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Jay Lehman
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Scythes and AccessoriesA good scythe is unquestionably the most versatile among the environment-friendly grass-cutting tools. Equally efficient in sustainable landscape care or as a means of procuring material for compost, mulch or animal feed, the scythe is an excellent option for green urbanites, homesteaders and small farmers alike.

Please keep in mind that

  1. not all scythes deserve the prefix "good" and
  2. to operate a scythe requires more skill than simply pushing the reel mower.
However, in terms of the variety of material (from fine, short lawn grass to rank weeds and small green saplings) and diversity of terrain (steep slopes, ditches and areas full of obstacles), the scythe has no equal. Furthermore, the lawnmower or string-trimmer-cut material is poorly suited for livestock feeding; the scythe mown plants — including the weeds — can be made into the finest of hay, more nutritious than any you could buy.

Our European-style scythes and accessories are now better than ever. All (except for the snath and ring) are made in Europe. The most significant improvement is the new ergonomic snath designed by Peter Vido.

Snath with adjustable grips: Do not compare this model with others based on the price alone! According to the unanimous opinion of experienced scythe users who have field-tested it (in North America as well as Europe), this is the best of all commercially-produced snaths on the international market. Made of steam-bent ash in limited quantities by Mennonite wheelwrights in Canada. We are proud to presently be their only dealer in the USA. Available in two sizes: 59" for people up to 5’10" and 66" for the taller ones. Includes a ring and a wooden wedge (useful if the edge of the blade is too low and digs into the ground -- something you may experience mowing on slopes, for example.)

Blades: Our blades are Austrian-made and now arrive truly "ready-to-mow", with the edge hand-peened and honed prior to sale. This is uncommon service and you will appreciate the difference. All these blades are strong enough for cutting tough weeds and small green saplings if you keep them sharp and use proper technique. But the tougher the work, the shorter your blade should be. We carry them in three lengths:

  • 50cm/20" - for cutting weeds or accurate trimming around buildings, trees, fences, etc.
  • 60cm/24" - for the mid-range purpose
  • 70cm/28" - for more open areas (lawns and small hay fields)

Sharpening Accessories

Peening Jig: The first of two separate sharpening steps for European scythe blades is peening (shaping and work-hardening the edge by cold hammering). This method gives better results than grinding or filing and makes the blade last many times longer. The easiest way for beginners to accomplish it is with a peening jig. This model is the best we have found with respect to design and quality. The red/white/blue enamel finish was made especially for us.

Whetstones: The second step in sharpening — one to be repeated at frequent intervals during work — is whetting with a stone.

Carborundum Whetstone: 100 grit Recommended especially for finishing the edge after peening, for repairing minor edge damage. Can also be used for whetting scythes in the fields and for sharpening other tools such as sickles, knives, axes, etc.

Natural Whetstone: Fine grit, slow-wearing stone quarried in Europe; creates a keener edge than the carborundum and will outlast it several fold. But, if you do not plan to keep your scythe blade well peened, we do not recommend this version as your only whetstone.

Whetstone Holder with attaching clip: Whetstones function better if kept saturated in water between uses and are therefore traditionally carried in watertight holders at hand’s easy reach attached to a belt, back pocket or waistband.

The Scythe Book: Still considered the "Bible" among the published texts on the subject — covers scythe lore, equipment and instructions on use. Its 70-page technical addendum by Peter Vido will help you greatly increase the efficiency of hand mowing. 197 pages.

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