16

Rollover is, indeed, the major concern. And it's one that kills a number of people each year, all of whom were probably just as sure as you are that it wouldn't happen to them... Don't be a statistic. If the maker of your mower recommends mowing up and down the slope, it's for a reason.


15

I suspect the guidance came from a time of reel mowers, which do actually push the blades of grass over in the same direction. (I use a reel mower to maintain our acre and a half.) As you've pointed out, with a rotary mower there is a lot more randomness involved. That said, if you mowed your lawn with the exact same path every time, you would probably ...


14

First let me say, I'm no expert when it comes to sharpening lawnmower blades, I've done it on the odd occasion -- only on rotary mower blades, never on cylinder or reel mower blades. I do sharpen my own hand-tools, things like wood chisels, plane blades, etc and use sharpening stones to do those, but when it comes to lawnmower blades I've personally found ...


12

I have an acre and a half, about half of which is lawn, and have used nothing but reel mowers on it for a decade or so. My tips: don't try to mow when it's wet, and don't let it get too long - both long grass and wet grass (or heaven forbid, long wet grass) will be a real struggle. These rules fight each other when it rains every day, causing the grass to ...


12

I think the recommendation is to wait until it is dry. As well as clogging problems, you can damage the grass - although this latter issue isn't a problem for a heterogeneous low quality "lawn" such as mine! Raising the blades will reduce the amount of cuttings produced - so this will reduce clogging. Also, have you considered leaving it on the lawn as ...


12

I'm assuming that you trust your friend and he'll give honest answers when you ask the following questions. In general if you're buying it from someone you don't necessarily trust, you'll probably want to inspect it and let your eyes tell you if they agree with the answers. (See below.) Was the oil changed annually? Spark plug? Was gas drained from the tank ...


11

Theory says that changing up the mowing pattern will keep the grass from always bending in the same direction. Another reason I've heard stated is that it keeps wheel ruts from forming. I might buy the latter but the former's probably not a real problem. Grass tends to want to grow where it wants to grow, generally upward towards the sun. Maybe running ...


10

You've basically described what I have in my lawn and fields, except that I have blackberry instead of thistle. What I use: For my lawn I use a self-propelled walk-behind Toro purchased from a big box store several years ago. The blade is in horrible shape (I should replace it), but I sharpen it with an angle grinder a few times a year and it keeps doing ...


10

In the absence of a better answer, here's what I do on my walk-behind 24" "flat blade" / vertical-axis mower: Before doing anything else, remove the wire from the spark plug. You don't want it to start accidentally. Wear heavy gloves. Turn the machine on its side. Gas tank up, so it doesn't leak. (Ideally, the tank is empty when I do this.) Wedge a board ...


10

If grass is too long when you take a reel mower to it, it just folds over. This is made even worse when it is thick. After making sure the blades are sharp, you will probably just need to take multiple passes at it. We own two reel mowers and the way we know we need to sharpen one is when the same grass responds like that on one mower and normally on ...


9

I've learnt to never cut my lawn when it's: Damp, wet. During dry, hot spells (generally July & August here in Missouri), when temperatures are constantly over 90°F (32°C). Yes, my grass does on occasion get somewhat long, but never long enough for it to become an eyesore -- at least I don't believe so (and I'm not living in denial here, ...


8

I've used several different mowers, both at my homes, my parents' home when I was in school, and "professionally" (summer job; small client list) when I was in school, for mowing areas ranging in size from a softball field to a midsized suburban yard. If you are in halfway decent shape, 0.75 acre with a self-propelled walk-behind mower is a piece of cake. ...


8

You say "snowblower" but you talk about "pushing" snow. These are two fundamentally different operations. A snowblower sucks up snow and ejects it from a chute so that it lands many feet away from the machine. A snow plow pushes snow, basically scraping it from the ground and pushing it somewhere else. I'll address both. (Disclaimer: I haven't used a ...


8

I don't have a lawn tractor, but presumably this is a lead acid battery? (i.e. similar to a car battery but smaller) If so, when stored for long periods of time, they should be hooked up to a slow charger. Power requirements are minimal: what you need is more of a float charger to avoid self-discharge. (i.e. any lead acid battery charger will do, but set it ...


8

Well a trimmer won't destroy the lawn but it won't do a good job. It is difficult to keep the trimmer head at exactly the same height. Try this: Use a sharpener on the blades, even sandpaper will help. oil all the moving parts of the mower, WD40, lubricating oil or whatever comes to hand Do wear protective gear when using a trimmer. Gloves and glasses ...


8

keep it sharp mow frequently (they really struggle in tall grass)


8

Adjust the cutter bar Often times bad cutting results are caused by a mower in need of adjustment, not a mower in need of sharpening. The first thing you'll want to try, is to adjust the cutter bar to ensure you have proper contact with the reel. This is often done using a few adjustment screws, and a tape measure or spacing tool (that may have come with ...


8

I think you are just suffering from mowing a pasture for the first time. Once you've got it all cut for the first time it will go much faster to keep it cut. However you don't want to use a flail to keep the grass down, use a regular blades lawn mower. It will do a neater job. A flail is for knocking down tall stuff and shrubbery but not for "lawn mowing". ...


7

In principle, sure - as long as it will fit. Most blades are made to similar strength standards. Check very carefully that the hole spacings are correct - and that you can tighten the bolt/bolts fully, as you really don't want a blade flying off at speed.


7

@Kate Gregory has a good point about reel mowers, but a rotational mower won't have the same problems. I don't buy the "direction of cut" argument, and here's why: The blades aren't moving the same direction you are. If you compare the mower blade to a helicopter, the blade is retreating faster than you're moving forward. Depending on the location under ...


7

In theory, yes, but the usual problem encountered is slipping and skidding on the grass as you push it along, often causing muddy slicks to appear. At worst, pushing it along might make grooves in wet soil, but if the grass isn't that long, it shouldn't be a problem. That's assuming that what you guys call a reel mower is what we in the UK call a push along ...


7

Working in Landscape Maintenance in the Northwest US with lots and lots of rain, well, rain and wet couldn't come between my crews and their routes. We used hydro static gas mowers for traction more than anything. Mowers that aren't hydro static will spin their wheels and dig up/ruin the grass. A reel mower would be less intrusive to the environment being ...


6

If you look at this manual (I'm not sure if this is your exact mower), there's an exploded parts view on page 86. I suspect it's the bearing labeled "26" in the diagram. There are several of them, so check each location on your mower.


6

I prefer to mark the heads by first trimming an area around them with a string trimmer or something similar. You may be already using this method to mark the heads that are on the edges of your lawn (spraying inward). Other alternatives? If you want something at least as fail-safe, there are some chalk-like (temporary) grass-safe paints. (I know that ...


6

Could be the battery, especially if you have to jump-start it: a dead or dying battery can cause all sorts of peculiar electrical problems. Small batteries such as in motorcycles or (I'm assuming) small tractors often die prematurely due to cold storage and infrequent use in the winter. The battery may be working well enough to keep the engine running but ...


6

String trimmers tend to leave the cut edges of grass rough and ragged, which is unsightly as well as not good for the grass plants. The strings on the trimmer are also generally not good for more than just a few yards of heavy cutting before they become weak and start to break off, requiring more string be let out of the reel to continue working. This can ...


6

The reason is potential for roll-over like Fiasco and Ecnerwal say. Perhaps you should invest in a used smaller hydraulic walk-behind mower. That is what professionals do. Match the mower to the job. You can find them almost free. Slopes are tricky to mow properly, have you considered making the sloped area into a planting bed? Lawns should be mowed ...


6

Looks like it should be the carburetor bowl (where fuel is metered in by a float valve to be available to get sucked into the carburetor jets - either of which can get clogged if you did't drain the fuel before storage or run a fuel stabilizer before storage - and sometimes even if you did.)


6

I don't have too much experience (none with robot mowers) but I think same 'rules' apply to any type of mower: Avoid mowing when grass is wet - this applies to early morning when there is dew (or after rain). Mowed wet grass is sticky and will probably pile up inside you mower. Also, the hottest time of day is not good time because your grass it trying to ...


5

When I had a reel mower, I found it best to pick up twigs that had fallen from the trees before I started, otherwise it was frustrating to have to keep stopping when they jammed in the reel. It was still much more pleasant than using a gas mower for a small yard, though - hope you enjoy yours!


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