Pros: Energy efficiency, No emissions, Small size, sturdy, Easy assembly, Quiet, Cuts wet, Price, Self-sharpening
Cons: Unintuitive blade adjustment, Edging, Sticks jam reel
Before I bought my Scotts Classic, I did my homework. I read lots of reviews, examined one in the local Home Depot and reviewed the competing powered mowers. So I knew what to expect, more or less, from the machine. I'm happy to say that after two years of use, it has absolutely lived up to my expectations.
But, before you take the plunge, know what you are buying.
The Scotts Classic will never make your lawn look like a golf course. If you prefer the evenly manicured, grass carpet look, this is not the mower for you. I'm not listing this as a 'con' because I personally like the slightly less formal cut the Scotts delivers. But it's not for everyone. You should expect some variation in the height of the cut blades of grass.
It's not effortless. Again, I don't consider that a negative. It is what it is. Obviously, riding a Lawn Boy is less work than pushing a reel mower. But it certainly isn't hard. Even when the grass is long, I don't have a problem jogging with my mower. My wife has no problems with it, either, and she's quite a small person (though scrappy.)
Energy efficiency: No need to purchase gasoline for this mower.
Emissions: On hot days, a little sweat is the only emission from the Scotts Classic powertrain (me.)
Small size: The mower takes up less room than comparable powered mowers.
Easy assembly: Installing the handle was the only assembly out of the box.
Cut height adjustment: Adjusting the cutting height is done with a simple lever near the wheels.
Cut width: This mower has a wider cutting path (20") than most reel mowers.
Quiet: I can cut my lawn before I go to work and not worry about waking up the neighborhood.
Cuts wet: The mower will go through wet grass as easily as dry.
Price: Purchase price might be a bit intimidating, but operating costs are, obviously, very low.
Self-sharpening: The mower comes with a sharpening kit which consists of a crank and some sharpening solution. You brush the solution on the blade and crank it in reverse. I haven't tried this yet because my blades are still sharp, but it looks easy enough.
Blade adjustment: By this I mean, adjusting the distance between the blades and the cut plate. This isn't difficult, by any means, but it does take a bit of practice. And it's not especially intuitive or marked well on the machine itself. The instruction manual covers the process well, however.
Edging: You will still need something to cut the edges of your lawn. My garden beds are edged with fieldstone and the Scotts will not get close enough to edge it. I use an electric weed whacker for this job. I am hesitant to list this as a con, since I would hesitate to run a riding mower deck over the tops of those field-stones for fear of breaking a blade. I suspect I would end up using my weed whacker anyway.
Sticks: The reel will stop dead on all but the smallest of sticks. To clear the reel, you need to kick the blades in reverse and pull backwards. It's not a big deal, but the Classic certainly will not sheer through wood with the aplomb of a gas mower.