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Electric Sickle-Bar Mower

for lawns.
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A regular sickle-bar mower is a rather large contraption consisting of two blades that act in a manner similar to a hedge trimmer: one toothed blade is fixed, while the other one shuttles back and forth atop it, scissoring any grass blades that come their way. They're commonly attached to tractors and used for mowing in the rough.

On the home front, rotary mowers are quite bulky and use a heavy outer shell to keep jetsam from launching into space. Reel mowers, while smaller, also need a relatively heavy framework just to keep the curved, spinning blades aligned with the cutting bar.

By contrast a home sickle bar mower, for the same cutting width, would be much lighter and smaller than either: the business end only a couple inches in depth. Utilizing thin skis mounted underneath instead of wheels makes it even lighter, as well as less fiddly.

Plenty of up sides: very effective on any type of lawn (and, unlike the other types, heavily overgrown lawns and light brush), almost completely silent while in use, and with the same storage/carry footprint as a garden rake while being only slightly heavier.

The only downside might be that it would require a bit more light maintenance, ie: giving the bushing surfaces of the blades a quick wipe with oil would be advisable every few weeks.

FlyingToaster, Jul 16 2016

Sickle bar mower on a tractor https://en.wikipedi.../Mower#Sickle_mower
There are also a couple companies that make self-powered walk-behind models, but those are pretty definitely for cutting brush, not grass. [FlyingToaster, Jul 16 2016]

Sickle mower http://www.farmcoll...lipper-Mower-Ad.jpg
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 17 2016]

the above on youtube https://www.youtube...watch?v=8tL19qFc6P4
Note the frame size/weight necessitated by the wheels and linkages. Too bad the guy didn't actually video cutting grass with it. [FlyingToaster, Jul 18 2016]

[link]






       If I am reading this right they have been around for a long time.
With wheels though not skids. [link]
  

       And prices start at $5!!   

       One caveat, though. If the teeth are very fine, they will clog easily. If they are coarse, the grass won't be cut evenly: some blades of grass will be bent sideways to get into the cutting slot, and hence will be longer after cutting. You'd end up with subtle, narrow stripes. Not necessarily unattractive, though.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 17 2016
  

       Yup, that's what I was going for [2fries], the unique differences are skids instead of wheels and an electric motor, all of which decreases the size to say 5" back to front, which decreases the weight even more.   

       The ad shows something about the size and weight of a reel mower; the posted Idea is a similarly capable model about the size and weight of a shovel or garden rake.   

       How ? The thin, height-adjustable skis are tucked underneath the mower, inside and behind the blade so's you're not dragging it onto the cement at the edge of the lawn. Which is why wheels are unnecessary - it's lightweight enough to carry in one hand to the lawn, and the carrier(skids) don't need to touch anything except grass.   

       [Max] Considered is both blades moving, which should increase effectiveness and reduce striping. What I missed mentioning in the post, of course, is a small .25kW electric motor hooked to blades through a couple wobbler connections, or similar (Scotch yokes, maybe). [post title amended]   

       Also an adjustable height leg guard.   

       Seemingly paradoxically, while having the most frictive components (long blades rubbing together, skis) of the 3 types, it would require the least amount of effort - both human and motor - to operate.
FlyingToaster, Jul 17 2016
  

       <link> added for an (unpowered) push mower version vid from the 1890's.
FlyingToaster, Jul 18 2016
  

       This would basically be a hedge-trimmer mounted sideways on skids. In fact, you could probably make such a thing.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 18 2016
  

       ^ There's one on YouTube with a hedge trimmer bolted to a wheel-hoe - seems to work on clearing an old strawberry patch, however I imagine blades optimized to break small twigs are different than ones best to slice grass.   

       I've half a mind to try it myself anyways - grab a used hedge-hog off Craigslist for a couple bucks and duct-tape it to a small sled. Unfortunately, we've a drought and the grass ain't growing: it'd be easier to just set fire to the lawn.
FlyingToaster, Jul 18 2016
  
      
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