Originally Posted by Merkava_4
What kind of reel mower are you referring to? I'm talking about the California Trimmer.
I'm 44 years old and I've been using CA Trimmer mowers since I was 10 years old.
When I adjust the blade, I insert a single telephone book page between the blade
and the bedknife. In order for the blade to slice through the thin sheet of paper,
it must make SLIGHT contact with the bedknife.
Nope - "slight" or any reel to bed knife contact causes heat build up which in turn causes rifling. If you have to have physical contact between the reel and bed knife your mower is set up incorrectly.
The most operator confusing aspect I repeatedly see in reel set-ups is too small of a gap on reels mowing about 0.250" or so. The larger the leaf tissue mown requires a larger gap in order to pass the debris through the reel. Too small of a gap = heat generation from friction of the debris passing = excessively shortened bed knife life. This may not become apparent at small turf sites but continual all day mowing = a burnt bed knife leading edge and the need for facing.
I literally cannot remember the quantity and different types of reels I have ground and/or serviced in the last twenty plus years - at least a couple thousand anyway.
Reel mowers are just like commercial rotary mowers in that you get what you pay for. If the Eastman/Tru-cuts were worth a crap why don't you see them in use on golf courses or athletic fields? Simple, they are not meant nor designed to deal with the excessive mowing common to commercial use. As I said in a shorter post previously, for homeowner use these models are marginally acceptable but they simply are not commercial grade machines.
For those of you who absolutely have to have a reel mower buy a used Jacobsen, Toro, Ransomes or Deere 26" collar mower with transport wheels and run the damned thing for essentially forever.