In another of an infrequent series of posts relating to me personally, as a new homeowner I suddenly have to worry about things of which I was blissfully oblivious in the past. Water in my basement was one such thing. Another is suddenly finding myself with a lawn that has decided, against all reason, to grow.
As a consequence of this lawn growth, I've bought a lawn mower. It has what my Dad refers to as a 1IP engine. That's one idiot-power. Yes, it's a push reel mower. This wasn't an effort to be cheap. Nor was it particularly an effort to be "green." Gas mowers are a pain, and electric mowers seem to suck. Electric mowers either have power cords, which, face it, sucks, or they have heavy batteries that make them a pain to push and that take a day to recharge (also sucks). I've used a good electric mower, but that model hasn't been made in years.
So, I researched my mower options, and a push reel mower seemed to make sense. For one, I have a very small yard. The front is mostly level, with slopes along the sides towards the back. The back is again mostly level, though with a fair number of tree roots. It's also only about half grass, with extensive slate work and some planter boxes. If the roots give me trouble, the back might become even less grass-covered.
If you're curious, I bought a Brill Luxus 38. I've only just assembled it and taken it for a test swath. I have to say, it's pretty nice. At $210, with free shipping, it's on the pricey end of push mowers, but it allegedly won't need sharpening for a decade. I've got it set at 4cm (it's made in Germany), which was a reasonably easy cut through some appreciable grass. So, while it's still a bit early to tell, I think I'm going to be happy with it. The weirdest thing about was that the assembly instructions were effectively in reverse. I suspect it would have been a lot easier to assemble the handle completely (one Phillips-head screwdriver required) before attaching anything to the reel. When mowing, it makes a pleasant shwuff shwuff shwuff sound — much nicer than the buzz of a gas or electric mower.