Yes. Besides keeping your blade really sharp, when mowing dense bluegrass, you have to make sure that the blade gets down underneath the grass blades, otherwise the scythe blade can slide up over the grass, like it's on top of carpeting, and not cut much. To keep the blade low, you can actually press down on the lower grip, which will keep the blade pressed firmly to the ground. You may be cutting the grass pretty short the first couple of times, but the regrowth will be more tender, and easier to mow. You will have to mow less often with a scythe, than with a lawnmower.
Also, grass is always much easier to mow very early in the morning. Don't worry, your neighbors won't complain, even if you're out mowing at 6AM on a Sunday morning. Mow when the dew is still on the grass, and before photosynthesis gets going. It will be much less work that way.
I have just taken on a smallholding and am learning to scythe the grass on some neglected pasture (thick grass, thatch, tussocks etc).
I have found that after peening and honing the blade with reducing grades of whetstone, the blade is clearly sharp and “grabs” the grass and slices though everything with ease. After about ten yards, the blade is much blunter. I’ve then been trying to hone the blade with the Roszutec stone and, I’m finding that the scythe quickly loses it cutting ability compared to the initial treatment.
I’ve been thinking about this and thought that there might be two reasons for this – either the edge was too thin to start with and I’m crushing it in the heavy vegetation. The other thought was that I wasn’t honing the blade properly each time with the fine whetstone, so it successively becomes blunter.
I noticed on your farm website that:
The Rozsutec whetstone is so fine and hard, that beginner's often can't get it to do anything. Once you learn how to really use a whetstone, however, it creates a very fine edge.
And wondered if this was my problem. I also noted that, in your honing video (see above), you hold the stone in a way that would allow you to “torque” the stone onto the blade to apply fairly heavy pressure.
I was hoping that you would be able to advise how much pressure should be applied when honing and whether you can offer any technique tips? Alternatively, would I be advised to try using a Bregenser stone initially for honing – or will this wear out the edge too quickly?
Many thanks - Paul