A theme image showing a lawn mower on green grass.

Adjusting a Reel Mower

Cutting your law is extremely important if you want it to look amazing. With that in mind, you do need to think about adjusting your reel mower. Cutting height will have an impact on your lawn’s appearance. You don’t want to cut your grass too low or too high. Instead, you want to have the perfect cutting height, which will help provide an excellent result. This brings the question, how can you adjust a reel mower? Let’s find out.

Why Do you Need to Adjust a Reel Mower?

The main benefit of adjusting a reel mower is that it allows you to enhance and optimize the way you cut your lawn. It’s extremely important because you can choose the desired grass height. Once you adjust the reel mower, you get to maintain a consistent grass height. It’s simple stuff like this which helps your yard look better.

Ideally, you want to adjust your mower before you use it for the first time. But this is a good idea even if your mower is not new. It will help you quite a bit, and it will help convey a much better result. Just avoid any rush and experiment with different reel mower heights, as that’s what will provide a much better result and experience in the end.

Another thing to keep in mind when adjusting the adjusting your reel mower is how often you want to use it. If you use the mower just once every few months, then adjustments are needed all the time, because the grass size varies. Remember, reel mowers struggle to cut taller grass. It’s important to focus on consistent mowing, as that will help offer you a much better experience and quality. Which is exactly why adjusting the mower is crucial, because it helps you save time, not to mention you retain consistent grass size and quality. That can eliminate any issues for you, while making the entire process simpler and certainly more convenient.

Should you Oil the Mower?

Yes, aside from adjusting a reel mower, you also want to ensure that you are oiling it properly. Oiling your mower is important because it will make it easier to push. It will also help with grass cutting consistency, since it won’t get stuck and it will work seamlessly. The simple action of oiling the mower can help a lot, and it will certainly help provide much better results than expected.

How can you Start Adjusting a Reel Mower?

  • The first step you want to go through is tilting the mower towards the back. You want to do that because the mower can rest on the rear roller and its handle, which is extremely important to keep in mind.
  • Find the adjusting lever, it’s on each wheel, usually between the side and the wheel itself. Every lever tends to have a black end and it’s made out of plastic, which should make it very easy to identify and narrow down.
  • Now that you know the lever location, push it in front toward the blades. In doing so, you want to adjust the lever either down or up, so you can choose the desired positioning. Make sure that you place both the first and second lever in the same position.
  • After you do that, you want to flip the mower over, if you do that properly it will stay on the wheels and the handle will be in the air.
  • What you want to do now is to try and loosen the knobs on each end manually. Place the roller down or up, this will help adjust the overall cutting height, something to keep in mind.
  • Lastly, you must ensure that the knob stems are in the same holes within the frame, this way the roller stays even. Finalize the process by making sure the knobs are tight and then you can start using the mower.

As you can see, the process of adjusting a reel mower is not that complicated, and you will find it very simple to do. With that in mind, you do need to ensure that the roller knobs are tightened properly, otherwise you can end up with problems.

How Often should you Adjust your Reel Mower?

Ideally, it’s a good idea to do the adjustment once a year. Many people that use a reel mower state that adjusting it at the beginning of the year makes sense, and you should stick to that habit. Not all reel mowers will need adjusting that often, but in general you want to ensure that your reel mower is delivering its best quality and service.

Once you have that, it becomes a lot easier to ensure everything works as expected, and you can prevent any damage to the mower or any cutting inconsistencies. It just makes things easier, so making sure you do this on a yearly basis can help quite a bit.

Sharpening the Reel Mower

As you can imagine, the bedknife and the reel on its own are subject to wear and tear. This is normal, since you’re cutting the grass directly. With that in mind, if you mow an area of around 4500 square feet around 1-2 times a week, then yearly sharpening is a very good idea for the reel.

In order to sharpen your reel, it’s a good idea to use professional grinding machines. These can either be purchased online, or you might find local professionals that offer sharpening services. Regardless of the option you use, it makes a lot of sense to sharpen your reel mower at least once a year. If you mow the lawn even more often, then you should consider sharpening 2-3 times a year.

When you adjust your reel mower, the thing to keep in mind is that the adjustment screw position is rather consistent. That means you will be able to identify the screw location and adjust everything without having to worry about any problems.

Be very careful

Sharpening and adjusting a reel mower sounds simple, but it can be very dangerous. The reel is very sharp, and it can end up damaging your hands if you’re not careful. That’s why a very good idea here is to move your hands away especially when you are spinning the reel.

Spinning the reel is important because it helps you figure out if there’s any type of cutting bar contact. Also, as you adjust the mower, you can use a paper strip to ensure that the mower stays in place. You can never be too careful, especially when it comes to sharpening or adjusting your reel mower. Consider using cut-resistant gloves.

Closing thoughts

Adjusting a reel mower is one of those tasks that you do need to perform on a yearly basis, and it’s very important if you want it to maintain great performance. With that in mind, sharpening the blade and also oiling the mower is also crucial, since it allows you to ensure the mower will cut everything properly and it will also work smoothly in doing so.

We highly recommend learning how to adjust a reel mower by following the tips listed above. It’s a skill that won’t take a lot of time to learn, but it can make a huge difference especially if you want to continue using a regular reel mower for years to come!

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