13 min. read

The Best Reel Mower for 2023

These durable and strong reel mowers are fast becoming the last eco-trend for small lawn maintenance, making grass-cutting easier than ever!

reel mower

Have you heard about reel mowers? A reel lawn mower is an outdoor tool that cuts grass that does not have twigs or leaves. Usage of the reel mower, that’s becoming a trend today, dates back to the 19 Century. And they say good things always come back, right?

Reel mowers are fast becoming the go-to equipment for your landscaping needs because they are environmentally friendly, noise-free, affordable, and portable. So, do you own a small yard and are looking for a non-engine powered mower? Good news, you found it. Keep reading to find out the best picks!

How We Picked

  • Cutting Height

    The reel mower feature of minimum cutting height is not a decisive factor because cutting grass too short damages the soil. Choose a mower that enables you to set the cutting height.

  • Ease of Use

    A reel mower is exhausting to use because it works according to the pushing effort of the person using it. With this in mind, we picked options that are easy to use.

  • Size and Weight

    The wideness of the cutting swath is a decisive feature because it will determine the efficiency of the reel mower.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    A reel mower is the cheapest type of mower it exists because there is no engine running the device. We offer four options within very affordable price ranges.

Our Top Picks

Our Top Pick

Great States 815-18

Great States 815-18

The reel mower combines durable materials with enough light design.

This walk-behind push reel mower is light but heavy enough to do a great cutting job. With 10 inches wheels, the Great States 915-18 is easy to maneuver. The steel material with all the parts secures a long-time product. Overall, talking expertise and price, Great States reel mowers are a product to go with.

Buy Now for $116.00

A light reel mower made of steel with precise cutting.

Our Runner-Up

Greenworks 27022 Dethatcher

Greenworks 27022 Dethatcher

The detacher reel mower combines comfort and efficiency.

This walk-behind corded electric reel mower is as easy to use as pushing the start button and walking around your yard. With 14 inches wheels, the Corded Detacher combines a powerful motor with comfortable handles to make your job easier. Mostly, the Greenworks electric models are convenient reel mowers that are effortless to use.

Buy Now for $129.00

An electric reel mower to uncomplicate your landscaping.

Most Cost-Effective

American Lawn 1204-14

American Lawn 1204-14

The reel mower offers long-term quality at a great price.

This walk-behind reel mower will cut your grass as tall as four inches. With a cushioned handle your cutting task will be more comfortable than ever. With 14 inches wheels, the American 1204-14 is a reliable design and easy-to-use reel mower. The sturdy material it comes with offers blades with low maintenance. American Lawn blades are a reference in the market coming with a great price.

Buy Now for $87.31

A cost-effective walk-behind reel mower that nails the job.

Everything We Recommend

Our Top Pick

Great States 815-18

Great States 815-18

The reel mower combines durable materials with enough light design.

$116.00

Buy Now

Our Runner-Up

Greenworks 27022 Dethatcher

Greenworks 27022 Dethatcher

The detacher reel mower combines comfort and efficiency.

$129.00

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

American Lawn 1204-14

American Lawn 1204-14

The reel mower offers long-term quality at a great price.

$87.31

Buy Now

Who This Is For

A mower is a machine for cutting and clearing grass. A mower is outdoor equipment for individuals owning a yard or garden. As well as, a key tool for professional landscapers. There are different types of mowers: riding, push or rotary, self-propelled, electric, zero-turn-radius, reel, and robotic.

The reel mower is a non-engine equipment that works by being pushed. This type of mower has two big wheels and a big cylinder containing sharp blades. If buying a mower saves you money, buying a reel mower saves you money and maintenance. If a mower is a must-have for landscaping, a reel mower is the best choice for noise-free and environment-friendly landscaping.

Are you an environmentalist, pocket-limited, noise-sensitive, workout fan? If the answer is yes, the reel mower is for you!

Reel vs rotary mowers – what’s better?
What’s better depends on your type of lawn. So, the type of grass, the shape of the lawn, the size of the lawn, and the frequency of use.

The main difference between the reel and rotary mower is the cutting mechanism. A rotary mower has a cutting deck with rotating blades while a reel mower has cutting blades on a horizontal axis. In simpler words, the rotary mower chops the grass, and the reel mower cuts the grass.

What’s better, then?
Technically speaking, reel mowers will always provide a more efficient cut. Versatility speaking, the rotary mowers can chop taller grass, twigs, and leaves. Dimensionally speaking, the reel mower is best for small lawns and the rotary mower for medium and larger gardens.

Is it worth splurging on?
What’s worth the money when talking about equipment has a simple answer, it depends on the frequency of use. Which type of mower should I get is the question you need to ask yourself.

If you’re not planning to take your landscaping as a routine, hiring a professional from time to time may be cheaper than getting and maintaining an electric mower machine.

In the case of reel mowers, they are much cheaper than other types of mowers. But, they don’t do the same job. If you own a small lawn with short grass it’s worth the investment. If you have the time or energy to use a manual mower it’s worth the investment.

Are reel mowers hard to use?
Rather than harder to use, a reel mower is exhausting to use. Because the reel mower has no engine you need to apply more time and effort.

When it comes to the steps of using a reel mower, modern versions are very easy to use. Reel mower performance depends on the previous setup maintenance and correct methodology. These are the three steps to follow when lawning with a reel mower: First, set the cut height, then push the mower around the yard, and finally clean off the reel mower.

What if I have a big lawn?
The larger a lawn is, the better the mower has to be. This means getting a riding mower. A riding mower is costly, but if you have a large lawn, either you go for a riding mower or for a professional landscaping team.

There are mainly three types of ride mowers: lawn tractor, rear-engine riding, and zero-turn. The lawn tractor mower is the most popular choice because it’s the most powerful, the fastest, and it cuts larger swaths. The riding type is the most comfortable mower, you just need to make sure the tractor seat is suitable for your weight and height.

Rather than harder to use, a reel mower is exhausting to use. Because the reel mower has no engine you need to apply more time and effort.

When it comes to the steps of using a reel mower, modern versions are very easy to use. Reel mower performance depends on the previous setup maintenance and correct methodology. These are the three steps to follow when lawning with a reel mower: First, set the cut height, then push the mower around the yard, and finally clean off the reel mower.

What if I have a big lawn?
The larger a lawn is, the better the mower has to be. This means getting a riding mower. A riding mower is costly, but if you have a large lawn, either you go for a riding mower or for a professional landscaping team.

There are mainly three types of ride mowers: lawn tractor, rear-engine riding, and zero-turn. The lawn tractor mower is the most popular choice because it’s the most powerful, the fastest, and it cuts larger swaths. The riding type is the most comfortable mower, you just need to make sure the tractor seat is suitable for your weight and height.

Why You Should Trust Us

We are a trustworthy source because we do our homework. First, we check what users’ reviews of major e-commerce have to say. Then, what the manufacturer says in their official channels. Lastly, we create an opinion that gets supported with evidence coming from official statistics, tech/science online journals, or similar.

How We Picked

Cutting length
The grass has its times for getting cut. Cutting the grass when it is too short, can damage the soil and the lower equipment. Most mowers adjust the cutting length, lowering or raising the wheels with the lever. Both wheels need to be adjusted to the same height.

Most manufacturers and field specialists recommend that you don’t cut more than a third of your grass length. This means that the mower feature of minimum cutting height is not a decisive factor when choosing the best reel mower pick.

Design / Style
The most important factor about a mower design is the material used to make it and more specifically, the gear of the wheels. The mower needs to be plastic so that it is light enough to push. While a plastic design may not be that fancy, it assures an affordable product.

Size / Weight
The important feature when it comes to size is the wideness of the cutting swath. The ideal adjustment level is between one and four inches. When balancing what’s the appropriate weight, the mower has to be heavy enough to not bounce around. This is any weight above 34 pounds.

Our Picks For You

Our Top Pick - Great States 815-18

Our Top Pick

Great States 815-18

Great States 815-18

The reel mower combines durable materials with enough light design.

This walk-behind push reel mower is light but heavy enough to do a great cutting job. With 10 inches wheels, the Great States 915-18 is easy to maneuver. The steel material with all the parts secures a long-time product. Overall, talking expertise and price, Great States reel mowers are a product to go with.

Buy Now for $116.00

Who It's For

This walk-behind push reel mower is light but heavy enough to do a great cutting job. With 10-inch wheels, the Great States 915-18 is easy to maneuver. Get this if you do not want the nightmare of pushing a heavy mower across your lawn.

Why It's Great

Great States have been manufacturing mowers for around 100 years. They offer the traditional mower with a touch of today’s technology. The Great States 915-18 is Amazon's choice for reel mowers with a rating of 4.4 based on more than 7,000 reviews.

Potential Flaws

The mower inches can be a flaw if you own a very small lawn. In this case, you are better placed using the 16 or14 inch models from the same manufacturer. Also, the mower's weight can be a challenge if you’re not a physically fit person.

Other Features

The dimensions of the American 1204-14 are 20 pounds of weight and 18 inches of cutting width. All the mower material is steel except for the rubber of the tires. The color is only available in grey. The power source is self-propelled and the mower style is a walk-behind reel.

Our Runner-Up - Greenworks 27022 Dethatcher

Our Runner-Up

Greenworks 27022 Dethatcher

Greenworks 27022 Dethatcher

The detacher reel mower combines comfort and efficiency.

This walk-behind corded electric reel mower is as easy to use as pushing the start button and walking around your yard. With 14 inches wheels, the Corded Detacher combines a powerful motor with comfortable handles to make your job easier. Mostly, the Greenworks electric models are convenient reel mowers that are effortless to use.

Buy Now for $129.00

Who It's For

Get this if you are looking for a powerful motor with comfortable handles to make your job easier. Overall, the Greenworks electric models are a convenient reel mower that is effortless to use.

Why It's Great

Greenworks manufactures mowers with a zero carbon footprint. They offer four years warranty which is more than the average warranty found in the market for these products. The Greenworks 27022 10 Amp 14” is Amazon's choice for dethatchers with a rating of 4.6 based on more than 14,000 reviews.

Potential Flaws

When you get a dethatcher you’re paying almost double what you would typically pay for a manual reel mower. You also need to have an available plug in the garden if you are to use this mower and this may not be possible for all people. Another flaw is that the body and handle of the model is made of plastic which kills the minimalistic design that manual reel mowers offer. It also takes up more storage space.

Other Features

The dimensions of the Greenworks 27022 are 25.9 pounds of weight and 14 inches of cutting width. The materials are steel (blades), plastic (body/handle), and rubber (tires). The color is only available in light green. The power source is corded electric.

Most Cost-Effective - American Lawn 1204-14

Most Cost-Effective

American Lawn 1204-14

American Lawn 1204-14

The reel mower offers long-term quality at a great price.

This walk-behind reel mower will cut your grass as tall as four inches. With a cushioned handle your cutting task will be more comfortable than ever. With 14 inches wheels, the American 1204-14 is a reliable design and easy-to-use reel mower. The sturdy material it comes with offers blades with low maintenance. American Lawn blades are a reference in the market coming with a great price.

Buy Now for $87.31

Who It's For

This walk-behind reel mower will cut your grass as tall as four inches. With a cushioned handle your cutting task will be more comfortable than ever. With 14-inch wheels, the American 1204-14 is a reliable design and easy-to-use reel mower. The sturdy material it comes with offers blades that are low maintenance.

Why It's Great

American Lawn Mower Co. has been creating outdoor tools since 1895. It is a trusted brand that inspires consumer confidence. It has great reviews as Amazon's other choice for walk-behind reel mowers, with a rating of 4.3 based on more than 10,000 reviews.

Potential Flaws

The mower inches can be a flaw if you have a medium lawn. In this case, opt for the 16 and 18-inch models by the same manufacturer. Another flaw is the cutting width. The 14 inches might not be enough or it would take extra effort if your lawn is not that small. So far, our best pick cutting width is 18 inches.

Other Features

The dimensions of the American 1204-14 are 20 pounds of weight and 14 inches of cutting width. All the mower material is steel except for the rubber on the tires. The color is only available in red. The power source is self-propelled and the mower style is a walk-behind reel.

Almost Made The Cut - Fiskars Stay Sharp

Almost Made The Cut

Fiskars Stay Sharp

Fiskars Stay Sharp

The ergonomic reel mower offers a patented cutting system.

This easy-to-push walk-behind reel mower is 60% easier to use than other reel mowers. The ergonomy design offers a comfortable experience for your manual landscaping. The wheels include a patented technology by Fiskars, and they stay sharp and versa cut, for optimizing the cutting. Stay Sharp is the model to choose when looking for sophistication.

Buy Now for $209.00

Who It's For

Get this mower if you are looking to do some stress-free lawn mowing. This easy-to-push walk-behind reel mower is 60% easier to use than other reel mowers. The ergonomy design offers a comfortable experience for your manual landscaping. The wheels include a patented technology by Fiskars, the ‘stay sharp’ and ‘versa cut,’ for optimizing the cutting.

Why It's Great

Fiskars has been manufacturing mowers since 1649. They offer patented cutting cuts: the InertiaDrive and the StaySharp. Both technologies are implemented in the blades to increase power and sharpness. The Fiskars Stay Sharp has positive reviews on Amazon and is among the highly-rank reel mowers. It has a rating of 4.3 based on 1,000 reviews and 66% of five stars.

Potential Flaws

The price is the biggest flaw of this Fiskars reel mower. The model is double the price of the other three picks we have selected. Another flaw is how bulky this device is; we are talking of a 51.7-pound reel mower.

Other Features

The dimensions of the Stay Sharp are 51.7 pounds of weight and 18 inches of cutting width. The materials are steel (blades), plastic (body/handle), and rubber (tires). The color is only available in orange. The power source is self-propelled and the mower style is a walk-behind reel.

Care and Maintenance

How to clean – body, blades, etc / When to sharpen blades

One of the benefits of reel mowers, compared to the other mower types, is the low maintenance it requires.

To keep your equipment long-term, manufacturers recommend lubricating and sharpening the blades every two to three years. For everyday maintenance, hose the blades and the body after each use. Each month, check that the tires and blades are doing their job. If you suspect that your mower is not working at its best, seek advice from your local supplier or repair shop.

For winter maintenance, you need to inspect the blades. They might need to be replaced or sharpened. If you’re not sure how to sharpen the blades, get it done at a repair shop or mower servicing agent, rather than damaging the equipment.

Where and how to store when not in use
A lawn mower is a seasonal landscaping equipment. It depends on the weather wherever you live, but mostly you will keep the device stored in winter and most of fall. Keep your reel mower safely stored in a dry spot, like your garage.