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Best Reel Lawn Mower Reviews for 2024

I love all three of my lawns equally, but that doesn’t mean I treat them equally. Through rows of herbaceous borders in our garden, we have neatly mown paths, with clipped edges, and timber borders, and all are mown, manually using an old-fashioned reel mower.

Yes, for larger lawns it’s absolutely essential to invest in the best petrol mowers or even ride-on mowers, but for delicate or intricate paths and small lawns, push reel mowers are the perfect tool for the job, and allow you to take care and attention over the most important part of your garden.

In this guide, we’ll look at three of the best reel lawn mowers on the market, with the sole focus of finding the best lawn mower for small lawns.



Our Rating


1. American Lawn Mower Company 1415-16 Push Reel Mower

American Lawn Mower 1415-16 16-Inch 5-Blade Hand Push Reel Mower
Best Reel Lawn Mower

2. Great States 415-16 Push Reel Lawn Mower 

Great States 415-16 16-Inch Reel Mower Standard Full Feature Lawn Mower With T-Style Handle And Heat Treated Blades

3. Fiskars Staysharp Push Reel Lawn Mower

Field King Professional 190328 No Leak Pump

Choosing the Best Reel Lawn Mowers

To choose a reel lawn mower, you must know exactly how this product functions. Reel mowers work just similar to a pair of scissors. They are excellent in cutting grass blades. It comprises of multiple sharp blades which spin as you move the machine forward.

Using a Reel Lawn Mower

The spinning pulls the grass into the mower and then the cutter clips them evenly. The choice entirely depends on what type of grass you grow in your yard. (Check out our guide on how to grow grass quickly)

So, please keep in mind the grass types when choosing the reel lawn mower, your key focus should be on following things: blade, width, weight and accessories.

1. Type of Blade

Reel mowers come in a different number of blade facility. It may have 4, 5 or 7 blades. If your lawn has Bermuda/ St. Augustine type of heavier group of grasses that are bent, you will need a 7 blade reel mower.

Fescue/ Kentucky bluegrass falls in the group of thinner and fine grasses, you can opt for the 5 blade mower. Certain mowers comprise of tempered alloy blades that cut the grass blades through friction.

2. Width

You have the option of picking from 14 to 20 inches wide reel mowers. The widest is the fastest mower, i.e., compared to the 14-inch width, the 20inch-wide mower is 30% faster.

3. Weight

If you are worried about the weight considering the fact that manual reel mowers need to be pushed around, it is such a relief to know that the heaviest product weighs 50 pounds.

4. Accessories

Grass catcher and sharpening kit are great choices. The grass catcher gives you a tidier end result if you don’t want your mower to leave behind nutrient-rich clippings. It can be attached to the back of the mower.

All the chopped portions that you do not wish strewn on your lawn will be collected in the grass catcher. The sharpening kit includes tools that you need at regular intervals for keeping the blades sharp. Therefore, mowing is effortless and all the grass are clipped proportionately.

If your yard has old trees, and lots of branches and twigs fall in your lawn regularly, then you might need to rake your lawn first before mowing as the majority of reel mowers cannot cut through branches and twigs.

Advantages of Using a Reel Lawn Mower

Advantages of Using a Reel Mower
  • Eco-friendly: One of the top aspects which attracts a large number of customers is its eco-friendly nature. There is no unpleasant odor, emissions or fumes causing air pollution.
  • Soundless: Reel lawn mowers hardly make any noise that can disturb you or the neighbors when compared to power mowers. You can mow whenever you like, whether early Sunday morning or late at night.
  • Economical: It is very affordable and doesn’t burn a hole over fuel or maintenance. Yes! Such products exist! You don’t need fuel to run this thing and it leaves a carbon footprint of zero. You also don’t need batteries or electrical charger which saves you a hefty sum.
  • Effortless Maintenance: Reel mower maintenance is super simple! At a gap of some years, you just need to sharpen the blades and lubricate the machine/parts. In case anything goes bad, the uncomplicated mechanism makes repair pretty easy, quick and cheap.
  • Durable: Assembling the mower is so easy that cleaning and storage hardly need much effort. They are simply perfect for small lawns.

Disadvantages of a Reel Lawn Mower

On the flipside, if you have a huge lawn, more than one acre in area, then this is probably not a befitting choice for you. Mowing a bigger lawn needs a high-tech mower or else, the task can be pretty taxing, exhaustive and too tough to finish.

The reel lawn mower has some mowing limitations. If you have fenced up your space and decorated with flower pots, rocks, pebbles, etc. this mower is incapable of reaching the lawn edges.

Therefore, to get that complete finished look, you would have to get a weed eater or a lawn edger. Should you decide to getany of the two, be sure to check our buying guide for both: 

With a reel mower, you should get your lawn regularly trimmed and keep checking whether the grass stays below 4 inches. If your grass outgrows to more than 4 inches then reel mowers become useless. 

Reel mowers can’t cut grass in such situations; and therefore you would need to cut it with a power mower first. Irrespective of the ease of storage, the main drawback of these products is that most of them don’t come with a bag.

Since mowing isn’t a daily necessity; a bag is needed for starting the mower and keeping the machine clean and tidy.

How to Use a Reel Mower

  1. While pushing the mower, don’t walk too fast as it may lead the mower to skip past the grass blades. If you are too slow then the blades won’t spin at the necessary pace to clip grasses. Therefore, maintain a balanced speed for a first-class outcome.
  2. Overlapping works great as you can clip any missed spot at the first rounds. Since reel mowers are manually run, your difference in speed may leave some spots with taller grasses. Go through those areas a second time to get that finished look.
  3. Trying out diverse mowing styles can turn out amazing as mowing direction impacts the quality of the cut. Additionally, diverse lawns growing selective grass types have different growth models, and thus they require different mowing patterns.
  4. Mow your lawn once per week to keep check off on the grass length. This is important because if the grasses grow too tall, mowing with a reel mower might not work.
  5. Try out various cutting heights to learn which height makes mowing easier and which one gives best results. Height adjustment will give you that precisely cropped turf which you prefer.
  6. Don’t expect to attain a rug perfectly. Grass is a living organism, a little bit of imperfection is only natural. Especially around the corners, it can be almost impossible to reach with the reel mower.

Soak up all the fresh early morning air by mowing at dawn. On the plus side, you will get your exercise done. The neighbors will be stunned to always find your lawn impeccably maintained.

If you are looking for a lawn mower, the following reviews will help you finding the best mower as per your requirements.

Reel Lawn Mower Reviews for 2024

1. American Lawn Mower Company 1415-16 Push Reel Mower

American Lawn Mower Company 1415-16 Push Reel Mower


The American lawn mower 1415-16 measures 16 inches in width. Besides, the height adjustment feature (0.5- 2.25 inches) makes it quite handy to trim down the luscious green turf to the desired length.

When pulling this reel mower over concrete, do it backwards as the 4 spider with 5 blade ball bearing reel don’t move when pulled backwards.

It safeguards the blades and does not leave any marks on your concrete floor.

American Lawn Mower Company 1415-16 Push Reel Mower is very sturdy with all the tempered alloy steel and unbreakable side steel plates that goes into the machine


This eco-friendly reel mower is very sturdy with all the tempered alloy steel and unbreakable side steel plates that goes into the machine. The 10-inches radial tread tires are reliable and don’t wear out over multiple uses.

One of the best features of the American lawn mower 1415-16 is its welded shrub bar that brushes the twigs, sticks or branches falling along the way.

This is perfect for small lawns and in case the mower gets jammed by any twigs or branches, slight backward pulling can clear them out.

What we like:

  • Light-weight and easy to push
  • Not noisy
  • Doesn’t emit any odor or gas
  • Assembling is simple and trouble-free
  • Doesn’t need fuel·
  • Doesn’t need electric charging, and thus wireless usage convenience
  • Simple design allows uncomplicated usage
  • Slim and takes less storage space

What we didn’t like:

  • Thin tiny twigs can lock up and stop the mower
  • Difficult to clip the grasses in the edges or around the building

2. Great States 415-16 Push Reel Lawn Mower

Great States 415-16 Push Reel Lawn Mower


The Great States 415-16, 16 inches width, which comes with 5 blades might catch the customers’ eye for its simplistic and sleek design. Nothing fancy!

This slim eco-friendly reel mower comes across as an easy-to-handle, light-weight device that can be maintained effortlessly.

Being just 25.38 pounds, this apt mower for small lawns can be moved without difficulty. The classic design in black and silver combination looks quite chic.

Great States 415-16 Push Reel Lawn Mower comes across as an easy-to-handle, light-weight device that can be maintained effortlessly


It is possible to adjust the height from 0.5 - 2.5 inches, as per convenience and requirement to get the beautiful finely-trimmed green turf.

Raking the lawn before starting to mow can be helpful as twigs and branches can jam the mower.

What we like:

  • Light weight
  • Silent and tidy functioning
  • Easy to move for the 10 inches ball bearing wheels
  • Powder coated finished handle makes it durable and rust-proof in the long run
  • All 5 blades are heat treated resulting in a premium turf cut
  • Heat treated blades keep the blades sharp longer
  • Doesn’t need fuel/gas
  • Doesn’t need electric charging
  • Takes less storage space

What we didn’t like:

  • It may lock up and stop if lawn has any sticks/ twigs
  • It only clips grasses in the forward motion
  • Difficult to mow in tight spots and corners
  • Needs double mowing for finished result

3. Fiskars Staysharp Push Reel Lawn Mower

Fiskars Staysharp Push Reel Lawn Mower


The Fiskars 17 Inch Staysharp Push Reel Lawn Mower (6208) comes in a stylish design. This eco-friendly mower gives a neat cut and makes your green lawn look beautifully maintained.

This is a one-time expense. No oil, no gas, no batteries or electrical charging to mess with. You can mow your lawn very fast with StaySharp Reel Mower as advance technology goes into its precise design.

Fiskars Staysharp Push Reel Lawn Mower gives a neat cut and makes your green lawn look beautifully maintained


This product comes with a lifetime warranty assuring the premium quality. If your lawn has weeds, sticks, branches, twigs, and difficult-to-reach corner then this is the right pick for you.

What we like:

  • Designed to push 30% more easily
  • Can cut through twigs, branches, sticks and weeds that come in way while mowing
  • Can cut all types of grasses
  • The blade stays sharp for long period
  • Lifetime Warrany

What we didn’t like:

  • Heavy (40.3 pounds)
  • Mower bounces in uneven yards resulting n unevenly cut grass
  • Mower skips weeds that are below 3 inches height


Our Rating


1. American Lawn Mower Company 1415-16 Push Reel Mower

American Lawn Mower Company 1415-16 16-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower, Grey
Best Reel Lawn Mower

2. Great States 415-16 Push Reel Lawn Mower 

Great States 415-16 16-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower, 16-Inch, 5-Blade, Silver

3. Fiskars Staysharp Push Reel Lawn Mower

Fiskars 17 Inch Staysharp Push Reel Lawn Mower (6208)

Best Reel Lawn Mower My Top Pick

Best Reel Lawn Mower
American Lawn Mower Company 1415-16 Push Reel Mower


All these 3 products are great but my personal favorite is American Lawn Mower 1415-16 16-Inch 5-Blade Hand Push Reel Mower. This one is quite simple in design, which makes it totally easy to manage, carry and mow.

Fiskars 17 Inch Staysharp is much heavier compared to American 1415-16. I prefer lighter mowers as it is easy to push and maneuver, simple to store. I also highly recommend American 1415-16 for its sleek design which still has that classic reel mower vintage charm.

Although, Great States 415-16 looks similar yet, American 1415-16 is much more robust owing to its tempered alloy steel and unbreakable side steel plates.

The welded shrub bar in the American 1415-16 brushes away all the sticks, branches and twigs that come in the path of mowing. This saves me ample time and effort as I don’t have to rake the lawn before mowing. None of the other two product have this feature.

Finally, out of all the top 3 reel lawn mowers, American 1415-16 costs the least while having all the features required for mowing a small lawn of around 8,000 square feet perfectly.

Reel Lawn Mowers Frequently Asked Questions

Are reel lawn mowers better?

Reel lawn mowers are better for cutting tightly clipped lawns, but not good at cutting damp, or long grass. Long grass, even on petrol reel mowers will clog the system quickly, so if your only mower is a reel mower, you’ll need to start cutting early in the season and stop late, leaving just a few months over winter without mowing.

Why did people stop using reel lawn mowers?

Some time around the 1980s, lawns started to take over gardens, and flower beds got smaller. When that happened, we became reliant on more powerful bladed lawn mowers that got the job done faster, but not better.

Today, we need to think in more revolutionary ways to encourage wildlife, by reducing our lawn area and caring for it more precisely. 

Do reel mowers work on weeds?

Weeds and misplaced plants in your lawn, like dandelions and daisies, are easy to manage with a  reel lawn mower but thicker stemmed weeds and trailing weeds like brambles or bindweed can block the rotation of blades.

Do reel lawn mowers need sharpening?

Reel lawn mowers need sharpening at least once per year, ideally first thing in spring, before you make your first cut, or last thing in the fall when you’ve finished cutting the grass for the year. Sharpen each blade in a single direction.

Do you have to rake after using a reel lawn mower?

If you cut your lawn regularly, the clippings you leave behind from a reel lawn mower do not need raking up, and will actively feed the grass. If you are cutting through slightly longer grass consider buying a bag attachment from your reel mower, which will catch most of the clippings.

Are reel mowers hard to push?

Reel mowers are really easy to push, especially over level ground, where they just glide across the surface of a lawn. Despite most reel lawn mowers being manually powered, they are lightweight and personally, I find them easier to use than petrol machines.

Wrapping Up Our Guide for the Best Reel Lawn Mower for 2024

With all the modern technology that gets thrown at lawn mowers, the simple fact remains; a reel lawn mower is the best type of lawn mower for producing perfect lines on your lawn. You can do it with other lawn mower types, but it's not as easy, and not as neat.

The other huge advantage of reel lawn mowers, particularly with regular use, is that they mulch your lawns without the need for a bag, and minute clippings feed your grass in turn.

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Choosing the Best Reel Lawn Mower

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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