DIY Network

Top 10 Reasons to Consider a Reel Mower

This old-fashioned push mower is back in style.

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1. Nostalgia: The simplicity of this type of mower fulfills many people's desire to get back to basics and experience a simpler, more natural and peaceful lifestyle.

2. Broad interest: The reel mower appeals to a wide range of young, old, urban, suburban, male, female; environmentally aware; lawn fanatics; exercise enthusiasts; all income levels; anyone and everyone with a patch of grass.

3. Ease of use: The reel mower starts when you do — no rope pulling, no key to remember, no idle to adjust, no gas or oil to worry with. Lightweight, only about 19 to 34 pounds, it's easy to push, lift and store. What could be easier? You push, it cuts — every time.

4. Superior cutting ability: Manual mowing is better for the lawn — no ripping or tearing. The clean, even, scissor cut of a reel mower seals the grass blade to hold in moisture and keep out disease organisms. It also yields a natural mulch by dispersing clippings in a fine spray (no clumping) that decomposes quickly. Left on the lawn, the clippings serve as a natural fertilizer for the grass.

5. Safety: Reel mowers are noted for safety: They stop when you do and don't throw rocks or debris.

6. Economy: All models sell for very attractive prices, especially when they're compared with the larger sums required to purchase power units.

7. Fitness: One of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise, pushing a reel mower burns as many calories per hour as tennis, downhill skiing and low-impact aerobics (for an average 150-pound person, that's 400 to 450 calories). You get a workout and the yard work gets done at the same time. (Just be sure to check with your doctor if you have any health restrictions on exercising.)

8. Maintenance: No engine means no tune-up — also no repairs, no gas, no oil, no spark plugs. Simply brush the blades off occasionally, spritz them with WD-40 and sharpen them every other season. (There's a DIY sharpening kit available, too.)

9. Environmental benefits: Cutting grass the natural way is good for the environment: no air or noise pollution.

10. Suitability for small lawns: It makes sense: less lawn equals less mower.

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