The Best Push Reel Mowers

Reel Mower By Fiskar
Reel Mower By Fiskar

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

Brill 33 Razorcut Push Mower
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

Fiskars Momentum Reel Mower
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.

You can buy it on Amazon. See also this similar reel mower by American Lawn Mower for $66.

6 thoughts on “The Best Push Reel Mowers”

  1. I qm on my second Sears Craftsman 291.37619, which looks just like the Scott’s 20” reel mower. The handle broke on the first one after a few months. The handle broke on the second one after about a year. Both broke where the upper part connects to the lower part. Very thin metal is used, with rather large holes drilled in it. This is a very poor design, am sure metal fatigue and lack of strength contributed to failure. Do not buy the Sears or the Scott’s, look for one that has thick metal handles (at least 1/4 inch thick instead of the 1/16 inch thick on the Sears), and maybe a wood bar instead of metal (like they used to be made about 40 – 50 years ago when they actually were built to last).

  2. I just bought the Fiskars Momentum. Since I let go of my lawn guy, I now am making it pay for itself at the rate of $70 a month.

    At that rate, it will pay for itself in a little over 2 months. After that, I’ll just take that $70 a month and put it in a money market account, and then my lawn mower will be paying ME to mow my lawn!

    I haven’t gotten the mower yet, so I can’t comment on how well it works, but I have done many hours of research on it, and it is consistently ranked as one of the best reel mowers in the world. That doesn’t surprise me, since it’s made by Fiskars. There are a couple of things I think could be done to improve it (a minimum cutting height of 1/4th inch to 1/2 inch would be nice, a 20 or 30 inch cutting reel and a roll bar in front instead of wheels), but really, what I have read from the literally hundreds of reviews and seen in dozens of video samples tells me that I am going to be thrilled with this mower.

    I told a friend of mine that I bought one, and after she did some research, she seemed a little envious that I have a lawn to mow and she doesn’t!

    Now I can mow my 1/4 acre lot, get out of the house, get a little exercise and sunlight, and not terrify my Yorkies every time the lawn gets mowed. Oh, and there’s no lawn guy to wake me up on days I am trying to sleep in, or get mad at for doing a cruddy job!

  3. We are getting ready to move in to our new house and we have decided that we are going to start out right by making the most sustainable choices. Buying a push reel lawn mower is one of those decisions and this is a great overview of options.

  4. I bought used, an approx. 2 or 3 yr old used American (brand) manual reel mower, model 1404-16. I didn’t expect much but was pleasantly surprised. Though I am a 53 yr old woman in only modertely good shape, I mowed 5000 sf of weedy grass that was kind of damp, in an hour. There were thick patches of mallow, a broad leafed weed, and that was the hardest to bull through but I took runs at it and got it done pretty quickly. It did help to clean the stuff out of the blades frequently. I was very surprised this thing even cut let alone that well. I am a fan of these type mowers now and would never go back to gas or even electric. It WAS a workout, but that was part of the reason I wanted that type of mower. The way I look at it, I spent very little money on the mower, and can mow the now-trimmed grass very quickly a few times a week…that way I get a workout and a lawn mowing for pretty much free. You can’t beat that!

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