordless Electric Mulching Lawn Mower died, I decided to go old school and bought a reel lawn mower. That old mower served me well for 8 years without any problems but keeping it plugged in all the time to charge the battery probably wasted a lot of energy. Now the only energy I'm wasting is my own. And I heard that push mowers took more of a physical effort to mow your lawn that a gas power motor but I disagree with that. I really don't see a difference unless the gas powered mower is self-propelled, it's really the same amount of effort.

The best part about the new push mower is that there's no engine, no gas, no tune ups, no fumes and it's pretty quiet. In fact it sounds like it's cutting my lawn with lots and lots of scissors.

You'd think that with all the news about climate change and Al Gore and how everyone is going green that I would get some congratulations from my friends and family on this purchase. I wasn't looking for a parade or anything just a "good for you" or a "wow, that's cool, maybe I'll get one too" would have been nice. But I was just met with puzzled looks.

So I did what any decent blogger would do to spread the word that a reel lawn mower is a viable lawn cutting option. I grabbed my video camera and turned it into a Mower Cam.


  1. Mommy Cracked said...
    I've seriously contemplated getting one of these and you just may have convinced me. Big fan of your blog!
    Mrs. J. said...
    Good for you!!
    Colleen said...
    I've been slacking off about buying mine--mostly because my husband's been doing the lawn so far this spring. I need to get over to Lowe's and pick one up.

    I love that you mention the puzzled looks from family and friends. Mine are the same way. Of course, I still can't get mine to stop with the Weed n Feed, so the reel mower is totally puzzling to them.

    Loved the video, too :-)
    Anthony said...
    Mommy Cracked,
    Go for it! With a name like Mommy Cracked, I'm definitely checking out your blog. :)

    Mrs. J,

    Don't get me started with the Weed and Feed. Uggh! Most people still just don't get it. If it wasn't for my blog friends, I'd feel like a complete wacko.
    sarah k. said...
    We just bought our first lawn mower, a cute little reel mower, and I agree, it doesn't take any more effort. Except it doesn't do the crabgrass well, and the tall dandelions just lay down flat and spring up again when you're done. But I refuse to poison my yard. Also, our mower didn't come with the collecting bag. Is that something you have to buy separately?
    Anthony said...
    Nice to know that I'm not the only member of the reel mower club. :)

    My mower came with the bag but I've seen others that don't. For example the mowers from Amazon that are at the bottom of the post. You can probably buy the bag separately though.
    Anonymous said...
    I got a reel mower this year and got the same odd looks. We have a huge yard and my father-in-law has always mowed it in the past with his riding mower.

    I got the reel mower to actually help him so he doesn't have to do it all himself. However, he's actually mowed three times in the past 14 days, giving me no chance to mow it myself. I honestly think he's doing it to spite me.

    I guess he thinks I'm infringing on his territory. (The house and land is his, but geez!)
    The Well Read Gardener said...
    I've had a reel mower for a year now and I can relate to the weird looks you get from friends and family. I still get those looks everytime I mow. I have had to use my mother's gas, push mower twice this spring though because we've gotten so much rain that by the time the rain stops the grass it way too high for my reel mower to handle. I love your grass catching bag attached to yours. I wish I had that because I rake mine sometimes just so I can add the clippings to my compost bin. I have also noticed that my allergies are terrible when I use a push mower that blows the grass everywhere and they are just fine when I use my reel mower that doesn't kick up any dust or grass in my face. Congratulations and good for you for getting a reel mower!
    the erin said...
    Ive had onw for a year and I agree that is much easier than a gas or electric mower, unless the grass is wet. I love mine and I can mow at 6 am and not tick off my neighbors, although they do give me some strange looks.
    Tony said...
    I'm thinking of getting one too. It's odd that they take about the same effort to push. I was thinking it would actually be easier since they're lighter then a gas mower? Most of my yard is on an incline and it can be a pain pushing my old gas mower uphill.
    Norie said...
    I love your blog. Thanks for the movie of the reel lawn mower. It sounded "green". If possible, can you take another movie of how much grass was actually cut? Does it really cut the grass cleanly at one shot or do you need to go over the same strip a few times? It sounds too good and I still can't believe that only some push will do this job .... not that I don't believe you...
    Melinda said...
    I come from a family that always used a reel mower - my parents still use the same one they did when I was a child (with sharpened blades of course). They can take more physical labor if you wait too long between mowings.

    But that is easily outweighed by the rewards of not hearing the horrendous noise (boy are they quiet!), the quickness of just pulling it out of the garage and going (instead of having to start it, put gas in it, etc), the low maintenance, and knowing that you're not emitting CO2 and warming the planet with every stroke! Oh, we usually just let the grass clippings stay on top of the grass - it works as a sort of in situ compost. ; )

    As always, I LOVE your video!
    jimmycrackedcorn said...
    You totally made me laugh out loud with your line "In fact it sounds like it's cutting my lawn with lots and lots of scissors."
    mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...
    My mowing evolved the other way around. I started with a reel mower and then switched to an electric mower. I just needed the capabilities of a mulching mower and the reel mower didn't cut it, so to speak.
    Anonymous said...
    I totally relate to this blog post. Neighbors thought we were crazy (even though our yard is quite small) when we started with the reel mower last year. It's perfect for low-maintenace folks like us since it basically always works (no gas, no repairs, etc). I've previously used gas then electric mowers. I prefer the reel mower to any other.

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