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good non-gas mowers

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I've already covered in my lawn care article that gas mowers suck.  Loud, stinky, require stinky gas, hard to start, and require maintenance.

After a period of not using my manual mower, I gave it to a friend on the condition that he only use it at the highest setting.  He, of course, is having great results. 

And then I found myself in a position where another friend needed a new mower and ... well ... a weird set of circumstances.  He said he wanted a gas mower.  He didn't want a manual mower and he didn't want the cord of an electric.  He'll be away from his lawn for a few months and asked me to step in and help him out.  I refuse to purchase a gas mower.  Fortunately, a quick trip on craigslist scored me a cordless electric mower!

The guy I bought it from said he was selling it because he was upgrading to the newer mower.

Let's see .... here is a link to the cordless electric mower

It is very light!  Maybe lighter than the manual mower!  Very quiet!  I have mown the lawn twice now and I haven't even plugged in the charger yet.

It mows at 3.5 inches!  Wow!

No gas.  No oil.  No pull-cord.  No tune-up.  Instant on.

I cannot imagine why anybody would use a gas mower. 

I remember hearing something about how a mower creates far more pollution than a bunch of cars.  A friend sent this link:  http://www.peoplepoweredmachines.com/faq-environment.htm

The thing I don't like about the article is stupid statements like "a traditional gas powered lawn mower produces as much air pollution as 43 new cars each being driven 12,000 miles. "  Is that for one mow of a huge yard?  Is that for 20 years of mowing a large yard?

Granted, a new car with a catalytic converter generates very few emissions while a gas mower has no catalytic converter ....  okay - I'm getting all nutty about the details .... the important thing is that gas mowers have a really high suck factor.






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Joined: May 04, 2007
Posts: 33
I have one, for a couple years now.  They have a newer model with a 19" width, vs my 13".  I don't mind though, just more walking.  Come spring, the only thing to do is sharpen the blade, put in a battery (I leave them on the charger over the winter), and away you go.  I also have the weed wacker attachment, a bit bulky but does the sidewalks and the edging pretty well. 
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I am surprised at how light they are.

Here is a link to the bigger one.

I'm wanting the grass to hurry up and grow so I can mow again.  It was bizarre how quickly I was done.  And how it took almost no time. 

                  


Joined: Jun 30, 2009
Posts: 9
I love my Scott's reel mower.  It is nice and quiet, and it is light enough that I can pick it up to make turns.  I am sure my whole neighborhood thinks that I am crazy, but I finish my yard faster than they do with their stinky noise-makers.

One negative is that it doesn't successfully cut the tall stalks of rye grass, so even after I mow, my lawn looks a bit like a wheat field if you look at it from the correct angle.  It has had the problem since day one, so I am not sure if sharpening the blades will resolve the problem.
                        


Joined: May 04, 2007
Posts: 33
Best part with the battery rotaries, when you get to a stick, there is no quick stop + stomach trauma.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
The one down side with the reel mowers, even the really good reel mowers, is that if stuff is too tall, it sorta push it over and the reel cannot pull it to the blade.  So, with a reel mower, you either have to come by later with a tool to hand wack the tall stuff or you just gotta make sure you mow often enough that nothing gets too tall.

                                  


Joined: May 24, 2009
Posts: 99
Anybody want to come m mow my 2.5 acres with that thing?
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
If I had 2.5 acres of grass, I would probably convert 2.3 acres to food crops.

                      


Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 27
According to Consumer Reports, the Black and Decker is rated the best cordless electric lawn mower.
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 969
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
I can do our yard with the scythe and it comes out almost as nice as if it was mowed with a mower.  (We don't water the grass, so we don't really have a lawn, we have a hay-field that I get one or two cuttings from.)

The ground is too rough in our yard for a wheeled mower, anyway.

Kathleen
lynn crow


Joined: Jul 10, 2009
Posts: 6
I still prefer my reel mower over an electric mower. It has simple moving parts on it that I can understand and fix if I would need to . My reel mower is now 14 years old  and it will probably last another 60 years and outlive me.Most of my tiny yard is planted with vegetables ,herbs and flowers so I don't  have much grass to mow anyway.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
garyd wrote:
According to Consumer Reports, the Black and Decker is rated the best cordless electric lawn mower.


Wow!  It's as if oil and water can mix. 

My experience has been that if it says "black and decker" it is utter crap.  Maybe buy it with the idea that you'll be returning it in a few days because it broke.  Maybe if enough people in the world keep returning B& junk, the stores will stop selling it.

But consumer reports is generally thorough (although they usually leave out testing the aspects I want to know about).

Did consumer reports explore logevity at all?  Or even brand longevity?
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Freeholder wrote:
I can do our yard with the scythe and it comes out almost as nice as if it was mowed with a mower.  (We don't water the grass, so we don't really have a lawn, we have a hay-field that I get one or two cuttings from.)

The ground is too rough in our yard for a wheeled mower, anyway.

Kathleen


THAT is soooooo cool!

How does a scythe do if the grass is five inches and you want it to be three inches?  My impression has always been that a scythe does well with cutting, say, foot tall stuff an inch off the ground, but cutting shorter stuff further up - not so good.    But I haven't really tried.  Hav eyou?

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
lynn crow wrote:
I still prefer my reel mower over an electric mower. It has simple moving parts on it that I can understand and fix if I would need to . My reel mower is now 14 years old  and it will probably last another 60 years and outlive me.Most of my tiny yard is planted with vegetables ,herbs and flowers so I don't  have much grass to mow anyway.


How high does your manual mower cut?
                  


Joined: Jun 30, 2009
Posts: 9
Of course, after bragging about my Scott's Classic 20" reel mower, it broke!  The metal handle snapped clean in half!  Fortunately, the folks at Scott's were very gracious about it, and they are sending out a new handle.  They said that it is a known issue, so if you have one, be forewarned!

lynn crow


Joined: Jul 10, 2009
Posts: 6
paul wheaton wrote:
How high does your manual mower cut?

How high does my mower cut? My Great States owners manual says1/2- 2 1/4 .  This is good enough for me .  I understand the benefits and drawbacks of both kinds of mowers. It all boils down to what your own unique situation is
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Kip wrote:
Of course, after bragging about my Scott's Classic 20" reel mower, it broke!  The metal handle snapped clean in half!  Fortunately, the folks at Scott's were very gracious about it, and they are sending out a new handle.  They said that it is a known issue, so if you have one, be forewarned!


Please let us know what arrives.  I like the idea of relaying when a company does good.

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
lynn crow wrote:
How high does my mower cut? My Great States owners manual says1/2- 2 1/4 .  This is good enough for me .   I understand the benefits and drawbacks of both kinds of mowers. It all boils down to what your own unique situation is


Please forgive me at I push in my obnoxious opinion. 

The highest setting on that mower is not high enough. 

It is my opinion that any mower that cannot cut 3 inches high or higher is useless and should be immediately ditched. 

That extra 3/4 of an inch will enable you to mow less often, water less and have a thicker, healthier turf.

That extra 3/4 of an inch will do more for your lawn than fertilizer and proper pH combined.


lynn crow


Joined: Jul 10, 2009
Posts: 6
paul wheaton wrote:
Please forgive me at I push in my obnoxious opinion.

The highest setting on that mower is not high enough.

It is my opinion that any mower that cannot cut 3 inches high or higher is useless and should be immediately ditched.

That extra 3/4 of an inch will enable you to mow less often, water less and have a thicker, healthier turf.

That extra 3/4 of an inch will do more for your lawn than fertilizer and proper pH combined.
not  to beat a dead horse to death , but I feel I must clarify. I never,never, never fertilize or water my grass. My yard is 75% garden,25%grass. In what remains of my grass I would like to be able to find plantain.chickory.dandelion,purslane,etc. etc.  For those that prefer the suburban look than go for the better models.
For those of us who think of grass as somthing to hold the soil in place or prevent our shoes from getting too muddy as we tend to our gardens  then the old standbys will do.

                  


Joined: Jun 30, 2009
Posts: 9
My replacement handle arrived from Scotts, and my mower is back in business!
Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Zone 5
My mowers have 4 hoovs and a tail to swat flies.  I have no mower nor weed trimmer and it worked fine at our last place.  Took 2 years but it now has a great yard.  I have been in this house for 1 month.  They yard is very unlevel (due to plumbing nightmare as of yet unresolved) and over grown in most places but bare where they had junk.  I seeded the mud pits knowing that we will tear it up but I am not a fan of mud and would rather "wate money on grass seed" than live in it. 

We fenced in the front yard first thing.  I graze it and pull weeds, not to kill them but to manage them as I do NOT want to kill off the plantain and such.  My pasture, on the other hand, I would love to get mowed.  The pervious owners had horses and did no pasture management that I can tell.  I have resorted to some chemical warfare out there.  I need to get it enough under controll that maybe we can get in there and mow with the neighbors tractor

I pick up the manure and put it in the cart each evening, soak in water over night, mix well to break up lumps, water flowers some with the tea and then pour the slop over a bare or rocky spot.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
My aunt and uncle lived in Kenya for a while.  They hired a local boy to mow their lawn.  The boy was confused - that's really nice grass and you want to feed it to a machine?  Why not bring in a goat?

My aunt and uncle finally convinced the boy to just do it.  So they got the mower started and the boy started to mow the lawn.

My aunt and uncle came back a little later to see how things were going.

Well ....  as americans we just assume that folks will mow in an optimal pattern.  The boy was mowing in a zig zaggy crazy random pattern.  I suppose the same pattern that a goat would use. 
Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Zone 5
Lol, I like to keep goats in my pastures, but sadly no goat fence here...yet
                            


Joined: Aug 28, 2009
Posts: 12
I had terrible luck with gas mowers even though I take better care of them than most.  If it wasn't the motors it was the gas line leaking big time or else the wheels falling off and stuff.  Plus some were hard to start and some the pull cord was loose and got run over by the mower leaving it too short, etc.

I finally bought a Nueton electric mower, the kind you recharge and I've had really good luck with it.  it was a little expensive but not much considering it still works where the others would have been junk.  I've used it for 3 seasons and its still working quite well and I highly recommend it.  Also, they have live customer service if you have problems and don't leave you hanging with no where to go.
                            


Joined: Aug 28, 2009
Posts: 12
Oh, I just saw that is the kind of mower you provided the link to on Amazon.  I'm very happy with mine and my son installs sprinkler/irrigation systems to some of the more wealthy people in our area and has met several people who have them and they report good results also.

i never had any luck with the reel mower as they become dull fast and then you have to push pull to get going and it becomes very annoying and I think you are pulling the grass out as opposed to cutting sometimes.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Just basking in the glow ....  quiet ... no exhaust ...  starts every time ... so lightweight ...

                          


Joined: Mar 11, 2010
Posts: 40
Location: Portland Oregon
Ok, Ok, I give up!
My exhaust belching B&S engined cheapy mower has holes in the deck and the wife has been putting advertizements for battery powered mowers out where I cant help but see them for several months now.
I'll go spring for one of them green ones down at the local big box store.
After so many years in the landscape maintenance industry I feel like a traitor to Briggs and Stratten.
Maybe I'll go whole hog and get a battery powered string trimmer as well.
And a hot dog and cup of coffee from the cart by the door.
Hank


Do not go gentle into that good night,
rage, rage against the dying of the light
                                  


Joined: Mar 22, 2010
Posts: 18
Just remember that a replacement battery could cost half as much as the mower, and that some of those batteries are rated to last about 5 years. I agree though, I'd love to get one of these.
Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Zone 5
My father so enjoys the hotdog from the cart by the door.  I am not so sure they are good for you though he says they are yummy.
                      


Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 27
Paul,

How does your Neuton mulch? I tried a cordless mower that is similar to the Neuton several years ago (about the same cutting width and batter power, 24v), and I liked the cutting with the bag but it didn't mulch very well if the lawn had grown longer than an inch.

Gary
                      


Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 27
Just got back from Lowes and they have a new push reel mower that looks interesting. It's the Fiskars reel mower:

http://www2.fiskars.com/Products/Yard-and-Garden/Reel-Mowers

It costs $199 and it cuts up to 4 inches high!!! It has a 18 inch cutting width and it is the easiest pushing reel lawnmower I have ever tried.
This thing is pretty incredible.
                                      


Joined: Apr 19, 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Portland, OR
Hi All,

My first post here. I just bought a house on a quarter acre (which is huge here in Portland, OR), and have been reading a lot of lawn mower reviews. The one I've decided on is a cordless electric made by Worx.  Just wondering if any of you have experience with any Worx products - I had never heard of them until a couple weeks ago.  Here's the link to their mower: http://www.worxyardtools.com/cordless/lawn-mowers.html

Sue
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
garyd wrote:
Paul,

How does your Neuton mulch? I tried a cordless mower that is similar to the Neuton several years ago (about the same cutting width and batter power, 24v), and I liked the cutting with the bag but it didn't mulch very well if the lawn had grown longer than an inch.

Gary


How?  Maybe elves are involved?

Much longer than an inch?  Dude, I think you are mowing way too short.  The mulching stuff does not work well at all when you mow too short.

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
garyd wrote:
Just got back from Lowes and they have a new push reel mower that looks interesting. It's the Fiskars reel mower:

http://www2.fiskars.com/Products/Yard-and-Garden/Reel-Mowers

It costs $199 and it cuts up to 4 inches high!!! It has a 18 inch cutting width and it is the easiest pushing reel lawnmower I have ever tried.
This thing is pretty incredible.


Did you buy it?

I think the main problem with push mowers is that they tend to push over taller weeds and not cut them.  Does this mower address that?

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
crunchysue wrote:
Hi All,

My first post here. I just bought a house on a quarter acre (which is huge here in Portland, OR), and have been reading a lot of lawn mower reviews. The one I've decided on is a cordless electric made by Worx.  Just wondering if any of you have experience with any Worx products - I had never heard of them until a couple weeks ago.  Here's the link to their mower: http://www.worxyardtools.com/cordless/lawn-mowers.html

Sue


The page isn't loading for me.

I haven't heard of them before.

                                      


Joined: Apr 19, 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Portland, OR
paul wheaton wrote:
The page isn't loading for me.

I haven't heard of them before.



Hmm, it works fine for me.
                      


Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 27
paul wheaton wrote:
Did you buy it?

I think the main problem with push mowers is that they tend to push over taller weeds and not cut them.  Does this mower address that?




No I haven't bought it yet. I'm trying to decide between this and a cordless like the Neuton you are using. Does your Neuton mulch very good?
                      


Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 27
paul wheaton wrote:
How?  Maybe elves are involved?

Much longer than an inch?  Dude, I think you are mowing way too short.  The mulching stuff does not work well at all when you mow too short.




I was asking how well it mulches.

What I meant is an inch of growth. I've never mowed short. Before I first read your article a few years ago, I never mowed shorter than 2 1/2 inches. After reading your article, I've been mowing at the highest setting which is about 4 inches for about 5 years. When I tried the cordless electric, it didn't mulch very well on the highest setting if there was more than 1 inch of growth. It was a DR electric mower which looks like the Neuton. I think it is the same mower since they now sell the Neuton on the DR website.
                      


Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 27
paul wheaton wrote:
Did you buy it?

I think the main problem with push mowers is that they tend to push over taller weeds and not cut them.  Does this mower address that?




Here is another website that descibes how it works:

http://peoplepoweredmachines.com/fiskars/index.htm

This web page also sells a cordless electric reel mower that also looks interesting:

http://peoplepoweredmachines.com/brill/brill_razorcut_accu.htm

                      


Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 27
Well, I bought the Neuton CE 6 today. Ozone Aware Colorado was having a special deal, selling the CE 6 for $250 with a gas lawn mower trade in or $275 for the mower alone. I couldn't pass it up for that price. I haven't used it yet.
 
 
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