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7 Best Reel Mowers for Your Lawn in 2022: Buying Guide

Best Reel Mowers

7 Best Reel Mowers for Your Lawn in 2022: Buying Guide

Quiet in operation, easy to maintain, and essentially affordable, reel lawn mowers can be intelligent options for yard maintenance. They are easy to care for by taking up about a third of the storage space a traditional reel mower needs.

Reel mowers can also be better for lawn health than standard mowers. They make a sharp cut across the top of the blade of grass, similar to the way scissors cut. Traditional rotary mowers have edges that tend to tear through grass, increasing the risk of disease.

While all reel mowers have a similar function, there are differences between the options. For example, most reel lawn mowers are entirely manual, requiring some physical effort to operate. Read on to find out what to look for when buying a reel mower and why the following models are among the best reel mower options available.

SaleBestseller No. 1
American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 14-Inch 4-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower, Red
11,220 Reviews
American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 14-Inch 4-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower, Red
  • 4-blade reel with a cutting width of 14” and...
  • Mechanical lawn mower with an adjustable blade...
  • Manual grass cutter blades made of heat-treated...
  • Environment-friendly alternative to gas-powered...
  • Capable of cutting grass up to 4 inches tall
SaleBestseller No. 2
Fiskars 362050-1001 StaySharp Max Reel Push Lawn Mower, Eco Friendly, 18” Cut Width, 18 Inch, Black
2,005 Reviews
Fiskars 362050-1001 StaySharp Max Reel Push Lawn Mower, Eco Friendly, 18” Cut Width, 18 Inch, Black
  • Quality Yardcare Tools: Designed to help you take...
  • Advanced Technology for best-in-class cutting...
  • Superior Ergonomics: Reversible grass chute can...
  • Ideal for eco-friendly cutting of all grass types:...
  • Includes 1 Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower with...
Bestseller No. 3
Sun Joe MJ500M 16-Inch Manual Reel Mower w/Adjustable Cutting Height, 6.6-Gallon Removable Grass Catcher, 5 Steel Blades, 2-Wheels
2,854 Reviews
Sun Joe MJ500M 16-Inch Manual Reel Mower w/Adjustable Cutting Height, 6.6-Gallon Removable Grass Catcher, 5 Steel Blades, 2-Wheels
  • Easy to push and maneuver on small lawns
  • 4 position manual height adjustment
  • Maintenance free.Maximum Cutting Height: 1.81...
  • Grass catcher holds up to 6.6-gallon and detaches...
  • Two large 8.8-inch wheels. Rust resistant deck
Bestseller No. 4
Reel Push Mower Assembly
40 Reviews
Reel Push Mower Assembly
  • Assembly of 1 customer-supplied reel push mower
  • Product should be in the room where it is to be...
  • Cleanup work area. Take packaging to customer's...
  • Products requiring additional work may result in...
  • This service does not include haul-away of...
SaleBestseller No. 5
American Lawn Mower Company 1304-14 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
2,478 Reviews
American Lawn Mower Company 1304-14 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
  • 5-blade reel with a cutting width of 14” and...
  • Mechanical lawn mower with an adjustable blade...
  • Manual grass cutter blades made of heat-treated...
  • Planet-friendly alternative to gas-powered lawn...
  • Capable of cutting grass up to 4 inches tall
Bestseller No. 6
Great States 815-18 18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower, 18-Inch, 5-Blade, Grey
7,297 Reviews
Great States 815-18 18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower, 18-Inch, 5-Blade, Grey
  • The Great States motor-less lawnmower with an...
  • 18" cutting width 5-blade manual push mower with...
  • Push mower blades are made of high-quality alloy...
  • Loop-style lawnmower handle with cushioned grips...
  • Planet-friendly and quiet motorless lawn mower...
SaleBestseller No. 7
Greenworks 14-Inch Reel Lawn Mower RM1400
2,317 Reviews
Greenworks 14-Inch Reel Lawn Mower RM1400
  • ECO FRIENDLY CUTTING – this compact reel mower...
  • 14” CUTTING WIDTH – provides scissor like cut...
  • 5-BLADE – ball bearing steel reel is great for...
  • HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT – adjustable from 1.06” to...
  • EASY TO USE – T-style handle with cushioned grip...
Bestseller No. 8
Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2000-20S 20-Inch 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower, Green
2,534 Reviews
Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2000-20S 20-Inch 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower, Green
  • Classic Scotts 20 inch push no-motor manual reel...
  • Quick-snap 1"-3" cutting height adjustment for a...
  • Blades on the Scotts classic hand push reel rotary...
  • Ergonomic handle with cushioned grip for comfort...
  • Lightweight and easy to operate; This engine-free,...
Bestseller No. 9
American Lawn Mower Company SK-1 Reel Lawn Mower Sharpening Kit
2,300 Reviews
American Lawn Mower Company SK-1 Reel Lawn Mower Sharpening Kit
  • Push blade lawn mower sharpening kit to maintain...
  • Save time and effort when using your manual reel...
  • Do-it-yourself sharpening kit that you can use in...
  • Compound sharpening kit that contains grinding...
  • Designed for use with Great States, American Lawn...
SaleBestseller No. 10
Earthwise 1715-16EW 16-Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower, Grey
927 Reviews
Earthwise 1715-16EW 16-Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower, Grey
  • Hand-push reel mower with 16" cutting width,...
  • Versatile Earthwise Power Tools by ALM push lawn...
  • Alloy steel 7-blade mower stays sharp longer
  • A self-cutting mower with an adjustable cutting...
  • An planet-friendly alternative that matches the...

What Is a Reel Mower?

Reel mowers feature a cutting reel consisting of 3 to 7 blades and a fixed blade. They are built with two or four wheels to allow quiet and fast mowing. When the mower is pushed forward, the blades begin to rotate vertically.

The motion causes the mower blades to lift the grass between them and the base blade, in turn cutting through the blades of the grass in a scissor-like action.

Compared to the cylinder reel mowers used in the past, these new models are easier to push and result in a cleaner, healthier lawn. The biggest benefit of reel mowers is that they won’t rip or tear the grass during the mowing process. Like rotary mowers, reel mowers do not damage individual grass blades.

Buying Guide For The Best Reel Mower

For any home with a lawn, mowing the lawn can be a reality and is a requirement in most neighborhoods. To grow a lush green expanse, a regular cut is essential. When the lawn is mowed correctly, often enough to remove no more than one-third of the height of the grass, the mowing promotes dense, even growth.

Blades

Reel mowers have four to seven steel blades. On some models, the blades are treated with a nonstick coating to facilitate cutting. More blades result in a cleaner cut because the blade of grass does not bend as much before it is cut. For most lawns, mowers with four or five blades work well.

Some reel mowers have six or seven blades, making them well suited for getting an even cut in dense grass, and they can also make cutting tall grass a bit easier. Reel lawn mowers are also suitable for lawn striping, a cutting technique that leaves attractive streaks on the lawn.

Cutting Height

The cutting height of the blade is present on some reel mowers, often between 1.5 and 2 inches, which is well suited for short grasses but not tall-growing varieties such as fescue. Other models offer adjustable cutting heights. Consider your lawn type and optimal growth height. If yours is a tall grass variety, opt for a reel mower that will adjust to the best cutting height for your grass.

Swath Width and Grass Type

North American lawns feature a multitude of grass varieties. Easy-to-mow grass types include perennial rye, Kentucky bluegrass, and fescue. These types of grass are suitable for cutting with wider mowers.

On the other hand, thick grasses, such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia, are better suited to mowing at narrower cutting widths (stripes). In either case, cutting the lawn frequently will make it easier to use a manual lawn mower.

The swath width of a reel mower and the type of grass the yard contains influence usability. Standard swath widths on reel mowers range from 14 to 20 inches. While a wider swath means you won’t have to cut as many passes, it also makes the mower harder to push because more grass means more resistance.

Grass Catcher

Some prefer to let the grass clippings sit on the lawn. The clippings act as a mulch that biodegrades to provide organic nutrients to the soil. For those who prefer to bag grass clippings, a rear-mounted grass catcher makes it easy.

7 Best Reel Mowers for Your Lawn in 2022: Buying Guide

1. GREAT STATES 5-BLADE REEL LAWN MOWER

DESCRIPTION

First on our list is the Great States 415-16 push reel mower, known for its excellent cutting power. With an adjustable blade height of 0.5-2.5 ″, this mower does a fantastic job of caring for your lawn.

We picked it as our top choice because of the quality of the blade – Constructed of heat-treated alloy steel, the blades retain their sharpness for a long time, making this reel pruner a long-term quality investment. The sharpness of the blades allows you to create neat edges throughout your lawn. The mower comes with a comfortable, cushioned grip that is easier to push, even on the most covered lawn.

All it takes is a push to get it going, making it a hassle-free manual lawn mower. The Great States 415-16 Reel Mower is also lightweight, making it easy to maneuver around the yard.

SPECIFICATIONS

BRAND: GREAT STATES
COLOR: White
STYLE: Reel Only
CUTTING WIDTH: 16 Inches
OPERATION MODE: Manual
WEIGHT: 1 Kilograms

PROS

  • Blade height adjustment of 0.5”-2.5” for clean grass cut 
  • 16” cutting width with 5-blade ball bearing reel
  • Smooth, composite wheels are easy to maneuver across the yard

CONS

  • Struggles to cut grass taller than 3-4 inches
  • Soft handle grips can slide a bit

2. SCOTTS OUTDOOR POWER TOOLS REEL LAWN MOWER

DESCRIPTION

Our pick for the best value reel mower for a healthy, precision cut is the Scotts 2000-20. They have really outdone themselves with this one. With a 20 ”swath of cut, the mower efficiently cuts grass in a single pass without ripping or ripping. You will never have to pass the Scotts 2000-20 mower over your yard multiple times.

The blades are made from heat-treated alloy steel that stay sharp longer and cut grass with astonishing precision. Blades can be adjusted from 1-3 ″ inches. Dual-track wheels improve maneuverability on grass, allowing you to create a soft green carpet.

SPECIFICATIONS

BRAND: Scotts Outdoor Power Tools
COLOR: Green
MATERIAL: Alloy Steel
STYLE: Reel Only
CUTTING WIDTH: 20 Inches
OPERATION MODE: Manual
WEIGHT: 1 Kilograms

PROS

  • 20” cutting width allows less passes over your lawn
  • Blade height adjustment from 1-3″ inches for a precision trim
  • Cushioned, ergonomic handle for easy grip
  • No-tool assembly 

CONS

  • Wheels can degrade quicker than other models
  • Blades degrade quicker than other higher-priced picks

3. FISKARS STAYSHARP MAX REEL MOWER

DESCRIPTION

Fiskars has redefined reel lawn mowers. With an 18-inch cutting strip, this reel trimmer only takes a few minutes to get the job done.

The quality of the blades on the StaySharp Max reel mower allows you to mow your lawn for years without the need for re-sharpening. The Fiskars mower blades were cut without any unwanted contact with the grass. This means there are no rips or tears, making for a smooth mowing experience.

The Fiskars StaySharp Max is straightforward to push and maneuver around the yard. With its InertiaDrive reel, Fiskars performs with superior cutting power to trim difficult spots without damaging the turf.

SPECIFICATIONS

BRAND: Fiskars
COLOR: Black
STYLE: StaySharp
CUTTING WIDTH: 18 Inches
OPERATION MODE: Manual
WEIGHT: 51.7 Pounds
POWER SOURCE: Kinetic

PROS

  • StaySharp cutting system ensures long-lasting blades
  • InertiaDrive reel delivers superior cutting power and easily cuts through thick grass
  • Inset wheels that allow blades to work across the mower’s full width
  • Limited 3-year warranty 

CONS

  • At 51lb it’s heavier than other models
  • Doesn’t perform well on a grade, common of all push mowers

4. AMERICAN LAWN MOWER CO. PUSH REEL LAWN MOWER

DESCRIPTION

The American Lawn Mower Company Classic 4 Blade Push Reel Mower is a fantastic and durable option. With its 8.5″ compound wheels, this mower is easier to push in a large yard. It comes with an adjustable height of 0.5 “-1.75” for optimal grass cutting. The blades are made from heat-treated alloy steel, which keeps them sharp for a long time.

This is a low-maintenance trimmer and a green alternative to electric trimmers. The high-quality 4-blade system can cut various types of grass such as bluegrass, rye, and fescue with supreme versatility.

SPECIFICATIONS

BRAND: American Lawn Mower Company
COLOR: Red
STYLE: Reel Only
CUTTING WIDTH: 14 Inches
OPERATION MODE: Manual
WEIGHT: 1 Kilograms
POWER SOURCE: Self-Propelled

PROS

  • Efficient scissor-like grass cutting action 
  • 4 smooth-spinning blades that snip the grass without damaging it
  • Height adjustability of 0.5”-1.75” for optimal grass-cutting 
  • Easy-roll wheels make the mower easy to push and maneuver

CONS

  • Difficult to snip a lush, thick turf
  • Might have to go twice over a piece of ground for proper grass cutting 

5. GREENWORKS 16-INCH REEL LAWN MOWER

DESCRIPTION

Next up is the 18-inch reel mower from GreenWorks. It has simple and practical features to get the job done quickly. The 18 ”wide mowing path will allow you to mow more efficiently and in less time.

The mower also comes with a 2-in-1 feature with a tail bag and mulch capacity. This can serve as a fertilizer for your lawn while protecting it from clutter while mowing.

GreenWorks also features a versatile height adjustment with a cutting height between 1.75-2.75 ″ inches. This range can cover almost all types of grass without running the mower multiple times.

SPECIFICATIONS

BRAND: Greenworks
COLOR: Black/Green
STYLE: 16″ Deck
CUTTING WIDTH: 16 Inches
OPERATION MODE: Manual
WEIGHT: 26 Pounds
POWER SOURCE: Self-Propelled

PROS

  • 18” cutting path with fast scissor-cutting action
  • Rear bag and mulching features to fertilize the lawn while clipping
  • Dynamic 10” wheel and 4” rear wheels

CONS

  • Build quality isn’t durable over 3+ year unless you’re careful
  • Not good for thick, tough lawns

6. SUN JOE MANUAL REEL MOWER

DESCRIPTION

The Sun Joe Manual Reel Mower is ideal for gardens and small patios. It is also the best reel mower for creating aesthetic borders around the boundaries of your lawn.

Its easy height adjustment and lightweight quality allow precision cutting in no time. Built with a rust-resistant deck, the mower will stay pristine quality for a long time.

It also has a grass catcher that can hold up to 6.6 gallons of grass debris and easily separate for quick cleaning. This reel mower makes maneuvering in the grass extremely easy with two large 10 ”wheels and two smaller 6” wheels. The comfortable foam grip and manual height adjustment make the Sun Joe Manual Lawn Mower a good choice at the lowest price on our list.

SPECIFICATIONS

BRAND: Sun Joe
COLOR: Black/Green
MATERIAL: Metal
CUTTING WIDTH: 18 Inches
OPERATION MODE: Manual
WEIGHT: 28 Pounds
NO. OF POISITIONS: 9

PROS

  • Excellent for small lawns
  • Comfortable foam grip to make pushing easier
  • 10″ forward wheels and 6″ rear wheels
  • Grass catcher that can hold 6.6 gallons of waste
  • Rust-resistant deck and lightweight  

CONS

  • The front wheels aren’t as durable as other models
  • Height adjustment a bit too low
  • Noisier than expected

7. EARTHWISE PUSH REEL LAWN MOWER

DESCRIPTION

The Earthwise 16-Inch Push Reel Mower offers some real advantages for gardeners. Earthwise has truly outdone itself with this low-maintenance, hassle-free machine.

Perfect for small and large yards, all the reel mower needs is an excellent push to get started. If you’re ready for some exercise, mowing the lawn with this machine will be a wonderful experience.

But perhaps what makes it better is its ease of use and storage. The lightweight construction makes it a breeze to move and maneuver on thicker grass. You can park this reel mower in a garage or hang it on a wall until subsequent use.

SPECIFICATIONS

BRAND: Earthwise
COLOR: Gray
MATERIAL: Metal
CUTTING WIDTH: 16 Inches
OPERATION MODE: Manual
WEIGHT: 26 Pounds
POWER SOURCE: Push

PROS

  • 16” cutting width with 7-blade ball bearing reel
  • 10″ composite wheels with a side steel plate
  • 0.5-2.5” adjustable cutting height

CONS

  • The rollers on the blades can cause the mower to lock up sometimes
  • Height is adjustable but requires unscrewing the wedges

FAQS: Best Reel Mowers for Your Lawn

How Do I Sharpen Reel Mower Blades?

Keeping a cutting reel sharp is the only job involved in keeping your mower running. Even soft grass dulls the blades after enough use, and you’ll need to keep them sharp for the best cutting action. We do not recommend sharpening the knives yourself unless you have prior practical skills working with these tools.

Take your lawn mower to a service agent that deals with lawn mowers. They will put a new edge on the cutting blades, making them like new. Trying to sharpen the blades yourself could damage the machine; seek the help of a professional.

How Hard Is It To Push A Reel Mower?

That depends on several factors, including your fitness level and the size of the mower. For example, there is a big difference in how it feels to push a 20-pound a 50-pound reel mower across the yard for 45 minutes, especially if you are less active or have underlying health issues.

There is also resistance from the wheels, which are what make the reel blades turn. The length of the lawn is another contributing problem because if it is long (4 inches or more), the mower requires more effort to push. If you have a hilly garden, mowing uphill is a challenge.

Can I Mow Wet Grass With A Reel Mower?

Yes, you can cut wet grass with a reel mower. However, the moisture creates more friction on the reel of the cutting blade. Therefore, you may find it more difficult to push the mower through the garden. Wet grass will also get stuck in the cutting blades, and it will stop to clean the spool more often. We recommend waiting until the grass dries before mowing it.

Conclusion

If you want a short, simple lawn mower, choose a reel mower. These offer excellent cutting performance while being relatively affordable compared to motorized options.

Hence, we have mentioned some of the best reel mowers in this article and their features and differences. You can even find a detailed buying guide in this article with all the details on reel lawn mowers. These can be very helpful in quickly choosing the perfect reel mower to use.

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