Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Best Budget Putting Green Hand Mower

Best Hand Push Reel Mowers Part 10:  A budget manual lawn mower for your home putting green

Can you keep your home putting green in golf course condition on a budget? After publishing the deepest and most thorough review on hand push reel mowers ever written in the US, and spending 3 months in the process, we feel that we have a pretty good understanding of the reel mower market, and our conclusions is an unambiguous YES! It is possible to spend $1,200 on an excellent Hudson Star Classic manual reel mower, or $2,200 for a top-notch battery-powered Hudson Star Signature mower - but, if you are on a tighter budget, you can do a very good job with the McLane 17-PH-10 for $200.

The McLane 17-PH-10 is a 10-bladed contact reel mower with a 17" cut path on ball bearings,  with a very large carriage, front-throw (i.e. it tosses the grass clipping forward), chain-driven (rather than pinion gear driven like most reel mowers). It is mounted on 4 small wheels. It uses a wing nut to adjust cut height from a broad 0.44" to 2.5". It has a Tee shape handle with foam grips. It is all metal, powder-painted, and made in the USA. Because of its 5 blades, it is optimized for northern grasses. it weighs a hefty 53 lbs, and costs $210. A grass catcher is available for another $60. Its primary focus is residential putting greens. It weighs 53 lbs, and costs $210. This 10-bade mower is significantly harder to push than standard reel mowers, although no harder than most walk-behind gas-powered mowers when they are not self-propelled. It provides a very fine cut, although not as low as the Hudson Star, which goes down to a reliable 0.12". The McLane 17-PH-10 is a solidly built and reliable machine. Its small wheels make it difficult to mow a bumpy lawn, but this is unlikely to be the case for a putting green. It edges well for a reel mower. Its hefty weight makes it difficult to maneuver in tight quarters, although it is significantly easier to handle than the much heavier and more ungainly Hudson Star Classic. Like all contact reel mowers, the McLane 17-PH-10 requires regular back-lapping, at least every year, maybe more often if you mow your putting green more than once a week (a back-lapping kit is available). The mower will also require periodic professional sharpening every 3 to 5 years.

Next we review the best online stores for hand push reel mowers... So come back soon!

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