Great States 815-18 Review

Great States 815-18

11110
(Rated: 4 / 5) Review by Frank Lowery
Noise11110.5
Ease of Assembly11110.5
Maneuverability1110.50
Balance And Handling11110
Cut Quality1110.50

Purchasing a manual push reel mower is a great way to save money. When you own a small enough lawn, you do not have to purchase a power mower. That means you can save money not only on the initial purchase, but also avoid having to spend money over the long term on gas or electricity. Reel mowers are also compact enough that you can store them just about anywhere, so you don’t have to worry about them taking up too much space in your garage or tool shed. And these mowers allow you to get a little exercise while you are mowing the lawn as well!

These days you can get reel mowers that have cutting reels that are about as wide as the cutting decks on power lawn mowers, so you won’t be losing any performance or efficiency when you switch over. They are quiet enough that you can use them any time of day without disturbing your neighbors, and they are environmentally friendly too. A durable reel mower like the Great States 815-18 will keep a small lawn looking its best for a long time.

Review Summary

review summaryIn this review, I will cover the product specifications of the Great States 815-18 before providing an in depth description of what this product has to offer its owner. With an 18 inch wide cutting reel, this machine cuts a fairly wide swath, which means you will be able to finish the job more quickly. But it is still compact enough that you can easily store it in your garage or tool shed. It is made of durable parts like heat treated steel blades and an unbreakable steel side plate. And at only 27 pounds, the mower is light enough for anyone to use.

I will provide a detailed list of the pros and cons the Great States 815-18 has to offer, so that you can get a full picture of where it exceeds expectations as well as the ways in which it falls short. I will also provide a handy product comparison table so that you can see how this lawn mower stacks up against its competition. In this guide you will find everything you need to know about the Great States 815-18.

Specifications

review specificationsThe Great States 815-18 is a manual push reel mower with a cutting reel that is 18 inches wide, which makes it one of the wider reel mowers out there today and also makes it comparable to the average walk behind power mower. That allows you to get the job finished in less time and be back to enjoying your weekend with your family. It has a set of five blades on a 4-spider ball bearing reel that is designed to be easier to push.

Cutting Width 18-inch
Mower Type Manual Push
Handle Cushion Grip
Cutting System Standard (contact)
Blades 4-spider 5-blade
Cutting Height 1/2- to 2-3/4-inch
Weight 27 pounds
Grass Catcher Optional
Warranty 2 years

The mower has a loop style handle that is padded for better comfort and ten inch wheels so that it is easier to maneuver. It has several cutting height options between 1/2 and 2 3/4 inches so you can give your lawn a tight, clean cut. The mower only weighs 27 pounds, which makes it one of the lightest reel mowers on the market and means that almost anyone can use it easily. A grass catcher is sold separately. The mower has a 2 year consumer warranty.

Description

review descriptionThe Great States 815-18 is a manual push reel mower designed for small residential jobs. It is made out of durable parts so that it will hold up to repeated use over the long term. The mower has five tough steel blades that are heat treated to make them last longer without having to be sharpened. The blades are mounted on 4-spider ball bearings so that you can get the reel spinning quickly with less work. The cutting reel is eighteen inches wide, which makes the Great States 815-18 one of the widest reel mowers available today. Eighteen inches is also comparable to the average power mower’s deck width, so you aren’t losing any efficiency by switching to a manual reel mower.

The mower has ten inch wheels so that it is easier to maneuver around your yard. And it only weighs 27 pounds, which makes it one of the lightest reel mowers with an eighteen inch cutting deck. That means anyone can use this mower easily without even breaking a sweat. The mower has a loop style handle that is cushioned for a more comfortable grip and a powder coat finish that prevents rust.

There are a few minor drawbacks to the Great States 815-18. The handle and frame are assembled with wing nuts, which do not hold securely without being tightened often. It has trouble cutting through taller grass and does not cut thick weeds. It will get jammed by small twigs easily. Because the wheels are a few inches wider than the cutting reel, the mower does not cut along fences or walls well, so you may have to do some edging or trimming after you have mowed the lawn. And the height settings, which range from 1/2 an inch to 2 3/4 inches, will be a bit low for some users.

The Great States 815-18 is a very competitively priced mower, and is much less expensive than many other comparably sized reel mowers. It comes with a two year consumer warranty.

Pros

review prosThere are several really great features that make the Great States 815-18 an excellent option if you have the kind of yard it is designed to handle. It is very lightweight and has a compact footprint, which makes it much easier to store. Its cutting reel is designed so that you do not have to work as hard to get it spinning. The mower has a wide cutting swath and is blades are designed to need less sharpening. And it has a very competitive price. Let’s look at each of these pros in more detail.

  1. The mower is compact and light for easier maneuverability and storage : Even with its large cutting width, the Great States 815-18 has a compact enough footprint that it can easily be stored in your tool shed or against the wall of your garage without taking up much space. And at just 27 pounds, this is one of the lightest manual reel mowers out there, which means anyone will be able to use it with ease.
  2. The cutting reel is designed to be easier to use : The cutting reel on the Great States 815-18 is mounted on a 4-spider ball bearing assembly. Because of that, it spins freely and is much easier to get started than cutting reels on lawn mowers that do not have this kind of set up. That means you will be able to get the cutting reel spinning quickly enough to deliver a quality cut to your lawn without working up a sweat or getting worn out from the effort.
  3. At 18 inches, the cutting reel is nice and wide : Eighteen inches is about as wide as it gets for manual reel mowers, and it is also a comparable width to the cutting decks on many power walk behind lawn mowers. A wider cut translates to fewer passes while you are cutting your lawn, which means you can finish the job more quickly and get back to enjoying your weekend with your family sooner.
  4. The mower is low maintenance and needs sharpening less frequently : Often, manual reel mowers that have a standard cutting system, in which the cutting reel makes contact with the cutting blade, will need to be sharpened rather often to keep them working well. But the Great States 815-18 has heat treated blades that will last longer between sharpening, and may not even need sharpening more than once a year at most. The rest of the mower is similarly low maintenance and worry free.
  5. The price is extremely competitive : The Great States 815-18 is one of the most affordable manual reel mowers on the market today, which will be a welcome relief to families who want a quality lawn mower but do not want to spend hundreds of dollars to get one. And once you purchase the mower, you will not have to spend another dime on keeping your yard looking great, because you will never have to spring for fuel costs or electricity.

Because the Great States 815-18 is so compact and lightweight, and because it does not need much maintenance at all, it is a great manual reel mower to own. This mower takes much of the hassle associated with keeping your yard looking manicured out of the equation. And it offers that at a very competitive price. Overall this is a good mower to own if you have a small yard and do not want to spend a lot of money keeping it mown.

Cons

review consBut there are some drawbacks associated with the Great States 815-18, and it is important that you be aware of them before you decide whether you should purchase this mower. The handle and frame assembly are not well designed and do not hold securely. The mower has trouble with taller grass and thick weeds. And it will get jammed by even smaller twigs. Its wheels are wider than the cutting reel, which makes mowing near fences or walls difficult, and its height settings are rather low.

  1. The handle and frame assembly might not hold securely : The handle and frame assembly on the Great States 815-18 are designed to be held together with wing nuts, and these do not hold either together very securely. You will find that you have to frequently tighten them, which can be a hassle. Or you may opt to replace them with locking nuts, which takes care of the problem. But these should really be provided by the manufacturer from the outset.
  2. The mower may have trouble cutting through taller grass and will not cut thick weeds : As with many manual reel mowers, the Great States 815-18 does not handle taller grass very well on a single pass, which could result in more work for you. And it tends to roll right over thick weeds without cutting them at all. If your yard is weed treated and you mow it frequently, neither of these will be a big issue, but if you have weeds or crabgrass be prepared for poor performance.
  3. The mower gets jammed by twigs easily : Also, if you have trees on your property, you should be aware that even small twigs jam the cutting reel on the Great States 815-18 easily. The cutting reel not only will not cut through twigs, it will seize up altogether. If your lawn tends to have a lot of twigs, you may want to opt for a more powerful mower – or else not buy a manual reel mower at all.
  4. The wheels are wider than the cutting reel : The wheels on the Great States 815-18 are spaced about three inches wider than the cutting reel, so the mower does not cut along fences or walls well. Because of that, if your lawn abuts a fence or comes up to the side of your house, you will find yourself having to edge or trim the lawn after you have finished mowing it. That means more work and extra tools in the long run.
  5. The mower’s height settings are fairly low : The height settings on the Great States 815-18 range from just 1/2 an inch to 2 3/4 inches, which is much lower than most other mowers. Because you should avoid cutting your lawn to a height that is less than 1/3 its initial height, these settings may be too low to allow you to cut your lawn effectively without exposing it to vulnerabilities to drought, disease, or invasion by weeds and crabgrass.

Essentially all of these drawbacks mean that if you do not have a fairly small yard that does not have too many weeds or twigs scattered around it, the Great States 815-18 may not be the right manual reel mower for you. Also, if you like to let your grass get fairly tall between mowing, this model might not be able to get the job done as effectively as you would like.

Product Comparison

review comparisonI always provide my readers with detailed product comparison tables so that they can be as informed as possible about the lawn mowers I am reviewing. By seeing how each lawnmower stacks up to other models made by competitors, you can get a fairly good picture of what they have to offer. In this table, I compare the product specs of the Great States 815-18 to those of the American Lawn Mower 1815-18 and the Greenworks 25062.

  Great States 815-18Great States
815-18
American Lawn Mower 1815-18American Lawn Mower
1815-18
Greenworks 25062Greenworks
25062
Cutting Width 18-inch 18-inch 18-inch
Mower Type Manual Push Manual Push Manual Push
Handle Cushion Grip Cushion Grip Cushion Grip
Cutting System Standard (contact) Standard (contact) Standard (contact)
Blades 4-spider 5-blade 5 blades 5 blades
Cutting Height 1/2- to 2-3/4-inch 1/2- to 2-1/4-inch 1-3/4- to 2-3/4-inch
Weight 27 pounds 29 pounds 37 pounds
Grass Catcher Optional Optional Included
Warranty 2 years 2 years 4 years

As you can see, all three mowers are manual push reel mowers with eighteen inch wide cutting reels and standard cutting systems. All three have cutting reels with five blades, but only the Great States 815-18 has a 4-spider ball bearing assembly designed to make it easier to use. The Great States 815-18 has the widest range of height settings, which means you will be able to cut your grass as short as a golf course fairway if you choose. The Great States 815-18 is also the lightest of the three mowers, at just 27 pounds. The Greenworks 25062 is the only one of the three mowers that includes a grass catcher in the initial purchase price.

Conclusion

review conclusionIf you have a fairly small yard, switching to a manual reel mower makes a lot of sense. Not only are these machines much quieter than powered lawn mowers, they are also emissions free and a lot cheaper to operate and maintain. There are plenty of great features that make the Great States 815-18 a good purchase. Let’s take another look at the pros and cons of this mower.

Conclusion Pros

  1. The mower is compact and light for easier maneuverability and storage.
  2. The cutting reel is designed to be easier to use.
  3. At 18 inches, the cutting reel is nice and wide.
  4. The mower is low maintenance and needs sharpening less frequently.
  5. The price is extremely competitive.

At just 27 pounds, the Great States 815-18 is lightweight enough for anyone to maneuver it easily around their yard, and it has a small enough footprint that it is easy to store as well. The cutting reel has a 4-spider ball bearing system that makes it much easier to operate, and the reel is eighteen inches wide for a more efficient cut. The mower rarely needs maintenance or sharpening, and it is very affordably priced.

Conclusion Cons

  1. The handle and frame assembly may not hold securely.
  2. The mower might have trouble cutting through taller grass and will not cut thick weeds.
  3. The mower gets jammed by twigs easily.
  4. The wheels are wider than the cutting reel.
  5. The mower’s height settings are fairly low.

Unless you have a small yard that is relatively weed free and is not overshadowed by too many trees, you may experience some problems with the Great States 815-18. It doesn’t handle tall grass, weeds, or twigs well at all. The wing nuts on the handle and frame assembly loosen easily, and will not hold securely unless tightened or replaced. If your lawn abuts a fence or wall, you will have to trim it after you mow it. And the height settings on the mower are rather short.

Final Word

A manual push reel mower can be a great investment if you have a small enough yard that it can be easily cut with one. These mowers, which have not changed much in principle since they were first developed, still have benefitted greatly from modern technology. Because of this they have become lightweight and easy to use, with wider cutting reels that allow you to finish the job more easily and in less time.

The Great States 815-18 is an affordable manual reel mower that has a lot of great features. It weighs just 27 pounds and has a compact enough footprint that it is easy to maneuver around your yard and can be stored just about anywhere. It has a cutting reel that is as wide as those that are available on many power mowers these days. And it is designed to be very low maintenance. While it does not handle tall grass, weeds, or twigs easily, it is still a solid reel mower at a really great price.

Best Price

review pricesAs reel mower prices go, the Great States 815-18 has a very low one. It is much more affordable than just about any other reel mower on the market today. While its price does reflect the fact that the mower is not powerful enough to handle tall grass or weeds easily, if you have the right kind of yard, the Great States 815-18 is a great way to save yourself a lot of money. And because the mower never needs fuel or power and only rarely needs maintenance or sharpening, once you purchase it, it is essentially free. All you pay for is the upfront price.

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