If you’ve seen the Scotts Classic lawnmower and like it, but think it’s a bit heavy, then you’re going find the Deluxe Light reel mower made by the same American Lawnmower Company interesting.

Scotts Classic Deluxe Light Reel Mower

Scotts Classic Deluxe Light Reel Mower

Basically, it’s described as a much lighter version of the classic design, weighing just 27 lbs. It has quite a wide cutting width (18″), and you can set the blades for a variety of cutting heights between 0.5″ and 2.5″, which is pretty average for a reel mower.

When you buy one of these mowers, you’ll get it in a 2.13 cubic foot box, and all you have to do is attach the bright-plated loop-type handle to the mower. According to the instructions, this shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes. Then you can get straight out into the garden and start mowing.

This particular reel mower has five blades in all and a ball bearing reel. The roller is adjustable, as are the wheels that can be positioned at three different heights, depending on your needs.

The manufacturer also has some useful tips for anyone planning to buy one of the Scotts Classic Deluxe Light reel mowers. First of all they warn that whilst they are great for mowing grass, you shouldn’t try and cut dandelions or other tall weeds. If you’re faced with tall weeds, on a new lot for instance, have a look at the cordless string trimmers on the market. These will cut long weeds, and the experts say that they are also great for the edges of the lawn.

The makers of this mower also advise people to mow their lawns every week; if you don’t take this advice they say it’s going to be difficult to push the manual mower through the long grass, particularly in the growing season.

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Gardenas Easy-to-Use Home Grass Cutter

Gardena's Easy-to-Use Home Grass Cutter

This pretty little powder blue number is kind of toy-like in appearance, or perhaps rather like those trolleys you can buy for suitcases. But as the blurb says, it is in fact a hand cylinder lawnmower, better known as a reel mower in some parts of the world, including America. It is manufactured by the British company Gardena and is available all over the world.

Designed specifically for cutting grass and lawn areas in private gardens up to about 100 square metres or about 1 100 square feet, the manufacturers boast that you will achieve a precision mowing job as you would if you were to use shears. Cutting a lawn with shears would be so laborious though, it’s doubtful how precise the final result would be.

Other advantages, they say, are that it runs very smoothly and is quiet, saving the user effort. The cutting technique is what they call “contact-free” because the cylinder and the bottom blade don’t touch each other. Working widths and adjustment heights are given in metric measurements. The working or cutting width is 300 mm (about 11 ins) and the cutting height may be adjusted from 12 mm to 42 mm (about .5 ins to 1.6 ins). As lightweight as it looks, it weighs 7.6 kg or less than 17 lbs.

The manufacturers advise that you use the mower with a grass collecting bag so that you don’t have to rake up all the cut grass when you’ve finished mowing. But this is an optional accessory and will cost you a little more to add it on. Still it sounds like a good idea that should make your life a whole lot easier. I wonder what color the grass catcher is!

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This little video clip is not likely to win any awards, even in a specialist gardening category. Entitled The New Reel Mower, it’s all of 54 seconds long and shows a Scotts Classic Reel Mower in its plastic, in its box. Then the producers show you the parts that come with the mower, and an instruction manual. Then you can watch a man wearing shorts and a hat mowing his lawn. Not terribly informative, although you will get the idea that there’s some assembly work to be done before you can start mowing your lawn.

So basically what this video shows is a new reel mower! I suppose that is what the title says.

If you want to know more about the Scotts Classic Reel Mower, you’re going to have to do a little bit more searching. The thing is that the Scotts Classic is probably the reel mower that is most like standard gasoline mowers – but without any air pollution or other harmful effects. It offers a 20″ cut and you can cut as high as 3″ and as low as 1″. It’s a bit heavier than some of the other reel mowers, weighing about 30 lbs. But that’s not too heavy to push around the garden, unless you have weak arm muscles or little strength.

Other pros that people talk about is that they say it’s a useful and eco-friendly product. That figures since it’s a reel mower and reel mowers are indeed eco-friendly. They also say that it’s reliable as well as light (that has to be relative) and easy to manage.

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This good-looking, yellow reel mower made by McCullogh Products has most of the features of other top-of-the-range models. For example, it has a generous cutting width of 20″ and the handles have a soft and comfortable foam grip.

McCullogh 20 Reel Mower

McCullogh 20" Reel Mower

There are four rust-resistant steel blades, and the cutting height of the mower can be adjusted from 1.888″ to 2.888″. This is a weird dimension that doesn’t even relate accurately to a metric comparison, since 48 mm is equal to exactly 1.889 76″ and 74 mm is equal to more than 2.9″. But maybe it does have something to do with metrication.

This mower also has four tires. The larger front tires measure 10″ x 2″ and the smaller back tires measure 6″ x 2″. It is however quite heavy, weighing in at 48.4 lbs.

McCullogh is part of Husqvarna, a company that prides itself as a global leader in outdoor and other power products, including tools. Their products, for forestry, lawns and gardens are available in more than 100 countries that are classified as North America and “the rest of the world.” Brands include Gardena, Flymo, Partner, Poulan, WeedEater and of course McCullogh.

Since this reel mower comes from the McCullogh stable it is reassuring to learn that they have been around for more than 60 years. You may also want to know that they boast products that we can use “easily and comfortably” and that you can rely on technology, as well as functional ergonomics and design. That must be important when you’re looking for a reliable reel mower.

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In this video, Lars from CleanAirGardening.com presents “a terrific German-made mower” that he recommends. It is the Brill Razorcut 38 Push Reel Lawn Mower that comes from, you guessed it, Germany.

The Brill Razorcut 38 is, says Lars, very similar to the Luxus 38. It weighs only 17 pounds, so it is easy to pick up and maneuver. You can even hang it up in your garage to save space.

Like the Luxus 38, the Brill Razorcut 38 Push Reel Mower has five welded steel blades and it works on the silent-cut principle. What this means is that the blades don’t make contact with the cutter bar and so there isn’t any metal-on-metal friction when it works. Because the blades have a flat edge, rather than a sharp edge, you don’t need to sharpen them; all you do is to adjust them from time to time.

According to Lars, the Brill Razorcut 38 comes with an improved handle design. The mower is supplied in a box and even though the handles are supplied loose, it takes less than ten minutes to attach them to the mower. Better still, you don’t need any tools.

The Brill Razorcut 38 has a 38 cm cutting width, which is about 15″, and it can be adjusted to between 15 and 45 cm for cutting. That gives it a cutting height from about ¾” to just less than 2″, making it quite versatile. Adjusting the cutting height is simple, as Lars demonstrates. All you have to do is turn the little orange knobs on either side of the mower.

While the Brill Razorcut 38 is a good choice for most grasses, Lars says that if you’ve got a thick grass like St Augustine, Bermuda or Zoysia growing in your garden, then you will need to use a mower that is heavier than this one. That seems to be its only disadvantage.

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If you look at the American Lawn Mower Company’s Promotional Price Leader mower next to their Economy Line mower, they look pretty much the same. But look again and you’ll see that the wheels are quite different. Study the specs and you’ll see that the economy line has the same-sized wheels (8.5” diameter), but they are made of cast iron and not a polymer plastic. They don’t look quite as much like a baby carriage.

Economy Line Mower from American Lawn Mower Co.

Economy Line Mower from American Lawn Mower Co.

Both mowers have four-blade reels and a 14” cutting width, but this economy model has a ball bearing reel instead of a sleeve bearing reel, which seems to be better. But with all that metal, it’s bound to be heavier, which it is, weighing in at 29 lbs versus 19 lbs.  If that seems like a disadvantage, you can buy an economy line mower with those pram-like polymer wheels, then its weight will drop to 19 lbs.  Not sure about the price.

Both reel mowers have three-section, adjustable rollers, and both cut the grass to a height of between .5” and 1.5”. Like the promotional price leader model, the American Lawn Mower Company’s economy mower also makes a great trimming mower, or so they say.

According to the company, most of their reel mowers will give a clean and precise, scissor-like cut off most turf grasses, including the cool-season grasses like bluegrass, fescue and rye. But we warned, they recommend mowers with more than four blades for low-creeping fine-blade grasses like Bermuda, and tough grasses like St Augustine. Lightweight, four blade mowers simply aren’t heavy-duty enough to cope with tough grasses.

An interesting snippet is that to be able to “assure” a precise, fine cut, this lawn company puts all its reel mowers through a tough inspection test before they are packaged and sold. Each mower has to be able to cut paper that is 3000th of an inch thick, which is a lot thinner than a blade of any type of grass.

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A lot of people regard the Scotts Classic as the best large reel mower available. It’s a good quality lawnmower that is well priced, works well, and it has some good features. For example it has a generous 20″ cutting width which is much the same as those traditional mowers that use gasoline. But it weighs a lot less than the gas types. It also has a very high (3″) maximum cutting height, which is ideal for people who want to keep their lawn tall rather than the usual 1″  to 2″, although it’ll let you cut your grass to 1″ if you want to.

The manual Scotts Classic mower has five blades, which is pretty standard for push reel mowers (although some do come with more). But probably its most unique feature is the two little wheels at the back that make it a lot easier to manoeuvre than other mowers. Now that’s the serious part. Take note.

Now there are two videos here that will show you the Scotts Classic in action. According to Lars, the fact that it cuts 20″ is one of its “coolest features.” Another cool feature, he says is that you can cut as low as 1″ and as high as 3″. And it only weighs about 30 lbs which makes it easy for his wife to use.  He also shows us how to adjust the cutting height.

In the second video, you can watch a woman, presumably Lars’s wife, having a real workout with the mower. It has a title that says the video will show you what it’s like to push a Scotts Classic manual push lawnmower through St Augustine grass (and they tell us it’s the middle of July). It doesn’t look that easy either. In fact after about two-and-a-half minutes, she gives up and someone else takes over; it looks like Lars; and later on it looks like a third person mowing to finish the job. That’s when we hear something other than the turning of the reel mower blades. “Alright, are we done?” she asks.

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Well, if you want to watch a video about reel mowers that is slightly different from most of the other how-to-do-it lawn mower videos, then don’t miss The Adventures of Gnome Chompsky and Gnomer Simpson.

Now these two aren’t your regular garden gnomes. Hey man not at all. These little garden gnomes might look like regular garden gnomes, but they are here to teach us all about the environment. Their conversation in this video, made by somebody called C. Scott Shuffitt (if you can believe the credits), revolves around a Scotts Classic mower. Now isn’t that a co-incidence?

What they point out is that if you use a gas-powered mower, you’re going to produce as much smog-forming hydro carbons as you do when you’re driving an average car almost 200 miles in average conditions. That’s a sobering thought, even if it is based on gnome-talk. Their next point is that reel mowers are safer than gas mowers. And “what about all that noise pollution?” they ask. Clearly reel mowers are a whole lot quieter than regular gas mowers.

So, say the gnomes, we can save money because reel mowers are cheaper to buy and they don’t cost as much to maintain. They also cut down on usage of fossil fuels.

As they say so sweetly, it makes a lot of sense. The video is only a minute long, so go for it. It won’t take up much of your time and it might persuade you to help save the earth!

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If you’re wondering what it’s like to assemble a Scotts Classic Push Reel Mower, then watch George from CleanAirGardening.com in action. He will show you that is it “real easy and simple.”

This is a 3.06-minute video that starts with George showing us the “little area” where you can see the flat cutting blade at the base of the Scotts Classic.

Even though George doesn’t exactly spell it out, what’s important about these cutting blades is that they are indeed flat. More specifically, they don’t have to be sharpened regularly. Also, the way the blades work is more like scissors than some other lawn mowers with blades.

Then George goes on to show us how to adjust the orientation of the back blades that work like scissors. He also moves the mower backwards and forwards to show exactly how the cutting action works. It looks really quiet and effective.

Then George shows how to put the handle of the mower together, and how to line everything up accurately. He warns that it can be a little bit tricky. There are five pieces that make up the handle and it really is very important to line up all the pieces correctly – to work accurately.

Once you’ve put the handle together you need to attach it to the mower. George’s advice here is that if you battle to do the last bit (watch the video closely) then you should use a flat-head screwdriver instead of your fingers. The point is that you wouldn’t normally need to use tools at all. But a screwdriver might just be helpful.

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Here’s a mower accessory made by Corona, a company that prides itself on making professional quality tools. This particular “tool” is a Leaf and Grass Catcher that you can use with a reel mower of some kind. It’s quite a natty looking item that is made from a light-coloured canvas that is said to be both water and mildew resistant. Not sure whether this means it won’t end up with those typical grass stains which are quite difficult to avoid.

Grass Catcher for Reel Mowers

Grass Catcher for Reel Mowers

The pan part of this catcher is made from thick, heavy-duty galvanized steel, while the steel wire frame is just that, steel wire.

If you need to pack the leaf and grass catcher away when you aren’t using it, you can disassemble it and lay it flat. This is quite a useful feature if you haven’t got a lot of storage space in your shed or garage. Presumably the leaf and grass catcher is supplied flat and you will then have to put it together before you can fix it onto your reel mower and use it. It also isn’t clear whether it will fit on all reel mowers or only onto certain models.

Like all the tools that Corona make, this natty leaf and grass catcher comes with a limited lifetime warranty. And the good news is that you don’t have to register for the warranty to be effective.

You can buy one of these leaf and grass catchers from a home center, from a hardware store or from any other retail outlet that stocks Corona tools. It’s likely to cost you around $30.

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