The Austrian scythe is quite a different creature to the English or American ones most commonly known in New Zealand. They are lighter, more nimble - a real pleasure to use and not hard on the body.
Choosing the scythe that is right for you
The kit is made up from items we have in the shop. We are guided by customers who find the process of choosing all the bits separately.
The default kit 2 is a medium snath, a gtreen (garden) 65 blade, a copper whetstone holder and a fine whetstone.
1. You need to buy the right size snath, so measure the distance from you wrist bone to the ground and tell us which one you need.
Medium :suitable for those with ground to wrist measurement 800-930mm
Short: suitable for those with ground to wrist measurement 690-850 cms.
Junior: extra price $40
Long: suitable for those with ground to wrist measurement 880-1040mm extra price $40
We also have a limited number of snaths made in Canada, Price $195
2. Choosing the blade.
There are 2 main considerations when choosing the correct blade.
a. the work the blade is to do and
b. the terrain it will be working on
The Grass Blades- Tui, Kiwi, Red, Black and Green are all for vegetation which is usually up to one year old. It is still green, not woody.
While you are working, you will keep the edge keen with a whetting stone (mainly the fine one and occasionally the medium one).
After a while- depending on how much you use it the blade will need peening. This is cold forging and does not remove material, but compresses it and makes it harder.
These blades are wonderful for flat land and gently sloping land.
The Tui Blade (designed for NZ) is very good for flat land. We have then in 65 and 75 cm Now in limited numbers, replaced with standard black blades
The Kiwi Blade has been designed for New Zealand from the learning we had in 2009. It is good if you do not want to cut the grass too short. We only have 50cm ones as we have dsecided to return to the default Austrian blades (black, red and green)
The Green (Orchard/Garden) Blade We have 65 and 75cm blades at present. Its the one we modified and called the kiwi blade, but have decided to return to the standard Austrian patterns
The Black Blade is the blade of choice in Austria, where they have been scything for centuries. It is fabulous to use on flat ground- like a lawn, where you want the grass short. With a Black or Tui blade you can cut grass very short- even when someone has been through with a mower! We have them in 40, 65 and 75 cms.
The Red Blade is another lovely blade to use. It is the lightest blade in our range. It is more curved than the black or tui blade and is also most suitable for flat land. we have these in 65, 75 &85 cms
We have found that once the grass has been cut with one of the bush blades (as we do not know in long grass where the hazards are - bricks, rocks, logs fences and wire) then keeping the grass down is easy and delightful with a grass blade
The Red Bush Blade (50cms) - can handle woody vegetation like blackberry.
They are maintained with the whetstones- mainly the medium one and sometimes the course one. They are great at restoring those areas which have been neglected (often because you have not had the right equipmen)t. They are wonderful for blackberries, bracken, gorse, thistles etc. The woodier the plant the shorter you want the blade- or you run the risk of putting too much force on the ring clamp and bending it.
Red Discovery is a wonderful blade but it is not a suitable blade to learn scything on. Its good to use once you know how to scythe, in an area that has been neglected, where you are not sure if there are rocks, wire, stumps etc. under the long grass. It is a blade maintained by a whetstone, not peened. It can be easily fixed if damaged. It is 66cms long. It is also cheaper than the other blades