Let’s kick this off with a bold statement.
The push reel mower is not only a viable lawn mowing option, but in many instances it is actually superior to its gas powered, and significantly more expensive, cousins.
So, if you are in the market for a lawn mower, why not consider a traditional push reel version? They are seen by many as the ‘more fun and less fuss’ mower option. Certainly less fuss.
But, if you are going to push your lawn mower around, you want the sharpest bladed, smoothest running machine out there. After all, lawn mowing can be fun, but with the wrong machine in your hands it can also be drudgery.
Here’s where we can help. Read on to find out how they work and what to look for when buying yours. Also check out our top 5 push mower reviews to see which one fits the bill best.
Best Push Reel Mower Comparison Table
|Best push mower overall||Fiskars 17 Inch Staysharp Push Reel Lawn Mower||StaySharp cutting blades1.5 – 3.5″ cut rangeTop-rated||CHECK THE PRICE|
|Best budget push mower||Great States 304-14 Push Mower||14 inch bladeVery easy to push0.5 – 1.75″ cutting range||CHECK THE PRICE|
|American Lawn Mower Company 1304-14 Push Mower||5-blade steel ball-bearing reel0.5 – 1.75″ cut rangeHeat treated steel blades||CHECK THE PRICE|
|American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 Push Mower||Lightweight0.5 – 1.5″ cut rangeHeat treated steel blades||CHECK THE PRICE|
|Scotts 415-16S 16-Inch Elite Push Mower||Lightweight0.5 – 2.5″ cut range16″ cutting width||CHECK THE PRICE|
Our Best Push Reel Mower Picks
Fiskars 17 Inch StaySharp Plus Reel Mower
The Fiskars StaySharp Plus has advanced technologies that make it one of the leading push reel mowers on the market. It claims to be 40% easier to push than other push reel mowers due to its lightweight design and its use of modern technology.
It has a new patent-pending inertia driven reel which proposes to make it 75% more powerful in cutting through tough spots that would typically jam other push reel mowers.
Fiskars StaySharp Plus has an exclusive StaySharp Cutting System. This system consists of hardened steel blades which reduce friction and blade-wear. StaySharp Cutting System thus provides long-lasting functionality which delivers precision lawn cutting and lowers maintenance costs.
Fiskars StaySharp Plus Reel Mowers also boast a unique and highly effective grass discharge chute. This chute ensures grass clippings are thrown forward cleanly to avoid users’ feet. That being said, it is worth mentioning that due to its design, this push reel mower does not work with a grass catcher.
If you are looking for a reliable and powerful push reel mower than the StaySharp Plus model from Fiskars is definiantly worth considering. It combines modern technology with incredible ergonomics to deliver an effortless and powerful performance without any gasoline, oil, charging, chords or noise.
Great States 304-14 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawnmower
The Great States 304-14 is an easy to use, durable mower. Its hassle-free 3-spider blade mount allows the cutting reel to start spinning easily. It is also a very compact and lightweight model with wheels that are specifically designed for added maneuverability. With all these incredible attributes, this mower is very competitively priced.
This Push Reel Mower model weighs a mere 21 lbs. This makes Great States 304-14 easy to use for anyone and simple to store away. It’s T-style handle with cushioned grips also ensures easy, comfortable operation.
One way this mower achieves its small size and weight is by having an extremely narrow cutting deck. This could negatively impact the amount of time you spend cutting your lawn – but if your yard is small enough, then its narrow cutting deck will not be a problem.
Although some users found Great States 304-14 Push Reel Lawnmower to only work on short grass, it claims to have smooth-spinning, incredibly sharp, heat-treated blades. It seems this mower is best suited to small lawns with grass that is kept quite short or that is naturally low-growing.
Great States 304-14 is corrosion resistant. It has a zinc-plated handle with plastic grips and has a hard enamel finish to prevent rust and ensure longevity. This is a mower worth investing in as it is built to last and provides easy and precise lawn cutting.
American Lawn Mower 1304-14 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
There are a great number of attributes accredited to the American Lawn Mower 1304-14. It is a push reel mower created to be perfect for small yards. This 21-pound, compact mower is easy enough to maneuver by anyone and is able to easily get into tight corners. It also has large, sturdy wheels made of durable materials.
The cutting reel of American Lawn Mower 1304-14 consists of high-quality hardened steel blades. This ensures quality cuts to the lawn can be consistently done without requiring frequent sharpening. The reel is mounted on a 3-spider ball bearing assembly which is designed to reduce friction and makes it easier to start the cutting reel spinning and keep it spinning smoothly.
The American Lawn Mower 1304-14 is one of the most inexpensive manual reel mowers available on the market. If you have the right kind of lawn for the American Lawn Mower 1304-14, you will find it has many excellent features that will aid in maintaining your yard for a low price and with a hassle-free experience.
One limitation of The American Lawn Mower 1304-14 is that its wheels are a lot wider than the cutting reel. The wheels are 23 inches apart, while the cutting reel itself is only 14 inches wide. This means some overlapping from one row to the next may be required, and if your yard has walls or fences some edging may need to be done once finished mowing. While this is not a huge performance issue, it can still cause some frustration.
Other than this, The American Lawn Mower 1304-14 is well designed and easy to use. It is built to handle very small lawns quickly and efficiently. It doesn’t have a massive footprint or weigh a lot and so it is easy to store and maneuver around the yard. Overall this is a great, compact mower at an affordable price.
American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 14-Inch 4-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
We have included a second American Lawn Mower Company mower on our list because they are both excellent models and worthy of highlighting.
The 1204-14 essentially differs slightly from the 1304-14 only in the number of blades in the reel. However, this is still and excellent push mower perfect for smaller lawns.
The build quality is very high with the mower having a great feel in your hands. It is lightweight making it easy to carry and compact. Despite being made by a quality manufacturer it remains a cheap push mower.
Of course it’s low, affordable price does mean that some sacrifices are made. The 14 inch cutting area is on the small size, and height options are rather limited ranging from ½ inch to 1 ½ inches. This is fine if you are good at regular mowing, but not great if you neglect your lawn and find that the grass has grown longer in your absence.
The push mower does also not handle wet grass particularly well.
That is not to say the design of this mower is the problem, it is only that at the budget end of the market you do not always get the ideal options. However, we believe in a small backyard this mower is pretty hard to beat.
Scotts 415-16S 16-Inch Elite Push Reel Lawn Mower
Scotts 415-16S is an efficient push reel mower that ensures a great deal of work is done in the shortest possible time. It is a very convenient, user-friendly, and peaceful mower.
Scotts 415-16S is sturdy and reliable. It has a flared T-style handle with cushioned grips and 10-inch, radial tread tires. Both these features facilitate consistent control over the mower and allows for easy manoeuvrability of it.
Its durable blades are made up of tempered alloy steel which is heat treated. These blades are attached to a durable steel cutter bar which allows rugged use of the machine. It has unbreakable steel side plates along with a welded 1-inch tube frame assembly.
A limitation of this mower is that it has a tendency to get stuck on debris. A quick clearing of any twigs and long weeds from your yard will ensure smooth and efficient mowing though. This minor drawback should not stop you from considering the purchase of Scotts 415-16S. It is a great mower designed for easy use and storage and is one that is built of highest quality.
How Do Push Reel Mowers Work?
Unlike powered lawn mowers, the push reel mower uses a rotating drum of blades to slice the grass to the right level. Almost like a continuously cutting pair of scissors. The result is a much neater grass cut, used frequently to cut the grass levels to specific length.
What To Look For In Your Push Reel Mower
There are many reasons why people choose push reel mowers instead of their engine-equipped counterparts. The advantages of push reel mowers all allow for the easy maintenance of a lawn in a small yard.
- As they are powered by the user, push reel mowers are also cheaper than battery or fuel powered mowers and they are entirely environmentally friendly.
- Their simple yet efficient design means they are easy to use and to set-up, as well as have low maintenance costs and effort.
- Other advantages of a push reel mowers include them being notably safer and virtually silent.
All these incredible advantages mean that push reel mowers are hugely popular. There many models available on the market each with their own pros and cons. Choosing the right push reel mower for your lawn is a crucial decision.
Factors to Consider
When making this choice there are three main aspects of the push reel mower to consider. These aspects will all affect the performance of the mower and how it will handle your yard size and its grass type.
The first aspect to consider is the mower’s weight – heavy push reel mowers work better on thicker grass in comparison to lightweight models which are best for thinner grasses. Also keep in mind that generally the more lightweight a mower is the easier it is to manoeuvre.
The second attribute of the mower to consider is the blades on the mower’s reel. The majority of reel mowers have alloy or steel blades. Alloy blades need annual sharpening. Steel blades can go a longer time without needing sharpening, but they might be affected by rust.
The width of the mower is the final aspect worth thinking about. The size of your mower should be proportionate to the size of your yard. However, also consider that the width of the mower will affect the weight of the mower. Therefore, you will need to determine if being able to push the mower faster is more desirable than being able to cut larger amounts of grass at a time.
It is important to remember that push reel mowers aren’t suitable for tall grass or large lawns. Although many push reel mowers are extremely light-weight and easy to maneuver it is still worth considering the size of your yard as the larger it is the more physical effort it will demand.
- When owning a push reel mower, it is also more than likely you will need to purchase an edge trimmer since it will be unlikely that you will be able to cut the grass alongside fences or other type of obstacles.
- Reel mowers also require ongoing maintenance. Most need their blades sharpened at least once a year, but the advanced technology in newer models has significantly increased the time between sharpenings.
These minor disadvantages of push reel mowers definitely do not outweigh the advantages. If you want to maintain the health and beauty of your grass by cutting it cleanly and precisely, all while being kind to the environment and your pocket, it is highly recommended to consider investing in a push reel mower.