Earthwise reel mower adjustment. How to Adjust a Scotts Reel Mower

The 9 Best Reel Mowers of 2023, Reviewed. Which Is the Best Reel Mower for Your Lawn?

You don’t have to fuss around brown patches, fungus, and insect infestation. These best reel mowers snip overgrown grass like a pair of scissors for a clean, healthy, and professionally manicured lawn. And all it takes is your strength – no electricity, no gas, no noisy motor, and no harmful emissions.

You can even put your leveling project permanently on hold because there’s one option made for the sloping, uneven, and rough terrains!

Here are the nine best reel mower models for a healthier, cleaner, and professionally manicured lawn.

Best Reel Lawn Mower Reviews

We’ve gone through hundreds of manual lawn mowers, so you don’t have to.

Check out our review round-up for the nine best reels mowers. Plus, read about how to choose a reel lawn mower that best caters to your lawn needs.

Great States Push Reel Lawn Mower – Best Overall

First off, we have the best overall reel mower. The Great States Push Mower is the perfect balance of cutting width, easy steering, and multiple adjustments.

The 5-blade reel has a 16-inch cutting width, making it suitable for small lawns with all types of grass. The lower blade count means it can cut taller grass more efficiently. The medium cutting width is just right for optimal steering. It’s not too narrow that you spend more time going through your lawn. But it’s not too wide that it’s hard to move around.

The weight is in the sweet spot too. At 25 pounds, it’s light enough to carry but heavy enough to keep the blades close to the ground. It’s great for uneven patches because more lightweight mowers will just bump off on impact. The added weight lets the mower hug the ground for a better cut.

De Squealing a Reel mower. And other cutting edge insights.

You can also do a lot of fine-tuning for the wheels, rollers, and blades. It is excellent for expert lawn keepers that want a precise cut every single time. The roller adjustments are great for getting that coveted striped look on your simple yard.

Unlike the other mowers, this has a broader cutting length range. You can go as low as 0.5 inches for an ultra-tight look or a more lush and comfy height of 2.5 inches.

With all the adjustments available, this mower is for everyone. Beginners can use it straight out of the box with easy assembly. Advanced users can play around with the different levels of each component. The Great States Push mower works for any grass type and is still budget-friendly.

Sun Joe MJ501M Manual Reel Mower With Grass Catcher – Budget Pick

  • Wheel size: 10″ front, 6″ rear
  • Cutting width: 18″
  • Blade count: 5
  • Handle style: Loop

The Sun Joe MJ501M is the reel mower that you get the most out of your buck. Yes, it sounds super fancy. And for the price, it looks fancy too!

But this push reel mower has more to it than its looks. You get a wide cutting width, 4-wheel operation, and fine height adjustment. All packed with a 7-gallon grass cutter.

With all that, you can cut more grass per pass. And you can do it easily thanks to the added back wheels. You can even catch most lawn clippings (some are bound to fly out of basket range). And then use it for mulching or your chicken’s snack.

The reel mower has five blades that cut between 1.6 to 2.6 inches. It’s not the shortest range, but it’s perfect for backyard turf. The grass stays comfy enough to step on, but not long too long that the grass blades are droopy.

Within that sweet spot range, you can adjust the height in 9 levels so you can fine-tune your cuttings. That makes for a cleaner, more precise look for your yard.

A drawback here is the spacing between the wheels and the blade. There’s a significant gap, so you need to overlap your next lane with the previous one. But that doesn’t cheat you out of the 18-inch cutting width. So even with the overlap, you’re still cutting wider lanes of grass.

This reel mower is fantastic for maintaining small to medium backyards. You can cut tall grass easily with the low blade count and good steering of the four wheels. You get a lot of perks for the money that you spend. And that’s what the budget pick is all about.

Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower – Premium Pick

  • Wheel size: NA
  • Cutting width: 18”
  • Blade count: 5
  • Handle style: Adjustable wonky handle

Let’s take a look at our premium pick for reel mowers. The Fiskars StaySharp Max reel mower has a whole lot of great engineering rolled into one unit.

The blades stay true to their name. They will always be sharp, thanks to zero contact between the reel blades and the bed knife. No contact means less wear and tear and less sharpening.

It also makes this mower easier to push than others. The space between the blades makes jamming less of an issue. Plus, the added weight of the mower gives it more power to go through thick patches.

Yes, a heavy mower is a bit difficult to push and maneuver, but its momentum makes it lighter for you to steer when it does get started. The reel is even connected to a chain system rather than the wheels.

So even if you stop pushing, the reel keeps spinning—kind of like a bicycle. When you’re going fast and stop pedaling, you keep moving because the gear chains still move. That gives you time to adjust your position without starting from a stop.

And last but not least. This reel mower has a grass chute that can either toss the cut grass backward or forward. It comes super handy when you’re going out but need to do a quick mow. But you don’t want grass all over your shoes when you’re done. Just flip the chute forward, push for a few minutes without getting sweaty and be on your way.

It is the ultimate mower for homeowners without a budget issue. With the Fiskars StaySharp Max reel mower’s features, you save time and effort. You can also reduce clean-up! It cuts all types of grass, including thick ones like Bermuda.

If you like to keep your grass super short, this isn’t the mower for you because the shortest your grass will be is 1 inch tall. But as long as you don’t have an issue with a heavy start and a lighter. this mower is excellent for you.

It uses contactless cutting technology (your reel doesn’t touch the bed knife) so that there’s no swishing sound as you mow. It also helps keep your blades sharp and gives allowance in case there are bigger clumps of grass. There’s less chance for grass-jamming with this technique so expect easy pushing all the time.

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This German reel mower is perfect for small lawns with short-growing grass. The five blades of the reel cut half an inch to 1.5 inches. That’s ideal for grasses like Bermuda and Kentucky Bluegrass (1).

This reel mower is also great for keeping in a small shed. The loop handle folds into thirds for compact storage.

How to Adjust a Scotts Reel Mower

Best suited for turfgrasses with fine textures, the University of California notes that reel mowers are also good to use when a low mowing height is what you want. There are three adjustments that you can make to a Scotts reel mower.

You can adjust the Scotts reel mower cut height to a higher or lower setting. To adjust higher, use the adjusting lever at each wheel. To adjust the height below 2 inches, remove the wheels and relocating the adjustment assemblies. A final adjustment you can make is to adjust the blades themselves for either a more even cut or to keep the blades from rubbing the rear cutting bar.

Although a new reel mower has already been pre-adjusted before leaving the factory, Scotts notes that they may become misaligned. You’ll notice your mower becomes harder to push or cuts are uneven if this happens.

Adjust Cutting Height Below 2 Inches

Remove the hubcap from the center of one of the reel mower wheels. There are two notches between the hubcap and the wheel. Insert a flat-head screwdriver into one of the notches, and pry the hubcap off the wheel.

Locate the retaining ring between the bolt head in the center of the wheel hub to the mower and the wheel hub. Place the flat-head screwdriver between the ring and the bolt head, and pry the ring off the wheel hub. Pull the wheel hub away from the mower.

Locate the nut to the bolt securing the wheel adjustment assembly in place. The nut will be on the back side of the wheel adjustment assembly and the frame of the mower. Place an adjustable wrench around the nut, and remove the bolt with an appropriate-size socket wrench.

Rotate the wheel adjustment assembly down to the lower notch, and secure the assembly to the mower frame with the retaining nut and bolt. Slide the wheel hub over the bolt head, and slip the retaining ring between the wheel hub and bolt head to secure the wheel hub. Place the hubcap into position, and press it in with your thumbs until it snaps into place. Repeat for the other side of the mower.

Scotts Reel Mower Cut Height

Scotts Elite reel mower height adjustment begins with locating the adjustment levers between the mower wheels and the frame of the mower.

Pull the adjustment lever toward the wheel to disengage the lever from the adjustment plate.

Move the lever up or down to the desired cutting height, and set the lever back into a notch on the adjustment plate. Place the opposite-side wheel in the same adjustment as the first.

Adjust Blades Scotts Reel Mower

Locate the two adjustment screws on each side of the mower for the cutting blades on the cutter bar. The cutter bar is on the rear of the mower assembly.

Turn the back screws on each side (the screws farthest from the blade) counter-clockwise with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Each screw must be turned an equal amount. Turn the two front screws clockwise to move the cutter bar farther from the blades. This adjustment will keep the blades from scraping the cutting bar.

Make an adjustment to have the blades cut evenly by loosening the front screws evenly in a counter-clockwise direction. Rotate the back screws clockwise with the Phillips-head screwdriver to move the cutting bar closer to the blades and create a more even cut.

Reel mowers are quiet and don’t spew air pollution like gas engine mowers do. They’re simple to maintain, and sharpening the blades is easier than you might think.

In 1962, when I was a teenager, my father gave our neighbor, Mr. Gruder, 10 for a reel mower of my very own. The ash handle shone with age and use, and it had a canvas grass catcher. Mr. Gruder had built the reel mower from parts — the finest custom-made machine of its kind ever built. Pushing it revved up the blades, a cylinder of curved scimitars that sliced each blade of grass to the same height. Mr. Gruder gave me a lesson on how to safely sharpen the blades to razor sharp. “Wear gloves,” he said, as he demonstrated.

For nearly a year, I mowed lawns with my trusty push mower. I wish I still had it. But two years ago, I found a Super Chief reel mower in an antique store. It had a broken handle but a spotless canvas grass catcher. It was just 75 for a piece of American history, stored indoors for 50 years.

Buying a Reel Lawn Mower

A good vintage reel lawn mower handle should be splinter-free, with solid handles baptized in boiled linseed oil. But if a bad handle is the only thing wrong with a used machine and it has a good price, buy it. For 10, I commissioned a high school shop class to make a handle for the Super Chief.

Old machines in good working condition are rare, but worth the hunt because they’re often inexpensive. But are they worth the hours of restoration? To me, yes, but you may be happier with a more recent model — something you won’t have to repair or restore first. The Mercedes of modern reel mowers is the German-made Brill Razorcut 38, and it’s priced accordingly (250). But you can also find economy models, such as Scotts Classic Reel Mower, priced at a bit more than 100. Tip: The grass-catcher attachment is worth having on all models, as reel mowers don’t mulch clippings.

Maintaining and Sharpening a Reel Mower

You should perform basic maintenance on a reel lawn mower after every third use, and the procedure is perfectly simple. First, put it up on a workbench. If you grovel at its level, it’s easier to be injured by the blades and lose tiny parts in the grass.

If it’s old, the blades probably need to be sharpened, and you need practice to do this right. Moving the wheels forward causes the blade cage to rotate rapidly because of the movement of a series of gears (which might need to be oiled or repacked with grease). Check the rubber wheels. If they’re slick and can’t get traction, the reel won’t turn efficiently. You can temporarily repair this by making grooves in the tires with a three-corner file — until you have time to look for replacement wheels.

Always wear leather gloves when working with the blades for any reason, including debris removal when mowing. To hone the blades, jam a wooden stick through the cage to prevent it from turning. A coarse sharpening stone and a light application of cutting oil will make each blade sharp within seven or eight light (but even and smooth) strokes. Follow the angle of the blade as closely as possible.

Use the same number of strokes on every blade to ensure a uniform distance of all blades from the cutting bar, which should almost touch the whirling blades, leaving room for the width of a blade of grass. You may need to adjust the cutting bar when you’re done. If your blades slice easily through a sheet of newspaper placed on the cutting bar, you’ve done it right.

Some experts advise dabbing the honed blades with grinding paste and pulling the mower backward for 10 minutes. But I tried out this method, and can tell you that death-by-boredom may occur in half that time. A young person, if desperate enough, might do it for 20, if nobody sees them. (Those were exactly my nephew’s terms.)

On most models, the gears in the wheel assembly aren’t hard to access, but you must be careful not to lose any nuts, bolts or pins. (Drop them in a small can or jar for collection and oiling.) Remove the wheel covers and pack the exposed gears with light grease. If you’re lucky, the wheel covers on your model will have lubrication holes. After each mowing, use a garden hose or air compressor to clean the blades and wheels. Then spray everything liberally with WD-40.

Always mow on a dry, clear day — weekly is best.

I don’t miss the pollution, the stench of hydrocarbon exhaust, or the unrelenting decibels of a gas engine mower. Instead, I have the silence, the pure scent of newly mown grass, and the satisfaction of light muscle-powered work. No earplugs required.

If you’d like to know more about sharpening blades on conventional gas-engine mowers, read A Midsummer’s Sharpening: How to Sharpen Your Lawn Mower Blade.

Do you use a push reel mower? Have you sharpened its blades? Share your experience in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section below.

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The 7 Best Reel Mowers 2023 Reviews Buying Guide

A reel mower is a perfect lawn mower used widely to keep the lawn manicured properly without any mess. The blades of this lawn mower will spin vertically from north to south and uses a scissoring action to cut grass gently.

The reel mower is cheaper, lightweight, simple to use, easy to store, and environmentally friendly that delivers a clean cut. It’s became a favorite tool for most of the users having a small – medium sized yards. Whereas for larger yards, one has to look for best riding mowers.

This easy to push lawn mower not only keep your lawn healthy but also let the user get proper exercise while walking throughout the lawn with this mower. Also, you can simply opt for string trimmers as an easier option to trim the grass in a smaller yard.

So, one has to consider these 3 main factors to speed up their selection process and choose the best one.

  • Cutting Width – The width or size of the cutting blades will let you the amount of grass it cut at a time. Choose the larger cutting width like 20-inch reel mower rather than 14-inch mower for best results.
  • Number of Blades – Different reel mower models comes with various number of cutting blades. For quick and clean cutting, you have to choose the one with higher number of cutting blades.
  • Size and Weight – Check the size and weight of the mower while purchasing. To push the reel mower to all corners of your backyard and to have a clean cut of grass, one has to choose a small, compact and lightweight mower rather than heavier large mowers.

Not only these 3 factors, there are so many factors to consider when you’re going to purchase the reel mower. All those are clearly mentioned in the below “Buying Guide”. We came up with some of the best reel mowers in the market that help to maintain your lawn with perfect trim of grass.

Top Push Reel Mowers in 2023 List

The 7 Best Reel Mower Reviews

American Lawn Mower Reel Mower

American Lawn Mower Company is a company that makes a wide range of lawn mowers right here in the states. You can also find various reel mowers from this brand, including the 1204-14 reel mower.

The American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 reel lawn mower is present in the 1st position in this article as it is the cheapest option present in this article. But even then, it offers various things to its users that makes it an excellent value for money option. You get a 14-inch wide blade in it that makes it one of the most compact options out there. You get a total of 4 blades in this reel mower that is quite decent for its given price.

It offers a wide cutting height range that can be easily adjusted between 0.5 inches to 1.75 inches as per your needs and requirements. Since its blade is made out of heat-treated alloy steel, you get a clean cut while cutting grass using it. This reel lawn mower has 8.5-inch wheels on the side that are quite decent. These offer a decent grip and allow you to easily use this lawn mower on uneven surfaces as well as in thick grass without any issues.

Best Features:

  • 14-inch cutting width
  • 4 cutting blades
  • 5 to 1.75-inch cutting height
  • 2-year warranty
  • 5-inch wheel size
  • Heat-treated alloy steel blade
  • High value for money
  • Ergonomic cushioned handle

Great States Reel Mower

Scotts Outdoor Power Tools is a brand that makes various kinds of power tools. And as you would expect, it also makes garden tools, including multiple reel mower models, that can be handy for different users.

Scotts Outdoor Power Tools’ 304-14S reel lawn mower is present in the 2nd position in this article as it can be another great option if you are on a budget. While it is slightly more expensive than the previous option, you get some extra things that make it worth its given price. You get a 14-inch blade in this lawn mower that is quite decent for its price. But it comes with a total of 5 blades that result in a clean-cut while cutting grass.

Despite its affordable price tag, you get decent build quality along with a 2-year warranty. As a result, this lawn mower can easily last longer than most other budget reel mower options out there. It offers a cutting height range of 0.5 inches to 1.75 inches that is quite easy to adjust. Just like the previous reel mower option, this one also has 8.5-inch composite wheels. A great thing about this lawn mower is that you get comfortable grips on its handle.

Best Features:

  • 14-inch cutting width
  • 5 cutting blades
  • 5 to 1.75-inch cutting height
  • 2-year warranty
  • 5-inch wheel size
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Affordable option
  • Heat-treated alloy steel blades
  • Cushioned grips on the handle

Great States 815-18 Reel Mower

Great States is one of the most popular brands of garden tools and equipment out there. You can also reel mower options from Great States, including the one we have mentioned here in this article.

This Great States 815-18 reel lawn mower is present in the 3rd position in this article as it offers a large-sized blade without having a high price tag. It comes with an 18 inch wide cutting blade. Since this is much larger than other options out there, you can cut a lot of grass at once. And this reel mower can offer an excellent cutting performance along with clean cuts since you get a total of 5 cutting blades in it.

Unfortunately, since this is a comparatively budget lawn mower option, you only get a 1-year warranty with it. But even then, this reel mower is decently durable as you get a great build quality with it. It comes with large-sized composite wheels that have a size of 10 inches. You also get a cutting height range of 0.5 inches to 2.0 inches that is possible due to these large-sized wheels. It has a loop design handle that is quite ergonomic and comfortable to use.

Best Features:

  • 18-inch cutting width
  • 5 cutting blades
  • 5 to 2-inch cutting height
  • 1-year warranty
  • 10-inch wheel size
  • Loop design handle
  • Tool-less assembly
  • Affordable price

Fiskars Reel Mower

Fiskars is a premium and expensive brand of power tools when compared with other options out there. And this is also true for its reel lawn mower that is slightly on the expensive side when compared with other options out there.

You get a decently large 18-inch wide cutting blade in the Fiskars 362050-1001 reel lawn mower. This cutting blade has a total of 5 blades that are highly sharp and result in a clean-cut while using this lawn mower. It also comes with a 3-year long warranty due to which this lawn mower can last much longer than other options.

One of the most unique things about this lawn mower is its wheels that make this reel mower 60% easiest to use when compared with other options out there. It also comes with a reversible grass chute. You can use this to direct the grass clippings either towards the front or towards the back as per your wish. This lawn mower comes with StaySharp cutting system that keeps the cutting blade of this reel mower sharp and functioning for a long time.

Best Features:

  • 18-inch cutting width
  • 5 cutting blades
  • 1 to 4-inch cutting height
  • 3-year warranty
  • Unique wheel system
  • 60% easier to use
  • StaySharp technology for keeping the blade sharp
  • Inbuild grass chute
  • Loop design handle for comfort

Scotts Outdoor Reel Mower

As mentioned earlier, Scotts Outdoor Power Tools makes all kinds of lawn mowers. Thus, we are here with another reel mower that is much larger than the previous one and offers better features.

Just like the previous Scotts Outdoor Power Tools reel mower, this 2000-20S lawn mower comes with decent build quality and a 2-year warranty. But the biggest difference between this and the previous one is that you get a 20 inch wide cutting blade in this one. As a result, you can easily cut a lot of grass at once using this reel mower. Since this has a total of 5 blades, it offers clean cuts while cutting grass as per your height adjustment.

Speaking of height adjustment, you can choose a cutting height from 1 inch to 3 inch as per your wish. It offers this large height range due to its 10-inch dual tracking wheels. You also get a set of smaller wheels at the back for extra stability while using this lawn mower in your backyard. Another great thing about this reel mower is that it uses heat-treated alloy steel blades that stay sharp for a long time without any issues.

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Best Features:

  • 20-inch cutting width
  • 5 cutting blades
  • 1 to 3-inch cutting height
  • 2-year warranty
  • 10-inch dual tracking wheels
  • Heat-treated alloy steel blades
  • Tool lees assembly
  • Lightweight and easy to operate

Greenworks 25072 Reel Mower

Greenworks is a brand of power tools that makes highly reliable electric options. While its reel mower is not powered by an electric motor, it is certainly as reliable as its electric models.

One of the best things about the Greenworks 25072 reel lawn mower is that it offers a great build quality. And when combined with its 4-year long warranty, you can easily expect it to last much longer than most other reel lawn mower options out there that come with just a 1 or 2-year warranty. You also get an inbuilt grass catcher in this lawn mower that is quite handy. It collects all of the grass so that you do not have to clean your lawn afterwards.

As per the name of this reel mower, you get a 20-inch cutting blade in it that has a total of 5 blades. And due to its large blade size along with sharp blades, you can expect a great cutting performance. You get 10-inch wheels at the front and 6-inch wheels at the rear of this reel mower for ease of use. Due to its wheels, it offers a large cutting height range of 1 ¾ inch to 2 ¾ inch. It provides all of this while having a very justified price tag.

Best Features:

  • 20-inch cutting width
  • 5 cutting blades
  • 1 ¾ to 2 ¾ inch cutting height
  • 4-year warranty
  • 10-inch wheels at the front
  • 6-inch wheels at the rear
  • Comes with a grass catcher
  • 2 in 1 cutting modes
  • 9 position height adjustment system

Earthwise Reel Mower

Coming to the last reel mower option present in this article, we have Earthwise that also makes various lawn mowers. And we are here with the Earthwise 1715-16EW reel lawn mower in this article.

One of the most unique things about this reel mower is that it comes with a total of 7 blades. And since these blades are quite sharp, this reel mower offers excellent cutting performance with clean and sharp cuts while cutting grass. You get a 16 inch wide cutting blade in this reel mower. This provides a great balance between cutting performance and size as it is quite sharp while being neither too big or too small.

Just like various other options present out there, you get a 2-year warranty with this Earthwise reel lawn mower. Thankfully, the build quality of this reel mower is much better than most other options present out there as it comes with alloy steel blades. It offers 10-inch composite wheels that allow you to easily use it over uneven surfaces. Such a large wheel size also results in a decent cutting height range of 0.5 inches to 2.5 inches that can be easily adjusted as per your cutting needs and requirements.

Earthwise Reel Mower Adjustment blade tighten Fix Patchy Cut Perfectly without sharpening Must See

Best Features:

  • 16-inch cutting width
  • 7 cutting blades
  • 5 to 1.75-inch cutting height
  • 2-year warranty
  • 10-inch wheel size
  • Alloy steel blades
  • Easy to store
  • Decent build quality

What is a Reel Mower?

A reel mower used to maintain the lawn perfectly by trimming/cutting the overgrown grass, with its blades by using a scissoring action. The push mower is a basic type with less maintenance which suits best for those who are looking for an alternative to powered mowers. It has 2 or 4 wheels with 3 – 7 cutting blades, which are steel or other metal for durability and long-lasting sharpness. It is a best option for many people who want a healthier, affordable, quieter and low maintenance mower.

How it Works – When you start pushing the mower forward then its blade will spin vertically and cut the grass in between them. Simply, they create a scissor cutting action that snips blades to cut grass properly. It operates silently without emitting any harmful fumes.

Types of Reel Mowers:

One can categorize the reel mower into two different types – manual electric. Knowing about them in detail will help you to select the best product, as per your need.

A. Manual Reel Mower:

This type of reel mowers is mostly used by people who are cardio junkies, environmentalists and budget-friendly. The less buying cost and low maintenance will make them cheaper than motorized mowers. It won’t have an engine to make noise or pollution. Here, as the name implies, you have to put your efforts to move the reel mower and thereby to mow the lawn properly.

  • The blades of this mower won’t shatter even though they hit pipes, rocks or any hidden objects in the grass while mowing. Unless and until the high-speed rotary blade hit something hard.
  • Moving a reel mower manually in your lawn will make you get proper exercise.
  • It is a time-consuming process and requires a lot of work and effort, as one has to mow frequently.
  • Not suitable to mow on places where a lot of thick weed, tall grass and a lot of brush.

Suitable For – The manual reel push mower suits best for small flatter yards with 2000 square feet or less area.

B. Electric Reel Mowers:

This electric / motorized mower works with a motor that runs with electric power supply. The engine will let the mower mow the yard without any putting any effort/strain. It is categorized into two types – Corded Cordless. Let’s know about them in detail.

Electric Corded – They are operated with electric power by using an extension cord of about 100 – 150 feet from any standard electric power outlet.

Pros – They are easy to start, easy to use and won’t weight a lot.

Cons – Its range is limited, as it is operated with an electric cord.

Suitable for – This electric corded will suit best for small to medium sized lawns with below 3500 square feet.

C. Electric Cordless/Battery Powered:

Here the engine is powered by a battery to run the mower. This is considered as the best environmentally friendly motorized lawn mower, why because they won’t produce any toxic fumes. With a full charge battery, one can easily run this mower for about 45 minutes.

Pros – It can used in any place without having any limitation on its range.

Cons – It runs on limited time, till charge in the battery lasts.

Suitable for – It suits best for medium to larger sized laws with 5000 square feet.

Do you know…?

  • All reel mower models won’t cut the grass at same settings.
  • It works best with regular cutting regimen to prevent hard cutting of overgrown grass.
  • It is best to mow for smaller lawns of less than 10,000 square feet of lawn (quarter acre).
  • A sloped or bumpy lawn may result in an uneven trim and leave patches, and one has to mow it from different angles.

Want to know some more interesting facts about reel mowers and choose the best one. Then just go through this buying guide.

How to Select the Best Reel Lawn Mower?

As a buyer, you should know all the information regarding the reel mowers along with factors to be considered while purchasing a reel mower. This will help you to pick the perfect one, as per your backyard requirement.

In case, if you still have any queries about its selection then feel free to share it with us in Комментарии и мнения владельцев section, we are happy to clarify your doubts and help you in selection process.

Cutting Width

The cutting width of the reel mower will determine the amount of grass, a mower can cut at a given time. A larger cutting width aids in better cutting performance, as it offers a larger contact surface area and thereby allows you to cut a lot of grass at once. One can find the cutting width options like 14-inch or 20-inch when purchasing the reel mower, in which 20-inch reel mower will provide a best cutting performance in your backyard lawn and saves your time.

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Cutting Height

Most of the reel mowers offer a variable cutting height range, which allows you to change the cutting height of the mower. This cutting height will allow the blades to cut the grass neatly without harming the blades in a longer run. Simply, set the specific length or required height of the grass you want to trim.

One can find the adjustable cutting height range of reel mowers as 1/2 – 3 inches (1 – 2 ½ inches or 5/8 – 3 inches). Most of the users prefer larger cutting height range to get precise control over grass cutting while mowing.

The height can be adjusted by using its inbuilt levers and handles while some other require a tool to adjust the height. A few modern models come with tool less cutting height adjustments.

Number of Blades

The reel mowers have vertical blades that cut all types of grass efficiently in the backyard. Different reel mowers come with different number of blades, resulting in different cutting performance. So, most people prefer to have high number of cutting blades in the reel mower for a smooth clean cutting.

A few models offer 4 blades while others come with 5 blades or even 7 blades, in which the mower with 5 or 7 blades are better than 4 blades. The mower with higher number of blades then it last longer why because the higher blade count will keep it stay sharp for a longer time.

Wheel Size

All reel lawn mowers come with wheels that allows you to push the lawn mower around the backyard to cut grass. Since the reel mowers won’t have any motor or engine, the wheels use gears to power the cutting blade. So, it is essential to check the wheels and wheel size offered by the reel mower before buying.

Experts advice to use a large wheel size to have a smooth operation of the reel mower. This will allow you to use the reel mower even in thick grass and on uneven surfaces without much issue. One can generally find wheel size options like 10-inches or 12-inches while purchasing the reel mower for backyard. So, you have to choose the large wheel size of about 12-inches for better utilization of reel lawn mower.

Size and Weight

The weight and the physical size should also be taken into consideration while selecting the reel mower. Choose a small and compact size reel mower to make it easily get into all corners of the backyard without any problem. Also, it takes less space for storing it in garage while not in use. Even though, a bigger reel mower means a faster, wider cut but it is difficult to handle while cutting grass.

Coming to weight of the mower, most of these mowers are manual and won’t have any motor or engine and one has to push manually. So, prefer to choose a lightweight mower rather than heavy weight mower, which is hard to push around the backyard to cut the grass.

Here we are providing some guidelines to select the perfect size weight of the reel mower.

  • The wider mower will cut more grass in each row you push.
  • One won’t observe any difference in the length of time/time period to mow for a small sized lawn. It only shows a bit noticeable difference in mower width, as the amount of grass gets larger.
  • The small mowers are lightweight and easy to carry and easy to push through the grass as well.
  • Never ever over-grow the grass and have a regular trimming or cutting of the grass to get control over ease of using the mower and time to mow the lawn.
  • Also, for manual reel push lawn mower, the user has to act as a motor to put all their efforts to mow the lawn. So, if not done regular mowing, you have to do extra work to cut the grass and maintain the garden effectively.

6. Durability Reliability

The reel lawn mowers are widely used for cutting a lot of grass in the backyard. Want to use this mower without facing any issues even after using it for a longer time, then simply choose a reel mower which is durable and reliable.

How to know whether the selected reel mower is durable or not? This query will arise in your mind while discussing about durability. Its simple, the durability mainly depends on the build quality, construction material and warranty period.

One can find mowers with a minimum warranty period of 1 year to a maximum of 5 years. Also, a well-built mower with stainless steel blades and strong handle will make the mower last for a longer time without any issues.


The price of the reel mowers will range in between 70 – 200. The manual mowers are affordable than electric or gas-powered mowers. They won’t associated with any operating costs like electricity, batteries, and not paying for any oil or gasoline.


The manual reel mower is virtually maintenance – free rather than electric or battery powered mowers. The reason is that they won’t require any replacement parts, refueling, charging or oil-changing. All you need is to sharpen the blades of the mower regularly to make it work perfectly for every few years.

Advantages of Reel Mower

Other than sharpening and lubricating the blades for every few years, you won’t have to upkeep to do on reel mower.

  • It requires less maintenance and work quieter than other regular mowers.
  • The usage of these reel mowers is quiet, healthy, peaceful and good for both user and their lawn.
  • The manual push reel mower is inexpensive than electric and gas mowers. The price of manual reel mowers may vary by depending on its quality and design.
  • Most of the reel mower user hear a gentle snipping sound the tool makes while mowing. Although, the manual one will make less noise than either any other electric or gas-powered mowers.
  • Regular mowing of the lawn will prevent diseases like brown patch and thereby won’t leave your lawn pockmarked with areas of dead grass. Also, the rust signified by red pustules on the grass will be prevented.
  • It is easy to store, as lightweight smaller models can be easy to hung on the garage wall.
  • It is free of fumes and exhaust while mowing the garden.
  • For best mowing, leave the mower dry in the sun after use then sharpen the blades once in every 2 – 4 years depending on the model and lubricate the gear assembly.

How to Maintain Push Reel Lawn Mowers?

Here is a detailed way of maintaining the reel mower properly. Have a look and follow it properly.

  • Wipe off the mower occasionally. This cleaning will help to keep the mower to last longer.
  • Adjust the cutter bar properly without over tightening. One can find that vibrations, which are associated with mowing may loosen it over time.
  • It’s must to lube the bearing, blades and cutting edges of the lawn mower regularly.
  • Also, purchase and use a sharpening kit on the blade of mower. But make sure to check the manufacturer recommendation while buying this kit for your mower.

How to Sharpen a Reel Mower?

The blades of the mower get dull after using it for several times why because they are pushed over the curbs, rocks, thick twigs and other hard surfaces. The dull blades will resist smooth operating and thereby make the mower difficult to push. Then simply check the alignment of the mower and if it is fine then it’s time to sharpen the blades of your mower. Here are a few ways to sharpen your reel mower.

  • For most of the models, the manufacturer is offering a kit, which is attached to the mower. It is like a sandpaper strip that allows the mower to sharpen its blades while pushing on it.
  • Simply purchase a back-lapping sharpening kit. This kit includes a handle and some sharpening compound. To use it, one has to attach the handle to driving gear on mower and apply the sharpening compound to the blades by using a paint brush. Then crank the mower in opposite direction to restore the sharp edge.
  • One can also perform this backlapping task by using a power drill and sharpening attachment, in which the power drill will work like a polishing brush attachment. Simply pull the trigger of the drill and run the attachment. Make sure to remove the blade reel or secure it properly to prevent any accidental injuries.
  • However, most of the high-quality blades will retain a sharp edge for so many years. So, it’s always best to sharpen your blades as an annual routine while at the beginning or end of the mowing season.

So, always remember that proper maintenance will ensure that a reel mower will offer a best possible performance. For this, when once the blades are sharpened, you have to apply a thin coating of any edible or vegetable oil on the blades. This will help to prevent the formation of corrosion or rust for not to leave any harmful residue on the grass.

Reel Mowers FAQs

Ans: In general, a reel mower working under right circumstances is not at all hard to push it. For instance, there are is a lot of grass than weed in your lawn and you’re mowing it every week will won’t make you hard to push the reel mower. Compared to other mowers, this reel mowers (manual) are lightweight, weighs from 17 – 35 pounds quite less than electric or non-self-propelled gas mower. This will make it easy to push and thereby its blades will cut the grass easily.

Ans: The manual reel mowers/cylinder mowers/push mowers were considered as the first lawn mowers with same basic principle.While pushing the mower all across the garden. The wheels spins in a cylinder movement and thereby the blades will cut the grass. The modern models are lightweight, and easy to move rather than old heavy weight metal mowers and power mowers as well.All you need is to simply set the cutting height and handle height as per your requirement and thereby push the mower and walk along with it to have some exercise for you and to trim your lawn properly.

Ans: While both electric manual reel mowers are excellent at mowing the lawn but most people prefer to use manual models rather than electric one. The reason is that manual reel models are lightweight and make you feel that task accomplished by yourself.In general, people those who love to use electric reel mowers will get benefited by these two points – the electric motor will turn the blades and thereby aids in proper cutting process (easier to push but hard to pick up due to its overweight). It spins the blade at higher RPM than manual mower ad thereby gets more cuts per square inch along with a clean cutting.One can increase the cutting effecting by walking slowly along the mower while their blades are turning fast to cut the grass, whereas for manual reel mowers, you have to walk faster to turn the blades fast. Although, it won’t make a big difference in mowing your yard by using either manual or electric or gas-powered mowers. So, it’s all depend on your personal preference and your budget.

Ans: All models of the mower blades will require sharpening after some usages to cut the grass properly. For push reel mowers, the re-sharpening can be done after 3 years, whereas for battery or gas-powered mowers, it requires twice a season.

5. How often one should mow the lawn and how to select the blade height of the mower?

Ans: It’s always suggested to mow the lawn for once in 2 weeks on regular basis to prevent overgrowth of the grass and thereby not to get strain while mowing the lawn. As suggested, won’t remove more than 1/3 rd of grass height. For instance, if you want to keep the blade height at 2 inches then mow the lawn after the grass grows to 3 inches or more inches high. Then it is easy to mow the lawn.

Ans: These are some limitation of reel mower, go through it to know about them.Avoid using reel mower on wet grass/yard why because the wetness will make the mower hard to mow and cut the grass effectively.Also, the mower requires sharp blades to cut the wet grass and in case, if the mower sinks into the wet soil then mowing becomes very difficult and you’re unable to walk along with the mower.The long blades of the push mower get stuck while cutting overgrown grass and makes it difficult to mow and requires a lot of strength to unclear and mow the mower.To resolve the issue, you need to have a scythe while working on an overgrown garden, in case if you won’t want to use power mower.The push reel mowers work great for regular mowing of small sized lawns below 10,000 square feet (or 1/4 acre) but not beyond it.

Ans: To keep your push reel mower, work precisely, you have to follow these maintenance tips. Remove stones and sticks in the lawn to prevent any damage done to the mower while mowing the garden area. Try to maintain clean blades by brushing the mower off with gloved hand or brush. A silicone spray like WD-40 will work for lubricating the moving parts before using the mower. One has to adjust the blades in every 12 – 18 months, as per the instructions in its user manual. This may involve 5 minutes to reset the reel blades to optimal distance.

Ans: It all depend on your personal choice. It is just like a basket mounted behind the cylinder to collect all the clippings. It cleans up your lawn and helps to prevent grass getting stuck to the blades while mowing. In case, if you mow the lawn regularly then its suggested to leave the clippings on the lawn in every other time to enhance the health of your lawn.

Ans: The reel mower is used to mow yards with their unique scissor-like clipping action. It gets bogged down when operating in overgrown areas and thereby causing it difficult to push the mower or may cause it to jam. This suits best for yards in well maintained but it is not ideal for lawns having grass higher than 4 inches. But you can cut the tall grass with a little bit more time and patience.Here are a few ways to cut tall grass by using a reel mower. Overlapping – Adjust the way you mow the lawn with a generous overlap. Simply, when once you finish mowing one row. Then turn around and go back with the mower in other direction while overlapping the previous path by few inches. Make sure that won’t have high streaks of grass between rows. Also, one can cut high grass efficiently with a push mower by repeated the overlap method on each path for twice. All you need is to mow each row once in a direction and turn the mower around and cut the grass in the quite opposite direction. It ensures that blades of this mower catch from both angles to get an even and thorough cut. Checkerboard Pattern – It involves mowing each section of the lawn for twice. When once you mow the lawn normally and repeat the same process in opposite direction, but in crisscrossing the original paths like perpendicularly like checkerboard. The additional pass on each and every strip will help to achieve the clean, manicured appearance.


If you want a simple and straight forward, then you go with a reel mower. These offer an excellent cutting performance while being quite affordable in comparison to powered options. Thus, we have mentioned some of the best reel mowers in this article, along with their features as well as differences. You can even find a detailed buying guide in this article with all of the details regarding reel mowers. These can be quite handy to pick the perfect reel mower for your usage easily. But if you can’t select a reel mower for your needs and requirements, here are some of our recommendations:

  • The American Lawn Mower Reel Mower can be an excellent pick for users who are on a budget. It is the cheapest option present in this article and even then offers a lot of things that make it a great value for money option. As per its name, you get a 14 inch wide cutting blade in it that offers a total of 4 blades. Due to this, you can expect decent cutting power from this reel mower that can be quite handy. You also get a 2-year warranty with this reel mower.
  • You can also consider the Great States 815-18 Reel Mower if you want a larger lawn mower without paying a lot of money. Just per the name of this reel lawn mower, you get an 18 inch wide cutting blade in it. Due to this, you can cut a lot of grass using it at once. This reel mower comes with a total of 5 blades that result in clean cuts while cutting grass in your backyard. The wheel size of 10 inch offered by this lawn mower is quite decent for its given price.
  • But if you want a highly reliable and durable reel lawn mower, then you can go with the Greenworks 25072 Reel Mower. It offers an excellent build quality along with a 4-year long warranty. Due to this, you can expect it to last for a long time without any issues. You also get a 20-inch wide blade with 5 blades in it for a great cutting performance. Another great thing about this reel mower is that it comes with an inbuilt grass catcher that can be quite handy.

Make sure to share your thoughts in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section. You can also post any questions down there if you have any!

The Best Reel Mower for Your (Small) Lawn

We’ve reviewed this guide, added competitors, eliminated older models, and reconfirmed our decisions on our picks.

Reel mowers aren’t for everyone. They’re designed for small, flat lawns, and they take some effort to push around. But they provide exceptional cut quality and a completely unplugged mowing experience, so they offer things no other mower can. We think the best one is the Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower.

For the healthiest grass

The Scotts makes the cleanest cut, has the widest cutting path, and jams the least of any reel mower, and its unusually tall 3-inch max cutting height makes it more versatile for different grass types.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 145.

During initial tests with a golf course grounds crew and in years of follow up use, the Scotts-branded mower has the best cut quality of any of the mowers we’ve tested, and its unusually tall maximum cutting height of 3 inches makes it a versatile choice for different types of lawns and grasses. It has a 20-inch cutting swath—the widest available—and at 34 pounds, it’s light and easy to maneuver. It was also the only mower in the group that didn’t jam during testing.

Good cut, less elegant

This mower cuts almost as well as our main pick and has a taller cutting height, but it’s bulkier (making it harder to turn around) and more expensive.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 250.

If our main pick is sold out or otherwise unavailable, we also really like the Fiskars 18-Inch StaySharp Max Reel Mower. Its a solid mower with a 4-inch cutting height is higher than any other reel mower’s. In testing the Fiskars cut well, but it wasn’t on par with the Scotts and didn’t handle tall grass quite as well. It’s also heavier and bulkier, making it more of a chore to turn around, it also costs more than the Scotts.

For the healthiest grass

The Scotts makes the cleanest cut, has the widest cutting path, and jams the least of any reel mower, and its unusually tall 3-inch max cutting height makes it more versatile for different grass types.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 145.

Good cut, less elegant

This mower cuts almost as well as our main pick and has a taller cutting height, but it’s bulkier (making it harder to turn around) and more expensive.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 250.

Why you should trust us

We spoke with Jason Kruse, assistant professor of environmental horticulture and turfgrass specialist at the University of Florida. As his bio states, Kruse’s responsibilities include “managing the University of Florida turfgrass Envirotron teaching and research facility, planning and implementing turfgrass educational field days and leading the statewide turfgrass teaching design team.” The guy knows a lot about grass.

For testing, we enlisted the aid of the grounds crew of the Diamond Hawk Golf Course in Cheektowaga, New York, a bunch of people who are serious about mowing. While using the mowers, they picked up cut blades to carefully examine how cleanly the mowers cut; they also bent down to compare the color of the turf after each one made a pass, and pushed all the mowers around on various lengths of grass.

Here at Wirecutter, we’ve been covering lawn equipment since 2014. As for the specific topic of grass-cutting implements, we’ve written extensive guides to both lawn mowers and string trimmers in addition to reel mowers.

Since the first version of this guide, we’ve recommended the Scotts as well as the runner-up Fiskars, and we’ve continued to use both models in assorted locations, paying attention to their long-term performance and any ongoing maintenance needed.

Who should get a reel mower

Before getting a reel mower, you should be aware of their pros and cons. Simply put, a reel mower is not a direct replacement for a regular mower.

As one of our long-term testers said, “I love [my reel mower]. It makes mowing feel more like a pleasant way to spend time outside and less like something I need to grit my teeth and power through.” On the other hand, a second long-term tester stated that he regrets purchasing a reel mower and has “frequently considered selling it to get a cheap electric mower.”

Reel mowers are better for the lawn’s health. They snip the grass blades like scissors, while rotary mowers tend to shred grass blades. According to University of Florida assistant professor of environmental horticulture Jason Kruse, “The scissor-cutting action of the reel mowers results in less damage to the leaf tissue, which in turn puts the plants under less stress.” He continued, “They lose less water, are less susceptible to disease, and generally look better when cut with a reel mower.”

Reel mowers are also good for the operator’s health. Because you hand-push the mower and it isn’t motorized, it takes effort to use, especially if you have a large lawn. Keep in mind that the turning wheels are what rotate the blades, which adds to the resistance. So the task is not as simple as, say, pushing an empty furniture dolly, where you’re pushing the wheels and nothing else. According to a article, (which in turn credits Harvard Medical School, among others) a person weighing 175 pounds would burn approximately 251 calories by pushing a reel mower—which the article refers to as a hand mower—for 30 minutes. This is 51 calories more than someone weighing 185 pounds pushing a mower with a powered blade for the same amount of time.

Reel mowers also require minimal maintenance and are much, much quieter than regular mowers. Aside from lubricating and sharpening the blades every few years, you don’t have a lot of upkeep to do on a reel mower. As for the noise, many users of reel mowers cite the gentle snipping sound the tool makes as a key benefit. Gas mowers, on the other hand, require gas, regular tune-ups, oil changes, and winterizing. They’re also noisy and smelly. As one of our long-term testers said, “I love [my reel mower]. It makes mowing feel more like a pleasant way to spend time outside and less like something I need to grit my teeth and power through.”

But for a reel mower to be practical, you need a fairly small lawn. Anyone with more than a quarter acre (roughly 10,000 square feet) will find weekly mowing with a reel mower exhausting. One long-term tester stated that he regrets purchasing a reel mower for the size of his lawn and has “frequently considered selling it to get a cheap electric mower.”. In contrast, another of our long-term testers has approximately 1,000 square feet of lawn, and mowing takes her about 20 minutes.

A reel mower works best with a strict adherence to a regular cutting schedule. If grass gets overgrown, a reel mower will merely push it down and roll right over it, so if you tend to go a while between mowings, you should stick with a regular push mower. One long term tester had to wait so long for the reel mower to arrive that once it got there, the grass had grown so high they needed to hire someone to cut their grass. And the necessary diligence goes beyond the schedule: Reel mowers can’t mow over twigs and leaves as gas mowers can, so additional attentiveness to pre-mow lawn cleanup is required, as well.

Reel mowers are troublesome on sloped or bumpy lawns. The torque that turns the blades comes from the wheels as you roll them along the ground. On an uneven surface, the wheels lose contact with the ground as they bounce or as the weight shifts on a slope. As one of our long-term testers put it, “Small dips can lead to grass getting missed, so I often end up mowing from two or three different angles to try and get it all.”

In fact, the results in general may not be what you expect. One of our long-term testers said that their mower “often totally misses taller strands of grass” and that they “have to go back and snip those with a pair of shears.” Also, on most reel mowers, the blades are inboard of the wheels, so you’ll have a wider gap of unmowed grass against a fence or a stone wall.

How we picked and tested

To figure out how to pick the best reel mower, we spoke to Scott Dunbar, superintendent of Diamond Hawk Golf Course in Cheektowaga, New York. He explained that reel mowers can cut much closer to the ground than rotary mowers. At the golf course, the crew uses reel mowers to cut greens and approaches but uses gas-powered rotary mowers for the rough. But the average homeowner isn’t cutting the lawn for use as a putting green—in fact, cutting your lawn too low is terrible for its health. Turf experts suggest never cutting off more than a third of your grass’s length; cutting too close to the ground can cause the grass to dry out and get scorched in the summer. This means that a mower’s minimum cutting height isn’t a useful measurement, since you’re unlikely to use that setting.

The maximum cutting height was a crucial detail. We used this spec as our primary factor in eliminating mowers from contention. Few reel mowers are able to get above 2½ inches, which may not be good for your lawn. “[Cutting height] is one of the primary complaints I have against the majority of reel mowers that are marketed for home use. Most residential grasses (both cool- and warm-season) have recommended heights of cut that are at the upper limit or even exceed the height of cut that is possible with some of the mowers,” said University of Florida turfgrass specialist Kruse. “While it would be possible to use the mower, the long-term health of the turf could suffer significantly,” he continued.

Other factors were also important:

  • How easy is the mower to adjust?
  • How hard is it to push?
  • How wide is it?
  • How much does it weigh?
  • What have other reviewers said about it?

We took our final four mowers to a golf course. There the grounds crew helped us adjust the blades to the exact same standard they used on their mowers so that the blades could cleanly slice a piece of paper. Over the next three hours, we pushed all four mowers back and forth on different-height grasses. On hand were course superintendent Scott Dunbar, a member of the grounds crew, a mechanic who maintains the course equipment, and an equipment salesman who happened to be at the course that day. These guys are all turfgrass experts who deal with grass and mowing equipment every day. They really took to the task of comparing these mowers, examining every aspect closely and answering all our questions about turf and cut quality.

Our pick: Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower

For the healthiest grass

The Scotts makes the cleanest cut, has the widest cutting path, and jams the least of any reel mower, and its unusually tall 3-inch max cutting height makes it more versatile for different grass types.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 145.

The Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower is the reel mower to get. Of the tested mowers, it offered the cleanest cut and the easiest adjustments, and it was the only one that didn’t jam. It also has a wide, 20-inch cutting swath—the widest we found—as well as height adjustments between 1 and 3 inches, which is a more versatile range than we saw on almost all of the other available reel mowers. At 34 pounds, it’s light and easy to turn around at the end of each mowing row, but it’s heavy enough that it doesn’t bounce around on slightly uneven turf.

The quality of the cut excelled against the competition. When our lawn experts were going back and forth with the mowers on a variety of grasses and lengths, they noticed that the Scotts model would leave a swath of totally trimmed grass with each blade snipped evenly across, no ragged edges to be seen. In contrast, the other mowers would leave a bunch of blades sticking up like chimneys after a house fire, requiring the testers to back up and go over the area again. The Scotts mower also never jammed up during testing, whereas all of the other mowers did.

The Scotts 2000-20 also snipped a wider path than most of the others. The Scotts is a 20-inch-wide mower, the widest size available (the measurement refers to the blade width, not the overall width). We tested another 20-inch model, the Lee Valley 20″ Mower, but that one was harder to push, and its cut quality was worse.

Our testers also gave the Scotts 2000-20 high marks for overall usability. At 34 pounds, it lands in the middle of our test group in weight but manages to hit the sweet spot between maneuverability and stability. The Fiskars StaySharp Max is heavier and harder to turn around at the end of a mowing row; by contrast, the lighter Lee Valley model bounced around on uneven ground and left a ragged cut as a result.

All of the adjustments on the Scotts mower are easy to make. For cutting height, it has two levers, one for each wheel. One other model we tested, the 16-inch Great States 415-16, required us to unbolt it each time we wanted to change the cutting height. Also, the height settings on the Scotts model are accurate; the 1-inch setting on the Fiskars, in contrast, actually cut much lower, practically scalping the lawn, before we readjusted it to a higher setting.

The Scotts 2000-20 has a cutting range of 1 to 3 inches. The vast majority of reel mowers top out around 2 inches, so we appreciated the ability to go taller, either for the health of the grass or for a less manicured look. A DIY Network article lists the ideal cutting heights for a variety of warm- and cool-weather grasses, and the capabilities of the Scotts land nicely in the strike zone for every grass mentioned. Our runner-up, the Fiskars StaySharp Max, has an even higher maximum cutting height at 4 inches, but it’s a much heavier mower with more difficult maneuvering, and it doesn’t cut as nicely.

The Scotts is easy to assemble, and doesn’t require any tools. The bolts that attach the handle have large plastic wing nuts, so tightening by hand is simple. If you ever need to take your mower apart—to fit it into a compact space like a car trunk or a small storage area—we found that the Scotts was easy enough to disassemble, too. You might need pliers to remove the small C-clips that attach the handle to the body of the mower, but otherwise it shouldn’t be a hassle.

Scotts stands behind their products. Erin Price, then Wirecutter’s Audience Development Manager, had a wheel fall off her Scotts push mower and the company replaced the entire mower for her. She told us, “I love my reel mower and perhaps love it even more now that the company was so helpful.”

It has performed well in long term testing. Two other Wirecutter staff members, who both happen to be women, also have Scotts Classics in their personal tool sheds, and they appreciate the mower’s simplicity and ease of use. Senior Photo Editor Rozette Rago had never used a reel mower before picking up the Scotts for her small, flat yard in LA, and found it quick to get used to. It was easy to figure out for two people who have never used it before. Wirecutter Producer Beth Niegelsky, who has used both the Fiskars and the Scotts, prefers the latter, “ I actually like the Scotts significantly more because it is SO much lighter.” She explained, “With the Fiskars, I basically couldn’t mow the hill of my front yard without feeling like I was doing something dangerous. It’s basically no problem with the Scotts.”

Senior Software Development Engineer Joshua Brewer had the Scotts for three years and recently replaced it for our lawn mower pick. Throughout his three years of usage, he highlighted that the Scott was “kinda fun to use.” He appreciated that it was easy to storetash, didn’t require fuel, and was quieter than a traditional lawn mower. However, the Scotts did squeak despite thorough maintenance, required multiple passes on his lawn, and his foam handle disintegrated after the first year. Overall, Brewer says The Scotts 2000-20 worked, but was much more laborious to use with a lush and dense lawn and worked a lot better when the lawn was more sparse. He’s much happier with the Ego LM2135SP now.

Supervising Editor Josh Lyon also has a Scotts and said there are bumpy parts of his lawn that he needs to go over one or two additional times, but that “the mower is so light and has such a smooth roll that even with the extra passes it takes half the time to do our entire lawn than with the gas-powered mower we used to have.” Overall, Lyon is very happy with the Scotts and says he’ll never go back to a gas mower.

Finally, even though it wasn’t a major factor in our decision, testers liked how the Scotts looked better than the other mowers (some found the Fiskars model’s oddball form to be off-putting). The Scotts 2000-20 is covered by a two-year warranty, and user reviews suggest that the manufacturer, American Lawn Mower, issues free replacement parts whenever a problem crops up.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

We analyzed the negative Комментарии и мнения владельцев at Amazon and found that most of the complaints center on the aluminum handle breaking, a plastic gear in the mechanism stripping out, or simply the realization that a reel mower is not the right choice for the owner’s particular lawn.

We investigated the plastic-gear complaint by removing the wheel of the Scotts mower and taking a look at the gear. As you can see in the photo above, it’s a pretty robust gear with deep teeth, and it interfaces with the teeth on the inside of the plastic wheel. The wheels turn as you push, and those teeth turn the plastic gear, which rotates the blades. Stripping it out is an issue to be aware of, but under proper use, the gear shouldn’t be a problem. And if it becomes one, replacing the gear is a 10-minute repair job. While it would be nice if both the wheel and the gear were made of metal, such a design would likely add money to the price tag and a significant amount of weight to the mower.

One of our long-term testers also noted that when the Scotts arrived, many of the screws holding the handle together were loose and fell out within a month. Once they were replaced, no further problems surfaced.

A close reading of the user complaints suggests that owners who were using the Scotts mower on tall or tough Southern grass had the most problems, but such difficulties are likely to be common among all push mowers and not just the Scotts.

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