Update: You can read my review of the SunLawn LMM-40 Push Reel Mower here.
Reel Mowers Don't Need Fossil Fuels to Cut Grass
Grass is not a very good idea in the majority of cases. Native low-lying plants that require not extra water or pesticides are a much better idea (or even better: food crops). Yet most people have grass, including my parents. When I was younger (not so long ago - I'm 26), I hated mowing the lawn with the gas-powered lawnmower. It was heavy, smelly, and noisy. I always had the feeling of annoying the neighbors (I know they annoyed me when I was trying to relax outside and they were making all that noise), and I knew that using a gas engine to cut small blades of grass was overkill, but like most people I didn't give it much thought. It was just the way things were done.
Since then I've woken up to environmental issues and convinced my parents to try a reel mower. They bought one at a yard sale and immediately loved it. I suppose that like most people, they just never thought about them before, or assumed that they were more work than a gas mower, but now there's no going back.Reel Mowers Are Easy To Use and Fun!
On top of working well, the reel mower is actually enjoyable to use. Sometimes when I'm over, I mow my parents' lawn just for fun. For some reason, I find it satisfying to plow ahead in a patch of high grass, feel a slight resistance as the blades go through, and then see chopped bits fly around. Who knows why it's fun, but it is! And good exercise too.
Reel Mower Domino Effect
Since my parents bought their push mower, the neighbor has asked to try it out and then got one. My aunt also got one at a yard sale, and an uncle on the other side of my family bought one. I only wish the whole neighbor would do the same so that we can go outside without all the noise.
Try a Reel Mower, See for Yourself
If you've never tried a reel mower, I encourage you to at least borrow one and see how it works for you. Modern ones are light and cut well. Anybody who doesn't need (or think they need) a tractor mower should be able to replace a push gas mower with a push reel mower without problem, maybe unless they let their grass grow really tall between cuts. Of course, your experience might be different from mine, as there are lots of factors. But I believe that in most cases, the gas mower could go the way of the dodo.
By the way, that photo on top is not of me (it is from Greenthinks), I didn't have one, and the second photo isn't of my parents' mower. Theirs is of the "American" brand.