Have not seem a rotary mower since I was a kid. well I should refrase that I have not had to use one since I was a kid. My dad had one and just loved it but this was back when my folks owned thier first home and it had a postage stamp for a front and back yard.
Rotary lawn mowers are the ones where a blade spins in a circle, like a helicopter rotor (and like most gasoline- and electric-powered mowers). I think the mowers you guys are talking about are reel mowers. Those are often used on smaller yards, and mimick the action of scissors.
They're neat to use, but I understand they're hard to keep sharp (or it takes a special skill to keep them sharp and/or adjusted right).
I love the mowers, I've used them and they are fantastic. My one complaint is the price. People are paying $150-200 for these things and they're nowhere near as powerful as the gas mower that's sitting a few shelfs down listed for the same price. $99 sounds about right.
Thats all we had when I was a kid. What a difference it was when dad brought home what someone thought was a junked out Lawn Boy. 1956 or 1957 (bent crank) and dad straightened it and we wore it out cutting our grass and several lawns around. Earned my first pocket money mowing grass. Reel mowers cut much better in good grass and require minimal effort to push if the blades are sharpened correctly and the adjustment is just right where the reel clears. Golf courses still use them for the greens and some shops still have the machine to sharpen them. I am a green thinking person but do not look forward to using one of them again.
When I was 9 or 10 years old me and a friend had the bright idea that we were going to make some easy money. His dad had an old reel mower that we used, walking up to houses in Pompano Beach, Florida and asking the owners if we could cut their lawn for a dollar. Now, keep in mind this was back in the 60's and they all had St. Augustine grass. For those not familiar, it grows very thick! We tried pushing that thing around, taking turns wearing ourselves out, sweating....the owners felt so sorry for us that they gave us two dollars and a Coke to just go home!
I used one weekly when I was a kid (in the 50s) and then my stepfather bought a used reel mower with an engine. It was self propelled. Great mower or so I thought at the time. I haven't seen one of those in quite some time.
I have one. I got a reel mower on Craigslist for $30.00. I use it for my backyard as I am trying to be somewhat green. The front yard gets the power mower treatment. I will post a pic if I get time this weekend.
They are difficult to work with unless you are patient, in my experiance.
Likewise, I used one as a young fellow at my grandparents house. My granddad had a push motorized mower too, but had a real steep front yard and I had to use the reel mower to cut it as he and my Dad both were afraid of me slipping on the bank using a power mower and it took me so so long to cut that yard with that reel mower. I swore I would never have one as long as I lived after the era of using that thing was over .
when I was a kid we had an electric reel mower that cut great but was a trip when you screwed up and ran over the electrical cord. The neighbors had a push type reel mower and we would go and help them mow as it took two pre-teens to push the dang thing. I remember the boys could not go swimming until the yard was mower and we would pitch in so they would get finished. My first mower was an rope start 18" Lawnboy "Iron Horse".
Yes, I used a lawn mower. These days, you'll see them in all sorts of yuppie residence complexes. They should be three, maybe four minutes to cut the front lawn. I remember trying to use one as a child many years ago.