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wingless’ Fiskars 18" StaySharp Max Reel Mower

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My Airbnb rental property has a small lawn and I’ve been toting my Snapper 21" Self-Propelled Walk Behind Mower back and forth between home and the rental to care for both properties.


My choice to ease that effort was to purchase a Fiskars 18" StaySharp Max Reel Mower to keep on-site at that property.


There are lots of really nice features for this mower.


The mower is easy to use, easy to setup and does a great job cutting the lawn.


The mower arrives w/ the deck and blade fully assembled and fully adjusted. The large push handle must be assembled, requiring a single 7/16” wrench. The blade height knob is easy to screw in-place w/o tools.


The cut height is adjustable from 1” to 4” by moving a single selector lever. The mower has a heavy-duty spring to hold the mower mass, so the reel doesn't drop when releasing the existing setting. The mower must be pushed down when changing height. Note the mower will not cut grass taller than 6”, so this isn’t the machine for those w/ overgrown lawns. My experience is a rogue tall growth may be cut w/ a back and forth motion, but not efficient for a tall lawn.


The wheels are inboard of the reel blades. Alignment onto the last wheel tracks results in a slight overlap and no missed uncut grass. The rear wheels are really cool. They freewheel in reverse, but independently drive when in forward. Either wheel going forward causes the reel to spin.


Each rear wheel has a one-way clutch in the hub to rotate the rear axle. The rear axle has a large 26 tooth chain sprocket. The reel has a small 8 tooth chain sprocket. There is a 3¼:1 ratio between the sprockets, making the reel spin much faster than the wheels. These sprockets are connected w/ a drive chain, w/ a master link and a spring tension saddle. The drive system permits the reel inertia to continue rotating, even after the rear wheels stop driving.


The five blade 18” wide reel is designed to not contact the stationary blade, decreasing resistance, decreasing cutting effort. It provides effortless cuts on difficult grass.


The machine has a movable discharge chute, to dump clippings forward or backwards. No tool is required to change the discharge, just pull or push on the chute, until stopped by the detent.


There is an optional bag, that grabs onto the front. I don’t have and I don’t need that open top bag.


The handle has four adjustment positions. It is “easy” and tool-free to change the position. Just remove the two clevis pin clips retaining the handle, move the handle to the left, select the new hole, move selected holes onto the right and left stubs and replace the clevis pin clips. The handle has padded foam grips. The only detractor I’ve found on this machine is that the handle height changes when the deck height changes.


The handle is pushed forward, just past vertical, when storing the machine between uses.


The machine is easy to carry. There is a carry handle on the front, in-front of the reel and the solid rear axle is perfect for lifting / carrying the machine.


The machine has adjustments if the cutting ever goes awry. The stationary blade may be moved up / down, changing the gap to the rotating reel. The stationary blade may be moved front / back, changing the angle between the stationary and rotating parts.


The manual specifies lubrication points to maintain proper operation, basically all the moving parts. The manual specifies no garden hose cleaning. I find wiping down w/ an oily rag keeps it clean and rust free. The only bare steel are the bare edges of the reel.


The manufacturer provides a three year limited warranty against defects in materials and workmanship under normal usage.



Discharge Clippings Forward







Discharge Clippings Rearward







1” Minimum and 4” Maximum Cut Heights








Discharge Chute Detents



Handle Adjustment and Storage





Chain Guard and Chain





Stationary Blade Up / Down Adjustment



Optional Grass Catcher Bag


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Thanks for sharing.


The three reels are each powered by their own motors. Each motor has a small sprocket and each reel has a large sprocket. Each reel looks to be spinning fast. The left mower, right rear wheel looks to be the only driven wheel. The cut height looks to be fixed, not adjustable.


That modification is a detraction from one of the features of the Fiskars mower, the really quiet operation.


It doesn’t take long after starting to mow to notice how quiet cutting the lawn is when using this machine.


Not so with the modification.

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