Originally Posted by txgrassguy
Harry - how common are the old Eastman units now?
I am referring to what is commonly available today.
If I was going to suggest the best reel mower ever made it would undoubtedly be an old turn of the twentieth century Worthing - how many of you have seen one of these?
Regarding the Harriet mower, I used one, well three actually, to mow tees at a public golf course at .5" in height. I found the quality of cut to be essentially the same, operation was much, much easier and maintenance was a snap. No more sprung reel to bed knives, no need to blow every stinking leaf, pine needle or broken tee off of the cutting surface plus the units bagged well. Performance on slightly sloping terrain was similar as I discussed before, however on undulating terrain a reel out performed the rotary. Since my tees were either flat of slightly stepped - I had no issues.
So Yes, I am serious.
I dont think there are any OLD Eastman's. Eastman took over a few years back. I was referring to the original California Trimmer. Mine was the 50th. anniversary model and was made in 1985 according to the model,serial,and engine code. Three chain drives, engine, drive wheel, and the reel. Single speed automotive type compression disc clutch. Eastman has quit making the 20" and only make the 25". I have never seen an Eastman only the photos so I dont know to what standard they are making their frame. Cold roll, plate, dont know) Mine is all welded machined steel. I see now that trimmerreel.com has an after market 7 blade reel for the 20's now which will be my next purchase. Even with the age and hours my commercial has seen over the years, there is still very little deflection in the frame which I'm sure you know will ALWAYS change the bed to reel clearance WHILE your mowing. The B&S original engine is still on it and is still strong enough to cut my roughly 10,000 square feet of bermuda.
I have never ran a Harriet. The videos I have seen of them just hasn't "blown my skirt up". It has been MY experience that my Trimmer will out perform my quadracut Honda at its lowest setting 3/4". Now is that fair? Not really that is the bottom of the spectrum for the Honda and, even though there are three quadrants to rough in your cutting height on the Trimmer, 3/4" is approaching high for what the reel mowers were designed to do. I am a short grass fan and would LOVE to find a rotary that would perform close to a reel mower. After several mowings with the Honda after the first green up I always get compliments. After a few cuttings with the antique Trimmer I get...Wow!
I dont use the Trimmer to work, I use the Honda all day long to make money. I use the Trimmer to make me smile.