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should i buy this scythe?  RSS feed

 
              
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Hi everyone.

i'm tried of the weedwacker and so i'm going to buy a scythe. someone is offering me this one (photos attached) for about $100.

says it was left behind by his grandfather. to me, looks to be in very good condition but what do you think?

toan
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scyhte-4.jpg
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Roman Milford
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If the blade is in good condition, i.e. can be sharpened, then it would be a good deal for $100, an even better deal for $75.
 
Fred Morgan
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I use scythes a lot, this appears from what I can see to be one that is an American style. What is your purpose? If it is for grass, I would suggest a new european one from a place like the scythe connection, and it will cost roughly the same, new.
 
tel jetson
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Fred Morgan wrote:I use scythes a lot, this appears from what I can see to be one that is an American style. What is your purpose? If it is for grass, I would suggest a new european one from a place like the scythe connection, and it will cost roughly the same, new.


I've got an American scythe that was in my great-grandfather's barn. it is heavy, awkward, and unpleasant to use. I've also got a European scythe that I certainly haven't mastered yet, but it's much easier to use and more effective. this is one situation where the made in the USA option is, unfortunately, not the best. buy an extra bottle of bourbon to make up for a scythe purchase from abroad.

edit: I'm assuming you're in the U.S., which certainly may not be the case. those American scythes do look great hanging on a wall. I generally much prefer using old tools to displaying them, but these just aren't any fun to use at all.
 
Dave Miller
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I use one like this and they are fairly heavy. Also I have trouble keeping the handles tight because they are very old - which gets very frustrating after a while. But I am only borrowing the scythe so I get what I pay for I guess. I would love to try a European style one sometime. But I cannot justify buying one because there will be no space for grass in the food forest we are putting in now.
 
tel jetson
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Dave Miller wrote:I use one like this and they are fairly heavy. Also I have trouble keeping the handles tight because they are very old - which gets very frustrating after a while. But I am only borrowing the scythe so I get what I pay for I guess. I would love to try a European style one sometime. But I cannot justify buying one because there will be no space for grass in the food forest we are putting in now.


if you're close to Woodland (and not excessively creepy), I wouldn't mind letting you try mine, Dave.
 
Dave Miller
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tel jetson wrote:
if you're close to Woodland (and not excessively creepy), I wouldn't mind letting you try mine, Dave.

That is very kind, thanks! I am in Camas and as far as I know no one has referred to me as creepy

However I think trying one would just make me more frustrated with what I'm using. But thanks for the offer!
 
tel jetson
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if there are a few like-minded folks around, a scythe seems like a good item to go in on together. most of us aren't making hay by hand full-time, so sharing shouldn't be a problem. there are a couple of outfits that custom make snaths (the handle) based on body measurements, but there are also adjustable snaths available so that more than one person could use it.

of course, the complication involved with sharing in some situations isn't appealing. and if there's nobody else close by, then forget it.

Dave Miller wrote:I am in Camas and as far as I know no one has referred to me as creepy


my aunt and cousin are in Camas. and my uncle had a veterinary clinic there while he was alive. I don't know Camas neighborhoods very well, but the clinic was up on the hill near the big house with the pet deer or antelope or whatever those are.
 
Dan Huisjen
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Oh for the love of Frigg, don't buy that piece of junk. Get a new Scythe blade and blade attachment clamp and make your own handle. That thing was designed to be sharpened with a foot powered wet grinding wheel. If you don't want to haul one of those out to the field so you can sharpen at the end of each row, don't get it.
 
Hans Quistorff
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I have 4 family scythes. Learned to use them 60 years ago. The scythe pictured is suitable for cutting brush but as others mentioned the lighter weight ones are better for grass. But my recommendation is to convert your weed whacker to a blade. If you sharpen the blade with a round file so that the teeth look like chain saw teeth it wil cut both grass and brush without throwing it around like a string trimmer. Mine windrows the grass just like the scythe with much less effort; important when your are 72.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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It's impossible to tell form those photos if the scythe is in usable shape. It doesn't look obviously bad, per se, but you need to inspect the end grain of the wood in the mounting collar (which some call the web) to make sure there aren't any significant cracks or fractures. Also the collar should be snug on the end of the snath. All metal parts that are supposed to move should be able to do so. The nibs (side handles) should not be cracked or loose, and should be able to be repositioned. The nibs use a left-handed thread so it's left-TIGHTY, righty-LOOSEY so don't screw them up by cranking really hard to the left and wondering why it's not getting looser! :p Inspect the blade for any cracks or warps. If everything checks out then it's probably worth the money. American scythes are WONDERFUL tools every bit the equal of the European variety, but they are used in totally different ways for totally different environments. And unlike European scythes, the snaths and blades for which are widely available, the only production American snaths right now (Seymour) are absolute garbage, and the same goes for the blades. It's vintage or nothing for American scythes.

I tried to let Seymour know about a few small changes they could easily make to improve the usability (and thus public perception) of their products but it fell on deaf ears. Guess folks running a monopoly just don't care.
 
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