Reel Mower Review

My new Scotts 20-inch Push Reel Mower arrived today, and I finished mowing the lawn about 30 minutes ago.

Scotts 20-inch Push Reel Mower

This mower has 271 reviews and received 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. Let me make this very clear: I have never been more misled by Amazon.com reviewers. For example, check out this review:

At the same time, I didn’t want to turn lawn mowing into a huge, difficult task. After researching every model on the market, I decided I would give the Scotts 2000-20 reel mower a try. My idea of lawn mowing has completely changed. What used to be a tedious, annoying task is now pleasant and relaxing, due to the ease of use and functionality of this mower.

This is absolute horse shit. This mower is easily 100% harder to push than my Toro gas mower. It took me nearly twice as long to mow the lawn. Mowing the lawn was my most intense workout in years.

The same review goes on:

I will venture to say that it is actually JUST AS EASY TO USE A REEL MOWER AS IT IS TO USE A GAS-POWERED MODEL. There is NOTHING about a gas-powered mower than makes it easier to use, and gas-powered mowers do not save any time, espcially when you consider all the peripheral needs of owning one.

Liar, liar, pants on fire. Several things make a gas mower easier to use:

  • The engine propels the mower forward
  • The blade cuts through thick grass without bogging down
  • They are faster
  • Did I mention the engine does most of the work?

I Had Doubts…

I’ve been considering one of these mowers for at least three years now, and keep reading positive reviews like this. I waited so long to pull the trigger because I had this fear: Maybe these people are so gung-ho to save the environment, they are unable to provide unbiased, accurate reviews.

I now think I have my answer. Everything you recall about your grandfather’s old-fashioned reel mower remains true to this day. These mowers are hard to use. Damn hard.

Now What?

I paid $119 for this thing, and I still have my Toro. The truth is, I don’t know what I will do. I do plan to mow the lawn with this reel mower the next few times, simply because it provides a kick-ass workout. I need to lose weight, and what better way to get some much needed exercise?

If your lawn is small and flat, a reel mower is just fine. But my yard is 17,000 square feet, with a huge steep hill in the back. For a killer workout, this is good. But for mowing the lawn, it sucks.

The Future

I think battery-powered mowers are the future of lawn care, but current models poop out after 45 minutes to an hour. That is not quite good enough to handle my lawn. I suspect in just a few years, however, battery-powered mowers will finally become a practical alternative.

I really hate how much space my Toro consumes in the garage, and I do not like how loud it is. But until battery technology improves, gas powered mowers remain the best option for most people.

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