Best Reel Mower Review 2019: Push to Mow Guide for Your Lawn

Last Updated on December 17, 2018

A lawn without mower is not an option. You must own a best Reel Lawn Mower to give your lawn the even look.

The history of reel mowers dates back to about 1830 when an engineer from the UK invented it. That’s how we no more needed a flock of sheep that take weeks to clear a tiny patch of land.

After reading the benefits of a reel mower, you may want to replace your power mower with one of these reel mowers or buy one if you haven’t yet any.

Introduction to Reel Mower

Reel lawn mowers are usually known as human-powered mowers that rely merely on sharp blades and the muscle-power of the operator.

How does Push Reel Mower work?

A reel mower is a mechanical instrument with a blade attached to a handle that rotates by drawing energy from the spinning of the wheels.reel mowers parts

There are three main structural members in a reel cutting unit:

Reel: consists of several helix-shaped blades, mounted to a rotating shaft.

Frame: supports the rollers, the bed bar assembly, and reel with its drive mechanism, which can be
hydraulic, belt driven, or ground driven.

Bedknife: is attached to the bed bar and the assembly is mounted to the main frame in a manner that allows for paralleling and adjustment to the reel.

A reel mower cuts grass with a scissors-like shearing action, as the moving helix-shaped blades pass over
the stationary bed knife. The cutting action requires that the bed knife and reel blades, be sharp, matched, and
in close relationship with each other.

Reel Mowers basics

There are two rollers. The rear roller trails the cutting unit and is usually a solid roller. The front roller leads
the cutting unit, and due to the forces working on it may be any one of many types.

The Height of Cut (HOC) defines the distance between the roller plane and the shear point. Some cutting
units have a fixed front roller, and the rear roller is used to set the height of cut. Others, such as the newer
DPA design cutting units have a fixed rear roller, and the front roller is used to set the height of cut.

Are Manual Lawn Mowers any good?

Decide yourself!

Pros of Push Reel Mowers

  • A must have standby mower, if one of your powered mowers fail to do the job, or runs out of batteries or fuel. Remember, your reel mower will never fail!
  • Powered mowers tend to leave some spots out especially on wet or high grass. That´s when a reel mower provides you the extra manual power you need.
  • Lighter in Weight: The modern reel mowers are lightweight and well designed to be far easier to push than any powered push rotary mower. [Obviously, power mowers may be self-propelled and may require less push than even a reel mower.]
  • In lawn with a few flower beds riddled across, your reel mower you can get as close as possible to obstacles and flower beds without any mess. And with an accompanying edger, you can maintain perfect lawns.
  • A perfect tool on hilly lawns. Where a motorized mower can flip over, your reel mower will just stick on the ground!
  • Quietest mowers: far quieter than any rotary mower. You can hear birds chirping, and even your dog will not react to mowing.
  • Mulching: As they do not harm a lawn in any way, grass becomes a rich texture and healthy green color. Also, clippings are recycled back into the lawn, providing valuable nutrients, such as nitrogen.
  • Budget Friendly: Most of the reel mowers come for less than $100 making them an affordable tool to keep in your out-shed.
  • Zero Maintenance: With no motor or engine, no moving components other than the blade mechanism, reel mowers need almost no maintenance. It needs only regular greasing of the joints and replacement of the blades to keep it sharp and ready.
  • Ideal For Short Runs: Even when you own an electric or gas mower, having a reel mower is always beneficial. Got a small patch that’s grown slightly taller than the surroundings? Take out the reel mower and get it under control in a matter of minutes.
  • Eco-friendly: No gas and electricity needed – reel mowers are environmentally safe, powered by you.
  • One Time Investment: No recurring cost of Gas, petrol or electricity as in powered mowers. Once you purchase a reel mower, you own it for life. Just a pure mechanical rotating Machine. Naturally, they have a longer shelf life.
  • Easy to use & Hassle Free: A simple machines with a spinning mechanism to cut grass. There is no starter cord or some electric start button. You need no gas or batteries. You just need a fair pair of legs and the will to start mowing!
  • Nicer Cut: The reel mower cuts with a shearing cut, the grass tips stay greener and the lawn looks healthier.

Cons of Push Reel Mowers

  • Reel lawn mowers don’t chop up twigs as do rotary mowers. In fact, twigs get stuck in the blades and you’ll have to remove them by hand. Nor can reel lawn mowers be used in fall to shred leaves for the compost pile.
  • A reel mower is not suitable to edge your lawn. To get nice manicured edges, you really need to use an edger.
  • Reel mower cannot trim your lawn as a powered lawn mower cannot do that either! To trim your lawn, you will be needing a string trimmer or lawn trimmer.
  • You need to put some efforts to push the mower. It may be tiresome for some and good aerobic exercise for some folks!
  • Lawn size should be under 3000sq ft – unless you’re sharing the work with a helper, it gets to be a chore with a larger lawn.
  • It takes 30% longer time to cut grass with reel mower than with a powered mower. (Corner areas slow the job down because, unlike the power mower, you have to push the reel mower forward, then back a couple times.) However, powered you need to guide walk behind mowers let it be a push reel mowers or a powered one.
  • You need to cut grass more often because reel lawn mowers can’t cut long grass. An exception is Fiskars Staysharp lawn mower.
  • Not suitable for old, overgrown grass and grass full of weeds.

Guide to choosing the Best Reel Mower

You may look at these things in push lawn mower depending on your need.

Cut Width: The wider the blade, the more grass you can cut. For small lawns – average blade width 13.3inch (34cm). For larger areas. Average blade width – 15inch (40cm).

The height of Mower: Different grass grow differently. Choose a lawn mower with higher height, If you are lazy and let your yard grass grow longer.

Wheels: Higher wheels are suitable for a difficult lawn with bumps and rough places. Also, check how they are made, preferably choose wheels with bearings, they will be more expensive, but more durable. If you choose wheels with bearings, remember to lubricate them time by time. Otherwise, they will jam.

Attachments: Is it possible to install grass collector or not?

Manual Lawn Mower – Comparison

You may find many manual reel mowers for sale on the market. Here is a comparison of best and trusted manual Push Mowers. You can choose based on your needs. The table is sorted on basis of the popularity of Lawn Mowers.

Manual Reel Lawn MowerCutting WidthWeightHeightWarrantyFeaturesPrice
Fiskars Staysharp:
Easiest to Push
18"52 lbs1"-4"3 yrsAdvanced Reel Mower$$$
Great States 20414"20 lbs0.5"-1.5"1 yrCheapest of All$
Great States 30414"22 lbs1"-1.75"1 yr$
Great States 141516"26 lbs0.5"-2.25"1 yrSteel Side Plate$
Great States 81518"27 lbs0.5"-2.75"2 yrsSteel Side Plate$$
Scotts 2000 Classic20"34 lbs1"-3"2 yrsheat-treated steel blades$$
American 120414"19 lbs0.5"-1.75"1 yr$
American 130414"21 lbs1"-1.75"1 yr$
American 141516"25 lbs0.5"-2.25"1 yrSteel Side Plate$
American 181518"29 lbs0.5"-2.75"2 yrsSteel Side Plate$$
GreenWorks 2505216"26 lbs1.12"-2.25"4 yrsMulching + rear discharge$
GreenWorks 2506218"30 lbs1.75"-2.75"4 yrsMulching + rear discharge$
GreenWorks 2507220"31 lbs1.75"-2.75"4 yrsMulching + rear discharge$

Manual Lawn Mower – Reviews

1. Fiskars Staysharp Max: Easiest to Push & Best for St. Augustine

Best Reel Mower - fiskars staysharp max
fiskars Reel Mower review

Product Info:

  • Walk Behind Reel Mower


  • 17-inch cutting deck
  • Staysharp technology
  • 30% easier to push
  • 4 Height positions between 1-4 inches
  • Weight: 52 lbs
  • 3 Yrs warranty

Its Inset Wheel design allows the mower to edge closer than any Other reel mowers. It has the greatest cut range of any reel mower with 1″ to 4″ cut height settings. It is vital when a week of mowing is missed. Easier to push because of its design. Best choice in Reel mower.

2. Great States 204

Great States 204 cheapest Reel mower

Product Info:

  • Walk Behind Reel Mower


  • Cutting Width: 14-inch
  • PushHandle: T-handle
  • 8.5-inch ball bearing wheels
  • Blades: 3-spider 1-blade
  • Cutting Height: 0.5″ to 1.5″ inch
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Grass Catcher: Optional

3. Great States 304

Great States 304 Push Reel Mower

Product Info:

  • Walk Behind Reel Mower


  • 14 inch cutting deck
  • 10-inch ball bearing wheels
  • 3 Height Positions
  • Anti-dust Treatment
  • Height range: 1″-1.75″
  • Heat treated blades for longlasting quality cut
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • 1 year warranty

4. Great States 1415

Great States 1415 Reel Push mower

Product Info:

  • Walk Behind Reel Mower


  • 16 inch cutting deck
  • 10-inch ball bearing wheels
  • 3 Height Positions
  • Height range: 0.5″-2.25″
  • Anti-dust Treatment
  • Heat treated blades for longlasting quality cut
  • Weight: 26 lbs
  • 1 year warranty

Small, well-built mower with a reasonable price tag, cut quality, 3 height options but have no bag.

5. Great States 815

Great States 815 manual reel mower

Product Info:

  • Walk Behind Reel Mower


  • 18 inch cutting deck
  • 10-inch ball bearing wheels
  • 3 Height Positions
  • Height range: 0.5″-2.75″
  • Anti-dust Treatment
  • Heat treated blades for longlasting quality cut
  • Weight: 27 lbs
  • 2 year warranty

6. Scotts 2000 Classic

Scotts 2000 Classic manual reel mower

Product Info:

  • Walk Behind Reel Mower


  • 20 inch cutting deck
  • 10-inch dual tracking wheels
  • 9 Height Positions from 1-3 inches
  • 5 Heat-treated steel blades
  • Weight: 34 lbs
  • 2-years warranty

Extra wide cutting deck for less passes, Easy to maneuver inspite of deck size but Tends to suffer near the edges and
Cannot handle large twigs.

7. American 1204

American 1204 mower

Product Info:

  • Walk Behind Reel Mower


  • 14 inch cutting deck
  • Ideal for most turf grasses
  • Clean, precise, scissor-like cut
  • Steel construction
  • 8.5 inch polymer wheels
  • Cutting height between 0.5 and 1.5 inch
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • 1 Yr warranty

Cheap, Durable steel, Lightweight, Easy cornering and mowing close to edgesss but the warranty is the worst among the listed mowers.

8. American 1304

American 1304

Product Info:

  • Walk Behind Reel Mower


  • 14 inch cutting deck
  • 5 blades
  • 10 inch polymer wheels
  • Cutting height between 1 and 1.75 inch
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • 1 Yr warranty

9. American 1415

American 1415

Product Info:

  • Walk Behind Reel Mower


  • 16 inch cutting deck
  • Ideal for most turf grasses
  • 5 blades
  • Unbreakable Steel Side Plate
  • 10 inch polymer wheels
  • Cutting height between 0.5 and 2.25 inch
  • Weight: 25 lbs
  • 1 Yr warranty

10. American 1815

American 1815

Product Info:

  • Walk Behind Reel Mower


  • 18 inch cutting deck
  • Unbreakable Steel Side Plate
  • 10-inch polymer wheels
  • Cutting height between 0.5 and 2.75 inch
  • Weight: 29 lbs
  • 2 Yr warranty

11. GreenWorks 25052, 25062, 25072

GreenWorks 25052 review

Product Info:

  • Walk Behind Lawn Mower
  • Push Reel Mower


  • 3 Models Available
  • 5 blades
  • Adjustable grass catcher
  • 2-in-1 feature provides mulching and rear discharge capabilities
  • Zero fumes, No Gas, Quiet and Easy to Use
  • 10-inch large front wheels
  • Price around/under $100
Reel Lawn MowerCutting
GreenWorks 2505216"26 lb10"front & 2"rear4 x 1.125" - 2.25"Check Price
GreenWorks 2506218"30.1 lb10"front & 4"rear9 x 1.75" - 2.75"Check Price
GreenWorks 2507220"31.8 lb10"front & 6"rear9 x 1.75" - 2.75"Check Price

Their 4-years warranty tells itself, how much they believe in the quality of their products. Buy one that fufil your needs.

Click here to check Reel Mowers

Common FAQs about Reel Mowers

What height to set to mow your grass?

It depends on the type of grass. Check the following table that recommends the cut heights for different grasses.

Warm Season GrassesCut HeightCool Season GrassesCut height
Bermuda0.5" - 2"Bluegrasses2" - 4"
St. Augustine2" - 4"Tall fescue2” – 3”
Zoysia0.5" - 2"Ryegrass2" - 4"
Bahia grass/Buffalograss2” – 3”Bentgrass0.25”-0.75”
Centipede1.5” – 2.5”Fine fescue1.5”-2.5”

Reel mower for zoysia grass?

Green State and American lawn mower will work fine for zoysia grass.

Reel mower for St Augustine grass?

The only push reel mower to cut St Augustine Grass is Fiskars Staysharp.

Reel mower for tall grass?

Reel mowers are not usually used for tall grass nor they are recommended. Yet, Fiskars Staysharp is the only reel mower that can efficiently cut long grass.

Reel mowers for bermudagrass?

Like zoysia grass, Green State and American lawn mower will work fine for bermudagrass as well.

How to cut tall grass with a Reel Mower?

The reel mower can not cut tall grass. There may be odd bits of quack(swamp) grass growing in your lawn which can grow to 8″ seemingly overnight. If there are only a few small patches, so you can yank them out as you go. But with much more of this swamp grass, the reel mower would be inadequate for the job.

A simple solution for this is to buy a grass whip (around $25) which makes it easy to whip down the bits of grass which the reel mower may miss.

Also, Go for Fiskars Staysharp, As it is the only reel mower that can fairly cut long grass.

Reel Mower vs Rotary Mower

Rotary are single blade mowers that allow easy adjustment of the cutting deck.

Unlike reel mowers, rotary mowers tend to break off the blades of grass, instead of neatly cutting each blade like a pair of scissors, as a reel mower does.

Also, the appearance of a lawn cut with a reel mower appears much more professional to the discriminating eye when compared to a rotary mower.

Reel mower vs electric

Electric mowers have limitation. If they are cordless (means they are battery powered), they are time-limited and you need to recharge. If they are corded, it will have limitations of how far you can mow and the cord is usually stuck in legs and fences. You will not face these cons of an electric mower in reel push mower. However, you need human power to keep reel mower mowing. And it’s Eco-friendly and it will not affect your electricity bill at all.

Reel mowers vs gas

Push models are about one-quarter to one-third the weight of gas lawnmowers. Although much lighter, they require more physical effort, especially at the beginning.

How to use a Reel Mower?

Using a reel mower is easy. Without a motor to turn on or fuel to re-load, it is as simple as pushing the machine over the lawn. It does require energy to push, but not much more than a regular gas mower. Push reel lawnmowers are ideal for small lawns. With scissor-like blades, push mowers are gentle on the blades, creating clean cuts.

Cutting grass becomes a form of exercise; strengthen muscles, burn calories, and enjoy the clean, fresh air.

Hopefully, this guide should solve your reel mower buying woes, and you will be able to buy the perfect reel mower that will be best for your lawn and your needs. If you have any Question? Ask in comments, I love your Comments 🙂


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