Best Eco-friendly Reel Lawn Mowers to Keep Your Lawn Tidy

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 9, 2017
If you care both of your lawn's beauty and for the planet's health, buy one of our eco-friendly and ergonomic reel lawn mowers to preserve your world in perfect harmony! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
CLIPPING
CUTTING WIDTH
CUTTING HEIGHT
GRASS DISCHARGE
BLADES
CONVENIENCES
WEIGHT
 
PROS
StaySharp™ cutting system ensures a considerable lifespan (5-10 years) of Fiskars push lawn mower's blades. This cutting-edge reel mower is 30% easier to push compared to other competing tools.
CONS
A grass discharge may worsen the view.
OUR VERDICT
The manufacturer of Staysharp Max reel mower has used a winning combination of advanced technologies to gain twice the cutting power compared to other push lawn mowers.
detailed parameters
CLIPPING
Cutting, Mulching, Grass catching (optional)
CUTTING WIDTH
18''
CUTTING HEIGHT
1''–4'' 8 positions
GRASS DISCHARGE
Forward
BLADES
5 hardened steel blades, Contact-free cutting system
CONVENIENCES
Loop-style foam covered handle, Adjustable tilt of the handle, Fly wheel technology
WEIGHT
52 lbs
PROS

The Scotts Classic manual mower has a large cutting deck providing a wide 20-inch cutting path. A variable height adjustment will let you choose the best grass length.

CONS
It needs additional adjustment for a 1'' cutting height.
OUR VERDICT
This hand push lawn mower will help you look after all the grass types and spend less time maintaining a large lawn in a good condition.
detailed parameters
CLIPPING
Cutting, Grass catching (optional)
CUTTING WIDTH
20''
CUTTING HEIGHT
1''–3'' 9 positions
GRASS DISCHARGE
Rear
BLADES
5 heat treated blades, Contact cutting system
CONVENIENCES
Loop-style foam covered handle
WEIGHT
34 lbs
PROS
A contact-free cutting system of this GreenWorks reel lawn mower makes for a long service of the blades. The manufacturer provides a 4-year warranty.
CONS
The grass sometimes misses the bag.
OUR VERDICT
The GreenWorks hand push lawn mover is an excellent choice for those who need to care about a medium-sized garden or lawn.
detailed parameters
CLIPPING
Cutting, Mulching, Grass catching
CUTTING WIDTH
16'' (18'' and 20'' available)
CUTTING HEIGHT
1.125"–2.25" 4 positions
GRASS DISCHARGE
Rear
BLADES
5 stainless steel blades, Contact-free cutting system
CONVENIENCES
Loop-style foam covered handle, Grass catcher
WEIGHT
26 lbs
PROS
Tempered alloy steel reel and blades are mounted on the ball bearing wheels to provide an excellent mobility of this manual push lawn mower.
CONS
Depending on grass types, the blades may require frequent sharpening.
OUR VERDICT
If you have a small or a medium-sized garden with soft grass varieties, this push reel lawn mower is the perfect machine to care about your lawn.
detailed parameters
CLIPPING
Cutting, Grass catching (optional)
CUTTING WIDTH
16''
CUTTING HEIGHT
0.5"–2.75" 3 positions
GRASS DISCHARGE
Rear
BLADES
5 heat treated steel blades, Contact cutting system
CONVENIENCES
Powder-coated T-Style handle with foam grips
WEIGHT
26 lbs
PROS
The light weight makes this American lawn mower extremely mobile. A narrow cutting deck will let you mow the lawn in hard-to-reach places.
CONS
Quite limited cutting height.
OUR VERDICT
This wonderful hand push lawn mower is a perfect choice for a small yard with many narrow areas. You can easily handle all obstacles and spend less time on grooming the grass.
detailed parameters
CLIPPING
Cutting, Grass catching (optional)
CUTTING WIDTH
14''
CUTTING HEIGHT
0.5"–1.5" 3 positions
GRASS DISCHARGE
Rear
BLADES
3 alloy steel blades, Contact cutting system
CONVENIENCES
Zinc-plated T-Style handle with plastic grips
WEIGHT
19 lbs

What is a Reel Push Lawn Mower

The reel lawn mowers are mechanical tools designed for maintaining your lawn and garden. In contrast to motorized lawn mowers, hand push counterparts are environmentally friendly, they require no charging and no power cord. The blazers’ design will enable you to do a tidy, scissor-like cutting of your lawn, to keep the grass healthy and nice looking. Push reel lawn mowers require no advance preparation before using so you will be able to swiftly mow your lawn. Please, read the push reel lawn mowers review that we prepared for you to choose the best machine for maintaining your yard and garden.

If you need a machine designed for mowing large lawns of even fields, look through our lawn mowers and riding lawn mowers reviews, we have picked the most popular models for you to choose the most suitable from.

What Features to Compare

Efficiency

Nowadays, there is a wide range of push reel lawn mowers on the market, and each landscaping machine has its own peculiar features that condition its efficiency. The first hint to follow in making the right choice is determining the tasks you are going to perform with the equipment. If you plan to mow a flat lawn with very few natural obstacles, the wide cutting width mowers will hit the mark. They will help you look after your lawn with minimal efforts and no hustle. Using this equipment makes your lawn maintenance easy and time-efficient. If there are many narrow areas or other obstacles in your yard, manual push lawn mowers with small cutting width will be more effective. An adjustable cutting height allows getting the perfect length of the grass after the cutting. There are models for cutting the grass with different maximum/minimum height, depending on your needs. A mulching option will let you cover the ground with short grass clippings, to preserve the water and essential minerals in the ground while keeping your lawn in a beautiful shape.

Design

Choosing the push reel lawn mower that is able to serve you for a long time without the blades sharpening requires considering its cutting system, design and material. The main part of any lawn mower is its blade part. The number and quality of the blades used define the precision of the grass cutting. As a rule, the blades made of high-quality materials need to be sharpened rarely. Usually, push reel mower’s blades are made of either heat-treated or alloy steel. A heat-treated steel is stronger of the two and does not require frequent sharpening, but its manufacture is quite expensive. Alloy steel blades are cheaper to produce but require a more frequent sharpening. The number of blades on the reel determines the mowing speed and quality. With that, a hand push lawn mower with more blades cuts more grass per one cutting reel rotation. Another thing to take into consideration is two types of mower cutting systems: contact-free and contact. In the former system, the reel does not touch the blades, thus preventing the blades wearing. However, this system requires an accurate adjustment. In the latter, the reel contacts with the cutting blade so the lawn mower operates like scissors, with the need for frequent sharpening of the blades being the downside.

Conveniences

The last but not the least tip at choosing a perfect hand push reel lawn mower is its conveniences. First, there are two grass discharge types: forward and rear. Please note, that in case of the rear discharge, the grass falls right on your feet. That is why a modification with a grass catcher (or with the option to install it) will make your push reel lawn mower more easy-to-use. Cushioned foam or plastic handle grips will prevent sliding and provide a comfortable handling of the push lawn mower. A height-adjustable handle will make for a convenient grasp of the landscaping tool, and a folding handle will provide easy storage and transportation. A lightweight push lawn mower will make the grass cutting simple for elderly people.

...Read more ...Read less

Fiskars Staysharp Max

Efficiency

This powerful push lawn mower easily cuts down all types of grass, even the toughest ones. An 18'' cutting width provides quick and clean mowing. This ultra-modern push reel lawn mower's inset wheel design will let you cut the grass within the closest distance to the edges of your lawn. A variable cutting height offers an easy grass length adjustment. This hand push lawn mower has a forward grass discharge. Thus, you can chop the mowings once more to get them mulched.
Review of Fiskars Staysharp Max

Design

The Fiskars Staysharp Max reel mower is equipped with five highly sharp hardened steel blades. This feature, along with a contact-free cutting system, provides accurate clipping and keeps the blades sharp for many years. When you use this push lawn mower properly, the blades stay sharp for 5 or even 10 years. A chain drive mechanism, slider bearing, and the Flywheel technology ensure a smooth start of the cutting reels rotation and an easy motion of the push lawn mower.

Fiskars Staysharp Max in the use

Conveniences

A curved ergonomic handle provides easy maneuvering of this push reel lawn mower. Foam covered grips absorb an excessive moisture to prevent your hands from slipping during work. You will easily adjust the handle to your height for a comfortable mowing. It can be quickly detached for an easy transportation or storage in your shed. This model has a grass catcher installing option, so you can buy one additionally. The Max reel mower is rather heavy, therefore, it is easy to cut through the tough weeds. Still, this push reel mower is very mobile and convenient to use.

Detailed review of Fiskars Staysharp Max

VIDEO
Fiskars StaySharp Max Review
Fiskars Staysharp Max
Fiskars Staysharp Max
 

Scotts 2000-20

Efficiency

The Scotts Classic reel push lawn mower boasts a broad path due to the wide cutting width. You can easily mow a 20'' patch in a single pass. Such a feature makes this push reel lawn mower perfect for maintaining large yards and gardens. You can change the cutting height with quick-snap height adjusters. There are nine different positions with which you will be able to set a grass height from 1'' up to 3''.

Review of Scotts 2000-20 Classic

Design

This modification has five heat treated blades that keep sharp for a really long time. The composite wheels with rugged radial tires provide a proper surface traction and keep the push lawn mower balanced. This enhances the mowing accuracy, for these are the wheels that turn the reel. The Scotts Classic hand reel push lawn mower features a contact cutting system.

Scotts 2000-20 Classic in the use

Conveniences

Scott push lawn mower has a rear grass discharge and an option to install a grass catcher. Large 10-inch tracking wheels provide ease of use and high maneuverability on uneven surfaces. A convenient loop-style handle has a foam grip so you can use this manual push lawn mower for a long time. You can easily detach the handle, just undo the four screw-bolts, and transport the reel lawn mower with no fuss.
Detailed review of Scotts 2000-20 Classic

VIDEO
Quick Look at Scotts Classic 20
Scotts 2000-20
Scotts 2000-20
 

GreenWorks 25052

Efficiency

The GreenWorks manual lawn mower offers a cutting width of 16'', so it is a perfect tool for maintaining small yards. For those who need to mow medium-sized or large lawns, the manufacturer offers models with 18'' and 20'' cutting widths. Depending on the grass type, you can use one of four available cutting heights varying from 1.125'' to 2.25''. Along with standard mowing, you can use an additional mulching option or gather the chops into a handy grass catcher.
Review of GreenWorks 25052

Design

Owing to a contact-free cutting system, the blades of this reel lawn mower remain sharp throughout the whole season. This results in a rare need for sharpening. To keep the blade edges fine, you just need to spend 10 minutes once a year on sharpening them. A cutting reel with five blades is driven by 10'' wheels, so the speed of the reel rotation is high and the grass cutting is accurate. All of these features contribute to an effective mowing of the medium-height grass on your lawn.
GreenWorks 25052 in the use

Conveniences

This GreenWorks lawn mower comes with a special bag for grass. This option simplifies your lawn care since the grass is not thrown onto your feet but goes straight to the bag instead. The 2" rear rollers make maneuvering around your lawn an easy task. A loop-style handle with foam-covered grips will make mowing pretty convenient. Besides, its dismountable design ensures an easy storage and transportation.
Detailed review of GreenWorks 25052

GreenWorks 25052
GreenWorks 25052
 

Great States 415-16

Efficiency

This Great States hand push lawn mower has a 16'' cutting swath that will let you mow small lawns in just several passes. It will also provide a comfortable mowing in narrow areas or areas with many obstacles such as benches, tables, trees, and bushes. This manual push lawn mower has three cutting height positions, starting from 0.5'' and up to 2.75''. You will be able to adjust the cutting height position to mow even the thickest grass.
Review of Great States 415-16 Standard

Design

The Great States push reel lawn mower features a heat-treated cutting edge that will require sharpening only once a year. The only thing you will have to do is grease the blades before using; it will protect the cutting edge from wearing. The reel is turned by the two 10'' ball bearing wheels, providing easy operation and reliability. All metallic parts are powder-coated to ensure a durable use of the entire gear.
Great States 415-16 Standard in the use

Conveniences

This push reel lawn mower is quite portable and needs very little storage space. It features a quickly detachable T-Style handle for convenient transportation. Cushioned foam grips give you a secure hold on the push reel mower. A flared type handle design makes for comfortable mowing of uneven lawns. This model has a rear grass discharge which may seem a little inconvenient, but on the other hand, it's greatly favored by those who wish to optionally install a grass catcher.
Detailed review of Great States 415-16 Standard

VIDEO
Great States Reel Mower Review
Great States 415-16
Great States 415-16
 

American Lawn Mower 1204-14

Efficiency

The American Lawn Mower offers you the following range of cutting height adjustment - from 0.5'' to 1.5''; there are three positions. Hence, this push reel lawn mower is an excellent choice for taking care of a small yard or a garden with soft grass. The 14” cutting width allows for precise cut of the grass and high maneuverability in narrow landscaping with lots of obstacles such as trees and shrubs. If you've got many of those, there's hardly a better garden tool to opt for.
Review of American Lawn Mower 1204-14

Design

Alloy steel blades are wear-resistant and long-lasting. If you’ve got sick and tired of sharpening blades, you’d be pleased to know that this mower requires sharpening no more often than once a year (and not necessarily). If used carefully, the blades won’t get blunt for years. The American Lawn Mower 1204-14 makes scissor-like cut at any rotational speed, so you’ll always achieve the desired results and well-groomed look of your yard. The reel and blades are driven by 8.5” wheels.
American Lawn Mower 1204-14 in the use

Conveniences

A light weight and small size are the benefits that put this reel push lawn mower aside from the other rivals in our review. You’d never believe but even a child can easily push it forward in front of him with ease. The push lawn mower has a convenient, plastic T-shaped handle for sure-grip, very similar to those used on bicycles. It’s easy to hold it with both hands and turn in any direction. Alas, American Lawn Mower 1204-14 doesn’t include a grass catcher, but if you do need to have one, you can optionally install it at any time.
Detailed review of American Lawn Mower 1204-14

American Lawn Mower 1204-14
American Lawn Mower 1204-14
 

Infographics

Comparison of Eco-friendly Reel Lawn Mowers to Keep Your Lawn Tidy

FAQ:

Q: What is the difference between a push reel and a rotary mower?

A: A rotary mower is powered by gasoline or electricity. A push lawn mower consumes no fuel: the reel rotates as you walk, which means there is no pollution. You breathe in the fresh air and burn calories while tidying up your yard! Moreover, it provides an accurate cut to prevent tearing and damaging the grass. A wonderful choice for keeping your lawn healthy and green!

Q: How to choose a push lawn mower for caring for my lawn?

A: This human-powered device is usually used for mowing smaller lawns. To select an appropriate model, you should keep in mind the terrain of your land plot. When working on a flat and smooth surface, a model with a wide cutting width is an optimal solution. For mowing the grass near the obstacles comfortably, pick a smaller and, hence, more lightweight mower. 

Q: Do the blades require frequent sharpening?

A: It depends on many things, such as your lawn size, machine’s maintenance, blades material, the design of your push mower, etc. To ensure a constant efficient operation and high performance of the equipment, it is advisable to decide on a unit with the heat-treated steel blades. The implementation of a contact-free cutting design provides a better protection of the blades from wearing. Some models only need sharpening once a season, or even once a few years. Those with a contact cutting system may require a more frequent honing, but it still depends on their usage.

Q: How to perform a push mower maintenance?

A: The key to an excellent performance of the tool is keeping the blades properly aligned, clean, and sharp. Please, consult the user’s manual for performing the maintenance of your model. Usually, it takes just a few minutes if you carefully follow the instructions. And, do not forget to clean and sharpen machine's cutting edges as needed!

Q: Do I need a grass catcher?

A: Left on the lawn, the clippings will turn into useful mulch that will quickly decompose, enriching the soil with essential nutrients. However, if you prefer to collect them for filling a compost pit, consider a model with a grass catching option. Some units come with a grass catcher. 

Q: How to choose the proper cutting height?

A: The general rule is to remove a third of the grass length when mowing. However, the cutting height depends on the grass type. For example, fescue is recommended to keep 2.5”-3” tall, St. Augustine looks and feels better when it is 2”-3” tall, while 1”-1.5” height is best for zoysia and Bermuda grass species. That is why you should consider the options your chosen tool provides for keeping your lawn green and tidy.


Sources:

1. Brett & Kate McKay In Praise of the Push Reel Mower, The Art of Manliness. May 23, 2012. 

2. Sayward Rebhal PushReel Mowers Versus Rotary Mowers, Networx. June 26, 2013.  

3. Tom Oder How to have a great lawn, Mother Nature Network. March 14, 2012. 

4. Timothy Dahl How to Choose the Right Lawn Mower for Your Yard, Lifehacker. March 26, 2015.  

5. 21 Expert Organic Lawn Care TipsPopular Mechanics.

6. Push Mower Buying Guide, eBay. March 3, 2016. 

7. How to Buy a Lawn Mower, wikiHow. March 2017.

Other reviews