If you have a smaller lawn, you probably aren’t interested in a big lawn mower. Sure, a John Deere looks gorgeous and runs like a champ, but what good is it if you have a minimal amount of grass to maintain? No cords, no engines, no problem – the Great States reel mower has you covered.
Thankfully, minimalist lawn mowers still exist for those who have the smaller amount of space that a Great States reel mower can cover. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about gas or fumes with this basic mower.
Below, we’ll show you how you can benefit from a reel mower.
Why Should I Use a Great States Reel Mower?
As you can tell from the look of it, the Great States reel mower is not for people with a sizeable yard to maintain. If you have more than a quarter of an acre, a manual grass cutter like this 415-16 won’t get the job done for your property. It probably can't handle a lot of wild overgrowth, either.
If, however, you have a small enough space to accommodate this Great States reel mower, you might find something to love about it. Many people enjoy the manual process of using a non-powered grass mower.
But, they’re definitely not for everyone, which is why we have detailed the necessary prerequisites before you drop the money on a reel mower.
How Can I Tell if I Should Purchase a Great States Reel Mower?
You need to be aware of the pluses and minuses involved in purchasing a reel mower. If you’re all about saving money, there are better ways to do it than just skipping a gas or electric mower.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll be reduced to a fit of cursing and kicking. Your neighbors will stare, wondering what’s wrong with you.
Trust us, we love how much money and time you can save with a reel mower. Your own health and the health of your lawn are going to benefit from using a Great States reel mower — more so over the long-term.
Best of all, you won’t need to fix the reel mower very often. However, you will need to be very disciplined in your scheduling. If you miss any day in your regular mowing schedule, you’re setting yourself up for trouble.
We mentioned health benefits, which apply both to you and your lawn. Using a Great States reel mower feels less like a chore. It's more like a nicer and more natural way to spend time with your lawn outdoors. If you’re the type who loves the sun and the feel of the grass beneath your feet, you’ll get much more out of the experience.
By treating your lawn with a reel mower, you won’t expose your property to the many harmful effects of a gas-powered mower.
Instead of tearing your grass to pieces with giant industrial-sized blades, the reel mower acts like a big pair of scissors. Because of this, you won’t damage the grass at the tissue level. This reduces the amount of stress on the blade. And with that, you'll lose the potential for water loss, disease, and brown patches.
Don’t forget about your own health, too. The hand-pushing necessary to operate a reel mower is going to activate your upper body and your cardiovascular system.
Never mind self-propulsion — you aren’t working with any kind of powered assistance at all. The only energy comes from you and your momentum. Furthermore, the wheels are what works to rotate the blades, so you’ll need to put some extra effort into the pushing.
When you push a Great States reel mower, you’ll burn many more calories than if you simply guided a powered mower. While you won’t want to use one of these with a big lawn, the amount of time you’ll spend on a small patch with a reel mower will give you a decent workout.
Another great benefit you’ll gain from using this mower — you’ll be avoiding the toxic fumes that come from the standard gas-powered mower.
Maintenance and Usage
One of the biggest advantages for you (and possibly those around you) is the lack of noise.
You can hear the average gas-powered lawnmower at the end of the block, sometimes topping out near 100 dB. This isn’t good for your own hearing and will undoubtedly annoy your neighbors if you start too early or late.
The reel mower is practically silent compared to any powered lawn mower.
You’ll need to perform some basic maintenance on your reel mower. But the amount of effort doesn’t even come close to the upkeep on a powered version. You’ll need to perform storage and winterizing when the seasons begin to shift. You may need to sharpen the blades every other year.
But with the Great States Reel mower, you can skip out on oil changes, gas filling, and changing out any broken parts.
All is not completely perfect if you own a reel mower. The simple fact is that these are nearly impossible to use if you have a lawn any bigger than a quarter of an acre.
Because of the rate of grass growth during the spring and summer, a large lawn can prove daunting. If you’re working with a Great States reel mower, you might end up using it twice a week. It may take you about 20 minutes to cut a 1,000 square feet of lawn.
If you can’t carve out the time to mow your lawn at the same time every week, you’ll be in for a rude awakening with a reel mower. If your grass gets too tall, it might become too much for a Great States reel mower to handle.
You also won’t be able to take care of simple twigs and leaves like more powerful mowers can. If you have any amount of tree coverage, you might want to reconsider purchasing a reel mower.
You should have a flat, non-sloping lawn if you are considering the purchase of a reel mower.
If you don’t, it won't be a lot of fun dealing with different elevations and the limited power behind a reel mower. The wheels have the potential to lose contact with the ground. And, along with rolling right over the grass, this can make the mower bounce and skip over several patches at once.
Our final warning is about the results. You can’t really understand the difference between a traditional lawn mower and something like a Great States reel mower until you see it in action. You might not get everything exactly even. In fact, you’re almost guaranteed to miss some spots the first time you use one of these mowers.
And, forget about hitting any of the edges or corners with a reel mower, as they blades are just too wide.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Great States Reel Mower?
This is one of the biggest temptations for people to switch from a “regular” mower to a reel mower. With so few moving parts and added features, the Great States 415-16 is dirt cheap compared to something you might see from Honda or Toro.
Typically, you can find the Great States 415-16 for less than $100 if you know where to look.
You might even luck out on getting a used model for cheaper. But if you do, make sure you’re buying from a legitimate vendor. If you scour eBay or Amazon’s marketplace, remember that shipping costs can add up and negate what you save.
Reviewing the 415-16 Great States Reel Mower
- Quick, adjustable cutting Height of 0.5"-2.5" For a clean, even cut every time
- 16" Cutting width, 5-Blade ball bearing reel, and 10" Composite wheels
- Blades are made of quality, heat-treated alloy steel for staying sharp longer
Now that we’ve given you fair warning about the process of using one of these products, let’s jump into the Great States reel mower that we’re discussing for this review.
The 415-16’s blades rotate very easily as you move it across a flat lawn. Provided you can keep the momentum going, the blades perform admirably, snipping your grass at your intended height.
If you’ve never used a reel mower before, the Great States 415-16 is a great introduction to a future of manual labor on your lawn.
We wish that the included height adjustment would extend beyond 2.75 inches. The lack of customization here isn’t a total deal-breaker. After all, you’re going to have to use this at least weekly regardless of height. But, we just think it would be nice if you didn’t have to make as many passes as will be necessary when using the 415-16.
Cutting and Height Placement
We were honestly impressed with the quality of the cuts we got from the Great States reel mower.
At only 25 pounds, the mower is only as powerful as the person pushing it. Thankfully, it proved to be efficient at not only cutting power, but consistency in its performance. We didn’t encounter any bumps or jostling while taking it across our test lawn. We were also happy that we didn’t exert too much energy in the process.
You can adjust the blades from 0.5 inches to 2.75 inches in a matter of seconds. The design on the rollers lets you stay worry-free about any drops in height while you are buy focusing on cutting the grass.
After testing it on the mid-setting, we can confirm that it feels exactly the same as if you had kept it on the highest or lowest setting. You won’t feel any more or less resistance, regardless of how high or low you want your lawn kept.
Upkeep and Care
Any reel mower is going to come with necessary maintenance, and the Great States 415-16 is no exception. You’ll need to oil the joins and blades once a year to ensure that they don’t rust over.
Thankfully, this is as far as you need to go with caring for the Great States reel mower. It will feel as easy in your hands after months of work as it did on the first day you took it across the lawn.
As long as you store it properly and don’t subject it to outside elements, you won’t need to worry about much. Just don’t forget to perform the routine maintenance we mentioned. Remember, it can rust easily if you don't care for it.
Final Score on the 415-16 Great States Reel Mower
Our review of the Great States reel mower comes after using it on a flat, even surface that didn’t offer any hazards. Because of this, we were practically guaranteed a great experience. Even with the expectations of what comes with a reel mower, we were very pleased with how it sliced into the healthy grass on the lawn we used.
With this in mind, we can’t caution enough that this device is not for everyone. Even if you are in the best shape of your life, it might benefit you to have an entry-level gas mower. It will help if you have trouble sticking to a regular mowing schedule.
The best thing about a reel mower is the ability to not tend to it that often. Unfortunately, if the same thing happens to your grass, you’re doomed.
As long as you have done your homework and you know what you’re getting into, we recommend the Great States 415-16 to anyone looking to save on both cash and emissions.
Conclusion and Recommendations for a Great States Reel Mower
If you can’t find a 415-16 model in stock, there are other options if you’re looking to purchase a Great States reel mower. The company also makes models with 14- and 18-inch blades. This will allow you to cover a smaller or larger area with your passes.
For those of you who don’t like raking up your clippings, you can also pick up a grass catching attachment. This acts like a mini mulching bag and prevents any stray grass runoff from littering the rest of your yard.
Finally, you might want to invest in a sharpening kit to ensure that your blades always perform their best.