Before you buy your first reel mower, I thought that I might share some of my experiences with you. First however, I should relate my rationale for purchasing my reel mower in the first place. I was in the market for a lawnmower, as my power mower was shot. After, surveying the market for power equipment, I came to the realization that I did not have the money to purchase a power mower. This is the first thing you should know about reel mowers, they are cheaper than almost all power mowers. My American brand cost me exactly $100 at ACE hardware.
Next on the consideration list was another financial consideration, gasoline. If you haven't figured out by now, I am lacking in funds. Other important considerations were environmental and national security(terrorism). This last consideration I have intentionally not spoke of with my friends and neighbors as I fear much heated debate over the impact of fuel consumption on national security.
Now let me get on with the pros and cons of reel mowers. First of all you are crazy if you do this, so be willing to wear the badge of honor. Your neighbors friends and anyone you discuss this with, will swear you are, with the exception of fellow would be loonies. If you can't take it stop here there's more. The term "reel mower" is often confused with "real mower", which can often spur debates over the best mower on the market, and don't expect to win any of these contests either.
Now on with the reel mowing. Be prepare to walk further, you will need to cover up to 2 or 3 times the distance. You will find however, that on a well kept lawn the mowing is easier due to less weight. My mower did not do well with weeds, the exception being short clover. This could likely be overcome by applying a weed and feed treatment to insure you have grass to cut and not weeds. Also, you will want to either overlap each pass or make additional passes in the perpendicular direction. Keep a screwdriver on hand to clean next to the wheels. This problem is exacerbated by tall grass so keep up on your mowing. My problems seemed to get out of hand, as I was trying to keep up on 4 lots.
In summation reel mowers are best for people who don't mind being labeled crazy, have a small lawn, are environmentally conscience, would like to do some small thing to conserve energy, fight terrorism in some small way, want to save money on fuel and could use the exercise. Do they make reel snow blowers?