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8 Best Reel Mowers

Reel mowers are a great alternative to your usual rotary push or riding mower. Most residential reel mowers are manual with no engine. This makes it very easy to use, less likely to break, and much easier to maintain. There are also some commercial reel mowers that can be self-propelled or ride on. Check out the best reel mowers in this buying guide!

What is a Reel Mower?

Do you remember decades ago, back in the 50s and beyond, when parents said to cut the grass, they had this vast heavy iron piece of machinery with two wheels, full of blades spinning in a fan-like motion perpendicular to the ground, and you were the engine? That was an antique reel mower, but now they are built the same with no engine (mostly), and it is easier and lighter to maneuver. We will help you find the best reel lawn mower that fits you and your lawn throughout this article.

Why a Reel Mower?

It sounds like it would be harder to operate than a rotary lawn mower, but many still prefer the old-fashioned way of cutting grass. In reality, nothing can mow the lawn more spectacular than these mowers, and it could cut with the same outcome as a golf course. It has many advantages over the rotary mower, which is listed below:

  • Environmentally friendly;
  • Quiet since there is no engine;
  • Less maintenance;
  • Takes up less space;
  • Provides a healthier lawn;
  • Cheaper;
  • Safer to use.

Fiskars 19in Mower

This mower is 60 percent easier to push behind due to the mower having more plastic components. Check out the extra features and specs below to see what makes this brand one of the top reel lawn mower lineups.


  • InertiaDrive reel is created to cut all grass types;
  • Reversible grass shoot allows for clippings to stay off your feet in any motion;
  • StaySharp cutting system reduces blade sharpening;
  • Inset wheels which keep the blade width at a full cut preventing uncut strips;
  • Three-Year Limited Warranty.


  • Dimensions: 24 x 23.5 x 14.25 in.
  • Material: Plastic
  • Power Source: Kinetic
  • Style: StaySharp
  • Color: Black
  • Cutting Width: 18 in.
  • Operation Mode: Manual
  • Weight: 51.7 lbs.

Greenworks 20in Reel Lawn Mower

The Greenworks mower is perfect for those who want to adjust the height for short or tall grass. It is essential for the ideal cuts while keeping the yard spotless with the bag in the back. Below, you can see what makes this mower one of the best options.


  • Does not use fuel, so there are no fumes;
  • Five blades to make the perfect cut;
  • Easy to maneuver with 10 in. wheels in the front and 6 in. in the back;
  • Adjustable cutting heights from 1 3/4 in. to 2 3/4 in.;
  • Option for mulching or rear discharge into the bag.


  • Dimensions: 28.35 x 18.11 x 11.02 in.
  • Power Source: Self-propelled
  • Number of Positions: Nine
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Style: Reel
  • Color: Green and Black
  • Cutting Width: 20 in.
  • Operation Mode: Manual
  • Weight: 31.8 lbs.

Scotts 20in Reel Mower

This extra lightweight five-blade cutting mower is convenient for those who do not need the workout so much. It falls under the brand name Scotts Outdoor Power Tools, but don't let it fool you. This mower does not have a motor, so it is quiet and low maintenance. See below for all of the information.


  • 5 blade ball bearing reel;
  • 10 in. dual tracking wheels;
  • 1 to 3 in. adjustable cutting height;
  • Blades made of alloy steel and heat-treated for longer lasting sharpness;
  • Ergonomic handle with a cushion grip;
  • Tool-less assembly.


  • Dimensions: 28 x 18 x 10 in.
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Style: Reel Only
  • Color: Green and Orange
  • Cutting Width: 20 in.
  • Operation Mode: Manual
  • Weight: 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs.)

Sun Joe 18in Reel Mower

The operator's push powers the Sun Joe Mower. How fast it goes is how quickly you push it. There is no oil, gas, fumes, or electricity because there is no motor. You can enjoy little maintenance compared to the rotary mowers. Below is another mower that leaves the yard with a clean cut with five steel blades.


  • Razor reel is the five steel blades that deliver a precision cut;
  • Dual wheels for precise cutting and maneuverability;
  • Lightweight and easy to use;
  • Manual adjustable nine height option.


  • Dimensions: 48 x 24.6 x 50.4 in
  • Material: Metal
  • Color: Green and Black
  • Cutting Width: 18 in.
  • Operation Mode: Manual
  • Weight: 30 lbs.

Earthwise 16in Push Reel Lawn Mower

This mower has seven blades cutting and throwing grass. Versatile Earthwise Power Tools by ALM created this push mower is made for cutting grass like Seashore Paspalum, St. Augustine, Centipede, Zoysia, and Bermuda grass. This mower is another planet-friendly choice that has the features and specs listed below:


  • 7-blade ball bearing reel;
  • 10 in. composite wheels;
  • Steel side plate;
  • Cutting height from 0.5 to 2.5 in.;
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Dimensions: 45.87 x 21.85 x 27.76 in.
  • Material: Metal
  • Color: Gray
  • Cutting Width: 16 in.
  • Operation Mode: Manual
  • Weight: 21.83 lbs.

Commercial Gas Powered Reel Mowers

The commercial gas reel mowers are usually found on baseball fields and golf courses. They are usually only for grass that needs to be perfect. There are two types of gas powered reel mowers, self-propelled and ride on.

Mclane 25in Reel Lawn Mower

best reel mower - Mclane 25in Reel Mower

These reel mowers have the power with the engine backing them up. They are perfect for cutting Zoysia, St. Augustine, and Bermuda grass. See the features listed below.


  • Front throw discharge;
  • Heat-treated plate with a bed knife for cutting precision;
  • Touch-A-Matic engine clutch controls with roller drive for easy maneuvering and positive traction;
  • Ball-bearing reels and wheels;
  • Optional polyethylene catcher for the clippings;
  • Belt and chain drive;
  • Recoil starter


  • Color: Red and Black
  • Cutting Width: 25 in.
  • Operation Mode: Briggs and Stratton or Honda Engines
  • MSRP: $1,559.95 – $1,946.58

Tru Cut Reel Mower

best reel mower - Tru-Cut P-20 7-Blade Reel Mower

This mower is another powerful piece of machinery that is engine-powered. These mowers are perfect for either commercial or residential use and are unmatched in durability. See below for the top-quality features and specs.


  • Honda GX120 Motor (Commercial)/ GC-Series (Residential);
  • 7 blade reel;
  • Optional grass catcher;
  • Fuel shut off valve;
  • On/Off switch;
  • Low oil shut off device;
  • One-year residential warranty (Body);
  • Three-month warranty for commercial use (Body);
  • Three-year warranty for commercial use (Engine Only);
  • Three-month warranty for residential use (Engine Only).


  • Material: Engine-Metal / Body-Cast Iron
  • Color: Red
  • Cutting Width: 20 in.
  • Operation Mode: Engine-Powered
  • MSRP: $1,949.00

Toro Reelmaster

Toro Reelmaster mowers are the leader in golf courses and other sports field mowing. These are very large and expensive mowers that are specialized for certain types of grass. There are several different models within Toro's lineup that is sure to fit your needs. They have everything from 72″ to 121″ mowers with engines up to the 55 hp Yanmar. That is a huge mower!


  • Kubota or Yanmar diesel engines
  • Premium cutting systems
  • 72″ to 121″ deck widths
  • Steering wheel design
  • Large fuel tanks for all day cutting
  • Suspension seats for comfort
  • Optional run roofs on some models

Buying Guide

Listed are the options and information for all reel lawnmowers. We hope that this information helps the buyers decide which mower works best for them.

Blade Type

All of the blades are five to seven reel ball-bearing blades, and they are designed with heated steel to limit the amount of sharpening. These are the reel mowers with the five blades.

  • Fiskars 19in Mower
  • Greenworks 20 in Reel Mower
  • Scotts 20 in Reel Mower
  • Sun Joe 18in Reel Mower

The remaining three mowers have seven blades.

  • Earthwise 16in Reel Mower
  • Mclane 25in Reel Mower
  • Tru Cut Reel Mower

Cut Height

The average cutting height for all the mowers ranges from 0.5 in. to 2 3/4 in. Below is the cutting height for each mower.

  • Fiskars 19in Mower: Not Listed
  • Greenworks 20 in Reel Mower: 1 3/4 in. to 2 3/4 in.
  • Scotts 20 in Reel Mower: 1 to 3 in.
  • Sun Joe 18in Reel Mower: Nine different settings Not Listed
  • Earthwise 16in Reel Mower: 0.5 to 2.5 in.
  • Mclane 25in Reel Mower: Not Listed
  • Tru Cut Reel Mower: Not Listed

Cutting Width

The cutting width is what the blade covers when cutting. All mowers are designed to cut with the closest cutting to objects and fences. See the cutting widths for each mower below.

  • Fiskars 19in Mower: 18 in.
  • Greenworks 20in Reel Mower: 20 in.
  • Scotts 20in Reel Mower: 20 in.
  • Sun Joe 18in Reel Mower: 18 in.
  • Earthwise 16in Reel Mower: 16 in.
  • Mclane 25in Reel Mower: 25 in.
  • Tru Cut Reel Mower: 20 in.


All mowers without the engine have back tires that are ten inches in diameter in the back. Those without the engine and have four tires are 10 in. and 6 in. Some have two, four, or six wheels. See below:

  • Fiskars 19in Mower: Two Rollers
  • Greenworks 20 in Reel Mower: Four Rollers
  • Scotts 20 in Reel Mower: Four Rollers
  • Sun Joe 18in Reel Mower: Four Rollers
  • Earthwise 16in Reel Mower: Two Rollers
  • Mclane 25in Reel Mower: Four Rollers (Size of tires not listed for reel mower)
  • Tru Cut Reel Mower: Six Rollers (Size of tires not listed for reel mower)

Bag or no bag

Almost all the mowers have bag options except for the Fiskars mower. Those that have the bag option allow for a 2 in 1 mower and clean-up piece of equipment. Below are the listings for the bag options.

  • Fiskars 19in Mower: No bag
  • Greenworks 20 in Reel Mower: Bag Optional
  • Scotts 20 in Reel Mower: Bag Optional
  • Sun Joe 18in Reel Mower: Bag Optional
  • Earthwise 16in Reel Mower: Bag Optional
  • Mclane 25in Reel Mower: Bag Optional
  • Tru Cut Reel Mower: Bag Optional

Manual VS Gas

The differences between manual and gas mowers are as follows:

  • Manual has no engine / Gas mowers have engines;
  • Manual has little maintenance / Gas mowers have maintenance on multiple parts;
  • Manual uses kinetic power to cut as the person pushes the mower / Gas mowers have the motors to power the blades;
  • Manual is cheaper / Gas mowers are more expensive;
  • Manual is lighter / Gas mowers are heavier due to the engines;
  • Manual is environmental friendly / Gas mowers run off of combustion which puts out fumes;
  • Manual is quiet / Gas mowers are loud due to the engine running.

American Lawn Mower Sharpening Kit

American Lawn Mower Sharpening Kit

Reel mowers are a little different when it comes to sharpening the blades. It takes a kit and manual labor to sharpen the blades when they become dull. These blades are nothing like the single blades you can use on a grinder. It takes time and manual hand-to-tool usage to get the proper sharpness. Consider it like sharpening kitchen knives with a grinding bar. It works almost in the same manner. Listed below is some helpful information about this product.


  • Keeps the blades sharp for faster cutting times and a better-looking yard;
  • Easy to use the do-it-yourself kit to use at home;
  • Grinding compound sharpening, back lapping crank, and a brush included;
  • Designed for Scotts, American Lawn Mower, Great States, and Earthwise manual lawn mowers;
  • Sharper blades make the mower easier to operate and maneuver;
  • Use with 1705-16 and 1815-18 manual push mowers.

Reel Mowers FAQs

1. Are reel mowers hard to maintain?

Compared to other engine-driven mowers, push reel mowers are pretty much easy to maintain. They do not require engine tune-ups or oil changes, and they can even last much longer than fully mechanized alternatives.

Maintaining a reel mower includes cleaning and sharpening the blades, washing off grass clippings, and preventing corrosion.

Sharpening the blades requires some newspaper, grinding paste, and a grinding stone. You can find reel mower sharpening kits that include the stone and the paste. If sharpened correctly, your reel mower’s blades will only need resharpening once every one to two years.

2. How often do you have to cut with a reel mower?

Before you buy your first reel mower, you must understand that most do not have the capacity to trim the grass from overgrown lawns. Even high-end reel mowers will have problems cutting grass over four inches long.

To get the most out of your reel mower, you will have to cut your lawn grass at least once every week. Doing so prevents it from growing to lengths your reel mower cannot manage.

You will also have to shorten this interval at the peak of every growing season when grass tends to grow faster. As the fall season approaches and the grass grows slower, you can dial back on mowing down to a ten-day interval.

The more experience you have in mowing your lawn with a reel mower, you’ll start noticing when you have to cut the grass.

3. Can reel mowers cut on hills?

Reel mowers are generally used for smaller yards with level terrains. Variants with broader coverage are typically harder to push, and steep slopes can make operation difficult.

One of the basic requirements for even cutting with a reel mower is even ground. You might have to push over sections repeatedly to ensure an even cut when working in a bumpy yard.

Your best approach to evenly cutting on uneven terrain is cutting grass with rotary mowers.

4. How high can reel mowers cut?

Reel mowers can typically cut between eight and 10 millimeters from the ground. No matter how tall the grass is, the front roller of a reel mower lays grass blades so they can rise and get cut by the reel.

Nevertheless, the maximum mowing height of a reel mower will depend on its reel diameter and the number of its blades. More blades mean less spacing between them, allowing only short grass blades to enter the reel. A reel mower with larger spaces between the blades can accommodate taller grass.

5. What’s the advantage of a reel mower?

Generally, reel mowers are better for lawn health. Unlike gas or electric mowers, reel mowers can cut grass cleanly so that it can heal faster.

Have you ever wondered why professional gardeners prefer reel mowers over gas-powered or electric alternatives? If not, you should know that reel mowers use scissor-like cuts to make a lawn look cleaner and more even looking.

Another advantage of a reel mower is that it does not produce any form of lasting pollution. It does not use fuels that emit greenhouse gasses, and it does not produce any noise.

Aside from being cheaper than engine-type alternatives, reel mowers are pretty much easier to operate. All you have to do is push it over the grass and watch it do its work.

Because of its manual operation, it also promotes physical exercise to any operator.

Wrapping It Up

There you have it, the best reel mowers on the market. These are perfect for anyone who prefers to own tools that are low maintenance, environmentally friendly, and cheaper yet provide great cut quality.

What Do You Think?

Do you own one of the reel mowers in the list? Let us know in the comments below which you have or want to get!

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