First Powered Reel Mower

brettn_10(4-5 Northern UT)June 21, 2011

I'm pretty new around here as time and interest in yard care is a recent development for me. To say that I'm a novice is a considerable understatement. But I have been lurking here occasionally for some time.

Anyway, after having used rotary mowers for the past 17 years, I just purchased my first powered reel mower. I got the Tru Cut H20 with the Honda motor and the 7 blade setup. This wasn't a spontaneous decision, and I think I'm fairly familiar with the complications of reel mowers.

The decision was made after stumbling across a couple lawns in my town that use reel mowers and the difference is incredible. I never realized that kentucky blue grass could look that nice. One of those lawns is actually kept quite short. I would say right around 1/2" while the other is kept a bit longer at about 1 1/2". They are neighbors so it is nice to get a side by side comparison of the different styles. Immediately adjacent are other lawns that are kept with rotary mowers at a more standard 2 1/2" - 3" mowing height. These lawns are very well manicured, but the difference in look is dramatic.

Both reel mowed lawns greened a few weeks sooner than the rotary mowed lawns. Also, we are having an unusual year that happens every so often in Utah. The KBG is flowering very quickly (after only 1" or so of growth). It happened back in 2004 as well. While all the rotary mowed lawns look terrible (mine included) with all the seed heads, the reel mowed lawns look perfect.

There isn't much information on powered reel mowers on the web, so I thought I would keep a little journal here of my thoughts as I get accustomed to using it. I'm keeping an open mind, but I'm also a realist and in the end if it simply isn't realistic, then so be it.

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There is no comparison to the cut quality as you stated. The only real concern is whether Fescue can thrive at the low cutting height. Reel mowers typically are designed for short cutting height. But if you're seeing it work, yours should work for you. I guess if your grass is not subjected to 100 degree summer temps, maybe it can be shorter and survive.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 7:48PM
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brettn_10(4-5 Northern UT)

We actually do get above 100* for a few weeks out of the year. I plan on stopping by a couple of the properties that are currently using the reel mowers and asking a few questions. I do know that they have a hybrid kentucky blue grass just like mine. I believe from the same sod farm. And they are seeing great success. Although I don't plan on keeping mine quite so short. I'll go for at least 1 1/2" to better tolerate the summer heat.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 8:56PM
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brettn_10(4-5 Northern UT)

I've included many of my thoughts and a few machine modifications to the reel mower on my other thread and don't want to be redundant.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:46AM
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