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Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 12 7:13 pm    Post subject: Scythes  Reply with quote    

We went down to Dorset this weekend and met Simon Fairlie to get scythe for Steve's birthday. What a smashing man, so enthusiatic about his product, was a joy to deal with him.

Steve has only stopped playing with his new toy as it's now dark. Simon knew all about Downsizer, which was nice, especially Gil of course.

If anyone was thinking of getting one, we'd recommend going to see Simon, or get it by mail order. He fitted the schythe to Steve, gave us a demonstration and Steve got to have a go.

http://www.thescytheshop.co.uk/

You also get to see Monkton Wyld Court, which is stunning.

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18379

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 12 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yay ! New mower ! And Simon Fairlie is ace, as you say.
Hope Steve enjoys his new scythe; many happy hours mowing.

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 12 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I can hear sharpening sounds coming from his den

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15235
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 13 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

So, what is the word on scythes?
How do they actually fair against strimmers?
Has anyone actually tried them head to head?

Finsky



Joined: 10 Sep 2011
Posts: 847
Location: Notts.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 13 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There is not that much difference in perfomance wise between both tools.
Well maintained scythe work as well as strimmer with difference that not all greenery is turned into chopped up mush...that mush is pain to tidy up if one should do so. Long grass clean up much easier and FASTER!
Strimmer can be easier to use if the space is tight and one cannot achieve 'scalped' surface with scythe quite same..nor you should scythe near hard surfaces without great control of the tool or risk damageing the blade.
Both tools have their own uses..but in open field situation they are quite equal..
I haven't used them 'head to head' but do use both tools in 'home' and for work. I do tend to go for scythe more if the end result and space allow it. I'm not able to do quite a 'lawn cut' standard with scythe... ..yet..

Last edited by Finsky on Tue Feb 26, 13 10:51 am; edited 1 time in total

gardening-girl



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 6024
Location: Somerset.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 13 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Head to head, the sythe wins.
We watched a trial at the Green Fair/Scything Festival .

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 13 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Such a lovely swishing noise, no fuel required, great excercise. What's not to love?

crofter



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 2252

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 13 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Penny Outskirts wrote:
Such a lovely swishing noise, no fuel required, great excercise. What's not to love?


repetitive strain injuries

robkb



Joined: 29 May 2009
Posts: 4205
Location: SE London
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 13 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Penny Outskirts wrote:
Such a lovely swishing noise, no fuel required, great excercise. What's not to love?


That's why I want one too. I really hate my petrol strimmer

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18379

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 13 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Unlike Finsky, I find a scythe easy to use in a tight space, including round trees.

For a 'lawn finish', an Oriental blade is good, whereas the Austrian blade leaves the grass slightly higher on the left side of your swath (i.e. the area of grass you are cutting).

I can scythe faster than I can strim.
If I take clearing up into account the scythe wins by even more.

There are videos on YouTube of various scythe vs strimmer competitions at the West Country Scythe Festival.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 13 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I haven't used mine that much yet but I like the quietness of the scythe and the fact it doesn't require petrol or produce loads of fumes.

Also, you can't have as much fun calling on your elderly neighbours in wearing a cloak and holding a strimmer, can you?

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 13 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gil is a good teacher, I still haven't got one though. I would recommend guinea fowl, they are very good at keeping your lawn short.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15235
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 13 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How hard is it to achieve the required technique... and the required edge on the blade?
I instinctively feel that old ones are more likely to be of a proper quality... or are they more likely to have gone too rusty?

robkb



Joined: 29 May 2009
Posts: 4205
Location: SE London
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 13 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cathryn wrote:
I would recommend guinea fowl, they are very good at keeping your lawn short.


But harder to attach to a snath, I imagine?

HL - the Austrian scythe I tied last year was very light and very sharp, and Simon Fairlie showed it was reasonably easy to keep a good edge on the blade. Conversely, I saw an 'old' one at a woodfair last year - it weighed a ton, would've knackered my back in minutes, and looked like it'd take an age to sharpen.

Finsky



Joined: 10 Sep 2011
Posts: 847
Location: Notts.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 13 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Old and new both will get rusty if not looked after properly.
I've got set of new blades that need 'doing up' before they work properly but I loooove to use my old blade on the new shaft. The new shaft is much lighter and has adjustable handles so it 'fits' to my measuments. My old scythe was wooden..it was heavy and huge to use, though I do admit I do like the feel of wood more than metal and the old blades look like they've made of cheaper and lighter metal but they are so easy to maintain and work well.
I suspect quality has always varied..being old or new doesn't changed it...'How hard' is another matter. It helps if you can actually see first from experienced scyther how things are done...after that is matter of practice. Basic cutting tecnique is not that hard at all..it just one of those things..all of the sudden 'penny drops' and you do it just right..

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