Updated: November 2017
Push Reel Lawm Mower Reviews:When people talk about lawn mowers, we always seem to think of gas propelled models that get the job done quickly. I grew up with the classic push reel mowers in the 1970's and we used to have to mow a lawn that was about 2000 square feet in size. It would take us hours to do and the darn reel mower was always getting jammed with twigs, wet grass, and sometimes rocks. As more people move into smaller homes with little space left over for yards, lawn sizes have dramatically shrunk in the last 15 years (at least on the West Coast) and most of us are left wanting something less than a self-propelled mower. There's no sense in wasting $200 or more in buying a power mower if that's too much for the job at hand. I see many of my neighbors with small areas of lawn - maybe 10 x 15 feet - and they are using the old fashioned push mowers. Most sell for about $100 and they will do the job just fine.
Choosing the best reel lawn mower - Reel lawn mowers are cheap to buy and should hold up quite well if you are only mowing a small section of lawn. The biggest name are the Scotts reel mowers and you can find them at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes. Perhaps you have a local hardware store that may carry the basic push mowers. I know that Sears has the Craftsman push mowers and Walmart carries the Great States 16" reel mower. The sizing is based on the cutting width of the blades. We found some as small as the 14 inch model offered by American Lawn Mower and the largest size was the 20" model from Scotts. The cost difference was about double, so if you have a larger lawn go with a wider cutting width to get the job done a bit faster. Overall, reviews for push mowers are very good. Scotts received the highest scores and owner ratings we could find while the American Lawn Mower company offers low priced models that still get positive feedback from consumers. Most offer 10 inch wheels and several height adjusters so you can decide how close you want to cut/trim the lawn. You will find the T style handle on some models while others feature the more modern rounded look. The big plus to these push reel mowers is that they are great for the environment, product zero emissions, and give you a good workout while mowing the grass. The blades are about the only part that you will have to have maintenanced. They tend to go dull after a while, so buying a blade sharpening kit to keep them sharp is important. You can take the blades to your local handyman and they should be able to sharpen them for a reasonable fee as well. You'll notice them going dull because the grass will become harder and harder to cut through. No big deal, though, they can become sharp again and will cut like new. You can see a video on YouTube (down below) on the sharpening kits and how they work. UPDATE October 2014 - We did not want to overlook the highly rated Fiskars 6201 18-Inch StaySharp Max Push Reel Lawn Mower which features blades that need no yearly sharpening like other reel mowers. The price is a bit high, but consider the cost to maintain the cutting blades that you are saving with this model and it may make sense afterall. Consumer reviews for the Fiskars say it's easier to push compared to other reel mowers.
You can browse the best selling push reel mowers online here.