The reel or cylinder mower dates back hundreds of years and it’s thanks to the invention of this mower that we have the technologically advanced mowers we have to date. Having said that, reel mowers are still excellent tools for lawn mowing and are a little more advanced than they were hundreds of years ago. In this article, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites and brought you a list of what we believe are the best reel mowers around.
- 1 The Best Reel Mowers
- 2 Scotts 2000 Reel Mower
- 3 Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower
- 4 Great States 815 Reel Mower
- 5 Earthwise 1715 Reel Mower
- 6 American Lawn Mower 1415
- 7 Gardena 4023
- 8 Reel Mower Buyers Guide
- 9 Final Thoughts
The Best Reel Mowers
Finding a great real mower isn’t as simple as you might think. You need to make a variety of considerations before committing to a purchase. You need to consider a variety of things from your budget to how comfortable to use the mower is. In this section we explore the top reel mowers around and review them.
Below we’ve listed 6 of the best reel mowers on the market which you’ll be sure to love.
Scotts 2000 Reel Mower
If you are wanting to get through mowing your yard as quickly as possible, consider this 20-inch push reel mower from Scotts. There are 10-inch dual tracking wheels as well as radial tires. You can easily adjust this mower to cut grass at 9 different heights. This is done by quick-snap controls.
This mower has five blades that are heat treated. These blades are designed to give you a nice clean cut while staying sharp. Due to its dual-wheel design, it is easy to move and maneuver this mower all over your yard. With its smooth ball bearings, the blades can rotate freely and have you cutting through grass in no time. The handle has a comfy ergonomic cushioned grip.
You will have to assemble this mower when you get it, but this is a quick and easy process. No tools are required. It is simply a matter of attaching the wheels and the handle.
Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower
This is a nice reel mower with a slightly larger cut width. It is ideal for all grass types, so you do not need to worry if you do not know exactly what is growing in your yard. The manufacturers claim this product is actually 60% easier to push than other reel mowers.
The reversible grass shoot is handy. It can be adjusted to direct grass clippings forward or backward, depending on your preferences. You can adjust your cut height with this mower from 1 to 4 inches. You can adjust the height of the blade simply and with one hand.
The patented InertiaDrive reel delivers impressive cutting power. This reel has thicker blades and a large-diameter. As a result, weeds and other tough spots in your lawn will not slow you down. Thanks to the StaySharp cutting system, you will have to worry about sharpening your blade far less often.
Great States 815 Reel Mower
If you are looking for something simple that gets the job done without breaking the bank, this mower may just be the one for you. This mower can be adjusted from 0.5 to 2.75 inches in cutting height. You get an 18-inch cutting path.
The handle has a powder-coated finish, which helps prevent it from rusting. It has a cushioned-loop design for your comfort as you mow your lawn. As for the blades, they are heat-treated so they can make high-quality cuts and stay sharper, longer.
This is another mower that will only work when pushed forward. It works well even if your yard is hilly or bumpy. Be aware that larger sticks and twigs may get stuck, so be sure to pick up your yard before you begin mowing.
Many people seem to love this mower, saying that it can get their grass cut with a single pass. Thicker areas may take 2-3 passes, however, depending on how short you are trying to get your grass.
Earthwise 1715 Reel Mower
Here is a reel mower that is ideal for someone with bent grass, such as Bermuda. This mower works with a 7 blade ball bearing wheel that gives you a 16-inch cutting path. One nice feature of this product is you can adjust the cutting height from 0.5 to 2.5 inches. This is a very durable mower, with tempered alloy steel reel as well as bed knife blade.
Be aware that this mower will not cut when pulled backward. If you want an easier way to move this mower from Earthwise around, simply flip the handle over the other way. You get less resistant for moving the mower to and from your lawn.
This is a lightweight product that is easy to store. You can easily hang it from a few hooks in your garage or shed. If you are someone with thick, bent grass, this may be the best mower reel mower for you.
American Lawn Mower 1415
Here you have a cheap option that is ideal for tall, straight grass. You get a 16-inch cutting path and can adjust your cutting height from 0.5 to 2.25 inches. If you love everything about this mower but the cutting path size, it is also available in a 14-inch and 18-inch version, both with 5 blades.
This mower is super lightweight and easy to maneuver around your yard. The wheels are 10″ and made of a durable composite. They have radial tire tread. The reel and bed knife blade are made of a very strong tempered alloy steel and you have an unbreakable steel side plate.
Some users find adjusting the cutting height a bit confusing, but it shouldn’t be an issue once you get the hang of it. There are 3 different heights that can be chosen by adjusting the roller. For further fine tuning, you can also adjust the wheels.
For those willing to spend a little more on their push reel lawn mower, this may be the right product for you. With its stylish blue design, this mower definitely stands out from the others. This cutting height is described as infinitely adjustable and is easy to change.
When you are done mowing with this product, you can take the handle apart, making it easy to store as well as transport. It weighs just under 20 pounds. Furthermore, the cutting cylinder is hardened and covered with non-stick spray. It is made of a durable, high-quality steel.
With this mower, the recommend mowing once a week to make sure it can keep up with your lawn. Users love how sturdy this mower is and how few plastic parts are included in the construction of it. Although you will eventually need to sharpen the blade, you can likely get a year plus of use before that becomes necessary.
Reel Mower Buyers Guide
Reel mowers went steadily down in popularity for many years, but they are ready for their comeback. There are many reasons you may elect to go with a push reel mower over a gas or electric one. Once that decision is made, it is important to know what you are looking for when shopping for one. This guide is designed to go over the benefits of owning a push reel mower as well as what features to look out for. Because reel mowers might be new to you, this great post on how reel mowers work might be useful.
Benefits of Reel Mowers
Many people shy away from reel mowers often because they feel they’re old fashioned and outdated. When you really consider the pros and cons, there are many reasons you may decide this is not the case. Some of the highlights include:
- Less Expensive: You can easily purchase a reel mower at a fraction of the cost of a gasoline or electric one.
- Less Maintenance: There is no gas to fill, battery to charge, spark plugs to exchange, etc. The only thing you need to do is occasionally sharpen the blade, which is true of any type of mower.
Smaller Carbon Footprint: Using your own “power” instead of gas or electricity is easier on the environment.
- Exercise: Mowing your lawn can give you a decent workout without being too strenuous. Although they are lightweight, pushing one around your yard can help you stay fit.
- Less Noise: If you are someone who needs to mow on “off hours,” a reel mower is perfect for you. There is no noise to damage your own hearing or to annoy your neighbors.
- Easy to Store: These types of mowers are going to take up much less space in your garage or shed. Some even come apart to make it even more simple. The lighter ones can be hung on the wall.
- Healthier Grass: Mowing with a push mower can help your yard avoid diseases like brown patch or “rust. “
Number of Blades
The type of grass you have will impact how many blades are ideal for your reel mower. You can buy mowers with 4, 5, or 7 blades. For those with heavy grasses that tend to bend, it is best to get 7 blades. A good example of this type of grass is Bermuda.
For those with thinner types of grass, 4 or 5 blades will suffice. A 5-blade mower will get the job done more quickly. Examples of types of grass that would work well with these mowers are Kentucky Bluegrass or Fescue.
If you have no idea what type of grass you have, you can probably figure it out with a brief inspection. Using the internet and a couple blades of grass, you can use your detective skills to find out what you are working with. Failing that, there are some reel mowers on the market that say they work well with any grass type.
The cutting path will vary depending on which mower you choose. They range from 14 to 20 inches. As you might imagine, the wider the path, the quicker you can get through your lawn. That being said, you have to provide the power to push your mower. Although many reel mowers weigh less than 50 pounds, they can get heavy after awhile. Choosing the correct cutting width will depend on the size of your lawn, your personal strength, and most importantly how much time you are willing to spend mowing.
Blade Cutting Height
If you go with a very inexpensive mower, it may not have adjustable cutting heights. The default height is usually 1.5 or 2 inches. More fancy models will allow you to adjust the height to suit your needs. They usually have settings ranging from 0.5 all the way up to 4 inches. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding how tall you want your grass to be, including how often you have time to mow it and the climate in your area. If you have a type of grass that needs to stay relatively long, it is best to get a reel mower with adjustable heights.
How easy it is to adjust the height of your mower should be another consideration. Many newer models make it very simple, with quick height “adjusters.” Other has a few presets and more fine tuning can be done by making adjustments to the wheels.
Reel Mower Accessories
A push reel mower is a simple tool. However, there are two accessories that can make your life easier when you own one. The first is a grass catcher. Although, many people like leaving behind grass clippings to fertilize their lawn, sometimes you may want a more tidy look. A grass catcher does exactly what it sounds like, and can be easily attached to most types of push mowers.
The other accessory you will want to have handy is an abrasive paste. This is because when you apply it to the blades, it will sharpen them as it cuts your grass.
Unlike mowers from the past, today’s mowers can have many design features to help make them easier to use. Look for one with an ergonomic handle. Furthermore, you will also want sealed bearings and blades that have non-stick surfaces.
As you can see reel mowers are worth serious consideration. This is because they come with a series of benefits. By doing some research, you can likely buy a product that will last you for many years to come. Be sure to factor in the type of grass you have, and most importantly check out the warranty on any product before you make your purchase. If you’re considering other types of lawn mowers, you might find our push mower post or our self propelled lawn mower article useful.