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Author Topic: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?  (Read 4262 times)

Creagan

  • Joined Jun 2013
Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« on: May 29, 2016, 07:49:25 am »
I'm looking at getting an Austrian/alpine scythe to tackle my back garden and various other patches of grass that are not accessible to grazing animals. Generally I strim these areas but I am pretty fed up of doing it this way. I have heard that with a scythe you can cut wet grass and you can cut it longer than other methods, plus picking up the cuttings is faster and easier because they are not shredded into little bits.

I must say I absolutely loathe cutting the grass, I resent the number of good days that I need to give up and would much rather be doing something productive. If I can leave the grass longer between cuts, and especially if I cut it whilst wet, then the scythe looks like the way forward!

Would be interested in hearing people's real life experiences. I have been doing a bit of googling and read up on Simon Fairlie etc, of course he makes it sound as if all strimmers should be banished along with every other form of internal combustion engine!
Voss Electric Fence

Louise Gaunt

  • Joined May 2011
Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2016, 08:39:58 am »
I always used a scythe for cutting down nettles and thistles on our hilly land whenever I was young. I really enjoyed the quite rhythmic swish of the blade cutting through the vegetation. I hate using a strummer, noisy, hot, smelly and messy! I would go back to a scythe if my shoulders weren't so damaged from all kinds of physical activity!

Creagan

  • Joined Jun 2013
Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2016, 09:36:46 am »
Thanks. The lack of noise, no faffing around with string and two stroke mix, all appeals.

I can pick up a cheap scythe for about £40, or a more reputable one for about £120. I'm tempted to get a cheap one to see how I get on, but of course this might just put me off the whole idea if it's badly set up, heavy, and doesn't do as good a job as it could. On the other hand £120 is a lot to fork out on a whim and I couldn't justify having it sat unused in the shed at that money.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
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Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2016, 09:47:18 am »
Bought mu OH the 'real' one for Xmas 2 years ago .............. says it was the best present ever  and loves using it ..... invest.......... the scythe must be able to be set up for your height
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

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Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2016, 10:48:01 am »
Go and try some out, get fitted up ! X

Jullienne

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2016, 01:07:28 pm »
I had 2 in my younger years, I never liked using them though as they felt dangerous. You could always done a black cape and skeleton mask and walk the streets at night :roflanim: No seriously they are definately worth an investment they have done the job extremely well for people in the past so why not now. They also look groovy, be careful not to chop your legs off though ;D
boast not yourself of tomorrow; for you know not what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. proverbs 27 verses 1-2.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2016, 04:57:18 pm »
My chum bought one from Simon Fairlie for her OH and he loves it. I'm going on a scything course in August with a view to getting one. I hate strimming - it's SO noisy and intrusive.

I'm told that the secret is to keep the blade sharp.

Creagan

  • Joined Jun 2013
Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2016, 05:57:39 pm »
I wonder just how much worse the cheap ones are?
e.g. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Klappsense-Strimmer-60cm-with-Scythes-tree-Complete-scythe-maharbeit-finished-/311543521383?hash=item488970e067:g:dIEAAOSwud1W~rL9

It's a heck of a lot less than buying one of the nice ones from the scythe shop. And I only have a relatively small garden to do. Wish there was somewhere nearby that I could try them out first.

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2016, 08:14:32 pm »
Can't really say what the cheap ones are like as I've never tried one, but I wonder about the strength/stiffness.


Having gotten used to using the scythe I find it's rather quicker than the brushcutter (though my brushcutter is rather weedy to be fair).



If you're doing grass cutting you will need to keep it sharp though, and that's more of a skill than swinging the thing. If you're not knowledgeable about how to peen and sharpen the blade then you might be wise to book yourself onto a course first.


I'm not sure a scythe is particularly good for cutting the grass long though, as for grass cutting I was taught to basically slide the blade over the ground - waving it through the grass higher up is less effective. As I'm primarily doing ground clearance here, I'm actually trying to leave the grass and cut everything else so have relatively little grass cutting experience and could be wrong on this point.




Creagan

  • Joined Jun 2013
Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2016, 08:21:40 pm »
I could probably have worded that better- what I want to be able to do is let the grass grow linger before cutting, but cut it as close as you would by any other means. Basically, I want to reduce the number of cuts per year, and therefore the number of good sunny days that get given over to something. I see as nothing but a chore. I have too many other things to do to waste good days keeping grass under control in the garden!

Last year my geese made a fab job of the garden, but I may not have any this year :(

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2016, 07:16:21 am »
Why have a back lawn if it is such a pain? ......... if you want to sit ... gravel it ... if not plant it with veg?
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

Creagan

  • Joined Jun 2013
Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2016, 09:25:18 pm »
Haha... lawn... I don't think it's ever been called that before!
It's basically the area left over after the house was built into a big cutout in the hillside. Comprises six inches of soil and then into rock. Most of it is very steep, which is why I have to strim it rather than mow.
It's at eye level when you look out from the kitchen table so at the moment it is a beautiful tapestry of wild flowers, but very soon I will have to cut it back as the grass is taking over. I love watching the hens strutting through it.
Gravel would look a bit grim and would probably all end up in a heap at the bottom... and I don't think any veggies would survive my hens... but thanks for the ideas :)

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2016, 10:04:26 am »
Re-seed with wild flowers and cut once or twice a year with a scythe.  Get one from Simon, they are very light and lovely to use. :)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2016, 10:15:32 am »
I STILL FIND ONE ESSENTIAL IN MY LINE OF WORK.

It's no use. There's no way anybody on here is going to get that joke.....  ::).
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Louise Gaunt

  • Joined May 2011
Re: Scythe: practical tool or ancient relic?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2016, 11:26:02 am »
Terry Pratchett fan Womble?!

 

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