Fiskars StaySharp Max Review

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Manufacturers have turned back the clock with the reintroduction of nonmotorized reel mowers, marketing them as low-maintenance, noiseless, and emissions-free. These models feature a cylindrical blade that scoops and cuts the grass. Reel mowers are normally reserved for very small yards, but Fiskars StaySharp Max reviews come from consumers with yards as large as half an acre. According to one user who posted a review on Amazon, the job takes up to two hours on a one-third-acre plot that includes a good-size house.

The Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower (starting at $191, Amazon) is produced by a Finnish company that specializes in cutting tools. It's pricey for this type of mower, but buyers get a top-of-the-line model for less than $200. It cuts an 18-inch path with five blades. Unlike the blades on most reel mowers, these blades don't touch. As a result, the manufacturer claims, they need only periodic (as in, every few years) sharpening -- but do clean and dry the blades after each mow. Reviews suggest that the mower may benefit from annual doses of oil and lapping compound, especially in warm climates with tougher grass.

On the Home Depot website, users allege that the Fiskars StaySharp Max will cut through any type of grass (thick weeds, not so much), as long as it doesn't grow too long. The height of the blades can be adjusted from 1 to 4 inches, and users say it's easy to change. Grass is discharged from the front of the mower, so the blades continue to run over it, effectively creating mulch. A few reviewers grumble that the grass clippings slow their progress.

A reel mower isn't for everybody, nor is it for everybody's lawn. One reviewer warns other Amazon customers that he was in decent shape but lost 10 pounds in a summer of using this mower. Several other users advise that a shady lawn that never gets dry or a lawn full of tall weeds will be a problem for this mower.

Still, most reviewers are well satisfied with this eco-conscious choice. They note the minimal noise, no need for gas or oil, and the added advantage of a cardio workout. The Fiskars StaySharp Max comes with a three-year warranty.

Elizabeth Sheer

Elizabeth Sheer is a Brooklyn-based writer and researcher. In addition to researching and writing about household appliances and other consumer items, Elizabeth draws on her history of preparing cooking-related articles to conduct taste tests on all things delicious.

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