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Cheap and Effective Scythe?

 
gardener
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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forest garden trees urban
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I have cut an entire suburban lot with a sling blade, twice now.
mine looks like this one: Sling Blade

Lots of work, probably needs to be sharpened, didn't like it.

Enough of that crap, the tool I want is a scythe. I like choppy,slicey stuff, plus i could probably get my kid to mow if i let him use this!
This is the first one I have seen that seems affordable:tramontina-ditch-scythe

Would this be worth while or a waste of money?
 
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Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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I don't know if that blade is worth a darn or not, but I picked up a Vic 20"ish blade on Craigslist for $15. With some rudimentary sharpening it cuts okay on longer grasses and thicker weeds. If I could get it sharpened properly I would expect it to cut very well. I've been a little slow to get proper stones. If you're going to take a flyer on something I'd probably start there.
 
pollinator
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May be great but then on top you have to buy good equipment to sharpen it
I suspect you have the choice of cheap or good .
I bought a top class set up for about $350 but that included a snath ,two blades, two sharpening stones, a peening jig, a stone holder , a book of instruction and postage

David
 
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Here's a completely modern production American pattern Seymour scythe in action. It's a No.8 aluminum snath with their 30" grass blade. Just some proof that not only do American scythes work, even the modern ones (which aren't as nice as properly tuned vintage ones) can mow with ease. The only work that's been done to this one is adjusting the nibs, grinding and honing a fresh edge on the blade, and heating and bending the tang to give it a 10° angle. If I was a novice using the blade for field work I wouldn't have even bothered with adjusting the tang. After grinding the bevels with a slow speed wet grinder the only honing I did was using a Lansky "lawn and garden" synthetic scythe stone, which is the same as the one seen in the beginning of the clip here.



They're pretty inexpensive and if you're handy at tool restoration there's the possibility of finding and fixing up a vintage one. It does take some knowhow and elbow grease though.
 
William Bronson
gardener
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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forest garden trees urban
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Thanks for all the suggestions, I will look for a vintage scythe and I have also looked into sharpening my reel mower, and restoring my slingblade.
 
pollinator
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Is there a modern snath for TALL people? All the old scythes I have found are for someone about 5 foot 6, not 6+
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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R Scott wrote:Is there a modern snath for TALL people? All the old scythes I have found are for someone about 5 foot 6, not 6+



Actually the 58" No.8 snath in the video will comfortably fit folks up to about 5' 10.5" without any stance modification being necessary, and the standard historical snath length is 60" so they'll fit folks just about up to 6ft. The tang on American blades is intended to be heated at the shank and bent to the necessary angle for the user's height, snath, and mowing conditions, so don't use the blade lay as an indicator of appropriate snath length!

But for 6+ foot folks, making your own snath is usually the way to go. With Euro snaths the Swiss snaths sold by several retailers globally (check One Scythe Revolution for USA availability) come in a size for extra tall folks.
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Also, I made a snath for my 4 year old and yet with a modified wide and low stance I can actually use it comfortably to the point where I plan on making a "shorty" snath for myself to stick in the trunk of my car.
 
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