Long Live the Sickle for Heavy-Growth Areas

Minnesota-based Jari Mowers hopes to expand its dealer network to help bring its self-propelled sickle mower to more people facing difficult-to-cut, rugged terrain.

Old-school sickle mowing has given way to technology too.
Old-school sickle mowing has given way to technology too.

The below article was originally published in April 2013 and some of the information may be outdated. For more information on the Jari Sickle Mower and to contact the manufacturer, click here.



Dating all the way back to the first days of mankind, property owners and professional contractors have relied on the sickle to groom rugged-growth terrain. Now, a Minnesota-based company is updating that Old Testament-era innovation for 21st-century consumers.

Jari Mowers offers a self-propelled walk-behind sickle mower, which happens to be one of the most-viewed products at greenindustrypros.com. To some it may look like a cross between an electric razor and a vacuum cleaner, but it’s a lot tougher than that. Powered by a 5.5-, 6.5- or 7-hp engine, the company says this mower handles any sort of undergrowth, brush, vines and woody weeds. The floating sickle-bar design helps it to glide over rough terrain while preventing plugging.

According to Jari Mowers, common applications for the sickle mower include:

  • Hobby farms
  • Roadside ditches and waterfronts where slope becomes an issue and weeds can get nasty
  • Orchards and groves
  • Test plots (seed growers, universities, etc.)
  • Garden/nursery maintenance
  • Parks, forests and “natural” areas
  • Military bases
  • Municipalities
  • Golf courses

Bringing the Sickle Mower to Market

The Jari Sickle Mower has actually been around for 75 years, according to Kathryn Block of Jari Mowers. “We are the only American-made walk-behind sickle mower in today’s market,” Block says.

Jari Mowers primarily sells its product to servicing equipment dealers who, in turn, sell to end users. Jari has just 17 dealers in the U.S. right now. “Most of our dealers are in the Midwest and surrounding states,” Block says. “We need better support in the East, South and West. We’re working hard on that.

“We will sell direct to retail customers if we don’t have a dealer in that area,” Block continues. “We are going to satisfy the retail account and not lose the sale. It’s also possible that the retail customer wants a dealer in their area and will help us acquire one. We prefer to have dealers servicing our accounts in the field. This gives the retail customer a better sense of support.”

One such dealer is Plano Power Equipment in Plano, TX. Owner Glen Whitt says he carried the product 30 years ago. But after the original manufacturer went through some rocky times, which included the launch of an inferior machine and eventually going bankrupt, Whitt backed away. The new manufacturer (Jari Mowers), has taken the necessary steps to help renew Whitt’s interest in being a dealer.

“I actually just sold a sickle mower to a farmer,” Whitt relates. “He needed something to get in between his rows of material. So he ordered one with the narrower, 16-inch bar. The sickle mower is really a special application-type thing, but it’s a really well-performing machine, for sure.”

Whitt says he had to do a little damage control with customers who’d purchased one of those inferior machines in the past. Jari Mowers worked well with him on special pricing to get new, improved product in the hands of those customers. “The current product seems to be great, as it always was before,” Whitt adds. “We’re starting to pick up some steam with it. I’m mainly seeing interest from people who’ve bought acreage in the country and are trying to clear out undergrowth. Pretty much anything you can get in between the sickle bars, it will whack it up pretty quickly.”

If you are dealer who is interested in carrying the Jari Sickle Mower, you can request more information from Jari Mowers.