The scythe is back

More and more often, grass and wildflowers are to be seen in European gardens instead of accurately cut lawns. More and more people are making a conscious decision to create habitats for insects such as bees, beetles or butterflies. And more and more often they are therefore swapping their lawnmower for a scythe.

For some years now, this millennia-old tool has been experiencing a comeback. It never disappeared completely, of course, but discussions about insect mortality and environmental protection in particular have helped the scythe gain more attention. Mowing with a scythe has many advantages:

Das Mähen mit der Sense ist ökologisch

1. Mowing with a scythe is environmentally friendly

While a lawnmower not only chops up the grass but also its inhabitants such as beetles, spiders and caterpillars, the grass simply falls over when mowed with a scythe. Insects thus have the chance to find a place of retreat – an important contribution to the preservation of biodiversity. Furthermore, no petrol, oil or electricity is consumed. This also benefits the environment.

Eins werden mit der Natur

2. Becoming one with nature

The engine noise of the lawn mower is loud, the smell of petrol unpleasant. How soothing is the steady sound of the scythe. Early in the morning is the best time to mow, when the grass is still damp from the dew. The freshly cut greenery then smells particularly intense, while the birds and insects chirp. A natural experience for all the senses!

Mähen hält fit

3. Mowing keeps the mower fit

Mowing with a scythe provides a workout for the whole body. Arms, upper body, but also the leg muscles are gently exercised. It also requires sufficient stamina. In fact, mowing with a scythe is a real traditional sport. The German championship in hand scything is held once a year and participants even challenge each other in competitions internationally!

Es ist ganz einfach

4. It is quite simple

You may have reservations about the scythe at first, but the nice thing is: mowing with it is very easy. With the right technique, the blade of the scythe glides effortlessly over the ground and thanks to its light weight, the tool is also easy to handle. By the way, scything techniques are also taught on the DVD of the same name DVD which you can find in our online shop.


Peening and honing

For the scythe to actually cut the grass effortlessly, it must be sharp. That is why you peen them. With controlled strokes on the front edge of the scythe blade, you thin it and harden the cutting edge at the same time. Traditionally, a hammer and anvil are used to perform this task. Additional aids such as peening jigs make peening easier – especially for beginners. Sharpening is done with a matching whetstone.


A scythe must fit

But the scythe must not only be sharp, it must also fit. And that in more ways than one. In order to be able to mow in a relaxed manner and to avoid rapid fatigue, the scythe should fit the user’s body height. A rough rule of thumb: if you subtract 20 cm from your height (a little more for tall people, a little less for short people), you get the optimum length of the snath. Another tip is that the lower handle should be at about the level of the hip bone. Individual adjustment of the scythe is indispensable for a good mowing result in any case.

The type of scythe or scythe blade it is best to use depends on what and where is to be mown. Are there e.g. weeds and wild growth? Or a meadow? Is the scythe mainly going to be used for flat areas or for slopes? All these questions need to be answered in advance.

But one thing is certain: a good scythe is not found everywhere. Today, there are only a few scythe smiths left in Europe who make high-quality scythes. A first-class selection of scythes can also be found at DICTUM.

Schröckenfux »Pinzgauer« Scythe
Schröckenfux High-Precision Scythe
SF Peening Machine
Silicar Silicon Carbide Whetstone for Scythes, coarse
Peening Jig