The Best Push Reel Mowers Buying Guide of 2015 & 2016

Push Reel Mower Features To Look For

Number of Blades

The number of blades a push reel mower has determines what type of grass it works best with. Push reel mowers normally come with 4 to 7 blades, and the number of blade you will need depends on the type of grass you plan to cut. For thickly bladed grass that is bent (or wavy), like Saint Augustine or Bermuda, a seven bladed mower would work better. On the other hand, if you have finer blades, such as with Kentucky Bluegrass or Fescue, then you would want a four blade mower (you could possibly get away with a five blade mower just fine, but for the best cut for fine grass, less is better). When shopping for a reel mower, keep in mind what species of grass you are planning to cut so you can get a reel mower with the appropriate amount of blades.

Blade Width

Reel mowers are available with blades that range between 14” to 20”. It is referred to as the blade width due to the fact that is the width of the swath, or path, the mower will cut in. The major difference between sizes is a matter of potential speed (cutting a wider area at a time reduces the number of passes needed). The reduction in time, between using a 14” and a 20” mower, is about 30% (for perspective, if it takes 30 minutes with a 14” it should only take about 21 minutes with a 20”). When shopping for a push reel mower, especially if you have a tighter budget, consider that wider is not always better and that spending more on a larger mower is not always a sure way to a better value.

Height of the Cut

While some models have a set height of grass they will cut to, others come with the ability to adjust how close to the ground the blades will come. This is particularly important because cutting grass too close to the ground can cause a lot of damage to the plants and soil. It is also something that is determined by the type of grass you are cutting. For finer varieties (Fescues, Buffaloes and Bluegrasses), look for mowers that can cut between 2”-3”, and for thicker blades (Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede) you only need between 1.5” to 2.25” of cutting height.

Adjustable Handle & Good Grip

A basic feature for any quality reel mower is the ability to adjust the length of the handle to accommodate users of different heights. In addition to being adjustable for height, the actual grip of the mower should have some form of support. In more luxury models, there is even a bit of cushioning to help users get through their task of cutting the grass without wearing down their fingers. If you hands get tired easily, or you have back problems, be sure to look for models that can adjust to your height (so you are not stooping or stretching and putting strain on your back) and that have good support on the handlebar (preferably ergonomic grips at the least to support your hands as they grasp).

Extra Guide Wheels

Traditional reel mowers only have two wheels, which remains an element in basic models. Fancier and heavy duty models of push reel mowers are now equipped with up to four extra wheels, which are smaller than the primary pair and act as additional support for guiding the mower around different terrain. They are also included to help improve the traction and cutting potential (for slightly thicker patches that a basic reel mower may have trouble handling). If your lawn has some hills and divots, or a lot of edges that need attention (such as around flower beds and trees), or if there are stubborn thicket patches, consider a model that has extra guide wheels.

Grass Clipping Catcher

A feature that is more commonly thought of as something a regular push or riding mower may have, there are some companies (GreenWorks) that include clipping collectors with even their basic models, or that offer them as options for adding to their models (Fiskars). Unlike regular bags, these clipping collectors are more like a tray that hangs behind the blades to help catch clippings for re-use. If you prefer to make use of grass clipping for mulch, or prefer the look of a clean cut yard, without having to collect clippings with a rake, then consider models that include or can have a clipping catcher added.

Best Push Reel Mower Brands


Easily one of the most highly rated brands of push reel mowers, the only point that doesn’t put them at the top of most lists is the costs. For most owners however, the slightly higher investment into a Fiskar is often regarded as well worth it. They produce a series of push reel mowers that are loaded with every feature you could want in a push reel mower and more. Their patented StaySharp blade system keeps the blades in top cutting condition for years at a time. The 18” StaySharp Max model is one of their most popular and best selling models of any that they sell. If you already have experience with a push mower, or want to invest into a commercial quality push mower, then Fiskars would be the best choice.

Great States

One company that can manage to make the top five on just about anyone’s list of best push reel mowers is Great States. While they do not have the largest lineup of models, they do make extremely well built and smooth cutting mowers. Produced by a company that has been specializing in environmentally friendly lawn care products for nearly a century, the mowers of the Great States series each embody an ongoing dedication to these aspect. They are well known, not just for their standard reliability and performance, but also for their easy to afford pricing. They can be considered a baseline in quality to look for, if you want a good push reel mower.


A name that needs no introduction in the world of lawn care, Scotts produces a series of five push reel mowers to help accommodate all manner of yards. Their blade widths range from 14” to 20” but each one comes with a five blade setup. While some minor points differ, they are each highly regarded and rated among users as some of the best value push reel mowers on the market. Their sturdy construction and brand-earned expectations for quality are contribution factors for their popularity. If you want a quality push mower from a company that can be trusted, then a Scotts will more than fit the bill.


Another company well known for making environmentally friendly, or “green”, products, GreenWorks selection of push reel mowers is no exception to the company policies and trademarks. Their push reel mowers are known for being very affordable, reliable, and packed with a competitive number of features, including clipping catchers, for lower prices than most competitors. If you want a fairly reliable and very user friendly push reel mower, than consider a GreenWorks.


NaturCut only produces two models of push reel mower, the Ideal 40 and the Classic HD. Both of them embody a company philosophy in putting for the best quality over quantity. Each model is loaded with company standard features, such as an impressive 8 to 10 year lifespan on their blades, molded handles, easy to adjust cutting height and the ability to work with a company manufactured clipping catcher. Despite the small selection, many enthusiasts rank NaturCut push reel mowers highly for their durability and easy to afford pricing.

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