Modern reel mowers are quite efficient at cutting grass using nothing but your own push power. Gas-powered mowers actually produce a stunning amount of air pollution considering their small size. Plus, spilled gasoline is a nasty toxin that has no place in your yard. Plus, both you and your neighbors will appreciate the lack of engine noise on a quiet summer afternoon.
There’s a good overview of manual reel mowers at Reel Mower Guide. They cover the advantages and disadvantages of manual mowers, and offer some tips for using the mowers.
Scott’s 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower
Buyers seem to think the Scotts 20″ Classic Reel Mower has great performance, and it gets a average of 4/5 from 569 Amazon reviewers. They say Scott’s reel mower is light and maneuverable, but a few buyers mentioned a couple of drawbacks: there’s some assembly required for this mower, and there is not cushioning on the handle. But overall, the mower is said to be durable and inexpensive.
The price for Scott’s Reel Lawn Mower is around $100 at Amazon.
Brill 33 Razorcut Push Mower
The Brill Razorcut 33 Push Mower is also well-liked by buyers — this mower is lightweight at 16.1 pounds, making it easy to maneuver and push. It uses a silent cutting blade system, and the cutting height is adjustable.
It sells for about $215 at Amazon.
Fiskars Momentum Reel Mower
The Fiskars Momentum Reel is a mower that incorporates several design innovations. A large-diameter reel and heavyweight blades give this mower extra “oomph”, which Fiskars says avoids jamming and reduces cutting effort by 30%. The “Versa-Cut” design allows cutting heights from 1-4”, and inset wheels allow close edge cutting along lawn borders. Finally, the mower promises an ergonomic design and low-friction, low-maintenance blades.