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Going Gasless with Yardwork this Spring

It seems my lawnmower has finally given up. So, instead of spending a ton of money on a new one (I’m super cheap) I’ve decided to go green and look up mowers from an era long gone.

Critter gave me my first lawn mower a few years ago. It was this beautiful little rusty Murray 3hp push model. Had a decent cut to it with sharpened blades, and it had apparently been a good mower to him for a solid fifteen or so years. It was old, but it worked and it was free.

He always bragged how the thing never needed an oil change. He’d check it a few times each summer, and it’d still be that pretty dark amber color. I in turn heard that as “You never have to check or change the oil.” Never having had a lawnmower before, I figured that was a legit point of out conversation.

I mowed my yard with it ever since. Yes, I did eventually check the oil in it, and it was fine each time I did. So, in true “Don’t fix what isn’t broke” fashion, I’d use it, put it away, and pull it back out each Spring and go to town mowing the yard.

This Winter was a little different for my little Murray and me though. I walked into the garage after our first deep freeze in November to find a slick of black oil running from that mower. Come to find out, the main bearing around the crank shaft was worn out.

Not wanting to just be another “throw away” individual in our modern society, I recycled it on to my brother-in-law, and he’ll more than likely fix it and use it this year. I, on the other hand am on a quest to find something different and new.

I think I was walking through Attwood’s looking for my x-mas present ideas last year when I stumbled across a Stihl battery electric lawn mower. It looked straight out of the future!


Apart from looking, well, pretty dorky… that thing is 36 volts of pure electronic awesomeness. And I just about plopped my credit card down on it until I saw the sticker price… Yeah, they’re proud of it, and I’m sure it’s worth $400+, but I’m way too cheap for that.

Instead, I decided to go the minimalist route and look at reel mowers. You know, the kind you’d see in black and white tv shows from the 50’s… They look like a lot of work to push around, and chances are you’ll lose an appendage just using it, but man they take the cost of a good looking yard down to a minimum!

reel mower

So I looked around online and found that they have seen a resurgence in popularity over the last few years. Honestly, they went from the $50 el-cheapo deluxe “Gotta get the yard done” type of tool to the hottest new trend in a world where people think a little more about what they put into the atmosphere. Yep, Birkenstock rocking hipsters are all about the super-green reel mower.

I looked all over the web to find that even the cheapest reels start around $80 and go up to the $4-600 range… Insanity I tell you. So what is a cheap guy to do? Hit up the old Lawton Craigslist… and that’s when I found it.

I ended up scoring a very gently used, no-name reel mower for $15. It rolls nice, and yeah, it’ll get a good sharpening before too long… But whenever the grass goes green, I’ll be ready to live life cheap. After all, every gallon of gas I don’t have to buy, I can put a refreshing summer beverage in the fridge for when I’m done.

Now, the hard decision is upon me… Which 18 volt trimmer is going to last me a few years. Maybe we’ll go over that next week.

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