Push reel lawn mowers use your pushing power to turn a rotary blade that clips instead of tears your grass when cutting. They’re the most affordable mowers and have pros and cons compared to the other styles. Here let’s look at those then look at the best reel mower for most people.
Manual push reel mowing is a lifestyle choice as much as riding a bike – instead of driving a car – to work is.
Reel mowers have many parallel features to bikes:
- You use your own energy to make it work
- You often need separate models for separate jobs (BMX, mountain bike, race bike etc)
- No noise (aside from the blissful clipping-of-your-grass-sound or breeze-flowing-past-your-ear-sound)
- A 4-year old can safely start learning how to use one
- Prominent sub-culture of enthusiasts (See what I mean by watching this video):
Although that video is for a laugh it’s not too far off the truth.
I grew up down the street from a man who double mowed his driveway-size front lawn. First he’d go over it with his corded electric mower. Then he brought out the reel mower to make it look like a carpet. And there was no denying it: he had the best looking lawn on the street. He also washed his Corvette with a toothbrush but that’s another story.
So if you want the best lawn in your neighbourhood, and are willing to work for it, here’s the best reel mower out there.
Best Push Reel Mower for Most People
The best push reel mower for most people is the Fiskars 18-inch Staysharp Max reel mower.
- Because it only takes 5 minutes to put together out of the box
- Has adjustable cut height settings
- Has an ergonomic handle that allows you to grip it many ways (avoiding strain)
- Is highly manoeuvrable due to front support wheels and larger rear wheels
- And the blades stay sharp for years.
No other reel mower can say the same. And so that is why this one is the best for most.
If it had any drawback it would be its weight and cost: 52 pounds and about $199.
But with its IntertiaDrive, which makes it 60% easier to push, you shouldn’t have any trouble pushing it up hills – even if you suffer from minor back pain. As for the cost, this is heavy duty steel and will last many years without maintenance. It weighs 52 pounds for a reason – it’s heavy duty.
Why Go Reel?
100% Zero Pollution
Gasoline powered mowers emit an exhaust gas which is said to contribute to global warming. In addition, they emit small amounts of toxic carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, ozone and nitrogen oxides. Reel mowers only contribute to burning your calories.
Electric mowers use electricity, and although do not release emissions at the mower – the electricity had to come from somewhere… And there’s a 68% chance it came from a fossil fuel power plant in the US. So you can’t really say an electric mower has 100% zero pollution. Reel mowers are the only 100% zero pollution mowers.
Don’t Need to Wear Steel Toes or Hearing Protection
No high speed blade equals no high speed projectiles equals no danger to your feet.
Since these machines make little noise you won’t need to wear hearing protection. In fact, you could wear your iPod earphones and listen to Beethoven as you walk around your yard. No way can you do that with petrol, or even electric.
Your Lawn Will Appreciate It
A push reel mower clips you lawn with a shearing cut instead of a tearing cut with a blade. This leaves the lawn tips greener, stronger and more healthy – they won’t turn yellow because their protective exterior is left intact.
At least personally, I find the harder I work for something the better it feels when I accomplish it. The same goes for creating a perfect lawn with a reel mower. It feels more like you’ve groomed your lawn instead of just done a chore. It’s satisfying and that earned brow sweat feels good (time for an icy cold lemonade?)
1. Best 3 lawn mowers of each style page was reviewed because the research was already done on the best reel mower.
2. Fiskars global website page for the best push reel mower (the 62016935J) was read for additional insight on the features.
3. The electricity generation stats for the US sourced from the US Energy Information Administration. Types of gases in gasoline engine exhaust fumes sourced from Wikipedia page on exhaust gas.