Buying a reel mower seems like the perfect combination of exercise, getting a necessary household chore done and making an environmentally responsible decision. The truth is, there are some times when a reel lawn mower isn't a good idea and that you'd be better off looking for another way to cut your lawn and get your exercise and save the environment. That being said, there are some situations where a reel mower will cut like a hot knife through butter and you'll have a great looking organic lawn you can be proud of. This article will try to give you some tips on what to look for when buying a reel lawn mower.
One of the biggest issues with reel lawn mowers is that they are lightweight and versatile. This makes them fantastic for maneuvering around obstacles in your lawn like trees, flower gardens, etc. This also works against you if you have a really bumpy lawn. So if you have a mole problem, or practice a lot of golf swings and don't put back your divits, this may be an issue. Rolling your lawn in the spring is well worth it even if you have to pay somebody to do it.
Another thing you'll want to check on when buying a reel lawn mower is how big your lawn is, or conversely, how long you're willing to cut for. These mowers are a great way to get some exercise in, but not everybody wants hours of "great exercise". Now I don't know how great of shape you're in but it takes me about 35-40 minutes per half acre and I'd consider myself in "average" physical condition. In the end it's up to you, and it is your lawn after all.
When considering purchasing a reel mower, keep in mind that the blades need to be sharp. The mower will come sharpened and will hold it's edge for a pretty long time, but once it dulls you'll be able to notice it immeadiately. Make sure that you keep the blades sharp and this mower cut like nobody's business. What I've found extremely helpful is a reel mower sharpening kit. It comes with everything you need to sharpen the mower, it's extremely easy to do and it only takes 20 minutes or so. Less if you use a power drill.
I've been mowing with a Scotts 2000-20 reel lawn mower now for 5 years and I've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't. Now I know that everyone's situation will be different. There's a lot of other things that will affect your decision on whether or not to buy a reel lawn mower like how high you should keep your grass and what situations a reel mower works best in. A reel lawn mower review will help you decide if reel mowers are right for you.