Great States 304-14 Review

Great States 304-14

1110.50
(Rated: 3.6 / 5) Review by Frank Lowery
Noise1110.50
Ease of Assembly11110
Maneuverability11100
Balance And Handling11110
Cut Quality1110.50

If you are a homeowner with a relatively small yard, you do not have to spend a lot of money to keep the lawn looking great all year long. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to shell out hundreds of dollars on a big power mower that is only going to cost you more money over the long run, need periodic maintenance, and require gas or battery replacements. A much better option for smaller yards is to look for a manual reel mower, which can get the job done efficiently and save you plenty in lawn care costs.

A manual reel mower like the Great States 304-14 is perfect for smaller yards. These mowers are zero carbon emission machines that run quietly and do not need much maintenance. They have small footprints that make them easy to store, and they tend to be lightweight enough that just about anyone can use them easily. These are just a few of the many reasons manual reel mowers are great for smaller yards.

Review Summary

review summaryThe Great States 304-14 is a manual reel mower with a fourteen inch cutting deck and overall dimensions that make it lightweight and compact enough that it will be easy for just about anyone to maneuver around their yard and find storage space for it. The mower is ideal for very small lawns with grass that is kept fairly short or grass that is naturally low-growing. This mower produces zero carbon emissions and requires absolutely no gas or electricity and very little maintenance. By switching to a reel mower like this one, you can not only do your part to help the environment but also help save a lot of money and time keeping a power mower running. And on top of that, the mower is competitively priced.

This mower will not be ideal for lawns that are any larger than 1/4 of an acre, and it also is not recommended if you have grass that tends to get fairly tall and shaggy between cuts. That is because its cutting reel is only fourteen inches wide, and its height settings do not go above1 3/4 inches. Like many other small reel mowers, the Great States 304-14 also may not perform well if you have a lot of weeds, twigs, or other detritus in your yard. And while the mower has an optional grass catcher, you will not be able to produce a fine mulch with its blades. I will cover all of the advantages and drawbacks this mower has in more detail in the Pros & Cons sections, and I’ll also provide a table that compares its product specs to those of two other similar mowers.

Specifications

review specificationsThe Great States 304-14 is a manual reel mower with overall dimensions of 23 x 13 x 8.5 inches and a cutting reel that is 14 inches wide. The cutting reel uses a standard cutting system, in which the reel makes contact with a cutting blade at the rear of the mower. The reel has five cutting blades mounted in a helix on a 3-spider ball bearing assembly. This is designed to make it easier to get the reel spinning quickly with just a light push.

Cutting Width 14-inch
Mower Type Manual Push
Handle T-handle
Cutting System Standard (contact)
Blades 3-spider 5-blade
Cutting Height 1- to 1-3/4-inch
Weight 21 pounds
Grass Catcher Optional
Warranty 90 days

The handle of the Great States 304-14 is in a T-shape and is padded for greater comfort while operating the mower. The mower has ten inch composite wheels and radial rubber tires. The cutting deck height can be adjusted between 1 inch and 1 3/4 inches. The mower weighs just 21 pounds. A rear grass catcher assembly is available for additional purchase, and the mower comes with a 90 day limited consumer warranty. It is competitively priced so that it will be available to just about any household.

Description

review descriptionThe Great States 304-14 is a manual reel mower with a fourteen inch wide cutting reel that is designed to provide convenience and quality performance on smaller yards that do not need a very large mower to get the job done efficiently. The mower has overall dimensions of 23 x 13 x 8.5 inches, which makes it compact enough that it will be very easy to store just about anywhere in your garage or tool shed. The mower weighs only 21 pounds, which makes it one of the most lightweight manual reel mowers you can find, and ensures that just about anyone will be able to operate it easily, regardless of their stature, strength level or age.

The cutting reel on the mower operates using a standard cutting system, in which the reel makes contact with a rear cutting blade to cut the grass. The five cutting blades are made of durable, heat treated alloy steel, which means they will be more durable over the long term. The standard cutting system will require you to occasionally sharpen the blades, although you should not expect to need to do this more than once a year at the very most.

The cutting reel is mounted on a 3-spider ball bearing assembly that is designed to help get the reel spinning quickly with just a light push of the mower. The cutting reel has height options between one inch and 1 3/4 inches, which means that this mower will be ideal for small lawns with low growing grass, but also that it will not perform optimally on lawns with taller, shaggier grass.

The Great States 304-14 inches is very competitively priced, and it is one of the most affordable manual reel mowers you can find today. It comes with a limited 90 day consumer warranty. A grass catcher is available for additional purchase. Overall this is a great little reel mower for smaller lawns with short grass.

Pros

review prosIn addition to being competitively priced compared to just about every power mower on the market, manual reel mowers like the Great States 304-14 help their owners save a lot of money on maintenance and fuel as well. But those are only a couple of the many features that make this a great option if you have the right yard for it. Let’s take a look at some of the other outstanding features this mower offers its owner.

  1. 3-Spider Blade Mount is easy to use : The Great States 304-14 has a conveniently designed 3-spider ball bearing mounted assembly for the five blade cutting reel. This system makes it much easier for you to get the cutting reel spinning very quickly with just the slightest push. Because getting the blades to spin quickly enough to deliver razor sharp cuts so easily, getting a great looking, manicured lawn will be a breeze.
  2. Mower is compact and lightweight : The Great States 304-14 has overall dimensions of just 23 x 13 x 8.5 inches, which means its footprint is small enough that you will be able to find storage space for it in your garage or tool shed very easily. You can even hang this mower on the wall! And at just 21 pounds, it is light enough that just about anyone can operate it with ease, regardless of their size, strength level, or age.
  3. The mower is environmentally friendly : Manual push reel mowers like the Great States 304-14 do not need any power other than your own to get them started, and they never need gas or electricity. That means they are the only lawn mowers that are truly and completely emissions free. Not only will these mowers help you save the environment, they will save you money as well, since you will not have to buy gas or pay for costly engine maintenance or repairs, either.
  4. Radial rubber tires for better traction : The Great States 304-14 has ten inch composite wheels that are fitted with radial rubber tires. That means the mower will have much better traction than other models that only have basic plastic wheels. The better traction will help you keep the cutting reel spinning quickly enough to get a great looking cut for your lawn, and it will also make it easier to use this lawn mower on areas where the ground is somewhat uneven.
  5. Extremely affordable price : The Great States 304-14 is one of the most inexpensive manual reel lawn mowers on the market today, but it does not offer this price at the expense of quality craftsmanship or performance. So if you have a small enough lawn that this mower will be able to cut it efficiently, and you have the right grass type as well (see below), this is a good reel mower at a bargain price.

In addition to these great features, the Great States 304-14 comes with a 90 day limited consumer warranty and an optional grass catcher than can be purchased separately. Any one of these features is good to have on a small manual reel mower, but taken together, you can see that this lawn mower is a solid machine at a very competitive price.

Cons

review consThere are a few areas where the performance and design of the Great States 304-14 make it less than optimal for certain lawn types. The mower only has a few height options that are all rather short. Like many smaller manual reel mowers, it will tend to get jammed on sticks, does not handle tall grass well, and may run over thicker weeds without cutting them on the first pass. In addition, the cutting deck is on the narrow side, which makes it great for very small yards but less than ideal for average sized ones.

  1. The mower has very short height options : The Great States 304-14 has a few height options between one inch and 1 3/4 inches. This is not a very wide range, and all of the options are very short. If you have a small yard with low growing grass, this should not be much of a problem, but if your grass tends to get taller than four inches, this mower will have trouble delivering the proper cut to keep it healthy.
  2. The mower tends to get caught on sticks : This Con is not altogether surprising for a small reel mower; these machines tend to not have the kind of power necessary to snap twigs. If you have lots of trees on your lawn, you may have to clear detritus before cutting the grass with the Great States 304-14; but if you do not have any trees on your property, this Con will not be a problem.
  3. Does not handle tall grass very well : This problem is due in part to the fact that the Great States 304-14 has height settings that are so short, and in part due to the fact that it is not a very powerful reel mower. If your grass tends to be on the tall side, you may want to consider a different mower, as this one might get bogged down in it or require multiple passes to finish the job.
  4. It tends to run over weeds without cutting them : This is an issue that is primarily related to the power of the cutting reel. Because it can only rotate so fast, even with the great 3-spider ball bearing assembly, it may have trouble with thicker weeds and dandelions. If your lawn is weed treated, then you do not have to worry about this; but if you do get a lot of weeds on your lawn, you may have to remove them by hand or make multiple passes to take care of them.
  5. The mower has a rather narrow cutting deck : At just fourteen inches, the cutting deck on the Great States 304-14 is one of the more narrow ones out there today. This could affect the time you spend cutting your lawn, since wider decks make for fewer passes and less time. But if your yard is small enough, then a narrow cutting deck will not be too much of a problem, since you can do it in just a few quick passes anyway.

I do not think that any of these Cons reflect poor design or craftsmanship on the part of the manufacturer; they simply indicate what this mower is intended to do. It is perfect for very small yards with short growing grass that do not have too many weeds or detritus on them. If you have such a yard, I don’t think any of these drawbacks will seriously affect the quality of the performance you are able to get out of the Great States 304-14.

Product Comparison

review comparisonIt’s always important to do some comprehensive comparison shopping when you are buying a new lawn mower. That way you can get a good feel for how the mower stacks up against similar models in its size class and price range. In order to help you do this, here is a table that compares the product specs of the Great States 304-14 with those of the American Lawn Mower 1204-14 and the Gardena 4023.

  Great States 304-14Great States
304-14
American Lawn Mower 1204-14American Lawn Mower
1204-14
Gardena 4023Gardena
4023
Cutting Width 14-inch 14-inch 15-inch
Mower Type Manual Push Manual Push Manual Push
Handle T-handle T-handle Straight Handle
Cutting System Standard (contact) Standard (contact) Silent (no contact)
Blades 3-spider 5-blade 3-spider 1-blade 5 blades
Cutting Height 1- to 1-3/4-inch 1/2- to 1-1/2-inch 1- to 2-1/2-inch
Weight 21 pounds 19 pounds 20 pounds
Grass Catcher Optional Optional Optional
Warranty 90 days 90 days 1 year

As you can see, the Gardena has a slightly wider cutting reel as well as a full 3/4 of an inch more cutting height options. It also is designed to have a no contact, silent cutting system. This means the Gardena can cut taller grass and will not need to be sharpened as often as the other two mowers. But the Gardena also does not have a 3-spider assembly, which will make its cutting reel harder to get going.

Conclusion

review conclusionA manual reel mower like the Great States 304-14 is a great investment if you have a rather small yard and do not need a big mower or one that has a powered cutting deck. There are a number of great features to this mower, as well as a few drawbacks in design that may make it less than ideal for certain types of lawns. Let’s take another look at both.

Conclusion Pros

  1. 3-Spider blade mount is easy to use.
  2. Mower is compact and lightweight.
  3. The mower is environmentally friendly.
  4. Radial rubber tires for better traction.
  5. Extremely affordable price.

The Great States 304-14 is a very easy mower for just about anyone to use, in part because the 3-spider blade mount makes it easy to get the cutting reel spinning, but also because it is so compact and lightweight. It’s quiet and emissions free. And its wheels are designed for added maneuverability. Finally, this mower is priced very competitively.

Conclusion Cons

  1. The mower has very short height options.
  2. The mower tends to get caught on sticks.
  3. Does not handle tall grass very well.
  4. It tends to run over weeds without cutting them.
  5. The mower has a rather narrow cutting deck.

The mower’s height options range from just 1 to 1 3/4 inches, which makes it perfect for lawns with very short grass but less ideal if your yard has grass that is taller than four inches. Not only will it potentially damage such lawns, it won’t be able to get a good cut on the first pass. It also is fairly small, at fourteen inches wide, and does not handle debris or weeds easily.

Final Word

For very small yards will short grass that do not have too many trees or weeds on them, a small, manual reel mower like the Great States 304-14 is ideal. This mower is designed to be compact, lightweight and easy to operate. While it will not be able to handle tall grass or thick weeds easily, and its cutting deck is not wide enough to make it an efficient choice for lawns that are not very small, it has a number of great features that make it perfect for the right lawn.

The Great States 304-14 will need minimal maintenance – you just have to sharpen its blades once a year or so – and will never need any gas or electric to get it going, which will save you considerable money in the long run. Practically anyone can use this mower, regardless of how big or strong they are, and regardless of their age as well. If you have a small yard with low growing grass, this mower might be ideal for your needs.

Best Price

review pricesThe Great States 304-14 has one of the most affordable prices you can hope to find in lawn mowers. It is small enough that the manufacturer can afford to sell it at a very inexpensive price, and it is considerably less expensive than most manual reel mowers, not to mention bigger power mowers. And because it will need minimal maintenance and never require gas, the mower will practically pay for itself after a year or so. While budget mowers are sometimes poorly designed or made of shoddy parts, this is not the case here. Overall, this is a good lawn mower for the right lawn at a great price.

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