When I first had a lawn and had to take care of it, I bought one of those electric grass trimmers. I loved it for the first 30 minutes, then hated it for its whole life, which was less than one year anyway. Maybe I bought one that was too cheap to be good. Fact is that the line broke every five minutes or so. That made me spend more time with fixing the line than with the actual grass trimming. I had to buy lots of spools. It was good at least that they were very easy to replace.
Earlier this year, I bought an electric mower. It’s a no-name but it’s very similar to this Black & Decker. I love it. It did a great job with parts of the yard that were really invaded by tall weeds. However, I must confess I managed to cut the electric cord three times within the past two months! These machines should come with red cords. The black ones look very much like the dirt, so it’s fairly easy to get over them with the blades. Another small issue I had in the beginning was starting the mower. Pushing the red button while pressing the lever and slightly moving the machine, all at the same time, were a bit too much for me. I got used to that after a while, though. If I can do it, anybody can. I’m clumsy.
Then I discovered manual mowers. Haven’t bought one yet, but I’ve got my mind set on this Fiskars 6201 18-Inch 5-Blade Momentum Push Reel Lawn Mower. I can’t get over how simple the mechanism is. No engine, no cords, just wheels, gears and blades. It reminds me of the toy-strollers I used to walk my dolls in when I was little. There are so many advantages! No noise to disturb the neighbors, so I could go and cut the grass very early in the morning, before it gets too hot. No more electric cables to cut by mistake. No fumes like those gas mowers produce. My neighbor has a gas mower and I really hate it because of the smell. Maybe I could convince him to get a reel mower, too. Or I could lend him mine, when I get it.
Why I chose Fiskars Momentum over other push reel mowers
The StaySharp cutting system trims the grass without the blades touching. This reduces wear, therefore the blades will stay sharp for much longer time than in case of common reel mowers.
I love the ergonomics of this machine. The padded three-dimensional grip seems very comfortable. The handle is adjustable for different size users. The machine is easier to push than other reel type lawn mower models, thanks to a special technology called InertiaDrive, which doubles the cutting power. The manufacturer claims it’s 40% easier to push than traditional reel mowers. Such percentages always make me smile, but I tend to believe this one, because I’ve seen a review on Amazon from somebody claiming Fiskars Momentum is indeed superior to other models:
I have had several reel mowers (scott’s, etc.) and found the Fiskar momentum to be the best by far. I have used it for two seasons and it continues to roll easily and cuts evenly with little effort.
The grass discharge chute throws clippings forward, thus creating less mess. This is very important. If you ever used a lawn mower and got grass clippings all over your clothes, then you know what I mean. Grass stains never go away from light colored fabrics. Ever. No further than three days ago I destroyed my nicest pair of violet shorts when I cut the grass.
The cut height can be set between 1 and 4 inches. This is the greatest cut range among this type of mowers. I like it because although I enjoy cutting the grass, I don’t want to become its slave. I want to be able to skip cutting for a couple of weeks and still manage to do it effortlessly. Four inches height should be fine, if it doesn’t rain too much. The cut adjustment is very easy to do, thanks to the one-touch system. There’s no need for wrenches, you just need to move a knob. Even my grandmother could do it.
Fiskars Momentum has the closest side-edging among reel mowers. This is great, because manually cutting the grass edging the alleys is something I don’t like to do. However, I like my yard to be neat, so I’m happy this machine would do such a good job. I can go close enough with my current electric mower, but I’m always afraid I’d chip the blades.
This reel mower handles all types of grass very well. It’s great, because I’m yet to see a yard without any weeds or unknown grass growing here and there. Thanks to its InertiaDrive technology, it cuts very well even through weeds, tough spots or twigs that would normally jam push reel mowers.
I read on Amazon that the Momentum reel mower “received Popular Mechanics 2010 Green Design Award and is recommended by the leading consumer research magazine over other reel mowers”. Besides, the 80 user reviews, most of them giving this machine 5 stars, can’t be wrong.
Here’s an excerpt from one review which summarizes pros and cons very well:
– No Noise
– No fumes
– Can cut higher than most gas mowers
– Only reel market on the mower that can go as high as 4″
– Adjustable handle to suit your height
– Much lighter than a gas mower, so easier to push on inclines
– Cuts grass into confetti/ribbon strips for easy grass-cycling
– Transports easily (handle quickly detaches using 2 cotter pins)
– Very difficult to cut overgrown grass
– Difficult to cut wet grass.
– No way to collect clippings which could be an issue if you have a lot of weeds.
– Would be easier to turn and handle dips if rear wheels were larger.
– Doesn’t cut tall/bendy weeds well. They bend under the mower and pop back up.
Spring 2011 Update:
This mower has made me a victim of my own success. The yard looks better than ever but I now have to cut 3 times every 2 weeks to keep the grass in check, and if we’ve had rain, my tall fescue is on steroids and I get a real workout.
I understood from other people that it can get time-consuming to use a reel mower for bigger areas. This is not a deal breaker for me, as my yard is about 1 acre maximum.
The Fiskars 6201 18-Inch 5-Blade Momentum Push Reel Lawn Mower is available on Amazon. It ships for FREE if you qualify for the Super Saver Shipping program. It would make a great Father’s Day gift, don’t you think so?