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The Ultimate Reel Mower Quiz
by Staff
Before the invention of motor-driven lawn mowers, cutting the grass involved pushing a reel mower back and forth across the lawn. Take this quiz to see whether you understand how a reel mower works.

Before motorized lawn-mowers, what reasonable option was available to a homeowner?

  • Send the kids out with scissors.
  • Bring in a few goats to eat the grass.
  • They probably used a mechanical reel mower.

How does a cylinder mower work?

  • Spring loaded traps tear the grass at a predetermined height.
  • The wheels turn a cylinder of sharp grass-cutting blades.
  • A hammer action breaks the grass stems and wind from the cylinder blows the broken parts away.

Was the 20th century invention of motorized mowers a total success?

  • They were a 19th century invention.
  • A success, but not a total success.
  • The only success was with professional gardeners.

In terms of dealing with the grass, what is the main difference between motor-driven and manual lawn mowers?

  • Motorized mowers tear, manual ones cut.
  • Manual mowers distribute cut grass more evenly.
  • Both work in the same way.

Under optimal circumstances, which type of mower is inherently less noisy?

  • A well-tuned motor is quieter than clunky metal blades.
  • They are equally noisy.
  • Revolving blades are quieter.

Which is easier to transport and store?

  • manual mower
  • small motorized
  • large motorized mowers that can be driven to the garage

If you want a model requiring the least maintenance, what would you choose?

  • gas-powered
  • manual mowers
  • goats

What is an advantage of a motor-driven mower?

  • more environmentally friendly
  • wider distribution of debris
  • less effort required

Which mower is safer to use?

  • manual reel mower
  • motorized rotary mower
  • gas-powered mower with advanced brake-system

Before the early 1800s, what manual means were used to maintain home lawns?

  • primitive reel mowers
  • garden shears
  • heavy barrels

Who invented the first lawn mower?

  • British engineers
  • American gardeners
  • Southern cotton pickers

What triggered the inspiration behind the invention?

  • batter mixers at a bakery
  • commercial sheep shears
  • a machine that trimmed cloth

Considering when it was invented, what was the major drawback of the first lawn-mowing machines?

  • Their appearance was not elegant enough.
  • They were heavy, because they were made of cast iron.
  • They were not environmentally friendly.

Recognizing the need for portable power, what was the main obstacle at the end of the 19th century?

  • objections of environmental protectionists
  • horse farm lobbyists
  • lack of small-engine technology

How does a rotary mower actually cut the grass?

  • using a series of vertical cutting blades
  • with a cylinder shaped like a cheese grater
  • with a horizontal, fan-shaped blade

Would a tractor-powered reel mower be practical for an average home lawn?

  • only if you enjoy riding around on your lawn
  • not at all
  • if you want to protest environmental legislation

What powers a manual reel mower?

  • physical force
  • gravity
  • centrifugal force

Does the spinning reel actually cut the grass?

  • Of course -- this is a reel mower.
  • There is a stationary blade that cuts the grass.
  • The spinning reel in fact tears the grass.

Can a rotary mower harm the lawn?

  • It can expose the lawn to disease.
  • It's a clean cut.
  • Only if you are mowing a drain field.

Can you sharpen reel mower blades yourself?

  • Manufacturers forbid home sharpening.
  • There are special tools for curved blades.
  • It's as easy as sharpening a knife blade.