When you own (or rent) a home and you’re responsible for the yardwork, one of the first things you’ll need to invest in is a lawn mower. Gas lawn mowers can be expensive up front and will continue to be expensive throughout their lives, as you will constantly be buying gasoline to power the gas mower. Furthermore, gas mowers are major contributors to pollution in the world. Fortunately, there is an alternative to the gas-guzzling lawn mower: the push reel mower.
The modern push reel mowers we find today are not difficult to push, though neither are gas powered mowers. Both will give you exercise, unless you own a riding gas lawn mower.
The Cons of a Push Reel Mower
Like with any product, there are always going to be some cons.
To start, before you begin mowing, you will always need to do a thorough sweep of your yard to check for sticks, twigs and large rocks. All of these can stop your push reel mower dead in its tracks and after a while, it can be frustrating. However, you should do this prior to mowing with a gas powered mower, as these items can all be damaging to the blades no matter what type of mower you use.
Most push reel mowers will not cut grass when they are mowed backwards. However, this does not generally tend to be a problem for most users.
You will always need to do a few additional inches of overlapping when mowing with a push reel mower. This is because the wheels are at either end of the mower prevent the grass this far over from getting cut, which does not occur with a rotary blade gas mower. This may also be an issue along fences or flower beds, as you may need to use a weed whacker or some other method to ensure that the edges of your yard get cut as well.
Lastly, many owners complain that if you allow the grass to grow too tall, the mower will simply push the grass over rather than cut it. With a push mower, it may be necessary to mow the grass at least once a week.
The Pros of a Push Reel Mower
If you are still reading and the cons haven’t scared you away, you’ll be pleased to know that for most people, the good outweighs the bad when it comes to the push reel mower.
First and most importantly, because you are not using any gas when mowing your lawn, you are significantly cutting down on how much pollution you put out into the world (i.e., your carbon footprint.)
Aside from not using any gas, there is no additional major maintenance required with a push reel mower. There are no oil filters to change, spark plugs or any other potentially expensive maintenance to perform. Plus, many push reel mowers today are self-sharpening, meaning you won’t even need to sharpen the blades. In short, the push reel mower is practically maintenance free.
Push reel mowers also feature adjustable heights, so you can determine what length is best for your lawn.
When comparing upfront costs, most people will find that you can buy a good quality push reel mower for less than $100. However, to buy a good quality gas lawn mower, you can expect to spend a minimum of $200. Though $100 models do exist, these are often poorly rated online by users as unreliable, poor quality or not lasting very long.