Reel lawn mowers, in general, are an excellent frugal buy. You just buy it, move it around your lawn, and oil it up regularly. There is no cost associated with gas or electricity (and no danger of running over a cord and getting electrocuted). There is also the benefit of the mower not waking up the neighbourhood while partaking in a early morning mow (it works with very little noise). Money savings can be had with no sacrifice over grass cutting quality. These are attributes that the frugal living person tends to endear themselves to.
The idea is pretty simple. You push it and it turns a rotating set of blades that cut your grass. There are very few things that can go wrong with such a simple, straightforward design. Simplicity is a virtue valued by many frugal-minded shoppers.
I used an old-school Eaton’s brand reel mower for many years. I think it was built in the sixties. It is a heavy-duty, and extremely well-built machine. The problem is that it is heavy. Mowing my lawn would normally have me sweating profusely and it would take about an hour to complete a 30 x 120 lot. Three of my adjacent neighbours bought a Yardworks reel mower from Canadian Tire. Each of them believed that it was a good investment and that it did a good job. I bought the 14 inch version for myself two months ago on sale at Canadian Tire for $49.99. The regular price was and is $89.99.
The things I like about it:
– It is very lightweight and cuts even medium-height grass (2-3 inches or so) quite effectively
– Its small size makes it easy to maneuver around trees and bushes
– It has a nicely designed handle that is easy to grip and maneuver with
The things I don’t like or are unsure of:
– The wheels and the rollers are made of that hard, hollow plastic. This has not been any problem whatsoever, but it could be later on.
– The handle assembly sometimes feels a bit wobbly when moving over uneven terrain, but it is still easily manageable
The quality can not compare to my vintage Eaton’s mower from the sixties. My Eaton’s mower was designed to last forever. It was a one time investment. My new reel mower, however, is much lighter and thereby takes much less effort to use. It is also imminently more maneuverable. I am happy with my purchase and would recommend this product to anyone in a similar situation. I can now mow my lawn in half the time that it took me before and I barely break a sweat.
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