Reel Lawn Mowers

Written by Charles Peacock
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Reel lawn mowers are a real slice of Americana. They've been around for over a hundred years, and there's at least one manufacturer out there that's sold the same model in three different centuries. If you're looking for classic, environmentally-sound way to keep your lawn trimmed, reel lawn mowers are the way to go.

Reel Lawn Mowers: Past and Present

The American Lawn Mower company started making reel lawn mowers in 1895, and since that day many moons ago, their mowers continue to utilize the same power source: human beings. Reel mowers work by simply pushing them forward--the momentum of the wheels spins a circular blade that cuts the grass underneath. I've used reel mowers a few times, and I've always been impressed by how easy they are to use and how effective they can be.

Over the years, reel mowers have been improved to fix their one main disadvantage: weight. The oldest models used to weigh over 50 pounds, which made them cumbersome to move and push around. Today's models are substantially lighter, but they still have enough weight to stick to the ground--which is important in order to cut your grass evenly.

There's a lot of nostalgia surrounding reel lawn mowers, so much so that a day has been named after them. In 1995, the Governor of Indiana declared June 21 to be "Reel Lawn Mower 100th Anniversary Day." This declaration was important in the sense that it caused people to think about environmentally-safe landscaping equipment. If you have a green thumb and you care about your planet, reel lawn mowers make a great choice.


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