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Can You use a Reel Mower to Cut Wet Grass?

Most people mow their lawns come rain or shine. But can a reel mower do the same? As you already know, reel mowers already pose unique cleaning and maintenance challenges. This is why we think it’s important to know if and when you are able to use the reel mower for cutting wet grass. Here are the things to keep in mind.

Avoid Standing Water

Reel mowers are capable of cutting wet grass. However, you will want to avoid any standing water or muddy puddles. Standing water will damage your mower. Making sure that the area is not damp is very important, and this will help you more than you might expect. Remember, the reel mower is suitable for medium sized grass (grass that has not grown too tall), so it’s a very good idea to buy one that’s versatile and easy to clean. However, keeping it away from standing water is mandatory, otherwise you will encounter issues like rusting or jamming.

How many Reels do I need on my Mower?

Blade number and positioning is very important when it comes to a reel mower. If you need to cut wet grass, then 4-5 reels will typically be fine.

How Often can I Cut Wet Grass?

Generally, cutting wet grass is possible, yet it’s not something that you need (or want) to do all the time. If anything, cutting wet grass is something to avoid, since it can end up hindering the mowing process. When grass is wet, it’s not as easy to cut. It will end up being messier and sloppier than a dry grass cut. This means that you may need to make a few passes to cut all blades.

However, there are situations when you just don’t have time to cut dry grass, especially during rainy seasons. As we said, you shouldn’t make a habit out of it, you want to keep things simple and not overdo it.

How Often should I Cut Grass with a Reel Mower?

It depends on what type of grass you have (see our posts on alternative lawns). However, you should consider mowing your lawn at least once every 2 weeks. Things like weather and temperatures will certainly influence how often you need to cut the law. With that in mind, the growing season will require you to mow the grass every week. However, if the temperatures are lower or hot and dry, once every 2-3 weeks will be more than enough.

But what about reel mower wet grass cutting? As we said, you want to avoid cutting any wet grass with the reel mower unless you absolutely have to. Cutting wet grass with the mower is going to be a problem if you do it often, since any puddles or sitting water can end up damaging it in the long run. This is why we believe it’s a very good idea to just wait until the grass is dry. It just helps prevent problems, while making the process a lot easier for you.

Can I Cut Grass with Morning Dew?

Even the morning dew still qualifies as wet grass. This is why we advise against reel mower wet grass even, if it’s just mowing dew. It might seem like a good idea, but that’s not the case. In fact, morning dew is one of the worst times to mow your lawn.

But why is that a problem?  The reason is simple, dew is covering most if not all the grass, and that can make it very hard to cut grass. Also, the grass that you do get to cut is not even, so that on its own leads to problems, too. Once it perks back up, you will most likely find stray, spiky blades across your whole lawn. That’s why you have to understand what leads to the process and you do need to adapt it as much as possible.

How Long will a Reel Mower Last?

If you use it for reel mower wet grass cutting, its lifespan will be much shorter than normal. But in general, a reel mower should last at least 5-6 years, sometimes up to 8 years. Of course, a longer lifespan will depend on how often you use it, whether you clean it, if you perform any maintenance tasks, sharpen the blades and so on. All those little things matter, so you really have to take all the little things into account here.

Still, it is not impossible for a reel mower to last 40+ years if it is taken care of or professionally restored.

Should I Mow Only when the Grass is Wet?

As we mentioned earlier, mowing when the grass is wet is not exactly ideal. You will end up cutting the grass unevenly, and it won’t look great. However, if you have no other choice, then reel mower wet grass cutting can be ok as long as you avoid standing water. If you end up cutting the lawn when it’s wet, you do need to perform more maintenance tasks than normal. Not only that, but you also need to sharpen the blades more often. Unsharpened blades will only push damp grass down, not cut it.

Cutting the wet lawn with a reel mower might not be the worst of ideas, but it certainly has its drawbacks. That’s why we think it’s a very good idea to avoid cutting the lawn if it’s wet. Not only can it damage your reel mower in the long run, but the results you get are definitely not the best. Which is why you have to take your time and cut the lawn when it’s dry. Cutting it while it’s wet might not be a major issue, but it can end up damaging your reel mower quite a bit in the long term!

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