May 28, 2018 | Power Equipment & Tools Reviews

Choosing the Best Reel Mower in 2018

Choosing the Best Reel Mower in 2018

When mowing your garden with a motorless mower, the lawn does not turn yellow after the mowing because the blades cut the grass smoothly and accurately like sharp scissors, minimizing the damage to the cutting site.

When using other types of lawn mowers, the grass is not cut but is torn by fast rotating blades or a fishing line. However, it is possible to use reel mower for Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, St. Augustine, etc.

In addition, with the help of some models of powerless lawn mowers, you can make a striped lawn.

Traditionally let’s consider the arrangement of mechanical mowers, their technical characteristics, safety techniques, the pros and cons of such devices, and tips on how to choose the best reel lawn mower in 2018.

The arrangement of mechanical lawn mowers

The arrangement of mechanical lawn mowers is quite simple. They consist in the general case of a body, two wheels, a set of blades, and a handle. In the mowers of this type, there is no motor.

The motor, in this case, is the person who, by pressing the handle, pushes the rotary mower forward and thereby activates the mechanism of the mower.

And this is a short video on comparison rotary mower and reel mower:

The blade block

The blade block consists of one fixed blade and several moving blades. The fixed blade is made of high-quality steel and fixed in the lower part of the body closer to the surface of the lawn.

Movable blades have a special spiral shape and are mounted on a drum, which has the ability to rotate on a horizontal axis. Movable blades are also made of steel, but their hardness is lower than that of a fixed blade. This is done specifically so that the movable blades could get sharpened against the fixed blade.

This is true only for contact blade blocks, in which the blades slightly touch each other during the cutting. There are non-contact designs of blade blocks as well, in which there is a clearance of about 0.05 mm between the fixed and movable knives during the cutting process.

Lawnmowers with contactless blades are less noisy, lightweight, but require careful adjustment and are more expensive than similar mowers with contact blades.


Wheels are leading and that’s why their size and pattern of the tread are of great importance. When moving the non-powered mower, there should be no slippage of the wheels as this will disrupt the operation of the grass cutting mechanism.

The diameter of the wheels is calculated when designing the product in order to ensure the optimum speed of rotation of the drum with blades.


A handle is used to push the lawn mower forward, thereby providing the process of cutting (mowing) lawn grass. Often the handle is foldable for easy carrying and transportation of Fiskars lawn mowers.


A body is usually made of steel or plastic, protects the man from rotating blades and mowed grass.

Principle of operation

The man pushes the mower forward, causing the wheels to rotate. Rotational movement of the wheels through the step-up gear (gears) is transferred to the drum with blades. The drum rotates several times faster than the wheels.

Grass as it was captured by curved movable blades and pressed against a fixed blade – the cutting process takes place. The grass is cut as if with scissors.


Due to the simplicity of self-propelled mowers, they don’t have a lot of characteristics. Here are the main characteristics:

  • Cutting width (in cm) – from 30 to 40
  • Cutting height (in mm) – from 12 to 55
  • Number of adjustment positions – from 3 to 7
  • Number of movable blades – 4 or 5
  • Weight (in kg) – from 6.4 to 9.8
  • The recommended lawn area (in square m) is from 100 to 500

Safety during operation of mechanical mowers

Mechanical non-gas mowers in comparison with electric and gasoline John Deere mowers are the safest devices.

They are not connected to an electrical network and hence, there is no danger of electric shock. They do not contain batteries so there is no danger of fires, chemical burns, or danger in the process of charging batteries. They work on no gas so there are not all those dangers that are inherent in mowers with gasoline engines.

The basic safety rules for reel mowers include:

  • Before starting to work, carefully read the instructions (manual) for operating your lawn mower – there are all the safety rules when using it.
  • Do not allow dangerous contact between your legs and fingers with the blades.
  • Do not allow children and persons unfamiliar with the operating instructions to work with the non-electric mower.
  • In the immediate vicinity of the operating mower, there should be no strangers or animals.
  • Before starting work, check the lawn and remove strange objects (toys, stones, branches, etc.).
  • During work, use safety goggles, non-slip shoes, durable long pants, and gloves.

Recommendations for the selection of mowers

Let’s start with the pros and cons.


  • Cheapness – due to the simplicity of the construction, these mowers are cheaper than gasoline, electric or battery lawnmowers
  • A mechanical pull behind mower does not require any consumables such as gasoline, oil, fishing line, batteries or electricity.
  • A long cord, an extension cord, is not required like in electric lawnmowers.
  • They are ecological and silent – a manual grasscutter doesn’t emit gasoline exhaust gases into the atmosphere and is not noisy as gasoline and electric mowers.
  • They are light and have small dimensions – such lawn mowers are easy to carry and transport.

The cons include only two points:

  • Reel lawn mowers are great for small yards with a smooth, well-groomed lawn since it works due to the muscular efforts of a man.
  • A task force mower is designed for small lawns. If the lawn is more than five hundred square meters, then you will have to buy a lawnmower with an engine – electric or gasoline, cylinder vs. rotary.

Also we have a read on How to Select the Best Grass Lawn Mower. Check it out!

Choosing reel lawn mowers is not very difficult. Follow this advice when buying the best push reel mower for the money:

  • Ask the seller for what area of the lawn this or that model of lawn mower is recommended and compare with your area. The recommended lawn area is usually indicated in the instruction manual.
  • The lawnmower wheels are mounted either on sleeves or on bearings. Bearings are more reliable and durable, but also more expensive.
  • Pay attention to such characteristics as cutting width, mowing height, lawn mower’s weight, and compare it with your needs and physical capabilities.
  • Check with the seller if there is a special shaft in the construction of the lawnmower that mows the grass. This is for those who like to have their lawns striped.
  • In some models, you can additionally install a grass catcher, which must be purchased separately. Check with the seller if this device is of interest to you.

3 Best Reel Mowers – Our Pick

Here is the list of three best reel mowers for your garden based on reel mower reviews and customer experience.

AL-KO 112539 Soft Touch Comfort 38 Plus

This is a fairly light mower (7.2 kg) with two-wheels and a cutting width of 38 cm. There is a central adjustment of the cutting height – 4 levels within 14–35 mm. The kit includes 5 self-sharpening blades. It is suitable for a clean area (without garbage, branches). The best price-quality ratio. It is important to adjust the blades before working.

AL-KO 112539 Soft Touch Comfort 38 Plus

The main advantages:

  • It is convenient to use
  • Interesting design
  • Foldable handle for easy transportation
  • 4 levels of cutting height


  • Very thick grass should be cut twice

Husqvarna 54

The cutting width of this rotary push mower is 40 cm. The mowing height is adjustable within 12–38 cm. It is maneuverable and works well in a limited area. It creates a beautiful smooth pattern. Ideal for a flat area with short grass to eliminate flaws when mowing with a trimmer.

Husqvarna 54 reel mower

The main advantages:

  • Maneuverable
  • Gives a clean, uniform cut
  • Easy setup
  • Easy to disassemble and clean, does not require complex maintenance


  • Poorly grabs leaves and grass, adjacent to the ground (burdocks, dandelions)
  • Long grass is wound on the shaft

Gardena 400 Classic

According to manual push mower reviews, this is a more affordable model with a drum. It has a non-contact operation principle of the blades. The manufacturer guarantees a stable and easy processing of the lawn in an area of up to 200 square meters.

Gardena 400 Reel Mower

The 400 Classic reel mower is equipped with a horizontal counter blade and a cutting cylinder, which ensures a neat and even cut of grown grass areas.

The work elements are made of high-quality steel so there is no need for a sharpening of the cutting edge.

For the convenience of use, a folding handle is provided. This will greatly facilitate the work and the storage of the tool.