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Great States 415-16 Review: A Classic 16″ Reel Mower for Modern Times

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Keeping your lawn looking good will give you pride in your home, and even the act of mowing your lawn can provide a lot of satisfaction.

If you have only a small lawn and you don’t feel that you need a large gas powered or even an electric lawn mower, then you do have the option to go the traditional route by using a reel mower.

We’re going to be taking a look at one of the most popular options with our Great States 415-16 review, so you can find out if this manual lawn mower would be a good addition to your gardening tool collection.

Product Showcase

Great States 415-16 Lawn Mower, 16-Inch, 5-Blade Silver
  • Quick, adjustable cutting height of 0.5-2.5 for a clean, even cut every time
  • 16 cutting width, 5-blade ball bearing reel, and 10 composite wheels
  • Blades are made of quality, heat-treated alloy steel for staying sharp longer
  • T-style handle with cushioned grip and lightweight design for comfort; Easy, tool-less assembly
  • Clean and quiet way to maintain your lawn; Requires no gas or oil

Who is This Reel Mower Designed For?

If you have only a small lawn of less than 4000 square feet, and you don’t mind putting some effort into your yard work, then the Great States 415-16 has been designed for you.

The most obvious feature is the fact that this is a reel mower, similar to what was used before gas or even electric powered lawn mowers were widely available.

However, this is not your grandfather’s lawn mower, and it incorporates some excellent developments in materials and design to ensure that it can still perform with modern expectations in mind.

If you want something that is quite different to the norm, and that is completely emission-free, then a mower like the 415-16 should be at the top of your list.

What is the Power Source of the Great States 415-16?

If you’ve looked at some of our other lawn mower reviews, or even if you’ve been researching lawn mowers in general, you will know that you usually have the choice of either gas, corded electric, or battery powered mowers.

The Great States 415-16 review looks at a mower from a bygone era, because this mower is completely manual in operation, relying only on your own movement to operate it.

While it can take a little more physical effort to use a reel mower, you have the benefit of never needing gas, you don’t have to recharge batteries, and there’s no need for a cumbersome extension cord.

If simplicity is your aim and you don’t want to worry about relying on fossil fuels or electricity from the grid, then you’ll likely find the Great States 415-16 lawn mower to be an interesting option.

How Easy is it to Use a Reel Mower?

It’s natural to assume that a manual reel mower will be difficult and overly physical when it comes to operation.

While grass cutting will require your own strength and continuous input, you do have the benefit of using a tool that is incredibly lightweight. In many cases, it will be even easier to use the Great States 415-16 than a small electric mower.

The tool weighs just a little under 26 pounds, and because it’s on wheels, you won’t feel all of that weight while you’re pushing it. For grass that is regularly cut, it will be a breeze to push this mower around your lawn.

There are no controls to worry about, and you’ll only need to adjust the height to your desired level.

Is There Maintenance Required?

Maintenance for a modern reel mower is minimal, and you will find that a mower like this is even easier to maintain than an electric mower. The blades and other components are treated so that even sharpening won’t be a requirement.

Great States advises that sharpening will not be needed within the first few years of ownership. Your individual mileage may vary depending on how often you use this mower.

It would be safe to say that three to four years of regular mowing on a small lawn would not require any blade sharpening. Even if the blades do become dull, sharpening them is a simple matter of using a fine metal file, and complete instructions are provided in the user manual.

Oiling is not even a requirement of this lawn mower, and you’ll only need to clean off grass clippings and any debris after using it. A damp rag can be used to carefully wipe off the blades, and then the mower can be left to air dry before storing.

If you’ve previously owned a gas lawn mower, then the lack of maintenance requirements will be a huge benefit of owning the Great States 415-16.

If you are interested, you can watch the video that I picked for you from youtube, it shows, among other things, some great maintenance tips!

What Kind of Special Features Are Incorporated into the Mower?

As a reel mower, you shouldn’t expect all of the additional features that you would get with a gas or electric mower.

There’s no cutting chamber or catch system so the grass will simply be ejected back onto your lawn. This can mean additional cleanup is required, however, many owners prefer to use their clippings to add nutrients to their lawn.

Alternatively, you could use Garden Leaf Rake or a leaf blower to assist in collecting clippings, which could then be used for composting or as mulch in other areas of your garden.

The mower does have some modern design improvements, such as the metal treatment that has already been mentioned (this is what keeps the blades sharp and rust free), and the wheels are of a high quality bearing type that makes it easier to push and maneuver around a lawn.

The design of the blade system should also be considered a feature in itself. With a standard mower, it’s common for grass to be bruised and damaged as it is cut.

This can cause poor growth, and can even attract additional insects to your lawn. A reel mower cuts in a different way, effectively snipping the grass. This allows for a cleaner cut that leaves grass healthier and less prone to disease.

Your lawns have the potential to look better when using a reel mower like the Great States 415-16 reviewed here, and that is a feature that anybody can appreciate.

How Does It Perform on Small and Larger Lawns?

The Great States mower can be used on a lawn of any size.

While most people will purchase this for a smaller lawn, there’s nothing to stop you using this on a larger property. If you have the time and motivation to use a manual mower on a large lawn, then you’ll find this to be a great investment.

Actual cutting performance is superb, and the long lasting blades will mean that you’ll get consistent performance for years to come. It is important to note that grass should not be longer than three inches in length.

Longer grass can be cut, but it will take multiple passes to get the grass to your ideal height. This should be used for regular maintenance, but is not suitable for cutting large overgrown lawns.

You may also be wondering whether a reel mower is suitable for cutting on damp or wet grass.

It is well known that electric mowers cannot be used in damp and wet conditions, and even most gas powered mowers will struggle to do a good job in damp grass.

The problem is that grass becomes heavier and is more likely to droop towards the ground. It can be hard for blades to pick up and snip grass in these conditions, and mud can also become an issue with the wheels.

In short, the 415-16 is not ideal for cutting in wet or damp conditions, and you will struggle to find any type of mower that will perform an ideal job in the same conditions.

Are There Any Accessories with The Great States 415-16?

This manual reel lawnmower comes with no additional accessories in the box. Assembly is tool free and because it doesn’t require gas or electric power, there’s no need for additional items.

One accessory that would have benefited the package would be a storage cover, but, considering the price, it’s not a major disappointment.

A simple tarpaulin cover will work fine if you plan to store this mower in a covered area outdoors.

Where is This Reel Mower Made?

The mower is designed in the USA and manufactured in China to keep pricing reasonable.

In case you don’t know this, Great States is actually a brand which is under the American Lawn Mower Company. In addition to Great States, the company sells reel mowers under the American Lawn Mower and Earthwise brands.

Construction and material quality is high, as is becoming common with many of the Chinese made power and garden tools.

Is There a Warranty and Customer Support Structure in Place?

Warranty is for a one-year period after the date of purchase, and covers defects in design and manufacturing.

Shipping for warranty claims is at the expense of the owner. The warranty becomes void if the mower is used for commercial purposes.

Can You Buy This Lawn Mower Online?

Because it’s lightweight and compact, buying online is the best option for the Great States 415-16. Free shipping is available from leading online retailers, and packaging is of high quality to avoid damage in transit.

Technical Specifications

Model:                                                                 Great States 1415-16

Cutting Height:                                                     Adjustable from 1/2 inch to 2-1/2 inches.

Cutting Area Size:                                                16 inches.

Number of Cutting blades:                                    5

Wheel Size:                                                        10 inches.

What do Customers Say About the Great States Reel Mower?

Customer feedback has been positive, and there are currently more than 1,000 customer reviews recorded with the largest online retail community.

Customers have been extremely positive when expressing how easy it is to use the mower, and how good it is when cutting lawns for regular maintenance.

A number of reviews praised the ease of assembling the lawnmower. More than 80% of all reviews were 4/5 or 5/5 ratings.

Some negative reviews have mentioned that small replaceable items like the wingnuts in the handle can wear over time.

These are generic pieces and can be replaced with items from a local hardware store, or they can be obtained from the manufacturer.

A small number of reviewers have mentioned that the tubular handles have bent when operating the mower, but this feedback is then contradicted by some of the positive reviews that stated the handles are of high quality.

The handles will be more likely to bend when the mower is used aggressively in long grass, so it’s important to take the advice of not using this mower on significantly overgrown lawns.

How Much Will It Cost?

The price is perhaps one of the best things we found in the Great States 415-16 review. This mower sits in the lower $100 range, and can usually be purchased between $100 and $120.

With free shipping when shopping online, that makes for quite a bargain, considering the quality and usability of this reel mower.

Comparing the price to some of the smaller electric lawn mowers, it’s easy to see why hundreds of satisfied owners prefer this model for their small lawns.

Click here to get an update on the latest price and offers.

Is a Reel Mower Suitable for a Teenager or a Lightly Built Adult?

We’ve commented on the added physical effort that is required when using a reel type lawnmower, and this might have you worried about whether using this mower will be a struggle for you, or even your teenager who might be mowing the lawns on occasion.

While there is definitely some extra physical aspect to using a manual lawnmower, the change is nothing drastic when compared to a standard gas powered lawnmower, or even a lightweight electric lawnmower.

Keep in mind that the mower is guided by large wheels and a roller, so you won’t be pushing dead weight.

Because the blades are head treated and retain their sharpness, there isn’t much effort required in actually pushing through the grass.

For anyone that could operate the smallest gas powered lawnmower or a standard electric mower, the Great States mower won’t be difficult over short time periods.

Our Final Thoughts On the Great States 415-16 Review

This is not the most versatile mower on the market, and it lacks many of the features that you’ll find on a full sized powered lawn mower. The benefit of this mower is not in special features or even overall power, but in its simplicity and ease of use.

If you have a smaller property or even a mid-sized property where you don’t mind putting in a little extra work, you’ll find that this is an easy and enjoyable mower to use.

Some people use reel mowers for their eco-friendly properties, while others simply enjoy the physical act of mowing the lawn in a way that is similar to how lawns were mowed 100 years ago.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to purchase a reel mower, we can recommend the Great States 414-16 reviewed here, thanks to great cutting performance and a timeless design that requires no learning curve or additional accessories to maintain a perfect lawn.

Great States 415-16 Lawn Mower Summary Review

-16 Inch cutting width compares with powered lawn mowers
-Adjustable height for the perfect cut
-Large wheels with long life bearings
-Lightweight and simple to use
-Special finish prevents rust and prolongs lifetime
-Blades designed to stay sharp longer for low maintenance
-No electricity or gas needed
-Lightweight and easy to operate
-Blades are designed to stay sharp for an extended lifetime
-Tool-free assembly can be completed in minutes
-Compact and easy to store
-Easier to get into tight spots when compared to a gas or electric mower

-Requires more effort to cut overgrown grass
-Will require more physical effort when cutting a larger lawn
-Handle is not height adjustable
-One-year warranty is limited compared to gas and electric powered lawn mowers
-Some replaceable parts are prone to wear

Check out More Great Features Of This Lawn Mower on Amazon

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