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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to see which you guys like better. It seems like everyone says the TruCut is superior but I was just wondering why? Looks like there are a lot more issues with TruCut reels or potential issues (clutches and sprocket issues). I have no experience with either and just wanted to see what you guys thought and especially hear from those that have used or owned both.
 

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I have a late 70's early 80's McLane. I bought it last fall for $100 on CL. I've added a front roller for ~$30 and replaced the Motor for ~ $150.

I would say I have an average yard that's mowed with a reel. So I think it looks better than most of the yards in the hood.

I'm happy with the way I went. I hope in a few years I'll be able to upgrade to a greens mower.
 

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I have been scouring CL for a reel in workable shape for a decent price, so I also eagerly await additional responses.

I assume the consensus will be that a TC is superior so my next question is, "Is the quality of cut and such that much better to warrant double the price?"

I'm seeing Mclane's w/ a roller for ~$400 whereas the only TC's I'm finding in the $500-600 range are listed as "needs sharpening" (thus double the price)

-Chris
 

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Txmx583 said:
Looks like there are a lot more issues with TruCut reels or potential issues (clutches and sprocket issues).
This may be based on recency bias but yes, I believe that the TruCut has more robust mechanics and that may be the cause of increased potential issues.

Here are a few main differences:
Drive Mechanism:
McLane - roller drive which you need to lift a handle up/down to engage/disengage.
TruCut - wheel drive which you press a tab with your thumb to operate

Speed Control:
Mclane - I believe the only way to adjust the speed is to increase/decrease the engine throttle
TruCut - slip drive clutch. speed is determined by how hard you press the thumb control

Weight:
I believe that the TruCut(160ish lbs for 20") is considerable heavier than the McLane. This could effect creating lawn stripes with a roller.

Height of cut:
Mclane - 1/4" - 1-1/2"
TruCut - 3/8" - 2-1/4"

Height of cut adjustment:
TruCut uses a quick adjust handle. McLane has a bracket on the side of the mower that has to be adjusted. Its not bad but not as easy as the TruCut.

Maintenance:
Mclane - lube chain. check oil. check air filter. bearings are sealed so they do not need to be greased.
TruCut - lube chains. check oil. check air filter. grease zerk grease fittings(5) once a month(I now say that because I had a failure)

I think that about covers the main differences.

Jericho574 said:
I assume the consensus will be that a TC is superior so my next question is, "Is the quality of cut and such that much better to warrant double the price?"

I'm seeing Mclane's w/ a roller for ~$400 whereas the only TC's I'm finding in the $500-600 range are listed as "needs sharpening" (thus double the price)
I believe that Atlanta has a pretty robust reel mower offering so I would just stay on top of it. I often look there for comparisons to my local market. I like the looks(front roller included and $400) of this one in Greenville, but I don't know how far it is from you.

I have not seen the cut of a Mclane with my own eyes but I believe it is comparable to the TruCut. Someone on here that has used both will have to weigh in.

My opinion on the "needs sharpening"..... I do not believe that most people know the difference between backlapping (easily done by yourself) and sharpening (done by professional). I think that when a casual reel mower owner, not a TLF enthusiast, takes their mower in for service in the spring, that service includes sharpening. Therefore in their eyes if the mower hasn't been professionally sharpened this year it needs sharpening. That may not always be the case but my observation with selling a few reel mowers on Craigslist in the past.

The above was done with some google searching and my general knowledge. Anyone please feel free to correct anything.
 

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SGrabs33 said:
I believe that Atlanta has a pretty robust reel mower offering so I would just stay on top of it. I often look there for comparisons to my local market. I like the looks(front roller included and $400) of this one in Greenville, but I don't know how far it is from you.
Its a few hours away but I inquired. The seller couldn't tell me the year. They bought it used 4 years ago.
 

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Jericho574 said:
SGrabs33 said:
I believe that Atlanta has a pretty robust reel mower offering so I would just stay on top of it. I often look there for comparisons to my local market. I like the looks(front roller included and $400) of this one in Greenville, but I don't know how far it is from you.
Its a few hours away but I inquired. The seller couldn't tell me the year. They bought it used 4 years ago.
I don't think there is an easy way to tell the year. Look earlier in this thread and you can see it has the "middle aged" chain guard. The blades look pretty sharp. The person who is selling it also has nice looking grass.

The main questions I would ask would be what was his yearly maintenance and why he is selling it.
 

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I've owned a TC H20, and loved it! It was a major upgrade from my Honda rotary, even more so after I installed a ReelRoller. I didn't have any major problems with the mower, and sometimes miss how easy it was to control and maneuver around in tight spots with the clutch system. You can lock the drive or "feather" the drive to get very close to an obstacle. I backlapped it a few times, and can firmly say that was the hardest mower to backlap correctly, but not impossible. The TC feels good, it feels strong, it feels like a Tank compared to all the rotary mowers I've used over the years...

I haven't owned a Mclane, but have worked on a few and have cut with them a few times as well. I don't have a problem with them, they are a decent little mower. If properly taken care of they are better than any rotary mower, but still very basic. This can be a good thing, it makes the mower a good starter. I would try to buy one as cheap as possible because the chances of you keeping it more than a year or two is very low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Redtenchu said:
I've owned a TC H20, and loved it! It was a major upgrade from my Honda rotary, even more so after I installed a ReelRoller. I didn't have any major problems with the mower, and sometimes miss how easy it was to control and maneuver around in tight spots with the clutch system. You can lock the drive or "feather" the drive to get very close to an obstacle. I backlapped it a few times, and can firmly say that was the hardest mower to backlap correctly, but not impossible. The TC feels good, it feels strong, it feels like a Tank compared to all the rotary mowers I've used over the years...

I haven't owned a Mclane, but have worked on a few and have cut with them a few times as well. I don't have a problem with them, they are a decent little mower. If properly taken care of they are better than any rotary mower, but still very basic. This can be a good thing, it makes the mower a good starter. I would try to buy one as cheap as possible because the chances of you keeping it more than a year or two is very low.
Thanks Andrew! Your opinion is pretty much what I figured to be the case between the two. I'm going to try and get a McLane to start out with, and maybe graduate to a TruCut some day if I love reel mowing which I'm sure I will. I wish TruCut mowers didn't cost $2k new cause I'd really like to buy a new one since they have a lot of clutch issues and what not if not properly maintained. I'm a maintenance junky and my stuff tends to last forever. I'm so excited to get a reel and get started!!!! Hope I can find one soon and get it done!!!!!!
 

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Redtenchu said:
I've owned a TC H20, and loved it! It was a major upgrade from my Honda rotary, even more so after I installed a ReelRoller. I didn't have any major problems with the mower, and sometimes miss how easy it was to control and maneuver around in tight spots with the clutch system. You can lock the drive or "feather" the drive to get very close to an obstacle. I backlapped it a few times, and can firmly say that was the hardest mower to backlap correctly, but not impossible. The TC feels good, it feels strong, it feels like a Tank compared to all the rotary mowers I've used over the years...

I haven't owned a Mclane, but have worked on a few and have cut with them a few times as well. I don't have a problem with them, they are a decent little mower. If properly taken care of they are better than any rotary mower, but still very basic. This can be a good thing, it makes the mower a good starter. I would try to buy one as cheap as possible because the chances of you keeping it more than a year or two is very low.
This is exactly the review I needed. I've been on the fence for a reel mower and actually had myself talked out of one. I'm thinking of going with a McLane. I'm not the most handy person but I'm learning. So I think something simple is what I need.
 

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Jericho574 said:
SGrabs33 said:
I believe that Atlanta has a pretty robust reel mower offering so I would just stay on top of it. I often look there for comparisons to my local market. I like the looks(front roller included and $400) of this one in Greenville, but I don't know how far it is from you.
Its a few hours away but I inquired. The seller couldn't tell me the year. They bought it used 4 years ago.
Someone over on ATY is asking for opinions on the same mower :eek:
too bad he wont be getting feedback any time soon :(
 

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Jericho574 said:
Thoughts on this one?

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/eat/tls/6159322276.html
Its the latest version, based on the shape of the chain guard.
Has the front roller like the other.
Honda engine is a good upgrade over the briggs.
200 buck more (depending on you negotiation skills :))

All else looks similar. Just really depends on how well each of them were maintained.
 

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SGrabs33 said:
Jericho574 said:
Thoughts on this one?

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/eat/tls/6159322276.html
Its the latest version, based on the shape of the chain guard.
Has the front roller like the other.
Honda engine is a good upgrade over the briggs.
200 buck more (depending on you negotiation skills :))

All else looks similar. Just really depends on how well each of them were maintained.
$200 more but it's the newest version, whereas the other is the middle version. It has the Honda engine and it's local vs. 2.5 hrs away. I offered $500 and would pick it up this weekend. I'm waiting to hear back.
 

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Redtenchu said:
...I didn't have any major problems with the mower, and sometimes miss how easy it was to control and maneuver around in tight spots with the clutch system...
Sorry for the visual trip down memory lane here, but this thread really makes me miss my 27" Tru-Cut... :crying:











 
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