This guide walks you through the Best reel mower in 2022, with the top choices and best features we think you should consider before buying one.
Reel mower specifications, pros, cons, and prices all vary by manufacturer, and after considering all the mowers on the market, we’ve narrowed the list down to the 7 Best Reel mowers.
Homeowners share pride in having a great-looking, well-kept yard. And since you’re here, this means you probably like mowing your grass with man-made power – or you have a pretty small yard 🙂
Either way, we’ve got you covered if you’re on the hunt for a super-efficient, easy-to-use Reel Mower. We tested and reviewed seven reel mowers to produce our Best Reel Mower guide, so please, read on!
Best Reel Mower (Reviews for 2022)
What is the best reel mower to buy? Our personal favorite; is the highly efficient Fiskars “StaySharp” Max Reel mower. Right off the bat, this mower promises incredible ease of use, 60% easier to use than other brands, to be exact. Oh, and its blades are super sharp and “Cut like Butter.”
Because of its patented “Inertia-Drive” reel design, this mower smoothly pushes through the trickiest spots with twice the cutting power. The unique “StaySharp” system technology allows for highly precise cuts, eliminating unwanted contact and, in return, extended blade sharpness and performance.
The Fiskars “StaySharp” also features a reversible, adjustable grass chute so you can direct the clipping any way you like. The inset wheels are just what you need to get those strips near fences and foundations while allowing the blades to extend across the 18-inch cutting width fully.
Moreover, you can simply and quickly set the Fiskars Reel Mower cutting height from 1 inch all the way up to 4 inches.
The Fiskars StaySharp reel mower may be a little on the pricey side, but in our opinion, it is well worth the extra money, and easily earns our vote for Editor’s Choice.
- Easy to push
- Adjustable cutting height
- 20” Wide – StaySharp blade system
- Customizable grass chute
- Simple assembly
- Works great on sloped yards
- Heavier compared to some other models
- May clog with very thick clippings (like most do)
- Maybe a bit expensive for some users
- The grass catcher is not included – $37 extra on Amazon
Here’s a great video of the Fiskars Push Reel Mower In Action:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0AqFL2ltjA]
Fiskars Reel Mower
Our Runner-Up: Right on the Fiskar’s tail, the Great States reel lawn mower is another excellent, more affordable choice for your mowing needs. It has a width of a good 18 inches, which means a larger area to cover and a faster job to do.
Why this model really deserves a spotlight in our reel mower review are the five top-quality heat-treated blades that guarantee long-lasting sharpness when it comes to grass cutting. You can also swiftly adjust the cutting height anywhere between 0.5 inches and 2.75 inches.
The powder-coated finish on the Great States reel mower helps extend its life, preventing rust from forming. It’s also relatively lightweight, with a compact design for easy use and convenient storage.
- Very easy to maneuver
- Works for bigger yards with an 18-inch cutting width
- 5 high-quality heat-treated blades
- Handles sloped and bumpy ground easily
- Very budget-friendly
- Limited height adjustment, only raises up to 2.75 inches
- Rear bag not included – $30 add – on Amazon
- The handle isn’t as substantial as we’d like
- Not the best with very tall grass
Great Lakes Reel Mower
Our “Best Value” ranking goes to the very impressive Scotts 20-inch reel mower. In our opinion, “Best Value” doesn’t always mean “Best Price,” and the Scotts Reel Mower fills that role by being well priced – with a lot of built-in “Value” other reel mowers don’t have.
This lawnmower requires no tools for assembly and is built with a lightweight frame to keep maneuverability the most natural.
The ergonomic handle design provides comfort and is very sturdy.
The large dual 10-inch wheels, with quad wheels in the back, provide tracking technology to further improve the movement of the mower. It also features the Quick-snap height adjustment option, so you can easily cut grass using the 1-inch or 3-inch cutting height.
What really sets the Scotts reel lawn mower apart is the unmatched 20-inch wide cutting width, reaching the upper limit of the scale for push lawnmowers. The five heat-treated blades are designed with precision-blade engineering and a ball-bearing reel to achieve consistent cuts for each use.
- 5-blade reel
- Dual 10-inch tracking wheels
- 20-inch cutting width
- Extremely quiet
- Height adjusts at 3 inches
- Handle bolts tend to loosen (use Loctite during assembly)
- It could be a little more sturdy
- It doesn’t do as well on uneven terrain
Scott’s Reel Mower
If you’re searching for a slightly smaller reel mower with a narrower cutting width of 16 inches, which is also easier to store and easier on the wallet, you should definitely consider this American Lawn Mower Company model, known for its quality built yet reasonably-priced products.
It comes with five blades made to last using premium heat-treated steel that’ll remain sharp cut after cut. Thanks to its 10- inch composite wheels and a ball bearing reel, you’ll quickly push through your yard, always seeing a flat grass trail left behind.
You can adjust the cutting height from 0.5 inches to 2.25 inches according to your preference.
With this reel mower, maintenance requirements are kept minimal, and the innovative T-shaped handle cushions your grip for extra comfort. If you’re into the more classic feel of a push lawnmower, this all-American product may be just it.
- Durable blades
- Easy to move around
- Suitable for almost all house yards jobs
- T-style handle
- No-tool assembly
- 2.25 maximum cutting height
- Struggles with fences and foundations
- Cuts only going forward
American Lawn Mower
Best 20” Reel Mower with Grass Catcher “Included”: Going for a reel lawn mower with a catcher for grass clippings is the right move for all people concerned with leaving trails of clippings in their yards. With that same mindset, we reviewed the popular MJ502M reel mower manufactured by Sun Joe.
This push mower features a 9-point manual height control system reaching up to 2.44 inches, and It also carries five steel blades cutting through a 20-inch wide cutting path that can handle just about any type of grass.
The handy grass catcher bag is located at the machine’s rear end to collect clippings and debris, keeping your landscape neat and tidy. The Sun Joe MJ502M simply offers an affordable solution to otherwise messy cutting jobs.
- Handy grass catcher bag
- Five steel blades
- 20-inch cutting width
- 9-position manual height adjustment
- Materials don’t appear as durable as some higher-priced models
- Not as easy to maneuver with the grass bag attached (Editor’s note: this is a common occurrence with reel mowers)
SUN JOE Reel Mower
The Best Reel Mower with “Leaf Blower” Included:
Another superb push reel mower popular among lots of homeowners is the GreenWorks 18” reel mower. Not only does it include a built-in rear bag designated for catching cut grass thrown by the machine, but this particular deal also includes a very efficient leaf blower.
The leaf blower is “corded,” meaning it runs on electricity and is therefore limited to the length of your extension cord. However, it does provide an air velocity of 160 miles per hour for powerful performance.
Going back to the lawnmower, it provides a cutting path of 18 inches wide, enough for light-medium workloads. It has a set of double 10-inch front wheels and two rear rollers to deliver extreme maneuverability rather than stability.
The cutting height is customizable, ranging from 1 1⁄8-inches all the way to 2 1⁄4-inches. Combining sturdiness with a 4-year warranty, you’ve got yourself one of the best reel mowers on the market.
- Leaf blower included
- Rear rollers have great maneuverability
- Grass collecting bag to keep the yard clean Wide handle for better control
- The grass catcher is a little flimsy
- Not quite as easy to push with bag collection onboard
- Repeated mowing is required for longer grass
Greenworks Reel Mower
If you have a very bumpy or hilly yard, check out the Best Reel Mower with “Quad Wheels”: If stability paired with precision is what you’re aiming for, you won’t need to look beyond the Sun Joe MJ503M push reel mower.
Here, you’ll find a jagged quad-wheel design that works for all-terrain types; straight, bumpy, and rock, delivering what you need in terms of balance as well as maneuverability.
It’s also rather lightweight, less than 25 pounds, deeming it easy to push. The 14-inch cutting width and the five steel blades allow for ideal grass cutting in smaller lawns. You also get to personally adjust the height at nine different levels from 1.1 to 2.9 inches.
Includes a padded non-slip handle for more stability.
- Really suitable for light work
- Includes five steel blades
- Maximum height of 2.9 inches
- Rugged quad wheels for stability
- 14” cutting path good only for very small yards
- Not made for large or heavy-duty jobs
- Requires some assembly
SUN JOE Reel Mower
Benefits of a Reel Mower
Whether you’re switching to a push reel mower or choosing it as a first destination, there are several benefits you should know before making that purchase:
The difference in the maintenance and cleaning requirements between gas or electricity-powered lawn mowers and push lawn mowers is pretty huge.
Without any electric or gas parts, or spark plug to change, the risk of something breaking down is almost impossible. You won’t need to do any real maintenance except for occasional blade sharpening and some simple cleaning with a hard-bristled brush to clean the blades occasionally.
You also won’t have the inconvenience of emptying and refilling oil or gasoline since all reel mowers need a little muscle to do their job.
The actual total cost of owning a reel lawn mower is far less than one running on gas or electricity. Although some higher-end brands offer more expensive reel mower models, the average version of reel mowers is way more affordable than the powered ones.
Additionally, as you’re manually operating them, they’ll do their job no matter what. You won’t need to spend any extra cash on fuel or electricity for your lawnmower to work.
If you’re pro-environmental behavior, which we all are, push lawn mowers are your way to go. They give off zero harmful vapors or emissions as opposed to gas mowers. They also run on clean power sourced from you, not electricity.
Gas-powered lawn mowers are notorious for the noise levels they produce, heard from a couple of houses over, and electric lawn mowers are better but still make some noise.
With reel push mowers, you have nothing to worry about as they’re practically silent workers. You might even find their quiet sound soothing.
Push reel lawn mowers are perfect for small to medium-scale yard jobs. You’ll find them more than capable enough for an average household’s grass-mowing needs.
It gets you moving!
It might not cross your mind, but using a conventional reel mower can be a rather good workout. The pushing action, as well as walking back and forth, gives you some good exercise all the while cutting down your grass at the same time.
Better for the grass
The mechanism by which the blades run through your lawn is a scissor-like action that leaves your turf with a sharp, clean-cut which is ultimately healthier and looks better!
After you’ve checked out these amazing Reel mowers – Head on over to our essential guide for the Best Battery-Powered String Trimmer & Leaf Blower Combo Kits
Reel Mower Buyers Guide (FAQ)
Now that you know what advantages a push mower offers let’s learn about The Features that will help you pick the most suitable reel lawn mower for your needs.
What we mean here is how easy you can push and turn your lawnmower. On the other hand, a heavier mower has a better ability to stay on the ground. This means less bumping up and down on rough rides as well as more evenly cut grass.
Some of the push reel lawnmowers we tested are considered lightweight machines and would be a breeze to push. However, the less expensive models may lack better and larger main wheels or additional rear wheels that improve turning and maneuverability.
Blades are the most vital part of a reel lawn mower. After all, they do the actual cutting. This is why having them top your priority list of things you should check makes sense.
Make sure the blades are of a premium quality material, sturdy, and capable of keeping their sharpness for years to come. Also, going for extra blades equals faster, more efficient mowing.
You need to consider the size of your lawn here and how that correlates to the cutting width specified in the product’s description. You need to make sure both are a good fit. A good Reel mower with a 14 or 16-inch cutting width is perfect for small yards.
However, If you’re working on a big lawn, you should go with a larger cutting width; something around 18-20 inches would be just fine. If you choose a smaller cutting width, you’ll need to pass over the same patch multiple times and, consequently, spend a longer time mowing your grass.
A reel lawn mower with a 14 or 16-inch cutting width is perfect for small yards.
Another thing to keep in mind is the layout of your lawn. If you have fences and turns, you might want to choose a lawnmower with inset wheels to get at the grass against those edges for a clean, tidy even cut.
If you browse through our best mower reviews, a neat feature you’re guaranteed to find is the option of adjusting the height at which a mower cuts the grass. This is usually presented on mowers as minimum and maximum height numbers, offering lots of variety for the user, and is especially handy for bumpy lawns.
Some machines allow you to go as short as 0.5 inches or as long as 4 inches, depending on your preference, so the further the lowest and highest settings will go, the more choices you have. This will also get you out of a bind if you happen to let your grass grow longer than usual.
Knowing what kind of grass you’re working with is important to pick the most fitting push reel mower. Grass types like Rye or Kentucky Blue are very fine-bladed grasses, while southern states with grass like St. Augustine grass are a much thicker/sturdier bladed grass type.
In this case, choose a model like the Fiskars, which has the best blade system.
Well, where will all the grass clippings go? That’s what you should be asking yourself to get a sense of what you like.
For example, some lawn mower models are equipped with bags for collecting cutoffs, while others shoot grass in a pre-specified direction.
This mower type also mulches leaf and grass clippings to fall and decompose into the ground. This disposal method is the cheapest and easiest to employ but is only employed on powered mowers.
Remember that bag catchers will weigh down your mower as they get filled up and make pushing more difficult as it gets full. For this reason, In our tests, we chose to mow more frequently and never bag the clippings.
Last but not least, a reel mower with the ability to cut grass easily on sloped lawns can be super helpful if your yard is bumpy and sloped.
When it comes to investing in household tools – versatility, durability, and price- are the main aspects I consider. This is why the Fiskars StaySharp reel mower makes the Editors Pick for the Best Reel Mower.
Granted, it’s not the cheapest choice, but it makes up for its quality, reliability, and practicality. However, if you’re looking to snatch a bargain, consider the GreenWorks 16″ reel mower for a pretty sweet deal as well.
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References & Further Reading
- Gas vs. Battery Powered Lawn Equipment – Which one is Right for You? – Spruce.com
- Best Pressure Washers For Concrete – Besthomegear.com
- Lawn Care Tips – Consumers Report.Org
- Tree Limbs Bugging You? Best Electric Pole Saws You Can Buy – Besthomegear.com
- How To Sharpen Reel Mower Blades – Best of Machinery.com
- Five Best Electric & Cordless Hedge Trimmers – Besthomegear.com