June 06, 2011
With a new house you also get a new lawn. And a new lawn, particularly after having only a rented lawn for many years, requires a new mower. Rather than buy some gas guzzling, noise spewing monster, Sibylle and I decided to get a reel mower for our yard. After reading some reviews we finally decided to get a Fiskars18-Inch 5-Blade Momentum Push Reel Lawn Mower via Amazon.
After several weeks of use we are happy to say that it is a great little mower, and that we are very pleased with our purchase.
Reel mowers, for those of you playing along at home, aren't powered by either a gas engine or an electric motor. Instead the clipping power is provided by the forward momentum of the mower, i.e., by the person pushing the mower. The wheels turn and in turn drive the blades around, clipping the grass in the process.
The Fiskar has a flywheel (hence the "momentum" in its name) which helps to keep the blades spinning even as you speed up or slow down. This mower has a fixed sheer that the rotating blades narrowly pass by, providing a scissor like cut. Powered mowers tend to tear or pummel the grass into being shorter, which can leave the lawn looking ragged, and isn't very good for the health of the grass itself.
The mower is lightweight and therefore easy to push. Our yard has about a 30 foot elevation change from front to back and the mower is easy enough to maneuver even on the steepest part of our hill. The mower has a height adjustment that is quick and easy to use, and allows for everything from shorn-to-the-roots mowing up to nearly 5" tall grass. We have ours set in the middle and mow twice a week so as to take just a little off the top. Spring rains and watering have helped the grass to grow quickly so a couple of times we've ended up trimming more than an inch from the tops, and even in the thickest parts of the lawn the mower does this with relative ease.
The lack of engine noise is wonderful. I regularly wear my iPod and headphones and listen to music while mowing. Without headphones all you hear is an occasional rattle as the mower goes over uneven ground and the gentle snick-snick sounds of the grass getting cut.
While we've only used the mower for a couple of months now we are sold on the ease of use and low impact this mower has. Plus it's good exercise. Using my GPS enabled phone I've mapped myself mowing the yard a couple of times now. It amounts to a mile of walking in about 4o minutes. (The GPS senor in my phone is not highly accurate, therefore the starting pin is somewhere off to the side.) A mile done back-and-forth inside a three-tenths acre lot.