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carbpow
07-29-2012, 02:14 PM
I have decided I need a reel mower for my empire zoysia and from what I have read on this forum Tru Cut seems to be a good choice. I have looked at some used greens mowers such as Deere and Toro but they seem to be only able to cut at a maximum height of 1" whereas the Tru Cut will go to 2". I like the option of being able to adjust the height to over 1" if I so desire. Are there other walk behind reel mowers comparable to the Tru Cut?
My question is where to find a decent used Tru Cut or a dealer in south FL that has something besides suggested retail prices for the new ones? I figure a good used one would last me forever with only 4500 sq ft and a new one would last until grandchildren are grown.

Florida Gardener
07-29-2012, 02:34 PM
Where exactly in a Florida are you??
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carbpow
07-29-2012, 02:58 PM
Near Stuart, Martin County.

Florida Gardener
07-29-2012, 03:40 PM
Uncle Bims in wpb is a Tru-cut dealer with excellent service. They have a guy who does the sharpening too....I know it's a decent drive from stuart, but I would purchase from them....
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carbpow
07-29-2012, 11:36 PM
Uncle Bims in wpb is a Tru-cut dealer with excellent service. They have a guy who does the sharpening too....I know it's a decent drive from stuart, but I would purchase from them....
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Thanks. It's not much of a drive, I was going to St Augustine to check out a used one so Palm Beach is not a problem for me, especially if they service what they sell.

Florida Gardener
07-30-2012, 10:16 AM
Thanks. It's not much of a drive, I was going to St Augustine to check out a used one so Palm Beach is not a problem for me, especially if they service what they sell.
Then I would def buy from them...they take good care of their customers...trust me, I've been to plenty of shops that dont
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Ira
07-30-2012, 11:24 AM
There are at least two golf course mowers that will cut higher than 1" (and quite a bit lower, too), and aren't too big for a reasonably sized residential lawn (1/3 acre and up).

I bought a used 2006 Jacobsen TriKing 1800G (3/8" to 2-1/4" cut) with 200 hours on it about a month ago. Bought it from the original individual owner (only used it on his 1/3 acre lawn), thus the low hours. Jacobsen also has a TriKing 1900D. Same mower except it has a Kubota diesel instead of a B&S gas engine. It has a 6' wide cut, so I can easily mow my lawn in 30 minutes.

Toro has the ReelMaster 3100D that has a similar height-of-cut range, but it is a much "beefier" machine and more expensive. All of these machines list new for $20K+, up to $30K.

Look for these on eBay. What you want is typically referred to as a "trim mower" or "fairway mower". There are usually several for sale in Florida. There's a Jacobsen 1900D in Ft. Meyers on eBay now.

Edit: Just read that your yard is 4500 sq.ft. These mowers would probably be overkill for you, unless you just wanted one really bad. Also, keep in mind that they aren't designed for residential yards. For example, mine leaves about a 4" strip when mowing next to my home. It won't cut any closer than that.
I bought the 1800G because it was almost local (a couple of hours away) so I could see it, and I know a lot more about gas engines than diesels. Since I will only put about 100 hours a year on it, it should outlast me.

I bought a TruCut C27 at the beginning of last year. I think it is a good mower, but cutting my 1/2 acre lawn twice a week during high heat high humidity summers got really old. The thing I don't like about the C27 is that I found it really hard to get the reel-to-bedknife clearance set correctly. I just never got the knack for it. If it's too little clearance, you will damage the reel and/or bedknife. If it's too much clearance, the cut will look like crap. Backlapping was also a bit of a pain. Now I use the C27 for cutting close to the house, flower beds, etc., so it doesn't need to be adjusted as often.

Setting the clearances and backlapping is much easier on the golf course mowers. Setting the height of cut on the golf course mowers is much more difficult than the TruCut though, so I wouldn't want to be changing it often.

One last thing...before you buy anything, check with some golf courses nearby to see if they will sharpen the reel(s) for you. It may be a lot cheaper than having a dealer sharpen them, especially if you end up with a golf course mower. It may also influence your decision on what brand to buy, based on what the local golf course is used to working with (if you have them sharpen yours).

carbpow
07-30-2012, 02:11 PM
Thanks for the information. I think I will try an experiment before committing myself to a major purchase like a good quality Tru Cut. I am going to get a Fiskars push reel mower and see how I like the difference in the cut between it and my rotary mower. If the difference is considerable I'll go get a 20" Tru Cut and give the push mower to someone who needs the exercise.

grassmasterswilson
07-30-2012, 08:49 PM
What other brands besides tru cut are good residential mowers. I have an 8500 sqft lawn. Also how level does it need to be to cut with a reel mower? I just plugged my lawn(which is in the renovation thread under plugging experiment) and its spreading nice. THink I might want a reel mower for cutting it. I'm good friends with the super on the course I live and hopefully he can sharpen and teach me how to adjust it. I'd like the ability to cut it a little higher, maybe 2 inches for now.

Florida Gardener
07-30-2012, 09:07 PM
What other brands besides tru cut are good residential mowers. I have an 8500 sqft lawn. Also how level does it need to be to cut with a reel mower? I just plugged my lawn(which is in the renovation thread under plugging experiment) and its spreading nice. THink I might want a reel mower for cutting it. I'm good friends with the super on the course I live and hopefully he can sharpen and teach me how to adjust it. I'd like the ability to cut it a little higher, maybe 2 inches for now.
If your going to cut at 2", I wouldn't buy a reel. Yes, Tru-cut will cut at 2", but what's the point if your going to cut high?? Lawn needs to be pretty level to cut with a reel. Flat too.
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Florida Gardener
07-30-2012, 09:08 PM
If your buying for your own use, Tru-culture will do just fine... Get a c27.
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carbpow
08-05-2012, 04:21 PM
I tried a Fiskar push reel mower and I really like the cut as compared to a rotary on Empire. The new Fiskar chain drive is a really nice push mower and is light years removed from the old type but now there is no doubt that I need to get a gas reel. One thing I noticed is the amount of trimming increases with a reel as opposed to a rotary and a string trimmer just doesn't work as well as I like on Empire. Looks shabby so now I am looking for trimmer.
Any ideas?

Florida Gardener
08-05-2012, 04:31 PM
I tried a Fiskar push reel mower and I really like the cut as compared to a rotary on Empire. The new Fiskar chain drive is a really nice push mower and is light years removed from the old type but now there is no doubt that I need to get a gas reel. One thing I noticed is the amount of trimming increases with a reel as opposed to a rotary and a string trimmer just doesn't work as well as I like on Empire. Looks shabby so now I am looking for trimmer.
Any ideas?
If your willing to invest the money, buy a muryama landscape blade. It is a reel on a stick. String trimmers on sports turf should be a no-no.
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carbpow
08-06-2012, 11:51 AM
I found a Toro Greensmaster 1600 26" for a good price and in excellent condition but wonder if it's too much mower for my 4500 sq feet.
Thoughts?

Florida Gardener
08-06-2012, 12:32 PM
I found a Toro Greensmaster 1600 26" for a good price and in excellent condition but wonder if it's too much mower for my 4500 sq feet.
Thoughts?

How much??
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carbpow
08-06-2012, 12:49 PM
Less than $1000 is the asking price.

Florida Gardener
08-06-2012, 12:51 PM
Less than $1000 is the asking price.

If it is in excellent shape and needs a sharpening at most, I would buy it...
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carbpow
08-06-2012, 12:54 PM
Thanks ! I will do so.
I am really impressed with this Empire and it deserves to be properly cared for. This mower should last me a very long time, it does a need a sharpening but not much.

Florida Gardener
08-06-2012, 01:06 PM
Thanks ! I will do so.
I am really impressed with this Empire and it deserves to be properly cared for. This mower should last me a very long time, it does a need a sharpening but not much.

Well, a sharpening is a sharpening. Take it to a pro...again, I'd go to uncle Bims...
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Ira
08-06-2012, 02:20 PM
I found a Toro Greensmaster 1600 26" for a good price and in excellent condition but wonder if it's too much mower for my 4500 sq feet.
Thoughts?

Looks like that mower has a maximum height of cut of 1.25". Are you okay with that?

Florida Gardener
08-06-2012, 02:29 PM
Looks like that mower has a maximum height of cut of 1.25". Are you okay with that?

Didn't know that...I would pass then...IMO, empire looks best at 1.5-1.75".
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greendoctor
08-06-2012, 02:46 PM
I have found that anything over 7 blades on a reel is no good for zoysia. Even the 10 blade McLane and Tru-Cut that people buy thinking more is better proves to be otherwise. 10 blade mowers are for bent grass or bermuda maintained at less than 1/2".

carbpow
08-06-2012, 02:57 PM
Didn't know that...I would pass then...IMO, empire looks best at 1.5-1.75".
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yep, 1.25 if the max but will1/4" less make that much difference? I checked it out, runs good and has a spare set of new blades, 1050 hours and can be had for $600.
All that being said I don't want to cut too short no matter the deal !

Ira
08-06-2012, 03:01 PM
Didn't know that...I would pass then...IMO, empire looks best at 1.5-1.75".
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For the first dozen or so times I cut my Palisades zoysia (similar to Empire, I think) with my Jacobsen, I cut it at 7/8". The mower was set at that height when I bought it, and it's not a simple task to set the HOC. Yesterday, I raised it to 1.25" which is about what my Tru-Cut is set at, but I won't mow again until tomorrow. 7/8" didn't look bad, but I don't think it looked as good as 1.25". It looked like a lighter shade of green when cut at 7/8".

The guy that I bought the Jacobsen from was mowing at 7/8", but he has one of the fine-blade zoysias.

Florida Gardener
08-06-2012, 03:10 PM
yep, 1.25 if the max but will1/4" less make that much difference? I checked it out, runs good and has a spare set of new blades, 1050 hours and can be had for $600.
All that being said I don't want to cut too short no matter the deal !

Well, that would prob put you at 2x/wk cutting in growing season. I have 1 empire yard that gets cut at 1.75" 1x/wk. IMO, it should be cut 2x/wk, but the customer will def not pay for that...so yes, IMO...1.25 means more maintenance. Empire grows like crazy in the growing season.
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Florida Gardener
08-06-2012, 03:13 PM
For the first dozen or so times I cut my Palisades zoysia (similar to Empire, I think) with my Jacobsen, I cut it at 7/8". The mower was set at that height when I bought it, and it's not a simple task to set the HOC. Yesterday, I raised it to 1.25" which is about what my Tru-Cut is set at, but I won't mow again until tomorrow. 7/8" didn't look bad, but I don't think it looked as good as 1.25". It looked like a lighter shade of green when cut at 7/8".

The guy that I bought the Jacobsen from was mowing at 7/8", but he has one of the fine-blade zoysias.

Yup, big difference b/t fine bladed zoysias and larger bladed zoysias. Like I said in the previous post, I cut this empire yard 1x/wk and 1.75 looks the best. I need to renovate this lawn, but it's not terrible. At 1.5" I scalp some areas. Again though, it's bc I'm cutting 1x/wk. if I could cut 2x/wk, I'd be at 1-1.25". I cut a diamond zoysia lawn at .75" and it is gorgeous.
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carbpow
08-06-2012, 03:52 PM
I cancelled the deal after I made some measurements with the Fiskar push mower. 1.5 to 1.75 is really nice. 1.25 is a bit low and it needs to be really flat though it looks OK.. I'll keep looking. Probably I'll head down to Uncle Brill in the next day or so.

Florida Gardener
08-06-2012, 04:19 PM
I cancelled the deal after I made some measurements with the Fiskar push mower. 1.5 to 1.75 is really nice. 1.25 is a bit low and it needs to be really flat though it looks OK.. I'll keep looking. Probably I'll head down to Uncle Brill in the next day or so.

Yup...like I said if you cut 2x/wk, 1.25" would work great. Who the hell wants to do that though on their own lawn?? Yea, uncle Bims is great. They really care about the customer. Most shops around here don't give a ****.
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carbpow
08-06-2012, 04:50 PM
Uh, oh. Uncle Bim. Dunno where I got the Brill from.
I will go on your recommendation. I can get a Tru Cut mower from several places but customer service is foremost as far as I am concerned so Bim gets the nod.

Florida Gardener
08-06-2012, 05:28 PM
Uh, oh. Uncle Bim. Dunno where I got the Brill from.
I will go on your recommendation. I can get a Tru Cut mower from several places but customer service is foremost as far as I am concerned so Bim gets the nod.
Yup, like I said, they value thier customers. Talk to Jeff who does the reels, guy knows his stuff.
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Ira
08-06-2012, 07:18 PM
Get a roller to replace the front casters on the Tru-Cut.

cgaengineer
08-06-2012, 07:28 PM
Get a roller to replace the front casters on the Tru-Cut.

Call this guy for the roller...he makes and sells them 15 minutes from my house. If you see a roller on trucut, mcclane or trimmer there's a 90% chance he made it.


Reel Works
www.reelrollers.com
(706) 654-5455
1399 Ednaville Road
Braselton‎ GA‎ 30517-2342
United States
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Ira
08-06-2012, 09:02 PM
If your willing to invest the money, buy a muryama landscape blade. It is a reel on a stick. String trimmers on sports turf should be a no-no.
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Other than possibly the price, is there any reason for a homeowner not to get one of these? Are they easy to use? More dangerouse than a string trimmer (they look pretty mean)? I have some landscape beds that have stacked, loose (not concreted together) flagstone "edging" about 8" tall. What happens if the landscape blade hits the flagstone (a lot) when trimming up against them? I guess the blade probably isn't too good for going up against irregular surfaces like that...right?

Is Kawasaki's Twin TurboBlade just as good? There are several nearby Kawasaki dealers.

A string trimmer, together with my inability to use it well, sure does a lot of damage to my lawn.

Florida Gardener
08-06-2012, 09:44 PM
Other than possibly the price, is there any reason for a homeowner not to get one of these? Are they easy to use? More dangerouse than a string trimmer (they look pretty mean)? I have some landscape beds that have stacked, loose (not concreted together) flagstone "edging" about 8" tall. What happens if the landscape blade hits the flagstone (a lot) when trimming up against them? I guess the blade probably isn't too good for going up against irregular surfaces like that...right?

Is Kawasaki's Twin TurboBlade just as good? There are several nearby Kawasaki dealers.

A string trimmer, together with my inability to use it well, sure does a lot of damage to my lawn.
There is no reason you shouldn't be using this on sports turf. It takes a little while to get used to, but once you do it's cake. You can't really hit it against hard structures as it will dull the blade, but you can tap it a little. It is a great piece to own and use on sports turf. Kawi and muryama are the same company do I'm sure they both work well.
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carbpow
08-07-2012, 06:54 PM
Yup, like I said, they value thier customers. Talk to Jeff who does the reels, guy knows his stuff.
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While riding around Martin and parts of St Lucie Counties today on errands I stopped into 4 lawnmower shops to inquire about a walk behind reel. I guess these guys are independently wealthy already. In 3 shops I wasn't even acknowledged when I walked in and started looking around even though I was the only customer in the building. As a curiosity when I visited the third shop I started looking at the most expensive mowers in the place as well as some high dollar trimmers, again no response. Hell, the kids working in Best Buy are more customer oriented than these lawnmower business guys. At the fourth shop I stopped by at least guy behind the counter asked if he could help after I sat on a $10,000 mower to try out the feel just to see if he would respond.
Customer service sucks in these parts. I wouldn't buy a mower from any of them because I figure the service after the sale will even be worse.
I am off to Bim's Thrusday.

Florida Gardener
08-07-2012, 06:58 PM
While riding around Martin and parts of St Lucie Counties today on errands I stopped into 4 lawnmower shops to inquire about a walk behind reel. I guess these guys are independently wealthy already. In 3 shops I wasn't even acknowledged when I walked in and started looking around even though I was the only customer in the building. As a curiosity when I visited the third shop I started looking at the most expensive mowers in the place as well as some high dollar trimmers, again no response. Hell, the kids working in Best Buy are more customer oriented than these lawnmower business guys. At the fourth shop I stopped by at least guy behind the counter asked if he could help after I sat on a $10,000 mower to try out the feel just to see if he would respond.
Customer service sucks in these parts. I wouldn't buy a mower from any of them because I figure the service after the sale will even be worse.
I am off to Bim's Thrusday.
Trust me, not much better round here. The only 2 shops I feel like my business has been appreciated and the customer service is great is Uncle Bims, and Green Thumb. The rest, forget it. I have a friend who brought a mower to a local shop that supposedly fixed his mower three times. They jerked him around until he just told them if you don't get it right this time, that's it. Most shops suck.
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carbpow
08-07-2012, 08:22 PM
Trust me, not much better round here. The only 2 shops I feel like my business has been appreciated and the customer service is great is Uncle Bims, and Green Thumb. The rest, forget it. I have a friend who brought a mower to a local shop that supposedly fixed his mower three times. They jerked him around until he just told them if you don't get it right this time, that's it. Most shops suck.
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Seems like a business opportunity is out there to me.
Believe me I was thinking about that today.In three counties with some of the most lucrative markets in the continental USA there are only two shops that are worth a damn? Hmmm.
Good service during and after the sale could blow these other guys away.
My guess is Uncle Bim and Green Thumb aren't going broke providing service and being decent folks.

carbpow
08-20-2012, 09:00 PM
Finally made it down to Uncle Bim's today and it was well worth the drive, heck it was worth twice the drive. What nice people and they were full of information without a big sales push. I got a Tru Cut with a roller and a Honda engine. [I need to call them about the caster wheels they took off as the roller was an option I wanted. Might want to use the wheels later.]
They were very helpful and spent a lot of time with me discussing the proper operation and maintenance of the mower. They were surprised a little that I wanted to be able to cut at 1.75 inches but I told them Diamond said it worked well so I'd go with that. I can always cut lower later.
What nice folks. It is good to know there are still people like them in the business, it restores faith in the small businessman in Florida. Sadly, they are the exception but they have my recommendation for anyone in South Florida looking for a top of the line mower or trimmer.

Florida Gardener
08-20-2012, 09:31 PM
Finally made it down to Uncle Bim's today and it was well worth the drive, heck it was worth twice the drive. What nice people and they were full of information without a big sales push. I got a Tru Cut with a roller and a Honda engine.
They were very helpful and spent a lot of time with me discussing the proper operation and maintenance of the mower. They were surprised a little that I wanted to be able to cut at 1.75 inches but I told them Diamond said it worked well so I'd go with that. I can always cut lower later.
What nice folks. It is good to know there are still people like them in the business, it restores faith in the small businessman in Florida. Sadly, they are the exception but they have my recommendation for anyone in South Florida looking for a top of the line mower or trimmer.
See...they are great. Not many shops like them around. Did you get the Honda GX or GC? They may have been surprised bc most of the zoysia on palm beach is the varieties that get cut under 1". You can cut empire that low, but it looks great at 1.75", especially with a reel. If you want to keep empire low, you either have to cut 2x/wk or use primo. For a homeowner, 1x/wk is enough. Did you talk to Jeff? Def make sure you don't have the reel engaged while it's not cutting. Your next purchase should be the landscape blade by muryama. Glad everything worked out well for you.
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carbpow
08-20-2012, 09:49 PM
See...they are great. Not many shops like them around. Did you get the Honda GX or GC? They may have been surprised bc most of the zoysia on palm beach is the varieties that get cut under 1". You can cut empire that low, but it looks great at 1.75", especially with a reel. If you want to keep empire low, you either have to cut 2x/wk or use primo. For a homeowner, 1x/wk is enough. Did you talk to Jeff? Def make sure you don't have the reel engaged while it's not cutting. Your next purchase should be the landscape blade by muryama. Glad everything worked out well for you.
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I got the GC Honda, with no more grass than I have it will last plenty long, besides its all they had in a 20". Yes, talked to Jeff and we hit it right off, good people. The blade you mentioned is my next purchase.
We discussed a problem with some of my sod taking so long to take root. Most is well rooted after 7 weeks but some is barely holding. My theory was too much water for the first few weeks. The sod was delivered cut thick and with all the water there was no reason for the roots to go down. They tended to agree. They are a wealth of knowledge and I noticed they are really patient with the folks that come in with questions. Reminded of some of feed and seed stores my grandfather used to take me to where the people running them knew their business and cared about yours. Thanks for telling me about them, I'll be back for sure.

cgaengineer
08-21-2012, 04:28 AM
Finally made it down to Uncle Bim's today and it was well worth the drive, heck it was worth twice the drive. What nice people and they were full of information without a big sales push. I got a Tru Cut with a roller and a Honda engine.
They were very helpful and spent a lot of time with me discussing the proper operation and maintenance of the mower. They were surprised a little that I wanted to be able to cut at 1.75 inches but I told them Diamond said it worked well so I'd go with that. I can always cut lower later.
What nice folks. It is good to know there are still people like them in the business, it restores faith in the small businessman in Florida. Sadly, they are the exception but they have my recommendation for anyone in South Florida looking for a top of the line mower or trimmer.

No reason to go back to get caster wheels...nobody ever wants them. They are for recycling.
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