Push Lawn Mowers
The heavy weight push reel mowers that could be found in every suburban garden shed during the 50's and 60's fell out of favor when the rotary lawn mower came on the scene. Rotaries now account for over ninety percent of all lawn mowers, but that could be about to change. An increasing number of home owners are ditching their raucous rotaries in favor of light weight push lawn mowers. A new generation of gardeners has discovered the pleasure of quietly grooming a lawn, while breathing fresh air and enjoying some exercise.
For anyone with less than a quarter of an acre of lawn the best lawn mower for their needs may well be a push reel mower.
1. The latest generation of push mowers are light and easy to use. For example the Brill Razorcut 38 weighs in at just 17 pounds. Even the Scotts Classic real mower with an enormous 20 inch cutting width weighs only 30 pounds. By way of comparison the average walk behind lawn mower weighs between 80 and 100 pounds.
2. The scissor action of a rotating reel achieves a far cleaner cut than the shearing action of a rotary blade. It enables grass to be cut shorter without exposing roots and damaging turf. The clippings that result are also finer and decompose more quickly. There is no question that reel lawn mowers are better for the health of your grass than their rotary relatives.
3. Maintaining a push reel mower is a breeze compared with gas powered alternatives. All gas powered mowers need to be serviced regularly to avoid the frustrations of a spluttering engine that refuses to start. At the very least air filters and spark plugs must be cleaned and oil changed on a regular basis. If these are not duties that you find enjoyable either hire a lawn mower service or get the best available push lawn mower you can find.
4. They are environmentally friendly in every way. A push mower can be used at any time of day without antagonizing the neighbors. Early morning is the best time of day to mow a lawn. It's not only more pleasurable for the person pushing the mower, but also better for the grass.
5. In addition to being almost silent, push lawn mowers don't pump out noxious fumes for your family, pets and neighbors to inhale. Whether CARB compliant or not, gas powered lawn motors are collectively responsible for putting vast quantities of pollutants into the atmosphere.
6. Push reel lawn mowers are much safer than powered mowers including electric lawn mowers. They are even safe enough to be used by children.
7. The up front cost of a best push mower is far less than a walk behind lawn mower. The cost differential is even greater when all costs are totaled over a lifetime of use.
While we confess to being biased in favor of push lawn mowers, we also recognize that they are not the right solution for every lawn or home owner. Let's consider some of the show stoppers that may disqualify them from consideration.
1. The size of a lawn and the terrain are key factors. As a rule of thumb we would hesitate before recommending a push lawn mower to anyone with more than ten thousand square feet of lawn. If the area is also littered with twigs and or stocked with weeds, we would almost certainly recommend powered alternatives and probably a self propelled lawn mower.
2.Top of the range Scotts lawn mowers can slice through grass up to five or even six inches in height, but they are an exception. Most push mowers struggle to handle grass any longer than four inches. Once it gets to that height you may need to borrow a rotary mower or hire a lawn mower service before using your push reel mower again. An even better solution is to make a point of cutting your grass every week and reducing it's height by no more than one third.
3. It takes a little longer to mow a lawn using a push mower. On average it takes about twenty five percent longer. Hence there are personality as well as lifestyle considerations that may make a push mower inappropriate for some.
4. Push mowers are designed to cut grass and only grass. They are totally ineffective when used on weeds and sticks. At best a reel lawn mower will simply bend or roll over tall weeds. Twigs and sticks are notorious for causing jams. Rotary or mulching lawn mowers are the best solution for a weed infested garden.