When I moved into my new home, I realized that I needed to buy a new lawnmower to help me maintain my lawn better. I had an uneven type of lawn, and mowing this type of lawn is not an easy thing for any kind of lawn mower.
And we have testest some reel mowers for you, so that you don’t have to do all the testing, and pick a great machine for the money spend.
And reel mowers are the best for the uneven kind of terrain mowing. And then I decided to do some research about the different types of lawn mowers available in the market.
I came across reel mowers in the process. These cylindrical mowers helped cut the grass with better precision and promoted grass growth better than any other mower out there. I was also impressed by the low cost of these mowers, which worked well with my intended budget.
And here is all the information that I gathered regarding the reel mowers. There are three types of reel mowers available, and all of them have some benefits and some issues. There are three types of reel mowers:
- Push behind reel mowers are the cheapest mowers, while also being the quietest. These types of mowers are ideal for users with small lawns who live in residential areas with strict noise pollution norms.
- Electric mowers are the next type of mowers, which give you an increased cutting power thanks to their electric motor. They allow you to cut longer grass, allowing for less frequent lawn maintenance routines.
- If you want maximum cutting power or do not have the time to maintain your lawn regularly, then gas-powered reel mowers are the perfect equipment for you. They are powered by gasoline engines, which give you unlimited range. This works best for those having to mow extremely large lawns.
The number of options I had when it came to reel mowers baffled me. It took me some time but I eventually figured out the best products in each category of the reel mower.
To save you the trouble of doing your own research, I have listed out my favorite models to save you some time and help you choose your reel mower easily, depending on your budget and requirements.
We have picked some of the best reel mowers for each of their types so that we can decide which one is best for us, and you can also decide which one you need.
There are not so many options for the electric reel mowers and for gas-powered reel mowers as compared to the push behind reel mowers. So we picked the best reel mowers among each of their categories.
We are all familiar with traditional rotary mowers that are used to cut grass and trim our lawns. And for new mowers who are unaware, what is the difference between rotary mowers and reel mowers?
- Quality of cut – Reel mowers shear the grass, that is they cut in the direction that the blade is oriented. Rotary mowers however tear the grass away.
As a result, the reel mower provides better cutting quality, while also reducing the amount of damage to the blades of grass. This is especially crucial when your lawn is susceptible to disease, as open wounds can lead to faster fungal infections.
- Maintenance – A reel mower is a very low maintenance product that requires sharpening the blade annually to maintain the precision of the cut.
On the other hand, rotary mowers need frequent sharpening of the blades, as a dull blade can rip out grass from the lawn, causing irreversible damage in the process.
- Cost – Reel mowers usually cost much less than rotary mowers as the pus back models do not have a motor. However, gas or electric reel mowers of good quality can cost similar to that of similar mowers in the rotary category.
- Height of grass – Thanks to the orientation of the rotary mower blade, it can cut much longer grass with ease when compared to a reel mower. Reel mowers are best suited for shorter grass that you want to cut with more precision.
As a result, you will have to mow your lawn more often if you have a reel mower when compared to a rotary mower.
Listed below are some of my favorite reel mowers of every type that I would recommend to you with no regrets. This includes a small description of the product.
I have also discussed the features that make it so popular, and the few things that could be improved based on my personal experience and the feedback of other users.
Best Push Behind Reel Mower
Push behind reel mowers are the most economical option when it comes to mowing your lawn. It does not require any kind of power or fuel and works purely on human effort.
These lawnmowers are easy to maintain and store, and also give the users a good workout while mowing their lawn. Since they are not powered, they are also extremely safe to operate around children.
#1. American Lawn Mower Company 1204 4-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
The American Lawn Mower Company’s reel mower is a lightweight deluxe model which works well on most types of grass. The company’s 120-year legacy just goes to show the quality of its products over the years.
The mower has blades made of tempered alloy steel. These blades spin smoothly and combine well with the bed knife to ensure a proper cut to your grass. The adjustable blade height also allows the user to cut the grass to the length that they desire.
The reason why this model is so popular is because of its adjustable handle, which makes it convenient for even tall users to mow their lawn comfortably. At 19 lbs, it is really lightweight and easy to maneuver.
The wheels provided allow users to move it seamlessly over the lawn without damaging the soil or grass. Users get all of the above at a very nominal price, which offers great value for money.
Every product has its ups and downs though. This mower has only 4 blades of 14” size, which slows down the mowing process considerably.
The rubber grips on the handle are not the most stable as well, which can result in users being inconvenienced while mowing. If you want to read more about this reel mower, then you can click here to go to the official amazon page.
#2. Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2000-20S Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower
The Scotts company is renowned for making excellent products when it comes to household maintenance and care. Their reel mower is designed to ensure that house owners are motivated to maintain and mow their lawn regularly for a neat and tidy look.
The mower consists of five 20” blades made of heat-treated steel for increased strength. It also comes with a quick-adjust mechanism that allows you to adjust the cutting height easily. The handle is ergonomically designed to give users a comfortable experience while handling this product.
One of the main reasons why this product is so popular is because of its 20” cutting width, which helps users cover a wider area in one go. This along with the easy-adjust blade height helps users maintain their lawn quickly and efficiently.
The mower is easy to assemble and requires no tools while doing so. Also, there are a secondary set of wheels that offers better stability while mowing the lawn. They combine well with the foam padded handles, which give users the best cutting experience.
However, this mower is on the slightly more expensive side, which may deter budget-conscious customers from choosing this product. The handle design also allows it to pivot over the mower, causing breaks in the cutting process.
Many users have reported issues with the wheels falling off such that they could not be put back on the mower. You can read the reviews left by the user, (click here to go the amazon page)
#3. Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower (362050-1001)
Fiskars helped change how people perceived reel mowers when they released their StaySharp Max range, which has become one of the best push-behind mowers available today.
The product has some great features incorporated. This includes the StaySharp blade technology that helps keep the blade sharp for longer periods of time.
The InertiaDrive reduces the amount of effort required to push the mower around, while the reversible grass chute allows users to choose the direction in which they want the clippings to fall.
The main reason why this product has become one of the best selling in the market is the innovation in its design. The 4 wheel assembly gives this product unparalleled stability, while the InertiaDrive gives you increased cutting power.
This allows users to mow their lawn without having to clear debris and twigs, as they too will get chopped up.
If you are someone who prefers to have a low-maintenance product, then the StaySharp technology all but eliminates the need for maintenance. The blade remains sharp by minimizing unwanted contact, ensuring that sharpening it annually is sufficient.
The major drawback with this product is that it cannot cut backward unlike most other reel mowers. Its unique wheel design fails to impress on uneven terrain, making it difficult for the users to stay in control of their mowers.
The wheels are also hard to maneuver in smaller spaces. This is the most expensive among all the push behind reel mowers, but it has great reviews, and there are many happy customers of this product, you can read the reviews left behind by them. (Click here to go to the reviews section on Amazon)
#4. Great States 415-16 Push Reel Lawn Mower
The great States has been an established household brand for the last 125 years that has released many great products over the years. The 16” push reel lawn mower stays true to its heritage, offering customers a seamless mowing experience.
It consists of five 16” blades that are supported by a pair of 10” composite wheels. The mower has quick height adjustments that allow users to shift between 0.5” – 2.5” cutting height with ease.
Many users found the T-handle to be very comfortable, with its cushioned grip making this product popular. It also ensured easy maneuverability on small lawns. The lightweight construction of this mower made it extremely easy to push around and mow the lawn as well.
The heat-treated alloy blades wear out slowly, allowing you to use the product for longer before having to sharpen its blades. The overall value for money when purchasing this product is another reason why customers love this product.
The lack of a second set of wheels possesses a major drawback when it comes to stability while mowing. It also has difficulty maintaining the cutting height when it comes across uneven terrain.
Right now there are 1500+ reviews on Amazon for this product and it has 4.4/5 stars, to know more about this product you can go to the Amazon page of this product. (Click here to go to the Amazon page)
#5. Great States 304-14 Push Reel Lawn Mower
Similar to the bigger 16” mower listed above, the 14” push reel mower follows the legacy of the 125-year-old Great States brand, maintaining the highest quality and providing users with a great experience.
The five 14” blades are moved around with the help of 8.5” composite wheels. Similar to other products from the Great States line-up, it comes with an easy height adjustment mechanism for quick changes between 0.5” – 1.75” of cutting height.
The lightweight design of this product along with its T-handle with a cushioned grip made it a hit amongst new customers.
The blades are made of heat-treated alloy, helping them last longer over the mowing season and requiring reduced blade maintenance. Its nominal cost also works well for customers looking for a budget-friendly mower to maintain their lawns.
The downside of owning this product however is its reduced blade length. As a result, you will have to make more passes to trim your lawn. Its maximum cutting height of 1.75” means you will have to trim your lawn frequently.
If not, this mower will not be able to tackle the taller grass. Users also complained about the cushioned grips sliding up and down along the handle, which proved to be a major annoyance while operating the mower.
This model is also very affordable around $70-$80, but the price fluctuates weekly. (Click here to check the latest price of this product from Amazon)
#6. Greenworks 25072 Push Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Catcher
Greenworks has established itself as an innovative brand when it comes to household products like lawnmowers and leaf blowers. Its reel mower follows the same trend, making it an attractive product to many new customers.
The product features 5 blades of 20”, while also being equipped with two sets of wheels. This mower also has 9 different height adjustments that can help you quickly change the cutting length according to your requirements.
The innovative addition of the grass catcher to catch the clippings behind the reel mower made this product very popular in the market. Its quick height adjust system works well, while the 20” blades allow you to mow a large area of the lawn in one go.
The dual wheel system makes it very easy to maneuver small lawns and nooks and corners that may be hard to reach otherwise.
Amongst the major drawbacks with this model is its inability of the blades to tackle sticks and twigs that are strewn across the lawn. If you have a lawn that is inclined, then this mower will not give you a proper and even cut.
This product also struggles to tackle tall grass, with many of the grass blades managing to sneak through without getting cut. (click here to find out the latest price from Amazon)
Best Electric Reel Mowers
An electric reel mower might seem counterproductive to many at first, as it uses an electric motor to power the spinning blades of the reel mower.
However, it finds a lot more practical use in applications where the user is unable to deliver the physical effort required to operate push behind reel mowers.
The electric motor helps keep the blade spinning, allowing you to maintain a stable and even cut across the lawn. It helps speed up the process and cover more area while mowing as a result. And electric motors are much quieter than the gas-powered ones, so it is also a plus point.
— Also read: How to store Electric Lawn Mower for Winter?
Electric reel mowers are available in the corded and cordless variant. The corded models can be plugged into a regular socket, providing you unlimited runtime. However, the length of the cord can restrict the mowing range of these types of reel mowers.
Cordless battery-operated reel mowers on the other hand have limited run time, but help increase your range by a large extent. This makes it suitable for larger lawns.
#7. Gardena 4025-U Cordless Push Reel Lawn Mower
Gardena introduced its electric push reel lawn mower to help make the process of mowing efficient without sacrificing precision. Its sleek looks and aesthetics attract new customers from the minute they set eyes on it.
This does not undermine the features of this product even a little though. This mower is powered by a 4.2 amp motor, which is powered by a 25V lithium-ion battery. It also comes with a controller that allows you to make quick changes to the cutting height.
A pair of wheels allow you to push the mower across the lawn with ease, with the 15” cutting width allowing you to mow a larger area at once.
The main reason why this model has become so popular in the market is that it can be used as a conventional push behind reel mower even if your battery dies. The ergonomic handle allows you to maneuver the mower easily, with no discomfort being caused to the user.
The battery indicator helps you keep track of the battery left, allowing you to plan your mowing routine accordingly. It’s quiet and emission-free operation also makes sure you do not get in trouble with your neighbors.
Amongst its primary drawbacks is the reliability of the battery, with many users reporting that the battery drains too quickly. The long charging time increases the inconvenience, which might need you to purchase an extra battery separately.
The cutting blade does not reach out to the edges, preventing you from mowing properly along the borders. (Click here to know the latest price from the official amazon sales page)
#8. Sun Joe MJ506E Electric Reel Lawn Mower
While most of us are used to traditional reel mowers with helical blades, Sun Joe took innovation one step further and decided to give customers a unique experience and great value for money while purchasing this electric reel mower.
The mower consists of 24 individual blades, which are driven by a 6.5 amp corded electric motor. It also comes with a grass collection bag that allows you to collect your clippings while mowing.
The reason why this product has caught the attention of so many people is because of the ease in adjusting the blade height. A lever allows you to change between 1” and 2.6” in no time, making it extremely convenient.
The 16” cutting width helps you save time by covering more area while mowing. The four-wheel system also offers great stability and improved maneuverability, allowing you to have a hassle-free mowing experience.
Being a corded mower serves as its major drawback. This means you will have to drag your cord around and ensure it is long enough to reach the ends of your lawn. Many users also found the plastic housing of the blades a major source of trouble.
Any contact with the blade can result in this housing getting damaged, which affects the operation of the mower. You can read more information about it from the official Amazon page, click here to go to the Amazon page.
#9. Swardman Electra Standard 55
The electric reel mower designed by Swardman has a very futuristic appearance, but also performs well as a mower. As a result, it has quickly grown into a household favorite for new homeowners.
The product has a five-blade system with a 22” cutting width. It is powered by two independent electric motors, the first of its kind, to ensure maximum efficiency. It also has a grass-catcher of 50L capacity for simultaneous mowing and grass clipping collection.
This mower is one of the quietest powered mowers to ever exist, while having amongst the best quality of cuts on grass. This has made it a big hit amongst customers.
The construction is durable, with high quality metal parts ensuring improved resilience to rough operating conditions. One can also easily adjust the cutting height, with fine adjustments possible between 0.15”-2” with just the push of a button.
The mower has easy-to-operate buttons on the handlebar, with a reverse function allowing you to maneuver any way you want on the lawn. The cruise control option on this mower also allows you to glide on your lawn while the mower cuts the grass precisely.
The blades can be switched with other lawn maintenance equipment, giving you increased versatility while using this product. If there is one thing that you could call a drawback, it would be its high price point.
Unless you have an interest in lawn maintenance and require the versatility that this product offers, you might not need such an expensive mower. If you want to read more about this product, you can go to the official website from here.
Best Gas-Powered Reel Mowers
Similar to their electric-powered counterparts, gas-powered mowers have combustion engines that run on gasoline. These mowers could be louder and more polluting than electric mowers.
However, the primary advantage of these types of reel mowers is that you have an increased mowing range. This makes gas reel mowers a very handy tool to have if you own a big lawn and have it crunched for time when it comes to mowing.
— Also read: Is it bad to leave Gas in Lawn mower over Winter?
Gas-powered reel mowers are the most expensive reel mowers, but if you have a very big lawn, then the price for paying for these mowers is worth it.
#10. Classic Standard Honda Gas Walk Behind Reel Lawn Mower
The 80 year legacy of California Trimmer has earned it a loyal customer base. The Classic Standard reel mower maintains this legacy, attracting old and new customers looking to buy a powerful new reel mower.
The 3.5 HP Honda motor powers seven blades of 20” cutting width. It is equipped with a pair of wheels in the front, as well as two pairs of wheels at the back that allow you to move around with ease.
Users are drawn to this product thanks to its numerous features. It has 15 settings to adjust the cutting height from ⅜” to 1-⅞”. The deep tread roller attached behind the wheels ensures great stability and ease of movement while mowing.
The process of assembling this product is simple and hassle-free, improving the user experience. This mower does not offer the best performance on inclined surfaces. Another drawback that users reported was the difficulty in turning the mower.
The effort that it takes to turn the mower makes the mowing process slightly more cumbersome. This is the most expensive reel mower on our list of best reel mowers for uneven terrain. (Click here to know the price from the HomeDepot page)
#11. Swardman Edwin 2.1
Keeping in line with the innovation that Swardman is renowned for, the Edwin 2.1 reel mower gives you a great and powerful mowing experience .
This product has a 4 stroke Briggs and Straton engine powers a 5 blade mechanism with a cutting width of 18”. It has a switchable blade that gives you increased versatility when using the mower.
The main highlight of using this product is its low noise levels despite being gas-powered. It also has metal parts, with minimum plastic components to ensure increased reliability and durability. It is also extremely easy to maintain this product with basic tools and equipment.
However, this product is quite an expensive one that can dissuade buyers with a serious budget. If you do not have the need for a product with multiple features, then this might not be the gas mower of your choice.
If you want to read more about this product then, you can click here to go to the official website of this product.
#12. McLane Reel Mower
McLane has been around for 75 years, establishing itself as a brand that customers trust when it comes to high quality products.
This mower has a Honda engine, which powers a seven-blade mechanism of 20” cutting width. It has a front throw mechanism with an optional grass catcher to collect the clippings.
One of the most impressive features about this product is the Touch-A-Matic clutch system, which allows you to have an improved feel while operating the engine.
This allows you to have a smoother experience while mowing the lawn. The mower also does exceptionally well in mowing grass of higher heights, allowing you to mow your lawn less frequently as a result.
This mower does not perform too well when it comes to cutting lower heights of grass. You will face difficulty if your cutting height is below 0.5”. Many users also reported that the drive system was not too convenient and comfortable to use. (Click here to go to the official product page)
#13. Greensmaster® 1000 Series
Toro has always been renowned when it comes to making power tools of the highest quality. The Greensmaster lives up to these expectations, giving users the option to choose between 18” to 26” depending on the size of their lawn.
The 3.5 HP Honda engine powers the blade mechanism. Users have an option to choose between 8 to 14 blades, depending on your requirement and usage. The motor can power the mower to speeds of upto 3 mph while cutting your grass.
This product gained popularity thanks to its unique telescopic handle, which made handling much easier. Users also reported lower strain and increased comfort while using these grips. The product also incorporates a clipping frequency switch as well as a quick blade change feature that helps you clip your grass precisely.
Having a gas engine means a drastic increase in weight, which makes it quite the task when it comes to handling this product. It also has an exposed mechanism, which does not look too pleasing on the eyes even though it can get the job done.
#14. Greens King 522 Series
The Greens King 500 series of reel mowers were designed to give users increased power to make mowing a much more efficient and hassle-free process.
This mower is powered by a 4 HP Honda engine, which powers a 15 blade mechanism of 22” cutting length. The blades are made of hardened high carbon steel, ensuring users get a precise and smooth cut on their lawn.
The unique D-handle offers great control and comfort while handling this mower. Another reason for its popularity is the balance of the machine, allowing you to mow in a straight line for beautiful lawn finishes. The belt drive system is quiet and oil-free, ensuring no oil spills happen while mowing.
This mower is quite heavy, which may make it quite difficult to maneuver it on small lawns. It is also not the most flattering when it comes to outward appearances, as most of the components are uncovered.
What are the Benefits of a Reel Mower?
- Reel mowers are pollution-free: If you are someone that cares deeply about the environment, then this type of mower is perfect for you. The lack of external power in most of these mowers means you do not have engines or motors running at high speeds.
As a result, reel mowers do not produce any noise, allowing you to mow your lawn without disturbing the peace of the neighborhood.
Another advantage thanks to the lack of power sources is that you do not have to deal with pollutants and emissions that could cause air pollution. This also gives you an infinite range, allowing you to mow until you get tired.
- Reel mowers are affordable and easy to set up: The simple design and mechanisms involved means you do not have to spend too much money to purchase a new reel mower.
You will also avoid incurring additional expenses in the form of electric bills or gas, as there is no motor in most reel mowers. The simplicity allows you to set up the reel mowers very quickly, even if you are an amateur with little experience in household equipment and power tools.
- Reel mowers are safe and easy to use: If you have a simple push-behind reel mower, then you do not have any powered components like an engine or a spinning blade.
This makes it much safer to use as the blade and knife come into action only when the mower is being pushed on the lawn. This also prevents the blades from kicking up dirt and stones from the ground, which could then strike someone and injure them.
This also makes it much easier to use while mowing. All you have to do is place the mower on the lawn, adjust the blade height for the required cut and start pushing.
- Reel mowers are easy to maintain. They are also better for the health of your grass. The design of a reel mower is quite simple. As a result, you do not need to spend too much time or money on maintenance.
All you will need is a blade sharpening kit to sharpen the blades when they go blunt. With advances in metal technology, higher-end models minimize this requirement to the extent where annual sharpening will help your mower function efficiently for a year.
- Reel mowers provide a good and even cut. Thanks to its metal-to-metal contact, the blades and knife act like scissors, shearing the blades of grass. As a result, there is a much-reduced chance of open wounds, which could lead to infection and other problems.
Also, reel mowers require you to frequently mow the lawn, which helps promote thicker grass growth as a result.
- Reel mowers give you a good workout. Push back-reel mowers are powered by human effort. Pushing a 15-25 lb load while mowing your lawn exercises your entire body, especially the legs, back, and shoulders.
Such mowing promotes low-intensity cardiovascular activity as well. As a result, you enjoy the dual benefits of having a neat-looking lawn and a way to burn some calories at the same time.
How do Reel Mowers Work?
Reel mowers are very simple and easy to use. They have a rotating cylinder that consists of a number of blades and a stationary bedknife at the end of it. They do not require any external source of power to operate these blades.
These blades and the knife can be adjusted to give you the correct height that you want the grass to be cut to. All it takes is some human effort and a reel mower will begin cutting the grass.
When you push the mower onto the lawn, the rotating blades will trap the blades of the grass. They then push these blades towards the stationary bedknife, causing it to be sheared away as a result.
— Also read: Will Mowing Wet Grass Ruin a Lawn Mower?
The metal-on-metal contact between the plates and the knife results in an action similar to that of a pair of scissors. As a result, we get a much cleaner cut when using a reel mower.
If you desire more power to cut longer blades of grass, then you can choose a source of power for your reel mower. Having an electric motor or a gas engine will provide sufficient power for your mower to effectively cut taller blades without damaging your lawn.
Electric motors can either be plugged into an electric socket or run on a battery, depending on whether they are corded or cordless. Gas-based engines require gasoline to power the blades, which provide users with some benefits like increased runtime and power output.
How to Sharpen a Reel Mower?
Sharpening the blades of a reel mower is more or less the only maintenance you will have to perform periodically with your reel mower. However, it is important that you get this process right. If not, it could lead to an uneven cut on your lawn, which is never the desired outcome of mowing a lawn.
Outlined below are the steps that you must undertake while sharpening the blade of your reel mower for an efficient and even cut.
- Use a blade sharpening kit. This consists of a blade sharpening compound as well as a brush to apply the compound along the edge of the blade. This kit also comes with a handle that allows you to rotate the blade while sharpening it.
- Apply the blade sharpening compound along the edge of the blade with the help of the brush. Ensure that the compound has been applied evenly along the edge of the blade.
- Remove the wheel of your lawnmower and disconnect the gear mechanism that makes the blades rotate along with the wheels. Now, connect the handle that will help you rotate the blades while sharpening.
- Crank the blade assembly in the backward direction with the help of the handle. Doing so will help you scrape the gunk and debris off the edge of the blade, allowing your blade to become sharper as a result.
- Keep cranking the assembly until the scraping sound between the bed knife and the blade reduces considerably. To make sure the blade has been sharpened, inspect the blade and ensure a shiny metallic finish has been obtained across the edge.
- Reassemble the wheel and gear assembly and wipe off any excess blade sharpening compound that may remain after this process.
Keep in mind that it is critical to ensure that your blade is as close as possible to the bed knife without making contact with it. Doing so will ensure that your reel mower cuts precisely and efficiently.
- How long does a reel mower last? Reel mowers can last very long. It does not have a motor or any internal mechanism that wears out and fails over time. The only component that requires maintenance and care is the blade, which can be sharpened with a toolkit depending on your preferences and requirements.
- Can a reel mower cut wet grass? A reel mower can cut wet grass quite effectively, thanks to its sharp blades. The mower is lightweight and propelled by the user itself. Thus, it will not cause grooves or sink into the soil.
- How often should you mow with a reel mower? It is ideal to mow your lawn at least once or twice a week during peak growing season. Ensure that the length of the grass does cross 3”, or else it is time for you to take out your reel mower and mow the lawn.
- Are reel mowers dangerous? Reel mowers are slightly dangerous, as they have spinning blades and a sharp knife to cut the grass. However, they are much less dangerous than gas-powered mowers, as they do not kick up rock and debris while the blades are spinning. They also do not cause harm when the mower is stationary, as the blades do not rotate unless the reel mower is moved.