I still am having a hard time believing I did this. My old gas-powered mower suffered an untimely demise a couple of weeks ago, and when I posted about it on Facebook (what? Facebook? Yeah, I know) someone threw a link up to the Fiskars Momentum reel mower.
Fiskars new Momentum™, the world’s most advanced reel mower™, provides solutions to the problems inherent in traditional reel mowers.
The Fiskars Momentum™ mower combines patent pending technology with Fiskars exclusive ergonomics to deliver a reel mower with best in class cutting performance for a superior mowing experience.
Compared with traditional reel mowers, the Momentum™ mower is easier to push, has more cutting power, StaySharp™ blades, a greater cut range, closer side edging, superior ergonomics, easier adjustment, & a better warranty. In fact, the Momentum™ mower beats all other reel mowers in every one of these important areas.
After searching online a bit I found that while it isn’t stocked anywhere locally, the best price by a long shot turned out to be on Lowes.com (with free shipping to boot). So I took a deep breath and decided to go for it.
After 3-5 business days, it showed up on my doorstep today, and I gave it a spin on the rapidly growing front yard. Here’s some initial thoughts:
- Assembly was relatively easy, mostly getting the handle pieces together with some bolts. I had a problem with one piece where the plastic lining the inside of the tube had partially covered the hole that the bolt was supposed to go through, but a little “persuasion” with a screwdriver opened it up enough to get the bolt through. The main wheel and blade mechanism was fully assembled and ready to go.
- Initial Adjustment turned out to be more trouble than it was worth. The blades are precision adjusted at the time of manufacturing to just barely not touch as the reel spins. But this spacing can change in transport, so the instructions say to test the cutting performance by sliding a small slip of white paper to see if it cuts. Mine didn’t, so I spent an extra 20 minutes fiddling with bolts and dials, and I think I ended up with it worse than when I started. The blades just barely do touch now. I think I’ll try tweaking it again, but I’m not sure whether I can get it any better than the factory setting.
- Pushing it through the grass was surprisingly easy. It’s sufficiently light, has good big wheels in the back with good traction, and the handle is comfortable. Even though I’ve never used a reel mower before, I was able to get lined up and edge around the different obstacles in the yard. Very satisfying to give a little extra push and see a big spray of clippings shoot out in front of you. The chain drive works well to let the reel keep spinning even if you’ve slowed or stopped moving.
- Cutting performance was decent, but there’s a threshold on how tall the grass can be and make contact with the blades. If it’s too tall, it gets pushed over by the front bar and doesn’t pop up behind it until the blade has passed. Every so often a lonely tall blade of grass would stand defiant in the middle of a pass I had just made. I figure the remedy for that is to try to mow more often.
Overall, I’d have to say I’m very optimistic about the proposition. It didn’t seem to take that much more time or effort than a regular mower. Then again, I still need to tackle the backyard, which will test my endurance. Once I get through that, I’ll know better whether this is a real long term solution.