14 Best Lawn Mowers Made in America Quality Mowers Worthy of Your Money. Reel mower ride on

Best Lawn Mowers Made in America [Quality Mowers Worthy of Your Money!]

Have you noticed that finding a reliable lawn mower made in the USA is much trickier than it looks?

Because it doesn’t matter if you’re mowing a tiny plot of grass or an entire golf course – sometimes you want to use an American-made mower and support American workers!

We’ve researched all of the top US American facilities and scrounged for the best lawnmowers with powerful engines and peak performance.

Whether you need a zero-turn lawnmower or old-fashioned American ingenuity, we’re about to brainstorm some of the best American lawnmowers on the market.

Top American-Made Lawnmower Brands

Many of the big brands have a reputation for manufacturing all of their mower models in the USA. But, when you dig deeper, you realize that’s no longer the case.

I’ve also noticed that some DIY enthusiasts and gardeners in the power tooling sphere erroneously assume that all top brands produce American-made lawnmowers.

As you examine the details, you find stipulations, technicalities, and nuances.

That’s why we generated the best complete list of lawn mower brands that manufacture in the USA and create real American jobs – the list is as follows.

Best Lawn Mower Brands Made in the USA:

It’s important to note that the brands listed above only manufacture the lawnmowers in the USA – many of the engines, wheels, and components come from domestic and overseas locations.

Also, not all brands manufacture 100% of their products domestically. I’ve noticed that hardly any battery-powered or electric lawn mowers are produced entirely in the USA – period.

(I think maybe Tesla Motors or Boston Dynamics should launch the next generation of electric lawnmowers, AI lawnmowers, battery-powered lawnmowers, and robotic lawnmowers. Elon, please get to work!)

Nevertheless, if you want to support American workers, and get quality manufacturing that you can count on, then here’s our list of the best American-made lawnmowers.

We also wrote a legendary guide that shows how to get rid of a lawn full of weeds – even if cleaning your yard feels helpless – and hopeless!

Best American-Made Gas Lawnmowers

Do you want help finding the best possible lawn mower made in the USA?

I bent over backward and talked with different American-made lawn mower brands to help figure out which lawnmowers undergo development in the USA – and which are worth your time!

Let’s drive straight into the research!

– Troy-Bilt 21-inch TB115 159CC Push Lawn Mower

Are you looking for a residential model with excellent mowing time? Then let me introduce the popular model TB115 from the team at Troy-Bilt!

If you’re a gardener looking for the perfect utility mower that can handle excess bag clippings and mulch, then this mower model rocks!

Not only does the bag make cleanup a piece of cake – but the excess lawn clippings make for an excellent base for your compost bin – your veggies, fruit trees, and flower garden will thank you!

Troy-Bilt TB115 Mower Features:

  • OHV Troy-Bilt engine and auto choke
  • Built-in USA from USA (and globally-sourced) parts – since 1937!
  • TriAction cutter promotes beautiful and evenly-cut grass
  • The rear bag (1.9 bushels) collects grass clippings and makes cleanup hassle-free
  • Includes mulch kit!
  • The Check Don’t Change feature makes oil management a cool breeze – a simple check made easy!

Another benefit of the TB115 is that you can use the side discharge if you don’t want your lawn bag. You get excellent flexibility as a residential model or a lawn garden mower.

Troy-Bilt TB115 Mower Specs:

  • Made in the USA = YES!
  • Model number = 11A-A2MR766
  • Mower brand = Troy-Bilt
  • Weight = 67 pounds
  • Length = 60 inches
  • Blade material = Steel
  • Mowing width = 21 inches
  • Engine cycles = 4-cycle
  • Engine displacement = 159cc
  • Warranty = 2-year limited warranty

The mower reviews are largely excellent – so if you’re looking for an affordable American mower without spending too much cash, this Troy-Bilt mower is worth considering.

However, the TB115isn’t the biggest or beefiest mower! The mower works best when managing an acre or less – perfect if you have a small backyard to mow.

– Generac PRO Trimmer Mower, 8.0 FPT TR45080GMNG

Tired of the traditional mower – maybe you want an innovative product?

Or maybe you want an American-made gas mower with a compact design? Then this beautiful Generac TR45080GMNG fits the bill marvelously.

Here’s an American-made mower model without the roaring price tag! You can get some of the best power to muscle for your buck.

Generac PRO Trimmer Mower Features:

  • A powerful mower with easy startup
  • Perfect mower if you have thick, unkept grass
  • Trimmer with an anti-wrap head, so you don’t get tangled in the weeds
  • Massive 16-inch wheels make maneuverability a cakewalk
  • Mowing heights range from 2-inches – 3.25 inches
  • Mower design lets you mow tight angles or close to patios, lawn accessories, foundations, and other obstacles
  • Front nose plate to help protect mower from damage

I won’t say that the Generac PRO is the best, heftiest, or the most reliable option to help cut your grass.

However, the Generac PRO is arguably the biggest value mower and makes an excellent (and fun) garden tool.

Generac PRO Mower Specs:

  • Made in the USA = YES!
  • Model number = TR45080GMNG
  • Mower brand = Generac
  • Weight = 71 pounds
  • Length = 23.2 inches
  • Blade material = Cord, string
  • Mowing width = 22 inches
  • Engine displacement = 174cc
  • Warranty = 1-year limited warranty

I also love the product design! Very sleek.

The Generac also has three mowing heights and oversized wheels so you can maneuver around your garden hose and weeds without stress.

Overall, it’s a worthy residential mower with excellent value – and a compact model to boot.

– Remington Trail Blazer 132CC RM110 21-inch Gas Push Lawn Mower 2-in-1

Most Americans think of famous wild west movies when we talk about Remington!

But we’re not here to discuss high-quality vintage revolvers – we’re here to talk about high-quality American mowers!

The RM110 is my lawnmower of choice if you want a low-cost American-made push mower.

NOTE: I also emailed the Remington staff to ask about whether their lawn mowers are made in the USA – even if you snag them at an independent dealer.

I received a courteous response from the Remington staff – they assured me that their mowers hail from the USA at their facilities, in Tupelo, Mississippi, and Willard, Ohio.

The following Remington mower rocks – and they get bonus points for gracious support!

Remington Trail Blazer132cc Mower Features:

  • Respectable 132cc primer engine OHV
  • 21-inch domed steel deck
  • Mulching abilities and mulch kit
  • Six height positions and dual lever, so you get the exact length you want
  • Adjustable grip handles for maximum comfort – perfect if you have a massive (and savage) lawn that needs cutting twice a week!

If you’ve ever spent a few hours under the hot sun weed whacking and mowing your lawn – then you know that your hands can take a beating!

That’s why this Remington mower gets additional bonus points for the ergonomic grip and adjustable handles – perfect for a residential mower.

Remington Trail Blazer132CC Mower Specs:

  • Made in the USA = YES!
  • Model number = 11A-A0MA883
  • Mower brand = Remington
  • Weight = 76 pounds
  • Length = 60 inches
  • Blade material = Steel
  • Mowing width = 21 inches
  • Engine displacement = 132cc
  • Warranty = 2 year warranty

Remington is an excellent American company, and if you want powerful mowing performance without going broke – then their push mower gets top marks.

– Cub Cadet 21-inch 159cc Gas Engine Wide Area Lawn Mower, (Walk Behind)

Cub Cadet is an American company that makes elite lawn mowers with innovative quality to power.

With 21-inches of mowing width, and a 159cc engine, this mean mower will make short work of your backyard – and it’s also a pleasure to use.

Cub Cadet SC 300 Mower Features

  • 21-inch dome deck promotes airflow, so your mower doesn’t overheat
  • Cutting range of 1.25 inches to 3.75 inches
  • Sturdy front wheels and effortless maneuverability
  • Recoil starter
  • Front-wheel drive system with six-speed drive control

The Cub Cadet 159cc is one of my favorite mowing options if your farm or lawn is around 2 acres. With a powerful engine and excellent mower operation, this is probably the toughest mower on this list.

Cub Cadet SC 300 Mower Specs

  • Made in the USA = YES!
  • Model number = 12ABB2MW710
  • Mower brand = Cub Cadet
  • Weight = 90 pounds
  • Blade material = Steel
  • Mowing width = 21 inches
  • Engine displacement = 159cc

Note that this Cub Cadet rocks a hefty center of gravity that weighs in at a hefty 90 pounds!

If you need a heavy-duty push mower with plenty of beef per square foot, then look no further than this American phenom.

– McLane 20″ Front-Throw Reel Mower

All McLane front-throw reel mowers are made in the USA since 1946 and feature Touch-A-Matic engine clutch controls that make these mowers smooth and easy to operate.

Induction heat-treated armor-plate reel and bed knife for exceptional reliability. Suitable for all Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia grass.

Runner Up – Craftsman 159cc M215 FWD Mower and Bagger

I almost forgot this epic lawnmower from Crafstman!

If you search for American mowers on or Reddit, I bet you that Craftsman earns plenty of street credit.

With excellent deck width and 21 inches of cutting width, the M215 is one of my favorites, and it’s a relatively compact mower considering the range of features.

Best American-Made Riding Lawnmowers

Do you want a commercial mower, a hefty consumer lawnmower, or something more significant than a push reel mower?

Then let’s look at our entire mower lineup for American-made riding lawnmowers that you can be proud to support with your hard-earned dollars!

– Cub Cadet Ultima 24HP ZT1-54 Zero-Turn Lawn Mower (Riding)

I put this American-made zero-turn riding mower from Cub Cadet at the top of the list.

If you want an easygoing mowing experience complete with cup holders and cruise control, then the Cub Cadet Ultimate comes through with flying colors.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1-54 Mower Features:

  • 54-inch 11-gauge welded high lift deck with triple-blades
  • Beefy 725cc V-Twin 7,000 series Kohler 4-Cycle Engine (OHV)
  • 2200 EZT hydrostatic hydro-gear driving system
  • 2-inch x 2-inch steel frame with defense against corrosion
  • Deck lift, control knob, and 1-inch to 4.5-inch adjustment heights
  • Heavy-duty 18-inch seat with durable polymer suspension
  • Hefty 11-inch by 6-inch to 5-inch front wheels with 180 pivoting
  • Easy floor plan so you can easily access the engine
  • Dual headlights (LED)
  • The riding mower also comes with a tow hitch
  • Massive fuel tank (3.5 gallons)
  • Each drive wheel gets 10cc fan-cooled pumps

The Ultima rocks a hefty 54-inch deck and a seven miles per hour top speed and is perfect if you need to mow up to 4 acres.

It also has an electric key start so you can tackle your hard day’s work without breaking a sweat.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1-54 Mower Specs:

  • Made in the USA = YES!
  • Model number = 17AREACM010
  • Mower brand = Cub Cadet
  • Weight = 600 pounds
  • Length = 80 inches
  • Blade material = Steel
  • Mowing width = 54 inches
  • Engine cycles = 4 cycle
  • Engine displacement = 725cc
  • Warranty = 3-year warranty with unlimited-hours (deck shell and frame get lifetime warranty)

Cub Cadet is one of my favorite American mower brands overall!

If you’re on a budget, visit the Cub Cadet homepage, scroll down to the bottom, and look for where it says financing option so you can see what makes sense for you.

Do you love Cub Cadet as much as I do? Check out the Cub Cadet mailing list so you can get the occasional update and special offer – all they ask is for your email address.

You can also find your nearest Cub Cadet service center if you need warranty service.

If you register, then keep your eyes out for the latest product announcement!

– Troy-Bilt Pony RIDER 17HP 42K Kohler Lawn Tractor

Do you want an affordable American-made tractor that’s going to run and look great on your homestead?

Then I love the Troy-Bilt Pony 42K for its low cost and reliable American manufacturing process.

The Pony mower also has the deck option of adjusting five different settings – so the tractor is plenty versatile – perfect if you have a wide range of mowing to get done.

Troy-Bilt Pony RIDER 17HP Mower Features:

  • Kohler engine undergoes testing to start in various weather settings
  • Built in the USA with domestic and foreign parts since 1937!
  • 42-inch cutting deck
  • Easy access with a step-thru design and luxurious legroom
  • Easily attach a rear bagger (sold separately)
  • Adjust the deck height to your liking with five positions
  • 15-inch by 6-inch wheels in the front and 20-inch by 8-inch in the back
  • 2-year limited warranty

The pony mower gallops along mightily with a 5.2 miles per hour top forward speed.

You also get 2.5 miles per hour reverse speed – so you don’t have to pivot at a snail’s pace when maneuvering around garden obstacles!

Troy-Bilt Pony RIDER 17HP Mower Specs:

  • Made in the USA = YES!
  • Model number = 13AO77BS066
  • Mower brand = Troy-Bilt
  • Weight = 520 pounds
  • Length = 67.2 inches
  • Blade material = Steel
  • Mowing width = 42-inches
  • Engine cycles = 4 cycle
  • Engine displacement = 541cc
  • Warranty = 2-year limited warranty

Another benefit of the Pony rider is that it’s a compact model at only 39.75 inches in height, making it one of the most compact riding mowers on this list.

This pony has a bite and is tough enough with a 17 HP 4-cycle engine and a thick 13-gauge steel deck. Perfect garden tractor!

Read more about the Pony at Tractor Supply or over at Troy-Bilt!

– Bad Boy Maverick 60-inch ZT Zero-Turn Mower 747cc Kohler Confidant Engine (Rider)

Behold! The Bad Boy Maverick 60-Inch ZT!

This mower’s a beautiful beast and manufactured with precision from the genius team over at Bad Boy Mowers.

Want one of the slickest American-made mowers in the zero-turn industry?

Or maybe you want a mower that’s beefy enough to handle any farm, forest garden, homestead, backyard, or golf course?

Then the Bad Boy Maverick is worth a look. Not only does this machine look like a million bucks, but it’s ready to handle nearly any mowing job you have on your residential property.

Bad Boy Maverick ZT Elite Mower Features:

  • Fabricated deck (7-gauge)
  • Sturdy 11-gauge two by two steel frame
  • Hydro-gear drive system (ZT 3100)
  • Ogura PTO adjustable clutch brake– 200 feet per pound torque
  • 2-year limited warranty

Want to talk about tough build construction?

Then I should talk about a pioneering manufacturing practice that’s helped Bad Boy Mowers innovate their development lifecycle.

Bad Boy uses robotic welders to help craft their products!

Robotic welders also help keep the company’s cost down – so Bad Boy Mowers can keep jobs in America.

Bad Boy Maverick ZT Elite Mower Specs:

  • Made in the USA = YES!
  • Model number = BZS60KT745
  • Mower brand = Bad Boy
  • Weight = 841 pounds
  • Length = 74.5 inches
  • Blade material = steel
  • Mowing width = 60 inches
  • Engine cycles = 4-stroke
  • Engine displacement = 747cc
  • Warranty = 2-year limited warranty

Another thing I love about this mower is that most of the reviews are stellar and glowing.

People praise the raw power and presence of the mower.

However, you may experience a slight learning curve if you’re new to the world of large zero-turn residential mowers.

– Husqvarna 18.5 HP YTH Lawn Mower (Riding)

Husqvarna rocks because they also have excellent customer support!

When I was writing this article – I sent an email to their service desk to ask if their lawnmowers undergo manufacturing in the USA.

(I double-checked because I’m looking out for my homesteading and vegetable gardening friends!)

Anyway, I sent the email in the middle of the night.

I received a reply a few minutes later from a friendly support expert who told me that Husqvarna lawnmowers come from Orangeburg, South Carolina, USA.

That’s why I rank this Husqvarna YTH near the top of my list when it comes to getting an American-made specialty mower without going broke!

Husqvarna YTH Riding Mower Features:

  • Briggs and Stratton 18.5 HP engine
  • Hydrostatic transmission (powered with a foot pedal) lets you speed up or slow down without stress
  • Easily mow in reverse – ideal if you have a large lawn or are a perfectionist mower!
  • Turning radius of 16-inches so you can reach grass even in the tiniest of places
  • The 13-inch back seat adjusts to your liking with a comfortable steering wheel
  • 42-inch cutting deck
  • 3-year warranty – bumper to bumper warranty policy

If you want improved performance compared to a regular self-propelled push mower, then the Husqvarna YTH is one of my favorite options.

It also cranks along at 5.5 miles per hour as a top speed – and can move 2.5 miles per hour in reverse.

Husqvarna YTH Riding Mower Specs:

  • Made in the USA = YES!
  • Model number = 960450059
  • Mower brand = Husqvarna
  • Weight = 494 pounds
  • Length = 70 inches
  • Blade material = Steel
  • Mowing width = 42 inches
  • Engine cycles = 4 cycle
  • Engine displacement = 540cc
  • Warranty = 3-year limited warranty

Who else wants a quality American-made spec mower that can help tackle your thickest unkept grass?

The Husqvarna YTH looks great, runs like a hoss, and won’t quit when you need it the most.

– Spartan Mowers

Spartan Mowers is the newest addition to our list, recommended by our readers. Spartan’s mission statement is:

Spartan Mission Statement: To offer an American-made mower that drastically changes the turf industry by giving the consumer a premium product with an all-new level of performance, durability, and design at an incredible value.

Spartan Mowers

Spartan’s UTVs and mowers are made at their headquarters in Batesville, Arkansas. They offer a range of models to accommodate every need, from personal to commercial. The commercial-quality SRT-XD zero-turn mower in the image above starts at 12,349 and the smaller RZ-C zero-turn mower starts at 4949.

Spartan’s products are “handcrafted in Arkansas with American steel, muscle, and workers. When you purchase Spartan, we want you to be proud that you purchased American-made. We sure are!”

These mowers are worth looking into if you’re on the hunt for the perfect American made mower!

– Exmark Riding Mowers

Exmark is our newest addition to this American Made Mower List!

As suggested by one of our readers, I contacted Exmark in June 2022 to confirm that their mowers are made in the USA.

Exmark is based out of Beatrice, NE, and the vast majority of its machines are made there. The Quest (in the photo above) is built at its location in Windom, MN.

However, please read their full answer below as some of their walk-behind mowers are made elsewhere.

We are based out of Beatrice, NE with many of our machines made here. The Quest is actually built at our location in Windom, MN.

With mowers, it often truly does come down to ‘you get what you pay for’ and it certainly applies to this awesome American made reel mower!

This is the cream of the crop when it comes to reel mowers, backed with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty. It’s built tough with a solid stainless steel shaft and high-quality steel reel blades.

It’s powercoated to withstand damage from the sun and rain and boasts five different mowing heights.

  • Strong and durable
  • Solid stainless steel shaf t
  • Riveted, high-quality steel reel blades
  • Powdercoated finish to withstand damage from the sun and the weather
  • Solid, height adjustable T-shaped handle
  • Aluminum wheels with 9″ rubber tires
  • Five different mowing heights that are easily adjustable
  • Mows 19″ wide
  • Weighs 42 lb.
  • Made in the USA

– Horse or ATV Drawn Reel Mower (USA Made)

I bet you didn’t see this one coming!

Initially, I just wanted to show you this ultra-cool set up. But then I found out you can hook this up to your ATV or small tractor, so you don’t need to train your horse to pull it!

  • Precisely sharpened
  • Heat-treated bed knife and reel blades
  • Heavy-duty roller
  • Hardened, grade-8 bed knife bolts
  • Powder-coated finish with weather-resistant decals
  • Fully warranted against defects
  • Made in the USA
  • Riveted reel blades and a unique spiral design
  • All cutting components are made of higher-quality steel
  • Metal hub caps
  • High-tolerance bearings
  • Stainless-steel shaft

– Silver Pro Push Reel Lawn Mower

The Silver Pro reel mower is one of the most economical American-made lawn mowers on our list.

The Silver Pro is assembled in the USA and it uses 20 parts that are manufactured in the USA. It also uses some imported parts so it is not entirely made in America.

  • 18″ Cutting width.
  • Precisely sharped, greased, and adjusted.
  • 5-Year warranty.
  • Powder coated finish
  • Kick bar
  • Metal wheels with rubber tires

Did We Miss Any American Lawn Mowers, Corded Mowers, or Electric Mowers? Please Let Us Know!

Please let us know if we missed any quality US-made lawnmowers!

If we can verify the integrity of their manufacturing process, we’ll happily add the brand or mower model to this list.

We also love to hear your Комментарии и мнения владельцев! Please let us know which US-made lawnmower manufacturing facility is your favorite?

All gearheads, farmers, gardeners, and homesteaders welcome – we love to discuss quality products with like-minded friends!

We want to write more about the best-made American lawn care products, tractors, power tools, rototillers, post hole diggers, and more – your feedback helps.

Thanks again for reading, and please have a great day!

PS – Want MORE Ride-Along Mower Options?

If you haven’t found a mower that you like – we also wrote an epic guide showing the 13 best zero-turn mowers. If you want more ride-along mowers to choose from – then we investigate mowers of all flavors – and all budgets!


Mike is an ex-tech nerd who now lives the outdoor life. When not studying the best outdoor tools and gardening hacks, Mike enjoys spending time in nature. miles away from the nearest coffee shop, video game console, or wired internet connection. View all posts

Home. Gardening. Lawn Care. 14 Best Lawn Mowers Made in America [Quality Mowers Worthy of Your Money!]

There are a number of reasons, mechanical and otherwise, why a mower won’t run. The good news is that fixing most all of the issues is easy enough for a DIYer to handle.

By Tony Carrick and Manasa Reddigari | Updated Aug 8, 2022 4:03 PM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Lawn care can be tedious, but once the grass starts growing in the spring, mowing becomes a fact of life in most neighborhoods. When you finally muster the strength to tackle that first cut of the season, there are few sounds as disheartening as that of a lawn mower engine that turns over but doesn’t start.

Before you drag the mower in for repairs or invest in costly replacement parts, first make sure that a clogged air filter, soiled spark plug, damaged safety cable, clogged mowing deck, or contaminated gas isn’t to blame. Work through the following steps, and you may be able to get your puttering grass guzzler up and running again in no time.

A lawn mower repair professional can help. Get free, no-commitment repair estimates from pros near you.

Change the lawn mower carburetor filter.

Your lawn mower’s air filter guards the carburetor and engine from debris like grass clippings and dirt. When the air filter becomes clogged or too dirty, it can prevent the engine from starting. To keep this from happening, replace paper filters—or clean or replace foam filters—after every 25 hours of engine use.

The process for removing the filter depends on whether you are operating a riding or walk-behind lawn mower. For a riding mower, turn off the engine and engage the parking brake; for a walk-behind mower, pull the spark plug wire from the plug. Then, lift the filter from its housing.

The only choice for paper filters is replacement. If you’re cleaning a foam filter, wash it in a solution of hot water and detergent to loosen grime. Allow it to dry completely, and then wipe fresh motor oil over the filter, replace it in its housing, and power up the mower—this time to the pleasant whirring of an engine in tip-top condition.

Check the spark plug.

Is your lawn mower still being stubborn? The culprit may be the spark plug, which is responsible for creating the spark that ignites the fuel in the engine. If it’s loosened, disconnected, or coated in water or carbon residue, the spark plug may be the cause of your machine’s malfunction.

Locate the spark plug, often found on the front of the mower, and disconnect the spark plug wire, revealing the plug beneath. Use a socket wrench to unscrew the spark plug and remove it.

Check the electrode and insulator. If you see buildup, spray brake cleaner onto the plug, and let it soak for several minutes before wiping it with a clean cloth. Reinstall the spark plug, first by hand, and then with a socket wrench for a final tightening. If the problem persists, consider changing the spark plug.

Clear the mower deck of debris.

The mower’s deck prevents grass clippings from showering into the air like confetti, but it also creates a place for them to collect. Grass clippings can clog the mower deck, especially while mowing a wet lawn, preventing the blade from turning.

If the starter rope seems stuck or is difficult to pull, then it’s probably due to a clogged deck. With the mower safely turned off, tip it over onto its side and examine the underbelly. If there are large clumps of cut grass caught between the blade and deck, use a trowel to scrape these clippings free. When the deck is clean again, set the mower back on its feet and start it up.

Clear the vent in the lawn mower fuel cap.

The mower started just fine, you’ve made the first few passes, then all of a sudden the mower quits. You pull the cord a few times, but the engine just sputters and dies. What’s happening? It could have something to do with the fuel cap. Most mowers have a vented fuel cap. This vent is intended to release pressure, allowing fuel to flow from the tank to the carburetor. Without the vent, the gas fumes inside the tank begin to build up, creating a vacuum that eventually becomes so strong that it stops the flow of fuel.

To find out if this is the problem, remove the gas cap to break the vacuum, then reattach it. The mower should start right up. But if the lawn mower won’t stay running and cuts off again after 10 minutes or so, you’ll need to get a new gas cap.

Clean and refill the lawn mower fuel tank.

An obvious—and often overlooked—reason your mower may not be starting is that the tank is empty or contains gas that is either old or contaminated with excess moisture and dirt. If your gas is more than a month old, use an oil siphon pump to drain it from the tank.

(It’s important to be careful as spilled oil can cause smoking, but there are other reasons this might happen. Read more about what to do when your lawn mower is smoking.)

best, lawn, mowers, made, america, quality

Add fuel stabilizer to the tank.

Fill the tank with fresh fuel and a fuel stabilizer to extend the life of the gas and prevent future buildup. A clogged fuel filter is another possible reason for a lawn mower not to start. When the filter is clogged, the engine can’t access the gas that makes the system go. If your mower has a fuel filter (not all do), check to make sure it’s functioning properly.

First, remove the fuel line at the carburetor. Gas should flow out. If it doesn’t, confirm that the fuel shutoff valve isn’t accidentally closed. Then remove the fuel line that’s ahead of the fuel filter inlet. If gas runs out freely, there’s a problem with the fuel filter. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on replacing the filter and reassembling the mower.

Inspect the safety release mechanism cable.

Your lawn mower’s reluctance to start may have nothing to do with the engine at all but rather with one of the mower’s safety features: the dead man’s control. This colorfully named safety bar must be held in place by the operator for the engine to start or run. When the bar is released, the engine stops. While this mechanism cuts down on the likelihood of horrific lawn mower accidents, it also can be the reason the mower won’t start.

The safety bar of a dead man’s control is attached to a metal cable that connects to the engine’s ignition coil, which is responsible for sending current to the spark plug. If your lawn mower’s engine won’t start, check to see if that cable is damaged or broken. If it is, you’ll need to replace it before the mower will start.

Fortunately, replacing a broken control cable is an easy job. You may, however, have to wait a few days to get the part. Jot down the serial number of your lawn mower, then head to the manufacturer’s website to order a new cable.

Check to see if the flywheel brake is fully engaged.

The flywheel helps to make the engine work smoothly through inertia. When it isn’t working properly, it will prevent the mower’s engine from working.

If it is fully engaged, it can make a mower’s pull cord hard to pull. Check the brake pad to see if it makes full contact with the flywheel and that there isn’t anything jamming the blade so the control lever can move freely.

If the flywheel brake’s key sheared, the mower may have run over something that got tangled in the blade. It is possible to replace a flywheel key, but it does require taking apart the mower.

Look out for signs that the mower needs professional repairs.

While repairing lawn mowers can be a DIY job, there are times when it can be best to ask a professional to help repair a lawn mower. If you’ve done all of the proper mower maintenance that is recommended by the manufacturer, and gone through all of the possible ways to fix the mower from the steps above, then it may be best to call a pro. Here are a few signs that indicate when a pro’s help is a good idea.

  • You see black smoke. The engine will benefit from a technician’s evaluation, as it could be cracked or something else might be worn out.
  • Excessive oil or gas usage. If you’ve changed the spark plugs, and done all of the other maintenance tasks, and the mower is consuming more than its usual amount of oil or gas, consult a professional for an evaluation.
  • The lawn mower is making a knocking sound. When a lawn mower starts making a knocking sound, something could be bent or out of alignment. It may be tough to figure this out on your own, so a pro could help.
  • A vibrating or shaking lawn mower can be a sign of a problem beyond a DIY fix. Usually something is loose or not aligning properly.

Reel Mower vs. Rotary Mowers

But one of the most unique distinctions between lawn mowers is whether the mower uses reel or rotary blades.

And no I’m not talking about manual push reel mowers. I’m talking about the REAL, gas-powered reel mowers like the one below:

So, which is better rotary or reel? Let’s find out!

Which is better a Rotary or Reel mower?

To determine which mower is better, we have to weigh the differences of each machine. As well as the pros and cons.

First up is the rotary mower:

What is a Rotary Mower?

A rotary mower is your standard everyday lawn mower. It’s likely what you immediately think of when you hear the word “lawn mower”. Rotary mowers use a blade that rotates parallel to the lawn they are cutting.

How do rotary mowers work?

Rotary mowers work by rotating at incredibly high speeds. This high speed creates a lift, forming a vacuum, which causes the grass to be sucked upwards. Meanwhile, the blade rotates quickly around (at about 200mph or 3000 rpm) and slices the grass at the blade height.

This suction along with the quickly spinning blade or blades is what cuts grass efficiently.

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The Purpose of Rotary Mowers

Rotary mowers are all-purpose mowers that can cut just about any type of lawn. They are better for cutting grass on uneven ground, or on lawns where sticks and rocks are present. Further, rotary mowers are best for cutting grass at taller grass.

Pros of Reel Mowers: Can cut tall grass easily, and the blades are cheap and easy to sharpen. Are not easily affected by sticks or even rocks. To get your lawn ready for a reel mower, use these yard clean up tips.

Cons of Reel Mowers: Can not cut grass as low as a rotary mower, and does not cut as evenly as a reel mower can. Does not cut grass as cleanly.

What is a REAL reel mower?

Look, I was shocked when I found this one out myself. Reel mowers aren’t just rinky-dink pieces of metal that serve better as a lawn decoration than actually keeping grass cut.

No, there are also commercial grade high-end top-of-the-line reel mowers that offer some unique features that the traditional rotary mower can not. We will get to those features in a moment. But first…

How do reel mowers work?

Unlike a rotary mower which uses 1, 2, or even 3 quickly rotating blades that spin parallel to the ground, a reel mower uses 4, 5, 7 or even 11 blades on a single reel.

Get this, some top-end commercial reel mowers, like the TORO 121″ Reelmaster 7000 Mower, can have as many as 5 reels. With 11 blades on each reel. That’s 55 blades!

I would hate to be the one that has to sharpen the blades on a mower like that!

So, what the heck is so special about these “reel” mowers anyhow?

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The Purpose of Reel Mowers

Here’s the deal, a reel mower isn’t for your average homeowner’s lawn. No, these precision-grade machines are for those who want a PERFECT lawn. And I mean perfect.

As far as use on residential properties, about the only people that use a high-end reel mower, are hobbyist homeowners who love perfecting their lawns.

However, when it comes to commercial properties like baseball stadiums, golf courses, soccer fields, and the like. A reel mower offers a far superior cut, with sharper stripes and a tighter cut.

Pros of Reel Mowers: Reel mowers are excellent at cutting grass low and tight to the ground, best of all they can provide a nice even cut on the lawn. They also offer a sharper, cleaner cut on the grass which avoids grass discoloration.

Cons of Reel Mowers: Easily jammed up by sticks and rocks. Further, they can not cut tall grass well either. Sharpening the blades is not a DIY project. The lower cut may lead to a lawn more likely to become brown in the summer heat. Grass needs to be cut more frequently (twice a week or more).

Which is Better Reel or Rotary Mower?

Well, to be honest. Each mower has its place.

Rotary mowers will probably always be the front-runner choice for most lawn care pros and homeowners. Simply put they are more versatile and easier for the average user to operate and troubleshoot.

However, reel mowers do seem to be growing in popularity among homeowners. The thing is while they offer a superior cut, unless you frivolously maintain your lawn, or pay top dollar to have your lawn perfectly manicured by lawn care pros. You will have more issues than it’s worth to operate a reel mower.

Should I invest in a reel mower for my lawn care company?

While in theory, a reel cutting service may appeal to some residential clients, very few are going to want to pay for 2 or 3 cuts a week.

In my experience, the only practical application for reel mowers is for lawn care companies that specifically service large commercial properties that are willing to pay top dollar to have their lawns perfectly manicured.

Or if you are specifically targeting VERY wealthy clients that want a perfectly maintained lawn and are willing to fork out

Reel Mowers are practical for cutting sports fields, and especially golf courses. So unless you have large commercial clients I would not recommend investing in a reel mower for your lawn care business. The bottom line is it’s not the type of equipment you want if you are just getting started.

In the words of one lawn care pro:

Rotary vs. Reel At the End of the Day

While there are certainly some amazing advantages to using a reel mower on certain properties, overall the rotary mower will always be a more practical solution for a lawn care company.

While they can be a fun hobby for your own lawn, the commercial use of a reel mower for a profitable lawn care company is strictly limited to VERY high-end residential clients and commercial clients that want a perfect lawn.

If you are looking for more great lawn care business tips, check out our lawn care pros section.

What Is a Reel Mower and How to Use It

David Beaulieu is a landscaping expert and plant photographer, with 20 years of experience.

Mary has been a Master Gardener for 30 years and a commercial and residential gardener for 50 years. She is a former Clemson University Extension Agent.

Jillian is a freelance journalist with 10 years of editorial experience in the lifestyle genre. She is a writer and fact checker for TripSavvy, as well as a fact-checker for The Spruce.

best, lawn, mowers, made, america, quality

Reel mowers appeal to environmentalists, money-savers, exercise-fanatics, noise-haters, and safety-lovers. Simple to operate, a reel mower works well for small areas.

However, with this type of lawn mower, there are some downsides. You must be committed to mowing when the grass is ready, not whenever you get around to it. Sharpening the blades is a hassle. And unless you don’t mind the extra work of raking up twigs beforehand, reel mowers are not practical for large areas with lots of trees, since you can’t ride roughshod over twigs as you can with standard mowers.

What Is a Reel Mower?

A reel mower is a push mower that does not use fuel, electricity, or oil and is powered by the person pushing it. Most have two primary wheels and several sharp blades in a cylinder that spin around to cut the grass.

Reel vs. Rotary Mowers

As with most things, reel mowers are excellent for some situations and users and troublesome for others. Reel mowers lack many of the common annoyances that come with other types of mowers—the smell and noise, the potential risks, and the price—but they also have drawbacks. Reel mowers don’t work as well on tall grass or grass sprinkled with twigs and leaves.

The blades of a rotary lawn mower spin on a plane parallel to the ground. Reel mower blades spin at an angle perpendicular to the ground. While you may be able to get by for years without sharpening the blades on a regular mower, it’s critical to keep the blades of a reel mower razor-sharp.

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Lightweight and safer to use
  • Noise-free
  • efficient at mowing grass
  • Easier to mow larger areas
  • Mulches up debris
  • Handles cutting grass better on uneven ground

Parts of a Reel Mower

Manual or push reel mowers don’t have engines, so they don’t use gas and emit no pollutants. The lack of an engine also means reel mowers are virtually noiseless. No engine also means no tune-ups, and less maintenance: no oil to check, no filter to clean, no spark plugs, saving time and money.

Reel mowers have blades that turn as the mower is pushed. Today’s models have a protective guard to prevent the grass from being blown back on the person pushing the mower. And some models come with a grass-collecting bag. Most models allow you to adjust the blades to cut the grass at a certain height.

Modern models of reel mowers are lightweight and easy to push. Reel mowers are ideal for small lawns with no trees, although pushing one across any sized lawn will still be a strenuous chore, lightweight or not.

Why Should You Use a Reel Mower?

When you think of mowing your lawn, the mental image that comes to mind for most of us is that of a rotary machine, because this type of grass-cutting device has become the standard. Unlike the rotary models that you’re used to, reel mowers don’t have an engine.

Instead, this 19th-century device, invented by Edwin Budding, cuts the grass using sharp blades that move as you push the device along. This isn’t merely a question of the machine being self-propelled vs not self-propelled, it is entirely human-powered. Still, despite the decidedly unmodern functionality, there are good reasons you might want to consider buying a reel mower.

Environmentalists tout reel mowers as a clean alternative to polluting gas-powered rotary models. Reel mowers also reduce noise pollution. A reel mower is safer to use because the blades stop when you stop pushing, They are less expensive to purchase and maintain than gas or electric mowers. Modern versions are easier to use than older models because lightweight plastics and alloys incorporated into their framework have made them more maneuverable.

But reel mowers come with some disadvantages, too. They can’t chop up twigs and the twigs get lodged in the blades, requiring manual removal. Raking up twigs before mowing is advisable, adding time and effort to the task. Reel mowers cannot be used in fall as makeshift leaf-shredders. Rotary models are also better at mowing grass that’s grown too high, an important consideration for those who don’t mow the grass religiously.

Reel lawn mowers are well-suited only to those who tend to small urban lots and enjoy exercise. But if you do have just a small lawn to mow, the reel mower can be ideal. Dealing with all the gas, oil, and noise associated with regular mowers seems like overkill for such a small space.

Another choice other than reel mowers for those who have a small lawn is a rechargeable battery-powered mower. This type keeps mower maintenance to a bare minimum.

Buying vs. Renting

Reel mowers are inexpensive, costing around 100 on average to purchase. Since mowing the lawn is a weekly chore, especially in the spring and summer months, it only makes sense to buy one rather than go through the constant expense and hassle of renting one.

Although reel mowers are relatively cheap, you shouldn’t necessarily buy the very cheapest option. You want to make sure your mower is well-made, and that blade sharpening kits for the brand you select are easy to find because you’ll need to sharpen the blade regularly.

How to Maintain Reel Mowers

There is one regular mower-maintenance chore necessary with reel mowers: sharpening the blades. This needs to be done once or twice every year. You can buy sharpening kits, or you can grab these three basic items: grinding stone, grinding paste, and newspaper. The blades can remain on the mower, and with a little bit of manual effort, you can complete the sharpening process.

  • Grinding stone: Use the stone first to smooth out any nicks or burrs you feel on the blades.
  • Grinding paste: Apply the paste to the blades and cutter bar. Then turn the reel backward. The grinding paste and running it backward will sharpen the blades and cutter bar’s edges. Do this for a few minutes, and you will see the paste going away and shiny edges appearing. If there’s any excess paste, simply wipe it off.
  • Newspaper: Test the sharpness of the blades on the newspaper. If it’s not sharp enough, repeat the sharpening process.


After each use, make sure to wipe/wash off any grass clippings that have built up on the mower. Store the reel mower in a dry place to help keep it from rusting.

When to Replace Your Reel Mower

Reel mowers will last for many years if you keep them clean and sharpen the blades periodically. If you find yourself not having the time to mow often with a reel mower, or you’ve gotten a larger yard, then you should consider replacing it with a powered mower. If your yard is considerably bigger, then a riding lawn mower will save you time and effort.

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