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Hi All,

now I know from experience that a reel mower is much better to use on your lawn, for many reasons. However, the use or rotary mowers makes the job faster and allows leaves and small sticks to be sucked up and or mulched.

But, in today's world i was wondering if there any worthy single reel mowers available?

Any feed back is appreciated

Thank you
 

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Several worthy reels are still available. California trimmer's are still made in 20" and 25"(I love my old 25") and locke's are still available in 25" or 30". Both of these companys are no longer made by who they used to be. But appear to be heavier duty than current "mowers. Steel/rubber wheels and actual linkage, not cables. I know mclane still are made. They are just not high on my list. I am not sure of other companies that still make "good" reels.


I love my reels. I love the fact that I can mow if it is raining or the grass is wet. They do not clog up like a rotary. I use my locke during the few months that the ground is dry enough. I use my California Trimmer for the rest of the year, usually mulching but sometimes I will use a catcher. I use a bagging rotary maybe once or twice a year.
 

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HI

Yes, we had two Lockes for my dad's business back in the 60's. I actually have slides and 8MM film of them in use.

Thank you
 

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But, in today's world i was wondering if there any worthy single reel mowers available?
At the John Deere dealer I used to work at, we sold California Trimmers. Man, were those things built quite durable! They were very heavy duty units and they came with Honda and Briggs engines on them.
 

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I have a Gravely 30" reel mower attachment. Man did it cut nice until i decided it needed a little adjustment. now it misses more blades of grass then it cuts. :fing20:
 

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Getting a reel mower to cut is almost an exact science, but more importantly is that it takes patience.

I use newspaper to set the reel blade to the cutting knife. As long as the reel blades are filed slightly lower than the rest of the blade, it is relatively easy to set the cutting gauge.

If the reel blades are dull, a good back lap with a synthetic graphite mix is in order. You should avoid having the blades sharpened at all costs.

It also depends on the adjusting mechanism of the machine. The best adjuster I have seen is on the older 1960's Loches. They were spring loaded and even if you hit a branch or rock, the reel blade would lift and come right back into position. once set, it stayed set. Others like the Toro three reel sit down introduced in the early 70's was crap. Adjust it, make one 50ft pass on the lawn and you were lucky if you did not need to rest the reel to knife spacing. They were a nightmare.
 

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Thx for the info myrochead. Everything is sharp, I'll just have take some time to do it right.
 

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Getting a reel mower to cut is almost an exact science, but more importantly is that it takes patience.
Yeah, definitely a lot of trial and error.

When I adjust mine, I have to mow a stripe, check it and adjust, make another stripe and so on.
 

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While working on mower blade designs, I took more than 100 samples from different home lawns. Almost all are cut by rotary mowers. Almost all blade tips appear like this sample from my photo archive:

By contrast, reel mowers actually cut grass blades rather than rip their tops from their bottoms. Both produce browning over the area that is severed, but ripped tops display MUCH more surface area than cut tops, so that browning effect which starts appearing within 2 days after mowing is MUCH more obvious on ripped rather than cut lawns. This is old news to golf-course groundskeeper professionals who use real-type mowers because the post-mowing appearance is so much better.

High-speed rotary blade strikes grass blade but is not sufficiently sharp to chop through so the blade bends over the fast-moving blade. Either the grass blade must pull the top section around the metal blade or it is ripped apart. Grass blades are not so tough that they can pull that hard without being ripped apart, so they are ripped.

REALLY sharp chopping blades can actually cut grass, which chop cutting requires MUCH less energy than ripping apart. But that sharpness level seems to last less than an hour with most rotary blades. Then they begin gradually transitioning into rippers, which is their usual operative mode. When most rotary mower owners say they are going to "cut the grass" they should be saying that they are going to go "rip off the grass tops." But that wouldn't sound very pleasing and explaining it would overtax short-attention span listeners anyway.
John
 

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John (lovelearn), at one time you posted about working on a new way to cut grass that you were hoping to patent. Are there any new developments that you can share? If so, start a new topic. It would be cool to hear about it.
 

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Many years ago I used to work in a custom metal shop. When the guys came in to flip the blades on the metal shears they set the gap for the blades using newspaper laid out down the length of the 12' blades. The newspaper was stacked two pcs thick. The blades had the correct gap when one pc was cut and the second pc wasn't. Is a similar system used for setting up the gap on a reel mower?
 

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You can set them that way so they cut one, leave one. I have found that the reel will run quieter, not be as unhappy if running with out cutting grass for lubrication, but leaves more uncut blades of grass.

My california trimmer is set so it cuts a single piece of newspaper all the way across the reel. It sounds noisier now. One time it got really loud and stopped the reel and engine when I was traveling up about 100' of driveway (lesson learned). It does cut better now than when it was a little looser.
 

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Eric wrote, "John (lovelearn), at one time you posted about working on a new way to cut grass that you were hoping to patent. Are there any new developments that you can share?"

Your memory is good. I am still ACTIVELY working on that, especially work related to prototype testing and safety standards compliance. When I'm able to prudently reveal in this public access discussion site information about that work including a patent application number, I will do so and I may ask for volunteer testers. Production costs will be higher than for conventional mower blades, so it will not be competitive if only price is considered. Inventors are notoriously optimistic in their judgments about cost/benefit ratios their designs provide to end users. So my optimistic assessment of its value should be taken with more than a "grain of salt." Perhaps a 50-pound block of salt would be more suitable. But if prototype testers love how it performs, that should be taken very seriously.

Those interested in blade design considerations might find my recent comments here interesting.
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=152180
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=134698&page=2
John
 
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