Mowing your lawn and mowing your lawn to perfection are two altogether different things. The modern power mowers can minimize your efforts in trimming the lawn. However, they can’t compete with reel mowers in terms of quality.
So, if you too want to give your lawn the best look and perfect finish, get yourself a good reel mower and trim your lawn to perfection. In this article, we will check, in our opinion, the best mowers available in the market. We will also share the top features to look for when buying the lawnmower for your purpose.
List of mowers we checked.
- American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 Push Reel Lawn Mower
- Great States 415-16 Push Reel Lawn Mower
- Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower
- Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2000-20S Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower
- American Lawn Mower Company 1304-14 Push Reel Lawn Mower
- Sun Joe MJ501M Manual Reel Mower
- Earthwise 1715-16EW Push Reel Lawn Mower
- Fiskars 17 Inch Staysharp Push Reel Lawn Mower
- American Lawn Mower Company 101-08 Youth Grass Shark Push Reel Lawn Mower
- Gardena 4020 Silent Push Reel Lawn Mower
Our Reel Mower Favorites and Thoughts
1. American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 14-Inch Push Reel Lawn Mower
American Lawn Mower is a brand known for producing environment-friendly lawn mowers for everyone’s lawn. It has 4 blades of 14” cutting width. The 8.5” wheels are made with a durable polymer for free movement in any direction. It is a mechanical mower with an adjustable height of 0.5” to 1.5” for perfect grass cutting.
The blades are made with heat-treated alloy steel. This quality allows the blade to stay sharp for a very long period. The sharpness of blades allows cutting up to 4”.
It is an environment friendly, pollution-free, noise-free, and emission-free mower. The mower is very safe to use as due to its manual operation it does not emit any harmful and unwanted fumes caused by burning oil and gas as in other lawnmowers.
The American Lawn Mower is very light-weight and easy to use. You can easily assemble it within 10 minutes. Your kids can also use this manually operated mower very easily. It is very safe to operate. Its cushioned and sturdy handle makes the movement of the mower easy and comfortable even for your kids.
Overall, this Americal Lawn Mower is a great mower. It is a very portable mower that occupies a very small space. You can keep it on your porch or in a shed for easy accessibility. Working with this mower is very comfortable and quick.
- Sharp blade
- Requires to repeat 2-3 times for proper cut
2. Great States 415-16 16-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
The Great States is the most value-for-money product on our product list. It has 5 blades with a 16” cutting width. 10” wheels give this mower great support during proper movement. This manual mower moves easily on the lawn and operates very comfortably.
The Great States lawnmower comes with an adjustable height of 0.5” to 2.5” for optimal cutting. The wheels available with this mower are made of heat-treated alloy steel that provides perfect sharpness for a long time. It can easily cut the grass up to 4-5 inches long in a scissor action cut.
This mower is completely noise-free and emission-free so that it is also very safe for the environment. Another important thing about this manual mower is that it keeps you safe from unwanted fumes of oil and gas that are generated from other automatic mowers.
The design of the Great States is very comfortable and lightweight. Its T-style handle is easy to grip because of its cushioning covers. The assembling of parts is pretty fast and simple.
Overall, The Great States lawnmower is a perfect mower for your lawn. It requires almost no maintenance and works efficiently for very long. It is so lightweight that even your kids can help you in cleaning the lawn very easily without any harm. It does not require any gas or oil as it is a manual mower.
- Perfect & comfortable
- 5 blades for better performance
- Scissor cut action
- Easy assembly
- Extra efforts required for a perfect finish
3. Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower
Fiskar Stay Sharp Max is one of the most stylish and easy to operate lawnmowers. It is the heaviest mower at 51.7 Pounds. Coming to its special features, its InertialDrive reel design is perfect for all the lawns and can cut all types of grass.
It has almost double cutting power as compared with other mowers. So, cutting on the tough spot becomes easier with its StaySharp cutting style avoiding direct contact. This technique helps increase longevity and hence automatically reduces the cost of yearly maintenance.
Wheels of StaySharp have an inset design that supports the blades to fully extend across the mowers and sharply cut the grass near the fence or edges of the lawn.
The Fiskar Stay Sharp Max has a chain-drive design that helps to maintain the speed of the reel. Its no-contact blades help to improve the inertia and avoid friction during cutting. These two unique features of StaySharp make it special among other manual mowers.
Overall, Fiskar Stay Sharp Max is a heavy, sturdy, and easy-to-use mower. Its no-contact blade technology maintains its longevity and reduces the cost of resharpening the blade every year.
- Long-Lasting blades
- Perfect cutting
- Effectively work on tough spots
- Little heavier than others
4. Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2000-20S 20-Inch 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower
Scotts Push Reel Lawnmower is the most popular mower of all. Its classic push design makes it easy to maneuver. It has 5 blades of 20” cutting width. The 10” dual tracking wheels attached to this mower make it sturdy and more balancing.
Scotts mower has an adjustable height of up to 3” that can give you a clean and clear cut every time. The blades in this mower are made of heat-treated alloy steel for durability and long time sharpness.
Its cushioned grip handle allows you to have great comfort during the cutting process. It is a manually operated reel mower that is very safe and secure. Works almost without noise and no emission that makes it completely environment-friendly.
Scotts is very lightweight and very easy to assemble. You can assemble this mower in less than 15 minutes. This mower does not require any gas or oil, so no unwanted or unhealthy fumes will bother you at all.
Overall the Scotts Push Reel Lawnmower is the most comfortable and easy to operate mower of all. Its ergonomic design with a cushioned handle makes your cutting work very easy and enjoyable.
- Ergonomic design
- Cushioned handles
- Easy to assemble
- Dual tracking wheel
- Some users have a durability issue
5. American Lawn Mower Company 1304-14 Push Reel Lawn Mower
Americal Lawn Mower 1304 is an alternative to the gas-powered lawnmowers. It has a 5-blade reel with a cutting width of 14”. 8.5” polymer wheels provide considerable durability with maximum maneuverability.
This mechanical mower comes with an adjustable height of up to 1.75” with scissor cut action. The blades of the Americal mower use heat-treated alloy steel that provides sharpness for a longer period. It can cut the grass up to 4” height very effectively.
It is a very lightweight and comfort-friendly lawnmower that everyone loves to use. Its T-style handle covered with a cushion lets you feel relaxed while doing the operation. Americal 1304 is an environment-friendly mower as it is almost noise-free and pollution-free. It does not require costly maintenance.
It does not use gas and oil to operate so you are free from unnecessary or unhealthy fumes.
Overall, American Lawnmower is one of the easiest operating mowers of all. It is comfortable and safe for the environment. The weight is so light that even your kids can operate this mower very easily and comfortably.
- The wonderful alternative to gas-powered mowers
- Very lightweight
- Cushioned handle perfect for a longer duration
- Sharp blades
- Need to repeat the cutting process 2-3 times for perfection
6. Sun Joe MJ501M 18-Inch Manual Reel Mower
The Sun Joe Manual Reel Mower is a perfect mower with a grass catcher that comes with 5 blades of 18” cutting width. It is a manually operated reel mower and does not require any gas and oil to function.
The Sun Joe mower has 9 position height adjustments up to 2.44” that help to cut more deeply and precisely. The blades cut the grass very swiftly and its durable steel material keeps the sharpness of the blades for a long time.
It’s flexible dual wheels with 10” and 6” diameter provide maximum movements and accuracy in cutting. It also has a detachable grass catcher having the capacity to hold 6.6 gallons of waste You can detach it and clean it very easily. The Sun Joe reel mower is completely safe for the environment because of its manual operating feature.
Overall, the Sun Joe manual reel mower is one the most powerful with a multi-height adjustment feature. It is available at an affordable price. Its grass catcher facility gives a clean look to lawns during the cutting process. You should not worry about the waste collection after completing the tedious cutting process.
- Attached grass catcher for easy waste collection
- Dual wheel design
- 9 position height adjustments
- Durable blades
- Little bit noisy
7. Earthwise 1715-16EW 16-Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
The Earthwise 1715 push reel lawn mower is one of the best for cutting bent grass like Zoysia, St. Augustine, Centipede, and Bermuda. It has 7 blades with a 16” cutting width. The blades are made of alloy steel to retain their sharpness very long.
It has 10” composite wheels that have an unbreakable steel plate on the side of the wheel. The Earthwise 1715 has an adjustable height of up to 2.5” for a precise and clean cut.
It is an environment-friendly mower that keeps you safe from unwanted fumes generated from a gas or oil-powered mower. It’s s a great replacement for a gas-powered mower to provide you a safe and secured grass cutting process.
The Earthwise is a very lightweight and easy to operate mower through its T-style handle with cushioning effects. It provides relaxation to your hand during cutting.
Overall, the Earthwise 7 Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower is one of the most excellent alternatives to the gas-operated mower to make the surrounding pollution-free and eco-friendly.
- 7 Blades with 16” cutting width
- Perfect for cutting bent-grass
- Safe and secure
- Requires to unscrew the wedges when adjusting the height
The Fiskars Staysharp is one of the stylish and versatile push reel mowers. It does not require any electricity, gas, or oil to operate. It is a completely manual mower that works on eco-friendly technology.
It is a combination of older and newer technology that works 50-60% easier and faster than other mowers available. Its Inertia Drive reel enhances the power of cutting and effortless working on the tough spots where wheels of other mowers can jam easily.
The Fiskars stylish handle reduces the push force hence it promotes easy movements. It can cut all types of grass very easily because of its sharp blades. The height can be adjusted up to 3.5”.
Overall, The Fiskars Staysharp lawnmower is environment-friendly, easily operated with a reduced push force, and 50% faster than other lawnmowers.
- Advanced technology
- 50% faster than other mowers
- Reduced push force
- Durable blades
- Little heavier
9. American Lawn Mower Company 101-08 Youth Grass Push Reel Lawn Mower
American 101 Youth Grass Shark is an excellent mower for a small lawn. It perfectly works in a small cutting area. It has 5 blades with an 8” cutting width. All the blades are covered for safe and secured operation. The mower has an adjustable height from 1.35” to 1.75”. This is also called Mini Hand push reel lawnmower. The mower has composite wheels of 7”.
The American Mini reel lawn mower is made of alloy steel to make it sturdy and robust. The steel makes it durable and long-lasting. It has a loop handle that makes pushing easier and comfortable. It is very lightweight so that your kids can also operate it very easily under adult supervision.
As it is a manually operated mower it does not emit any pollutant caused by other gas or oil-powered mowers. It is very easy to assemble without any hassle.
Overall, American 101 Youth Grass Shark is one of the best lawnmowers for small lawns. This midi lawnmower can do its work very perfectly with almost no noise.
- Perfect for a small area
- Occupies less space
- Safe for kids
- No unwanted fumes of gas and oil
- Useful only at small lawns
10. Gardena 4020 12-Inch Silent Push Reel Lawn Mower
Gardena 4020 is an extremely smooth running lawnmower. It is super quiet and easy to maneuver. The handle is detachable for compact storage and easy to grip at the time of transportation.
Working with Gardena is completely effortless. Its contact-free cutting technique makes the cutting very easy and lets the mower push comfortably.
Gardena 4020 is made of high-quality steel to provide it high durability. Its sharp blade provides a sharp and precise cut.
Overall Gardena 4020 is a long-lasting, extremely smooth lawnmower that works great on every grass with high efficiency.
- Very smooth
- Almost noise-free
- Contact-free cutting
- A bit costlier than other options
What you should know before buying a reel mower
So, we reviewed here the top 10 reel mowers after extensive research on a variety of different lawnmowers presently available in the market. You might have shortlisted a few among them which are suitable for your requirements.
Way ahead, we will recommend you to read through the detailed buyers’ guide below before selecting the reel mower among the shortlisted ones.
Big or Small Lawnsize
Reel mowers require manual operation and hence are suitable for small or mid-sized lawns. The amount of hard work needed to trim your lawn can be a limiting factor when selecting a reel mower. Using them to trim a large lawn area can be very tiring.
Heavyweight or Lightweight
You have to strike the balance between the efforts required to mow your lawn and keeping the mower balanced on the bumpy surface of the yard. Heavyweight mowers will be easy to push through the large field but can cause a lot of fatigue. On the other hand, lighter weight machines will be quite effortless to trim a large area, however, can lose their balance over the uneven terrains.
Aggressive or Durable
The continuous fast motion and cutting thrusts cause the mower blade to lose its sharpness over time. You need to ensure that the lawnmower that you select has a good quality blade having high durability and also has good aggression to give a perfect finish to your lawn. Alloy steel is the best material to construct mower blades. It holds the sharpness of the blades and due to its non-corrosive properties enhances their durability, as well.
Cheaper or Expensive
Remember that unlike power mowers operating through gas or electricity, reel mowers don’t have any running cost. So, it’s only the initial investment that you have to consider when buying the one with the highest quality. You can get a budget mower for as low as $70 while a premium one for around $200.
More Blades or Higher Speed
The performance of the mower greatly depends on the number of blades and its revolution speed. A Mower with less number of blades and higher revolution will give perfect trimming and finish to your lawn, On the other hand, a mower with a higher number and low revolution will cut the grass more number of times in a similar lawn span.
A high revolution mower will be more aggressive and will adversely affect the sharpness and durability of the blades. The number of blades between four to seven is optimum to get a good finish and high durability.
Grass Spray or a Grass Catch
While mowing, the grass gets accumulated around the mower. As you move forward it can cause hindrance in your movement and can even cover you with grass. You can either use a grass spray to keep the grass away from your feet or can select a mower with a grass catcher attachment.
More Cutting Height or Healthy Grass
The mower blade usually comes with an adjustable cutting height of one to three inches. This is the optimum height to get a perfect cut without causing damage to the grass as well as the blade. You can adjust your blade height within this range depending on the length of the grass in your lawn. The right length of grass helps in maintaining its health and quality. This is why it is important to set the correct blade height.
Wider or Narrower Swath Width
The swath width will determine the frequency of mowing and the efforts taken in pushing the machine to mow the field. The mower with a wider swath width will require fewer rounds to mow the lawn. However, it will increase the efforts to push the mower due to resistance caused by the grass. A swath width between fifteen to twenty inches is just the right width to mow a small to mid-sized yard.
Even or Bumpy Lawn
Mowing a level yard won’t require a special reel mower. However, if you mow an uneven, bumpy, or slopy lawn, you should consider a mower that can work at multiple angles. This will considerably reduce the frequency of cutting across the same track.
Short or Long Grass
While reel mowers offer a better finish to your lawn compared to an electrical mower, they also have a few limitations. Reel mowers are ideally suitable for grass less than four inches. Besides, as mentioned earlier they are best for small to mid-sized lawn with an area under 3000-3500 ft2.
How Should You Take Care of Reel Mower?
Reel mowers are practically maintenance-free. They do not require any oil-change, or carburetor jet cleaning. Nor does it need changing spark plugs. However, you need to take care of some of the simple-to-follow points to maintain their effectiveness, efficiency, and durability.
- Dry out the blades completely after the mowing work.
- Lubricate the moving parts of the mower with a multi-purpose lubricating oil every month.
- Sharpen the blades once a year to maintain the effectiveness of cutting.
How Should You Sharpen the Blades of Reel Mower?
The reel mower blades will lose their sharpness over time. So, you need to sharpen them from time to time depending on the type of grass on your lawn. Cutting the soft grass will require less frequent sharpening of blades compared to hard and rough grass.
However, in any case until and unless you have the skill to sharpen the blades, you should not try to do it yourself. It can damage the blades irreparably and you will have to unnecessarily get the new blades.
Therefore, it is advisable to visit a professional mower service center to put new edges on the blades. The professional technicians will make the blades as sharp as the new ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are reel Mowers better than power-mowers?
A: Rell mowers are better than the electrical or gas-powered mowers in terms of perfection and finish. They offer more aesthetics to the lawn than the power mowers. The power-driven mowers use a vacuum under the blade that pulls the grass up towards the blades before cutting. This leaves the lawn giving a torn look.
Q: How often do I need to mow my lawn with a reel mower?
A: The reel mowing frequency will depend on the growth of grass in your lawn. The growth of the grass will be more in the rainy season as compared to other seasons. There are two factors you must consider while mowing your lawn. One- the length of the grass after trimming should be around 1.5 inches. Two- you should not cut more than one-third of the grass length at a time to prevent damage to your yard.
Q: Is it possible to mow wet grass with a reel mower?
A: Yes, you can mow the wet lawn with the reel mower. However, you will require more effort and more time to mow the lawn due to more resistance of the grass and frequent clogging of the blades.
Reading through our reviews and the buyers’ guide would have given you a fair idea about how to choose and what to choose for your lawn.
Then why wait, get a new mower to trim and give the perfect finish to your lovely yard, today!