In our automatized, modern world, most people couldn’t imagine using tools like scythes for anything. Indeed, we now have automatic lawn mowers and similar devices that are taking over more and more work and weight off our shoulders. But, what are the benefits and the drawbacks of both scythes and lawn mowers, and which one should you choose for a perfect backyard?
Although incredible results can be achieved with a scythe, for most people, they are no match for modern mowers, which provide an array of methods and specialized equipment for the perfect backyard.
But how does a scythe compare to a mower, and what kind of mowers exist? The world of lawn management and grass cutting is actually a beautiful and detailed one. Being faster doesn’t translate to doing better. Read on to find out why.
Scythe vs. Mower: Which Is Better?
Before telling you exactly which of these tools is better and for what purpose, it is important to clarify the type of mower we’re discussing since much, if not all, of today’s comparison will be taking a specific type of mower into account.
There are many different types of mowers and mechanical devices used to mow grass, from reel mowers (also known as cylinders) to rotary, automated, electric, petrol-run mowers, and more. The one that is probably the most common in households around the world is the standard rotary mower.
It doesn’t matter whether it is electric, cordless, or powered by a petrol motor, the mechanism through which it works remains the same. This mechanism consists of a blade rotating above the ground at a certain height, which causes an upward suction when running, pulling the grass needles upright and then cutting them off.
So, which option is better? Is a standard rotary mower better than a scythe? Well, it depends on what you mean by better. In some ways, a scythe is a lot better than a mower, but the same statement is also true the other way around.
One of the main factors that come into play when trying to decide which tool is better is speed. Most people want to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. So, which one of these is faster?
Is a Scythe Faster than a Lawn Mower?
There are a couple of videos circling around the internet in which people make scythe-wielders and mower-users compete. They aim to find out which one is the fastest to cut the grass on identical stretches of land.
In these competitions, the person using the scythe practically always wins, which might give the partially false impression that scythes are faster than mowers.
The thing is, in these races, the width of the area they need to cut the grass on is set to match the width of a scythe sweep, whereas a standard mower would require two to three turns to cover the area.
Also, the people in these videos have probably been using scythes for years and are fit and experienced enough to complete a seamless and incredibly fast job. But even in this way, they usually only beat the person using the mower by a couple of seconds.
In conclusion, no, a scythe is not faster than a lawnmower, especially if you are inexperienced with a scythe.
How Do You Mow with a Scythe?
If you decide to use a scythe for its numerous benefits, such as getting an incredibly good workout while using it, not adding to noise pollution, or perhaps, air pollution, using a petrol-fueled machine, and being able to cut through any height of grass without issue, it is time to learn how to use this dangerous-looking tool.
Learning to use a scythe can feel weird and take some time, but there are two very important components to it, which, if not forgotten, can result in great speed and technique.
One of these is the angle or height of the scythe. To put it simply, you have to grab the scythe (generally with your left hand holding the end and the right one holding the handle located somewhere above the middle of the rod/stick) and place the belly of the blade onto the floor to beagle to gauge the angle of the blade.
Once the belly of the blade is lightly touching the ground, make sure the blade edge is not touching the ground but is around ¼ to ½ inch off the ground.
This position will allow you to swing the scythe left and right and achieve a clean, consistent and short cut.
The next crucial aspect to focus on is the rhythm. A scythe, though not too heavy, isn’t the lightest object. And due to its length, it takes some muscle to send into motion. In order to reduce the unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints and allow for a clean and consistent cut, develop your rhythm of moving the scythe.
By rocking from one leg to the other while slicing the grass, you transfer the weight of the tool with every step, allowing for confident sweeps and perfect results.
Is It Hard to Use a Scythe?
Although a scythe does look very intimidating, it actually isn’t particularly hard to use. Learning the proper use is definitely uncomfortable and unusual, but once you master that part, cutting grass with a scythe is an intuitive, fun, perhaps even relaxing activity.
The learning curve is only steep at the very beginning. From then on, it is about perfecting your aim, consistency, and rhythm. It is basically like learning how to play the guitar: the first few chords and tunes can be learned in a matter of days or weeks, but the polishing of the skills to form an art out of them is what can take years.
How Long Does It Take to Scythe an Acre?
An acre of land is not a small area, especially when it has to be mowed with a scythe. However, in many cultures, an acre a day has historically been seen as the norm for a competent and diligent man.
Of course, an acre a day is only doable if the person doing it is in great shape and is experienced with their scythe and sharpening it. For an amateur scythe-user, an acre could take up to 2-3 days or longer.