The beauty of most reel mowers is that you don’t have to do much maintenance. But from time to time – probably every third or fourth year – you might have to adjust the distance between the reel and the cutting bar. That will keep your mower finely tuned, as Steve from Clean Air Gardening tells us in this video. The point is that if your mower is finely tuned, you’ll get a more precise cut and your lawn will look more beautiful.
In the video, Steve is talking specifically about Brill Razorcut Mowers, and you can see him working on a Premium 38 model.
Reel mowers usually come in a box, and when you get your mower, you will find your adjusting gauge either taped to the mower or in a parts packet. The adjusting gauge really just looks like a piece of paper, so don’t fret if you throw it away by mistake. In fact Steve says he prefers using an ordinary piece of paper instead of the gauge that comes with the mower, because you can use a larger sheet.
Adjusting the gauge on your mower involves setting the distance between the reel and the cutting bar. The aim is to create the smallest possible space between the two. In addition to the gauge – or piece of paper – you’re also going to need some sort of adjustable wrench or spanner. Steve suggests that you use either an open end 10 mm wrench or a crescent wrench. Then all you do is put the paper between the two mower parts and tighten up on either side. Then use your finger to get the cutting blades mowing, taking care not to cut yourself. If you hear a metal-on-metal sound then the two parts are touching, which means you’ve tightened it too much. Steve doesn’t say this, but it’s pretty obvious.
After this your mower should be as good as new again.