I have a push reel (Scotts 2000-20 or something like that) and a
crappy never heard of brand hand me down gasoline mower.
Haven't had any desire to use the gas mower since I'd gotten the
push reel (about a year ago). Now a manual push reel is not
going solve all your problems or give you incredible bonuses
like clandestinely instituting civil war among the squirrels,
but it's a quieter, non-gasoline using alternative. Personally
I don't think it's any harder to push than the gas mower ...
assuming by 'average size lawn' you don't mean Donald Trump's
butler's estate sized, I doubt you'll have any problems. If
you have a hard time pushing up a slope, mow downhill or
The prices are kind of crazy, US$129 will get you a Scotts (up
$10 from last year) or a low-end gas mower (minus the gas). For
some models you can buy an attachment that lets you sharpen very
easily, but first I will have to look at you like you are insane
... 8^! ... because I can't imagine using a 16" ... so tiny ...
anyway the 2000-20 (20") manual says you shouldn't need to sharpen for
several years, mine is still very sharp despite leaving it
outside for several months in the weather. For the 2000-20 you
can reverse the blades and run it backwards with some lapping
compound to sharpen it.
You asked if a push reel is helpful, of course it isn't, unless
you get a powered version, you are doing all the work although I
think it's less work than pushing around a gas mower. Another
downside is I don't think they are recommended for overgrown
lawns and the product literature my model specificly says it's
not recommeneded for use on St. Augustine grass. Also if you
have a lot of tall cylindircal stalks, such as rye seed (?), these
usually get knocked over rather than cut unless you are lucky and
catch them right. You probably shouldn't get a push reel if you
seldom mow your lawn (less than once per week depending on where
you live I guess).
I think if you are havng a hard time mowing, your blade height
is probably too low (or you need to sharpen the blades). Raise
it (you can try lowering it again the next time around) and it
should cut like (a hot knife through) butter. <snip> <snip> <snip> Very
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