One of the reasons people opt for a reel mower is that they’re super easy to manoeuvre. Their light weight and barebones design mean that practically anyone should be able to push them. So if you’re finding your reel mower hard to push, you’re probably wondering what’s up.
In this article I’m going to help you troubleshoot a reel mower that is hard to push, outlining a few different things that you should check that are likely causing the issue. I hope these tips will get you back to finding your reel mower easy to use once again.
Reel Mower Hard to Push? Here’s Why
If you’ve been feeling like your reel mower is hard to push it could be that the wheel drive assembly needs lubricating, the grass you’re trying to cut is too long for a reel mower or that the blades need sharpening.
Troubleshooting a Reel Mower That is Hard to Push
As I’ve already said, by their very nature reel mowers are very simple in their design, so there’s not a lot that can go wrong. If you’re finding your reel mower harder to push than it once was, the following are things that could be responsible for causing this issue. Check them one by one until you find your answer.
Wheel Drive Assembly Needs Lubricating
Moving parts on any type of tool need to be kept well lubricated otherwise they’ll eventually stop moving effectively. Without this lubricant, there will be more friction generated during movement and this will lead to these parts wearing out quicker. In the case of a reel mower’s wheel drive assembly, if it hasn’t been lubricated in forever, this could be why it has become noticeably more difficult to push your mower.
Solution: There’s nothing complicated here. You may or may not have to remove some covers to get at the wheel drive assembly – it depends on your mower model. Once you have, add some wheel bearing grease, making sure to remove any excess carefully. The impact of this should be instant.
Grass is Too Long
You might be thinking…”But what has that got to do with the fact that my reel mower is hard to push?” Everything, actually. You see reel mowers simply aren’t designed for use on long grass. The same way a ping pong paddle isn’t designed to be used on a tennis court.
When a reel mower is used on long grass (or on weeds), it can feel like it’s much harder to push. This is because instead of the grass being cut, it is folded over and this generates resistance as you push the mower.
Solution: This isn’t rocket science – don’t let your grass grow so long! That doesn’t help you right now though, so make sure you have your cutting height at the maximum setting possible and then bring the height of the grass down bit by bit. If it’s still folding over on the maximum height setting, you may have to borrow a friend or neighbor’s motorized mower to bring the length of the lawn back down to a level your reel mower can handle.
Blade isn’t Sharp Enough
If your grass isn’t particularly long, but your reel mower is still doing more “folding” than cutting, it could be that it’s time for a sharpening of the blades. When the blades get too blunt, they aren’t as effective and this creates extra resistance and can make it feel like the reel mower is hard to push.
Solution: Don’t wait a second longer. Get your reel mower in the workshop and sharpen those blades. If you can’t do it yourself, take it to a technician before you try to cut your grass again, as a blunt blade is also not good for the health of your grass.
A reel mower shouldn’t be hard to push. They’re neither heavy nor cumbersome. So if you’re struggling to push yours from the first time you use it, or you’ve noticed it has become harder to push recently, there’s something not quite right.