Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: March 27, 2022
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Having an aesthetically pleasing lawn by the house is an important factor for many people. Maintaining that look can be done in many ways, and this is where a lawn mower is your best friend. One of the most common types here is a reel mower, which uses vertical spinning blades to cut grass and requires you to push it.
With so many products available on the market, you must be wondering how to go about picking the best reel mower for you. Well, fear not! We’ve compared 44 different products and shortlisted the ones we think qualify as some of the best options you can get your hands on! Our Editor’s Choice is the 1204-14 Reel Mower from American Lawn Mower Company, owing to its simplistic design and the high quality of materials used for its blade. If you want to check something else, we have 9 other products in this article for you.
Now, you’re probably wondering what criteria we used to complete our list. The most important features for us were the cutting width, height, reel, wheels, and weight. Having a large cutting width allows for quicker cutting. On the flip side, you don’t want your mower to have too much weight. Being able to adjust the cutting height is also a key factor when selecting a reel mower. Lastly, the wheels should help you with the maneuverability. Various sources were scanned for hours to bring you a compact table that gives the whole summary at a glance, followed by detailed reviews of our top ten picks, and a buying guide to help you make the final choice.
More features: great for multiple grass types, ergonomic cushioned T-shaped handle, tool-less assembly, rear roller bar, easy to adjust
As an environmentally-friendly alternative to electric and gas-powered mowers, the 1204-14 from American Lawn Mower Company is one of the best reel mowers you can currently get. It is very easy to use and cuts grass as precisely as possible without making too much mess due to shredding. The reel mower comes with a comfortable T-handle and is easy to adjust.
This gas-free mower is ecofriendly as it gets with no fumes emitted and no electricity used. The lack of fuel consumption allows customers to save money as well. Next, this American Lawn Mower Company’s product also stands out being lower in cost than most other reel mowers. Maintaining this reel mower is hassle-free since it only requires the blades to be sharpened every 3-5 years.
The American Lawn Mower Company have made it their mission to reduce the number of carbon footprint products on the market. Their attention to the environment, the low cost of the mower, as well as ease of maintenance makes this model our editor’s pick for the best reel mower on the market. The only downside is that it can be a little less effective on hills.
The StaySharp Max Reel Mower by Fiskars is suitable to cut almost all types of grass. It’s one of the best reel mowers for St. Augustine and Zoysia you could find.
This cordless and fuel-less reel mower uses advanced technology, which makes it easier to push than most other mowers by almost 60 percent! The technology available in this mower also delivers excellent grass cutting performance because it delivers twice as much power as seen with standard mowers available on the market. Additionally, Fiskar’s innovative cutting system also reduces the frequency of sharpening the mower blades. It provides a comfortable and convenient cutting experience with its one-touch height adjustment feature. Next, it provides a mess-free grass cutting experience with its attachable chute, which directs grass away. This model also allows users to adjust it to cut hard to reach patches.
With the ability to cut almost all types of grass, without using electricity or any type of fuel, the Fiskars StaySharp model is one of the best reel mowers available on the market. You’ll have to pay a good price though to get your hands on this one!
More features: T-style handle with cushioned grip, tool-less assembly, rear roller bar, 1-year warranty
Are you looking to keep your lawn clean and presentable but don’t want to disturb your neighborhood with loud noises from a gas-powered lawn mower? Look no further than the Great States 415-16 Push Lawn Mower. Great States is an environment-friendly enterprise that is proud of providing high-quality reel mowers for 100 years.
Whether the grass you’re trying to cut is St. Augustine or Bahia, this model will provide one of the best and most efficient reel mowing experience. It not only allows for quick and easy assembly but also provides excellent comfort for your hands when pushing the reel mower thanks to the soft grips on its handles.
To add to all these features, the Great States reel mower requires low maintenance, and the blades do not need to be sharpened very often. Efficiency, easy assembly, and no noise pollution are what drive the Great States 415-16 to be a contender for the name of the best reel mower out there. It won’t be your best bet though if Zoysia or Bermuda is the grass you intend to cut.
Wheels: 10” composite front wheels + 6” rear wheels
Weight: 34 lbs.
More features: tool-less assembly, easy to operate, cushioned handle, quick-snap height adjusters
Avoid emissions and noise of gas-powered models by choosing the Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2000-20S Classic Reel Mower. You get a quick and convenient way to cut grass with this reel mower as it uses no motor power. It also has an easy to assemble design so that you may get cutting as soon as you receive the mower.
It offers 20-inch cutting width to reduce the time and effort required for a quick clean cut. It has an easy to use height adjustment feature, which quickly snaps to different height levels. Its precision blades and ball bearings provide high-quality performance and larger usage life. The dual wheels on the mower make it one of the best reel mowers in terms of maneuverability.
All of these features provide one of the best reel mowing experiences available on the market. However, a few people mentioned that its blade would require more frequent sharpening, especially if used quite often.
More features: 2-year warranty, cuts all types of grass, long-lasting sharpness, ergonomic grip
With its patent-pending superior ergonomic design and powerful cutting technology, the Fiskars StaySharp is definitely a contender for the top spot as one of the best reel mowers around.
The InertiaDrive Reel present in this mower allows for better quality cutting power, which has shown to be 50 percent more powerful than other standard reel mowers available on the market. Fiskars’ StaySharp cutting system provides excellent blade reliability and makes sure that you won’t have to worry about sharpening its blades annually. Because of its excellent sharp blades, this reel mower is able to cut all types of grass, including St. Augustine, Zoysia, Bahia, and Bermuda. The adjustable 1.5-3.5″ height on the mower is able to cut almost all types of lawns.
The attachable grass catcher (sold separately) keeps your lawn free of clippings by catching grass as you cut. On top of all these features, Fiskars also offers a two-year warranty, making this one of the best reel mowers available to buy!
More features: 4-year warranty, 4-position height adjustment, mulching, bag for grass, cushioned grip
Greenworks takes pride in all their products being 100 percent free of carbon emissions, and therefore, providing extremely high-quality reel mowers. This reel mower is excellent if you are looking to quickly get back to your daily life after taking good care of your lawn. No need to make trips to the gas station if your mower runs out of fuel during cutting anymore! With this model, you will forget about maintenance, tune-ups, or gas emissions.
Along with zero carbon footprints, the Greenworks 25052 Reel lawn Mower with grass catcher offers a 4-year warranty, which ensures that you will keep using the reel mower for a long time! The grass catcher makes lawn stay clean and free of grass clippings. No grass would be making its way inside your shoes anymore!
The high-quality materials used for this reel mower promise reliability. Due to the materials, Greenworks is confident in their 4-year warranty, which is much higher than the industry standard. On the other hand, this reel mower makes a little extra noise, which you have to take into account before purchasing.
More features: strong steel side plate, rear rollers, T-shaped cushioned handle, 2-year warranty
The Earthwise 16” 7-blade reel mower provides one of the cleanest and most precise cuts possible for your lawn. You will think that your lawn was cut by a professional!
No gas, oil, or cords are necessary when operating this reel mower! All you need is your own manpower to simply push the mower. Your grass will get a marvelous cut as you push it thanks to its smooth spinning blades doing the work for you. The wheels roll easily, and the height is also adjustable. The seven blades provide a superior lawn cutting experience, which is suitable for many types of weed grass, including Fescue, Bluegrass, rye, & Crab. This surely makes it one of the best reel mowers for weeds on the market.
Today’s lifestyle requires a modern reel mower, which is quick and easy to maneuver so that you may get back to your busy lifestyle as soon as possible! This mower uses only the best possible materials available and provides a high-quality low-maintenance lawn cutting experience. The handles, though, might cause you some inconvenience in doing the push work owing to its slightly awkward design.
More features: tool-less assembly, hard enamel paint, loop-style handle with cushion grip, 2” welded shrub bar, unbreakable steel side plate
The 18″ Deluxe Reel Mower from American Lawn Mower is one of the most versatile and accessible products you can use. With a blade made of high quality tempered alloy steel, you know that you will be getting a mower that is built to last for a long, long time.
The material used for this reel mower is not the only reason why it can last longer than other reel mowers, as the hard enamel paint also ensures that the American Lawn Mower 18″ Deluxe does not catch rust on its body! The comfortable cushion grip and loop-style handle make this one of the easiest to use models available out there. The 10-inch wheels ensure that you do not have to overexert yourself while mowing the lawn, providing a comfortable experience.
This is one of the easiest reel mowers to assemble that does not require the use of any tools with its Wing Nut system. Nevertheless, you might want to check something narrower for tough spots. Still, all these features put together pack quite the punch, which makes the 18″ Deluxe Reel Mower a contender for the best reel mower on the market.
Do you want to keep your lawn as tidy and free of grass clippings as possible? Look no further than the Snow Joe MJ501M Manual Reel Mower with grass catcher.
The main attraction for this reel mower is its 6.6-gallon handy rear grass collection bag, with which your lawn will never look messy again after being mowed. With its 9-position manual height adjustment, this is one of the best reel mowers available for small lawns. The foam grip on the handle provides a high level of comfort when using it, and the deck of the mower is designed to stay rust-free. The Snow Joe will also cost you low on maintenance, if any, owing to its simplistic design and construction. Next, the two 10-inch front wheels combined with the two 6-inch rear wheels make pushing this reel mower like a charm when mowing your lawn.
These features ensure that you will be satisfied with the results. One downside, according to some reviews, is that the grass catcher might miss the grass at times!
More features: mulching and rear discharge bag options, 6-position height adjustment, cushioned grip
The star of the show with the AAVIX Push Reel Mower with Grass Catcher is the 2-in-1 mulching and rear grass discharging bag system, which provides a clean cut lawn with no leftover grass clippings. Are you looking to save time, effort, and costs associated with owning a gas-powered or electric lawn mower? With the 20-inch cutting path available with this reel mower, your time and energy will be saved, and of course, there’s no power requirement, so you can save money on gas and electricity bills with this reel mower! On top of that, its long handle makes your tasks a breeze.
The five heat-treated steel blades coupled with the 6-position height adjustment system provide an easy and smooth lawn mowing, although you might find some loose or defective parts in the package. Still, the sturdy materials make sure that this mower lasts for a long time to ensure customer satisfaction. AAVIX has proven to us that their mower is worth giving up your old gas-powered or electric mower to experience something new with this reel mower!
What do we love it for?
Wide cutting path saves time
Sturdy build quality
Convenient long handle
What were we disappointed with?
Poor quality control
Things to Consider
A reel lawn mower is an essential tool to own for anyone who has a lawn and has to cut basically any type of grass. Due to its simplicity, it is a fantastic, functional product that can make your task a breeze. There are many advantages to a manual push mower and very few disadvantages, making it a low-risk investment. The best part about owning a reel lawn mower is that you can just keep it with you for a very long time (owing to the durability), and use it whenever the need be!
Advantages of manual push mowers
There are some real advantages in buying a manual push mower compared to an electric or gas-powered one. The first and probably the best one being the fact is that you do not need any form of fuel or electricity to run it. Another advantage of a manual lawn mower is that it is easier to maneuver, which is far from the truth with heavier electric models. Apart from these advantages, manual push mowers are fairly inexpensive compared to buying an electric or gas-powered one. Next, reel mowers also do not damage the environment, so you don’t have to feel guilty about harming your beautiful planet. If that’s not enough, mowing your lawn using a manual push mower can be a fantastic form of exercising and keeping fit. Manual lawn mowers are also usually a lot more durable than their electric counterparts and end up lasting longer.
How to pick the best reel mower?
Choosing the right reel mower for your yard is very important, and you will be thankful if you make the right decision to save yourself unwanted trouble for later. One important thing to look for when choosing the best reel mower is how easily you can push it. You might want to consider things like how strong you are, the type of grass you will be cutting, and the surface of the yard. For example, a rocky lawn may not be the best place to use a reel mower.
Cutting width and height
Cutting width and height are very important to look at when choosing the best reel mower. The ideal height that a lawn mower should be set at should be from 0.5 to 1.75 inches. This gives the best results, especially for plants with a deeper root system and better access to water and nutrients. A good width for a lawn mower is around 14 inches, such as seen with the American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 Reel Mower.
The larger the reel mower’s width, the more area it will be able to cover, meaning more grass is cut in a shorter period.
One problem, though, with having a wide reel mower is that it will be heavier, and therefore, a little more difficult to maneuver.
The best type of reel material to get is heat-treated alloy steel, like with the Great States 415-16 Push Lawn Mower. These blades are super sharp and show excellent results when cutting almost any type of grass, including St. Augustine, Zoysia, Bahia, and Bermuda. They stay sharper for much longer than blades made from other materials. The ideal number of blades on a manual lawn mower is 4. A 4-blade reel offers exceptional versatility to cut multiple types of grass (Fescue, Bluegrass, Rye, or mixed weed/crabgrass).
Good wheels are vital for your lawn mowing experience. How easy or difficult it will be for you to cut the grass depends on the quality of the wheels. The perfect size of reel mower wheels is around 8.5-10 inches.
While cutting grass, the quality of the wheels is essential to how easy it will be to maneuver around the lawn and access tough spots.
If you have a proper pair of wheels installed in your manual lawn mower, then pushing and maneuvering should be a piece of cake. Polymer wheels are ones that are most suggested for manual push lawn mowers. Also, you can come across 4-wheeled models, such as the Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower. An extra pair of wheels makes it easier to push even your reel mower weighs more.
Dimensions and weight
You also should keep in mind the dimensions and weight of the mower before making a final decision. The bigger and more weight the reel mower has, the harder it is to maneuver it, as well as to carry it around. You must make sure though that the manual lawn mower is not too light either. Reel mowers that weigh less are susceptible to damages a lot easier than their heavyweight counterparts. For example, the Greenworks 25052 Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Catcher is a well-balanced model that doesn’t take much storage space and is easy to use for extended periods.
Coming to the handle of the reel mower, this is another very important thing to look at and to make sure it’s right for you.
If the lawn mower’s handle is not comfortable to hold and push it with, there’s a chance of getting exhausted in a few minutes.
Since grass cutting is a time-consuming task, it could get worse every time you use the reel mower. When hand operation is combined with high force application, awkward positions, and repetition, this can eventually lead to injury. It’s therefore imperative that the handle is ergonomically designed, such as seen with the Fiskars StaySharp 6208 Push Reel Lawn Mower.
The effectiveness of a reel mower depends on different aspects. The cutting height and width are the main things to look for when comparing various models. The lower the blade is, the shorter your grass will get cut. The same goes for the width, as with wider reel mower, you will be able to cut more grass per each stroke. Other things to look at affect the overall performance of your manual lawn mower are the quality of the wheels, the type of blade and its material, and the unit’s design.
For the most part, when a company offers a warranty for a longer period, it shows that they’re confident in the quality of their product and don’t expect many claims to occur during that period of coverage. Thus the warranty period can be a good indicator of how the manufacturer believes in the product quality, plus you’ll get covered in case of any defects. Our advice would be to buy a manual push lawn mower that has a warranty of at least 2 to 4 years. For instance, the Greenworks 25052 Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Catcher comes with a 4-year warranty.
Manual push lawn mowers are very reasonably priced when you compare them to powered mowers. Although, as the general rule goes, the more you pay for your manual push lawn mower, the better it’s going to be. However, if you are looking for a quality option, the American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 14-Inch 4-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower is quite affordable. In our opinion, this is the best manual push lawn mower on the market, which yet costs almost half the price of other manual mowers that are as good as this one. Expect a good manual push lawn mower to cost you somewhere between 50 to 200 USD.
It is not difficult to assemble a reel mower at all. In fact, it is quite a simple task. You first lay down the handles and join them together. Next, you must put the screws through them and tighten. Then, you’ll join the handle and the mower. There will be a slot for the handle next to the wheels in most manual lawn mowers. Once you have screwed in the handle to the mower’s body, you are good to go! The body of the mower already comes assembled with most models.
The frequency really depends on how much it’s being used. You can look at the blades the next day after mowing. If the tips have a ragged and brown look over a wide area, instead of just a thin line of brown, then it’s the time to sharpen blades. Dull blades will also leave cuts that won’t be easy to get rid of. On average, the blades need to be resharpened every 3 years.
The longevity of a lawn mower depends on how you use it. The more you take care of your manual push lawn mower, the longer it will last. On average, a reel mower lasts 8 to 10 years with proper maintenance and care. A lawn mower that is not well-maintained may last half that time or even less. To increase that number, make sure to store it away after usage, remove any clippings and debris from the blade, and try to avoid rocks on your lawn.
Among various models, the American Lawn Mower Company’s 1204-14 is a clear winner for us! This reel mower is simply great. Not only is it a fantastic alternative to powered lawn mowers, but it also offers clear cuts each time you use it. On top of that, there are low maintenance requirements, and you will need to sharpen blades only after 3 to 5 years.
The second place goes to the Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower. This premium model has 4-wheel design and a one-touch handle height adjustment for improved comfort and control.
Finally, we have the Great States 415-16 Push Lawn Mower. It features tool-less assembly and is quite convenient to use for hours. As well as the other top-rated products, it doesn’t need much maintenance.
We hope that our article helped you find the best reel mower for your yard. All that’s left to do is to put your favorite model together and enjoy its smooth action and marvelous results.