Need some convincing about why scythes are a worthwhile investment?

Mowing an obstacle course

When I showed my wife how I’d mowed under a structure with a 90cm blade, she grinned and said, “good job”, in the same tone she used to use for the kids when they made something with play-dough. I thought I might find a more appreciative audience here.

One of the common-sense “rules” of mowing with a scythe is to protect your blade by always keeping the rib against a post or wall or other solid obstacle. Another is that you mow the grass immediately in front of you, and then shuffle forward and cut the grass further away from the grass that you just cut. But as with any rule, you can make exceptions for utility.

This playground obstacle course thingo was something I built for my kids for Christmas nearly a decade ago – before I used to mow my lawn with a scythe. Sometimes when I’m mowing I like to pretend it’s not there and just ignore it altogether. Sometimes I’ll grab a hand scythe and get underneath it to mow. But in this video I’m demonstrating that even something as full of obstructions as this, can be tackled with a longer blade.

Note in particular the slicing action that’s maintained – by using that action in short, repeated strokes, you can chew away quite heavy clumps. You’ll also notice that I’m breaking those two rules here: I’m starting further away from me and inching the blade back toward me and at 0:55 you can see me using this action to cut toward the post, and using the post as a ‘chopping board’ to slice the grass against – it doesn’t do the edge any favours, but it also doesn’t do any damage if it’s done sensibly, and any dulling is easily restored with honing.