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Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Posted by NEWORLEANS-YAT none (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 10, 11 at 9:20

I have started a reel mower collection. I think of these mowers like pieces of art. I will be reviewing all these mowers for those who are considering one. My fist reel was my mom's craftsmen. It was the gateway reel to my collection. After loving the cut from the Craftsman, I figured getting a better reel would be worth it, I was right.

My first purchase was the Mascot 18''. This mower is a Cadillac. It can cut thru heavy southern grass like butter. The mower is made in China but assembled and set up by the strict standards of the Amish. My first season with this mower was awesome. I have the large wheel design. Setting the cutting height is easy. I have no sticks, stones, or weeds in my lawn. It has a little undulation, but nothing drastic. The mower is heavy (40lbs) but will glide with ease. I keep my centipede at 1.5" so i cut twice a week in the summer. The overall construction of this mower is very solid. I paid $269 on line for this mower and have not one regret.

I purchased the Brill 38 razor cut during the winter and have not used it yet. I purchased it online from Clean Air Gardening as a returned unit and saved $150. Unit was delivered in perfect condition. From first glance its a good looking mower that is a whole lot lighter. We will see how it performs against the Mascot.

I just picked up the Fiskar's yesterday off Craigslist used for $75.00. I got a super deal as it was basically brand new. From first glance it seems to be well built like the Mascot, but I have yet to cut with it.

I will do my best to answer any question about these mowers to help anyones decisions.

Thanks for looking.

http://i701.photobucket.com/albums/ww11/NEWORLEANS-YAT/photo-3-2.jpg


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

It would be great if you could keep us posted on the mower's performance, comparative effort required, maintenance needs and anything else you can think of with your impressive line of reels. It would be nice to see if there is a notable difference in quality of cut as well once you get up and going for the year.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

absolutely. its going to be hard to beat out the Mascot. Right now my money is on the Mascot to be top dog.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Very nice of you to start this review. I was thinking of doing the same thing w/ a few of the manual reel mowers I've used but really haven't had the time. Seems like manual reel mowers are growing in popularity lately so reviews like these are very helpful to save end users time and money. And hopefully, it was lead to improvements in future design.

With that, I'll give my reviews of three manual reel mowers I've used. I have Bermuda and my goal was to cut it as low as possible w/o having to cut like 3 or 4 times a week. So I settle on 1" and was cutting twice a week. Remember my reviews of these mower are based on those criteria, so if you have a different type of grass and/or cutting higher, you mileage may vary.

My very first push reel mower was a Sears 18" Push Reel.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07137619000P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=07137619000P

I think this model is pretty much identical to the popular Scott's Classic which is 20", so I expect their performance to be the same. I bought this mower 3 years ago when I first bought my house and knew very little about lawn care, or home care for that matter. Knowing what I know now, I would NOT buy this mower for Bermuda or any type of grass if you lawn is not somewhat level. Compared to some of the new mowers like the Fiskars, its construction quality is just average. If you have Bermuda (or any kind of Southern grass that gets dense) this mower is just gonna stop or bounce over the dense sections. If your lawn is not level, you will scrape the dirt b/c there's no rollers. So this mower would work if you want an inexpensive, average built mower; you're cutting soft grass high; and you lawn is not too bumpy.

My second push reel mower is a Scott 16" Elite.
http://www.amazon.com/Scotts-415-16S-16-Inch-Elite-Mower/dp/B0019MVMLY

Built like the Sears (I believe a lot of these mowers are products of American Lawn Mower Co. re-badged). This mower, which I currently use, is adequate for cutting Bermuda low. With the rear rollers, I don't think I've ever scalp. As long as the blades are sharp, cut looks pretty good and definitely better that rotary, ie. my neighbors' yard :) However, even cutting twice a week, the mower bogs down on very dense sections, especially if that section is bumpy as you lose a lot of momentum when you hit a bump. If I were to raise the cutting height or cut every other day, I think I would probably have less issue w/ the dense sections, but twice is enough for me as is. So this mower is will work on Bermuda cut low on a bumpy lawn but you will have problems w/ dense sections.

My third push reel is the Fiskars Momentum. Of the three, this is definitely the best built. The construction is solid, from the blade to the handle. Definitely can see why is cost more. Unfortunately, I'm about to pack it up and return it to Lowe's. Here's why. Fiskars claims it will cut Bermuda no problem w/ its Inertia Drive system, basically a chain drive like a bicycle. Well, from what I can tell, this system would only work if your lawn was very level. Here's what I mean. The mower is heavy, like over 40lbs, compared to the other mowers I've used which are in the 20lbs range. Because of the weight, it's hard to push the mower on a bumpy lawn and get enough torque to drive the blades. To add to that, w/o a roller, you're also scraping the ground. I've tried the mower at its lowest setting of 1" and even when up to as much as an 1.5" and while a little better at the higher setting, it was still too hard and time consuming to push. I switched back to the Scott 16" Elite and was able to cut lower and faster. So w/ all the hype the Fiskars has been getting, I will say it will NOT perform well on Bermuda at its lower settings (1"-1.5") unless you lawn is extremely level. Now if the mower were to have a front roller instead of the two small wheels, I think it would make a huge difference. Where I think this mower would perform well is at its higher settings as once you get the wheels going it really cuts nicely.

I would love to hear a review of the McLane 10 blade push greens mower as it looks similar in weigh and design to the Fiskars, but has a front roller.

Well hopefully this info will be helpful to anyone considering a push reel. Keep the reviews coming.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

you should really look at the Mascot. I did a ton of research before buying the Mascot and from all that i read it is the top of the line. I have the 18" and its a beast. The construction is solid. From just a quick comparison of my reel's the Mascot is king.

i am going to look into modifying the Fiskar's and install a front roller instead of the wheels.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Hey dwrecktor, check out this thread

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lmower/msg0823465920636.html


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

To be more environmently concious I too have been thinking of getting rid of all my gasoline-powered lawnmowers and weed trimmers. However my plan is to replace them with goats which I understand will eat almost any vegetation up to and including light brush. They also automatically fertilize the lawn as they work. As a plus they provide a constant supply of rich, nutritious milk. They can also be eaten if they quit working.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

well I am not trying to save the earth by using reel mowers. I want a perfect cut. if a gas mower gave me a perfect cut then i would gas it up.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

NEWORLEANS, Thanks for this thread. I am researching a manual (push) reel mower for my bermuda. Like you, I am interested in the perfect cut rather than the "green" aspect of the push reels. Although, the thought of being eco-friendly while meeting other constraints is nice. I have a gas-powered reel but would love some exercise while mowing. If it's the perfect cut you're after, look at the Tru-Cut line of gas reel mowers. I have an old (but reconditioned) 20" tru-cut with a 5hp Honda engine. It cuts better than any mower (rotary or reel) that I've owned. That's saying something as I've got quite a collection of gas mowers including Honda HRX's a Snapper RER.

Does anyone on here have photos of a common bermuda or tif 419 lawn that is regularly cut with a manual reel? Can they cut as well as a gas reel?


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

well i have been cutting with the Fiskars over the last 3 weeks and I will be ready to give my conclusion on this mower. i am actually starting to lean toward the Fiskars over the Mascot. i am waiting for 2 to 3 rain showers to really thicken up the yard before i give the pros and cons


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the Fiskars. While I like their pruning shears; the Momentum just looks flimsy to me. With your stable of reels; I'd believe your review of it.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

i can tell you before my review that the Fiskars is far from flimsy. It is very well built. I think its one of the best built.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

that's good to know. I was considering a McLane push reel because they (obviously) produce powered reels. My logic is that they must know a thing or two about reels. If your experiences are good with the fiskars, I'll pull out the 10% off lowes coupon and take the plunge.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

trust me. the fiskars is very well built. I have a very nice manicured lawn that i cut twice a week. these mowers are designed to cut lawns with out sticks, rocks, weeds, etc. how is your lawn?

plus you can return it if you think its not well built.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

My lawn is reel mower approved! No messy trees and I am in the process of leveling it out. I currently use a tru-cut H-20 but I want the exercise and I like the thought of a quiet mower. I figure if I'm going to cut 2-3X a week, the least I could do is give the neighbors a break from the noise. I'm going to give the fiskars a shot. My bermuda is still partially dormant. I'll share my results with it in a few weeks.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

hey pokes,

read this thread. I have this mower and I love it. i have never cut bermuda but this thread will give you some info.
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lmower/msg0823465920636.html


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Ok so I bought the Mascot (already have a Brill...too light). How do I adjust the lever settings? I push in and try but this thing is impossible to move up or down.
What's up?


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

you have to adjust the roller bar and wheels. do you have the instructions? its very simple. what height are you looking far? do you have the large wheel mascot or the small wheel?


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Wrager, try this link

http://www.reelmowersetc.com/45-01931 & 45-01931-LW 2010.pdf


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Ah...this is what I missed.

"Use a 1/2" wrench to loosen the bolts
on the gear housings on both wheels."


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

yep. let me know how it worked out.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

wrager,

If you don't mind, give us your thoughts on how the Mascot does on your 419 lawn. Thanks.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

I sure will. I'm still not 50% green yet. I also have sanded several areas that were trenched for the irrigation system.
I'm hoping this is my last reel mower. In addition to the Brill I mentioned, I have tried a McLane 10 blade and a Tru-cut, both gas powered. My yard has a steep slope and is a little too bumpy, so the powered reels are too much hassel. Luckily, there is a vibrant used market for these things in the south.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Awesome, can't wait. I've got one push reel left in me, and it comes down to the Mascot & the McLane Push Greensmower. So hopefully w/ the reviews in the coming weeks, I can make a decision. If all fail, I will be break down and go gas with a Jacobsen from my friend who works on a golf course :(


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

hey dwrecktor,

did you see this thread? i think it will help you out.

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lmower/msg0823465920636.html

good luck


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

ok, the low down on the FISKARS is in.....

Let me start off by saying I live in the south and I have Centipede grass. Centipede is not an up right grass like the cooler season grasses. My lawn is weed, stones, twigs, roots, etc. free. its a very healthy lawn.

I cut my lawn at 2" 2 to 3 times a week.

1. The construction of the Fiskars is rock solid. It is heavy gauge metal with nice welds. It is a silent cut design so the bed knife and blades do not touch. The handle is very ergonomic for all heights of people. The height adjustment is very easy to use. Just 2 cotter pins. The weight of the Fiskars is 40lbs plus but is a dream to push. More on that later. The front wheel design is very sturdy. I really wish it had some sort of brush attachment that would help stand up the grass before contacting the bed knife. but i am just dreaming on that one. The rear wheels are positioned behind the blade which is a very nice design.

The chain drive is what makes the mower glide across the lawn. It is ultra quiet and smooth. There is a removable cover to access the chain drive for cleaning and re-oiling.

2. The cut is perfect. I notice a slight edge over the Mascot. The Mascot is a work horse were the Fiskars is finely tuned for a perfect cut. Remember I am basing this on Centipede, I have read that the Mascot is a beast on Bermuda. The front throw design is very nice. Before using the Fiskars I did not pay much attention to this feature but is a definite plus over the conventional design. I don't believe the hype when i read that you mulch the clippings from the front throw design. Its just not possible to re-cut the grass that is laying flat on the ground.

Since the cutting blade is from end to end with the wheels behind the blade, edging with the Fiskars is super nice. You can get with in a half an inch from the wall or garden trim. I cut my grass is a particular pattern so I can achieve the cut i am looking for. Once I cut in no particular pattern zig zag, left to right, right to left, diagonal and my yard looked like crap. I now cut an header stripe and then make passes left to right into the header. My grass looks amazing. There will be times when you have to make a second pass down a row, but not to often.

3. The height adjustment is as easy as it gets. from 1 to 4 inches in a matter of seconds. No tools required. Just find the cut height you want and set. I measure from the edge of the bed knife to the ground to find the 2" setting.

4. Fiskars says to not spray the mower with water to clean. Well I am a perfectionist so I wash the mower each time with soap and water. I then blow it 100% dry with my electric yard blower. I then spray the bed knife and reel with WD40. I then oil each rear wheel bearing with a high performance chain oil i use on my mountain bike chain. Its in liquid form. I pull the guard off every 3rd times I cut and re oil the chain. The whole cleaning process takes about 6-7 minutes. This will ensure that all moving parts work perfectly each time.

Now you can just follow the directions from Fiskars on cleaning, but I like my mower to look and feel new each time I cut.

5. I have not had to adjust the blade yet so I have no input on this.


Construction = A

Cut height adjustment = A+

Handle height adjustment = A+

Foam handle = C

Cut = A

Front throw design = B

Edging = A+

Ease of pushing = A

Front wheel design = B-

Chain drive = A+

Blade adjustment = n/a

Visual appearance = A+

Maintenance of moving parts (cleaning) = C

Overall = A-

I like my Mascot allot, but if i woke up tomorrow to find all three of my mowers stolen, I would replace the FISKARS first.

If any one has question that I did not address in this amateur write up, please feel free to ask questions.

Thanks for reading.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

NEWORLEANS-YAT, thanks for the link. I've read that thread a long time ago, but wasn't quite sold that the width of the mower was the problem and not the mower itself, so I've been holding out for more reviews.

BTW nice review of the Fiskars. I have to agree w/ you it's a nice machine, but I do wanna point out, based on my experience w/ it, it's not the right machine if you're wanting to cut low (1", its lowest setting). If you're cutting 2-3 times a week at 2", then I can guess that you're cutting off very little each time. And at 2", you probably shouldn't have too many issues w/ the mower dragging or hitting the ground, unless you lawn is REALLY bumpy. I have no experience w/ centipede grass, but seems to me excess to cut 2-3x/week to obtain 2" HOC. Good luck w/ all the mowers, keep us updated if you have new info. Thanks.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

yea i cut just a tad off each time i cut. Grass grows fast in the south, very fast.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Neworleans-YAT thanks for the great review on the Fiskers. I'm just checking to see if you still like it more than the Mascot. I'm debating between the two for my new Zoysia sod in GA. I have about 3,ooo sq ft and am looking for a good reel mower to get a great cut. I have no experience using a reel mower but it seems like the way to go. The Fiskers has some nice additional features, but the Mascot seems very simple and has been out for years. I have more of a circle landscaped grass with beds of hardwood mulch all around. I'm just wondering about how the edging works around the beds and if you think one is better than the other. I wish I could give both reel mowers a try. Probably either one will work great. Any advice would be great. Actually I probably need a good lesson on how to cut with a reel mower to begin with. Thanks.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

BAwitz,

I am torn between the Mascot and the Fiskars. The Mascot was my first reel and i did about 2 months research before buying. I have the large wheel Mascot the is very easy to push for a heavy reel. The Fiskars is just as easy to push and I think their weight varies only 3 to 4 pounds. The fiskars wins hands down on edging. it can edge about 1/2 inch from a wall. remember you will have to cut more often to get a great even cut. I cut 3 times a week. That seems like a lot but all i do is shave a tiny bit off at a time. keeps the yard looking like carpet.

cutting with a reel is just like cutting with a power mower. I cut in the same pattern that I cut when i had my Honda HRX. no different.

which ever you chose I think you will really like it. After all the research i have done the Mascot and the fiskars are the 2 best options out there for reels'.

like i said in my Fiskars post. If i had to replace any of the 3, I would replace the Fiskars first, Mascot second.

keep me posted on your progress.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

I have the Fiskars in a box at home. Also to be used on Zoysia grass. We will see how it works. I will give my thoughts after I use it. LIke others have said, you'll obviously have to mow a little more frequently, but this particular zoysia grass I have is not a real fast grower anyways. I like the fact that a reel mower makes a "healthier" cut on the grass than a rotary one - eliminates the fraying and browning on top, so I've heard. My only hangup with getting a reel was the clippings and not being able to mulch them, but again - you just dont let it get high and I think you won't have a problem there.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Neworleans-YAT,
Thanks for your input on the Fiskers again and on the mowing suggestions. I will probably stop by Lowe's and pick up the Fiskers within the week. My sod is still new so I have some time before that first clipping. Did you ever try the paper cut test that they suggest in the owners manual? I have read that the initial set up can be difficult if it does not cut well. I'll let you know how things are going.

Jjls7 let us know how the Fiskers works for you and at what blade height you think works well for your Zoysia.

Thanks again.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Bawitz,

mine cuts the paper just right. Setting it up is not difficult. It should be pre set from the factory.

good luck


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Finally got to use the Fiskars. Assembly is a breeze. Didn't have to adjust the blades or anything. First - this is for GRASS. I wouldn't recommend this if you have a real weedy yard, although it might do ok with some weeds. My grass is pretty thick Zoysia that was laid last year. I saw some youtube videos of people pushing through some pretty tall grass with the Fiskars very easily. Don't know what grass that was, but you're not going to push through 4" high zoysia or bermuda with this thing without torturing yourself. I mowed it on notch #3 (out of 8). I think just under 2" maybe, not real sure. I had it a notch lower at first and got about 2 feet before I realized that wasn't the right setting. Get it on the right height and it eats through the grass easily. The key is you're going to have to just take off a little at a time until you get to the height of grass you want and them mow as often as necessary so you aren't biting off more than you can chew. No issues at all really. Have a few spots I need to fill with dirt to level out. My wheel dipped in a spot or two and I pretty much came to a stop real quick, but if you've got a smooth yard it's no issue. I mowed on a decent slope with no issues. This thing is not just super super easy to push through a thick grass like zoysia - but you'll learn real quick how much you can and cannot mow off at a time. It cuts really clean. The clippings are not visible with the amount I cut off. It's fun to use. It can be a fairly decent workout, but if you're lazy you wouldn't buy this in the first place, so don't complain if you get a little winded. I think it cuts the grass much nicer than my rotary mower did. As long as this thing holds up and the blades don't need regular maintenance, I think the old rotary mower will not see my nice zoysia grass again.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Hey jod,

great to hear you like the mower. your spot on about taking just a little off at a time. Thats what i do.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Well, I went over to Lowe's and purchased the Fiskers reel mower on Monday. It was a snap to put together. I did do the paper cut test and it cut the paper fine right out of the box. Not every blade cut the paper but it was pretty close. Even the instruction manual says almost every blade should cut the paper but not all. The paper does really need to be perpendicular to the blades just like a piece of grass, It then cuts the paper just fine on both sides. I thought that the settings were close enough so I left it alone. It is impressive that it cuts paper.

My new sod looked like it could use a little clipping and I was dying to try the Fiskers so I decided to give it a try. The clipping action was great and very gentle on new sod. My grass guy said the reel mower would not cut the seed heads that zoysia puts up in the spring but it did a pretty good job. I did cut the grass in 2 different directions but it did take off the seed heads. The mower worked great. I don't have anything to compare it to since this is my first reel mower but so far I'm very happy with it. Thanks for all the input and answering my posts.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

@dwrektor
"Awesome, can't wait. I've got one push reel left in me, and it comes down to the Mascot & the McLane Push Greensmower. So hopefully w/ the reviews in the coming weeks, I can make a decision. If all fail, I will be break down and go gas with a Jacobsen from my friend who works on a golf course :("

I promised to come back w/ feedback on the Mascot: WOW
It is 10X better than the Brill (which was not cheap).
Because of the weight, it cuts sooo much better. The Brill would jump and chatter, leaving a very uneven cut.

This is by far the best reel mower I have tried. Thanks goes to NEWORLEANS for the recommendation!


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Hey wrager,

great to hear about the Mascot. I have been cutting with the Mascot and its a dream mower. I am beginning to lean back to the Mascot over the fiskers. I cut at 2'' and the fiskars does not have a 2" setting. I think its a shame it does not set at 2".

Mascot is KING of reel mowers.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Thanks wrager for not forgetting. That's good to hear. A couple of questions.

1. How low and how often are you cutting?

2. Not sure how thick your bermuda is now, but do you feel it's easy enough to cut through if the lawn was dense and thick?

3. I assume you got the 18"?

Again thanks for sharing.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Hi All, I'm new here, but I ran across this thread, and I wanted to add my opinion of the Fiskars. I bought the mower last year to keep my Bermuda grass nice and short in the back yard.

This is my first reel mower, but it basically seems sturdy and easy to use. My lawn isn't that even, and it can get twigs and pieces of mulch from the gareden. In my opinion the mower chops through obstacles very easy, and only really gets stuck on pieces of mulch. It cuts through twigs and the occasional weed with no problem in my yard.

My mower does have a couple of issues, which is why I was looking around to see if the Mascot might be better for me. I wanted my grass to be kind of sport field short, so I need to set the mower on its lowest setting. The problem is that the lowest setting is really too short to get a good cut without some occasional scalping. If I set the mower on the 2nd notch the mower is cutting higher than I want for the grass. I guess I need a notch between 1 and 2 - which doesn't exist.

The other problem is that the mower leaves blade lines in the lawn. The lawn is not smooth like with a rotary mower - it has ripples going through the whole lawn.

Has anyone else seen this rippling issue with the Fiskars or Mascot?


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Hey next365,

I dont have the problem you speak of. I have a different grass than you so that is probably the reason.

I hope some one with Bermuda will chime in for you.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

next365, not sure if you read my review of the Fiskar in this thread, but I don't think it's a good mower for Bermuda. I had it for a weekend to test drive it on my lawn and I cut my lawn short like a golf course. Unless your lawn is very level it's gonna scalp the ground at the lower settings because of the front wheels. Also, the lowest it will cut is 1"; not sure if that qualifies for "sport field short". The rippling effect you're describing sounds like a blade adjustment problem. Using one strips of paper, make sure every blade on the reel cuts the paper across the entire bedknife (cutter bar).

Though I haven't use one yet, the Mascot sounds like a good choice for push reel for Bermuda, based on wrager's review. Good luck.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

dwrecktor, I did see your review. I have the same experience at the lowest setting. My yard has a slight incline at some points and the mower cuts higher or lower at the different inclines. Unfortunatley, when I set at the 2nd lowest setting the mower is not cutting short enough!

The lowest setting appears to cut lower than 1 inch on my lawn!

I did the paper test when I purchased the mower, and I did it again this season. The paper cuts fine across the whole blade. The ripple effect I'm getting must be something else, but I can't figure it out. I think I need to try the Mascot.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Hey next365,

check out this thread.

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lmower/msg0823465920636.html


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

NEWORLEANS-YAT, thanks for pointing out that info. The Fiskar is also pretty tough pushing on the lowest setting. But, anything above the lowest setting is pretty easy pushing on my lawn.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

All depends on the levelness of your yard as to how low you can mow. I can't go below the 3rd from lowest setting because my yards slopes and there's just too many spots that it scalps. It would be brutal to try to mow it even a notch lower. However, on #3 it's smooth as silk and cuts very nicely. Now if you had nice flat, smooth yard, you could cut low


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Just found this thread and wanted to add my 2 cents on the Fiskars. Overall I love it! I'm in New England and my lawn is hilly and rocky with a fair amount of twigs and sticks. The grass is a mix of fescue, rye grass and some weeds. I've used an American Standard reel mower for years but it's difficult to find someone to sharpen the blades properly. I've also used an electric - no good on tall or wet grass and the cord is annoying. A rechargeable - no good at all unless the grass is short and dry ;-) And a weed whacker - most annoying noise in the world over a two hour period.

The Fiskars is very easy to push even though it weighs close to 50 pounds. The height adjustment is a thing of beauty and the blades cut very, very cleanly even if the grass is tall and wet. So that's the good news.

On to the bad news... The second time out I hit a bump and one of the cotter pins fell out of the handle. Never did find it. I replaced it with a finishing nail which (remarkably) works a heck of a lot better! Might replace the one on the other side before I even lose it.

While it is easy to push and pivot on straight runs, it's heavy as hell to manouever other wise. Really difficult if you have lumpy spots that the wheels get stuck in. It's hard to mow the steep hill but that's because it's a steep hill! Nothing makes that easy.

The handle to pick the front end up is a fraction of an inch from the blades and I'm always afraid I'm going to scrape my knuckles when I haul it out of the basement.

But even with all those negatives, using it is still a pleasure. I can do my entire yard (.25 acres) in an hour and I don't think it requires any more physical exertion than the electric mower did. Best of all, I can cut the grass at any hour of the day or night without fear of disturbing anyone. So... 7 out of 10 overall but still worth the money. Not necessarily "better" than the American Standard... but "different"


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

I wanted to come back wit a longer term review of the Mascot. While cutting I noticed half of the cut width still showed longer blades. So out with the manual and strted adjusting for complete cut along the reel. Using 1x6 strips of paper, I adjusted both sides of the reel. I get a much more even cut, BUT the thing is very difficult to push now (even using lube/silicon). I have to conclude the the bed knife has a slight warp to it. In order to cut paper on both sides, the reel is too snug against the bed knife. I did buy the back lap kit. Think back lapping will help?


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

wrager, I'm no expert on reel sharpening, but I have backlapped my push reel many times, and it helps. However, there comes a point when backlapping won't help and a grind is necessary. I don't think you're there yet being that you recently bought your mower. I've gone 2 years on backlapping along on my Scott Elite 16" and it still cuts good, although I find I have to backlap more often as time progress to keep the blades sharp. By backlapping, I think I'm just prolonging the inevitable, which is a grind. But for this mower, it means throwing it away and getting a new one since grinding cost $10 less than a new unit. You say the bedknife is warped. Sounds like a defect to me. Have you tried exchanging it for a new one?

One other thing, you say it's difficult to push. Could it be that the grass is now denser? I have this problem as the season progress.

Good luck.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

I just registered here after reading all the posts regarding the fiskars and bermuda at the lower settings. I purchased a fiskars a couple of weeks ago and noticed the chopping look and the grabbing of the grass at the lower settings too. I laid my bermuda 419 in my front yard a couple of months ago and have been trying to keep it at the lowest setting like it was from the sod farm. When the mower does not jam up and stop dead it its tracks I get a rippled look like someone else mentioned earlier. I was going to post a couple of pics but can't seem to figure out how. I have sent an email with pics to fiskars explaining the difficulty with my bermuda and will post a follow up if they can offer a fix. I don't want to have to send it back since I ordered it online and I think it is a nice mower, but if it won't glide through my bermuda, what's the use?

Someone mentioned that it needs a roller on the front instead of the two little wheels, what do you mean by that? I also have scott's classic 20" but didn't notice a roller on the front. I have read this explanation somewhere else too, but would like some clarification.

Thanks, so far I love the advice given here.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Here are the photos showing the rippled look after using the fiskars as described in previous post. Bermuda is at about 1.5' in the pics.

[IMG]http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg222/ronmiller69/Landscaping Photos/frontyard1.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg222/ronmiller69/Landscaping Photos/frontyard2.jpg[/IMG]

Here is a link that might be useful: bermuda 419


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Update regarding Fiskars reel mower and its use on bermuda grass. I just got off the phone with the company and per an engineer there, this mower will not work well with bermuda grass. I sent them the same pictures I posted earlier showing the rippled effect in my lawn. They stated there are no adjustments that can be made and that I should send it back. You have to appreciate their honesty when confronted with this problem, some companies would run you around. Hope this helps anyone else that has this mower or looking to purchase one.

Now I need to find one that will work properly with bermuda 419. Any suggestions or personal experience would be appreciated.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

Has anyone had any experience with any of the battery powered reel mowers? I have a battery powered rotary (neuton brand) and it works great, just not the same quality finish a reel will provide. I have seen 3 or 4 models of the battery powered reel mowers online and might give one of them a try. It seems the common problem with using manual reels on bermuda is that you can't get the reel spinning fast enough to cut through smoothly. The battery powered might remedy that to a point, but it would be a much cheaper option that the gas powered models. Any thoughts?


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

I've seen reviews where the battery powered reel mower would just stop when it hit a thick patch of grass. Unless the battery powered one runs on a battery like in the link below, I would be very skeptical of it working well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jacobsen E-Walk


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

ronm69, concerning you're question about the Scott's Classic, I would lower it down to the lowest setting and see if you're scalping the lawn or not. I would suspect you will as I recall you mentioning you're lawn is bumpy. If the lowest setting scalps, raise it up to the next, and so forth, until you're happy. I recommended the Scott 16" Elite not knowing you already had a push reel mower. But since you already have one, I would just use the one you have now for a few weeks. It will give you a good idea of what it takes to use a push reel.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

dwrecktor, thanks for moving this conversation back to this forum, I wasn't sure how to do that and the other forum was the only one getting responses. That Jacobsen E-Walk is pretty nice but I think it is more expensive than the gas powered.

I haven't really tried the Scott's Classic on the new front yard at the lower levels yet. I believe it only goes down to 1", which as my yard gets smoother after leveling I will want to go lower.


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RE: Mascot, Brill 38, Fiskar's Reel Mower Review

  • Posted by GWlolo 9b/ Sunset 15 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 12, 13 at 13:51

I am reviving this thread to see if there are any further updates. I just laid down new sod and am looking for a reel mower that will leave clippings behind instead of bagging it. Years ago, I used Brill Lexus and quite liked it. My grass is Fescue with a bit of blue grass (Delta brand in northern california - Bolero plus and shade blend). The total amount of grass is just under 2500 sq.ft and quite level but in 3 different sections. As there are trees, there is possibility of occasional twig or leaf but I see that as more of a seasonal issue. What would be the best manual mower for me to get. I should also add that I am a petite women about 5ft tall.


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