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Scotts Classic Reel Mower Summary
The Scotts Classic reel lawn mower is an American made reel mower manufactured by the American Lawnmower Company for Scotts. It is the biggest manual reel mower on the market, and also the highest cutting reel mower. It has a full 20 inch wide cutting path, which is as wide as a traditional gas mower. It has a cutting height range from 1 inch up to 3 inches, which is about an inch or so higher than most other reel mower models. Most types of grass do not need to be mowed this high, but it is still a nice feature. You can research grass cutting height here. The Scotts Classic reel mower weighs about 30 pounds, which is very light for a mower of this size. It’s quite easy to push.
Assembling a Scotts Classic Reel Mower
Assembling the Scotts Classic isn’t hard, but it does take a few tools and about 5 to 25 minutes, depending on how handy you are. It doesn’t take any serious skill. The reel mower body is already completely assembled. You just have to attach the handle. As you can see from the photo at the top of the page, the handle comes in several pieces that attach together with bolts. The bottom parts pops onto two metal attachments on the mower body, and are held in place by C rings. The upper parts of the handle attach to each other, using nuts and bolts. There is a foam pad that slides onto the top part of the handle where you will be pushing.
Changing the Cutting Height for the Scotts Classic Reel Lawnmower
Changing the cutting height is easy and quick, and requires no tools. You just push in the lever on each side and then let it spring back into place at a different height level. Make sure the height is the same on both sides.
Adjusting the Blades on the Scotts Classic Mower
So wait a second! What’s the difference between adjusting the blades and changing the cutting height? The cutting height adjustment changes how high the grass is cut. The blade adjustment adjusts how the reel turns inside the mower, keeping the blades cutting properly when the reel turns. The Scotts reel mower comes with the blades pre-adjusted, so you won’t need to mess with it initially.
The Scotts owner’s manual also includes detailed instructions on how to adjust the blades. I recommend holding onto the owner’s manual, because it’s very helpful. There are two different screws on each side of the mower (a total of four screws). It is not at all intuitive about which screw you are supposed to tighten and which one you are supposed to loosen on each side to adjust the blades.
The front screws move the cutter bar away from the blades, and the rear screws move the cutter bar toward the blades. Don’t start turning like crazy. A small 1/16 of a turn is a major adjustment. Before you tighten one screw, loosen the other one an equal amount first.
To loosen the blades, or move them further away from the cutter bar, here’s what you do. First you loosen the back screws on each side equally by turning them counterclockwise. Don’t turn the screws too much! Next, tighten both front screws equally by turning them clockwise.
To tighten the blades, or move them closer against the cutter bar, here’s what you do. First you loosen both front screws equally by turning them counterclockwise. Don’t turn them too much. Then tighten both back screws equally by turning them clockwise.
If the mower is only cutting on one side, then you probably have the reel out of alignment. So you’ll tighten or loosen one side of the mower to bring it back into alignment.
If the mower is really hard to push and the blades barely turn, then you might have overtightened the cutter bar against the reel. If the reel spins freely and doesn’t make contact against the cutter bar, or the mower isn’t cutting grass well, you might have over-loosened the cutter bar.
Cool features of the Scotts Classic Push Mower
What really sets the Scotts Classic apart from other manual reel mowers is the extra wide cutting path and the extra tall maximum cutting height. As I mentioned before, it has a 20 inch wide cut, and a 1 inch minimum cut and extra tall 3 inch maximum cut. You’ll also notice that the Scotts Classic has an extra set of wheels in the back. Why is this? Those rear wheels make the Scotts reel mower easier to maneuver for such a large mower, and they also allow the mower to have the higher cutting range.
Accessories for the Scotts Classic Push Reel Mower
You can buy a grass catcher for the Scotts Classic, and you can also buy a do-it-yourself sharpening kit. The grasscatcher is a generic catcher manufactured by the American Lawnmower Company to fit all of their mowers, so it is far from a perfect fit. The Scotts classic is their biggest model. The catcher attaches to the mower by just clipping down over the rear axle between the two rear wheels. The front lip of the catcher has a thing that pops over that axle. The catcher can fall off if you hit a lot of bumps.
But someone sent me this terrific solution that really helps the catcher work better with the mower.
“I used a couple of closed “S” hooks (size 810) (less than $1), opened one end and closed around the rod at the bottom of the catcher, and opened the other end of the “S” hook so that it barely will slide over the axle of the rear wheels, leaving the hook open so that I can remove the catcher. It is actually easier to install and remove the catcher with this than with the mfg. design. Photos attached for you to see. I’ve so far mowed the small yard one time and never had a problem with it coming loose. Maybe someone else with this problem can use the idea.”
How Long Does it Take to Mow with a Scotts Classic Reel Mower?
This video shows me mow an area of 43 feet by 60 feet, or 2431 square feet. The camera runs the entire time, so you can see clearly how much effort it seems to take and how fast it goes. It takes approximately 10 minutes.
There is also audio, and you will notice that you can’t hear the mower at all, but you can hear cars driving by in the background. This means your neighbors wouldn’t hear the mower if you mowed early in the morning.
Where to buy the Scotts Classic reel lawn mower
Buy reel mowers here.
Sharpening the blades on a Scotts Classic reel lawnmower:
Rather than reinvent the wheel, here is a site with complete instructions on sharpening a Scotts Classic or other reel mower from Great States / American Lawnmower.
Other Information About Using Push Reel Lawnmowers
Don’t forget to read the general guide to using a manual reel mower on the front page of the site.