Posted on June 01, 2012
There’s something about going back to the charm and quiet of a reel mower that appealed to me. I remembered watching my dad and brothers pushing one around in my early childhood. When I pulled the NaturCut Ideal 40 reel mower out of the box, I saw those familiar blades but was surprised at how light it was — just under 20 pounds. It was easy to assemble; the wheels and blades already are together. You just add a few cotter pins and screw on wing nuts to
attach the three-part handle.
Even though it’s light to maneuver, a reel mower makes lawn care a little bit more of a workout. But that’s a good thing for those of us with sedentary jobs in the daytime. It’s also good for the grass. Reel mower blades spin vertically, or north to south, and use a scissor action to cut the grass. I’ll admit that the NaturCut missed a few seed-heads on my bermuda, but the grass was pretty high. And I learned after the fact that I should have cut north-south on my first bermuda pass each time, then east to west. The mower is recommended for fescue, bluegrass, ryegrass, and can cut just about any grass but zoysia. Once high grass is under control, reel-action cutting beats rotary for lawn health.
Speaking of health, I loved that the NaturCut used no gasoline and produced no noise or fumes. It makes the experience more relaxing and better for the environment, not to mention convenient. You can pull this 20-pound mower out on a whim after dinner or before breakfast and quickly cut the lawn. No worries about having gas in the tank or waking the neighbors. Many proponents of reel mowers don’t catch the clippings, preferring to let the short blades mulch their grass and serve as a natural compost. If you like a cleaner look to your lawn, the NaturCut is catcher-ready.
The mower’s cutting height was easy to adjust from 0.6 to 2.75 inches. The 16-inch cutting width made for quick mowing of our back lawn. This reel mower covers a lot of ground smoothly and quickly, partly because the new Ideal model has 10-inch wheels. If you’ve got a large lawn, you might not want to switch to a reel mower full-time; it’s best suited for small-to-medium areas of turf. At only $199 including shipping, it’s also perfect as a back-up for the inevitable power mower breakdown, to get lazy teenagers off the couch in the summer, and to pull out for quick jobs when you want a quiet, peaceful and natural workout that also results in a beautifully manicured lawn.