The Best Reel Mower For Home Lawns | A Comprehensive Guide

Going retro is the way to go if you want a mower that does not use gas, does not produce harmful emissions, and will not wake the neighbors on a Saturday morning. Reel lawn mowers are quiet, easy to maintain, and relatively inexpensive. In this article, let’s take a closer look at the best reel mower.

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Best reel mower

Photo Credit The cutting quality of reel mowers is second to none, giving you an uninterrupted mowing experience.

Even though the first reel mower patent wasn’t issued until around the turn of the century, modern reel mowers are pretty similar in appearance to the first ever reel mower.

Although some people prefer them, reel mowers have some limitations. They are cumbersome to maneuver and are best suited for small, level lawns. Continue reading to find out if they might be a suitable fit for your landscape.

Despite the prevalence of robotic lawn mowers, the reel mowers your grandparents used are still in use. In fact, new data predicts that the reel mower business will continue to expand until 2027.

Reel mowers are also better for the health of a lawn than regular mowers. As with scissors, they create a clean cut when mowing the lawn. Whereas classic rotary mowers rip up the grass blades, resulting in unsightly browning of the grass blades.

Despite their similarities in design, reel mowers come in various styles and features. We put these models through their paces to see how handle design, mowing height, blade width, and other factors affect their overall performance. Read on to find out what features to prioritize and why the below-mentioned reel mowers are some of the best on the market.

Is A Reel Mower Right for You?

Is A Reel Mower Right for You?

Photo Credit A reel mower is extremely quiet—true story: I took a call last week while mowing the yard with my reel mower.

Before making a purchase, you should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of using a reel mower. A reel mower may be a source of gnashing of teeth aggravation in the wrong hands, making you long for simpler times when you could just use a push mower. 

Reel mowers, simply put, can’t replace gas-powered lawn mowers one-to-one. 

Although reel mowers are beneficial for the lawn (and the person pulling it) and require very little upkeep, they are best suited for flat, small yards and necessitate far more care in sticking to a cutting schedule. So, let’s go over a few pros and cons of reel mowers and see if they will make a good fit for you and your lawn. We will go over the cons first!

Cons Of Reel Mowers

If you’ve been thinking about acquiring a reel mower for your lawn, here are the disadvantages (yes, there are some) of a push-reel mower…

They Aren’t Any Good On Bumpy Lawns

Using a reel mower over uneven or sloped terrain can be difficult. In a reel mower, the blades rotate when you roll the mower on the ground, generating torque. When the wheels bounce or shift their weight on a slope, they lose contact with the land and slide.

“Small dips can lead to grass being overlooked,” one of our long-term testers explained, “so I eventually wind up cutting from three to four different angles to try and get it all.” 

Another thing to keep in mind: most reel mowers feature blades positioned inboard of the wheels, leaving a larger strip of untended grass up against a wall or fence.

Reel Mowers Often Fail To Cut Long Grass

When using a reel mower, you need to be diligent and keep up with a consistent mowing schedule, just as it was intended to be followed in a textbook setting. If you like to let your grass grow long before mowing it, a reel mower will simply push the grass down and slide right over it, so you’re better off with a conventional push mower. 

In the case of one long-term tester, the wait for the reel mower was so long that by the time it arrived, the grass was too high to be cut by the reel mower, and he had to hire a professional. And the required diligence extends beyond the timetable: 

Also, since twigs and leaves can’t be mowed over with a reel mower like they can with a gas mower, pre-mowing cleanup of the lawn requires more care.

Related: How To Start A Lawn Mower With Old Gas? Easy Tips & Tricks From The Experts

Reel Mowers Don’t Work With Large Lawns

Reel Mowers Don't Work With Large Lawns - best reel mower

Photo Credit Reel mowers are practically impractical for large expansive lawns.

In order to make efficient use of a reel mower, your lawn needs to be on the smaller side. For instance, if you have a yard that is larger than 10,000 square feet), mowing it once a week with a reel mower is going to be extremely exhausting. 

To be honest, even a quarter acre seems like a lot, especially in the spring when the grass grows quickly and may need to be mowed twice a week.

I remember spending around 25 minutes mowing a lawn that was roughly a thousand square feet in size. So, keep that in mind before you order a reel mower for your yard.

And, just two more…

Sharpening The Blades Is Going To Be A Real Challenge

There aren’t many places left that know how to sharpen the blades of a push-reel mower, and the ones that do charge a lot for the service — sometimes, it is almost as expensive as the mower itself.

However, because all mower blades, especially the reel mower blades, are designed to maintain their sharpness for a considerable amount of time, you will have plenty of time to educate yourself on how to perform this task on your own.

Neighbors Will Look At You Funny!

When I first bought a reel mower, I imagined that other people would think my family and I were hip and environmentally conscious because of our choice. However, as it turns out, they either believe we are insane or that we are unable to afford a “real” mower. Hmmm… I guess this must be the reason why so many people are ashamed to use it.

Pros Of Reel Mowers

Pros Of Reel Mowers

Photo Credit The reel mower’s motion helps to prevent soil compaction, resulting in healthier turf.

If you are unfamiliar with reel mowers, one of the primary distinctions between a reel mower and a rotary mower is that the blades on a reel mower rotate in a vertical direction (north to south) than horizontal. This results in a different cut of grass. This allows the reel mowers to provide a higher quality of cut at lower cutting heights. The following are some additional arguments in favor of investing in a reel mower:

Reel Mower Requires Minimal Maintenance

Maintenance on a reel mower is relatively minimal and consists primarily of lubricating the moving parts and giving the blades an occasional sharpening. 

When it comes to sound, many people who use reel mowers say that the quiet snipping sound that the tool generates is one of its most important advantages. 

On the other hand, gas mowers need to have gas added to their tanks and oil changes, regular tune-ups, and winterization. They also make a lot of noise and stink a lot.

Reel Mowers Are Good For Your Health

An individual of 175 pounds could expend about 251 calories in 30 minutes of pushing a reel mower (sometimes called a hand mower), according to an article on Livestrong.com

This is 51 more calories than would be burned by a 185-pound person operating a motorized mower for the same time. In short, the use of reel mowers is beneficial to the health of the user. However, it takes some practice to use a manual mower, especially on a large lawn, because you have to push it with your hands instead of using a motor. 

It’s important to note here that the rotating wheels are what actually rotate the blades so that resistance comes from them. Therefore, it is not as easy as attempting to push an unloaded furniture dolly when all you have to do is roll the wheels.

Related: Worst Lawn Mower Brands To Avoid (and What To Buy Instead)

Reel Mowers Are Also Better For Your Lawn’s Health

best reel mower

Photo Credit Reel mowers produce a cleaner grass cut. Thus, they are better for the overall health of your grass.

Reel mowers are superior for the overall health of the lawn when compared to traditional walk-behind mowers. They work like scissors, cutting the grass blades in half, in contrast to rotary mowers, which tend to tear grass blades apart. 

The scissor-cutting action of reel mowers, as stated by Jason Kruse, an assistant professor of environmental horticulture at Florida University, “results in less harm to the grass leaves, which in turn places the plants under less stress.” 

He proceeded by saying, “And, healthy grass plants are less likely to lose water, are more resistant to illness, and in general look better when trimmed using a reel mower.”

Reel Mowers, Don’t Make Noise!

There are a variety of different activities that might contribute to environmental degradation. Lawn mowers powered by gasoline produce a significant amount of noise when first started, and they continue to be extremely noisy while in use. 

As a result, you can’t mow too early in the morning or too late in the evening throughout the day, which can be a challenge when the temperature soars. And, in terms of noise, push reel mowers are entirely silent, making them ideal for certain people.

Reel Mowers Are Better For The Environment Too!

The fact that the engine in your power lawn mower is on the smaller side does not automatically qualify it as “green.” If it is powered by gasoline, it will still contribute to the pollution of the air… additionally, the longer you let it run, the greater impact on the environment it will have. In contrast, reel mowers don’t emit any greenhouse gasses.

Choosing A Reel Mower: What To Look For!

Choosing the best reel mower

Photo Credit Look for versions with a grass catcher mounted on the back if you’d instead collect the cuttings in a bag.

Mowing the grass is an unavoidable chore that is necessary for most neighborhoods and a prerequisite for home ownership in some places. It is necessary to mow your lawn on a regular basis if you want to maintain the lushness of your yard. 

The grass grows thickly and consistently in a uniform manner when mowed frequently enough only to remove a third of its height. That is where reel mowers can help. 

However, when looking to purchase a reel mower for your lawn, there are a few factors that you should take into consideration. Here are a few suggestions:

Additional Features

Although reel mowers do not typically come equipped with a large number of extra functions, the addition of even just a few of these components may make the task of cutting grass much more enjoyable. Here are some features to look for when buying a reel mower:

Rollers

Reel grass cutters typically feature two large front wheels. However, some reel mowers are equipped with additional front or back rollers that increase their balance and allow users to navigate the mower closer to the lawn edges and borders. 

Padded Handles

When buying a reel mower for your lawn, look for a model with padded handles. Reel mowers equipped with handles made of non-slip, padded foam lessen the likelihood of blisters and make it simpler to hold onto the handles.

Related: Do Brand New Lawn Mower Blades Need To Be Sharpened? A Beginner’s Guide

Grass Catcher

Some people believe letting the grass clippings decompose naturally on the lawn is best. The cuttings serve as a mulch that can decompose and provide the soil with organic nutrients as it does so. However, if you do not like leaving grass clippings behind on your lawn, look for models with a grass catcher mounted on the back of the mower.

Grass Type & Swath Width

Grass Type & Swath Width

Photo Credit Operating a manual reel mower will be less of a chore if you mow more often.

The utility of a reel mower is affected both by the width of its cutting swath and the type of grass that grows in the yard. Reel mowers typically have swath widths that run anywhere from 15 to 25 inches.

Although having a wider swath means you won’t have to mow as many passes, it also makes it more challenging to push the mower because there will be more resistance from the increased amount of grass. 

Similarly, several different kinds of grass are used for lawns in North America. Some varieties of grass, such as Fescue grass, Kentucky Bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass, are simple to trim, and broader mower decks can be used to cut these types of grass. 

On the other hand, dense grasses like Zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, and St. Augustine grass respond well to being cut with thin cutting spans (swaths). In any case, increasing the frequency with which you mow will make it simpler to use a manual reel mower.

Cutting Height & Blades

On some reel mowers, the cutting height of the blade is already set, and it is often between 1 and 2 inches. This allows the mower to cut small grasses effectively, but it cannot cut tall-growing grasses like fescue. Other variants include height adjustments for the cutting blades. Think about the type of grass you have and the ideal height it should grow to. 

If you have a tall type of grass, you should look for a reel mower that has an adjustable cutting height so that you can get the greatest cut possible. In addition, reel mowers are often equipped with three to nine steel blades depending on the model. 

Mowers with four or five blades perform admirably on most grassy areas and grassy landscapes. When there are more blades, the leaves are not forced to curve as far before it is severed, which results in a smoother cut. Similarly, for a more effortless mowing experience, specific models have blades coated with a nonstick material. 

In addition, reel mowers can also be used for creating lawn stripes, a method of mowing that makes a visually pleasing striped design on the lawn grass.

Powered Vs. Manual

Powered Vs. Manual

Photo Credit Recently, the manual mower has gained in popularity due in part to the fact that it is better for the environment.

Reel mowers, in contrast to ordinary mowers, are often operated manually. However, a few gas-powered and battery-powered types are also available to consumers.

Powered

Reel mowers, like conventional rotary mowers, can be run on gas or electricity, making them far less difficult to operate. The decision of whether to use a manual or motorized reel mower is primarily one that is driven by personal preference. If you have a large lawn, it is possible that a gas reel mower or an electric reel mower may be more practical for you. 

Some reel mowers have built-in propulsion systems that essentially allow the user to steer the mower rather than push it. Electric mowers make less noise than gas mowers, but both types of mowers are louder than their traditional counterparts.

Manual

It would appear that everything that was once considered obsolete has made a comeback, as more traditional lawnmowers are being sold in home improvement stores and on the internet. The manual mower’s eco-friendliness is one factor that has contributed to its recent popularity. There is no fuel to be stored, and there are no fumes,

However, using a manual reel lawn mower has some disadvantages, one of which is that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to cut the grass if it is allowed to grow too tall before it is mowed, particularly if the lawn is quite dense. 

So, when using a manual reel mower, you will get the best results by cutting the grass more frequently during rapid growth, such as in spring and the wet season.

Our Picks

If you are itching to get your hands on a reel mower but don’t have the time to read through the entire evaluation, the following products are our top recommendations.

In our search for the ideal reel mower, we evaluated a large number of different makes and models. Our top picks, after much deliberation, are the following models.

Scotts Outdoor Power 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Mower

Scotts Outdoor Power 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Mower

Photo Credit The Scotts manual push lawn mower is a motor-free option that keeps your grass healthy.

Product Specs

Mowing Height Range: 1 to 3 inches

Swath: 20 inches

Number Of Blades: 5

Weight: 34 pounds

Review

For a quality reel mower, go no farther than the Scotts 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower. It is straightforward to put together and doesn’t require additional equipment; the bolts that attach the handle feature large plastic wing nuts, making it easy to tighten them by hand. It has a cutting swath that is 20 inches wide, which is the widest that we could find, and it features height settings that vary from 1 inch to 3 inches, which is more versatile than we found on nearly all of the other reel mower options that were available. 

Most reel mowers have a 2-inch cutting height limit, so the option to go higher was greatly appreciated, whether for the sake of the grass’s health or to achieve a less manicured look.

Another area in which the Scotts 5-Blade Classic Push Lawn Mower outperformed the competition was with regard to the quality of the cut. 

Also, during the course of the evaluation, the Scotts mower did not have any instances of jamming, in contrast to the other mowers, which did. In addition, any and all modifications that need to be made to the Scotts mower can be done quickly and easily. 

It includes two levers for each wheel so that you can adjust the cutting height. Scotts lawn mower is the mower to get if you want a manual push-reel lawn mower.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Adjust the blade height from 1′′ to 3′′ for a classic cut.

Easy, no-tool set-up.

The soft, ergonomic grip makes it simple to hold on to.

The height can be easily changed by turning a knob.

This mower is lightweight, 13 pounds, making it simple to operate.

With a 20-inch blade, you can mow your grass in fewer passes.
Blades deteriorate more quickly than other more costly picks.

The reel cover needs more upkeep than the protection it offers.

Wheels can experience faster wear and tear than other models.

Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Push Lawn Mower

Best reel mower - Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Push Lawn Mower

Photo Credit Fiskars reel mower is built with innovative technology that allows you to reclaim your outside space.

Product Specs

Mowing Height Range: 1 to 4 inches

Swath: 18 inches

Number Of Blades: 5

Weight: 51.7 pounds

Review

The Fiskars StaySharp Max mower was about twice as expensive as the other models we evaluated. However, it outperformed them all (except Scotts Outdoor Power 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Mower). If you cannot obtain the Scotts model for whatever reason, we recommend you go with the Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower instead. 

The height can be adjusted with a single lever, and the range of adjustment is the widest we saw on any of the mowers we looked at, going from one inch to four inches. The machine also moved almost effortlessly on all but the toughest ground, and thanks to its ergonomic handle, the machine was exceptionally comfortable to use. 

Although the StaySharp Max may not appear very revolutionary at first glance, it is packed to the brim with cutting-edge technology intended to assist you in working more efficiently. According to the manufacturer, the steel blades maintain their sharpness for several years, which means that you won’t need to sharpen them as frequently. This Fiksar model is fantastic for those that have expansive lawns. 

You get a vehicle that moves independently, propelled by a high-tech “InertiaDrive” system. 

The one potential disadvantage of the Fiskars mower is that it is a little bit heavier than other mowers. The fact that it weighs 51 pounds means it will become a chore to drag it across the yard after some time. However, if you’re worried about maintenance or repairs, the Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower is covered by a 3-year warranty. 

Additionally, a grass catcher is available as an add-on for an additional fee.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Eighteen inches of cutting deck space.

3-year limited warranty.

Coated blades for extended use between sharpenings.

Easy to adjust.

Ergonomic cushioned handle.

Reversible grass chute.

StaySharp cutting system.

Sturdy and well-built.

Wheels are positioned inside for improved maneuverability.
Common to all push mowers, this one struggles when used on a slope.

Significantly heavier than competing reel mowers.

The bulky design requires a little extra storage space.

The front wheels make pushing easier, but they’re also heavier.

Two times the cost of comparable reel mowers.

Scotts 2020-16S 16-Inch Electric Cordless Reel Lawn Mower

Scotts 2020-16S 16-Inch Electric Cordless Reel Lawn Mower

Photo Credit This reel lawn mower from Scotts can either be powered by a battery or driven by hand manually.

Product Specs

Mowing Height Range: 1 to 4 inches

Swath: 16 inches

Number Of Blades: 1.5 to 2.75 inches

Weight: 37.48 pounds

Review

As the most successful manufacturer of manual reel mowers in the world, Scotts is also the pioneer in the development of battery-powered reel mowers. For example, the Scotts 2020-16S stands out since it may be powered by a battery if the customer chooses. 

It costs a little more than $300 but is considered one of the best-powered reel mowers currently available on the market. If you’re used to using a gas-powered lawn mower, you’ll feel most at home with this model, but it will produce zero emissions. 

A brushless motor and 20-volt battery power its 16-inch reel base. This battery aids in powering the reel, improving the machine’s effectiveness and usability. 

Additionally, the handle may be removed so the mower can be readily stored without completely disassembling it. One of the unique features we appreciate about the mower is that it may be operated without the batteries in the traditional manner of a manual reel mower. The Scotts cordless reel mower is simple to use and offers a comfortable experience regardless of whether or not the battery is attached. 

Also, it incorporates a foam grip to provide you with the highest level of comfort possible while mowing your lawn. A bag for collecting the grass and a battery charger are also included in the package. And, since the grass catcher is included in the package, you do not need to purchase it separately, as was previously the case. 

You will get a lot of proper functionality and value from it. The accompanying Scotts reel mower with grass catcher bag will help you save time and energy while cutting the grass.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Adjusting the height is simple.

Battery, quick charger and grass catcher are all included.

Functions both with and without the installed battery.

Handlebars with a comfortable grip.

Minimalist in shape, making storage a breeze.
Expensive than other options on this list.

Compared to other models, it is more difficult to push.

Not as effective if grass grows tall between cuts.

Inapplicable to fescue and other tall grasses.

DuroStar 5-Blade Height Adjusting Push Reel Mower

DuroStar 5-Blade Height Adjusting Push Reel Mower - best reel mower

Photo Credit The DuroStar Lawn Demon Push Reel Mower is a clear winner compared to gas mowers.

Product Specs

Mowing Height Range: 0.5 to 2 inches

Swath: 10 inches

Number Of Blades: 5

Weight: 14.67 pounds

Review

Even though it is the most compact model on our list, this reel mower packs a significant punch. Don’t be fooled by its little build for a second. When mowing with this mower on uneven ground, the heat-treated blades will reduce the amount of time needed for maintenance, and the rear tracker wheels will provide additional stability. 

In addition, the wheels have a hefty tread that is made specifically for complex landscaping tasks. Changing the cutting height of the lawn monster to accommodate different users is as easy as shifting the handle on the side of the machine up or down. 

The system for cutting the grass is a five-blade rotary system that has been heat-treated and comes pre-sharpened and ready to cut. The grass catcher, which can be attached quickly and optionally, has a sufficient capacity for most small to medium-sized yards (sold separately.) Your lawn won’t have the ragged aspect that larger gas-powered mowers give it; rather, it will have a manicured appearance thanks to this reel mower. 

Also, if you use a push reel mower instead of a gas-powered one, you won’t have to worry about the loudness, the space requirements for storing gas, or the size of the mower itself. In addition, the maintenance needs of gas-powered mowers are more unexpected, and this one does not require any significant upkeep. 

The width of the cutting deck and the number of blades—five—strike the ideal balance, allowing the operator to cut through thick grass without experiencing any fatigue. However, some design elements, such as the lightweight plastic rollers, give the impression of being less durable. So, if you tend to use your lawn mower roughly, just keep that in mind.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
This mower is lightweight, weighing only 13 pounds.

The height can be adjusted with a simple knob.

Ergonomic, comfortable handle design.

The grass cut finish is clean and uniform.
Components appear to be less durable than those in other models.

It is too light to be helpful in mowing steep areas.

The reel cover requires more upkeep than the protection it offers.

Great States 16-Inch Reel Mower with T-Style Handle

Great States 16-Inch Reel Mower with T-Style Handle - best reel mower

Photo Credit It’s a hassle-free manual lawn mower because it only takes one push to get going.

Product Specs

Mowing Height Range: 0.5 to 2.5 inches

Swath: 15.5 inches

Number Of Blades: 5

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Review

The Great States 415-16 reel lawn mower has a low weight, which makes it simple to move around the yard, and it does an excellent job of maintaining your grass’s look. 

Even on the thickest lawns, you will have an easier time pushing this mower around thanks to its padded and comfortable handle. Since it is made of heat-treated alloy steel, the blades can keep their sharpness for a considerable time. As a result, purchasing this reel mower is an excellent choice for an investment that will pay off in the long run. 

The machine’s front end is outfitted with two large composite wheels measuring 10 inches each, making it simple to maneuver all over your yard. This Great States reel lawn mower features a classic handle design with a T-bar look for added convenience. It is simple to push, and the padded handlebars decrease fatigue for the operator when mowing. 

Medium-sized lawns are no problem for the 16-inch cutting deck and 5-blade cutting reel on this reel mower by Great States. Several reviews noted that thanks to its easy-to-manage momentum, this mower is noticeably quicker than the brand’s prior models. 

One user even claimed they could cut 6,000 square feet in just thirty minutes. We found this particular mower with a cutting width of 16 inches was a decent “middle of the road” option because it was narrow enough to cut through dense grass but still wide enough to complete the task in a reasonable amount of time.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Reduced height and width for more convenient storage.

Handlebars have soft, comfortable grips.

Simple screw-knob style adjustment of the height.

This mower’s 10-inch wheels can easily handle challenging terrain.

Foam handles enable more comfortable mowing.

Ergonomic handlebar design for user comfort.

Roller in the back of the vehicle for improved stability.
Cuts too low for grasses that are taller, such as fescue.

Sticks, acorns, and pine cones abruptly stop the blades.

Does not go all the way to the edge.

Sun Joe 16-Inch Reel Mower w/Adjustable Cutting Height

Sun Joe 16-Inch Reel Mower w/Adjustable Cutting Height - best reel mower

Photo Credit No gas, simply a simple, lightweight, agile, cost-effective push reel mower.

Product Specs

Mowing Height Range: 0.8 to 1.8 inches

Swath: 16 inches

Number Of Blades: 5

Weight: 22 pounds

Review

The Sun Joe MJ500M is an excellent option to consider purchasing if your budget is limited and your mowing area is relatively compact and level. This five-blade mower includes wheels that are 8.8 inches in diameter, a cutting width of 16 inches, and four different cutting heights that range from 0.88 inches to 1.81 inches. It weighs just 22 pounds, making it a lightweight alternative suitable for most small yards. 

The Sun Joe MJ500M is simple and straightforward to operate. The Mow Joe requires little maintenance and is kind to the environment. It also includes a comfortable foam grip that makes pushing and maneuvering the product easy. In addition to having a clipping catcher that can be removed, this mower also has four different height adjustments, which is an excellent feature considering how much it costs. 

The Sun Joe MJ500M 16-Inch Manual Reel Mower is the most outstanding value push mower with a price of $90 with attached grass clippings collecting bag. 

It calls for very little to no maintenance on the lawn mower. The rust-proof coating applied to this mower’s metal surfaces is still another fantastic feature; you will find this feature helpful if you frequently mow your lawn in the early morning when the dew is still on the grass. Also, the mower comes with a limited guarantee for two years.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
It comes with a sizable bin for collecting grass trimmings.

For a mower of such width, its light construction makes it easy to push.

Cutting reel with five coated blades.The cutting deck measures 16 inches.

The height of the cut can be adjusted between 4 different settings.

Designed with two wheels to ensure a steady cut.

A foldable, adjustable handle makes for easy transport and storage.
Some reviewers complained that the mower’s handle is not sturdy.

Earthwise 16-Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower

Earthwise 16-Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower - best reel mower

Photo Credit During our evaluations, this seven-blade mower provided the smoothest and most even cut.

Product Specs

Mowing Height Range: 0.5 to 2.5 inches

Swath: 16 inches

Number Of Blades: 7

Weight: 21.83 pounds

Review

The Earthwise Reel Lawn Mower has seven blades, which is two more than the bulk of reel mowers. This gives it extra vigor for powering through dense grass and makes it ideal for more extensive lawns. The cutting deck on this Earthwise reel mower is 16 inches, and the cutting height may be adjusted anywhere from 0.5 inches to 2.5 inches. 

Since it has level adjustments that range from 0.5 to 2.5 inches, a good plan would be to frequently mow at 1 or 1.5 inches and give a little room to move higher if the grass gets ahead of you. Also, because of the ability to vary the height, it may be used effectively on a wide variety of grasses, including St. Augustine, buffalo, and Bermuda. 

It weighs only 21 pounds, is easily moveable, and is, therefore, perfect for use in spaces with limited space. The company has been in operation for 125 years and was purchased by American Lawn Mower Company in 1936.

American Lawn Mower Company is responsible for producing essentially similar reel mower types under various brand names, including Earthwise and Scotts. T-handle makes maneuvering around houses and trees simpler, while cushioned hand grips decrease hand strain and scorching. 

This mower comes with a limited warranty that lasts for one year. If you want to make the most of it in a small yard, don’t allow the grass to grow taller than four inches; otherwise, you’ll have to go over it more than once. 

The motor-free Earthwise 7-blade reel mower is an effective instrument for maintaining healthy grass due to its accurate scissor-cutting action. With its timeless style and cutting-edge conveniences, this mower requires minimal upkeep. 

This mower’s blades spin smoothly, and it features wheels that glide effortlessly, so cutting grass with it is a breeze. This lawn care equipment helps preserve your grass’s health while being kind to the environment. 

Unfortunately, the additional blades created more resistance, which made it somewhat more difficult to push than models with five blades.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Seven blades made of alloy steel designed to cut through tough grasses.

A cutting deck measuring 16 inches.

Adjustable screw knobs for the height that are simple to operate.

Ergonomic, comfortable handle design.

Large wheels located in the front.
As grass length increases, its effectiveness decreases.

Do not use it on fescue or other tall grasses.

Unlike 5-bladed variants, this is more difficult to move.

Great States 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower

Great States 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower

Photo Credit With the Great States 304-14, you may cut the grass quickly and easily without spending a fortune on repairs.

Product Specs

Mowing Height Range: 0.5 to 1.75 inches

Swath: 13.5 inches

Number Of Blades: 5

Weight: 21.83 pounds

Review

This little mower features a swath width of only 14 inches and a ball-bearing reel, making it ideal for use on smaller lawns and by users of modest stature.

The only portion of the handle that requires assembly out of the box is the cushioned t-style handle; however, you won’t need any tools to do so. The rest of the handle comes ready to use. 

This reel mower is narrower than most, making it simple to steer around obstacles like trees and corners. It also comes with a back roller that provides additional support. It is possible to change the cutting height anywhere from 0.5 inches to 1.75 inches. 

The blades are constructed from an alloy that has been heated and treated to prevent dulling. It tosses grass behind and to the left of the mower, so you should keep driveways or paths to the right to avoid making additional work for yourself (otherwise, you’ll have to sweep). It weighs only 21 pounds, is easily moveable, and is, therefore, perfect for use in spaces with limited space. Additionally, it has a low total body width of about 20 inches, 8.5-inch rubber tires, and a classic handlebar with padded grips.

All of these features make this mower easy to manage in confined locations, and it takes up very little space when stored. This mower comes with a limited warranty that lasts for one year. Unfortunately, in order to modify the height of this more compact variant, you will need a wrench rather than the screw knobs that are more common. 

Additionally, it is an excellent choice for a small yard; however, the grass should not grow to a height of more than four inches to avoid having to make numerous passes.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Easy to store thanks to its lightweight and low profile.

Only simple upkeep is required.

Simple to manage even in confined situations.
Does not cut near the edges.

Insufficiently light to help cut steep areas.

A wrench is required for making adjustments to the height.

Final Thoughts

All things considered, reel mowers are an excellent choice for passionate lawn care enthusiasts looking for low-cost and low-maintenance solutions for their level, smaller lawns.

There are lovely reel mower options available no matter how much money you have to spend, so you shouldn’t feel frightened about investing in one of the models I’ve mentioned above.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are reel mowers worth it?

Reel mowers are totally worth it if you prioritize the environment, a clean cut, and a healthy lawn above anything else. However, if you have a large, unlevel yard and a busy schedule, you are better off investing in a typical gas-powered lawn mower.

Can you mow wet grass with a reel mower?

The cutting blades of reel mowers are specifically made to withstand the challenges of wet and damp grass. However, please do not use it in a pool of water! When the lawn is soggy, you are more likely to damage it in turns, so keep that in mind.

How often should you mow with a reel mower?

You may get the most satisfactory results from a reel mower by setting the cutting height anywhere from 1-3/4 to 2-1/2 inches. Mowing grass with a reel mower is going to get increasingly challenging as the grass gets longer. This means that you will need to mow your grass every week during the peak growing seasons.

How often do you have to sharpen a reel mower?

An individual can either send his reel mower to a service center or purchase a sharpening kit to do it himself. On average, you should sharpen your contact mower’s blades once every two years, and spring is the optimum time to do this.

Why do golf courses use reel mowers?

Reel mowers are utilized on golf courses because they can mow the grass at lower heights than rotary mowers can while still producing a clean cut. When it comes to mowers and grass health, reel mowers are regarded as among the best.

Sources for Further Reading

Healthy LawnsMowing: Reel mowers. (2022). Retrieved 20 September 2022, from http://ipm.ucanr.edu/TOOLS/TURF/MAINTAIN/mowreel.html

Mowers and mowing safety. (2022). Retrieved 20 September 2022, from https://extension.umn.edu/lawncare/mowers-and-mowing-safety

Turfgrass Reel Mower Maintenance | Ohio State ATI. (2022). Retrieved 20 September 2022, from https://ati.osu.edu/courses/turfgrass-reel-mower-maintenance

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