Choosing the Right Reel Lawn Mower for Your Yard

‍A lush, green lawn is the pride of any homeowner. To achieve that perfect, well-manicured look, it’s essential to have the right tools for the job. One such tool that can make a significant difference in your lawn care routine is a reel lawn mower. Unlike its gas-powered counterparts, a reel lawn mower is a manual tool that relies on human power to cut the grass. While it may require a bit more effort, the benefits it offers are well worth it.

How a reel lawn mower works

To fully understand the benefits of a reel lawn mower, it’s essential to know how it works. Unlike gas-powered mowers that use a rotating blade, reel mowers have multiple curved blades that spin vertically. As the mower is pushed forward, the blades rotate, trapping the grass between the blades and the cutting bar. As the grass is caught, it is cleanly cut by the scissor-like action of the blades against the cutting bar. This clean cut promotes healthier grass growth and prevents tearing.

The height of the grass cut by a reel mower is determined by the height adjustment feature. Most reel mowers allow you to easily adjust the cutting height, giving you control over how short or tall you want your grass to be. This versatility is an advantage over gas-powered mowers that often have limited height adjustment options. Additionally, reel mowers typically have a grass catcher attached, which collects the clippings as you mow. This convenient feature eliminates the need for raking, saving you time and effort.

While reel mowers may seem simple in design, they are highly efficient at cutting grass. The rotating blades create a clean, scissor-like cut that leaves your lawn looking neat and well-tended. Furthermore, the absence of a motor or engine means fewer parts that can wear out or break, resulting in a more durable and long-lasting tool. With proper maintenance, a reel lawn mower can serve you well for many years to come.

Factors to consider when choosing a reel lawn mower

When it comes to choosing the right reel lawn mower for your yard, there are several factors to consider. These factors will help you determine which mower suits your needs and preferences best.

1. Yard Size: The size of your yard plays a crucial role in selecting the right reel mower. For smaller yards, a manual push reel mower may be sufficient. However, for larger yards, you may want to consider a self-propelled reel mower, which takes some of the physical effort out of mowing.

2. Cutting Width: The cutting width refers to the width of the blades on the reel mower. A wider cutting width allows you to cover more ground with each pass, reducing the overall time it takes to mow your lawn.

3. Cutting Height Options: Different reel mowers offer varying cutting height options. Consider the desired height of your grass and choose a mower that provides the appropriate range of cutting heights.

4. Blades and Cutting Bar Material: The quality and material of the blades and cutting bar can greatly affect the performance and durability of the reel mower. Look for mowers with durable, sharp blades made from high-quality materials like hardened steel.

5. Ease of Maintenance: Consider the maintenance requirements of the reel mower. Look for models that are easy to clean, have accessible blade sharpening mechanisms, and require minimal upkeep.

By carefully considering these factors, you can select a reel lawn mower that meets your specific needs and ensures a well-maintained lawn.

Understanding the different types of reel lawn mowers

When it comes to reel lawn mowers, there are several different types available on the market. Each type has its own unique features and advantages. Understanding these types can help you make an informed decision when choosing a reel mower for your yard.

1. Manual Push Reel Mowers: Manual push reel mowers are the most basic type of reel mower. They rely solely on human power to push and operate the mower. These mowers are lightweight, easy to maneuver, and suitable for smaller yards. They offer a quiet and environmentally friendly mowing experience but require more physical effort.

2. Self-Propelled Reel Mowers: Self-propelled reel mowers have an added feature that helps propel the mower forward, reducing the effort required by the user. These mowers are ideal for larger yards or those with uneven terrain. They offer the benefits of a reel mower while reducing physical exertion.

3. Corded Electric Reel Mowers: Corded electric reel mowers are powered by electricity and have the advantage of being more powerful than manual mowers. They eliminate the need for physical effort and are suitable for medium-sized yards. However, they do require access to a power source and may have limitations due to the length of the power cord.

4. Battery-Powered Reel Mowers: Battery-powered reel mowers offer the convenience of cordless operation. They are powered by rechargeable batteries and provide greater mobility compared to corded electric mowers. However, they may have limited run time depending on the battery capacity, making them more suitable for smaller yards.

5. Gas-Powered Reel Mowers: Gas-powered reel mowers are the most powerful option among reel mowers. They are suitable for large yards or commercial use. However, they are heavier, noisier, and produce emissions, making them less environmentally friendly compared to other types of reel mowers.

By understanding the different types of reel mowers, you can choose the one that best suits your yard’s size, your physical capabilities, and your personal preferences.

Tips for maintaining and caring for your reel lawn mower

To ensure that your reel lawn mower remains in optimal condition and delivers the best performance, regular maintenance and care are essential. Here are some tips to help you maintain and care for your reel lawn mower:

1. Clean After Each Use: After each use, remove any grass clippings or debris from the blades and cutting bar. Use a brush or cloth to wipe away any remaining dirt or moisture.

2. Sharpen the Blades Regularly: Over time, the blades of your reel mower may become dull. Regularly sharpening the blades will ensure a clean and precise cut. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional for proper blade sharpening techniques.

3. Lubricate Moving Parts: Apply lubricating oil to the moving parts of your reel mower to reduce friction and ensure smooth operation. Be sure to use a lubricant that is suitable for reel mowers.

4. Check the Cutting Height Adjustment: Periodically check the cutting height adjustment mechanism to ensure it is functioning properly. Adjust the cutting height as needed to maintain your desired grass height.

5. Store in a Dry Place: When not in use, store your reel mower in a dry place to prevent rusting and damage. If possible, keep it covered to protect it from dust and moisture.

By following these maintenance tips, you can extend the lifespan of your reel lawn mower and keep it in excellent working condition for years to come.

Reel lawn mower vs. gas-powered mower: Which is better?

The choice between a reel lawn mower and a gas-powered mower ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which type of mower is better for you:

1. Environmental Impact: If reducing your carbon footprint and minimizing noise pollution are important to you, a reel lawn mower is the clear winner. Reel mowers produce zero emissions, making them environmentally friendly and quieter compared to gas-powered mowers.

2. Lawn Health: Reel mowers provide a cleaner, more precise cut, resulting in healthier grass. The scissor-like action of the blades prevents tearing, which can make the grass susceptible to diseases and pests. Gas-powered mowers, on the other hand, can tear the grass blades, leading to a less healthy lawn.

3. Yard Size: For smaller yards, a reel lawn mower is often sufficient. They are lightweight, easy to maneuver, and require less storage space. However, for larger yards or those with tough grasses, a gas-powered mower may be more efficient and time-saving.

4. Physical Effort: Using a reel lawn mower requires more physical effort compared to a gas-powered mower. If you have physical limitations or prefer a less strenuous mowing experience, a gas-powered mower may be a better choice.

5. Maintenance and Cost: Reel mowers are generally easier to maintain and have lower operating costs since they don’t require gas or electricity. Gas-powered mowers require regular maintenance, including oil changes and spark plug replacements, and can be more expensive to operate.

Consider these factors and evaluate your priorities to determine which type of mower aligns with your needs. Ultimately, both reel lawn mowers and gas-powered mowers have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to choose the one that best suits your specific circumstances.


Reel mowers work best on grass that is no longer than 4 inches. If the grass becomes too long, it can be challenging to cut and may result in an uneven finish. Regularly mow your lawn to maintain an ideal grass height. Mowing wet grass can cause clumping and clogging of the reel mower’s blades, resulting in an inefficient cut. Wait until the grass is dry before mowing to ensure a clean and precise cut. Like any other lawn care tool, reel lawn mowers require.