" If you ever just get a scythe and then you are like going around and you are like I'm going to hack at things and stuff like that. It totally does not work. I mean there is just this tiny bit of knowledge that you need to make it really sing for you." -Paul Wheaton
A scythe has become one of my favorite trimming devices (second only to goats). Whatever the type, it must be sharp. Typically the blade requires touch-ups during use. (Minor comment - I didn't think not all blades should be 'peened'.)
In addition, to sharpness, proper technique helps tremendously (I am still learning). Even with my beginners technique, it mowes surprisingly fast.
The sound is much better than the powered variety.
Mine is extra special since it is one my Grandfather used! (It had been stored in the garages of my parents for 15+ years and then my own garage for another 15+ years until I actually tried to properly use it. I am so glad I kept and finally put it to use.
I’ve been using a scythe pretty regularly for about a decade, but I still use a string trimmer with a terrifying, local/built steel blade. I don’t consider the scythe an antique or a novelty. It is the fastest and best way, for a guy without tractor to make hay. I have a grass blade and a ditch blade, and there are definitely heavier and shorter scythes than mine, but I wouldn’t dream of cutting real brush with either. They do great on this year’s blackberries, growing in the middle of your pasture. Anything beyond that, I use the Stihl. Not only does it make quick work of scotch broom and blackberries, but it functions as a wood chipper/garden shredder, and eats up as much 20 year old blackberry and scotch broom in 10 minutes, as you’d do all day with a scythe. I love the way that we permaculturists embrace “appropriate technology”. My suggestion is that you cut hay with a scythe, and clear brush with a clearing saw(string trimmer with metal blade), billhook, machete, axe, or forestry mulcher. Here’s my Public Service Announcement. Chainsaw chaps are cheap and they work. I saw a review of a $70 pair in Amazon. They’re way better than nothing! It doesn’t take very many 4” pieces of wood hitting you in the middle of your kneecap, or another poorly protected and sensitive area, before you’re cursing yourself for being cheap or stupid. Just one guy’s opinion.
Does this tiny ad smell okay to you?
Greenwood Apprenticeship Course from Mortise & Tenon Magazine