Great States 415-16 Review

Great States 415-16

11110
(Rated: 3.8 / 5) Review by Frank Lowery
Noise11110
Ease of Assembly11110
Maneuverability1110.50
Balance And Handling11110
Cut Quality1110.50

If you have a relatively small lawn on your property, there isn’t any reason you should have to shell out a lot of money on an electric or gas powered lawn mower in order to be able to get a reliable, good looking cut. Smaller lawns are easily taken care of using manual reel mowers. These lawn mowers are not a whole lot different than the original lawn mowers people used to keep their yards looking nice over a hundred years ago, but modern technology has allowed them to become more efficient and powerful while also getting more compact and lightweight.

Manual reel mowers, such as the Great States 415-16, offer their owners a number of significant advantages over power lawn mowers. They have a smaller footprint, which makes them a lot easier to find storage space for in your garage or tool shed. They are much quieter than power mowers – even electric ones – so you can use them whenever you like without worrying about bothering your neighbors. And reel mowers are the only machines that are truly zero emissions. Finally, manual reel mowers are considerably less expensive than anything else on the market. If you have a fairly small, yard, they can be perfect for your needs.

Review Summary

review summaryThe Great States 415-16 is a manual reel mower with a 16 inch cutting deck. This places it in the mid range for reel mower cutting deck widths, and makes it wide enough that it will be able to handle small lawns efficiently and in fewer passes. It is rather lightweight for its size, weighing in at only 26 pounds, which will make it fairly easy for just about anyone to maneuver it around their yard with ease, regardless of their strength level. It is also small enough that you will not have any trouble storing it even if your garage is chock full of gardening equipment, like mine is.

Reel mowers like this one produce no polluting emissions whatsoever, so if you are shopping with your family’s carbon footprint in mind, this kind will be what you want. And because reel mowers require no gas or electricity to keep them running, they are practically free to operate once you have paid the initial purchase price.

The Great States 415-16 has a cutting reel with five blades that is mounted on a 4-spider ball bearing assembly, which means it will be fairly easy to get the cutting reel spinning quickly with just a gentle push. At the same time, there are a few drawbacks associated with this lawn mower, such as the fact that it does not cut dense grass on the first pass and has trouble with thicker weeds and tall grass. I will go over all of the areas where the Great States 415-16 exceeds expectations and where it may fall short in the Pros & Cons section. I will also provide a product specifications table that compares this reel mower with two similar models.

Specifications

review specificationsThe Great States 415-16 is a manual reel mower with a T-shaped handle. It has a cutting deck width of sixteen inches, which places it in the middle of the range for manual reel mower deck widths. The cutting reel has five blades mounted on a 4-spider ball bearing system to make it easier to get it spinning quickly with minimal effort. The blades are made of heat treated steel to ensure they remain durable even after repeated use.

Cutting Width 16-inch
Mower Type Manual Push
Handle T-handle
Cutting System Standard (contact)
Blades 4-spider 5-blade
Cutting Height 1/2- to 2-3/4-inch
Weight 26 pounds
Grass Catcher Optional
Warranty 90 days

The Great States 415-16 has three height options between 1/2 an inch and 2 3/4 inches. The height is easily adjusted using a side mounted lever next to the outer wheels. The wheels are ten inches tall and have tires made of solid rubber. The mower weighs just 26 pounds. It has a rear discharge for grass and an optional collection bag is sold separately. It comes with a 90 day limited consumer warranty.

Description

review descriptionThe Great States 415-16 is a manual reel mower with a sixteen inch cutting reel mounted on a 4-spider ball bearing system to make it much easier to get spinning quickly with just a gentle push. The cutting reel has five blades manufactured with heat treated steel so that they can go longer without needing to be sharpened. It has a rather small footprint overall, which means it will be easy to find storage space for it in your garage or tool shed. It is lightweight enough that you can even hang it on the wall of your garage if you like. The mower weighs just 26 pounds, which will make it fairly easy for most of us to maneuver around the yard.

The five cutting blades on the reel of the Great States 415-16 are arrayed in a standard cutting system. The reel makes contact with a cutting blade in the rear of the assembly to slice through the grass. This provides reliable cutting power but also means that this mower will need to be sharpened more often than contact free ones do. The mower is operated via manual push power and it has a T-shaped handle that is designed to be ergonomically efficient for the user. That means you won’t have to worry about hurting your back or shoulders while you use it.

The cutting reel on the Great States 415-16 has three height options between just 1/2 an inch and 2 3/4 inches, which is a fairly good range as manual reel mowers go. It will not handle grass that is much taller than six inches very well; but if you mow your lawn relatively often with it, you can keep your grass looking short and beautiful.

The Great States 415-16 has a very competitive price, especially considering the fact that it is equipped with five blades and has a sixteen inch cutting swath. It falls on the low end of pricing for manual reel mowers, and is much less expensive than even the cheapest power mowers.

Pros

review prosThere are a number of features that make the Great States 415-16 a good purchase, especially for homeowners who want a quality product without having to spend a lot of money on it. This mower has a wide cutting deck, smart design, and is made of durable materials. It is lightweight and easy to use, and it produces absolutely no emissions. Let’s take a closer look at each of its pros in turn.

  1. Sixteen inch wide cutting deck : This is a good width for the average manual reel mower, and it will help you to get more efficiency that will allow you to finish the job more quickly. A wider cutting deck allows you to cut an area of grass in fewer passes than you would have to make with a shorter one. A reel mower with a sixteen inch cutting reel will allow you to cut the grass 25% faster than one with a twelve inch deck.
  2. Five blades made of heat treated steel : The more blades a cutting reel has, the more powerful it will be in terms of cutting grass, and the better the cut will be. More blades allow the lawn more to provide a more even, manicured looking cut to the lawn so that it looks and feels better. And because the blades are made of heat treated steel, they will last longer than blades made of stamped steel.
  3. 4-spider ball bearing mount for easier starts : The cutting blades are mounted on a 4-spider assembly with ball bearings. That means you can get the cutting reel spinning very quickly with just a gentle forward push. You will not have to push the mower forward very fast to get this result. A quickly spinning reel will provide a better, cleaner cut and is better for the lawn’s overall health as well, because it can slice grass rather than chewing it up.
  4. Compact and lightweight : The Great States 415-16 weighs only 26 pounds, which means it will be lightweight enough for most people to use fairly easily, regardless of their strength level or age. It also has a small enough footprint that it will be easy to find storage space in your garage or tool shed. And because it’s so lightweight, you can even hang it up on a sturdy nail on the wall of your garage so that it’s out of the way until you need to use it.
  5. Completely environmentally friendly : Manual reel mowers are the only lawn mowers that are completely zero emissions, because they require neither gas, which produces emissions right there in your yard, nor electricity, which produces emissions at the source of the power, which can be coal plants. These machines are the most environmentally friendly lawn mowers you can find today, and they will conveniently cut your grass with just a bit of human power.

Any one of these pros is just about reason enough to consider buying the Great States 415-16 in my opinion. In a manual reel mower, you want a machine that has a large enough cutting width that you can efficiently mow your lawn, but a small enough footprint that you can easily find storage space for it. And you want it to be lightweight enough and smartly designed so that it is easy to use.

Cons

review consThere are a few drawbacks to the Great States 415-16, and it is important to cover those as well so that you can get a full picture of what this manual reel mower has to offer. The mower can be a bit unwieldy to maneuver, and it does not handle denser grass, thick weeds or tough grass, or very tall grass well. The may require frequent sharpening, and the wheels are a bit wider than the cutting reel, which can cause problems.

  1. Does not handle tall grass well : The Great States 415-16, like a lot of other manual reel mowers, does not cut grass that is taller than six inches or so very well. If you are able to keep your lawn in check – that is, shorter than about four inches – this should not be a problem that you will encounter, but if you have a lawn that you let get a bit tall and shaggy, the mower may roll right over it without cutting it.
  2. Requires multiple passes to cut dense grass : When you come across denser patches of grass in your lawn, you may find that the Great States 415-16 has trouble getting through it. In spite of the five blades on the cutting reel and the 4-spider ball bearing assembly to keep the reel moving quickly, it may tend to get bogged down in denser grass.
  3. May not cut thick weeds or tougher grass easily : Thick weeds and crabgrass, as well as tougher varieties of grass like St. Augustine or Bermuda grass, may pose problems for the Great States 415-16. It could become bogged down in tough grass or roll over thick weeds without managing to cut them. If your lawn is weed treated, however, this should not be a problem for you.
  4. May require sharpening more often than other reel mowers : Although the Great States 415-16 has heat treated steel blades, the fact that they are a mounted on a standard cutting system means that they will make contact with the rear cutting blade to slice the grass. That may mean they require more frequent sharpening than zero contact designs.
  5. Wheels width is a bit wider than cutting width : The fact that the wheels on the Great States 415-16 are a few inches wider than the cutting reel could present problems if your lawn comes up against a fence or other obstacles. That is because the cutting reel may not be able to edge these areas of the lawn properly.

Overall, I do not think that any of these drawbacks are particularly unusual on a manual reel mower. And I also do not think that any of them present the kind of red flags that would prompt me to recommend against purchasing this lawn mower. If you have a small, even lawn that is weed treated and has fescue or Kentucky bluegrass, it should still perform satisfactorily.

Product Comparison

review comparisonAs always, I highly recommend doing comparison shopping when you are looking for a new lawn mower, and I definitely would not make an exception in this case. In the following table, I compare the product specifications of the Great States 415-16 with those of the Fiskars 6208 and the American Lawn Mower 1705-16.

  Great States 415-16Great States
415-16
Fiskars 6208Fiskars
6208
American Lawn Mower 1705-16American Lawn Mower
1705-16
Cutting Width 16-inch 17-inch 16-inch
Mower Type Manual Push Manual Push Manual Push
Handle T-handle Ergonomic Handle T-handle
Cutting System Standard (contact) Contact-free Standard (contact)
Blades 4-spider 5-blade 5 blades 4-spider 7-blade
Cutting Height 1/2- to 2-3/4-inch 1-1/2- to 3-1/2-inch 1/2- to 2-1/4-inch
Weight 26 pounds 41 pounds 28 pounds
Grass Catcher Optional Optional Optional
Warranty 90 days 2 years 90 days

As you can see, the Fiskars has a slightly wider cutting reel than the other two mowers, at 17 inches. It also has a larger, ergonomically designed handle and additional rear wheels. But it weighs a lot more than either of the other lawn mowers, and its cutting reel is not mounted on a spider ball bearing system, so it may be harder to get it going.

Conclusion

review conclusionA manual reel mower like the Great States 415-16 has a lot to offer to the homeowner with a relatively small lawn that has fairly short, fine grass. It will allow you to keep your lawn looking great without requiring gas or electricity, and it’s better for the environment. Let’s take another look at the pros and cons of this mower.

Conclusion Pros

  1. Sixteen inch wide cutting deck.
  2. Five blades made of heat treated steel.
  3. 4-spider ball bearing mount for easier starts.
  4. Compact and lightweight.
  5. Completely environmentally friendly.

The Great States 415-16 has an adequately wide cutting deck to let you cut your lawn a lot more efficiently than a smaller reel mower could. Its blades, which are durable and heat treated, are mounted on a 4-spider system to ensure you can get it moving quickly without too much effort. The mower is lightweight and small enough that you can find storage space for it easily. And it is very friendly to the environment.

Conclusion Cons

  1. Does not handle tall grass very well.
  2. Requires multiple passes to cut dense grass.
  3. May not cut thick weeds or tougher grass easily.
  4. May require sharpening more often than other reel mowers.
  5. Wheels width is a bit wider than cutting width.

There are a few drawbacks to the Great States 415-16, although none of them are particularly egregious or unusual for a manual reel mower. It does not handle tall or dense grass or weeds very well, and the blades might require sharpening more often than other models. The wheels may present some issues with walls or fences.

Final Word

Overall, the Great States 415-16 is a good manual reel mower for homeowners with small yards that have fairly fine grass that they keep relatively short. It is designed to handle small jobs efficiently and is lightweight enough that most of us will have little trouble maneuvering it around the yard. It is easy to put together – all you have to do is attach the handle and you are ready to go. The Great States 415-16 is made of durable parts and has a quality design. And it is small enough that you will not have any problems finding storage space for it in your garage. If you are looking for a manual reel mower that will save you money in the initial purchase price as well as over the long run, you are in the right place. And not only that, but you will be doing your part to help the environment with this zero emissions mower as well.

Best Price

review pricesThe Great States 415-16 is very competitively priced. In fact, it is one of the most inexpensive manual reel lawn mowers you could find today. It is a bit cheaper than every other manual reel mower I have reviewed so far, and it is considerably less expensive than even the cheapest power mowers. Not only that, it will save you money over the long term because you will never have to supply electricity or fill its gas tank. In a year or two, it will have paid for itself in fuel savings alone. This is a great reel mower for anyone who wants efficiency and quality without spending too much money.

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