My reel mower is fight?
May 22, 2009 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know how a gas powered reel mower will handle tall grass?

I've got a lawn that I mow... infrequently. Exacerbating the issue is the fact that a section of my back yard has an underground water flow so that area's soil is perpetually damp, and the grass grows like mad over it. I've been doing the "weed whacker it down and then mow it with an electric blade mower" thing for a while with moderate success. Things have gone spring-like enough that last week was time to go out and start the cycle again this year except my mower broke on me, and the weedwhacker is starting to smell like burning resin when running so I think it's not long for this world either. So I am looking to see if there is a better way. I've decided that my next mower is going to be gas, not electric, since when I was a kid I had a gas mower and it kicked all kinds of ass compared to the electric I just killed.

I've located someone selling a gas powered reel mower and was wondering if this might be "something better". I've used a hand-powered reel mower and know they don't work with tall grass or weeds very well, but does anyone have any input on a reel mower with some actual horsepower behind it going up against tall grass?
posted by barc0001 to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: From Reel Mower Buyer's Guide:
Reel mowers are designed to mow grass, not tall weeds. They neatly cut your grass, and they perform the job exceptionally well. Tall willowy weeds typically roll right under a reel mower, leaving them to pop back up behind you..

If your lawn is really long and wet, it isn't going to work well, but there are some great tips on the site for how to get the best out of your reel mower, should you use it.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:14 PM on May 22, 2009

I applaud your interest in a reel mower, because they do kick all kinds of ass, but it sounds like your yard isn't the best application for one. The reel will fold the weeds down under the bed knife, and they won't get cut. If you get the grass/weeds into shape, and are willing to mow every two to three days with the reel mower, it might work. But reel mowers require a lot of maintenance, and cutting anything but grass with one will compound that.
posted by Shohn at 1:38 PM on May 22, 2009

Reel mowers work best for the sort of short grass type lawns seen in Britain. Those lawns look great but require a little extra attention.
posted by caddis at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2009

Best answer: Yeah, gas or manual, reel mowers do a bad job on tall stuff. When my grass goes to seed I have to go back with shears to cut what the mowers misses. It's a drag. I should not let my lawn go to seed, I know
posted by GuyZero at 3:57 PM on May 22, 2009

From what is said above, I guess you have your answer, but I have to add this. We had one of these when I was growing up. I don't know if it was modified or what, but it was a terrifying beast. There were no guards and no bags, just a vortex of destruction. Mowing down waist high brush looked like a cartoon brawl - you know, the big rolling cloud from which participants are thrown one by one. You could push that thing through a stand of trees.
posted by Nothing at 6:25 PM on May 22, 2009

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