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Red's Edwin 1.0 Reel Mower by Swardman Review

5582 Views 21 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  GrassDaddy
I'd like to be clear that I was only able to spend 2-3 hours with the unit. This is a first impressions review.

I like the curves of the mower, it looks very sleek and appealing from all angles in person.

The extra cartidges seem well built and functional.

The cutting cartridges are well built and strong. They have a reel to bed knife adjustment, and I'm fairly certain I could backlap the unit if needed. Having the option to professionally grind the reel in the off season is awesome.

The engine is smooth and quiet, I like Kawasaki engines!

The rear drum had some minor dent damage from previous users. The drum feels strong to the touch, but was damaged from rolling over a rocks or ???

I didn't like the handle bar being multi jointed. It feels flimsy to me, but it is plenty strong for the weight of the mower.

NO PLASTIC! Good work.

The design is simple. I like simple. It's easier to trouble shoot, easier to work on, easier to understand.

They are easy to understand and in erginomical locations. The handle bar has 4-5 holes in 2 different locations giving optimum adjustment for the user. The Reel and Drive are responsive and can be used independantly from each other, this is a feature that I miss very much from my TC H20. The engine speed control is easy to access and responsive.

HOC adjustment is very easy and unlike a greens mower can be done with the engine running on the lawn. Unfortunately the HOC seems to be inaccurate as the measurement lines are on the belt cover that can be moved up and down with a slight bump (I believe this was fixed with the current Edwin 2.0 models for sale).

This is the point that I was really surprised. The 6 blade reel had ZERO trouble slicing through the dense stolons of dormant Bermuda grass. If you've ever scalped with a reel mower, you know how the dense mat of bermuda stolons can often clog your reel and cause it to stop. This didn't happen once, not even at lower engine speeds.

Cutting the PRG in @Ware's back lawn was effortless, I paid special attention to the HOC difference from left to right as I've seem some mowers with a single point HOC adjuster cut higher on one side. This was not the case, I could'nt see any difference.

The unit is light, so the drive control is not always needed. A few times I used the drive to get the unit moving then pushed it myself for the remainder of the pass. You are also able to feather the drive control allowing better agility around objects and turning in tight spaces. Turning is easy, and I didn't have issues with the transport wheels interfering with the turns.

The grass catcher worked very well and holds a good amount of material, but I don't like how close my hand would get to the hot engine when removing and replacing the catcher. I feel the catcher would beinifit from a handle further down away from the engine.

This system of removalble cartridges is much better than I anticipated. They are very easy to remove and replace. They can be used with or without the grass catcher.

I used the scarifier cartridge for a few passes, but with no grass in the front lawn I can't say much about its ability. I Didn't even install the Verticutter cartidge as I felt it would be a simular outcome. The brush attachment had some shipping damage and wasn't able to fit in the unit. We gently moved the damaged area back into place, but it still wouldn't fit correctly into the unit.

Using this unit was a lot like the first time I used a Dyson Vacuum. It is lighter and quieter than all the power reel mowers I've used, and at first, I didn't think it would work. HOWEVER, just like my Dyson, I was very impressed with it's abilities and user friendliness. Much like a Dyson Vacuum, the price can be a large obstacle for many people. I don't plan to buy one, as I have a lot invested in my current mower inventory. If I do come to a point of replacing my mowers, I will give Swardman a serious second look.

My Swardman
If I was to order a swordsman today, this is what I would order.

Edwin 2.0 55mm
10 Blade
Anthracit color
Verticutter Cartridge
Beer Holder!
Front roller wiper
Rear drum wiper
Transport wheels (not an option on the @Reelrollers site?)

I'd like to thank @SwardmanGuy for sending a unit close enough for me to try it out!
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Ware said:
So on the HOC scale - first note that the unit I have is the older Edwin 1.0. The Edwin 2.0 has some similarities and differences with regard to the HOC adjustment mechanism.

The scale is is on the side cover, which as you've seen attaches to the machine with strong magnets. It is not a machined fit, so the HOC reading could vary a little depending on how you put the cover on. That said, the cover follows the lines of the mower and is aligned by several of the magnetic lugs protruding from the mower frame, so you can line it up pretty well.

Is adjusting the Edwin HOC as precise as using an Accu-Gage on a greens mower? No.

Does it need to be? For a homeowner at the HOC's most of us are working with, I don't think so.

For example, Redtenchu and I scalped my front lawn with the Swardman yesterday and I don't think either of us paid much attention to the actual HOC setting (in mm). I set it close to where I thought it should be, then made a couple test passes. I stopped a couple times to make some minor adjustments based on the cut I was observing, then locked it down to finish the job. I honestly couldn't tell you what HOC we scalped to, but it looked good :D. We did the same thing when we moved it to the back yard to cut the PRG. I set it close to where I thought it should be, and Redtenchu went to work.

No Accu-Gage/HOC bar to fool with, no adjusting each side independently - you can basically just set it and go. If you don't like the cut, you can adjust it in the field in less than a minute. So you ultimately get the benefit of infinite adjustment within the HOC range like a greens mower, but the ease of adjustment of a homeowner reel. It's not as fast as changing the notch on a Tru-Cut, but much faster than adjusting the HOC on a greens mower.
For those that must set their bench HOC to within .0005" of their desired spec, (I know we're out there....), I don't think the HOC label moving around a bit will matter much as we'd be using an HOC guage of some kind regardless to ensure we return to the desired setting. The Swardman would just eliminate the side to side adjustment.
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