While there are automated lawn mowers out there that provide impeccable cutting power and ease of use, there is still more than enough use for the old-fashioned reel mower. Quiet and energy efficient, these manually-operated mowers can trim your lawn much quicker than you think.
Finding the best reel mower is one of the keys to getting the most out of this potential investment. We will show you how you can get the best mower on the market, and we will also show you our recommendations based from our own testing.
Read our Best Reel Mower Review to find out.
Our Best Reel Mower for 2020
- Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2000-20S 20-Inch 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower, Green (Editors choice - High Quality)
- Greenworks 18-Inch Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Catcher 25062 (Runner up)
- Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower, 18 Inch (362050-1001), Black (Amazing Price)
- American Lawn Mower Company 1815-18 18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower, Black (Affordable Product)
- Worx WG743 40V PowerShare 4.0Ah 17" Lawn Mower w/ Mulching & Intellicut (2x20V Batteries) (Great Product)
The 5 Best Reel Mowers Reviewed
Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2000-20S 20-Inch 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower, Green
This reel mower from Scotts Outdoor Power Tools promotes itself as a “clean and healthy way” to care for your lawn. It is designed to cut through grass without injuring them or pulling them out, making them a perfect choice for keeping your lawn neat and healthy.
- 20-inch reel loaded with 5 blades allow for efficient cutting in most cutting conditions
- Steel construction that is built to last
- Dual wheel tracking system enhances mobility even in tight spaces
- Assembly made simple; it requires no tools to have it ready
- Quick snap height adjustment adjusts height of reel from 1-3 inches
- Ergonomically designed handle w/ cushioned grip for maximum comfort
- Lightweight and uncomplicated structure makes it a perfect fit almost anywhere
- Many like the superior performance and durability of the blades
- Quick and easy assembly; can be done even by beginners and no specialized tools
- Height adjustment is remarkably easy to use
- Requires minimal maintenance to maintain performance
- Light weight and easy maneuverability
- You may need multiple passes to create the clean cut you want
- Doesn’t perform optimally in wet or even moist ground
- May not perform optimally on uneven ground or a lawn filled with weeds
Greenworks 18-Inch Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Catcher 25062
This product from Greenworks has the tools to become one of the better options in the reel mower market. Combining some creative features in one machine, this 2-in-1 mower provides an environmentally friendly way to keep your lawn tidy at all times.
- 18-inch cutting path is wide enough to clear up most lawns efficiently
- Has 2-in-1 function: has mulching and rear bag capabilities
- Can adjust cutting height to 9 different positions, from 1 ¾ to 2 ¾ inches
- Silky smooth operation allows for easy pushing and cutting
- A 4-wheel design allows for easier maneuverability even in tight spaces
- Comes with a 4-year warranty, which is longer than most of its competition
- Easy to assemble; does not require much skill or specialized tools
- Impressive cutting power; it slices through grass almost effortlessly
- Adjustable height allows you to control how long your grass will be
- Easy cleaning and maintenance makes it a great long-term choice
- Product warranty is arguably the best in its class
- Grass catcher is a convenient option, but fills up rather quickly
- Has the tendency to get stuck with debris found in your garden
Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower, 18 Inch (362050-1001), Black
This 18-inch mower is currently one of the more popular options available on the market today. With a host of proprietary features, it has a functional design that will help you get the most out of your mowing experience.
- StaySharp chain drive design allows for optimal blade rotation speed while protecting the blades against unintentional contact
- InertiaDrive technology utilizes heavier blades and a large diameter cutting reel for improved inertia, reduced friction, and enhanced cutting strength
- Fiskars StaySharp is designed to be 60% easier to push compared to other mowers of the same size
- Blades are precision-ground for increased sharpness and durability
- Inset wheels reduce the risk of missed strips and allow for easier maneuverability on tight spots
- Adjustable blade height and handle height for optimized performance
- Quiet operation that is unmatched by any motorized mower
- Has cutting ability that can compete with motorized mowers
- Can cut efficiently even on uneven ground
- You can adjust where the trimmings will go
- Chain-driven gearing system provides extra durability
- Simple adjustments for blade and handle height
- Has difficulty of cutting anything that is over 6 inches in length
- May occasionally miss a twig or two while mowing
American Lawn Mower Company 1815-18 18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower, Black
With more than 100 years of experience in creating lawn mowers, the American Lawn Mower Company has created a product that according to them is designed to withstand the test of time. Designed to be lightweight and versatile, it has great performance and versatility in spite of its simple design.
- Designed to cut glass up to 4 inches tall.
- Adjustable blades allow you to control the length of your grass
- Cushioned handles provide optimal grip and comfort
- Compact and lightweight design makes it easy to maneuver and store
- 18-inch reel containing 4 blades is wide enough for most home lawn applications
- Slices grass in a scissor motion to prevent shredding
- Durable blades only require sharpening every 3 to 5 years
- Easy assembly; it can be assembled out of the box in a few minutes
- The design is classic yet ultimately fool-proof
- Lightweight and highly maneuverable; great for beginners
- Delivers good performance even on elevation changes
- Effective in cutting most types of grass
- Requires minimal maintenance to keep in top shape
- Cost-effective for the type of performance it provides
- Can sometimes be stopped by random twigs and rocks
- Some users report substandard parts
Worx WG743 40V PowerShare 4.0Ah 17" Lawn Mower w/ Mulching & Intellicut (2x20V Batteries)
This reel mower from Worx delivers serious cutting power by taking advantage of modern technologies. Utilizing a twin-battery system for optimal performance, it delivers the same cutting power that you might come to expect with a gas-powered mower.
- An electric motor spins the blades to optimal speed for superior cutting power
- The motors are powered by 2 20V PowerShare batteries for sustained power and endurance
- Has an Intellicut torque on demand system that adjusts power when you need it
- 2-in-1 system does mowing and mulching at the same time
- Has a grass bag for neat storage of freshly cut grass
- Indicators to warn you if battery power is low and if grass bag is full
- 6 cutting height adjustments adjustable by a lever system
- 17-inch cutting deck offers good coverage on most lawns
- Better performance compared to other reel mowers thanks to power assist
- A good option for reel mower users who are either out of shape or have disabilities
- Light weight compared to other power-assisted mowers
- Has enough battery power to cleanly mow most yards before needing recharge
- Easy assembly procedure; you can get this ready out of the box in minutes
- Indicator lights provide handy information
- Eco mode pretty useful for larger yards
- Cannot be folded down, which can make storage tricky
- Some noted that grass bag doesn’t catch all grass, which can lengthen cleanup time
Advantages of Using Reel Mowers
Even with the rise of automated lawn mowers, there are many gardening professionals who swear by their old-fashioned reel mowers. More than just being traditional, there are real advantages associated with using reel mowers.
Reel mowers consume zero energy. With the exception of power assisted mowers, reel mowers leave zero carbon footprint, making them a more environmentally sound choice.
Reel mowers also deliver simplified performance. Provided that the correct type of mower is used for your lawn and it is maintained properly, it delivers solid and consistent results.
Another advantage of reel mowers is the easy upkeep of these machines. Maintenance for reel mowers is very simple, and the compact size means it can be easily stored even in your home.
One more benefit of using these machines is being economical. Acquiring a manually powered mower is more affordable, and operating it costs literally nothing.
Last but not least, it is a great way to get extra exercise. For those who want to stay fit and believe in the benefits of manual work, a reel mower will provide you with a proper workout while tending to your lawn.
Now that you know the advantages of buying a reel mower, here are some tips that can help you find the best deal on the market.
Check the Size of the Mower and Compare it with Your Lawn
The dimensions of your reel mower has a real impact on its fit for your lawn. Depending on the size of your lawn, there are different mowers that are theoretically a better fit for your needs.
There are both advantages and drawbacks associated with going for either a smaller or a larger reel mower. Understanding their differences can help you pick out the best mower for your lawn.
Smaller mowers have better mobility, easier to store, and generally require less maintenance than their bigger counterparts. However, larger mowers have the edge in terms of cutting precision, ability to cover wider ground, and sometimes features that assist you for better, faster cutting.
Here is a more detailed guide on the different sizes of reel mowers, the pros and cons of using them, and the best ways to use them.
Manual vs. Powered Reel Mower
A manual reel mower has very simple mechanicals and can get the job done without any assistance. However, a powered mower can make things easier for you by aiding in cutting the grass more effectively and/or helping you push the mower around.
In contrast, powered reel mowers have mechanical assistance that either rotates the blades or assists in pushing the mower forward. With the aid of these features, you can complete your trimming at a faster rate.
The better option depends on multiple factors. Factors that can affect your choice include the size of your lawn, the hardness of the grass you are growing, and your ability to effectively push the mower.
Number of Blades
The number of blades in your mower will also affect its performance and its price. Typical reel mower designs contain 4 to 7 blades that alternately rotate to cut up the grass that they will pass through.
Generally speaking, the more blades contained in your reel, the better its ability to cut through grass. It’s almost like those shavers that are equipped with multiple blades that can shave your hair using fewer strokes.
The appropriate number of blades mainly depends on the type of grass that you are growing. Heavy grasses such as Bermuda are best trimmed using 7-blade mowers, while lighter grasses such as Bluegrass would be best trimmed with 4-blade mowers.
Some reel mowers come with accessories that can help improve your mowing experience. These add-ons may add to the price, but they do add some extra functionality when you need it.
A common accessory found in mowers is a grass catcher. This device catches the trimmed grass, which helps reduce cleaning time, and is helpful if you use trimmings for preparing natural fertilizer.
If you want to learn more tips on how to find the ideal reel mower for your needs, check out this handy video. It contains most of the information you will need to arrive at the right decision come purchase time.
Any of the products that was included in this list can be a worthy addition to your garden. They all have a combination of quality and features that make them a great fit to just about any lawn.
However, with all things considered, the best reel mower in this comparison review is the Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower. Its great reliability, superior performance, and useful features make it a very solid choice for those who want a manual mower.
It has excellent build quality, an uncomplicated yet effective design, and performance that delivers under most conditions. It is exactly how you would want your reel mower to be.
If you can get just one as the best reel mower in this review, it is best to go for the Fiskars. Get this mower right here.