When you want to have an attractive yard around your home, it is necessary to maintain it appropriately. The only way to get beautiful, symmetrical grass is to pick out the best reel mower you can find on the market.
Making the right choice is not easy because there are a bunch of models at your disposal. Well, the only criteria you should follow are your own needs, the size of your yard, and the type of grass you have to deal with. The choice of other details will depend on your preferences for aesthetics, convenience, and reliability of each particular model.
What You Need to Pay Attention to Before Purchasing a Reel Mower
Unfortunately, like other machines, no matter how high-quality it is, even the best reel mower may have some negative aspects. Let’s discover the main disadvantages of these generally reliable and convenient devices:
The size of the lawn - To use your lawn mower in the best possible way, you should be aware that its use is limited to smaller yards. That means if your lawn is larger than a quarter acre (1000 square meters) you will find how exhausting weekly mowing can be if you use just a reel mower.
A clean lawn - Be aware that you can't use your reel mower if your yard is full of leaves and twigs. In other words, you need to clean up your lawn before mowing. Yes, I know, it is extra effort, but the good news is that you usually have to do it once and you can regularly mow your yard during a season without disturbance.
A regular cutting schedule - Mowing with a reel mower demands regular schedule of cutting. The problem is that your reel mower will just push too high and thick grass down and rolls over it without cutting it properly if you don't mow the lawn regularly.
Sloped or rough lawns – If you haven't had a flat yard, you may have some troubles with using your reel mower. Every time the wheels of the unit lose contact with the ground because the surface is too bumpy, you will miss grass in that part. Sometimes, you will need to mow from a few different angles to finish the job.
Unexpected results - Depending on what you expect from your new reel mower, you might be disappointed by the results obtained. These little units can cut your grass unevenly, and you can find some unmowed, skipped spots from time to time.
The Best Reel Mowers on the Market 2019
1. American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 14-Inch 4-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower (My Top Recommended)
When you look for the top-notch, hand-reel mower that is ideal for almost every yard, you should consider American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 14-Inch 4-Blade Push reel lawn mower with a reel made of tempered alloy steel.
This reel mower is only 19 pounds (8.6 kg) weight. With the cutting height of 0.5 to 1.75 inches (1.3 – 4.5 cm), and the cutting width of 14 inches (35.5 cm), it is one of the best units you can find on the market.
This device can be a classic solution if you like keeping things simple and believe that green is the only color for your yard. With four blades this unit has, you can use it for mowing almost every type of grass, which will help you get your yard looks precisely the way you want it to be.
Tempered alloy steel this device is made of makes every operation effortless. With the optional blade length, you won’t have any troubles with cutting grasses of average density and height.
The low weight of this unit makes maneuvering easy for almost everyone. For greater comfort, the manufacturer provides the zinc-plated handle with cute plastic grips. Plus, you can easily store this simple, middle-sized reel mower regardless of the possible lack of space in your garage.
- An excellent and reliable choice for small yards, especially if there are narrow strips along sidewalks
- It is a lightweight, quiet model
- Practical and quick tool-less assembly
- The adjustable height of grass cutting
- One year warranty
- It is very tedious to use this mower if you have a large yard
- Cutting width is only 14 inches (35.5 cm)
- This unit is not a good solution for the ultra-thick grass
- This product can expose you to possibly cancerous Di – (2-ethylhexyl) – phthalate
2. The Great States 815-18 18-Inch, 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
With an extensive cutting reel of 18 inches (46 cm), the Great States 815-18 18-Inch, 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower can cut a relatively wide swath. This easy-to-use machine is made of the steel side plate and steel blades and weighs just 27 pounds (12 kg).
If you pick out this lawn mower, you will get the compact, easily stored unit which is practical enough to allow you to finish your lawn work more quickly. Plus, you can easily adjust its cutting height from 0.5 to 2.75 inches (1.3-7 cm).
This lightweight device with a compact footprint is practical for maneuvering. Excellently designed cutting reel makes mowing convenient, and its specially made blades don’t need too much sharpening. When you look for a functional unit at an affordable price, this reel mover is a good match.
Since it is made out of durable parts, you can use this device in the long run. Also, ten-inch (25.5 cm) wheels make maneuvering your yard easy, and the ideal size of this unit allows storage in a tiny space.
The cutting reel of 18 inches (46 cm) is wide enough to allow you to finish the job quickly. Except for occasional sharpening, this model doesn’t require special maintenance. Since it features heat treated blades, you probably won’t need to sharpen it more than once a year.
- This compact and light mower is convenient for storage
- Except for sharpening once a year, it requires low maintenance
- Its long-lasting, rust-free, coated handle will allow you to work more comfortable
- An excellent, environmentally friendly unit for a small yard
- Very competitive price compared to the offered quality makes it a good choice, especially if you want a reliable reel mower, but don’t plan to spend too much money on it
- A poorly designed frame assembly
- The height settings of this reel mower are relatively low, and you often can’t mow your yard effectively
- This unit has some troubles to work with tall and thick weeds, plus even the smallest twigs will jam it
- Too wide wheels (more extensive than the cutting reel) can make your work near walls and fences pretty difficult
3. Fiskars 17 Inch Staysharp Push Reel Lawn Mower (6208)
If your lawn is not particularly big, you don’t need a too expensive power lawn mower. With an excellent and reliable Fiskars 17 Inch Staysharp Push Reel Lawn Mower (6208), you will save your money and do the job at the same time.
As a fantastic example of the kind of convenience, this unit is designed to be comfortable to use. It features a unique cutting system, a cutting reel of 17 inches (43 cm) with five steel blades, and the considerable cutting power. You can adjust the cutting height between 1.5 and 3.5 inches (3.8-9 cm).
The manufacturer has used innovative technology to improve this model as much as possible. For example, a contact-free cutting system is wisely made and doesn’t allow direct contact between the blades and a rear cutting blade during mowing.
A solid inertia drive is one more advantage of this model. This option allows a device to efficiently deal with more robust varieties of weed and disables rolling grass over the unit. Unfortunately, this part also makes the mower heavier than the average. Since this unit weighs 41 pounds (18.5 kg), it can be difficult for elderly or weaker persons to manage it.
On the other hand, thanks to the way this device is made, it is highly comfortable for you to push it. A convenient ergonomic handle is designed to make handling this reel mower simple for anyone without the risk of pain in the shoulders and back.
Also, I can’t say that this reel mower is cheap, but it is not too expensive in relation to the quality you get.
- Thanks to inertia drive, this environmentally friendly unit can handle all types of grass, even thicker ones
- The cutting reel, which is 17 inches 43 cm) wide, has a few height options
- You don’t need to sharpen its cutting blades too often
- Two years warranty
- It is a too heavy device comparing for its size
- Unfortunately, you practically can’t use it on slopes
- It doesn’t work well if it catches some twigs on the lawn
- You may have a problem with spinning the reel
- Comparing to similar models, this reel mower is a bit more expensive
4. Remington RM3000 16-Inch Reel Push Mower
I am pretty sure that a low price of Remington RM3000 16-Inch Reel Push Mower is not in accordance with the quality of this model. On the contrary, the cutting quality of this unit is at the level of top-rated reel movers you can find on the market.
If you tend to mow your yard regularly, this classical, environmentally friendly designed reel mower with the least possible contact cutting system is an excellent choice. Since this model is push-operated, well equipped, and has a practical collection bag, almost everyone can handle it.
With a cutting path of 16 inches (40.5 cm), height positions which are flexible from 0.75 to 2.5-inches (2-6 cm), and five durable, high-quality, heat-treated blades with adjustable reel cuts, this model is an ideal solution for light-duty work in your yard.
Thanks to its soft foam grip, the ergonomic, loop style handles of this unit are comfortable to use. The additional advantage is that this device is only weighing 28 pounds (13 kg) which makes it easy to operate.
Large, never-flat wheels of 10 inches (25.5 cm) make maneuvering this reel mower comfortable. Thanks to the tread design, these tires make this reel mower highly mobile on various terrains. Plus, they grasp tightly on the slippery grass and keep the unit steady on every surface, including uneven ones.
- It is an affordable, cheap, but a quality model
- An ergonomic grip makes handling this unit comfortably
- There are nine height positions you can adjust optionally
- This reel mower is lightweight but stable across the uneven surfaces
- Two years limited warranty
- Over time, its grass catcher will begin to fall during mowing
- Even though this device is suitable for most grass types, it is not recommended for Zoysia and Bermuda
5. Fiskars 362050-1001 Reel Mower, StaySharp Max, 18 Inches
By combining superior ergonomics and new patent-pending technology, Fiskars 362050-1001 Reel Mower, StaySharp Max, 18 inches delivers fantastic cutting performance. This top-rated unit is quiet, well balanced, and easy to use, and you don’t need any oil, petrol, or charging while using it.
With this reel mower, you will entirely redefine the way you mow your lawn. It doesn’t require sharpening the blades, and there are no annoying cords and gas which will pollute your environment.
The manufacturer proudly claims that this unit is the most advanced reel mower’s design in the world. Plus, it seems that this well-engineered, eco-friendly, cylindrical model is 60% easier to ‘drive’ than competitors.
Moreover, InertiaDrive technology is an ideal solution with twice cutting power. It combines thick blades with large diameter cutting reel. This way, the unit can blast through robust weeds and twigs in the way that no other reel mower can do.
This 45 pounds (20.3 kg) heavy reel mower has a cutting width of 18 inches (46 cm) and eight cutting height from 1 to 4 inches (2.5-10 cm). The VersaCut technology adjusts this model’s heights of cutting, which makes it a top-notch reel mower.
I like its inset wheel design. It is practical and allows the eliminating of uncut strips near fences, at the edge of the sidewalks, and under the wheels.
- This unit is quiet, well balanced, easy to use, and without needing to be sharpened
- It is made by using InertiaDrive technology which provides twice cutting power
- Its heights of cutting are adjustable thanks to VersaCut technology
- It is easy to assemble and set-up
- Three years limited warranty
- This unit is not an ideal solution for bigger yards
- Even after adjusting the chute, this model can’t cut grass for mulching
- There is no option to bag clippings
- It can’t efficiently cut taller and more robust weed
6. Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2000-20 Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower, 20-Inch
With an excellent cut quality and a maximum cutting height of 3 inches (7.6 cm), Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2000-20 Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower, 20-Inch is a versatile choice for various lawns and grass types. There is no other reel lawn on the market with a 20-inch (51 cm) cutting swath. It is easy to maneuver, makes the clean cuts, and it will jam only on rare occasions.
Since it is simply built, you can get this model at an affordable price. However, that simplicity doesn’t adversely affect its performances.
The great attribute of this unit is its cutting width of an impressive 20 inches (51 cm). Thanks to this feature, you will spend less time on mowing because this unit requires fewer passes through the yard. The excellent news is that this wide desk won’t make pushing harder.
There are nine height positions from one to three inches (2.5-7.6 cm) you can quickly adjust as needed. The only limitations for this unit are too high weeds and large twigs. You just can’t pull it through very tall grass.
In a ball-bearing assembly, this unit has five sharpen, heat-tempered steel blades. Since they are inclined at various angles, the quality of the cut is improved, and the friction is reduced compared to competitors. You can be sure that this reel mower will do a great job no matter which type of grass is it about.
It offers quick adjustments and the clean cut. Plus, don’t expect this strong unit to jam. The weight of 34 pounds (15.5 kg) makes this reel mower light and easy to turn. On the other hand, it is heavy enough to be stable on uneven turfs.
The disadvantage of its dual-tracking, radial wheels is that they are positioned outside the mower. In combination with the wide cutting swath, that feature can make edging the lawn a bit harder.
- It mows grass without leaving ragged edges
- The adjustment of the mowing height is simple by using two levers (one for each side)
- This reel mower is easy to assemble without any tools
- Two years warranty
- It can’t work efficiently through high weeds and large twigs
- The combination of the wide cutting swath and traditionally positioned outside the mower can make edging a bit harder
7. Sun Joe MJ501M Mow Joe 18-Inch Manual Reel Mower with Catcher
Since it is made of durable and reliable material, this unit doesn’t require frequent maintenance except regular oiling. The advantage of this reel mower is a practical grass bag for collecting mowed grass. Unfortunately, it is not rare that bag falls during mowing which can be pretty annoying.
This device comes with nine height positions which you can adjust manually. It is 28 pounds (13 kg) heavy, with a cutting deck of 18 inches (46 cm) and a grass catcher of 6.6 gallons (25 l). This model comes with five steel blades, two large wheels of ten inches (25.5 cm), and two small wheels of six inches (15 cm).
The advantage of this unit is that a big cutting deck will save you both time and energy. For me, the best thing is that you have to run this model over the surface only once and it will finish the entire job. Since it is lightweight, you won’t have any problem with maneuvering and moving it around, especially on small yards.
All the components of this efficient, environmentally friendly machine are made of high-quality materials. Besides, I like its firm, convenient handle which will make mowing more comfortable than ever.
- This compact, handy, and lightweight unit is easy to use and requires just a little effort to move it around
- The cut quality is excellent and precise
- Multiple height positions, which you can adjust manually, provide comfort during mowing
- This model is almost maintenance-free
- Two years warranty
- Over time, grass catcher starts falling during mowing
- It is not the best choice for large yards
- This model can handle soft grass, but it is not an excellent option if you have problems with extreme weeds
It seems that it is not a big deal finding the best reel mower possible. Is that really so? Let's see.
How to Pick Out the Right Reel Lawn Mower
Experts agree that there are a few primary criteria you should consider before going shopping the right reel mower for your needs:
The weight of reel lawn mower - It can be pretty tricky carrying a reel lawn mower around for a long time. If your lawn is big, you may consider finding the smart relation of cutting performance and weight of the chosen model.
A number of blades - Different models can have four to seven blades on the reel. It is the fact that you will get a more precise cut with the more blades. However, be aware that you should use more push-power to run your unit when it features more blades. For an average lawn, a device with four to five blades will be fine.
The height of grass cutting - This feature can widely vary, and the range for the average device is from half an inch (1.3 cm) to four inches (10 cm). You can find mowers with a very low specific height of cuts, those with the highest possible cutting, as well as adjustable units for different grass heights.
Length of grass cutting - What reel mower you will choose should also depend on the size of your lawn. That means that you should pick out a mower with the appropriate blade length to cover the entire yard without tiring you out too much.
Grass-type - The type of grass in your yard is one of the essential features which you should consider while determining the type of reel mower you want to purchase. Keep in mind that you need thicker blades for more abundant grass.
Slope - If your lawn is flat, every reel mower you choose will probably be the right match. However, when we are talking about sloped and/or bumpy yards, you need to do more research to find the appropriate unit. The desirable models are those which can cut at different angles so you can avoid multiple runs on the same path.
Blade durability - Be prepared that you need to take care of reel mower blades. Over time, they will become dull, and you need to sharpen them from time to time. The only thing you can do is to pick out the lawn mower with as durable blades as possible.
Grass spray and grass catcher - Those tools are not necessary, but they can be quite practical.
Why Should You Choose a Reel Mower?
Environmental-friendly - Since you use only your own power to run this unit, it is entirely eco-friendly. Relative to power mowers, which pump out more hydrocarbons per hour than ten cars, your new mower will keep the air clean. Also, you will avoid noise pollution.
Workout - It may sound funny, but pushing your new hand mower can successfully replace your expensive aerobic exercises.
Healthy lawn - This type of mowers has blades which cut grass precisely, efficiently, and smoothly. That way, these units keep the grass tips greener and your lawn more beautiful and healthier.
Price - Even the best reel mowers are low-priced, and their maintaining is easy and affordable. On the other hand, you will need to spend up to 50% more time mowing. However, finding a high-quality device for just a couple of hundred dollars (you can find a decent mower under a hundred bucks) is a great advantage. Maybe that extra time you need to spend mowing is an acceptable trade-off for you.
Durable blades - This feature is fundamental. The fact is that blades on your reel mower won’t easily break if you unexpectedly hit some object, including rocks. Since blades of this unit don't move at high speed, any stone you can hit on your way will be an obstacle, but not a cause of considerable damage.
An excellent 'educator' - Some parents choose this type of mowers to teach their children to become responsible and hard-working humans. Modern kids are dedicated to the technique and spend a lot of time in front of computers and TVs. Therefore, some outdoor activities such as mowing can be excellent exercises for them. Using this device is not too demanding and your child will learn a lot about contributing to the community while dealing with this useful activity.
Desirable Categories of Best Reel Mowers
In the end, I can recommend three the most desirable categories of reel mowers you can choose depending on various demands you have. Your choice will be directly connected with the yard you have, a type of grass, and your own preferences. So, I can give you some guidance, but it is up to you to pick out the right model.
Light and flexible - This type of a reel mower is a perfect choice for bumpy lawns full of slopes because it has a uniform and less tiring cut.
Heavy and durable - If you have no patience to think about obstacles on your way, you will need a heavier and more durable model which can cut through your yard in a fast time.
The middle solution - Believe it or not, most people prefer intermediate solutions whenever possible. So, if you have an average yard, you can pick out a decent device which will quickly meet your expectations.
All in all, my top peak is definitely American Lawn Mower Company Push Reel Lawn Mower. This top-notch, hand-reel mower is an ideal choice for almost every yard. Thanks to its four blades, you can use this model for mowing practically every type of grasses, including thick ones.
This unit is only 19 pounds (8.6 kg) weight, which means that almost everyone can handle it. Plus, with the adjustable cutting height and the cutting width of 14 inches (35.5 cm), it is one of the best reel mowers you can find on the market.