Reel Mower Neophyte

11 years ago

I bought a Scotts Classic reel mower this spring when my wife and I moved into our first house. Before this, I had never used a reel mower or even seen one used. I liked the idea of not having to put up with the loud noise of a gas-powered mower, not having to buy gas, and being able to get some exercise. In my time of using the reel mower, all these reasons have proved to be true and very satisfactory. However, there is one small problem: the mowing quality seems to stink!

Most weeks I mow with significant overlap such that each section of grass probably gets about 3 passes with the mower before I'm done. It looks shorter when I'm done, but over time I have noticed that many blades of grass are not actually getting cut but only getting pinched and bent over. A few days later, I can see that the grass either has a long brown end or has several thin brown line across the blade.

As the summer has worn on, these brown ends have gotten longer and longer, so this week on a relatively cool evening, I went over the grass as many times as it took to get to the point where no more grass was being cut on each pass. I estimate that it took me about 6 passes over each section, not counting all the overlap between passes.

Is this normal for a reel mower? I figure that it might need adjustment or sharpening, but I've only been using it for a few months, so it seems like the factory adjustment would have been good for longer. Is there any way to tell if it needs adjustment or sharpening or both?

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