Author Topic: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?  (Read 11807 times)

inline five

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #50 on: March 22, 2017, 10:17:08 AM »
If you have a Bermuda (Tif 419 or similar) lawn reel mowers do a great job on keeping them short and trimmed. You do have to mow every few days if you want a nice looking lawn (and feed it as much nitrogen as you can throw at it).

For others mow as high as you can.

Tiger Stache

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #51 on: March 22, 2017, 12:14:49 PM »
No, for the same reason I don't chisel my documents onto tablets of stone.

lol.

I looked into reel mowers a couple of years ago, but never could get a good handle on how big "smallish" was. I've got a Craftsman push mower that is now 13 years old. Change the spark plug, oil, and filter each year. Starts up like a champ. The reel mower would be cool, but my yard would not be conducive to having one and never regretting it.

Buy a corded electric off CL for super cheap. Important, use a 12g extension cord. I burnt my first mower out after ~3 years because I was using a cheap 16g cord. Bought 2x 50 ft cords from Harbor Freight for cheap many years ago and a used B&D corded electric mower for $50, been working fine since.

I did have a reel mower (push mower) and it was a PITA. Sold it. Got it for free so made a few bucks so not bad but still not worth the effort.

you know why the corded mower was super cheap on CL? because it's a corded lawnmower.

BlueMR2

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #52 on: March 23, 2017, 07:25:36 AM »
Lots of comments about "doesn't work if you let the grass get too high, etc"; do any of you travel?  We spend several weekends and often a week away from home in summer (grass cutting season) so it doesn't always work out that I can just mow whenever.  Sometimes 5-6 days or many more go by without the opportunity to mow due to travel, weather, and other commitments.  The gas mower has enough problems with 10 days' worth of late spring grass; I certainly don't want to lock myself into something that can't cope with that.

Weekends are fine, even in prime growing season you can go that long.

Going away for a week in the Spring, that's when you pay the neighbor kid $20 to mow your lawn with his gas mower once.  Around here there's only really about a month where that's the case that it grows that fast.  I haven't had to do it once yet as never has travel fallen in that range of time.  Even if it happened twice a year (at the current cheap gas prices) I'd still be ahead vs. owning and using my own gas mower.

I inherited a gas mower and kept it for 3-4 years due to your concern, but did not use it ever, so ended up giving it away to free up the space.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #53 on: March 23, 2017, 07:40:48 AM »
I've mowed with the reel after about 10 days in late spring and not had a problem. I also mow high, so it's not like I'm chopping it down to a quarter inch and it only grows back to a reasonable height.

Tougher, but manageable. If you get some momentum, you can plow right through most things.

I do have a weed whacker, which is also an option: haircut the grass, finish with the reel.

Fishindude

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #54 on: March 23, 2017, 07:43:16 AM »
Had one when we were kids, that dad made us use.   No way in hell I will ever push one of those miserable things again. 
Get one with a motor, they're not all that expensive.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #55 on: March 23, 2017, 08:26:56 AM »
Had one when we were kids, that dad made us use.   No way in hell I will ever push one of those miserable things again. 
Get one with a motor, they're not all that expensive.

It's not always the cost that's the issue. For us, a couple factors include space and smell (in the case of gas mowers). We have a home gym in our garage, and no shed or similar to store gas in. I don't want to breathe gas fumes as I work out. So no go on a gas mower. The electric are much larger than a reel mower which leans nearly totally flat against the wall. (We store it between the car and the wall).

Chris22

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #56 on: March 23, 2017, 08:54:20 AM »
It's not always the cost that's the issue. For us, a couple factors include space and smell (in the case of gas mowers). We have a home gym in our garage, and no shed or similar to store gas in. I don't want to breathe gas fumes as I work out.

I store/have stored several gas powered appliances (mower, weedwacker, backpack blower, snow blower, power washer) and several cans of gas (pure and various types of premix) in garages and sheds and never have a gas smell unless I'm actively fueling something. 

Space is a PITA, I'll give you that one.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #57 on: March 23, 2017, 09:07:05 AM »
It's not always the cost that's the issue. For us, a couple factors include space and smell (in the case of gas mowers). We have a home gym in our garage, and no shed or similar to store gas in. I don't want to breathe gas fumes as I work out.

I store/have stored several gas powered appliances (mower, weedwacker, backpack blower, snow blower, power washer) and several cans of gas (pure and various types of premix) in garages and sheds and never have a gas smell unless I'm actively fueling something. 

Space is a PITA, I'll give you that one.

I find that odd. I can DEFINITELY tell when I walk in someone's garage if they have gas/gas powered stuff in there. (Except cars, they usually do not smell like gas to me). I do have a good sense of smell though, so maybe thats it.

Chris22

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #58 on: March 23, 2017, 09:25:04 AM »
It's not always the cost that's the issue. For us, a couple factors include space and smell (in the case of gas mowers). We have a home gym in our garage, and no shed or similar to store gas in. I don't want to breathe gas fumes as I work out.

I store/have stored several gas powered appliances (mower, weedwacker, backpack blower, snow blower, power washer) and several cans of gas (pure and various types of premix) in garages and sheds and never have a gas smell unless I'm actively fueling something. 

Space is a PITA, I'll give you that one.

I find that odd. I can DEFINITELY tell when I walk in someone's garage if they have gas/gas powered stuff in there. (Except cars, they usually do not smell like gas to me). I do have a good sense of smell though, so maybe thats it.

Unless something is really old or malfunctioning, it should not be releasing any gas fumes. 

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #59 on: March 23, 2017, 01:11:45 PM »
Reel Lawn-Mower is beautifully light. Mounts right up on the rafters, makes it totally vertical and takes up like 5 sq ft of space.

I still only have (probably) 2.2 sq ft of actual green, though...much bigger than that and I probably wouldn't use the damn reel. Couldn't imagine mowing my Dad's lawn with a reel!

Just let get it real big and cut it with a scythe :P

Just Joe

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #60 on: March 23, 2017, 03:15:19 PM »
I love the scissoring effect of the reel. Its like baking something that turns out just right or waxing the car (the shine). Also like that the reel doesn't stir up every bit of dust and pollen and throw it into the air in a little cloud that I have to breathe.

I use the gas mower when I have to. Its already paid for, but I love to use the reel mower when I can. 

cacaoheart

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #61 on: March 25, 2017, 12:13:08 PM »
A friend uses a scythe. There are some interesting videos/websites promoting them:

http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/245108/scythe-lawnmowing-competition/

https://scythesupply.com/notes-on-mowing-a-lawn.html

Scythes could be useful/fun for grass too tall/wet for reel mowers.

MVal

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #62 on: March 27, 2017, 03:45:37 PM »
Hey, good news...I just got a lawn mower. It's electric, with a cord. Thank you all for your advice and discussion. I found a great deal on Craigslist for a mower with an electric trimmer included for $75. They're several years old and well used, but it should work for now.

SimplyFinanciallyFree

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #63 on: May 25, 2017, 09:23:58 AM »
We have had one for years and love it.  Mind you my husband does the lawns but he prefers the reel mover.  So much more peaceful and saves the gas.  We do have a gas powdered that is needed if the lawn gets too long so you do need to stay on top of it if you intend to use the reel mover.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #64 on: May 25, 2017, 09:34:50 AM »
So, now that growing season has hit in earnest here, our reel mower wasn't doing the trick anymore. Stuff just grew way too fast to keep up with. We ended up buying a battery-based electric. We're very happy with it so far. Went the ryobi route.

Mr. Green

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #65 on: May 25, 2017, 11:29:53 AM »
If you can get your hands on an old reel mower that's the way to go. They're heavy but once they're moving the weight makes it harder for thick grass stop the rotation of the reel. My dad found one for me almost 10 years ago and cleaned it up. I've touched it with a screwdriver just twice all these years later and that was to make hair adjustments to the bar the reel touches so the blades keep touching it. The grass shoots out of the back of the mower like a snow blower. It's magical. I'd probably mow up to a half acre with my mower before I considered something else.

Scandium

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #66 on: May 25, 2017, 01:43:17 PM »
We've used push mowers and are on our 11th season.

First one was a Craftsman with a Briggs & Stratton mower.  Cared for that thing, repaired it multiple times.  Bought a Honda this year.

Wish I would have paid the little extra for the Honda the first time in hindsight.  Many mowers out there are made pretty crappy now.

FWIW:  the OP is talking about one of these:


Side comment: I once bought a VERY expensive, high end Honda.  I loved it.... until it only lasted 3 years.  I went back to the cheapo mowers.  The Honda was well built, but poorly engineered.

Interesting, I've always heard the Hondas were great but pricey. My plan for when my Craftsman craps out, and it's showing some signs, is either a cordless electric or the absolute bottom line Honda (I don't need any features, just a mulching blade).

FWIW I've used a ~$500 Honda mower for 7 years now, and done nothing but put gas in it. I expect it to last many more. My dad has a honda I think is older than me.

1/4 acre lot. Couple gallon of gas last a whole season. I tried a reel mower and it wasn't much more physically taxing, but it left tons of patches with longer grass, even on 2nd, 3rd try. And the mulching feature of the honda is worth it alone. With the reel mower you really need to rake the whole thing; not gonna happen. If you have a tiny lawn I'd say maybe.

Spork

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #67 on: May 25, 2017, 05:32:40 PM »
We've used push mowers and are on our 11th season.

First one was a Craftsman with a Briggs & Stratton mower.  Cared for that thing, repaired it multiple times.  Bought a Honda this year.

Wish I would have paid the little extra for the Honda the first time in hindsight.  Many mowers out there are made pretty crappy now.

FWIW:  the OP is talking about one of these:


Side comment: I once bought a VERY expensive, high end Honda.  I loved it.... until it only lasted 3 years.  I went back to the cheapo mowers.  The Honda was well built, but poorly engineered.

Interesting, I've always heard the Hondas were great but pricey. My plan for when my Craftsman craps out, and it's showing some signs, is either a cordless electric or the absolute bottom line Honda (I don't need any features, just a mulching blade).

FWIW I've used a ~$500 Honda mower for 7 years now, and done nothing but put gas in it. I expect it to last many more. My dad has a honda I think is older than me.

1/4 acre lot. Couple gallon of gas last a whole season. I tried a reel mower and it wasn't much more physically taxing, but it left tons of patches with longer grass, even on 2nd, 3rd try. And the mulching feature of the honda is worth it alone. With the reel mower you really need to rake the whole thing; not gonna happen. If you have a tiny lawn I'd say maybe.

Okay, if you have a Honda mulching blade in there TAKE IT OUT RIGHT NOW.  I'm serious.  If you hit something -- anything -- that stops that blade cold, you've just scrapped your mower.  The Honda mulching blade is two blades that are extremely hardened steel.  When you hit a stump (for example) they'll hold up really well.  So will the shear pin.  The crankshaft... well, that's made of something less sturdy than the other parts. 

4n6

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #68 on: May 25, 2017, 09:07:46 PM »
We use a pushmower, but we have a very small lot 4,000 square foot. We also have an electric one...both we got at a garage sale for $35 for both. Works for us.

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #69 on: May 26, 2017, 07:09:55 AM »
I still only have (probably) 2.2 sq ft of actual green, though...much bigger than that and I probably wouldn't use the damn reel. Couldn't imagine mowing my Dad's lawn with a reel!


With a lawn that size you could just use nail clippers

Connemara

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #70 on: May 26, 2017, 07:14:53 AM »
I highly recommend this mower. I've only cut the grass 4 or 5 times with it, but it does a great job even with tall grass.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GX9WNP2

Chris22

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #71 on: May 26, 2017, 07:25:58 AM »
Walking with my dog and kid last night, and walked past a neighbor using a reel mower.  My daughter (4) looked at  his lawn and said "daddy, it doesn't even look like he's cutting it."  And, uhh, she was right.

Mac_MacGyver

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #72 on: May 27, 2017, 08:48:09 AM »
I have one, I hope to one day get my lawn in order so I can use it. I have some big dogs that make grass difficult.

jim555

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #73 on: May 27, 2017, 10:09:26 AM »
Had one when we were kids, that dad made us use.   No way in hell I will ever push one of those miserable things again. 
Get one with a motor, they're not all that expensive.
Yep.  Bad memories of youth are coming back.  Say no to reel push mowers!

CloserToFree

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #74 on: May 27, 2017, 10:51:15 AM »
We've had one for 5 years and use it to mow our small lawn, about once a week, sometimes a little less frequently even.  We love it.  We travel too so sometimes it goes a couple weeks without a mow, but we haven't had problems yet.  I especially love that it's quiet--all our neighbors seem to use very loud mowers, blowers, and lawn services, and the ensuing noise is a real negative, IMO.

trashmanz

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #75 on: May 27, 2017, 10:57:38 AM »
No. Because a lawn is not mustachian or environmentally friendly

lemonde

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #76 on: May 27, 2017, 11:13:07 PM »
We had (have) one for a year or two, but it grew progressively worse at cutting (even after sharpening). We switched to an electric and have been thoroughly satisfied.

Tom Bri

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #77 on: May 31, 2017, 08:48:05 PM »
In my second year with mine. I like it Okay, but it takes two passes a day or two apart to make a fairly even lawn. Plus if the grass is really thick (not just tall, but even short grass that is really healthy and dense) it is hard to cut it. I broke down just yesterday and ordered a new gas mower.

Larsg

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #78 on: June 14, 2017, 02:44:22 AM »
We tried a push mower and it just did not do the job though we have a good size lawn. We bought a Green Works, battery operated lawn mower from AMZN, the 2 battery kind and we love it. It is save, not too loud, easy to push, the 2 batteries last about an hour for mowing and are interchangeable across all other green works products which we kept adding because we liked them so much. We have the blower, chainsaw (super easy to use and effective if you have a small farm or average to deal with fallen trees), trimmer/edger. My wife is 5'4, I am 6' and we both trade off on using the tools.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #79 on: June 21, 2017, 07:17:09 AM »
Lots of comments about "doesn't work if you let the grass get too high, etc"; do any of you travel?  We spend several weekends and often a week away from home in summer (grass cutting season) so it doesn't always work out that I can just mow whenever.  Sometimes 5-6 days or many more go by without the opportunity to mow due to travel, weather, and other commitments.  The gas mower has enough problems with 10 days' worth of late spring grass; I certainly don't want to lock myself into something that can't cope with that.

Sounds like a reel mower might not be for you, unless you can give your lawn a once over with the gas mower before going back to the reel. Or borrow a neighbors gas mower for those instances?

MVal

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #80 on: June 21, 2017, 07:19:59 AM »
Lots of comments about "doesn't work if you let the grass get too high, etc"; do any of you travel?  We spend several weekends and often a week away from home in summer (grass cutting season) so it doesn't always work out that I can just mow whenever.  Sometimes 5-6 days or many more go by without the opportunity to mow due to travel, weather, and other commitments.  The gas mower has enough problems with 10 days' worth of late spring grass; I certainly don't want to lock myself into something that can't cope with that.

Sounds like a reel mower might not be for you, unless you can give your lawn a once over with the gas mower before going back to the reel. Or borrow a neighbors gas mower for those instances?

I wound up getting an electric mower since it sounded like a reel mower is going to be way too frequent mowings for me. The cord is a pain, but it was only $75 on Craigslist and they threw in the electric trimmer to boot.

afuera

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #81 on: June 21, 2017, 08:02:11 AM »
Hubs bought this this reel mower off craigslist.  It had only been used a handful of times and he got it for around $50.  It works much better than our old reel mower (which Hubs accidently ran over...) and it only takes ~2 passes to get an even cut.  We like to keep our grass a little longer to help fill in some bald spots so its a little bit of a workout but that's a good thing.  We also love that its quiet and peaceful so the pets can be hanging out in the backyard while we mow and one of us is usually relaxing back there (me) while the other is working (Hubs).  Most of our neighbors have lawn crews with loud blowers and mowers so I like that we are not adding any more noise or pollution in our neighborhood.

Scortius

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #82 on: June 21, 2017, 09:39:15 AM »
I just got one the other week.  We have a new place and a nice backyard with about 500sqft of grass.  Takes about 5-10m of easy work.  It didn't make sense to get a gas mower given that our back yard is so small.

Goldielocks

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #83 on: June 22, 2017, 01:01:03 AM »
Quiet is a big advantage of the reel mowers -- I was able to mow at 9pm this week (still daylight), and not make noise to irritate neighbors.

BUT -- the longer grass is just pushed over in places, so we need a different mower for a while.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #84 on: July 18, 2017, 07:13:59 AM »
^good point. On my bike ride into work this morning I saw someone mowing their yard with a reel mower. It was ~6:30am.

BlueMR2

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #85 on: July 19, 2017, 05:01:12 AM »
BUT -- the longer grass is just pushed over in places, so we need a different mower for a while.

A small battery powered weedwhacker will do those sections that get too long and just push over.  I've got one for edging anyways, so not a big deal to hit the occasional sections that grow faster than I expected...

Lmoot

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #86 on: July 19, 2017, 05:30:02 AM »
If I ever live somewhere with a lawn, or I add a small lawn space to my yard, I would definitely want a reel mower.  Won't have to deal with the cord, or gasoline, adding pollution. Won't have to deal with expensive mechanical issues. I would appreciate the extra exercise. And most importantly I tend to do yardwork early in the morning, even before the sun comes out.  I live in Florida so pretty much we are relegated to early morning and evening yardwork.  I doubt my neighbors, as lovely as they are, would appreciate me mowing the lawn at five and six in the morning, with a motorized mower.

Goldielocks

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #87 on: July 28, 2017, 12:55:02 PM »
BUT -- the longer grass is just pushed over in places, so we need a different mower for a while.

A small battery powered weedwhacker will do those sections that get too long and just push over.  I've got one for edging anyways, so not a big deal to hit the occasional sections that grow faster than I expected...

Argh.  the battery is starting to slowly expand on my 12 year old weed wacker, so I had to stop using it.  And I can't find a replacement.  And it was part of a 4 tool kit that I really liked...   

BlueMR2

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #88 on: July 28, 2017, 04:16:09 PM »
Argh.  the battery is starting to slowly expand on my 12 year old weed wacker, so I had to stop using it.  And I can't find a replacement.  And it was part of a 4 tool kit that I really liked...

Internally pretty much all those batteries are the same.   There's standard cell sizes.  Just need the right amount arranged the right way.  You don't need to buy a whole replacement unit.  Just cycle on over to your nearest "Batteries+" (or similar) shop and they'll rebuild yours for you.  If they have to order cells it may take a week, otherwise it could be an hour or less.  They've never failed me.

Goldielocks

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Re: Does anyone use a reel pushmower to mow their lawn?
« Reply #89 on: July 28, 2017, 05:03:48 PM »
Argh.  the battery is starting to slowly expand on my 12 year old weed wacker, so I had to stop using it.  And I can't find a replacement.  And it was part of a 4 tool kit that I really liked...

Internally pretty much all those batteries are the same.   There's standard cell sizes.  Just need the right amount arranged the right way.  You don't need to buy a whole replacement unit.  Just cycle on over to your nearest "Batteries+" (or similar) shop and they'll rebuild yours for you.  If they have to order cells it may take a week, otherwise it could be an hour or less.  They've never failed me.
The expanding cells shattered the case.  the case has a special mounting / slide connection to affix to the tools and make the electrical circuit work.  I don't have a new case and need one to make it attach to the tool.