In an age where Home Depots are full of riding lawnmowers, why did I make such a Luddite purchase? There are various reasons listed at the People Powered Machines website. Here's some of mine:
- No buying gas
- Not polluting
- Low price (relative to gas mowers)
- Low maintenance
I've mowed a bit of lawns during my teenage years, so I'm not coming into this completely naive. (Note I also ride a geeky recumbent bike around town when able, so I might be a little more green than most)
So far, it has worked pretty good. I've mowed my lawn two times. It takes about 40 minutes. My lawn is pretty small (.25 acre lot) and flat. Turning around is a little tricky, since with a prop mower you are still chopping during that time, but with a reel mower if there is no velocity for the mower, there is no cutting of the lawn. Cutting edges where your grass is taller than say the flower bed below it is a little tricky as well, since you can't mow along the side of the edge or the blade will bind. You have to mow perpendicular to it.
As far as the effort required to use the mower. It requires a little more than the propaganda on the aforementioned websites would suggest. I definitely sweat a little when I mow (and I wouldn't consider myself too out of shape).
All in all, I'm pretty satified with my purchase. Hopefully I'll get many good years of use out of it. The sad thing (much like Open Source btw), is that most people haven't heard of, or haven't considered such mowers, because they are bombarded with miniature SUVs with blades on the bottom, when a simple, cheap, effective solution exists. Is this a marketing problem? Greedy capitalism (No/less money in cheap goods)? Or just catering to lazy couch potatoes?