Part two ~Proper care and maintenance of a Reel Mower

September 2, 2007 at 1:47 am | Posted in frugal, recycling, simplicity | 4 Comments

To keep your reel mower at prime, there is a small amount of maintenance that needs to be done. I have tried to compile the basics of it here with a few links with much better detail.

Keep blades free of lawn debris by brushing with a gloved hand or brush. Keep moving parts lubricated with a silicone-type spray such WD-40 (spray before using).

Another one of the great things about a reel mower is that it sharpens itself to some extent. As you push the mower, the revolving blades scrape over the cutter bar, and the action tends to make both blades sharper, not more dull. Every year or two, though, a sharpening job could be in order. You could take the machine to a pro, or use this backlapping technique. Either way, it is still a lot less expensive than the recommended annual maintenance on a gas powered machine.

You can get a detailed list of how to perform this at

And at

has easy to read tutorial that covers just about everything you could need to know on how to take care of your reel mower. Apparently, the old guy at my favorite still local owned hardware store says he has very seldom even heard of folks sharpening them.



RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. WD-40? Google it…”Mineral oil or liquid petrolatum is a by-product in the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline.” and “Mineral Spirits also called Stoddard solvent [CAS 8052-41-3][1], is a petroleum distilate commonly used as a paint thinner and mild solvent.” No mention of Silicon. Nasty stuff…


  2. Wow! I hadn’t thought of that! I admit we haven’t been spraying with it because we just don’t have any. What would you recommend?

  3. You can get food grade Silicon Lube Spray…but it will cost more than WD-40 and I would think that any petroleum based lubricants would have to be completely cleaned prior to applying the Silicon as combining it with Carbon based products may cause it to gum up. So you may end up doing more harm (in the overall scheme of things) than good.
    But honestly how often does one need to apply any lube to a reel mower?
    I was just pointing out that WD-40 is not the most environmentaly friendly stuff.
    All things in moderation…


  4. Phil brings up an excellent point! Why would we want to keep up our eco-friendly appliances with non environmentally friendly products? I must admit, this is something that I had not really thought of before!

    Thanks for mentioning that, Phil.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: