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Best Reel Lawn Mower

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Mowing the lawn is an important job, but not everyone wants to charge batteries or sit unraveling yards of an extension cable. The solution to this problem? Reel mowers. 

You may think of reel mowers as something akin to 18th-century farming, but technology has come a long way in rejuvenating the classic design. Even without electronics, reel mowers are a fantastic way to trim the garden swiftly. No emissions, no noise, no wires – no wonder people are choosing reel mowers. 

Reel mowers are real good for certain gardens, with a ton of benefits to adopting one over electric rotary mowers. An excellent cut can be achieved by a reel lawn mower, able to cut grass at around the 2” mark. If you want finely cut, elegant looking grass, then a manual mower may be for you. 

Best Reel Lawn Mower

The manual movement of a reel mower also allows for loads of maneuverability and precision. There is a reason professional gardeners and groundskeepers use reel mowers, with lawn striping and even cutting being a prime factor. 

We have compared the best cylinder lawn mowers available, reeling through the products on the market to see which ones would make the cut. Those who want a healthy lawn, less hassle,  and an even lawn should read on to check out what we think is the best reel mower available. 

COMPARISON CHART

Model Features
Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower – 362050-100118” cutting widthStaySharp and InertiaDrive technologyContactlessReversible chute
Great States 815-18 Push Mower18” cutting width5 steel blades10” rubber wheelsLoop handle
Greenworks 16-inch Reel Lawn Mower16” cutting width2-in-1 grass discharge10” front wheels, 2” back wheels4-positions of height adjustment
American Lawn Mower Company 1415 Reel Mower16” cutting widthAlloy steel bladesAdjustable cutting position 0.5” – 2.5”T-style handlebar10” composite wheels
Snow Joe MJ500M Push Mower16 inch cutting width4 cutting heights6.6-gallong grass catcher8.8” wheels
Scotts 716-18S Push Reel Lawn Mower18-inch cutting width7 alloy steel bladesAdjustable wheels and cutting position10” wheelsComfort grip
Snow Joe FBA-MJ502M Push Mower20-inch cutting width5 steel blades9 cutting positionsFour-wheel system
Earthwise 2001-20EW Push Reel Lawn Mower
20-inch cutting width5 steel alloy blades1”-3” cutting height10” front wheels, 6” rear wheels
Scotts Outdoor 2000-20S Push Reel Lawn Mower20-inch cutting width5-steel alloy bladesHeight adjustment between 1” and 3”Lightweight design

Best Reel Mower Reviews

Reel lawn mowers have come a long way in the past few decades, with a plethora of options on the market. Due to all of this, it can be difficult identifying the reel mower for you. Lots of manufacturers have made their own stamp on the mowing world, creating products that tailor to very specific needs. 

Throughout our reviewing process, we picked out nine of the best push mowers on the market. Our focus was primarily on the cutting width, blade quality, and maneuverability, all of which we deem the most important characteristics. 

Once we examined all of these factors, we attributed it to who these mowers were best suited for. Everything from value to unique technology is important to certain users, and we made sure to factor this into our reviews. 

If you’re curious about what a reel push mower is, or maybe you need a new one, then keep reading as we show you the nine best available. Check out our reviews and see which is the best reel mower for you!

Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower – 362050-1001

Best Reel Lawn Mower
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Quick Glance

  • 18” cutting width
  • StaySharp and InertiaDrive technology
  • Contactless
  • Reversible chute

Sharp and light, the Fiskars StaySharp is one of the best reel lawn mowers on the market. 

The 18” blade is the draw of this reel mower, utilizing StaySharp technology for a consistently keen blade. This led to the mower absolutely gliding across the lawn, trumping any rough or uneven grass in the process. The grass was left with an excellent finish and finely cut ends. 

Along with StaySharp, Fiskars have also touted their InertiaDrive reel, which cuts through tough grass. Along with this was an excellent 2-way grass chute, which spews grass backward or downwards. 

The Fiskars StaySharp was really easy to push, taking away a lot of the labor of cutting with a reel mower. This is thanks to the no-contact blades – a godsend for long cutting sessions. Maneuverability wasn’t much of an issue either, with hard plastic wheels that allowed for some degree of movement.

Amongst all of the features, the easily adjustable height lever was one of our favorites. With a small pull of the lever, the grass position was easily changed on the fly. 

Although pricey, the Fiskars StaySharp is a quality mowing instrument. It’s easy to use, effortless to push, and stamps a quality finish on the lawn. There are a few hindrances, such as plastic wheels that may wear out and a lack of a collection bag, but those are negligible when contrasted to the excellent features this mower boasts. 

What we likedWhat we didn’t like
StaySharp blades are amazingNo grass bag
Easy to pushPlastic wheels
InertiaDrive cuts on hard grassExpensive
Excellent height adjustment

Great States 815-18 Push Mower

Best Reel Lawn Mower
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Quick Glance

  • 18” cutting width
  • 5 steel blades
  • 10” rubber wheels
  • Loop handle

Simplicity is often an overlooked trait in garden care, with many brands opting for exuberance and complex features. Great States 815 is an excellent example of a simple but effective design. 

The 18” blade will chop through grass quickly, with a fantastic ball bearing reel comprised of five blades that makes easy work of a lawn. Upon use, we found it cut through even, flat surface grass quickly. On the opposite side, patch grass and weeds required a few more trims to get through. 

The Great States 815 had enough versatility. The height lever allowed for adjustment from 0.5” – 2.75”, ending in a beautiful looking lawn. 

Upon opening the box, the assembly was fairly straight forward. The only thing to assemble is the handlebar and attach it to the cylinder, only requiring a modicum of effort. The handlebar itself is really comfortable and soft on the grip. 

Movement is an area where the 815 shines. The radial rubber tires effortlessly moved across the grass as well as harder terrain. It was easy to turn and push, which is essential in a push reel mower. 

The Great States 815-18 is just a solid choice all around. The simple, convenient, and efficient design was a bonus on what was already a fantastic mower. All the fundamentals of a reel mower are present and to the best standard available. This is a mower we definitely recommend. 

What we likedWhat we didn’t like
Simple designStruggles on tall or patchy grass
Great bladesSingle direction grass discharge
Maneuverability
Heigh positions

Greenworks 16-inch Reel Lawn Mower

Best Reel Lawn Mower
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Quick Glance

  • 16” cutting width
  • 2-in-1 grass discharge
  • 10” front wheels, 2” back wheels
  • 4-positions of height adjustment

Greenworks have always produced excellent mowers in all areas of the market and their reel mowers are no exception. 

Straight out of the box this is a lower costing alternative to other reel mowers on the market. The entire thing is easy to assemble, only requiring the attachment of a handle and a collection bag. It doesn’t require any tools, so you should be mowing your lawn in no time. 

The 16” cutting deck is great for a lawn and small gardens. The contactless blades worked well enough at cutting even grass, but struggled on anything above 3”-4”. Weeds and clumps of grass may require repeat cuts to remove, however. 

There is a small range of cutting positions, ranging from around 1.2” – 2.25”, which should be enough for routine cuts. 

The Greenworks mower comes with a grass collection bag, allowing for mulching and collection. This does add some bulk and weight to the mower, making the movement a lot more difficult. Even without the bag though, the clippings were still being discharged in an efficient manner. 

Moving the Greenworks is effortless, with it being one of the lightest reel mowers we’ve used. The wheels held up quite well, despite being large, and managed on tougher surfaces fine enough. The handle isn’t adjustable, so bear that in mind if you are of the shorter variety. 

The Greenworks 16-inch reel lawn mower is an excellent addition to any yard. The price point, weight and discharge options make it a worthwhile purchase. Those who want a larger mower may want to check out their 18” option. 

What we likedWhat we didn’t like
Nice and lightweightTailored primarily for small gardens
Collection bag was a great additionNo handlebar adjustment
Easy to moveStruggles on medium-tall grass

American Lawn Mower Company 1415 Reel Mower

Best Reel Lawn Mower
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Quick Glance

  • 16” cutting width
  • Alloy steel blades
  • Adjustable cutting position 0.5” – 2.5”
  • T-style handlebar
  • 10” composite wheels

The iconic design of the American Lawn Mower Company 1415 Reel Mower is a testament to its ease. Easy to assemble and easy to use, we had a blast mowing with this little beast. 

With a 16” blade, small gardens were an easy task. The 5-blade ball bearing real left nice cutting lines and a precise finish once the mowing was done. The blades themselves were sharp and took to even grass well. 

The precision on this mower really is outstanding. The cutting blade can be adjusted to anywhere between 0.5” – 2.25”. If you want a finely cut lawn, then this may be one of the best options available. 

For a motorless lawn mower, pushing the 1415 was effortless. The 10” radial wheels gripped the grass well, with a tread that could maneuver across patchy grass and hard surfaces. The composite wheels were made with quality in mind, so they will likely stand the test of time. 

The T-bar handle was different to other reel mowers we tried. It was easy to grip and nice on the touch, so we enjoyed pushing it around. 

The American Lawn Mower Company 1415 Reel Mower may not have all the bells and whistles of others on the market, but it was reliable from start to finish. After use, the grass was perfectly cut and it even cut through patches of weeds and small clumps without much trouble. At this price point, this an amazing value mower for your garden. 

What we likedWhat we didn’t like
Simple designVery few extra features
Light enough to pushStruggles with edges
Excellent handle
Fine cutting options

Snow Joe MJ500M Push Mower

Best Reel Lawn Mower
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Quick Glance

  • 16 inch cutting width
  • 4 way cutting height
  • 6.6-gallong grass catcher
  • 8.8” wheels

The design of the Snow Joe MJ500M is one of elegance. The pea-green solid deck looks fantastic and fitting placed with everything else in the garden shed. 

The 16-inch cutting deck was the perfect size for small gardens and yards. It made decent work of the grass, but the blades could have been slightly sharper. As a result, there were some issues with it cutting slightly unevenly and struggling on slightly grown grass. 

The Snow Joe MJ500M comes with a grass collection bag, which can hold a hefty 6.6-gallons of grass clippings. As there aren’t many options on grass discharge, this does make the MJ500M convenient to use if you want to compost your clippings. 

The entire product is fairly easy to assemble, although it warrants routine checks. We found that after a few uses the handlebars were starting to feel loose, as did the wheels. The wheels themselves were good enough to turn and move but did struggle on hard ground. 

The Snow Joe MJ500M will mainly appeal to a very specific user; someone who has a small garden and neds a very simple solution. At less than $80, this is a good buy and offers value for money. The grass catcher could have been slightly better designed, as well as some desired build quality improvements, but it is a good mower overall. 

What we likedWhat we didn’t like
Good value for moneyStruggled to get an even cut
Simplistic and convenientFeels delicate
Grass catcherFinicky grass catcher
Nice design

Scotts 716-18S Push Reel Lawn Mower

Best Reel Lawn Mower
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Quick Glance

  • 18-inch cutting width
  • 7 alloy steel blades
  • Adjustable wheels and cutting position
  • 10” wheels
  • Comfort grip

Amongst the 4-5 blade choppers in the mowing market, Scotts have put themselves ahead by implementing 7 blades. 

Coupled with an 18-inch mowing cylinder, the ball bearing attached seven blades are essential in getting a cut done in few passes. Since the Scotts 716-18S is surprisingly light and agile, you will be getting through a routine mow in double time. 

Assembling the Scotts 716-18S was fairly easy also, requiring little work and without tools. However, to lower the cutting position, users will have to use tools to adjust the wheels and lower the cutting height. With this, we were able to get it to cut from 1” – 3”. 

Moving this mower around couldn’t be easier. The wheels themselves deal with inclines, declines, and uneven ground without much resistance. The only issue we found was handling edges and corners, but otherwise, it was excellent to handle. 

Honestly, this mower is excellent. Not only is it superb value for money, the weight, speed and blades rival even that of an electric mower. If you have a small enough garden and need a decent mower, without the extra features, you could do way worse than the Scotts 716-18S.

What we likedWhat we didn’t like
Superb value for moneyNot many extra features
Handles with easePosition adjustment requires tools
Leaves a fine cut
Easy set up

Snow Joe FBA-MJ502M Manual Push Mower

Best Reel Lawn Mower
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Quick Glance

  • 20-inch cutting width
  • 5 steel blades
  • 9 cutting positions
  • Four-wheel system

Snow Joe have always been great for versatility, offering products that perform a myriad of tasks. If you need a push reel lawn mower with a few bells and whistles, then Snow Joe may have you covered. 

The Snow Joe FBA-MJ502M is fantastic mainly due to one thing – a 20” cutting width. Few manual push mowers come with this much breadth. Covering more ground, this mower could get you through a garden swiftly. 

The five-blade reel will fair well across the lawn, but the Snow Joe does have issues with cutting evenly. It is likely that you will have to go back over thick grass multiple times for any hope of fine grass. It may cover more ground but probably won’t suit the backyard perfectionist out there. 

On the plus side, the Snow Joe FBA-MJ502M does have 9 levels of height adjustment. Having this level of control may speak to some gardeners who like that control over grass length. This was fairly easy to adjust with the help of a lever near the rear wheels. 

A grass catcher is also included, holding around 8.5-gallons of clippings. This is slightly problematic at times, but will definitely be useful for anyone who uses clippings for mulch or compost. 

The dual wheel motion does help with maneuvering the machine and was quite helpful with edging. However, the wheels felt fragile and overall contributed to some questionable build-quality surrounding the entire mower. 

The Snow Joe is a niche motherless mower, which won’t suit everyone’s tastes. It comes with some neat features, but issues with build-quality and some poorer quality blades leave this mower looking inferior to its ilk. 

What we likedWhat we didn’t like
Large cutting widthUnremarkable blades
LightweightQuestionable build quality
Grass collector
Four-wheel system

Earthwise 2001-20EW Push Reel Lawn Mower

Best Reel Lawn Mower
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 Quick Glance

  • 20-inch cutting width
  • 5 steel alloy blades
  • 1”-3” cutting height
  • 10” front wheels, 6” rear wheels

Here we are with another 20” reel mower, this time with a more streamlined feel. 

The Earthwise 2001-20EW is a good alternative to bigger names on the market, with a great price and some excellent specs. 

The aforementioned 20” width really helps deal with small gardens in record time, as well as 5-alloy steel blades cutting the grass evenly. Patches only required a second pass through to achieve the quality finish, making it a simple process. 

The 10” composite wheels were great for getting around the garden, as well as demonstrating their quality material. Along with the cushioned handlebar, the Earthwise 2001-20EW drifted effortlessly across the garden. 

The only drawback is the lack of versatility in cutting positions, with a quick-snap adjustment between 1” – 3”, it was difficult to maintain the right grass length. 

The simplicity and lack of grandeur surrounding the Earthwise 2001-20EW is what we really liked. It’s no-frills, fantastic value, and got the job done better than expected. Few 20” reel mowers can accomplish the task as well as this mower, so we definitely recommend it. 

What we likedWhat we didn’t like
Wide cutting reelNo extra features
Simple designLittle room for height adjustment
Easy to maneuver 
Decent blades

Scotts Outdoor 2000-20S Push Reel Lawn Mower

Best Reel Lawn Mower
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Quick Glance

  • 20-inch cutting width
  • 5-steel alloy blades
  • Adjustable cutting height between 1” and 3”
  • Lightweight design

Despite being slightly more expensive than other 20” mowers available, Scotts Outdoor has injected their quality into this device, creating one of the best reel mowers on the market. 

Opting for 5 blades, the quality reel was excellent for moving through the garden and achieving an even result. This was easily adjusted but only had a few options for height adjustment, between 1” and 3”. 

As with a lot of Scotts Outdoor mowers, the 2000-20S felt sturdy and solid, with excellent wheels. Not only did it handle the larger width well, but it also moved through inclines and unlevel sections of the lawn superbly. 

We’ve spoken enough about Scotts Outdoor in the past, with them always making quality products. It may be on the pricey side, but you will be receiving a lasting mower with excellent utility. 

What we likedWhat we didn’t like
Superb build qualityFew extra features
Easy to pushExpensive compared to similar models
Excellent cutting precision

Buyer’s Guide: Reel Mowers and What to Look for While Buying One

Manual reel mowers put off a lot of people at first glance, ‘WHAT? I have to put in manual labor!?’ they decry from the top of their lungs. What they miss out on is that reel push mowers have some genuine benefits over electric lawn mowers, be it corded or cordless. 

What is a reel lawn mower? 

Reel mowers are manually powered lawn mowers. They consist of a large cylinder containing multiple blades on a ball bearing reel, these act like scissors on the grass. As you push it up and down your lawn the cylinder spins and all of a sudden you have shorter grass. Fantastic. 

They’re a nifty little tool and can edge out motorized mowers in different ways. Overall, they’re just simple and a great option for the garden. 

Why buy a reel mower? 

The main reason to buy a reel mower is simple – they don’t require electricity. This means no cables, no chargers, and a lot less hassle when mowing the lawn. Simply put it on the grass and walk. 

With no electricity or gas comes a host of environmental benefits. Not only are you saving money on your electricity bill, you’re also saving the planet. Since there is physical work involved, you’re also exercising at the same time – now that’s value for money. 

Reel mowers have excellent precision when cutting grass. Whereas rotary blades pull the grass apart, damaging it, manual mowers cut it like a pair of scissors. When coupled with the ability to cut down to less than 1” of height, the results can be amazing. Reel mowers are used for the likes of bowls and golf greens to get that crisp finish. 

Who should buy a reel mower?

Reel mowers are best suited to anyone with a small garden. Despite their benefits, few people will want to walk across acres of land with a manual lawn mower. However, with small yards, a motor-free-mower can potentially save a lot of time. 

This time saving isn’t just down to convenience, many of the models mentioned in this article can get up and down a garden swiftly. Some mowers may require that a patch be retreaded multiple times, but this is to ensure the evenness of the ground. 

We recommend reel mowers to gardeners who want a few things; simplicity, ease, convenience, and finely cut grass. If this is you, then maybe it’s time to buy a reel lawn mower. 

Overall Thoughts

It was hard deciding what the best reel mower available was. So many products are available and have their own unique features we adored. 

Overall, it comes down to personal taste and necessity. Make sure to evaluate the size of your yard, the level of cut you need, and how much work you can put in. Once you have all of these in mind, check our reviews again and see what suits you best. 

We hope you can find the best reel mower for you and can get your yard the way you want it.

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