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Gang Reel Mower


LawnSite Member
upper midwest
Has anyone ever used one for residential use. I have a chance to pick up a 3 gang for free in great shape. Im currently doing vacant city lots 50x150, and some private homes more than 1/2 acre and less than 2. These mowers: seem very simple and reliable. Am i missing something about not wanting to use these.:dizzy:

lawnboy dan

LawnSite Platinum Member
north florida
while they seem simple and trouble free-they are not .they need frequient sharpning (few have the right equiptment to do this today) and even more frequient adjustments to keep them cutting right. also they cant handle grass thats tall or wet .

Lawn Masters

LawnSite Senior Member
Hudson Florida
I used one working for the school board, but it NEVER cut worth a crap, unless it just got back from the shop, and then it only cut good for one cut, and it wouldnt work well after that.

The damn thing was always dull, out of adjustment, and left streaks of uncut grass everywhere. its not suited for high grass, or rough cutting. gang reel mowers, are for fine turf, like football and baseball fields.


LawnSite Silver Member
Ontario, Canada
Think for a few more minutes. Now you know these mowers are not much good for your type of work but there are 100's of people out there who don't know that. You said you could get it for free, so get it and then sell it. Selling is a pretty easy way to make money especially if you can get stuff for free. Just advertise it and see what happens.


LawnSite Senior Member
San Diego, CA
Depending on the unit it may be worth it, however as mentioned above the cost of maintenance on reels can be pricy. Reel require weekly, sometimes daily adjustment to keep them mowing well. Knowing how to properly adjust the reels can extend the service period between reel sharpens. Our units mow daily with reels in most parks. Our best operator has had a reel last almost 1 year before a new bedknife was needed, monthly backlapping involved. Not so good operators will use up a bedknife in 3 months, not to mention that hidden object they didn't see.
Cost of 3 mower blades <$50.00, cost of repairing and sharpen 1 reel >$125. There are some benefits to reels but if you decide to mow with reels, you should charge more for reel mowing. Our rotaries mow at 1.5", while our reels mow at 0.75". Another thing to note, reels don't like wire grass! So if you have wire grass in an area it first has to be mowed with a rotary before the reels can mow it.

Az Gardener

LawnSite Gold Member
Phoenix, Az
Its likely you can also remove the reels and have a rotary deck installed. The city guys that mow the park across the street from my house use the same Jacobson machine that I used to have, it just has 2 rotary decks and my mine had three reels. I mowed a pro golfers home 20,000 ft. 419 my machine was very used and cost 5,000.00 and never did as good a job as my 27" promaster that is 20 yrs old. Would have been fine for most H/O's though. Reel mowing is a niche market, money to be made, and if it's free I'll take three!!