The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Reel Mower for Your Lawn

Reel mowers are gaining in popularity, especially among lawn enthusiasts who are particular about the quality of their turf. With various brands and models available in the market, choosing the right reel mower can be a daunting task. This guide aims to provide you with insights into some of the top brands and what to consider when making your choice.

Popular Brands of Reel Mowers

California Trimmer

  • Pros: Great for beginners, easy to operate and maintain. The Honda engine is highly recommended over the Briggs and Stratton. Excellent for smaller lawns around 3500-5000 sq ft.
  • Cons: May leave wheel marks, and the bagger may not be effective for low cutting. Some users have reported issues with build quality.

Honda

  • Pros: Known for its reliable engine, a Honda reel mower is a solid choice for those who prioritize longevity and performance.
  • Cons: Higher price point compared to other brands.

Toro and John Deere

  • Pros: These are higher-end reel mowers that offer excellent cut quality. They are often recommended for those who are willing to invest in serious lawn care.
  • Cons: These mowers may require more frequent sand leveling and are generally more expensive. Not recommended for beginners due to their complexity.

McLane

  • Pros: A good starter reel mower, especially if you can find a used one. McLane mowers are often recommended for those who are new to reel mowing.
  • Cons: May not perform as well on uneven or bumpy lawns compared to higher-end models.

Rolux

  • Pros: Newly launched in the U.S., Rolux mowers are gaining popularity for their greens-type approach and excellent reel to bed knife adjustment.
  • Cons: Currently, availability may be an issue as they are often sold out.

Factors to Consider

Engine Type

The type of engine can make a significant difference in your mowing experience. Honda engines are generally more reliable and efficient compared to Briggs and Stratton.

Blade Count

The number of blades can affect the quality of the cut. For lawns that you intend to keep under 1/4″, a 10-blade reel is recommended. For higher cuts, a 7-blade reel should suffice.

Front Roller

The type of front roller—smooth or grooved—can impact the mower’s performance, especially when making turns. A grooved roller is generally better for lawns with lots of turns.

Budget and Resale Value

If you’re new to reel mowing, you might not want to invest in a high-end model right away. Brands like California Trimmer offer good resale value, allowing you to upgrade later.

Lawn Size and Terrain

The size and condition of your lawn can also dictate the type of reel mower you should get. Higher-end models like Toro and John Deere are more suited for larger, well-maintained lawns.

Availability and Support

Check if there are authorized dealers in your area who can offer after-sales support, including free demos and machine setup.

Conclusion

Choosing the right reel mower involves considering various factors, including your lawn’s size, your level of experience, and your budget. Whether you’re a beginner looking to dip your toes into the world of reel mowing or a seasoned pro wanting to upgrade, there’s a reel mower out there that’s perfect for you.


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