If you’ve never seen a reel mower, much less used one, then this site is a good place to start. Here, you’ll find all the basics about using a manual push reel mower. We’ll talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. And you’ll also find a full list of reel lawnmower brands and models that are available, along with plenty of facts about each one. Heck, we’re even going to show you how to assemble them, and give you links to all the owner’s manuals we can find and scan.
So, what is a reel mower?
People call these things by about a million different names. They’re known as push reel mowers, manual mowers, people powered mowers, hand mowers, manual reel mower or pretty much any combination of those words.
In the United Kingdom, the most widely used name for these is ‘cylinder mowers’. That’s a pretty good description, actually, because the bodies of reel mowers do have a cylinder shape! The cylinder contains the blades, and it is usually mounted between the wheels with a handle sticking up from the center.
Some people use the term “rotary” mowers, but that isn’t quite right. A rotary mower is any kind of lawnmower where the blades spin like a helicopter, and that category includes gas and electric mowers. A reel mower has blades that turn like a paddle boat. The blades rotate when the wheels turn, and they don’t keep spinning after the wheels stop. This is a nice safety feature that sets reel mowers apart from rotary mowers.
Sometimes people also say push mower when they mean reel mower. But sometimes, people are actually talking about gas mowers that when they say push mower, so it gets a bit confusing. Not all motorized lawn mowers are self propelled, after all.
“Who cares about the stupid name!” you’re probably yelling at this point. “Just give me the information I want about reel mowers!”
So let’s start with some good reasons why you might like a reel mower.