Got Reel Mower Questions?

We’d love your feedback! Do you have burning questions about using or assembling reel mowers that we haven’t answered?

Let us know, so that we can improve this site!

Leave us a comment with your question, and we’ll do our best to answer it for you. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll look it up!

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  1. Hi Zeb,

    The front wheels are fine. If you have a hole big enough for them to drop into, you just plain stop since by pushing, you force the wheels down and they don’t have the diameter to climb easily out.

    And nope, my yard is not flat. Part of the reason I switched to reel mowers is that I kept falling (at least once a year) cutting a bank in my front yard. I still fall, but the chances of me cutting off a toe are greatly reduced. If I was buying today, I would still strongly consider a fiskers, but I would probably look at the ones with big front wheels.

  2. I inherited a Scotts 20-inch Classic that doesn’t have the levers for adjusting blade height. Is that a part that’s available to mere mortals?

  3. Has any one tried spiked wheels for their reel mower, for those slippery dewy days? And the best way to construct them?

  4. Hi,

    I have an American Lawn Mower 1304-14 reel mower that I purchased a month or so ago. A few weeks ago I decided to adjust the cutting height. Somewhere along the line I think I completely fudged it up and it became uneven. Do you have any tips on how to “reset” the blades to an even height so I can then carefully adjust them at an even height. I think the problem was that I didn’t adjust them carefully enough but now I can’t figure out how to set the height even so I can adjust it correctly. Hopefully this makes sense. I read somewhere that there is a metal bar that comes with the manual but I do not have one. Any solutions?

  5. I was wondering if someone can comment on the cutting height of the Brill Razorcut 38. My wife and I are purchasing a new house in the Seattle area with a small yard. I’m not sure what grasses are in the sod that is being put down, but it seems like the 1 1/2 inch maximum cutting height for the Brill would be the absolute minimum cutting height for most grasses (based on recommended cutting heights that I found online for various grass varieties). It seems as though the Brill would be recommended for our area and climate, but I am wondering if I should go with the Fiskars model due to the higher cutting height capability.

  6. Working on a 1952 electric ez cuter reel lawn mower. Cant find replacement tires. Hard plastic with 6 ribs on Id of tire for drive hub. ANY helo is much appreciated. Cant find any parts around here.

  7. Thanks Maryland Bill for your follow-up reply. Based on Lars & your input I am leaning towards the Mascot 21″ for bent grasses. Although I like the front-throw aspect of the Fiskars 18″, the wheel issue that you bring is detering me. The Fiskars 17″ has the larger front wheels as you suggested, and it is a rear throw mower. The Mascot appears to have a roller bar for much better stability and a more level mow and it is a rear throw. Also, the Mascot has 6-blades instead of 5 that the Fiskars have. That is how I got to my decision – and now I just have to figure out where to purchase one from as they are not available at all around these parts. Thanks again for the assistance in this forum!

  8. I am looking for a suggestion for the least expensive reel mower to cut my backyard grass (zoysia) really short. I would love to be able to cut at 1/4 inch. Do reel mowers cut this low? I am hoping to cut it low enough for lawn bowling, croquet, etc. Any help would be much appreciated.

  9. I took my weed eater (think that’s the brand) push mower apart cleaned and sharpened the blades and the bar the blades cut against….I put it back together…now it cuts when pulling towards me instead of pushing. What did I do I wonder?

  10. Hi!
    My mower is a Fiskars reel.
    I struck something in the grass.
    Now Im having trouble adjusting the blades
    Both ends cut paper fine but the center does not…

    Im kinda new to the reel mower, but Im not too bad at blade adjustment.

  11. Hello, I work at a lawn mower repair shop, and I had an older gentleman come into today asking if I could get a grass catcher for his reel mower, but I can’t find one anywhere. The model is a 10M9. If I could get some help with sites or places to find it it’d be much appreciated!

  12. Hi, I have a 20″ Yardworks reel mower that I bought from Menard’s the reel is designed to contact the cutting bar to create the cut. The sound of the reel rotating against the bar is noisy and annoying, creating a metallic clattering noise. By contrast my 18″ Great States is set up the same way but is much quieter. WD40 doesn’t seem to help. I loosed the Yardworks cutting bar so that the reel doesn’t touch the bar but gets close. It cuts, but I don’t know if it cuts well enough since it wasn’t designed for that set up. What do you think the problem is and how can I address it?

  13. I just purchased a Remington 18in push reel mower Friday. I put it together Saturday (very easy) & tested it out. Found it difficult to turn & handle bar doesn’t lock. My mom tried it out & we adjusted the height a bit. As she was using the mower, it suddenly locked on her. We tried clearing any grass clippings from wheels & blades but it will not go forward. I5 will go back& no problems when I switch handle to other side & push (essentially going backwards on large front wheels with smaller back wheels forward off ground) really disappointed. If

  14. Would like to know when Western Auto made Westline Reel Push Mowers? Are they still being made and if not when did they quit making them.

  15. Hi, I have the 16″ american lawn mower . As I was moving my lawn the little plastic piece attaching the roller to the frame broke.Where can I order that piece? And more importantly what is it called ?

  16. I have a reel mower about four years old from Sears. I like it. Any idea who the manufacturer is? Would it help if I took a picture and posted it?

    BTW: Our local paper, the Fort Collins Coloradoan, just printed an article about hand-push reel mowers making a comeback in our city.

  17. hi….have an old Lakeside with 2 bad tires, 10 x 1.5. Any idea where I might try and find replacements? I’ll try anything. Thanks. Gene

  18. Hello. I recently purchased the blade sharpening kit for my Scotts Classic 20″ reel mower. The instructions say to loosen/tighten the front and back screws in order to create a gap between the blade cylinder and the cutting edge. I did all but remove these screws, yet there was absolutely no movement of either part (the blades or the cutting edge) away from the other. The gap never got any wider and thus my sharpening tool/piece wouldn’t fit on the edge as it would run into the blades. It’s like the screws do absolutely nothing. The mower is maybe 5 years old and it’s never been taken apart. I typically use a small hand-held sharpener to sharpen the blades, but that gets tiresome and tedious and this sharpening tool kit looked like the perfect alternative. There are no rusted parts or pieces preventing anything from moving, as far as I can tell. There are the nuts/bolts on either side that appear to hold the sharpening edge in place. The instructions didn’t say to loosen them, though, and I’d rather not loosen anything more than what I need to.

    Am I missing something? I hope this explanation is clear. Thank you so much in advance for any advice or thoughts!

    • @Lynn

      Sounds to me like the cutter bar is just frozen in place, and that’s why nothing is happening when you loosened the screws. I could suggest knocking the cutter bar with a rubber mallet, or maybe a hammer wrapped with a towel to see if you can knock it loose, and then you should be able to adjust it properly with the screws like the instructions say.

  19. Hi all,
    I have a Clemson E16-JR push reel with 16 in cutting width, and it’s not cutting well. I am visually impaired, so had a friend eyeball it and he suggests that it’s plenty sharp, but that the bed knife-to-reel clearance is too wide, 1/4-in. Does anyone have step-by-step instructions on how to correct this clearance? Thanks in advance :-)

  20. how do you remove the wheels on a Task Force reel mower? I think there is something wrong with the gears inside

  21. Looking for replacement rubber wheels for a Homestead Blair hand reel mower.
    Wheel size is 8″ on the outside& no the wheel is not removable.
    Needs replacement rubber!


  22. I recently acquired a very old Great States 400 reel mower. The handle is wooden and so is the bar that’s olds on the ground. Everything else is steel. It will cut grass, but I want to sharpen the blades. I ordered a sharpening kit from Great States which includes sharpening compound, a brush, and a bar. I can’t figure out how to take the wheel off so I can make the blades turn backwards. There is no e ring. Everything is steel. Help!

  23. I have the Scotts 20″ reel mower and I use it in my very small, flat yard. We have no trees (thus no sticks) but the mower continually jams! I was mowing this morning and it jammed at least 5 times. I’ve been looking online and no one else seems to have this problem. I keep the grass clippings cleaned out, but still something is jamming it up. I end up having to lift the front wheels off the ground and repeatedly drop/slam it for it to eventually start working. I don’t think this is good for the mower, but I can’t figure out why it’s not working or how else to get it to work! Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  24. Having trouble finding a grease for drive wheels. I have a newer sunlawn. Have tried white lithium didn’t last long but I used a spray maybe didn’t get enough. Tried wheel bearing grease not much better.

  25. I have a Scott’s 20in. Classic Reel Mower. I’ve used it less than one season. The blades won’t turn when the wheels do (they will turn otherwise) I’ve taken the wheels off and cleaned the grass clippings out of it and I’ve adjusted the height. Is there an easy fix for getting the blades to work again?

  26. Hello,

    I have a ‘Reading Special Model D’ Reel mower. I can’t find anything about the company or the mower. I have a few pictures of it and it works fine. Needs cleaned up. anyone know how old this might be or have any other information?



  27. I have an old (~1950′s) “Scott’s Silent” push mower that needs sharpening. It works but doesn’t cut as well as it should. I purchased a standard sharpening kit, took the wheels and gear off but the wrench doesn’t fit! It seems like this mower needs a very slightly larger wrench… It is so close in size it’s frustrating because it looks like it SHOULD fit but it definitely doesn’t. Is there any other way I can turn the reel in reverse without damaging the shaft?

  28. I am missing two screws with a special threading that are missing from a decades old Craftsman reel mower. they are about an inch long an about three eights inch in diameter. i might add that i’d be willing to pay well for the correct screws or to be able to find that variety in a modern retail store because in cleaning and sharpening the blades on this mower I’m the one responsible for misplacing the screws. as a result my Dad has acted as if he has lost an old friend and perhaps I should be permanently scorned for losing a supposedly irreplaceable couple parts. any help would be greatly appreciated!

  29. I bought an American Reel Mower (1815-18) 18 ” about 2 months ago. Overall happy with performance, but I have not been able to correct what I assume to be an adjustment issue. Every other revolution it seems as though it gouges out my Bermuda. Granted, I am cutting at about 1/2″ in height, and I am wondering if that has something to do with it. I am wondering if I am allowing the grass to get too high before cutting. Right now I am cutting every five days or so because I don’t have the time. I have tried adjusting the blades by bringing the cutting rack closer or further from the blades – but without success. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  30. Andrew, try going to fastenal if the advice Lars gave doesn’t work out.
    They have every type of fastener I have ever needed. If that doesn’t work, maybe you could tap the threads to something new and more common.

  31. I asked this on the sharpening page also, how sharp should blades be? I picked up my first reel mower (bought used) and the blades don’t feel very sharp.

  32. Do reel mowers mulch? I have never had a yard before, it is about 8,500 square feet of what appears to be St. Augustine grass or simular fast growing thick monster crab grass. The lawn is in southern Florida. Most of the neighbors mulch, none use reel mowers. I used a reel mower as a kid and we composted, but I don’t think composting is practical ( for my yard) and it might not be legal. Human powered tools appeal to me and I would like to reel mow if possible. Are there mulching reel mowers? The yard is flat, half of it is shaded and most usually damp. Any suggestions? Am I doomed to gas or electric mowing?

  33. Hi! I just moved to a small patio home and would like to know if it will be too difficult for a “senior” woman like me to use a reel mower. I have St. Agustin grass and live in So. Florida.

  34. I am considering purchasing a push reel lawn mower for my home. From the above comments, my expanse of lawn is probably on the high end of doable with a push reel mower (about 8000 sq. ft. of land, less the house, rear patio and various plantings around the house). I live in Northern Virginia. I’m thinking of either the Fiskars 18″ (1st choice), the Brill 38 (2d choice) or the Scotts 20″ (3d choice). Any recommendations as to choice or even if this is a bad idea will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  35. Hi. Are there any companies making reel mowers made in USA? It’s very sad to say I have spent 1-2 hours and cannot locate any. Maybe 1 company is made in USA, but they charge $500. I was very also disappointed as I bought the “American” brand push mower which is promoted as “made in USA” by that company. Then the actual product arrived with “made in China” on the box – this is really an “un-American” way of doing business.

  36. I have an old Silent Scotts 18″ Model 10M5 reel push mower made by OM Scott & sons in Marysville Ohio. and I am looking for someone who has replacement parts, specifically the roller.

    Do you know of anyone who may offer original equipment type replacement parts

  37. We just acquired my wife’s grandmothers reel mower. It is a Craftsman momentum reel mower, Model#1238171. I was wondering what year this model was made and if you can buy parts for it anywhere.


  38. Hi, I want to get a reel mower…I see some that have a bag to catch clippings. What are your thoughts on bagging? I know the clippings are a good fertilizer but I do like the clean look bagging gives.


  39. Hi, just wondering what to use for edging our lawn. We are looking into getting the Scott’s reel mower but how can I finish off the lawn nicely without using an edger. I’d like to stick with the whole reel way instead of breaking out a loud smelly edger.

  40. Can you build a gang reel mower by using standard push reel mowers? And is it wise to buy cheap reels?

    • @dave

      It could work if you are a DIY kind of person. I don’t think the reels of the gang reel mowers are necessarily any higher quality than regular reel mowers. If you designed it where you could swap out reels, then if one went bad, just buy another one and pop it in. Seems like a lot of trouble to me though to build one and engineer it where it wouldn’t fall apart when you started dragging it around.

  41. Hi, we are trying to find the best reel mower for our situation:
    -tall thin grass, and we don’t mind letting it get a foot or more high. We’re OK cutting it back to 4 or 5 inches only.
    -uneven ground
    -small amount to mow.

    We live in the country and are not very particular, but just need to cut it back occasionally. Thanks.

  42. I planted about 600 sq. yards of El Toro Zoysia sod last fall and live in the Memphis, TN area. I need a reel mower to keep the grass trimmed because I can’t put a powered lawn mower on it until the roots have really taken hold. I’ve been using a trimmer so far this spring to control the grass. I’m looking to spend anywhere from $80-200 (max) on a mower you’d recommend. Also, I’m 6’5″ tall, so comfort and upright posture/ease of use and long handle is important.

    Any recommendations you can make would be great! Thanks

  43. I would like to see an original assembly for my reel lawnmower. While cleaning grass from inside the wheel assembly I didn’t pay attention on how to reassemble the correct way and now my reel lawnmower skips a lot..!! The blade would not catch and spin like it used to. So is there any diagram where I can see how everything is assembled, correctly, for the inside of the wheel? I really love my push lawnmower and I intend to have for many years, maybe even hand it down to one of my grandchildren! Thanks hope you can help. I have an American Model 1303-14.

  44. I’m looking for info on using, adjusting, sharpening a Scott’s Model
    5M61, which is older than the models you feature in your how-to info.
    You refer to a crocker guy web-site for info on older models, but I have not been able to access it. Does it still exist? Is there another way to get in? Is it temporarily out of order? Does Crocker have a phone number?
    Thank you

  45. Hi,

    I have a Husqvarna push reel mower. I really like it because it has a wide range of cutting heights from 1 – 4 inches. I used to have a Brill but found my grass often grew too fast and would be too tall to cut with the Brill. Lately, the reel on my Husqvarna does not engage when I push the mower. I can see the outside wheels turning, but the inner reel does not turn or engage consistently. It’s very frustrating having to make multiple passes on the same patch of grass. Also, there is an increase in the level of noise when the wheels turn as if the bearings are shot. Is this a common problem? Is there a general solution?



  46. Hi. I have a Mccullough electric (corded) 18 inch lawn mower. I bought it at a garage sale and do not have a service manual. It has non contact blades. I would expect that the mower is more than 10 years old. Can you suggest what I might use to sharpen the reel blades and how close to adjust them to the the stationary blade? Thank you.

  47. Can you tell me where I can buy tire or wheel for a old pennsylvania
    21″ reel mover model 4021-c

    The tire are spliting apart

  48. Hi,
    I have the Lee Valley 18″ reel mower and bag. It fills the bag on one side more than the other so I have to stop and level the load. Its annoying. Do you know why it would do that?

  49. Michelle,

    It is because the blades of a reel mower are spiral, so it is going to throw the blades of grass in one direction.

    It isn’t just that model mower in particular.