Gilmour RM30 Review

Gilmour RM30

1110.50
(Rated: 3.7 / 5) Review by Frank Lowery
Noise11111
Ease of Assembly1110.50
Maneuverability1110.50
Balance And Handling11100
Cut Quality1110.50

Switching over to a manual reel mower is a great way to save a lot of money over the long term on lawn care. These machines need very little maintenance and never need you to spend money on fuel or electricity to power them, and the most maintenance you will ever have to do with one is periodic sharpening of the blades. Not only that, but they’re very good for the environment as well, since they produce zero emissions.

The Gilmour RM30 provides all of these benefits plus one more: it has self-sharpening blades, so you will never even have to do any maintenance on it to keep it running smoothly and delivering high quality cuts to your lawn. It also has one of the widest cutting reels you can find on a manual reel mower, which means you will be able to finish cutting your lawn in fewer passes and much less time. Overall this is a good lawn mower for the homeowner with the right kind of lawn.

Review Summary

review summaryThe Gilmour RM30 is a manual reel mower with a 20 inch wide cutting blade and five durable steel cutting blades. It has a unique design in which the blades are sharpened while you are using the lawn mower, which means you will never have to worry about sharpening them yourself. You will always be able to get a precise cut with this mower, because the blades will always be fully sharpened whenever you use it. I will cover these and other excellent features of the Gilmour RM30 in the Pros section.

The Gilmour RM30 may occasionally struggle with tougher varieties of grass as well as very tall grass, but both of these issues tend to be somewhat common among manual reel mowers. Because it is self sharpening, it can be rather loud when compared to other manual reel mowers, although it is still a lot quieter than gas or even electric lawn mowers. I’ll discuss these and a few other issues the mower has in the Cons section.

I will also discuss the product specifications of the Gilmour RM30 in detail, and compare them to those of two similar manual reel mowers in the Product Comparison section. I always like to give my readers a chance to do a bit of comparison shopping in my reviews. Overall, though, I think you’ll find the Gilmour RM30 is a solid manual reel mower at a very competitive price.

Specifications

review specificationsThe Gilmour RM30 is a manual reel mower with a twenty inch cutting reel width, which makes it one of the widest reel mowers you can find. It is a manual push mower with a loop handle that has a cushioned grip for greater comfort while you are using it. The mower has a standard cutting system, in which the cutting reel makes contact with a rear blade to slice the grass. The blades are self-sharpening.

Cutting Width 20-inch
Mower Type Manual Push
Handle Cushion Grip
Cutting System Standard (contact)
Blades 5 blades
Cutting Height 1- to 3-inch
Weight 36 pounds
Grass Catcher Included
Warranty 1 year

The cutting reel is equipped with five durable cutting blades, and it is mounted on ball bearings for a smoother experience while you are cutting your lawn. There are several cutting height options ranging from one to three inches, and they are easily adjusted using a single lever on the main wheels. There are two front wheels that are ten inches tall and two rear stabilizing wheels. The mower weighs 36 pounds, and a grass catcher is included. The mower comes with a one year warranty.

Description

review descriptionThe Gilmour RM30 is a manual reel mower equipped with a 20 inch wide cutting reel and five durable steel cutting blades. The cutting reel is as wide as they come on manual reel mowers, and it is comparable to the cutting deck widths on power rotary mowers as well. A wider cutting deck lets you finish cutting your lawn in fewer passes, which will save you time over the long run, even if you have the kind of small lawn that can be easily cut with a reel mower.

The five blades are designed to be self sharpening, which takes all of the work out of maintaining this mower’s performance. The self sharpening system does tend to make the Gilmour RM30 rather loud as far as manual reel mowers, go, but it’s worth it in the long run.

The cutting blade on the Gilmour RM30 is mounted on a ball bearing system that makes it easier to get spinning quickly and keeps the reel moving smoothly as you mow the lawn. The mower has rear stabilizing wheels in addition to its ten inch high front wheels so that you can easily maneuver it around your yard, even if the ground is somewhat uneven. It comes with a detachable grass catcher included in the initial purchase price.

There are a few minor performance issues associated with the Gilmour RM30 – for example, it may struggle with taller grass or tougher varieties of grass such as St. Augustine or Bermuda grass. But overall I think the great features this mower offers outweigh the drawbacks associated with it. Overall this is a solid manual reel mower that is very competitively priced. The fact that it is self sharpening means that it will be able to provide you with excellent performance over the long term while requiring minimal maintenance and upkeep.

Pros

review prosThere are a number of excellent features that make the Gilmour RM30 stand out compared to other manual reel lawn mowers. It has a super wide 20 inch cutting reel with five durable steel cutting blades, which means you will be able to mow your lawn in fewer passes and less time than with smaller mowers. The blades are self sharpening, so they are always ready to deliver a clean cut to your lawn. There are rear tracking wheels for more stability, and a rear grass catcher is included.

  1. 20 inch mowing width : Twenty inches is about as wide as cutting reels get on manual reel mowers, and this size is even comparable with most power rotary mowers’ cutting decks. A wider cutting reel means you will be able to finish mowing your lawn in fewer passes than you could with a smaller lawn mower, and that will save you time and have you back to enjoying the rest of your weekend a whole lot sooner.
  2. 5 durable steel cutting blades : The Gilmour RM30 has five cutting blades made of durable steel. The blades are mounted on a ball bearing assembly so that they can provide smoother cuts to your lawn, and they are tough enough that they will stand up to wear and tear over the years. Five blades means the mower will be able to give your lawn a cleaner cut: the blades slice through grass rather than chewing through them, leaving the lawn looking great and feeling healthy.
  3. Blades are self-sharpening : The Gilmour RM30 is conveniently designed to sharpen its blades while you are using it. That means you will never have to worry about losing performance over the long term, and you will not have to spend time and money sharpening the blades yourself. Every time you use this mower, the blades will be as sharp as they were the first time. And because sharpening the blades manually is no longer necessary, the Gilmour RM30 is virtually maintenance-free.
  4. Dual wheel design for more stability : In addition to the ten inch front wheels, which are cleated in order to improve traction and reduce slippage, the Gilmour RM30 has an additional set of rear wheels designed to improve the mower’s stability and help it to track evenly. That means the mower will be able to provide an even cut to lawns even if the ground is not level without losing any performance. It also means the mower is easier to maneuver around your yard.
  5. Detachable grass catcher included : It is not especially common for manual reel mowers to have grass clippings management options included in the initial purchase price, but the Gilmour RM30 includes a convenient rear grass catcher. The grass catcher is detachable, so if you do not want to use it, you don’t have to. But it is a great way to eliminate the need for raking up clippings when you are done mowing the lawn – and the less time you spend on your lawn, the better!

Taken as a whole, these features make the Gilmour RM30 an excellent choice for the homeowner with the right kind of lawn. This lawn mower will take a lot of the work out of maintaining a smaller lawn that does not have too many weeds or tougher varieties of grass. It is compact but still packs a very wide cutting reel, and it is convenient to use. In addition, the Gilmour RM30 is very competitively priced.

Cons

review consThere are a few areas in which the Gilmour RM30 comes up a bit short in terms of performance and design. While I don’t consider any of these to be the kind of serious red flags that would prompt me to recommend against buying this reel mower, I do think it’s important to cover the cons as well as the pros of a machine so that you have a complete picture of what you are getting from it.

  1. May not cut taller grass well : This is an issue that is faced by many manual reel mowers. They generally do not have the necessary power to cut grass that is much taller than four or five inches. If you do not mind mowing your lawn with some regularity, then it should not get so tall that this will be a problem. But if you do not cut your grass very often, be prepared that this mower may struggle with taller grass.
  2. Can require overlapping for even cuts : Due to the fact that the wheels on the Gilmour RM30 are several inches wider than the edges of the cutting reel, you may find that you will have to overlap from one row to the next in order to get an even cut. Fortunately, at twenty inches the cutting deck is wide enough that you do not lose a whole lot of time to overlapping.
  3. It’s fairly loud for a reel mower : One of the advantages of most reel mowers is the fact that they are significantly quieter than gas or even electric lawn mowers. But due to the mechanism that provides the self-sharpening feature, the Gilmour RM30 is fairly loud for a reel mower. It tends to make a clattering noise while you are using it. That said it is still quieter than a gas powered mower, so you don’t have to worry too much about disturbing your neighbors.
  4. May struggle with tougher varieties of grass : The Gilmour RM30 may have problems cutting tougher varieties of grass such as St. Augustine or Bermuda grass. These varieties are more common in the Southern United States. If you live in the Midwest or Northeast, you probably have a finer variety of grass such as fescue or Kentucky bluegrass, so this shouldn’t be a problem in those areas. But if you do have tougher varieties of grass, this could present significant problems for you.
  5. Grass catcher may have issues : While the grass catcher attachment is included in the initial purchase price – and that is quite convenient – you may have issues with its performance. You may find that it does not attach firmly to the mower. And because it is an open tray, rather than a closed bag, grass clippings may spill out of it while you are mowing the lawn, especially if your lawn is on fairly uneven ground.

The fact that the Gilmour RM30 can require overlapping for even cuts is mitigated somewhat by the very wide cutting reel. And the fact that it may struggle with taller grass or tougher varieties is not at all uncommon among manual reel mowers. Its noise level is due to the fact that it is self sharpening, so I don’t think this is indicative of poor design. The grass catcher may be an issue for some users, however.

Product Comparison

review comparisonI always recommend comparison shopping to my readers, as it is simply the best way to get a clear picture of how a particular lawn mower stacks up against its competition. It is also a great way to get an idea of everything that a particular kind of lawn mower could potentially offer. The following table compares the product specs of the Gilmour RM30 with those of the Gardena 4023 and the great States 304-14.

  Gilmour RM30Gilmour
RM30
Gardena 4023Gardena
4023
Great States 304-14Great States
304-14
Cutting Width 20-inch 15-inch 14-inch
Mower Type Manual Push Manual Push Manual Push
Handle Cushion Grip Straight Handle T-handle
Cutting System Standard (contact) Silent (no contact) Standard (contact)
Blades 5 blades 5 blades 3-spider 5-blade
Cutting Height 1- to 3-inch 1- to 2-1/2-inch 1- to 1-3/4-inch
Weight 36 pounds 20 pounds 21 pounds
Grass Catcher Included Optional Optional
Warranty 1 year 1 year 90 days

As you can see, the Gilmour RM30 is by far the widest of the three lawn mowers. It is also the only one of the three that includes a grass catcher in the initial purchase price; the other two sell it as a separate, optional accessory. Beyond that, the three lawn mowers are fairly similar, although the Gilmour RM30 weighs about fifteen pounds more than either of the other two lawn mowers.

Conclusion

review conclusionAll things considered, the Gilmour RM30 is a quality manual reel mower at an excellent price. Before we conclude this review, let’s take another look at both the pros and the cons this machine has to offer, just to make sure you have a complete picture of its abilities. I think you’ll see the pros outweigh the cons.

Conclusion Pros

  1. 20 inch mowing width.
  2. 5 durable steel cutting blades.
  3. Blades are self-sharpening.
  4. Dual wheel design for more stability.
  5. Detachable grass catcher included.

The 20 inch mowing width on the Gilmour RM30 is one of its best features, because it means you will have to spend less time cutting your lawn each week. And the fact that the five durable steel blades are self sharpening means you won’t ever have to do maintenance or upkeep on the mower. Overall this is a very convenient machine that takes a lot of the work out of keeping your lawn looking great.

Conclusion Cons

  1. May not cut taller grass well.
  2. Can require overlapping for even cuts.
  3. It’s fairly loud for a reel mower.
  4. May struggle with tougher varieties of grass.
  5. Grass catcher may present issues.

Struggling with taller grass and tougher varieties such as St. Augustine or Bermuda grass is not at all uncommon for manual reel mowers. And the fact that the reel is loud is due to its self sharpening capacity, which is a fair trade off in my opinion. Overall I don’t consider any of these cons to be so serious that I would advise against this machine.

Final Word

If you have a small enough yard that you can get away with using a manual reel mower to keep it looking great, consider yourself lucky. You have eliminated all of the cost and hassle associated with keeping a bigger lawn manicured. You will never have to deal with smelly gas cans in your garage or fumes in your yard. You can reduce your carbon emissions and help out the environment. And you will save a ton of money on maintenance and fuel costs.

The Gilmour RM30 offers all of these benefits, along with a few more. Because it has such a wide cutting deck, you can get the job done about as quickly as you could with a power rotary mower. And because the blades are self sharpening, you don’t have to do the kind of maintenance or upkeep associated with other reel mowers. This is a very convenient tool that is priced very competitively.

Best Price

review pricesOne of the main draws of manual reel mowers is the savings they offer. Not only are they less expensive up front than gas or electric mowers, they also save you a lot of money over the long run on gas or electric costs as well as expensive repairs and maintenance. And with the Gilmour RM30, you won’t ever have to spend money on getting the blades sharpened, either: the mower sharpens itself. The savings that this mower offers are considerable. And you will still get the kind of quality performance and long life out of the Gilmour RM30 that you would from a more expensive model.

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