How to Adjust the Reel Properly?

Although Swardman reel mowers are generally very low-maintenance machines, there are a few basic things you need to keep in mind. One of them is the adjustment of the reel against the bedknife. A correctly adjusted reel is absolutely necessary for clean-cut grass blades. In this article, we will show you what types of reels we have on offer and how to properly adjust them.
How to Adjust the Reel Properly?

Swardman Reels 

Swardman reel mowers can be fitted with 5, 6, or 10-blade cylinders.  

5-blade reel 

  • Cutting frequency is 60 cuts per meter traveled
  • Suitable for mowing lawns to the height of 25 to 45 mm
  • Mows the lawn well even when mowing irregularly or infrequently, e.g. once a week
  • Can also cut taller grass with a maximum height of approx. 8 to 9 cm
  • Not suitable for very dense and very low lawns

6-blade reel

  • Cutting frequency is 72 cuts per meter traveled
  • Suitable for mowing lawns to the height of 20 to 35 mm
  • If you want to achieve the best results, mow your lawn at least twice a week
  • Suitable for lawns in good condition, mown to a height of about 20 mm

10-blade reel

  • Cutting frequency is 120 cuts per meter traveled
  • Suitable for mowing lawns to the height of 10 to 20 mm
  • Designed for very dense and very low-cut lawns
  • Also suitable for golf courses
  • Requires mowing at least 3 times a week, cannot mow taller grass blades

Why Is It Necessary to Adjust the Reel? 

Reel mowers are used when you want to create a clean-cut lawn that other types of lawn mowers cannot achieve due to limitations of their design. To ensure that the reel mower fulfills its purpose and mows the lawn to the best effect, its owner is required to regularly adjust the reel against the bedknife.
The reel can be adjusted both inside and outside the mower. For the sake of convenience, you can use the Swardman reel adjustment stand when adjusting the reel. It will help you adjust it safelyquickly, and easily.

Swardman reel adjustment stand

Reel Adjustment Procedure

Always wear protective gloves when adjusting the reel. Swardman reels are adjusted using two fine-threaded adjustment screws. Insert a strip of paper about 2 cm wide between the reel blades and the bedknife (common office paper can be used as a reasonably close substitute to a grass blade). Carefully turn the reel. If the reel has not cut the paper, it requires adjustment. Carefully and very slightly (only by approx. 10°) tighten the reel adjustment screw that is closer to the point where you have just performed the cut test. Perform the cut quality test again. If the reel has cut the paper in an easy and clean way, the adjustment has been done successfully. If the reel has not cut the paper, tighten the reel adjustment screw again by another 10° and perform the cut quality test once again. Continue like this until the reel cuts the paper cleanly across its entire width. The aim is to adjust the reel so that it cuts the paper cleanly across its entire width and with as little contact as possible between the reel and the bedknife. To maintain a perfectly precise cut, we recommend adjusting the reel each time before you mow your lawn.


Reel adjustment stand

What Does a Properly Adjusted Reel Look Like?

A properly adjusted reel cuts the paper cleanly and can be easily turned by hand. If you need to use a large force to turn the reel, the contact between it and the bedknife is too great. If the reel cannot be adjusted so that it cuts the paper cleanly and cannot be turned without a large amount of force, it is necessary to sharpen it. Do not use such a reel – too much contact of the reel with the bedknife can cause irreparable damage.

Properly adjusted reel

Reel Sharpening

The reel and the bedknife are subject to natural wear and dulling with use. In order for them to do their job properly, the reel needs to be sharpened on a regular basis. When mowing an area of 4500 sqft with a frequency of 2 times a week, the reel usually needs to be sharpened once a year. To achieve excellent results, we sharpen all reels on modern, professional grinding machines. You can order the service anytime from the comfort of your home directly from the Swardman online shop.
Share on


Similar articles

How to Repair a Dry and Damaged Lawn after Summer?
Swardman info
How to Repair a Dry and Damaged Lawn after Summer?
In recent years, rainfall has been decreasing significantly. What is more, the air temperature has increased by 1.5 °C to 2 °C above the long-term average. All across Europe, there have been extremely dry and hot springs and summers which have taken their toll on the vast majority of lawns. Is there a way to save a dry, destroyed lawn without having to completely replant it?
How to choose a reel mower?
Swardman info
How to choose a reel mower?
Are you considering buying a reel mower to achieve better results on your lawn? Your first challenge will be to fully understand this type of machine. Reel mowers have been getting increasingly popular in recent years. With more and more manufacturers and models arriving on the market, choosing the right mower may prove a daunting task. That is why we have prepared an easy-to-follow guide for all enthusiasts of perfectly cut lawns.
10 tips for a perfect lawn
Swardman info
10 tips for a perfect lawn
How to create a beautiful, short and thick turf out of an ordinary lawn? The journey does not have to be too long or complicated. All it takes is to stick to the 10 basic rules that have been followed by lawn keeping experts.