Every reel mower owner knows that a good ‘set’ is critical to
cutting efficiency and reel and bottom blade life – before
backlapping, grinding or replacement is deemed necessary.
The ‘set’ is the relationship (or proximity) between the reel and
the bottom blade. Scott Bonnar
clearly stated that there should
only be slight contact
between reel and bedknife. Second, they
most correctly described the cutting action of reel mowers as scissor-like
. That is exactly what it is like.
Scissors cut at a single point and this point progresses as the
scissors are closed – just like a rotating reel working against a
A non-helical reel (aka straight-blade) would require much
higher horsepower and would be totally inefficient. Imagine
setting the thing!That’s part of the brilliance of Budding’s
1830 patent, even if it was borrowed from the textile industry.
This small, foldable, 4-page ‘manual’ probably accompanied
Scott Bonnar domestic models in the 1960s. It is in good
condition and from my collection.