Customer Review

254 of 272 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not at thrilled as I hoped, April 17, 2011
This review is from: Fiskars 18 Inch Staysharp Max Reel Mower (6201) (Lawn & Patio)
I have used reel mowers for some time. Formerly I had a smaller one and I needed to cover more area, so I bought this one last year. It is expensive for a reel mower, but I read the great reviews and figured it would be worth it. It is a well-made item, but we haven't had the great experience some others had. The mower pushes easily and cuts lower grass well, but even set high it doesn't do higher grass and it just pushes down the tall weeds like dandelions. The worst part for me is that we don't get the 18" mowing width I was looking forward to. The sides push down the grass and leave only a narrow actual cutting width. This annoys my teenage son so much that he actually went back to using the older 16" mower. I still use this one myself, but I agree it mows a super-narrow strip and you have to overlap the strips or you end up with stripes of tall grass. The first few times this happened we couldn't figure it out, but now I know I have to overlap by a couple of inches (which further narrows your mowing area).
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 19, 2011 10:37:27 PM PDT
Sheldon says:
I purchased this mower last week. Like you, I have found that tall, wispy blades of grass simply get pushed down by the blades, and pop back up again once you've passed over them.

I saw a video recently that described a procedure by which you insert strips of paper into the blades, spin them by hand, and then adjust them until the strips are cut by the blade. (If the blades contact each other, you've adjusted them too closely.)

I've been meaning to try this, but I didn't get out there this past weekend. Have you given this a try to see if it solves the issue? I'll give it a try next time I'm out there.

Thank you.

Posted on Jul 5, 2011 5:48:18 AM PDT
Van Go says:
This is completely normal.

Posted on Feb 25, 2012 12:11:52 AM PST
S. David Ahn says:
Mary or Sheldon, have either of you tried adjusting the blades to cut paper? I'm seriously considering the Fiskars too, but we have some pretty fine blades of grass, though it's brand new seeded grass, so it may thicken up a lot more. I worry that wet, bendy, fine grass may be significantly harder to cut than a dry, relatively stiff piece of paper.


In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 5:35:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 21, 2012 5:36:31 AM PDT
I just got my mower yesterday and tried it out and I have the same problem. My new house has an admittedly pretty wild and as yet untamed lawn, so it's riddled with weeds and other tall shoots of grass. The mower did seem to cut through the low grass with no problems even the thicker areas, and it would probably be wonderful on an already well-manicured lawn, but for mine, it just trimmed the lower grass and left the tall stuff behind, leaving the lawn still looking unmaintained even after I mowed. I think the problem may be the height setting. I'm going to try to set it higher next time, so it can get those tall things first, then lower it on a 2nd pass to get the grass. I'm not giving up on it yet, as it may just take some getting used to, but I was a little more disappointed than I expected to be.

Edit: Oh and I did the paper adjustment before I ever mowed, so the blades are just where they're supposed to be. Like I said, I think the problem is height more than sharpness. The tall stuff gets pushed over rather than getting into the blades, so it doesn't get cut.

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 5:09:43 PM PDT
I chipped in with a friend on a Fiskars to share between our two yards. It's not a bad mower, the chain drive reel is a great idea. But I have found the same problem others describe where taller grass is simply "pushed down". IMHO this has nothing to do with sharpness, it's simply a design flaw....look at the mower, look at the two smaller wheel in the front which adjust the height, there is a lateral bar connecting them....this pushes taller grass/weeds forward and down and the rotating reel has a hard time cutting grass that is "lying down" (as any mower would). Any grass that is taller than that lateral bar isn't going to get cut effectively, especially grass/weeds with the round stalks rather than flat leaves. As a result tall grass is going to require two passes or you have to make sure the grass stays short. Great concept with the chain drive, poor execution in regard to design.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 7:01:50 PM PDT
Bazbar says:
Could you clarify at what height this becomes a problem? Will it cut up to the 4" maximum specified? Does it choke on 1.5" grass?

It would be very helpful to know what "taller grass" means in this context. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2012 12:11:09 PM PDT
Sheldon says:
Sorry I didn't respond to this post earlier. I actually did take some strips of paper and went to adjust the blades, but I found that the blades already appeared to be adjusted optimally, since the blades cut the paper strips easily.

Although I can't state this unequivocally, I don't think this mower would have problems cutting the lawn you described. I think the problems people have reported are due mainly to grass blade height. Despite my earlier comment about "tall, wispy blades of grass," the issue of how fine or course the grass blades are may be a bit of a red herring. Course or fine, this mower just isn't able to cut grass blades that get bent over as you start to pass over them, and are too tall to pop back up enough to get chopped before the mower finishes its pass.

That said, I'm still really glad I bought this mower. 95% of the time, it does a great job. Just don't let the grass get too tall, or you'll be borrowing your neighbor's conventional mower. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2012 12:30:00 PM PDT
Sheldon says:
That's an excellent summary ... spot on. I think people can take away from it an accurate perception: very good mower ... within certain parameters!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2012 12:39:14 PM PDT
Sheldon says:
Tough call. In my experience, 4" as the maximum grass height seems just about right. I think I had allowed my lawn to get that shaggy on one or two occasions, and was able to get through it with the Fiskars.

One think I'll add regarding grass height: if the grass length is 1.5", you probably won't have to do any raking; the mower can mulch short clippings to a reasonable extent. If the length is 4" however, you'll definitely have to rake.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 11:41:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2012 11:43:33 AM PDT
Robert Ames says:
If you have a single blade of grass that is one foot tall and try going over it with a reel mower, the grass blade will be bent over to be parallel to the ground. Because the entirety of the grass blade is lying down, the "tip" of it cannot "get in to" the cutting / scissoring area.

It's as if you're trying to cut a piece of cardboard with scissors starting from the middle instead of starting from the edge. You have to get the cardboard into the "mouth" of the scissor blades so it can start the cut, and the only way to do that is from the edge of the piece.

A regular mower is like an upside down blender, so anything that sticks up a bit gets "mauled" by the spinning blades. A reel mower is like a continuous paper slicer... you need the paper to get between the slicing blade before it will actually cut it.

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