We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have one--found it disused in an old barn on a small citrus grove that came with the first house I ever bought, in Edinburg, TX, down in the Rio Grande Valley way back in the 70s, when just married and running drilling fluids in the oil patch along the Tex-Mex border. I consider the scythe an antique of some artistic merit, its well-used wear-signs a link to the honored old settlers, and as such is one of the few things I've kept hold of through these years and various relocations. It leans this very moment against the stone fireplace in the living room of this old 1944-built ramshackle in which I now dwell. One o these days I'm a-gonna learn how to use it to its purpose, rather than as a large-sized knick-knack.
I have, and still use, scythes with both curved (AKA Austrian) and the straight (AKA Seymour) snaths. But, using them is sort of like an Okie tea ceremony - a meditation on steel and sharpness, a dance or series of postures that focus and integrate the mind and body. It takes practice and close attention to do properly, to be productive without exhausting yourself in an impotent flurry of wasted motion.
They aren't the best tools for many purposes, and they aren't as productive for most jobs. A light but powerful string trimmer with a heavy string (.155 or so) can outperform them except on flat ground with tall but not very tough grass, such as wheat. Tough grass (such as deer grass) is a very different matter.
For me it's the sharpening and the dance that appeals. Sharp tools are a passion as well as an art and technology. Steel is wondrous stuff though highly variable. The important part of a scythe is the blade rather than the snath. You can even change snaths on the same blade to suit circumstances and preferences. Good steel that can take and hold an edge, that is shaped properly for the task, and that is strong enough yet light enough to handle, can hugely alter your view of the worth of scythes.
Imagine a Damascus steel scythe blade. Could a farmer be as passionate about his blade as a soldier is about his sword? Well, it might be the same fellow at different times of his life.
The shape of the handle doesn't matter ; they're all shaped to get the blade to lie flat on the ground with you in a comfortable position, and the intermediate curves don't matter.
I mow my acre of lawn with a scythe exclusively, making the whole thing very pleasant. It has to be a hobby, though. Do a couple of 10' wide swaths across the lawn every day, and in about the time it takes to finish, you can start again at the beginning.
aww geez--now you guys tell me. I just bought my beloved the top-o-the-line Stihl string timmer, with interchangeable blade thing and swinging halter,etc.etc.,etc.,
As for me--I like to be in the tall grass with anything that can make that damn snake instantly dead !
I have to admit though there are some repetitive, physical, outdoor tasks like using one those scythes that helps one to meditate in a nice positive way! (Well, that depends on how sharp the blade is) Like back 40--I have a keen appreciation for good tools, well cared for, and sharp! Like my men tee hee hee ;-)