I know: Ever since Tim Taylor first grunted in prime time — a sentiment now mirrored by Top Gear‘s Jeremy Clarkson’s cry of “pooooowwwwwweeeeeerrrr!” — the idea of a pushing a reel mower around the yard seems a bit unmanly. And that’s the biggest load of crap I’ve heard in a while. Read on to find out how my experience dispelled that myth — about about an interesting new take on the reel mower by Fiskars.
A couple of years ago, Sean and I performed a pretty extensive electric mower test for Wired. When the mowers arrived, we laughed at the lightest and simplest of the bunch: a Sunlawn. Essentially a sickle-type reel mower, but with an electric motor to drive the reel so you simply push, it was totally the runt of the bunch and the butt of many of our early jokes.
But everything changed when we started actually mowing. While other heavy, powerful mowers donk’d out early or gummed up with grass, the little battery-powered reel just kept on mowing. It performed surprisingly well in high grass, and mowed more grass than you’d imagine possible on a single charge. Oh yeah: It was a lot lighter, too, which made pushing it a hell of a lot easier.
The revelation: If you’ve got a small, suburban yard, you can totally skip all the maintenance and storage issues associated with a standard gas-powered mower by simply going electric — or even human-powered.
Enter Fiskars, famous manufacturer of scissors. As the reel mower has more in common with scissors than a standard gas-powered whacker, is it really that surprising they decided to give making one a go? They hope that by tweaking the blades they can solve some of the most serious downfalls of standard reels: quick-dulling blades and lack of cutting power.
Their new model, the Momentum, incorporates large, heavy blades that act as flywheels, storing up energy as you push to give you the extra oomph needed when you encounter high grass or thick weeds. And the blades reach across the entire width of the mower, eliminating strips of uncut grass under the wheels. They’ve also included a forward-throw discharge chute, allowing the mower to spread clippings so you spend less time cleaning up and more time appreciating your lawn.
But best of all, this mower looks really light. We haven’t had a chance to try one yet, but I’m guessing it’s really easy to push. And that means it’ll store easily, too.
Of course, the real question is how much will it cost? We look forward to finding out.
Momentum Reel Mower [Fiskars]