I’ve recently inherited a manual lawn mower. I was so excited at the prospect of fume free mowing! Was? Yes, I was very excited. I’m still happy about it, don’t get me wrong. Let’s just say, it has it’s limitations. It’s not a perfect solution. On the other hand, it’s no worse than any other mower. Personally, I love it. Plus, since I’m a writer, I can use my manual reel mowing adventures in this article. Do you plan on buying a manual reel mower? Here’s the best and the worst of manual lawn mowing in my experience.

Yay! No dirt clouds. Summers here are hot and dry. Water restrictions often prevent us from watering as often as needed. Our lawn was ill-kept by the former owners. All that adds up to several dusty, rocky areas that send up clouds of choking, itching, annoying dust when using a gas or electric mower. Even a weed whacker sends debris flying everywhere. Not so with the manual mower. It’s wonderful for getting rid of growth over sand and gravel without choking to death in the process.

Our backyard is weed heaven. Dandelions, stickers and broad-leaf abound. It’s what I refer to as a hairy mess. We’re researching natural methods of weed removal to find one that will cover all the bases. It really is crazy with weeds of all kinds. The manual lawn mower does a fairly good job of keeping the weeds down to ground level for now. We are finding that we have to run over a few things twice with it. That makes mowing the lawn do-able, but slightly more labor intensive.

The extra labor isn’t as bad as you might think. The little push mower cuts grass smoothly. It pushes easily. Actually, it’s lighter than the gas and electric mowers I’ve used in the past. In fact, if I had to rate them according to ease of use, the manual reel mower would come out on top. I have to tell you this, because it surprised me. I actually have a lot of fun with the reel mower. It’s child’s play. In fact, so far, it’s like a new toy. Which is good, because it encourages me to mow more often.

The manual mower is great for good old grass. The front lawn is smooth sailing. The old home owners apparently placed the front lawn high on their maintenance list. Sort of. There are a few areas that could use some work. There’s also some dandelions that need pulled. Dandelion stalks have to be run over in several different directions or hand pulled. It’s not as bad as it sounds, though. All in all, the reel mower does an awesome job on well maintained grass.

I think the old time manual reel mower is the way to go. It has it’s faults, but it has it’s strengths too. There’s no pollution, for one. You don’t have to worry about it starting or not. You don’t have to run for gas every time you want to mow. I already mentioned the lack of dust clouds and smooth operation. Plus, it’s fun to use. It’s kind of like the “adult tricycle” I bought last year. It’s conversation inspiration for the neighborhood. Everyone wants to talk about it. When I use it, I get to know my neighbors. I’m like a celebrity in my own yard. Thanks push mower. You’re the best.

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