For those of you who like to be better prepared for a scythe workshop, or for my mail-order customers that are unable to attend a scythe workshop, I have created some virtual workshops to help you start out successfully with the European scythe. Before mowing, watch the next two videos to learn the technique:
Start slow and first get a feel for the cutting action of the blade. Most people instinctively swing a scythe like a hockey stick or golf club, and chop at the grass. Your scythe is NOT designed to be used like that! It's a precision mowing tool. Keep the blade flat on the ground at all times, and slide it forward in an arc in front of you, in the direction that the tip is pointing. Start with short strokes, until you get a feel for the cutting action, (which is more of a shearing action. There's no hacking or slashing involved!) You only cut a narrow strip of grass with each stroke. When you have a feel for that, you can start to lengthen your stroke. Eventually you can lengthen your stroke to a full 180 degree arc in front of you. With practice and experience, your co-ordination will develop, and you can naturally start putting your weight into each stroke, as in the video below, for greater efficiency.
Below is a new video that showis what mowing with a scythe looks like from all angles, plus how long it takes to stop and hone the blade (not very long!).