The best reel lawn mowers

Reel Mowers Buyers Guide

They need to be reliable, economical, functional and highly effective in order to satisfy your every gardening need. This is why I have put together this best reel mowers guide to help you on your way to lawn mowing bliss.

With everything from ride-on mowers to robotic mowers (an experience I’d rather forget to be honest) being available you might think that the traditional reel mower design is now out dated, but it’s never been so relevant.

My own reel mower has never let me down; always being there when I need it, ready and waiting to eat through overgrown blades of grass and rarely ever needing to be serviced or repaired.

Reel mowers owe their success to several factors including:

  • They cost a fraction of the price of fully motorized, robotic and sit-on variants
  • They provide an unparalleled degree of accuracy being that they are driven by the users hand
  • ​Reel mowers are cheap to maintain, with some models only needing their blades sharpening every 10 years!
  • ​They are small and lightweight, making them easy to store
  • ​Reel mowers don’t harm the environment and the only fuel costs are your own energy

This buyer's guide is designed to cut out any unnecessary information and provide you only with the details you REALLY need to know about reel mowers. From small, domestic yards to larger commercial gardens you will be able to find the best reel mower to suit your needs.

Technical specifications, price, functionality and hands-on experience are all going to be factored into our comprehensive overview of a wide range of mowers covering every budget and preference you can think of.

We will also highlight what you should and should not look for when purchasing the best reel mower. By the end, you’ll know exactly which option will best suit your needs; are you ready to get your hands dirty and mow your way through the best reel mowers money can buy?

Let’s get to it!

*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.

Best Reel Mowers Over $100

​If you want to have the best push reel lawn mower on the market and you don’t mind spending a bit of money, here are two great options worth considering.

Scotts 2000 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower

If you are looking for a classic design, push reel mower the Scotts 2000 model provides you with the fuel savings of a manual mower paired with the wide cutting width of a power mower. 

Scotts model boasts a unique rear wheel design to help reduce drag and improve manoeuvrability.​

Technical specifications:

  • Cost: Around $110
  • Dimensions: L x W x H in. 28 x 18 x 11
  • ​Weight: Approximately 34 pounds
  • ​Power Type: Manual
  • ​What’s in the box: Push Reel Lawnmower, handle, and composite wheels.
  • Mouth size: 20-inch reel mower
  • ​Wheels: 10-inch dual tracking wheels and rugged radial tires
  • ​Grass heights: 9 grass heights to choose from (1-3 inches) controlled by quick-snap height adjusters
  • ​Blades: 5 heat-treated, steel blades
  • Warranty: 2 year warranty
  • Assembly required: Yes
Green scott's lawn mower

Our Rating

Overview

At a very reasonable price of around $110 this mower can suit any budget. This classic push reel mower by Scotts boasts a wide 20-inch mouth size which gives you the cutting power and size of a motor powered mower, without the pollution, emissions and costs.

You can enjoy complete control over the height of your grass with the Scotts 2000 reel mower. It incorporates an easy-to-use, quick-snap height adjusters that deliver fingertip control over the blade height for precision lawn cutting. Adjustable from one to three inches, they easily fit into nine different height slots and stay securely locked in place thanks to quick-snap technology.

Likes:

  • The 20-inch mouth allows you to cut your lawn in 70% of the time it would take using a mower with a 14-inch mouth.
  • It’s super easy to select and adjust the device to cut the grass height you want. The durable heat-treated blades and welded reel hood protects overhanging plants and shrubs.
  • It has a comfortable loop handle with foam grip and is very easy to assemble - it only takes about 10 minutes.

Dislikes:

  • You will need to tighten all the bolts after the first few mows.
  • Also it’s best to oil the wheels first to ensure they are nice and smooth to operate. It isn’t the lightest manual reel mower about, saying that, it’s not heavy or hard to push either.
  • It's not quite as easy to move as a powered, self-propelled mower but it is certainly easier than pushing a heavy gas mower that isn't self propelled.

Conclusion

This mower is pretty high spec for a domestic, manual reel mower and certainly doesn’t leave you wanting more! With its 20inch mouth size and 9 grass heights to choose from this mower is a steal at the price.


Fiskars 18-Inch Staysharp Max Reel Mower

For those who love innovation and style in the products they buy, the Fiskas 18-inch Staysharp Max Reel Mower is your perfect garden accomplice.

This reel mower boasts a unique combination of advanced technologies making the mower 60% easier to push than other reel mowers – a highly advantageous aspect of this model.

The onboard InertiaDrive Reeleffectively delivers twice the cutting power of a standard reel mower too – this kind of power isn’t to be sniffed at for the price.

Technical specifications:

  • Cost: Around $243
  • Dimensions: 24 x 23.5 x 14.2 inches
  • ​Weight: Approximately 52 pounds
  • ​Power type: Manual
  • ​What’s in the box: Push Reel Lawnmower, handle, and composite wheels.
  • ​Mouth size: 18-inch mouth size
  • ​Wheels: Inset wheel design allows the blades to extend across the full width of the mower to eliminate uncut strips
  • ​Grass heights: Cut grass between 1-4 inches.
  • Blades: 5 heat-treated, steel blades. StaySharp Cutting System.
  • ​Warranty: 3 year limited warranty
  • Assembly required: Yes
Yellow fiskars lawn mower.

Our Rating

Overview

For an eco-friendly, reel mower, you can’t really do any better than this. It is without doubt the most effortless and convenient way to mow a lawn I have ever experienced.​

Likes:

  • I love this reel mower because unlike a lot of other manual reel mowers it cuts through twigs, dandelions and tough spots which other reel mowers often really struggle with.
  • For a manual you really do get a lot of bang for your buck with this powerful mower!
  • The InertiaDrive reel gives you 50% more cutting power than standard reel mowers and boy can you tell when you use it!

Dislikes:

  • It does take a little while to assemble, took me about 30 minutes in total.
  • It can take a couple of hours to do approximately 1 acre of grass. On the flat and downhill areas of grass it is as easy to push as any powered mower. On the uphill bits, it is a little bit harder work.

Conclusion

The innovative technology incorporated into this mower is what makes it a top performer. The InertiaDrive reel and the Staysharp cutting system make this mower one of the highest spec manual mowers you can get for the price. I love how accessible it is and I enjoy the workout it provides when going uphill.


Best Reel Mowers Under $100

​The next products are the more affordable reel lawn mower that Amazon has to offer.

American Lawn Mower 1204 14-Inch Push Reel Lawn Mower

If you have been searching for a nifty little budget reel mower for small yards then you will love this reel mower by the American Lawn Mower Company. For a budget price this mower is compact, won’t take up any space in your shed and is capable of getting the job done.

The mower has a 8-1/2-inch diameter high impact, polymer wheels with a 4 blade reel and a 14-inch cutting width. It’s also super lightweight at only 19 pounds.

Technical specifications:

  • Cost: Around $74
  • Dimensions: 42.5 x 24 x 20 inches
  • ​Weight: Approximately 20 pounds
  • ​Power type: Manual
  • ​What’s in the box: Push Reel Lawnmower, handle, and wheels
  • ​Mouth size: 14-inch mouth size
  • Wheels: 8-1/2 inch high impact wheels
  • ​Grass heights: 1/2- to 1-1/2-inch cutting heights
  • ​Blades: 4 Blade Reel
  • ​Warranty: 90-day limited warranty
  • Assembly required: Yes
American lawn mower 1204 14-inch

Our Rating

Overview

Perfect for keeping those smaller lawns trimmed and tidy the American Lawn Mower 14" reel mower is made with tempered alloy steel. It delivers a reliable cut and operation is easy.

A handy tip before using this mower for the first time is to oil the moving components to ensure a smooth break-in. The height of this grass cutting lawn mower is easily adjustable so you can achieve the blade length you want without much fuss.

What’s more it is also great for cutting narrow strips of turf along any sidewalks. With it being so light (only 20 pounds, probably a bit less) it is easy to manoeuvre which makes it a good mower for the older generation too.

Likes:

  • This mower is beautifully simple.
  • It’s easy to put together and it works as advertised. At only 20 pounds it is so light that it makes the garden work just that bit easier. It takes up no space in the shed at all so no clutter.
  • It is also worth mentioning the zinc-plated handles have plastic grips for greater comfort and they really do make all the difference.

Dislikes:

  • It’s just not the most attractive of lawn mowers. It’s very basic.
  • It is hard to get the perimeter of a building mowed. The wheels stick out a few inches from the mower, which can leave a line of un-mowed grass around your outer buildings or garden features.
  • It can be very sensitive to any form of garden debris such as twigs, dandelions and weeds etc. and won’t cut through them. It's best to make sure it has a clean surface to mow before you get started.

Conclusion

Precise, compact and lightweight, the 14 Inch Deluxe Hand Reel Mower is great for those smaller, domestic lawns or yards that make a gas or electric mowers look somewhat out of place and hugely unnecessary.

For fewer than 100 bucks, what more could you really want in a reel mower? It’s about $30 less than all the other reel mowers available on the market. Sometimes the best things come in smaller packages.


Remington RM3100 18-Inch Reel Push Mower

This mower has the smallest price tag in the buyers guide but the 18-inch mower still packs a hard punch nevertheless. This reel mower comes with a collection bag allowing you to keep your garden free from waste as you mow.

Technical specifications:

  • Cost: Around $61
  • Dimensions: 19 x 11 x 26 inches
  • ​Weight: Approximately 34 pounds
  • ​Power type: Manual
  • ​What’s in the box: Push Reel Lawnmower, handle, and wheels
  • ​Mouth size: 18-inch mouth size
  • ​Wheels: 8-1/2 inch high impact wheels
  • ​Grass heights: 0.75-2.5-inches cutting heights
  • Blades: 5-blade adjustable reel
  • ​Warranty: 2 year limited warranty
  • ​Assembly required: Yes
  • Extras: Collection bag
Black remington rm3100

Our Rating

Overview

I love the fact that for the budget cost it comes with a grass catcher so you can easily collect clippings while you mow, helping to keep your lawn clean and tidy - it’s really a welcome and unexpected feature at this price point.

Because I always like to put back into my garden (I’m also a keen recycler) I like to detach the grass catcher to mulch clippings, so my soil can benefit from all the nutrients which means more plants and flowers!

What stands out about this mower is it's ergonomic design with comfortable foam grips on the handle, which really does make the job easier. This mower is so quiet when in use it's virtually silent so you won’t disturb the neighbours. It’s an eco-friendly mower, which produces no fumes, emissions or mess – this means no stress.

It is ideal for small lawns or areas that require some special attention. At only 34 pounds it’s still lightweight (although not the lightest on the market) making it nice and easy to manoeuvre.

The 9-position dual lever height adjuster allows you select how high you want grass to be cut from 0.75 to 2.5 in. The 5-blade alloy steel reel seems to be pretty durable and the cutting action slices through grass like a pair of scissors.

Likes:

  • It comes with a grass catcher; at this budget price this is a rarity for reel mowers! Well-done Remmington.
  • Its operation is very quiet indeed allowing me to cut the lawn nice and early in the morning. It is nice and easy to assemble and comfortable to manoeuvre and push. For the cost I thought I’d have to go over the lawn time and time again but this simply isn’t the case at all.

Dislikes:

  • If you have a medium sized lawn or a fair amount of grass you do need to empty the grass catcher a few times when mowing the lawn.
  • The catcher can fall off a few times too. The blades do not go out to the edge of the mower so you will need to edge along any fences, etc.
  • It’s not perfect and it doesn’t cut through anything other than grass; weeds and dandelions are out of the equation.

Conclusion

Ideal for light or medium duty yard work and for around the $60 mark, this mower does a fine job of cutting the lawn. It’s simple yet effective. For cutting the grass it's fine, for anything else it won’t deliver but really what can you expect for the price?


BLACK+DECKER 12-Inch 6.5 Amp Electric 3-in-1 Trimmer And Edger And Mower

BLACK + DECKER have produced a 3-in-1 trimmer which comes at a rock bottom price and may end up being the only tool you need to look after your garden.

It’s a corded electric mower that comes with a trimmer/edger and mower detachable mower deck, spool of trimmer string, auxiliary handle, guard and operating instructions.

Technical specifications:

  • Cost: Around $84
  • Dimensions: 7.38 x 36.56 x 15.31 inches
  • ​Weight: Approximately 13.1 pounds
  • ​Power type: Corded electric
  • ​What’s in the box: MTE912 3-N-1 corded trimmer/edger and mower, detachable mower deck, spool of trimmer string, auxiliary handle, guard, operating instructions.
  • ​Mouth size: 12-inch mouth size
  • ​Wheels: Height adjustment options that raises or lowers all four wheels on the mower deck
  • ​Grass heights: from 1.6 to 2.4 inch cutting heights
  • ​Warranty: 2 year limited warranty
  • ​Assembly required: No
Electric 3-in-1 trimmer edger and mower

Our Rating

Overview

Here’s for something a little different! From highly reputable brand BLACK +DECKER this is the ultimate budget 3-in-one mower.

This mower may look simplistic and traditional from the outside but it easily converts from mower to trimmer and to edger with ease. It has you covered from all angles allowing you to just have one device for all your gardening needs.

The good quality gear drive delivers consistent power in most grass types and the design also features adjustable height and pivoting handle positions. It also boasts two deck height adjustments (from 1.6 to 2.4 inches) and an automatic feed spool that ensures continuous work without bumping.

This mower is ideal for homes with small yards of up to 1,200 square feet. It’s also good for those yards and gardens with small inclines or particularly difficult-to-reach areas. What’s more, this model (MTE912) is the corded version (with 6.5 amp motor), but it's also available in a cordless version so you can choose the right option for your yard.

Likes:

  • The unit is really nice to just un-click from the base and start weed eating and edge trimming. You can then snap it back in and continue mowing.
  • When cutting weeds on the hill and on the flat surfaces, some of the weeds are as tall as my waist. On the shorter grass and weeds that are around knee height, I place it in the mower with wheels holder. It's actually lighter to push around than my vacuum cleaner.

Dislikes:

  • It is a little bit weaker than I expected and when you first see it you can’t help but think it looks a little cheap and flimsy. When I was mowing, the auto feed can feed a little too much line causing it to break off really quickly.

Conclusion

Again, because of the low price of this product it's very hard to fault it on a serious level.

The 3-in-one mower offers all the bells and whistles you need to mow your lawn and trim those weeds. Very light in weight it is easy to operate and can remove the stress from having and storing multiple garden tools.


Buying Guide Conclusion

After reading through this buyer’s guide, you should now have a great idea in regards to not only what’s out there, but which reel mower model is going to suit your needs adequately. Gardening is a very personal thing, and by extension, so are mowers.

You’re going to be spending hours of time per year with your chosen model, so you need to carefully balance all of the pro’s and con’s outlined above and decide which cons you can live with in the pursuit of the best set of “pro’s” to suit your individual gardening needs.

You might feel like spending lots of money is unnecessary and feel physically fit enough to tackle your lawn using nothing but your own pushing power, in which case the most basic models featured here will definitely suit your needs.

Cutting the grass with lawn mower

On balance, you might want to make your gardening life a little easier - after years of laborious gardening, it might just be time for you to opt for a little motorised help and spend a little extra money on one of the more advanced models.

There’s really no right or wrong choice here - it’s all about making the choice that suits you the most and will allow you to get the very best out of your garden.

At the very least, you should choose the mower variety that’s going to allow you to enjoy being in the great outdoors the most.

Lawn care should be a joyous activity after all, or at least; standing back and seeing the end result should. This is why you need to make sure you choose the most enjoyable means of getting to it by selecting any one of these fantastic mowers.

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