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Reel Mower vs Electric

We just bought our first house.The yard isn't massive but it's not a city yard. I don't want to mess with gas, but I'm worried about being restricted by a cord and/or how long a battery will last (during a mow and over the life of the mower). Is a reel mower my best bet? How much more work is it than using an electric self propelled mower? Thanks!

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Posted 2013-12-17T05:01:32+0000  by greene7788 greene7788

Hi greene7788,


Congratulations to you for purchasing your new home, and welcome to The Community! We're here to help you make it your dream house.


The first impression of any house is the curb appeal. The yard must be maintained, and you have made a wise decision to avoid gasoline powered equipment. Gasoline creates storage, safety and maintenance issues that add to the cost of the machines. The ecological impact of gas equipment should not be ignored, either.


The vast majority of of maintaining a mower goes to the engine, with it's air filter, spark plug and oil that requires changing every season or more often. 


Manual reel mowers do not have engines to maintain. They always start when you start.


20 in. Reel Mower StaySharp Max 18 in. Push Reel Lawn Mower (6201)


The maintenance for these mowers involves minor lubrication, blade sharpening and adjustment, and general cleaning of the unit.


Of course, a self propelled version of these mowers is impossible without an engine. 


Electric mowers are available with rechargeable batteries, or corded versions that plug into household current.


20 in. Cordless Electric Walk-Behind Lawn Mower 16 in. 40-Volt Cordless Walk-Behind Lawn Mower - Battery and Charger Not Included14 in. Corded Electric Lawn Mower


There's even an electric riding mower!


36-Volt 85 Amp Hour Rechargeable Riding Mower


Reel mowers are best for cutting warm season grasses, such as Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede lawns. Those grasses prefer to be maintained at a lower than 2'' height. The units with more than two wheels can often adjust  to cut taller grasses, such as fescue or Kentucky Bluegrass.


Electric mowers are available with interchangeable batteries that recharge in a couple of hours, so longer run time is capable with multiple batteries. Some of these are part of a system that offers multiple tools that come with batteries of their own that can be utilized on all of the tools in the system. The 40-volt Ryobi System applies their Lithium-Ion battery to several garden tools that are useful in every homeowner's yard.


24 in. 40-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Hedge Trimmer150 mph 150 CFM Lithium-ion Cordless Electric 40-Volt Blower40-Volt Cordless Lithium-ion Trimmer/Edger12 in. 40-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Electric Chainsaw


These batteries will out perform the old Ni-Cad batteries of the past and will have a longer overall life expectancy, as well.


Batteries need their charges to be maintained, and they will require replacement eventually, but the expected life is greater than 5 years, so the cost of replacement could outweigh the cost of maintaining a gas engine over the same period of time.


Reel mowers are dependable and easy to maintain, but they are single-taskers.


The 40-volt battery can motivate an arsenal of garden tools.


Thanks for asking, 








Posted 2013-12-17T15:24:27+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL


The real advantage of a reel mower ( no pun intended) is that they cut the blades of grass, and not bludgeon them as does a blade mower. It is much easier on the grass.  It should be noted that golf courses use reel mowers almost exclusively, expecially on the greens. The clean, scissors like cut of the reel mower seals the cut end of the grass blade , resulting in less trauma to the blade with less moisture loss.  


There are motorized reel mowers, but they tend to be relatively pricey.


Electric blade mowers tend to be rather noisey with an annoying high pitch scream. This is due to how fast the blades are moving. However, the very fast moving blades do have a cutting advantage over the slower moving gas blades when it comes to giving a clean cut.

Posted 2014-01-07T04:49:36+0000  by ordjen
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