First of all - there is no "scissor" action of a reel. Should the reel come into contact with the bedknife all sorts of bad things happen.
The difference between a rotary and reel mower is the rotary mower requires an uninterrupted airflow across the foil on the blade to generate the lift necessary to draw the grass blade across the cutting edge of the rotary blade. The reel doesn't require this lift as it essentially feeds the grass blade across the face of the bedknife.
And I have damaged massive reels on broken wooden tees while mowing golf courses so it doesn't surprise me about tweaking a reel on a brass irrigation head.
Regarding the height of cut you wish to maintain the turf site, you will require a ten or eleven blade reel with a pretty well set bedknife to avoid irregular cutting - I'm not certain how well the eastman will cut at that height.
For the money and height, you are better of getting a used Toro or Jacobsen walk behind 26" green collar mower.
Nice Try = You Suck Spelled Differently