5 Reasons to Switch to a Reel Mower Vs. a Gas Mower (or Electric). Old fashioned push mower

Reasons to Switch to a Reel Mower Vs. a Gas Mower (or Electric)

Whether moving into your first house or replacing an older lawn mower, you’ve probably been debating how you’re going to cut your lawn this year. Having used both push reel mowers and gasoline powered mowers, the two offer completely different experiences. In fact, I just switched to a Fiskars push reel mower.

I can tell you, without hesitation, I prefer the push reel mower vs. other alternatives. Here are 5 great benefits that push reel mowers have over gas powered mowers (as well as some caveats to be aware of if you make the switch).

Push Reel Mowers are Cheaper than Gas Powered or Electric

Push reel mowers range in price from 80 to 200. Most are below 125. Gas powered mowers are generally 200 and some of the more advanced push models can be as pricey as 500. Electric range from 300 to 700 for self-propelled versions.

But initial price is not where the costs end. With gasoline, over 4 a gallon, you can expect to pay a significant amount every year for fuel. You will also have to pay for oil to change the oil (and learn how to do that). With electric, you obviously have to pay for electricity and for replacement batteries at some point.

Not only that, but neither gas-powered or electric mowers will last as long as reel mowers. Push reel are cheap due to their simplicity. A lot can go wrong with a gas-powered mower or electric mower – and the motors will eventually die (you will too, but then you won’t need a mower, will you?). The only maintenance cost with a push reel is sharpening it every few years, which you can often times do at home very easily with a 25 kit. There is not much that can go wrong with a reel mower.

Push Reel Mowers are MUCH Environmentally Friendly

Think of the positive environmental impact that would result in everyone driving a bike to and from work vs. driving a Hummer. Everyone switching from a gas-powered mower to a push reel would have no less of an impact.

According to one study, one hour of gas-powered lawn mower use can produce as much pollution as a 300 mile car trip. Have you ever smelled your clothes after a lawn-mowing session? Lawn mowers don’t have the same strict pollution controls in place as automobiles.

On top of that, the EPA has estimated that 17 million gallons of fuel are spilled each year while refueling lawn equipment. That’s more than all the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez. Not only does this result in groundwater contamination, but spilled fuel evaporates into the air and volatile organic compounds produce smog-forming ozone when combined with heat and sunlight.

Anyone who has ever used a gas mower knows that you come away from using it smelling like gas fumes for the rest of the day. Those fumes are going right in your lungs.

Reel Mowers Require Less Maintenance than a Gas Mower

I alluded to maintenance with price, but there’s also a time saving component that goes into it. No driving to the gas station and back when you run out of gas. No oil changes, and no spark plug changing. You may have to sharpen the blades every few years with a push reel, but you have to sharpen or change blades on gas mowers as well.

Push reel mowers are simpler and easier to maintain.

They also fit in a garage or shed much more easily than a gas or electric powered mower.

Mowers and mowing safety

The two principal types of mowers available for use on home lawns include “reel” and “rotary” lawn mowers. Regardless which type is chosen, it is very important to keep the lawn mower blades as sharp as possible. Dull lawn mower blades tear grass blades rather than cutting them. This results in injured plants.

Rotary lawn mowers

Rotary lawn mowers have a whirling horizontal blade. Rotating blades have the potential for throwing stones or other small objects in the path of the mower. Therefore, rotary lawn mowers can be more dangerous to operate than reel lawn mowers.

Rotary lawn mowers cut the grass by impact, similar to the way a machete works. This causes a rougher, more uneven cut than reel lawn mowers. However, rotary lawn mowers do an acceptable job on virtually any lawn. In addition, they are easier to maintain then reel lawn mowers and can cut taller grass.

Mulching lawn mowers

Mulching or recycling lawn mowers are now available. A mulching lawn mower recuts grass clippings into smaller pieces and redistributes them uniformly back into the lawn for Rapid decay. When the turf is wet, clumping is common with mulching lawn mowers because of the excess water present.

Push-type reel lawn mowers

There is a growing movement among people with small, easily managed yards, back to “old-fashioned” push-type reel lawn mowers. Newer versions are smaller, lighter-weight, and easier to push than the old clunkers you may have used as a youngster. They have the advantage of quiet, fuel-free operation, and can provide good exercise at the same time.

Reel lawn mowers

Reel lawn mowers have a series of revolving blades that cut against a stationary bedknife, much like a scissors. While reel lawn mowers provide the finest quality of cut available, they are expensive, not easily adjusted, and require specialized equipment for sharpening. Also, they can’t be used where stones, twigs, or other debris are a problem because of potential damage to the cutting units. They are also not well adapted for use in higher heights of cut.

Mowing safety

Modern lawn mowers are equipped with certain safety devices which should not be removed or tampered with. One safety feature is a blade that stops turning when the operator’s hands are removed from the controls. Another is a rear-mounted rope pull for starting the mower. This reduces the chance of getting one’s foot caught in the blades during starting.

Many rotary lawn mowers have bagging attachments which affect mower safety. The manufacturer may have a special attachment which is required for safe mowing without a bag. Similarly, discharge chute shields on non-bagging lawn mowers should not be removed.

Steep slopes are both difficult and dangerous to mow. These slopes are good candidates for alternative groundcovers or a no-mow grassed slope that will stabilize the bank and eliminate the need for routine maintenance such as mowing.

Additional mowing safety practices

Pros and Cons of a Push-Reel Mower

Like many people around the country last week, we mowed our lawn for the first time this season. The difference between us and our neighbors, however, is I talked on the phone while I did it.

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Last summer, I sold my husband’s shiny, red, super-charged, front-wheel-drive, 9 billion horsepower, mulching power mower for this little green machine powered by ye ole chevrolegs.

Now I love this thing, and truth be told, Rick hates it. He teases me all the time about how I’m saving approximately 6 gallons of gas a year. If that. And, pretty much, he leaves the mowing to me now, where before it used to be solely his domain. I think he’s embarrassed. But I like it anyway.

In case you have been considering getting one yourself, here are the pros and cons (yes, there are some) of a push-reel mower…

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The top five things I love about the push-reel mower:

  • It’s quiet. I really did talk on the phone while I was mowing the lawn last week. My mom asked me, what that sound was, and I said, “Oh, I’m mowing the lawn.” Then we both laughed. I was talking on the phone while mowing the lawn. Preposterous! I could mow at six in the morning or ten at night and the neighbors would never know. It’s the stealth mower. I actually like the sound it makes.
  • It uses no fuel or oil and takes little to no maintenance. By the time my neighbor is done checking his oil and fuel and pumping and priming, reconnecting the spark plug and whatever else, I’m ¾ the way done mowing my lawn. One time, no joke, with the old power mower I stood outside for like 15 minutes trying to start the thing before I realized the spark plug was disconnected (hubby did this for safety’s sake). The neighbor had to come over and point it out.
  • It’s lightweight. All the power it uses comes from your legs and arms pushing this machine; it’s easy to maneuver and I can easily lift it up the couple of steps to our front yard and takes up very little space in the garage. With the old machine, I could barely get it up the steps, and had to go up all backwards and strategic. It was super heavy and could chop off my arm – the little label on the side said so.
  • There is NO string pulling to start it up.
  • There is no exhaust. No stinky fumes makes me feel all green and hip and environmentally conscious. And also the lack of fumes keeps me from feeling sick. I know six gallons (or whatever) of gas per year is not much, but I don’t mind mowing the lawn now, because I don’t get a headache from the noise/fume combo.

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  • You can’t mow over sticks. The power mower mulched and could chop up a stick or a twig that had fallen from the tree in the front yard, but the push mower can’t. I send the boys out in the yard before I mow with the mission to pick up all the sticks. If I accidentally mow over a stick, I have to stop to get it out of the mower, because it will jam the blades.
  • Sharpening the blades will be a challenge. Not many places know how to sharpen the blades of a push-reel mower anymore, and those who do charge a lot for it – almost as much as the mower cost. Since the blades will stay sharp a long time though, we at least have a while to learn how to do it ourselves.
  • It doesn’t always get every piece of grass in one pass. Because of this, it is really important to overlap or mow two ways. Otherwise your lawn looks like it’s received a haircut from a barber half in the bag.
  • The neighbors look at us funny. When I first bought the mower, I thought people would think we were so cool – all hip and eco-friendly. Turns out, they either think we are crazy or too poor for a “real” mower. Hmm… this must be why Rick is embarrassed to use it.
  • You can’t be a lazy lawn keeper. If your grass gets too long, the push mower is a real bear to use. In fact, there was a time last summer, when we first got the mower, that we had to borrow our neighbor’s power mower because we had waited a couple of weeks too long to mow and the push mower, literally, couldn’t cut it. Lesson learned.

I feel like the push mower and the power mower take about the same amount of physical effort to use. The push mower is all pushing, which isn’t that much work (hey if I can handle that giant cart thingy at Target I can handle the mower). The power mower took more effort for me in the starting, holding down the lever thing, and then holding it back from running my flowers down (since it pulled itself). I think the trade-off of putting the kids on stick patrol and enduring funny looks is a pretty good one. Plus, I can catch up with my mom on the phone while I’m at it.

Eco-friendly and easy to use

I really enjoy using this mower. Both cost and environmental impact are important factors to me when buying tools, so I was thrilled to find this while shopping for a new mower. No gas to pay for, and in a few weeks (depending on how often you use it,) it pays for itself. It is a bit difficult to mow up inclines if you have a rugged or steep yard, but not impossible. At some points, it really depends on your physical strength. Great for small to medium size yards, but if you have a large, unwieldy yard, you may want to look elsewhere. It’s also difficult to get around lawn ornaments or buildings that may be in your yard, but weeding (by hand or with a weedwhacker) can easily clean that up. Plus, it gives you a fantastic workout! It’s so lightweight that my favorite way to clean it is to gently shake it off, instead of spending ages brushing it out. The handle covers may fray a bit, but can be easily replaced or repaired. Would definitely recommend to people with moderately-sized, relatively flat yards.

Best For Small Spaces

I bought the Scotts Classic 20-inch Push Reel Mower when I lived in my apartment. The yard was very small and I didn’t have room for a full size push mower. The mower was very easy to assemble. I had it together in about twenty minutes. I really like how easy this mower is to use. It rolls right over the yard without really having to strain yourself any. The performance of the reel mower is great, it always leaves an even cut with each use. I feel as if this is a safe mower to use for my children. I have let my eleven year old mow and haven’t worried about him getting hurt. The Scotts Classic 20-inch Push Reel Mower has been very durable. I have been able to use it in regular grass as well as some taller weeded areas with no problems. I have been using the reel mower for a few years now and it still works as good as the day that I first purchased it. I would most definitely like to recommend this mower to anyone with smaller yards or areas to maintain. This has definitely been a purchase that was well worth the money.

I absolutely adore this push reel mower and I’m so happy I purchased it. When I first seen it online, it brought me back to when I was little and used to help my grandfather cut the lawn with his. I do have a regular lawnmower, but I cannot use it because of a spinal condition I have and can’t use it because it’s so heavy, so pretty much my husband does. So I purchased this so I could be more involved too. The day I tried it I fell in love. First of all its light which is what I wanted. It cuts more precise than my regular mower. Also I can mow the lawn at any time without waking my neighbors or having to listen to the regular mower. It’s so great and honestly it’s not that much longer for cutting. A lot of people have a misconception that push reel mowers do not work and take forever, but it takes maybe at most an additional ten minutes to do my yard and I have a decent sized yard. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who maybe can’t push a mower, hates the sound of them, or just likes the classic push reel. It’s really great. Thumbs up.

Great for Micro Lawns

In my efforts to be green I purchased the Scott’s Classic 20 inch Push Mower about eight years ago after reading how wonderful it was. Well, it may be wonderful if you have about three square feet of lawn to mow or are really, really into hard exercise. For those of us who just want to mow our lawns it’s probably not the best option. Once I got the hang of it this actually wasn’t horrifically difficult to use. It does take quite a bit of work to get even a small patch of lawn mown though. I liked that it mulched and made absolutely zero sound so I could mow at dawn if I wanted to without bothering the neighbors. I never did, but I could have. It did a nice job of cutting the grass evenly and not leaving behind any grass clumps. if you have a micro yard of just a couple hundred square feet or a specific area that you like to mow more often then this may be a good option for you. However, if you have a larger lawn it’s really not ideal. Unless you really, really want to get the exercise. And you will get plenty of exercise! I was sweating buckets and exhausted after finishing only my front lawn. I’d consider this a novelty item, or a decent backup for my power mower, but it is not for everyday use.

This is a simple yet effective lawnmower. The Scotts Classic 20-inch Push Reel Mower is like having a free workout machine. Since it does not have a motor, you have to be the motor and push the lawnmower. How effective the Scotts push reel mower works depends on how well you are as the operator. I enjoy suing the Scotts push reel mower because it is a lot more cost effective and more environmentally friendly than a traditional gasoline powered motor. It costs a lot less than a gasoline motor and is easier to maintain. It does not require gasoline and is easy to use maintain and clean. Grass is easily removed and it gets you a free outdoor workout just like how people got exercise in the old days. I would highly recommend the Scotts push lawn mower because I really enjoy using it. I mow my lawn about every two weeks or even more often if needed. It is great for small household yards but probably not for bigger yards as it might be too much work for a tiny push mower.

Great for a small yard.

I bought this lawnmower originally for my children to mow the lawn because I had to learn with one I pushed myself without it doing any work, so I wanted them to have to do the same though. I forgot how much better of a cut that your lawn gets when you use an old fashioned push mower until I got this one. My front yard is kind of small so this is the mower that I use on it all of the time. It works so well and cuts the grass so easily and so even, it looks so beautiful when it is done. It pushes very easily and the blades were very sharp already and did not need any sharpening done to them and haven’t yet and we have had this for three years now. It does get tiring using this mower after a while so I would not recommend using this if you have a huge yard because you will be exhaust, but it does give you a great work out. My kids now use this to cut other peoples lawns and make some extra money, and they always get so many compliments from how well it works. It works great and for a great price you can not go wrong with this!

We picked up 2 different push reel mowers on a clearance table at Home Depot. One of them was this Scotts Classic 20 inch push reel mower. Since it was a clearance item it was already put together so I can’t rate that process as some other people did. When we got this mower it was totally ready to go the second we got home. I love that I don’t need to worry about gas and gas cans with this mower. I’m not a big strong woman, so for me to be able to push it easily was impressive. Also, I have a hard time pull starting our gas mower so this was absolutely fantastic! Performance This worked really well. There were a few spots that I had to go over a second time but I didn’t find that to be very inconvenient. I definitely think that the positives outweigh the negatives with this push reel mower! Ease of Use For me, this was pretty comparable to pushing a gas mower without the self propel on. It feels like a bit of a workout, but I like it. Engine Power Since there is no engine I didn’t feel right rating this down for a feature it’s not meant to have.

Mowing Through the Rolling Blackouts! Jealous?

I love our Scotts Classic 20-inch Push Reel Mower. Whenever the power was out, I was the only person on the street mowing my lawn without worrying about running to the gas station with a can. Now that we live off the grid and don’t have electricity and the nearest gas station is over an hour away, our reel mower has earned it’s weight in gold! It pushes surprisingly easily too. We had a “push mower” growing up and it was always dull, heavy and impossibly hard to maneuver, but the Scotts Reel Mower cuts the grass beautifully, handles well and is actually enjoyable to use. I’m a light-weight and still have no problem using it. The fact that it’s also better for the environment is just an added bonus! It had a much lower price tag than other mowers too and is a much more compact convenient size to stow away in the shed than my clunky old gas mower was. All around a great investment so far. No regrets.

This was wonderful when I lived in the city. It took me about 2 hours to mow a small city lot. I live in the country now and my property requires different equipment for different sections due to its topography. It’s main use now is for my bar ditch. I also use it in my garden for paths. Performance It works as advertised. The blades, at least on mine needed to be sharpened immediately. Keeping it clean and sharpening the blades regularly helps it perform better. Handling I like that it doesn’t take a huge amount of muscle power to push it around. The kids use it, as part of their chores and they have no problems pushing it. Durability I’ve owned my mower for a long time. I keep it clean and have the blades sharpened regularly. It is mainly used for my bar ditch that is very rocky. It has held up well. Safety I mainly use my mower in loose rocky areas. It does not kick up rocks like my gas powered equipment. I also do not need to wear a dust mask while mowing with it. Ease of Use What can I say if you can walk and push at the same time, it’s easy. If the blades aren’t sharp and the grass is high, it will not get the job done. Engine Power This is a manual push mower, so the only engine power is you.

What About the Disadvantages of Using a Reel Mower?

No doubt you’ve heard of the drawback associated with reel push mowers from some disgruntled neighbor or relative.

They’re hard to keep sharp and don’t cut evenly.

They leave the dandelion crowns standing.

These concerns are mostly a thing of the past. New materials and technology have made reel mowers lighter and more efficient. And a few changes in your lawn care strategy will not only make life with a reel mower easier but will result in benefits to your yard — and your health — as well.

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Easy to store whether you park it in the garage or hang it up on a wall.

When was Reel Mowers Invented?

Push mowers, invented in 1830 by Edwin Budding near Stroud, England (you can see one of the originals in the London Science Museum), have improved since I discovered that old reel back in the woodshed.

Today, they’re lighter, smoother rolling, and made of stronger alloys. Blades stay sharper longer — about twice as long as a power mower’s spark plug lasts — and some machines are designed for specialized uses such as cutting thick, low-growing Bermuda and Zoysia grass.

With a little care and planning, a push reel mower will not only give you years of quiet, fuel and pollution-free service. It will help you keep a better lawn.

Things to Consider When Buying a Reel Mower

Size and Terrain

Reel lawn mowers are best used in smaller, level yards. The wider a mower is, the harder it will be to push.

Steep hills can make mowing difficult (as they do with power lawn mowers) but maneuverability with a reel mower, especially those with rear wheels, is better than with most power mowers.

Still, a reel mower may require pulling the mower back and pushing it in the new direction. This assures a clean cut as it trims any grass missed while rotating the reel.

Weed Control

Push reel mowers tend to run over tall weeds, like dandelion flowers, rather than cut them. But a reel lawn mower makes weed control easier. You’ll want to inspect your lawn for obstructions as you mow. A rock can chip mower blades. I always cleared twigs and fallen fruit from beneath my trees before making a pass with the mower.

Type of Grass

It’s best to consider the type of grass you’ll be mowing and the height you prefer as this will affect the cutting width and number of reel blades to look for in your reel mower.

Most mower reels contain five blades and are fine for cutting Kentucky bluegrass, perennial rye, fescue, and other common grasses. Thicker grasses found in the South and areas prone to droughts, like Zoysia, Bent, and Bermuda grasses, are best handled by seven-blade mowers.

Models with seven blades and an 18-inch cutting width are good for medium-sized lawns. If they are consistently maintained, most small to medium-sized lawns can be successfully cut by reel mowers with four or five blades and smaller cutting widths.

Cutting Height

In warmer, wetter climates where grass grows quickly, an adjustable blade height feature found on some more expensive reel models can be a lifesaver. Most of the time, these settings range anywhere from 0.5 to 4 inches.

Consider the amount of moisture your lawn receives and the kinds of use it gets so that you’ll know just how short to cut.

Other Features

To increase comfort when mowing medium-sized lawns, some reel lawn mower models feature ergonomic, cushioned handles, attached grass collection bins, and other features.

An InertiaDrive reel is another feature to look for in a reel mower; it provides a more precise cut and is especially helpful for cutting tall and thick grasses.

Planet Natural’s Picks for Best Reel Mowers in 2023

Here are our top picks for the best reel mowers you can buy in 2023:

Best Overall Reel Mower: Great States 18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower

The Great States 415-16 push reel lawn mower is the first on our list and is well-known for its cutting power. This mower does an excellent job of trimming and shaping your lawn thanks to its blade height adjustment range of 0.5 to 2.5 inches.

This reel mower is our top pick because of the high quality of its blades; they are made of heat-treated alloy steel and stay sharp for a very long time. The blades are sharp enough to use for trimming precise lawn borders. And the mower’s cushioned handle makes it simple to push through even the thickest grass with a solid grip.

It requires only one push to start, making it a hassle-free manual lawn mower. Plus, the lightweight design of the Great States reel lawn mower makes it easy to maneuver throughout the yard.

The reels cut the grass cleanly and efficiently, leaving behind a neat and even lawn without any ripping or tearing. In addition, the lawn mower is simple and easy to store. It can be hung on a wall or tucked away in a garage nook and so requires minimal storage space.

Best Wide Cutting Width Reel Mower: Scotts Outdoor Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower

The Scotts 2000-20 is our top pick for a reel mower with a wide cutting width for healthy, precise cutting.

The mower’s 20-inch cutting swath allows it to quickly and cleanly remove grass in a single motion, without tearing or ripping the blades. With the Scotts 2000-20 mower, you’ll never have to go over your lawn more than once.

The blades are made of heat-treated alloy steel, which maintains its edge for a longer period of time and allows for exceptionally precise grass cutting. The blade adjustment range is from 1 to 3 inches.

The enhanced maneuverability on the lawn is a result of the dual-tracking wheels, which allow for a more even cut when moving around your lawn.

Mowing is a breeze with the Scotts 2000-20 Outdoor Power Tools mower. Ergonomic padding on the mower’s handles promotes healthful posture as you cut the grass.

It can be quickly and easily assembled with no extra hardware and tools required. It’s one of the most user-friendly and space-efficient manual lawn mowers on the market, making this model a top pick at its price point.

Best Lightweight Reel Mower: American Lawn Mower Company 14-Inch 4-Blade Mower

With being the lightest reel mower on the list, the 14-inch American Lawn Mower weighs just 20 pounds overall. It has four cutting blades made of a steel alloy that has been heated to prevent them from becoming dull. It also has 8.5-inch polymer wheels and rear rollers to make it more stable.

This smaller American Lawn Mower is ideal for mowing a small lawn, and its light weight makes it easier to operate for smaller individuals. It has both a T-handle and a padded handle to make mowing more comfortable.

Plus, this compact, low-maintenance reel mower has a fold-down handle for storage and is light enough to hang in the garage if preferred. The cutting height can be adjusted from 0.5 to 2.75 inches.

Since there are only four 14-inch blades cutting against the bedknife, this mower provides the least resistance out of all the models on the list, making it a good one if you’re a beginner or worried about manual mowers being too difficult to push.

Overall, this four-blade reel mower is sturdy and simple to operate, though it might need a second pass to finish cleaning up tougher patches due to having fewer blades.

You could use it to maintain the paths in your vegetable garden or other low-traffic grassy areas effectively with this manual mower.

Best High-Quality Reel Mower: Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower, 18 Inch

This Fiskars reel mower might be pricey, but you certainly get high quality in return for the price. This model has two small front rollers for better balance and stability, and its high-quality StaySharp blades require less frequent sharpening.

In addition to that, it has a design called InertiaDrive that enables the mower to cut through grass that is denser.

Even though the Fiskars Stay Sharp Max mower costs roughly twice as much as the others on the list, it easily outperforms them in every way. The construction, which weighs a hefty 52 pounds, has a heavy-duty feel but operates efficiently.

Even on the roughest terrain, the machine can be maneuvered with relative ease thanks to the ergonomically designed handle.

The wheels on this reel mower are offset in a way that prevents them from flattening the grass before mowing, allowing you to get closer to the edge of your lawn (only an inch away) than you would with most other reel mowers (typically 3.5 inches).

The lever’s height can be altered quickly and easily with one hand and the cutting height can be adjusted anywhere from one to four inches, and the chute can be moved in either direction, allowing the clippings to fall either in front of or behind the mower as desired.

This Fiskars mower has a cutting width of 18 inches, which makes it an excellent choice for maintaining lawns in both smaller and larger sizes. Plus, you can buy a grass catcher on its own if you want to.

If you’re looking for unbeatable quality, you can’t go wrong with this reel mower.

Best Reel Mower for Tall Grass: American Lawn Mower Company 16-inch Reel Mower

Unlike most reel lawn mowers, this 16-inch push reel lawn mower from American Lawn Mower Company has blades and a bed knife made of tempered steel, as well as an unbreakable steel side plate.

This built quality is incredible and definitely worth checking out. The blades slice through grass blades up to 4 inches tall, just like a pair of scissors would without ripping them like rotary mowers would.

One of the things that we love the most about this particular mower is how easy it is to use! If you’re concerned that a manual reel mower will be a lot of physical work, then consider trying this one by American Lawn Mower Company; it makes mowing a breeze and is easy to move through tall grass even with one hand.

How To Use a Manual Push Mower

Single Pass

Back when your grandpa was using a reel mower, the common grass-cutting technique was to saw–pass the mower back and forth in a sawing-like motion. That’s because the blades weren’t all that sharp. Today that’s unnecessary. Just walk at a normal pace and a single pass (or sometimes two) will suffice.

Cut to Shortest Recommend Length

Always cut to the shortest recommended height. That makes it an easier job for both you, the pusher, as well as for the reel push mower.

You’ll want to keep your grass at a proper mowing height (no more than three to four inches) and try to mow no more than one-third of the grass blade at a time. This helps feed the soil and ensures that your lawn will have deeper roots, which makes the grass healthier and discourages weeds.

Stay Regular

That is, it’s better to mow a little bit and frequently instead of waiting for the grass to be too high. Usually once a week will do the trick.

Avoid long gaps and tall grass between mowings. Tall grass means too much work and it will be harder on you and the mower

Overlap Your Mowing Lines

Overlapping wheels while bicycle racing causes accidents. In the case of your lawn, overlapping the mowing pattern is a good thing. It makes it easier to mow and helps catch any errant grass blades that the push mower missed the first time around. (One good hint: if you get sloppy and wait until your grass is too tall to cut, try increasing the amount of overlap between passes.)

Add Variety

Variety adds spice to life and to mowing, so experiment. Try mowing in different patterns and seeing what makes your lawn look best. Heck, if you’ve really got a lot of time on your hands, you could work on becoming the next Picasso of the playing field.

Change Method Depending on Season

To every season, there is a method of cutting. You may find that you need to change your mowing technique as conditions change.

For example, grass grows fast in the spring and is brimming with moisture. You may need to set your push mower at a higher cutting height and mow more frequently than in the fall when the growing season is coming to an end.

Similarly, during the peak of summer and summer heat grass has less moisture and is thinner. You may need to reduce the mowing height to get your lawn to look its best.

Weed Control Tips

If dandelions or other “willowy” weeds take up residence, you’ll find that mowing isn’t the best solution.

This is because they are so tall that when the mower pushes over them, they do not spring back up to be cut by the blade. You’ll be pushing and the mower will be cutting, but the weeds will escape.

Instead of futile mowing, either start attacking weeds with the mower while they are still short enough to be easily cut or explore other forms of weed control.

How to Maintain Push Reel Mowers:

Other Lawn Guides from Planet Natural:

Vintage Antique Rotary Reel Push Lawn Mower. 25 (Frackville)

For sale 50.00, O.B.O.Vintage push reel lawn mower,Mower still works, but more for show.Please see all of the pictures.Any question contact me through this listing.Thanks for looking, Bill

Vintage Great American Ball Bearing Reel Push Lawn Mower. 50 (Danbury, C.T.)

For sale 50.00, O.B.O.Vintage push reel lawn mower,The wheels are marked “Great American Ball Bearing”Mower still works, but more for show.Please see all of the pictures.Any question contact me through this listing

Vintage Manual Push Mower PQ. 50 (Burnsville)

FOR SALE:Pennsylvania Quality PQ Manual Mower. 50 Cash.Please leave cell/text# to set up pick up. I will remove listing when sold. Thanks