Great States 204-14 Review

Great States 204-14

1110.50
(Rated: 3.5 / 5) Review by Frank Lowery
Noise11110
Ease of Assembly1110.50
Maneuverability1110.50
Balance And Handling11100
Cut Quality1110.50

If you have a small yard, there is really no reason to buy a power rotary mower, since you can get the job done just as well with a manual reel mower. These machines are the only lawn mowers that are truly 100% emissions free. Not only that, but they are considerably less expensive than even the cheapest power rotary mowers, and once you buy them, they are practically free to use and maintain. All you need to do in order to keep a manual reel mower running smoothly is to occasionally sharpen its blades, which you can do at home for very little cost. And because manual reel mowers are so compact and lightweight, they are much easier to find storage space for in your garage or tool shed, and in most cases, you can even hang them on a sturdy hook on the wall. The Great States 204-14 is a solid little reel mower that is perfect for very small lawns.

Review Summary

review summaryThe Great States 204-14 is a manual reel mower with overall dimensions of 23 x 13 x 8.5 inches and a 14 inch wide cutting reel. The dimensions of this mower mean that you will have no problem finding enough room for it in your garage or tool shed, and it will be easy to maneuver it between trees or garden beds. Its cutting reel has one helical blade mounted on a 3-spider ball bearing assembly. This helps to get the blade spinning quickly with less effort on the user’s part. The mower has large outer wheels to improve stability on uneven terrain. It’s quiet, environmentally friendly, and very reasonably priced.

There are a few limitations to the Great States 204-14, however. The fact that its cutting blade is only fourteen inches wide means that it will not be a good fit for yards with lawns that are more than a dozen square yards or so in size. The fact that it only has a single cutting blade means it will need sharpening more often and it may have reduced performance as well. There is a significant gap between the outside of the wheels and the cutting reel, which means you may have to do some edging after you mow your lawn with it. And it may have problems cutting taller or tougher varieties of grass.

Specifications

review specificationsThe Great States 204-14 is a manual reel mower with a fourteen inch wide cutting reel and overall dimensions of just 23 x 13 x 8.5 inches. The cutting reel has a single blade in a helical shape that is mounted on a 3-spider ball bearing assembly. It has a T-shaped handle.

Cutting Width 14-inch
Mower Type Manual Push
Handle T-handle
Cutting System Standard (contact)
Blades 3-spider 1-blade
Cutting Height 1/2- to 1-1/2-inch
Weight 20 pounds
Grass Catcher Optional
Warranty 90 days

The Great States 204-14 has a standard cutting system, in which the cutting reel makes contact with the rear cutting blade. The cutting reel has three height options between 1/2 an inch and 1 1/2 inches. The mower weighs just 20 pounds. A rear grass catcher is sold separately. The mower comes with a 90 day limited warranty.

Description

review descriptionThe Great States 204-14 is a manual reel mower designed for use on very small lawns. Because of that, it has a very compact footprint, is lightweight, and has a small cutting reel. The overall dimensions of the Great States 204-14 are just 23 x 13 x 8.5 inches and the mower weighs only 20 pounds. That means just about anyone will be able to use it easily, and it will be easy to find enough space for it in your garage or tool shed. Because the cutting reel is only 14 inches wide, I do not recommend this mower for anyone who has a yard that isn’t very small, as it will not be able to finish the job efficiently. But if you do have a fairly small yard, the Great States 204-14 can be a great way to save a lot of money on lawn care.

Reel lawn mowers like the Great States 204-14 are virtually silent, so you’ll never have to worry about disturbing your neighbors when you use it. And they are the only ones that are completely zero emissions, so they are hands down the best option for environmentally conscious consumers. There are some limitations to small reel mowers like this one, however. They are not equipped to handle larger lawns, and can often struggle with taller grass, dense patches of grass, and tougher varieties of grass such as St. Augustine or Bermuda grass.

In the case of the Great States 204-14 in particular, there are a few other product specs that further limit its ability. It has very few height adjustment options, so it is best for homeowners who do not mind cutting their grass fairly short. This also means you will have to cut your grass fairly often with the Great States 204-14. Also, its wheels are much wider than the cutting reel, so if your lawn abuts fences or walls you will have to edge it after you mow it.

Overall, though, if you have the right kind of lawn for this mower, it can be a great budget buy that will save you a lot of money up front as well as a great deal of money over the long term.

Pros

review prosIf you have the kind of yard the Great States 204-14 was designed to be used on, then it has a lot of excellent features that make it a very convenient machine. It’s compact and lightweight. It’s very easy to maintain it and easier still to use it. It has very large wheels for better maneuverability and stability. It’s quiet, environmentally friendly, and priced very affordably. Let’s look at each of these pros in more detail.

  1. Compact and lightweight : The Great States 204-14 weighs just 20 pounds, making it one of the lightest lawn mowers available. That means that just about anyone will have no trouble maneuvering it around their yard, regardless of their age or strength level. And it has a small enough footprint that finding enough storage space for it will be a breeze. Not only that, but maneuvering it in tighter corners of the lawn or in between garden beds will be very easy as well.
  2. Spider ball bearing mounts for easier use : The helical cutting blade on the Great States 204-14 is mounted on a 3-spider ball bearing assembly. This kind of apparatus is designed to help you get the blade spinning very quickly with just a gentle push. And it keeps the blade spinning longer, since it is encountering less friction from the wheels. As a result, it’s very easy to mow your lawn with this machine, as it requires minimal effort on your part.
  3. Large wheels for better stability : The wheels on the Great States 204-14 are 8 1/2 inches high and made of high impact polymer. In addition they have integral molded treads. The size of the wheels increases the overall stability of the mower, even if you are using it on uneven ground, and the molded treads help to improve the wheels’ traction on a variety of grass types. This helps you to get an even, professional looking cut regardless of where you are using the mower.
  4. Quiet and environmentally friendly : Manual reel mowers like the Great States 204-14 are the only ones that are completely emissions free. Even electric lawn mowers rely on power sources that burn fossil fuels. As a result, reel mowers are the best option for reducing your carbon footprint. And the Great States 204-14 is much quieter than gas or even electric lawn mowers, which means you will be able to use it at any time of day without disturbing your neighbors.
  5. Very competitively priced : The Great States 204-14 is one of the most affordable lawn mowers I have ever reviewed. It is at the low end for manual reel mowers, which means it is also significantly less expensive than any power rotary mowers. And because you will never have to spend a dime on fuel or electricity to run it, and it only requires occasional sharpening to keep it running well, it is basically free to operate it.

If you have the kind of small lawn that the Great States 204-14 was designed to take care of, then the various features it offers make it a great machine at a competitive price. This mower is easy to use and take care of, and it can help you cut small lawns with very little effort. It’s better for the environment than any other class of lawn mower, and over time it will practically pay for itself.

Cons

review consAt the same time, the Great States 204-14 is designed for a very specific type of lawn, so it does have its limitations. The cutting reel is one of the narrowest available on any lawn mower, so it will not be able to cut bigger lawns efficiently. It has limited cutting height options and only one cutting blade. There is a gap between the outsider of the wheels and the cutting reel. And it may have problems with taller or tougher grass.

  1. Cutting reel is just 14 inches wide : The Great States 204-14 has one of the narrowest cutting reels I have seen on a lawn mower, manual or otherwise. While that should not be a problem for owners of very small yards, those of you who have bigger yards will find this mower is too inefficient to keep them mowed properly. As a result, readers with bigger lawns may want to look for a manual reel mower with a bigger cutting reel.
  2. Cutting height is fairly limited : The cutting height adjustment options are fairly limited on this mower as well. They range from just 1/2 an inch to 1 1/2 inches. If you prefer to keep your grass fairly short, this should not be too much of a problem, but you will have to mow it fairly often in order for the mower to provide optimal performance. If you prefer to let your lawn get a bit taller, you may want a different model with more options.
  3. Only one cutting blade : The fact that the Great States 204-14 has only one cutting blade should not be a problem if you are only using it to cut very small lawns. Otherwise, you may find that the blade tends to get worn down fairly quickly and will need regular sharpening. Of course, sharpening is not a very difficult task, but it can become a nuisance if you find yourself doing it more than once a month.
  4. Wheels are much wider than the cutting reel : The cutting reel on the Great States 204-14 is only fourteen inches wide, but the overall width of the machine is 23 inches. That’s a four and a half inch gap on either side of the reel. It means that if your lawn abuts a fence or wall, you will have to edge a fairly wide swath after you are finished mowing it. That means more work and more time spent on lawn care duties.
  5. May struggle with taller and tougher grass : This is true for many manual reel mowers, which tend to get bogged down in tougher varieties of grass, and often do not cut tall grass well at all. Because it only has one blade and has a very limited range of cutting heights, it is even more true for the Great States 204-14. It has a lot of difficulty with grass that is more than four inches tall, and it has a hard time cutting tougher varieties of grass like St. Augustine or Bermuda grass.

Of course, I do not think any of these drawbacks is due to flaws in design or manufacturing of the Great States 204-14, but rather due to the fact that the machine is designed for a very specific size and type of lawn in mind. If you have a small lawn that has finer varieties of grass, and you do not prefer to let them get very tall, the Great States 204-14 could be perfect for you.

Product Comparison

review comparisonI think it is always important to thoroughly compare the various product specs a given lawn mower has with at least two other similar ones. This is the best possible way to know if you are getting the right machine for your lawn’s needs. The following table compares the Great States 204-14 with the Greenworks 25072 and the American Lawn Mower 1404-16.

  Great States 204-14Great States
204-14
Greenworks 25072Greenworks
25072
American Lawn Mower 1404-16American Lawn Mower
1404-16
Cutting Width 14-inch 20-inch 16-inch
Mower Type Manual Push Manual Push Manual Push
Handle T-handle Cushion Grip T-handle
Cutting System Standard (contact) Standard (contact) Standard (contact)
Blades 3-spider 1-blade 5 blades 4-spider 5-blade
Cutting Height 1/2- to 1-1/2-inch 1-3/4- to 2-3/4-inch 1/2- to 1-3/4-inch
Weight 20 pounds 39 pounds 25 pounds
Grass Catcher Optional Included Optional
Warranty 90 days 4 years 90 days

The Great States 204-14 has the smallest cutting reel of the three mowers. It is also the only one with a single blade: both of the other mowers have five blades. The Great States 204-14 has the shortest height options, although the three mowers have comparable height ranges. It is the lightest of the three mowers. The Greenworks mower is the only one that includes a grass catcher, and it has a warranty that is considerably longer than what the other two offer.

Conclusion

review conclusionWhen you have a postage stamp sized lawn, there is no compelling reason to buy a power rotary mower, and you do not necessarily need a very large manual reel mower either. When this is the case, you can save a lot of money by opting for a small, lightweight manual reel mower like the Great States 204-14. At the same time, there are serious limitations to what this kind of mower can do. Let’s take another look at the Pros and Cons before we wrap up.

Conclusion Pros

  1. Compact and lightweight.
  2. Spider ball bearing mounts for easier use.
  3. Large wheels for better stability.
  4. Quiet and environmentally friendly.
  5. Very competitively priced.

The Great States 204-14 is one of the smallest, lightest lawn mowers available on the market today. Its cutting reel is mounted on 3-spider ball bearings so that it is easier to get it spinning quickly. It has large wheels with integral treads for better stability and traction. And it is one of the most inexpensive, quietest, and environmentally friendly mowers available. For the right lawn, it is an excellent little mower.

Conclusion Cons

  1. Cutting reel is just 14 inches wide.
  2. Cutting height is fairly limited.
  3. Only one cutting blade.
  4. Wheels are much wider than the cutting reel.
  5. May struggle with taller and tougher grass.

Because of the design intent of the Great States 204-14, it is very limited in terms of what conditions it will perform optimally under. Its cutting reel is too small to be efficient on anything but the smallest lawns. It has a limited cutting height range, so you will have to be willing to keep your lawn fairly short. It has a single cutting blade, which may need to be sharpened more often. If your lawn abuts a wall or fence, you will have to edge it after you mow. And it may have problems with taller grass, denser patches of grass, and tougher varieties of grass.

Final Word

All things considered, the Great States 204-14 can be the perfect lawn mower for the right kind of lawn. If you have a postage stamp sized lawn that has Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue or other slender types of grass in it, and you do not mind keeping your lawn fairly short, this could be just the right lawn mower for you. It offers a lot of advantages to homeowners with very small lawns. You do not need a bulky reel mower to keep them trimmed, and you certainly do not need an expensive, maintenance heavy gas or electric lawn mower.

That said, this lawn mower is not intended to be used on anything but the smallest lawns, so if you do have a larger one, then I do not recommend it. Still, if your yard is small enough, the Great States 204-14 will be an excellent money saving machine that will practically pay for itself over the long term.

Best Price

review pricesAs I have mentioned, the Great States 204-14 is the most inexpensive lawn mower I have reviewed so far. Its sticker price is much cheaper than most manual reel mowers, and it is less than half the price of the average power rotary mower. Not only that, but because it does not need any maintenance beyond occasionally sharpening its blade, and it never needs fuel or electric power, this mower is more or less free to use once you purchase it. It will pay for itself fairly quickly. For homeowners with very small yards, the Great States 204-14 is a great way to save a lot of money on your lawn care budget.

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