The doorbell rang Friday afternoon and when I opened the door, there on my front porch, sat a box with the picture of a Gilmour Reel Mower on it. I brought it in the house, opened it up, and that's exactly what was in it. Ten minutes and six nuts and bolts later, the mower was ready for use, including the grass catcher.
Too bad our lawn wasn't. But I was anxious to try it out, so we took it outside and I pushed it the length of the front lawn, just to get a feel for things. I'd never pushed a reel mower before, and judging from the varied comments I'd received from my earlier post about them, I didn't know what to expect.
I'm not a big person, nor am I particularly strong, especially in my upper body, but I didn't find the mower hard to push at all. True, the grass at this point is very short - pieces of grass that I cut were just half an inch long with the cutting blades set at the lowest level (adjusts from 1-3 inches). But I didn't find it much different from pushing the gasoline-powered one we'd been using.
There are always small twigs here and there in our yard and we generally try to pick up the larger ones before we mow. Still, there are a few that we miss and when I pushed the Gilmour over these, they didn't get caught in the mower unless I slowed down. As long as I kept up a good pace, the mower went right over them without stopping.
Since we'd had a rain shower earlier in the day, the grass was a bit wet and when I finished trying it out, there were bits of grass stuck on the mower and the blades. They recommend cleaning the mower with a soft brush or cloth, not water. It would be so much easier to just hose it off, but they probably advise against it to help prevent corrosion. Once it's cleaned, it stores with the handle in an upright position, so it has a pretty small footprint.
The blades on this mower are self-sharpening, which is a nice feature. It cuts a path 20 inches wide and the detachable grass catcher is included at no extra charge. There are dual wheels, unlike some reel mowers that have a single set. Dual wheels (two larger front wheels, two smaller back ones) make for a more stable mowing experience. The handle is comfortable, with the grip being covered in foam padding. The mower was noisier than I expected, but still quieter than its gas counterpart.
Part of the reason I'd been considering buying a reel mower was for the exercise. Our property is an acre in size and my intent was not to mow the entire yard with this, but to do those areas where the grass seems to grow faster than others and other small areas where the riding mower has a more difficult time of maneuvering. I can see doing the entire front yard with it, which would give my upper arms and my thighs a good workout. Those were the muscles where I felt the exertion the most.
I'll post a progress report later when I'm able to mow a decent height of grass. It will be interesting to see how much more difficult the mower might be to push, if at all. My overall impression of the mower at this point is very positive!
The product or merchandise being reviewed in this blog post was the sole compensation for testing and reviewing the product. All opinions expressed here are mine, with no suggestions whatsoever by the manufacturer or distributor. If I like it, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say that, too.