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Reel Lawn Mowers: Easy to Use and Here to Stay

by Laura Horwitz, All About Lawns Columnist

Some of us may recall doing weekend chores with a reel lawn mower. This manually powered mower cuts lawns efficiently and without using gas or electricity. A cold beverage is generally what powers up the reel mower operator.

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Although the first reel mowers, and those used today by environmentally savvy and cost conscious homeowners, were human powered, past designs for reel mowers included very wide models that could be drawn by ponies.

Interest in reel mowers has been revived as suburban areas become densely populated and reducing noise levels and pollution for lawn care machinery has become a consideration.

As homeowners increasingly view homes and yards as a sanctuary from stress, the quiet pleasure of using a reel mower can be appealing. Modern "lawn warriors" can also enjoy the benefits of exercise while using a manual reel mower.

Be aware--you need to mow religiously when the grass is ready (reel mowers don't do long grass). If you have trees, you also need to rake up those twigs and leaves before you mow (these mowers don't do twigs or mulch leaves, either).

Reel mowers are economical; prices range from approximately $80 to $150, come in a variety of sizes, and most have bagging attachments available. For those with small to moderately sized lawns, a reel mower can provide basic lawn maintenance at a reasonable price.

Not interested in reel mowers? If you have one lingering in your garage or storage shed, there may be good news. Collecting antique agricultural and garden tools including reel mowers is popular with some lawn and garden enthusiasts. A reel mower in good condition may catch someone's eye at a yard sale or online.


James B. Ricci • Reel Lawn Mower History and Preservation Project • Apr 05, 2008 • http://www.crocker.com/~jricci/

About the Author
Laura Horwitz has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for five years in both London and the US. She had a monthly landscaping and tips column for the Sussex County magazine RH Review, and her articles have appeared in Film Focus, 6 Degrees Film, and BizBash magazine.

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