Are you looking for the best reel mower? If you love nothing more than spending a lazy morning sitting in your garden and admiring the view, then you’ll probably be familiar with how annoying it is when a gas-guzzling mower revs up over the fence.
Gas-powered rotary mowers have become the norm for gardeners these days, but it wasn’t always the case. In days of old, manual reel mowers did the job perfectly well and didn’t cause all that noise and pollution.
The good news is reel lawn mowers are still available to buy. And developments in their design have made them more effective and easy to use than ever. So today, we are sharing our top picks for the best reel mowers on the market in 2023.
Not only will these push-powered beauties cut down on noise and be kinder to your grass, but they will also save you money, as they are affordable and don’t have added fuel costs.
So, read on to discover which is the best push reel mower for you!
What's In This Article
- Our Top 5 Best Reel Mowers Reviewed
- 1. Scotts Outdoor Power Tools Push Reel Mower (Best Overall)
- 2. American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 (Best Budget Reel Mower)
- 3. Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower (Best Premium Pick)
- 4. Great States 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower (Best Value for Money)
- 5. Sun Joe MJ501M with Detachable Grass Catcher (Best Mess-Free Reel Mower)
- Buyer’s Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Our Top 5 Best Reel Mowers Reviewed
1. Scotts Outdoor Power Tools Push Reel Mower (Best Overall)
First on our list as best overall is the Scotts Outdoor Power Tools classic push reel lawn mower. This mower has a large 20-inch cutting swath, which reduces the number of passes you have to do on your lawn as it covers more ground on each pass.
You will get your grass trimmed faster and more efficiently with this machine, and there is no need to retrace your steps due to the excellent blades.
The five blades on this mower are made from heat-treated alloy steel, which keeps them sharp for longer. Furthermore, they slice like scissors, rather than tearing your grass like a rotary motor will. As a result, this is far more gentle and less traumatic for your lawn.
This mower also has a ‘quick snap’ function, which allows you to switch between 1 to 3″ cutting heights, making it easy to adjust so you can mow your lawn at the desired height.
In addition, the ergonomic handle has a cushioned grip to keep your hands blister-free. And it also has a healthy upright positioning, so it is good for your posture while you push.
Finally, this reel mower doesn’t require any tools to assemble, so you won’t be struggling with screws and wrenches to put it together. It is also a slimline and lightweight lawn mower, so it doesn’t take up lots of space in the garage.
- 20’’ swath means less passes over your lawn
- Ergonomic, cushioned handle for comfort and ease
- 1-3’’ blade height adjustment for precision
- No tools needed for assembly
- Blades require maintenance to prevent degrading
Is It For You?
If you’re after a time-efficient mower that will cover your lawn in just a few passes while delivering a quality trim, the Scotts 2000-20 is for you. It might not be as durable as some more expensive models, but with good upkeep, the blades will perform brilliantly.
- Classic Scotts 20 inch push no-motor manual reel rotary lawn...
- Quick-snap 1"-3" cutting height adjustment for a clean, even...
- Blades on the Scotts classic hand push reel rotary 20 inch...
2. American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 (Best Budget Reel Mower)
Our pick for the best reel mower on a budget is this machine from American Lawn Mower Company. It is lightweight, easy to use, and reasonably priced, making it an excellent choice if you only have a small lawn and don’t need tons of features and versatility.
This low-maintenance machine cuts the lawn simply and efficiently, and that is exactly what you want a lawn mower to do.
Its cutting swath is 14 inches wide, so it is ideal for precision cutting in narrow stretches of lawn. And this will allow you to trim even those hard-to-reach corners of the garden.
In addition, the four blades work together to produce a scissor action that slices the grass in a gentle and healthy way, and there are no nasty emissions as a result.
This mower can trim grass up to 4 inches high and has adjustable cutting settings of 0.5’’-1.75’’, producing a lovely neat trim.
On the downside, this mower is less robust than more expensive options, and it isn’t great on really thick turf. So you may need to go over certain patches of lawn twice to get an even finish. But for small areas, it is ideal.
This reel mower only weighs 20 lbs, so it is light enough to lift up garden steps or load into the back of a car easily. Overall, it is a great user-friendly option.
- Excellent scissor action grass slicing
- 4 smooth sharp blades don’t damage the grass
- Easy-roll wheels for maneuverability
- Adjustable 0.5’’-1.75’’ cutting height
- Not suitable for thick grass
- May need to go twice over thick patches
Is It For You?
This push reel mower is perfect if you have a small lawn and want great results without spending much money on an unnecessarily large mower.
- 4-blade reel mower with a cutting width of 14” and durable...
- This push lawn mower has an adjustable blade height of...
- Manual grass cutter is environment-friendly alternative to...
3. Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower (Best Premium Pick)
Next up, we have the Fiskars Stay Sharp Max reel mower. Not only does this mower have extra strong steel blades, but it also has a StaySharp cutting system that cuts without making unnecessary contact with the grass. As a result, you get a happy lawn and blades that do not need constant maintenance.
Another great feature is the InertiaDrive system which makes this mower very powerful. It allows you to tackle thick, bushy areas, and you can also roll over twigs and sticks without worrying.
An additional innovation is the inset wheel design, which allows the blades to span the entire 18-inch width of the mower.
So this means that there are no pesky strips of lawn left untrimmed between passes or near edges. Also, the wheels are very responsive and steer with little effort.
The reversible grass chute on this mower lets you direct the grass clippings away from your feet, so your shoes will not get stained and dirty.
Overall, they really have thought of everything with this one! The only drawback is that it is pretty hefty at 51 lbs.
- StaySharp cutting technology means blades don’t wear
- Reversible grass chute to direct clippings
- InertiaDrive cuts even thick, long grass
- 60% easier to push than other manual mowers
- Inset wheels mean no uncut strips of lawn
- 51 lbs weight is heavy, making it less portable
- Not ideal on sloped lawns
Is It For You?
The Fiskars StaySharp reel mower is ideal if you have large, lustrous lawns that need lots of looking after. And lawn enthusiasts will love all the unique features of this premium machine.
- Quality Yardcare Tools: Designed to help you take back your...
- Advanced Technology for best-in-class cutting performance:...
- Superior Ergonomics: Reversible grass chute can direct...
4. Great States 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower (Best Value for Money)
The Great States 815-18 push reel lawn mower is our best value for money pick. Its high-quality alloy steel blades provide excellent cutting power, so you will be able to cut your grass in less time and spend more time enjoying it.
This mower has five blades that work on a ball bearing system to snip the grass rather than rip and tear it. And this promotes healthier regrowth, as the grass isn’t traumatized in the process.
In addition, the composite wheels on this mower are light and easy to maneuver. So you can push it effortlessly across your lawn without having to heave and struggle, as is often the case with a heavy gas-powered mower.
The blades have adjustable cutting heights of 0.5’’-2.5’’ and produce a lovely neat finish that you will feel proud of. And although this mower doesn’t suit long grass, it is perfect for simple garden upkeep and won’t break the bank.
- Cutting height adjustable from 0.5’’-2.5’’
- 5 blade ball bearing reel
- High-quality alloy steel blades stay sharp and strong
- Composite wheels are smooth and easy to maneuver
- Handle grip slides a bit
- Not suitable for grass longer than 3-4 inches
Is It For You?
The Great States push reel lawn mower is an excellent choice if you’re on a medium budget and want a long-term investment. This simple and reliable machine will keep your lawn neat and healthy with minimum effort.
- The Great States motor-less lawnmower with an adjustable...
- 18" cutting width 5-blade manual push mower with 5-blade...
- Push mower blades are made of high-quality alloy steel that...
5. Sun Joe MJ501M with Detachable Grass Catcher (Best Mess-Free Reel Mower)
Finally, the Mow Joe by Sun Joe is a great option if you have an irregular-shaped lawn. It has excellent adjustment capacities that will help you cut those hard-to-reach areas.
The 18-inch cutting width means you will cover more ground quickly and efficiently. And there are nine cutting height positions available, which is more than any other model on our list.
A brilliant feature of this mower is its grass catcher, which scoops up loose grass clippings and saves you from having to sweep up afterward. This 7-gallon catcher is big enough for medium lawns and is quick and easy to empty.
Additionally, the RazorReel system is super sharp and strong, so you will be able to get a neat and crisp finish on your lawn with minimal effort. All in all, this mower is ideal if you’re looking for a mess-free, fuss-free option.
- Grass catcher with 7 gallon capacity
- 18’’ blades perfect for medium lawns (plus adjustment lever)
- 9 position height adjustment for versatility
- Dual wheel design for excellent maneuverability
- RazorReel blades are sharp and leave a crisp finish
- Lightweight at 28 lbs
- Blades create a bit of a clicking noise
Is It For You?
If you have a medium to large lawn that grows fast, then the Mow Joe by SunJoe will help you stay on top of things. It comes with the grass catcher included, which is handy for collecting the clippings so they don’t stay sitting on the lawn. Plus, the adjustability of this mower makes it wonderfully versatile for precision cutting, even on irregular-shaped yards.
In this guide, we cover some key points that you may want to consider when buying a reel mower.
First of all, the blade width, number of blades, and adjustability all contribute to the overall cutting capacity of any push reel mower. With more blades, your mower will be more efficient, and you will have to do fewer passes over your lawn to achieve the result you are after.
The swath or cutting width will determine how much ground you cover on each pass, and the wider the swath, the fewer passes you will need to do. So this saves time and effort.
However, for small or irregularly-shaped lawns, a narrow swath will allow you to reach tricky spots more easily.
Secondly, a large mower will allow you to cut your lawn faster, but it will be heavier and more difficult to store. So consider both how large your lawn is and how much space you have in your garage to decide which size reel mower is best for you.
Thirdly, the quality of the wheels on your reel mower will make a huge difference to its overall performance. Large, robust wheels will allow you to roll over thick grass more easily and won’t be phased by small sticks and twigs. On the other hand, smaller wheels will afford you more accuracy and are better if you have a small lawn.
Finally, as there are no electrical elements or motorized features to maintain, a reel mower can be an excellent investment that can last a lifetime. Strong, alloy steel blades will stay sharp for longer and save you the effort of having to sharpen them yourself. In addition, thick and reliable wheels are also a great feature because they won’t lock up or jam, keeping your mower rolling smoothly for longer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Reel Mowers Better For The Environment?
Yes, reel lawn mowers are an eco-friendly alternative to gas or corded electric mowers. They don’t give off any nasty emissions but instead rely only on you to push them along. So this means you are not harming the environment whenever you mow your lawn.
Are Reel Mowers As Good As Motorized Mowers?
Reel mowers are better for the health of your grass because they slice it instead of ripping or tearing it. As a result, this promotes healthy regrowth and produces a beautiful, neat finish.
However, reel mowers are less powerful than motorized mowers and cannot trim really thick or long grass. But they are ideal for garden lawns that are maintained fairly regularly.
If you love your lawn and want to keep it healthy and manicured while also looking after the world around you, then a push-powered reel mower is a great option.
In summary, these mowers are cheap, hassle-free, and eco-friendly and are a brilliant investment for any lawn enthusiast.
Steve is a passionate gardener and particularly loves growing vegetables. His interest was spurred at eight years old while helping his parents take care of their extensive yard, lawns, and vegetable garden. Over the years, his childhood interest grew into a lifelong passion. Read more »
Last update on 2023-03-21 / Affiliate links / Some images and data from Amazon Product Advertising API