We try to live as green as possible. We always bring our own cloth bags when shopping, we recycle, we heat our house with a wood stove instead of using oil, we grow our own vegetables and shop from local farms for the items we don't grow ourselves, so it only made sense to get rid of the noisy, gas guzzling, air polluting lawn mower for something quieter and more economical. After a couple years of considering and reading customer reviews to compare different models I finally bought a reel mower. I ended up getting a 20" reel mower with grass catcher from Lee Valley Tools.
We have a small 1/3 acre lot with about 1,200 square feet of vegetable gardens so I figured doing the lawn with a reel mower shouldn't be that difficult. Yesterday the new mower arrived so today, instead of working, I decided to give it a try. I have to say I am pleasantly surprised at how nice it cuts and how easy it is to push! It is such a pleasure to mow the lawn without all the noise and fumes and the lawn really looks great! Reel mowers are said to leave a nicer lawn because they shear the grass instead of tearing it like rotary mowers do.
There are a several reasons why I went with the Lee Valley mower. I wanted a larger mower (20") with a bigger range of height adjustment. I like to leave the lawn taller and the Lee Valley reel mower is adjustable from 1-7/8" to 3". It is also made in the USA. Some other mowers also make this claim but are actually made in China. The mower only weighs 30 lbs so it is light weight and easy to store. I ended up getting the grass catcher with it, but I don't think I will use it that much because it cuts the grass small enough to just leave on the lawn.
Other than the weird looks I got from the neighbors I am very happy with this mower. I never looked at yard work as work before, it is more therapeutic and relaxing for me because I am inside in my office working most days. Using a reel mower makes it much more enjoyable to do the lawn - you get a feeling of being a little more in touch with nature, a little more Zen.