Ratings/Reviews: (Read 400+ Customer Reviews!)
Price: $199.00 (FREE Shipping!)
The Good: Recipient of the Popular Mechanics 2010 Green Design Award; superior cutting technology for better cut and less blade sharpening, wider range of cutting height and better edge cutting than standard reel mowers.
The Bad: No option to collect grass clippings; Overgrown and wet grass difficult to cut.
The Bottom Line: The ultimate green solution for smaller, level yards; performs better than typical reel mowers.
COMPREHENSIVE LAWN MOWER REVIEWS: FISKARS 6201 18-INCH MOMENTUM PUSH REEL LAWN MOWERS
With the raising gas prices, more and more people are turning to reel mowers as a money-saving solution. Traditionally, people liked reel lawnmowers because they’re eco-friendly (unlike gas mowers with its noxious fumes and exhaust). Additionally, a reel mower is quiet, light and portable. It also requires very little maintenance other than the occasional cleaning and mower blade sharpening. However, reel lawn mowers have their limitations, too, such as: inability to cut overgrown lawns and wet grass, difficulty pushing and maneuvering around longer grass, few cutting height adjustment options, and the need for frequent blade sharpening. The Fiskars 6201 Reel Mower was designed to tackle these limitations head-on.
Unique Designs and Features of the Fiskars 6201 Push Reel Mower
The most important thing on a reel mower is the blade. Because it’s manually powered by you, a push reel mower depends heavily on sharp mower blades to compensate for the lack of power (whereas gas and electric mowers are powerful enough to compensate for less-than-sharp blades). Traditional reel mower blades need frequent sharpening because of the constant steel-on-steel contact (like a scissor) that quickly dulls the blades. Fiskars, on the other hand, came up with their own technology that does away with the contact friction which helps their blades stay sharp longer. The cutting blades on the Fiskars 6201 are also thicker with a large-diameter design that makes it easier to cut through obstacles (i.e., twigs, weeds, thick/long grass) that would typically jam standard reel mowers.
The Fiskars 6201 boasts the greatest cutting range in its class, with a one-touch height adjustment handle allowing for a 1″ to 4″ cut (compare this to Scotts 2000-20 Push Reel Mower, currently the best-selling reel mower on the market, which can only handle cuts up to 3″). This is important, especially for those of us who don’t feel like cutting every week. With traditional reel mowers, designed to cut shorter grass, you really have to keep up with your weekly mowing ritual lest you want a real challenge of manually push through tall grass. Fiskars also has a forward reel position design that allows for better edge cutting and eliminates uncut strips under the wheels.
Advantages of the Fiskars 6201 Push Reel Mower
Two words: low maintenance. I don’t know about you, but I can be pretty lazy. It’s hard enough to get me to mow the lawn much less maintain the lawn mower. With a gas-powered lawnmower, you have to perform regular tune-ups like changing the engine oil, oil filter, air filter, and spark plugs. It’s messy and takes up time I would rather be doing something else. Electric lawn mowers require less maintenance than gas mowers, but you still have to deal with either electrical cords or batteries. Common sense tells us that the less moving parts there are, the fewer problems you’ll have. Well, with the Fiskars reel mower, you only have to worry about sharpening the blade. And even that you don’t have to worry so much about because Fiskars design their blades to be longer-lasting than other reel mowers. Forget about the industry standard 2-year warranty. Fiskars offer a 4-year warranty on its push reel mower. They really stand behind their product.
Drawbacks and Complaints About the Fiskars 6201 Push Reel Mower
One of the drawbacks of many reel mowers is the lack of a grass catcher. And the Fiskars 6201 is no different. For those who like to mulch their grass clippings, this is no big deal. Personally, I don’t like to bag and would prefer to return the grass clippings to the lawn. It saves me time and money. It not only provides added nutrients to your lawn (and cutting down on the use of fertilizers), you’re also not adding unnecessary “trash” to our already over-burdened landfills. Even if you prefer to mulch your clippings like me, the traditional reel mowers make it a very messy proposition. Fiskars at least designed their discharge chute in a way that’ll throw the grass clippings forward, keeping you clean.
Another complaint, typical of reel lawn mowers, is that it doesn’t handle tall/overgrown grass very well. This is just the trade-off that you have to accept for getting a reel mower: you’ll have to mow regularly and not let your grass grow too tall before mowing. The Fiskars 6201 also weighs more than your typical reel mower, but because of its InertiaDrive Technology and StaySharp cutting system, you are able to push the Fiskars 6201 with less effort despite the added weight. According to Fiskars, the push force is reduced by 40%. If you follow recommended mowing practices (i.e., only cut up to 1/3 of the grass blade) and cutting schedule, I think you’ll actually find it to be very easy and enjoyable. Of course, you can always give yourself a little bit more of a workout and challenge if you take a week or 2 off from mowing. You’ll also find cutting wet grass with the Fiskars 6201 difficult. But then again, it’s not recommended that you cut the grass while it’s wet, whether you’re using a reel mower, gas mower, or an electric mower.
If you’ve been wavering on whether to get a reel mower, right now is the perfect time to make the switch. If nothing else, the high gas prices these days should push you over the edge. (On a side note, if you’re currently using a lawn service, you’ll probably see your service cost going up as well since they will be passing along their higher cost of doing business. Why not get a reel mower and cut the grass yourself? At $100-$200 for a reel push mower, you’ll break even in 1-2 months. Not only will you get some nice exercise and fresh air out of it, you’ll also be surprised at the sense of pride and accomplishment at the end of each mow. I know I do.) To not be at the mercy of the gas pumps is enough in itself, but also remember the following advantages you’ll have with a reel mower: No noise, no pollution, very little maintenance required, and low-cost of maintenance. So what are you waiting for?!
You might find the following helpful as well:
Consumer Reports Recommended Top Lawn Mowers – See what this top consumer review guide recommends as the top lawn mowers in every category.
2011 Top 8 Recommended Best-Selling Reel Lawn Mowers – Top selling reel lawn mowers of 2011.
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