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!

{ 309 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bob Schuon 05.07.09 at 5:31 pm

I have an old Boulavard reel mower made by F & N Lawnmower Co. It cuts great, would like to keep using it. I had a tire go bad, all that is left is the metal wheel with a ridge in the center. Is there a place to get a tire ?



I’m not an expert on antique reel mowers, unfortunately.

I recommend trying to see if they know anything. I’d say the chances are very slim that you’ll be able to find a tire for it.

2 John 05.22.09 at 4:47 pm

Last night, as I was mowing, I discovered that sometimes when I push the mower the blade doesn’t catch and rotate. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. Why? And more important, how I do fix it?

Thanks, John


What kind of a mower do you have?

Typically, there is a gear inside of the wheel of the mower. When you push the mower, the gear turns the blades. In some mowers, the gear is plastic, and can wear out over time. In other cases, it could be that the wheel filled up with grass or something like that.

If the cog is worn out, you can typically get a replacement from the manufacturer for just a few bucks.

So I would take off the wheel and take a look and see if that is your problem, and then go from there.

3 John 05.22.09 at 5:43 pm

I believe my mower is a Scotts 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower. (I am at work, so I can’t run to the garage to confirm.) Do those models have that particular problem?


Yes. So you’ll want to check the wheel first, because that cog might need to be replaced.

4 John 05.22.09 at 6:30 pm

Thanks. I’ll give it a try.

5 KARL BEARD 05.29.09 at 12:26 am




Sorry, I don’t have much expertise in gas mowers, so I’m not sure what to suggest.

6 Janice 05.30.09 at 3:00 am

My reel mower squeals really badly and someone suggested I set the blade back a little. How do I do that? How much noise is normal for a reel mower, they aren’t silent are they? It is unbearable at this point, like opening an old rusty gate.

I tried wd-40 on the blade but feel very eco-unfriendly and it only keeps the squeal away for 1/2 the mow.


How the blades are adjusted depends upon the mower brand and model.

Most of the American Lawnmower models have two screws on each side that adjusts the cutter bar closer or further away from the blades. You can see photos on this page that explain how to adjust the blades on a Scotts Classic. Maybe you can figure out your own mower model from looking there?

7 Barry 06.01.09 at 12:42 am

A fascinating website. I live in NJ and I am looking for a petrol powered cylinder lawn mower which has the roller at the back. All of the petrol powered cylinder mowers I have seen so far are either industrial size or are for greens and have no roller. Do you know of any USA manufacturers which make mowers similar to Atco or Suffolk in the UK?


McLane makes gas powered reel mowers in the United States.

I don’t have any expertise in gasoline powered equipment, so I cannot vouch for them or give you any detailed information.

8 Bob 06.04.09 at 4:56 pm

I purchased an 18″ Great States/American Reel Mower with a basket to catch the grass. We have dogs in our yard, and for ease of keeping the dogs “grass clippings free”, would like to use the basket. My problem is, the basket dumps the grass blades that it catches back into the rotating blades, which in turn throws the clippings in front of and under the mower. The basket is attached by a plastic clip underneath that runs the width of the basket, onto a rod on the mower. This clip rotates up as I mow, much like a dump truck emptying its contents. There is also a chain and hook to attach to the handle above the basket. The model of the mower is 816-18. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you for your time.


One thing that might help is emptying your basket more often. Although the basket will hold a lot of grass, as it starts to fill up, it isn’t as effective.

In general, reel mower catchers aren’t quite as effective as power mower catchers, because you don’t have the vacuum action like you get with a power mower. It’s just mechanical force and gravity throwing it back.

9 Robert Jackson 08.08.09 at 10:40 pm


I have a 20in Task-Force reel mower that works great except for ‘missing spots’ here and there. In some cases in run around the spot several times from several angles and the mower just won’t cut the grass in question. Any thoughts?



I’m not a big fan of those Task Force mowers. In my opinion, they are kind of junky.

But to answer your question, it could be several things that are causing your problem.

1. It might be the mower itself. If the manufacturing tolerance is bad and the reel or cutter bar won’t align properly, then you’ll never be able to get it correctly adjusted and you’ll have spots where the mower won’t cut. But if that were the case, you’d probably be missing some grass with every row that you mow.

2. It might be that the mower is just not adjusted correctly. The owner’s manual of that mower should have instructions on how to adjust the blades. Check that to make sure it is adjusted.

3. It might be that you have some weird shoots of grass that just don’t deal very well with a reel mower. Is it really tall shoots that are going to seed? Those tall shoots are sometimes hard to cut with a reel mower. Same goes with things like dandelions, or any other tall willowy kinds of weeds.

10 Laurie 09.16.09 at 2:49 pm

Decades ago I remember seeing reel mowers that worked backwards and forwards, so that when you came to the end of a row, you could just switch the handle to the opposite side and mow the return row without having to turn the whole mower. Does anyone remember these? Do they still exist?


I am familiar with a Black & Decker corded electric mower that works that way, but I have never heard of a push reel mower like that.

If anyone would know, if would be the gentleman who runs this site: Reel Lawn Mower History & Preservation Project

11 Phil Dunn 02.10.10 at 3:35 pm

Want to mow my field (which I am turning into a golf course) with a gang reel mower. Are there any out there that mow higher than 3″?

12 Jim Boicourt 03.07.10 at 6:03 am

I resently bought a Reel mower and am trying to find some information and/or manuals for it. It is a Pro-Master, Wheel Drive Mower. Has a sticker that sais Kato Equipment Company, Whittier Calif. There is a service sticker on the engine that Sais Ralph’s Garden Equipment in Whittier, Calif, with a phone number of, OX 8-8356. That number tells me it’s from the late “50’s early “60’s. What can you all tell me?


13 Graham 03.29.10 at 8:10 pm

I am interested in purchasing the Scott’s Classic Reel Mower. My grass is a hybrid Bermuda with a recommended mowing height of 1/2″ to 1.5″ which my deck mower cannot do. Also, with the deck mower it is rather difficult to cut my grass 2 days after a rain which sometimes causes me to fall behind in my mowing. My lawn has poor drainage in certain areas. With a reel mower, can I expect to be able to mow the lawn when there is more moisture present when I otherwise wouldn’t be able to mow with my deck mower.

14 Sam 04.11.10 at 7:54 pm

I have a 16″ Scott Reel Mover Turf, and you can’t push it. What’s the problem?

15 Rob Volmer 04.11.10 at 8:21 pm

Ive got an American Lawn Mower Co Model 1303-14 push reel mower. Just took it out for the first time this year and only the right wheel will turn. The blades turn completely but only the right wheel is turning. Thoughts?

16 Laura 04.12.10 at 6:51 pm

am wanting to buy a reel mower – The Fiskars model with 4 wheels looks nice – is it really worth the extra money ?

I need to do small slopes and shallow hills etc. Does a particular model or size work well for this?

17 Laura 04.12.10 at 7:39 pm

also am wondring if the fiskars Momentum model is too heavy to push (at 43 lbs) when all the Brill models are only 15-20 lbs .

Any thoughts?

18 admin 04.12.10 at 9:28 pm


The Fiskars mower seems really, really heavy when you pick it up. Pushing it through the grass on a flat surface isn’t a problem, but I wonder how it would be to push it uphill. (Still waiting for the grass to start growing here to do a full test of the Fiskars.)

For the northern half of the country, a lightweight mower is typically easier to maneuver and push, because of the types of grasses. But in places where you have Zoysia, St. Augustine, or Bermuda, a heavier mower will plow through those ultra thick grasses easier and the weight works as an advantage.

Not knowing where you are or what type of grass you have, I can’t really say which mower you’d be better off with.

19 admin 04.12.10 at 9:30 pm

@Rob Volmer,

Could be grass stuck up in the inside of the wheel area, where the gears from the wheel turn the blades. Or it could be a worn out gear. Either way, if you pop off the wheel, you’ll be able to see what the problem is.

If it’s a broken part, you can order them from

20 admin 04.12.10 at 9:31 pm


It might be that the blades are adjusted in a way that they are too tight against the cutter bar, preventing them from turning.

If you need to adjust the blades, here are instructions: Different mower, but blade adjustment is similar.

21 Jim 04.13.10 at 3:01 pm

I was helping an older neighbor move and discovered an antique
F & N Lawn Mower Co. “The Ace Lawn Trimmer” in a box.
The owner said it was over a 100 years old. The item was disassembled and all the parts appear to be there but I can’t
figure out how to assemble. Anyone help?

22 steve 04.20.10 at 3:05 pm

@Graham, A reel mower should not be any more difficult to push in moist grass as a rotary mower. You may want to begin bringing soil in to fill in the low spot which should force the water to the outer parts of your lawn.

The Razorcut 38 is another option for mowing 1/2 to 1.5 inch grass.

23 steve 04.20.10 at 3:07 pm


Try this fellow, he is an expert on older reel mowers.

He should be able to help you out.

Good luck!

24 kevin 05.13.10 at 9:10 am

@Jim Boicourt, I also have a promaster that I bought from Ralphs in the early 80’s. They were the ones who built them, but they closed down around the late 80’s. I still have the manual for mine, but the manuals only had a few pages, with very little info.

25 Chris 05.20.10 at 12:09 am

Hi – I am trying to repair my girlfriend’s Task Force 20″ Reel Push Mower that she got from a friend. I KNEW I should have taken a picture of the smaller wheel assembly before taking it apart – but I didn’t. Do you know anywhere that I can get an assembly manual for this mower, or a good picture of the smaller wheel assembly? I can’t figure out how to reassemble it so that the height is adjustable.

Thanks for a helpful site!

26 lars 05.21.10 at 4:17 pm


The Task Force was a Lowes exclusive, I believe. I am not aware of it being sold anywhere else. I think maybe they were just having them made in China, although I don’t know that for a fact. So your best bet would be to go there, and see if you can find one and take a peek in the manual that way.

27 Catherine 05.23.10 at 1:19 am

I manage a small (approximately 1 1/2 acre) farm and am looking for alternatives/better ways to keep the grass down (which of course doesn’t cover the whole 1 1/2 acre). I saw someone using a reel mower the other day and thought that would be super! Not sure if it’s practical though – the grass edges the farm in an approximately 10 ft wide path, and there are a few paths through the beds as well. It’s definitely uneven in places, though I’m getting the rocks out, at least. It’s mostly grass (fairly thick) and dandelions, some assorted other weeds as well. I thought a reel mower would be nice because it was environmentally friendly and seemed less cumbersome – I could get it closer to the edge of the beds and in between them more easily than the gas-powered mower we have (I’m doing a LOT of weedwacking…). I’m based in southern NH and not afraid of heavier mowers, if that makes a difference.
Is a reel mower practical, or would it even work for my conditions?

28 lars 05.23.10 at 12:30 pm


The problem with reel mowers is that they have wheels on both sides of the blades. So if you’re trying to mow up against an edge of some type, there is always going to be several inches of grass that doesn’t get cut. (If you envision a typical regular mower, you can see how the blades cut as wide as the mower itself.)

But aside from that issue (and it sounds like you’re weedeating already, which is the solution), I think it might work. But I wouldn’t say definitely yes.

Reel mowers don’t like tall spindly weeds like dandelions though, and will often roll right over them without cutting. So you’d need to consider that too, if you have a large number of dandelions or other tall weeds.

29 neal 06.04.10 at 10:06 pm

i just got a taskforce 16″ mower from someone on craigslist. my lawn is a bit tall, and this mower is “gagging”. i looked at it, and it seems the helical blades miss the bedknife by about 1/16″ or so. is this how the taskforce is supposed to be? it’s also not cutting areas of my lawn where the grass is sparser.

none of the blades is very sharp, and as it is right now im sure it wouldn’t cut a piece of paper unless i can move the blades closer to the bedknife. this seems to involve tightening two bolts which are currently stuck. is this what i should do? how close should the blades be to the bedknife? thanks for any info.

30 lars 06.07.10 at 8:40 pm


Reel mowers will often choke on really overgrown grass. So it might not be the mower. The best way to handle the situation is raise the cutting height to the maximum and suffer through it, and keep it better under control in the future.

Reel mower blades aren’t supposed to be sharp like a knife, so that’s okay too.

I’m not a big fan of the Taskforce mowers in general. They are on the low end of the quality scale, in my opinion.

I would adjust the blades so that they are just barely scraping against the bedknife, evenly on both sides. If you put them in too close, the mower will be too hard to push. And too far away, there’s no contact and it doesn’t cut as well.

Hope this helps!

31 Steph 06.14.10 at 12:19 am

Great site! I have a 20″ scotts reel mower, as well as a vintage Toro Sportsman. We have loved these mowers, and they do a great job . My Scotts mower currently has a broken handle–any ideas if replacements are available, or how to repair this?

32 lars 06.14.10 at 2:48 pm


You can get replacement handle parts for the Scotts Classic from the manufacturer, American Lawnmower. They have parts listed on their site, and also an 800 number where you can call in the order.

33 mike paulk 06.15.10 at 2:33 pm

My son-in-law was going to cut the grass with my reel mower, but wanted to adjust the height, not realizing how to adjust the height, he removed the wheel, realizing this was a mistake, when he began to re-attach the wheel, the cover came off and the sprocket fell out and there was a small metal tooth like piece that was freely loose, we cant’ figure out how to re-assemble the wheel so that it will turn the blade, is there any where we can find diagrams of proper assembly and how to re-attach to the axel properly.


34 steve 06.15.10 at 6:24 pm

@mike paulk.

My father in law would have knocked me one for something like this, sounds like you are more patient. Without the make and model I would not be able to tell you if I have a diagram or not. Once you have the manufacture name and model, try going to their site and looking it up. They will likely have the instructions on their site. Or give them a call.

35 Toby 06.17.10 at 4:19 pm

I’m looking for any feedback on the McLane 17″ Hand Push -10 Blade Reel Mower. The Friskars looks promising, however, McLane has been a long standing company with their manual and gas powered mowers. I’ve got shaded St. Augustine and maintained at 2-3″.

36 steve 06.17.10 at 6:35 pm

@Toby, The Mclane 17″ with 10 blades will be much more difficult to push compared to the Fiskars. We have tested the Fiskars mower and it did extremely well.

37 kay 06.18.10 at 11:49 pm

i have a scott reel mower the hard plactic brickets that hold the roller bar on broke where can i find a replacement?

38 marti 06.19.10 at 4:35 pm

Hi. C onsidering purchasing a reel mower for a small yard in Fla. Yard is very shaded, grass is not St. Augustine (probably mostly bahia and weeds) but there is a lot of leaves and oak tree debris especially during the spring and likely at other times. with rotary mulch mowers, you don’t need to rake unless you let the leaves pile up. How are reel mowers with yards that accumulate a lot of leaf litter??

39 steve 06.22.10 at 11:47 am


A reel mower is designed for more manicured lawns and does not do well with leaves and weeds. If you rake the leaves and other debris and stay ahead of the growth of the weeds it will do ok, however if you can’t I suggest an Electric Mower like this one:

40 steve 06.22.10 at 11:51 am


Here is the customer support number. Give them a call and they will take care of you.

Consumer Hotline: 1-800-633-1501

41 Tony 07.05.10 at 9:55 pm


I ahve a Clemson Bros. Inc. reel mower that I bought used at a garage sale a few years ago. I have just about an acre of land to mow, so this mower just wasn’t “cutting” it!! I bought a Troy Built mower and would like to maybe sell the Clemson Bros. one! However, the mower has a few problems that I’m not sure how to fix…

Problem # 1: The handle bars keep falling off. I have tried to snap them back into place, but they just keep coming loose. Any suggestions?

Problem # 2: Just last weekend I was mowing and the left wheel completely fell apart! I haven’t been able to fix it the right way, so that the wheel doesn’t fall off every 5 minutes! Suggestions??

Anything you can tell me would be greatly apprecaited!! Like I said, I think somebody could benefit greatly from this mower, which is why I want to sell it, it just has a few flaws!! Please let me know what I should do!

Many thanks,

42 steve 07.06.10 at 12:50 pm

@ Tony,

Check out this site,
I’m not as familiar with the older models as this guy is.

43 amy j 07.28.10 at 3:09 pm

i was just wondering if someone could tell me how much a antique reel blade mower would go for? im thinking of selling it. it works great just needs the blades cleaned and sharpened.

44 steve 07.29.10 at 2:39 pm

@amy j,

Check out this site,
I’m not as familiar with the older models but they may be able to put a value on it.

45 Scott 08.13.10 at 2:57 am

I just purchased a Mascot Silent Cut 18″ reel mower (for tall grasses). I live on a very hilly lot, with about 20 different kinds of grass all mixed up, and it seemed to be a nice choice. Used it for the very first time today, and I love the heck out of it. A little difficult to push uphill… I might try mowing sideways across the hills instead of directly up, next time.

My question, though, is this: as I was mowing, it would get harder and harder. I realized that the problem was that grass clippings were getting jammed in between the right wheel and the reel unit. So, if I stopped every 2 minutes or so and unjammed the grass, it worked much better, but of course I’d much rather not have to stop so often. Any ideas? Thanks so much!

46 Sarah Jowers 08.13.10 at 4:33 pm

What is the best way to cut grass on a slope with a reel mower?

47 steve 08.13.10 at 5:54 pm

@Sarah Jowers,

Mowing with your reel mower will likely work best if you go side to side instead of up and down. Give that a try.

Happy Mowing!

48 steve 08.13.10 at 5:57 pm


Reel mowers work best if you stay on top of your mowing. In other words don’t let it get overgrown, which means you might need to mow a little more often then you would traditionally with a gas powered mower. It sounds like the tall grass must be what’s getting caught up on the side between the unit and wheel. Give it a try.

49 sam zirpolo 08.28.10 at 2:40 pm

Have you tried the Great States 705-16 16-Inch Specialty Push Reel Lawn Mower? I have bermuda and would like to know if this will work or just buy the silent.


50 steve 08.30.10 at 1:00 pm

@sam zirpolo,

The best mower for thicker grass like Bermuda and St. Augustine is a heavier mower like the Mascot or Fiskars mower.

Try this site,

I hope that helps!

51 Sue 08.31.10 at 8:55 pm

I just purchased a Scotts 16″ Elite Reel Mower. Since I am “mechanically challenged” I was disappointed that they didn’t include a small manual that showed assembly, blade sharpening and adjustment in the box. I found a website that said to put the “c” rings on the handles after putting the handles on the mower. I figured out what the c rings were…and I think I have the handles on where they are suppose to be on the mower, but I can’t get the c rings to stay on. Help!!


52 Chris 09.01.10 at 1:36 am

I just recently picked up two old reel mowers. One looks pretty standard while the other is a half size with only one wheel and a 1/4″ steel plate on the other side. I believe it would be used along the edge of a building to get a closer cut. Ever come across anything like this or is this a rare piece from a groundskeepers past?

53 steve 09.01.10 at 12:57 pm


Check out this site,
I’m not as familiar with the older models as this guy is.
You should be able to contact him from that site.

54 steve 09.01.10 at 2:04 pm

@Sue, I have the manual for the Scotts Classic and assuming the “c” ring is the same and the “e” ring as described in the manual you will need a pair of pliers to get it on. Basically the ring is used to keep the handle from coming off.

Using your fingers slide the “c” ring so its close to being in place, then using your pliers pinch the “c” ring into place. It would be like using your fingers to force it on but using the pliers in place of your fingers.

If that does not help try calling American Lawn mower directly. 1-800-633-1501

55 Regis 09.12.10 at 8:09 pm

@John, Hey John, what all people neglect to talk about is the actual mechanism that lets you pull the mower backwards without turning the blade. None of the sites I’ve ever visited discuss or picture the mechanism. It can be this mechanism that fails to engage the gear that turns the blades. My mower (an old Craftsman) has all steel gears and there’s pretty much no way those gears will wear out in less than a hundred years. However, inside the small gear is a 3 lobed cutout. And there’s a small flat, angled on both ends, piece of metal that slides through the shaft that turns the blades. It’s this small metal piece that engages with the flatter part of the lobes of the small gear to turn the blades. I would hear a clicking sound as the piece fails to engage. All it took for me was to grease the pieces well. Give it a try. I too am looking to replace a tire for this old mower. No luck so far.

56 randy teal 09.14.10 at 9:22 pm

we have a great states 400-st reel mower and can’t seem to find anything about this model online. we were wondering if you could tell us when or approximately when it was made?

57 steve 09.17.10 at 2:07 pm

@randy teal,

Check out this site, I’m not as familiar with the older models as this guy is.

If that does not work try calling American Lawn mower directly. 1-800-633-1501

58 Al 10.02.10 at 11:11 pm

My mower is squeeling like crazy. I have disassembled it, lubed, cleaned and sharpened the reel/wheels and it still squeels everytime. I have reset the blades so far back only a few inches were touching and it still sqeeled where the reel hit. The only way I can use it is to rub soap on the blades; that gives me about 7min of pushing before the noise comes back. I have even cleaned and filed the self sharpening bar!
Any ideas??

59 steve 10.04.10 at 1:11 pm


Not knowing which mower or what lubricants you have tried, I suggest you try some Silicone Spray Lubricant.

60 james 12.10.10 at 11:11 pm


61 earl 12.11.10 at 8:20 pm

hi, i just bought an old reel mower from a garage sale. guy said he thinks its from the 20’s, if i gave you a picture would you be able to give me an approximate manufactured year? the only numbers i could find (but i didnt look too hard) were dx2700

please email me back. thanks!

62 steve 12.14.10 at 12:57 pm

@earl, Check out this site, I’m not as familiar with the older models as this guy is.

63 steve 12.14.10 at 1:01 pm

@james, The Fiskars mower does well for St. Augustine grass, we are pleased with the results and recommend it.

64 Odie 02.02.11 at 12:26 am

Have a Pro-Master Wheel Drive Mower by Kato Equipment Co. Has only the Marking 26W B8092 (Serial “?) Would like to get a manual on it or instructions on how to properly adjust the chains.

65 steve 02.07.11 at 1:35 pm

@Odie, Try this company, they may be able to help.

66 Keith 03.19.11 at 10:22 pm

How well do reel lawn mowers handle gum balls/monkey balls? My yard is filled with them.

67 steve 03.22.11 at 3:22 pm

@Keith, In short, not well. If those get caught in the reel it will stop it from spinning and stop cutting. Try blowing or raking them up before mowing and it will not be a problem.

68 Winston 03.23.11 at 2:28 pm

I just bought a house in Virginia Beach, VA. I was actually wondering if you might know what type of grass might typically grow in this area. Not sure if this helps: our house is not on the water, but is fairly close to the Chesapeake bay and a smaller saltwater bay and it borders a marshy area.

If I might have the tougher Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia grasses but could have the easier grasses, would it be best to go for one of the models capable of cutting the tough grasses just to be safe?

69 Jeffrey LaPage 03.27.11 at 7:44 pm

I have a Clemson Brothers Model Super D-17 Reel Mower that came from my wife’s grandfather. Have has this thing in the loft of my garage for more years that I can remember. It’s in very good condition and looks almost new. Tires and paint are almost perfect, yellow in color. I have several questions on this and I hoping somewhere out there can help.

1. How old is this mower? Any ideas on when this model was made?

2. Like to find the owners manual for it. Anyone know of a source for theses old manuals? Or maybe someone has one that they’d be willing to scan for me?

3. Would like to know how to sharpen this as well as how to do any adjustments on it. And how to do any maintenance on these as well.

Any help is very appreciated. You can contact me directly at:

Thanks!! Jeff

70 steve 03.28.11 at 6:01 pm

@Jeffrey LaPage,

Check out this site, I’m not as familiar with the older models as this guy is.

71 steve 03.28.11 at 6:04 pm

@Winston, I am not familiar with this area, however a good all around push mower is the Fiskars Momentum reel lawn mower. It has a wide range of heights it can cut grass at.
Here is a link to a site that has it on sale

72 Mark 04.04.11 at 4:20 am

I came across an old Toro Sportsman mower last year in an old rental garage we were cleaning. Brought it home and now that the weather is nice, got it out today. It looks old, the handle is worn and weathered wood, but it appears to be in great working order except the blades might need sharpened. My question is what is this worth? I can send photos if that would help. Not sure I have a use for it other than its pretty cool. Thank you! Mark

73 steve 04.05.11 at 1:25 pm

@Mark, Check out this site, they may be able to put a value on it.

74 Cherie 04.14.11 at 7:23 pm


I am building a LEED certified second home in the mountains of NC. According to the eco friendly nature of the home we will have limited fescue grass to mow. We will be able to mow it weekly most of the season but on occasion it will be a two week growth span. We have moderate temps and can have moist days frequently. Which mower would you recommend for us?

75 Steve Rose 04.15.11 at 4:26 pm

I have a iron reel mower built by Pennsylvania Mower Works, likely dating to the late 1950’s. I need to find a pair of tires . These tires are hollow and fit over cast iron wheels. The outside diameter is 10″ and they are 1-1/4″ wide.

I have a photo, but don’t think I can paste it into this message.

Any help will be appreciated.

76 steve 04.15.11 at 7:05 pm

@Steve Rose, Check out this site, He is more familiar with older models and can help you out.

77 Steve Rose 04.15.11 at 9:00 pm


I have been in contact with him, and nothing is being reproduced. I have been checking on ebay for about a year to find a used pair of tires, to no avail.

78 Cynthia Spencer 04.16.11 at 9:54 pm

A search function on this valuable website might be nice as I don’t see my particular question, tho it may have been asked before. Is there a way to tighten the wheels on a older Great States mower? I’ve discovered that our cogs need replacing so maybe that’ll help a bit? They are just very wobbly with only that small cotter pin holding them on.

79 AMO 04.18.11 at 2:15 am

I just blew the crankshaft on my gas mower and am considering getting a reel mower for my 0.36 acre (with house), heavily treed lawn of St Augustine grass in Dallas. My neighbors are laughing at me, of course. Based on your site and the reviews on, I’ve narrowed down to: Scotts Classic 20″, American Lawn Mower 1414-16, and the Mascot Reel mower you recommend. I would LOVE to get the Mascot, but am finding it hard to justify the price over the other two. On the other had a silent cut mower appeals very much to me. What are your thoughts on these 3 mowers for someone on a budget?


80 steve 04.18.11 at 2:18 pm

@AMO, The Scotts will work, however when the St. Augustine begins to really get thick in July and August it will be much tougher to push. The reason I like the Mascot is it has the muscle to work in thick grass. Another mower to consider is the Fiskars, it has the greatest range in height adjustment.

81 steve 04.18.11 at 2:22 pm

@Cynthia Spencer, Thanks for your suggestion, we will look into it. As for the mower question, I would contact the manufacturer

82 Cynthia Spencer 04.18.11 at 4:00 pm

@Steve, great website and I’ll see if I can get answer from mftr.

83 Nancy 04.18.11 at 6:59 pm


I’m in a new house – Twin Cities suburbs, and my front yard slopes down to the street at about a 20 degree slope. I was previously in a townhouse, so I haven’t had to mow lawns for several years. No emissions is important to me, so I’m wondering if I can get away with using a reel mower on the slopes — the lawn is maybe 2000 sq. feet in the front yard (no lawn to speak of in the back yet — my first big project). Since it is about 50 ft across, I’m hoping I can mow side to side across the slope, rather than up and down. Will a reel mower work for that? I think all in all the reel mowers are lighter than the cordless battery mowers, especially if I have to get a self-propelled cordless mower, which is the heaviest and most expensive of the cordless varieties. What are your thoughts?

84 steve 04.18.11 at 7:13 pm

@Nancy, If going with a electric mower I would use the Toro,
Its by far one of the better electric mowers on the market and the cost will be worth it in the long run. It should work on that slop with no problem. If going with a Reel Mower, the Fiskars is a great choice
It has a wide path and weighs just over 50 lbs.

85 Peter 04.26.11 at 10:50 pm

Hello. I would like to transition away from a typical gas powered mower. I have a new house/yard, perfectly level/flat, takes about 15 minutes to mow with my push gas powered mower. Additional time and/or having to more mow often is of little to no concern. I do however like to have a slightly longer (vs shorter) grass length Probably between 3-4 inches. What is the tallest cutting, baggable reel style mower available? I like the idea of the rechargeable style units (assuming the advantage is simply more revolutions of the blade). Thanks for your help.

86 Josh 05.06.11 at 11:38 pm

I have an American built reel mower. I think it is a model 13303-14. It is a 16 inch mower. Anyway I used to have trouble with the wheel locking up. I messed around, I shook it around a little but I couldn’t figure out how to get the wheel off. Now the wheel is really loose and is rubbing against the metal hub. How do I fix this. Can someone tell me how to get the wheel off.
That guy that curses at his lawn mower

87 Robert 05.10.11 at 1:19 am

When I bought my house, I inherited an ancient Toro Sportsman reel mower. Sharpened the blades and it worked great. But now the left wheel has locked up. I’ve got about 2 turns of play either way and then it locks. The blades and the right wheel spin fine.

My assumption is that something is in the hub locking up the gears but I can’t figure out how to get into the hub to inspect and clean it. Do you have any tips to get into the hubs.

Also, if I’m unable to repair the gears, would it be feasible to disconnect the broken wheel and use just the right one?

88 steve 05.10.11 at 2:33 pm

@Robert, Check out this site, they may be able to help you out. They are more of an expert on older models.

89 steve 05.10.11 at 2:42 pm

@Josh, Turn it on its side, take hub cap off (little black cap) with a screw driver. Then use the same screw driver to pop off the “c” ring lock washer that holds on the wheel. It sounds like you may have bent something, maybe the axel.

90 Doug 05.18.11 at 5:17 pm

I bought a Mascot 18″ 6-bladed reel mower a few weeks back. I live in central Illinois where most of the grass is bluegrass, fescue, & rye. While mowing yesterday, the right wheel started locking up at various intervals – nothing you could gauge or predict – going forward & backward. I’m thinking a stick or something has lodged in the wheel/gear area. Does this sound feasible? One of the posts mentioned a bent axle. I realize these mowers are pretty new, but would I be able to pop the wheel off myself to check? I spray the heck out of it w/WD40 after each use. Thanks for any help!

BTW – mower works GREAT on the thinner, straighter grasses. It WILL NOT cut anything over about 3-4″ though. The extra weight on the Mascots comes in handy for even slightly bumpy yards – keeps the mower from bouncing over some patches. Also, it’s obviously much quieter than a power mower, but nowhere near “silent”. I would compare it’s sound & volume to that of a sewing machine – somewhere in that neighborhood. This reel mower is a little harder to push than non self-propelled power mowers, so while you won’t have to make any trips to the gas station – or breathe in pure carbon monoxide in the summer heat – your sweat equity will increase. My yard is about 7,500 sq/ft & it takes me 2 hours to mow – but that includes a few breaks.

91 steve 05.20.11 at 6:47 pm

@Doug, You should not be having this problem and in my opinion WD-40 is not the best lubricant for this situation, if that is the problem. I suggest trying a silicon spray lubricant. As for taking off the wheel, yes, that is a good idea; maybe there is something in there getting caught in the gear. Pop off the wheel and have a look, with any luck there is something in there that can be easily cleaned out.

92 Vanessa 05.31.11 at 2:43 am

I have a Craftsman 18″ reel mower, have breen using it happily for 2 summers now. This is the third summer I’ve pulled it out to start mowing, and it’s tearing up the grass rather than cutting. So I bought the sharpening kit, followed the instructions, but only the middle 2″ or so sharpened – the rest of the blade width didn’t. How do I adjust the stationary blade to fix this? It seems to me if I move the blades closer that it will totally jam up in the middle? Fescue grass, Western Wa, btw…Any advice??

93 steve 05.31.11 at 1:36 pm

@Venessa, I could be mistaken but it sounds as if the reel may be warped. If this is the case it would likely be less expensive to replace than to repair. Especially since it’s tough to find someone to make the repair so you would need to do the work.

94 Vanessa 06.02.11 at 2:17 am

Good grief! Thanks for your input. Takin’ ‘er back to Sears to see what they can do for me…

95 M. Davis 06.07.11 at 11:00 am

Just recently my uncle gave me my grandfathers old Eclipse Rio Grande Reel Mower. I was just curious as to the approximate year it was originally produced, or just how old it was in general. From what I gather all the parts are fine and in very good working condition as I have taken it for a few spins across the yard and managed to cut a few sections. The wheels are solid with the notched surface and “RIO GRANDE” across the outter area, and “Eclipse Lawnmower Co.” along the outter axle area. Nothing more can be read except for a number, “906” I believe.. can anyone help me?

96 M. Davis 06.07.11 at 11:06 am

Scratch that, those are part numbers I take it. I just rechecked after cleaning it with water and I got two different numbers, “908” and “907”. Again it’s in good operational condition but with total body oxidation/rust.. nothing really that steel whool and elbow grease won’t help..

97 steve 06.10.11 at 12:18 pm

@M. Davis, Check out this site, they may be able to help you out. They’re more of an expert on older models.

98 Dave Fruth 06.17.11 at 10:44 pm

I believe this mower is from the early twenties and would like to know what it is worth.

99 steve 06.20.11 at 2:15 pm

@Dave Fruth, I suggest you check out this site, they may be able to help you out. They’re experts on older models.

100 Beth 06.29.11 at 6:54 pm

I have a new-to-me yard in Dallas that is part St. Augustine, part bermuda, with heavy doses of junk grass and weeds mixed in and a Mascot reel mower. I’m working on getting rid of the extra stuff, so I don’t mind weedeating/pulling the seed stems on the junk this year (dallis grass earlier, now crabgrass and bluestem), since some of that truly looks bad. Leaving some of the bermuda seed stems behind when I mow doesn’t bother me, since they’re pretty fine and not that tall, I have a neighbor who thinks otherwise. Do you have any recommendations to improve the cutting of the taller stems on the bermuda?

101 c dahlgreen 07.01.11 at 11:12 pm

Would like to find out where i might get a handle cover for a Scott Classic 2000-20. ??

102 steve 07.05.11 at 2:45 pm

@c dahlgreen, You should be able to buy one from American Lawn Mower, they’re the manufacturer.

103 steve 07.05.11 at 2:49 pm

Beth, Typcally push reel mowers do not do well with taller pieces of grass, you may need to cut more often and when you neighbor comments suggest they come over and take care of it for you.

104 Stephane 07.10.11 at 3:19 am

I found an old reel mower at the dump. On the wheel it is written Eureka Woodstock Canada. I want to sharpen the blades and I purchased a sharpening kit with compound. My problem is that I am unable to remove the wheel to use the crank provided. Does anybody have any idea or tip?

105 Eric Stott 07.10.11 at 8:27 pm

I’ve got a very vintage Wardmaster side wheel lawn trimmer. Something is very gummed up in it- while the wheels move and the reel will turn by hand it won’t turn when you push forward- it will turn slightly if you pull backward. Any tips on how to get into this machine to free it up?

106 steve 07.11.11 at 5:40 pm

@Eric Scott, I suggest you check out this site, they may be able to help you out. They’re experts on older models.

107 steve 07.11.11 at 5:41 pm

@Stephane, Check out this site:
They may be able to help you out. They’re experts on older models.

108 Richard Taggart 07.19.11 at 9:18 pm

I’ve recently bought an Eclipse model “M” push reel mower from an Amish for $100. The mower is in awesome condition and is complete with a grass catcher with the number 5591 on it. I’m sure the mower is all original and not restored.
I appreciate any help, and can e-mail pictures if necessary.

Thanks a lot, Richard Taggart

109 Mike 07.21.11 at 3:11 pm

Got a new mascot silent cut 18″. Been trying to adjust cut bar properly but not going so well. Is there a way to adjust the camber of the cut bar as well as the gap betwwen bar and blades? It will cut a piece of paper but still tears grass.

110 steve 07.22.11 at 4:03 pm

@Richard Taggart, What exactly did you need, did you have a question about this model? Since we are not experts on older models this site may be able to help, They’re experts on older models.

111 steve 07.22.11 at 5:39 pm

@Mike, Not sure what you mean by “camber” but for the most part adjusting the space between the reel and cutting bar should take care of your problem. Tighten it up the slightest amount and see if that fixes you problem.

112 Victoria Douglas 07.25.11 at 1:43 pm

I have inherited a reel mower, unknown brand that is seized. I need to know how to go about returning this mower to its operating condition. If you could help me, that would be great.

113 steve 07.25.11 at 3:03 pm

@Victoruia Douglas, Take it apart, lubricate it and put it back together. Check for any worn or damaged parts. It’s likely the lubrication should make a big difference.

114 Victoria Douglas 07.25.11 at 3:25 pm

Do you know where I can get a schematic in order to take it apart and put it back together?

115 Julia 07.27.11 at 8:12 pm

I am short (5’2″). I am looking at purchasing a reel mower, but was wondering about the handle-height. Many gas-powered mowers make it difficult for me to mow, since the handle position is a good 4 inches highers than is comfortable for me to hold.

Do reel mowers have the same difficulty? Or, are they constructed differently?

116 steve 08.03.11 at 1:47 pm

@Julia, My wife is just a few inches taller at 5’4 and she has no problems with our Scotts Classic. Like rotary style mowers the handle has a range, allowing it to go up and down, but push mowers have a slightly higher range. I think you will be fine.

117 trish 08.12.11 at 9:23 pm

i have a vintage self propelled gas powered reel mower its gold in color it has the letter v on the bar that joins the handles can anyone tell me what it is i want to sell it but i dont know the value

118 steve 08.15.11 at 4:03 pm

@trish, Since we are not experts on older models this site may be able to help,
They’re experts on older models.

119 Cory 09.13.11 at 1:50 am

im having some trouble with my reel mower i just bought at a flea market. everything works on it however no matter how tight i adjust the blades it wont cut my new grass. the grass just gets bruise marks on it where it pinches between the bar and blades. any idea’s?

120 steve 09.16.11 at 6:55 pm

@Cory, It likely needs to be sharpened. There are several different reel mower sharpening kits on the market.

121 Steve Tatar 09.17.11 at 7:45 pm

I have a McLane battery powered reel mower,Model# 20-ec-10-sp.
And i would like some info on it,such as price,where to get parts and is it good quality battery mower to use.

122 steve 09.19.11 at 3:50 pm

@Steve Tatar, I found this phone number for Mclane, you should be able to call them and get the info and parts needed. (562) 633-8158

123 pete 09.22.11 at 1:42 am

How can I find a manufacture date for an old Clemson reel mower?

124 Jeff Carroll 09.26.11 at 10:28 pm

I have an old Clemson Reel lawnmower. I got it at a yard/junk sale. I need to adjust it so i can mow grass? I dont have a manual, so if i could find one of those would also be nice. However, i cant find one. So, if you could direct me to a link for that, it would be great. But i mainly want to know how to adjust it, so i can mow it.

125 steve 09.30.11 at 3:39 pm

Jeff Carroll, Since we are not experts on older models this site may be able to help,
They’re experts on older models.

126 Dave Strasz 10.04.11 at 3:49 pm

Older Silent Scott’s Reel Mower -Model 10-M-3

Tuning up a recently acquired Scott’s 10M3 reel mower. Unit has a height adjustment on top of the frame.

The scale on the adjuster has readings from 1/2 to 2 1/4 inches. I can only achieve a maximum height of 1 3/4 inch where the adjustment is fully extended. Is there a way to ‘set-up’ or ‘calibrate’ the adjustment screw? I’d would like to have the full range of adjustment.

I have changed the position of the roller, but that does not open it to maximum (2 1/4inches).

Does any one have the assembly or parts manual for the 10M3?

I have a full set of documentation for a Silent Scott’s 16″ 5M9 mower to share with anyone who requires the information. Also have documentation on the Agri-Fab 18″ Silent Reel Mower.

127 Janice 10.12.11 at 5:40 pm

We found a Pro-Master wheel Drive Mower manufactured by Kato Equipment Company in Whittier, CA The Serial # is 73673 20V
Can anybody give me info on when this mower was produced?

128 Farmer 10.29.11 at 6:10 pm

I just purchased an American 16 inch, 7 blade reel mower, model 1705-16.
I’m attempting to assemble the handle.
When I attempt to fasten the 3 hex nuts on the 3 hex bolts that hold the handle
together (bullets 2 and 3 in the “Handle” part of the instructions),
the hex nuts stop rotating after only partially fastening.
This seems to be due to there being plastic inside the hex nut, so that the
thread doesn’t run all the way through. The plastic seems to block the
smooth passage of the bolt.
I’m not sure whether this is intentional or not.
Do you know whether I should just fasten the nnuts to the point of contact
with the plastic, or whether I need to use a tool to fasten the nuts
right down, having the bolt pass through the plastic portion?
– Farmer

129 steve 10.31.11 at 1:57 pm

@Farmer, As far as I know on that model you need to tighten them down all the way.

130 Glen 11.01.11 at 10:15 pm

I have inherited a good reel mower. It is labeled Sears and the stamped tag on it says Product of Yard-Man Inc Jackson, Mich Order parts from Sears Roebuck and on the handle it is labeled SEARS. It has what appears to be a model number on the stamped tag of 123.81721. Is there any chance anyone out there recognizes this mower and would know whether there is an owners manual for it and if one could still be purchased somewhere. It seems to be an older model but in very good condition. I would like to know how to service, adjust, and sharpen it.

131 paul orton 11.02.11 at 7:10 pm

i have a small 14″ wide path. its an american.I like it vey much but would like to adjust my blade lower.(deeper) cut. can this be done. thank
Paul orton

132 steve 11.09.11 at 7:08 pm

@Glen, This site may be able to help,
They’re experts on older models.

133 steve 11.09.11 at 7:10 pm

@paul orton, If you don’t see any adjustment screws or levers then the answer is no, but without a model and model number it’s hard to give you a definitive answer.

134 Tim 01.08.12 at 4:25 am

Are there any reel mowers that you recommend for greens grasses, such as bentgrass?

135 steve 01.09.12 at 7:20 pm

@Tim, Yes, there are a few on the market that work well for putting greens, however they’re not cheap:

136 Ken Willcox 01.10.12 at 3:02 pm

I have a “Great Lakes” reel lawnmower with operating instructions – BUT other than a model #128.81201, have no idea of age (no date on instructions) – sold through Sears,Roebuck and Co.-USA or Simpsons-Sears limited in Canada. Still works great. Any idea how old or its possible worth? Thanks!!

137 steve 01.13.12 at 4:43 pm

@Ken Willcox, This site may be able to help,
They’re experts on older models.

138 Jim W. 01.15.12 at 7:40 pm

I was looking for some information on a recently acquired reel mower. On the wheels are stamped “Interstate G.L.M. Co.”. It used to be my grandfathers. Can anyone assist me with this.

139 steve 01.16.12 at 3:18 pm

@Jim W. This site may be able to help, They’re experts on older models.

140 tony 01.22.12 at 12:46 am

I have a Kato 25″ reel lawnmower and i am missing the catcher do you have any idea where i could ordr a catcher for this style of mower.

141 Tony 02.05.12 at 4:43 am

I have a scott’s 16”

How far should the blade to the reel? contact point…should I see light between them?

I was having a rough time mower with some effort until i adjusted the blades to where there is a little light between them. I fould the reel went faster..but my lawn looks wavy…It looked wavy when the reel was close to blade too.

help! :o)

142 steve 02.06.12 at 8:23 pm

@Tony, On the Scotts 16 inch reel mower the reel should just barely touch the cutting bar.

143 Tony 02.06.12 at 9:05 pm


Thanks appreciate that! but the mower still leaves “wave” like appearance . Should there be a “wave” appearance.

144 steve 02.10.12 at 4:55 pm

@Tony, No, I dont think there should be a wave, I wonder if the reel is warped. Maybe take it back to where you bought it.

145 matthew 02.23.12 at 9:40 am

I want to use a reel mower on my lawn but I am not sure which one to get. My Lawn is a Bermuda/Bluegrass/Rye Grass mix. I do plan on over seeding it with more Bluegrass. I have been looking at the great states 7 blade mower, will this do the job well? or should I go for a 5 blade model instead?

146 steve 02.27.12 at 4:46 pm

@Matthew, Either one will do will, however I am partial to the Fiskars Momentum reel mower or maybe the Brill Razorcut 38 reel mower.

147 matt 03.01.12 at 5:53 am

thanks for the help Steve.

148 Barry 03.18.12 at 11:46 am

Hi Steve,

I live in Florida and have 2500 sq/ft area of St. Augustine over my septic field that grows richly and fast. How often would I need to use a reel mower?

149 steve 03.19.12 at 5:44 pm

@Barry, Typically you want to mow when it starts to get and 2.5 to 4 inches taller than what you normally keep it. Since you are the motor on a push reel mower the more you let it over grow the more you will have to push through the overgrown lawn. So if your lawn is growing 3 to 4 inches a week then you will be mowing that often.

150 Rudy 03.31.12 at 2:48 am

Hi I live in Mexico and i do have a small garden but when looking for a bermuda-saint agustine grass manual mower I discovered that down here I dont have many options, pretty much I can buy a craftsman from seas or a truper , which are made in chine which i dont like but I tried looking on the internet and havent found anyone shipping to mexico I live in Tampico Tamaulipas in the gulf so a mascot lawn mower would be a great investment any sugestions or help? thank you

151 steve 04.05.12 at 2:03 pm

@Rudy, See if you can find a third party freight forwarder in the US that will ship the mower for you. Basically you arrange for the mower to be shipped to the US address and they ship it to you in Mexico. Otherwise, if you have a friend in the US, have them ship to for you.

152 Vicki 04.09.12 at 9:06 pm

I bought a Task Force 16″ reel mower used it once and now it is locked down. Can anybody tell me how to unlock it. I thought this would be easier than a push mower, now I think I may be in over my head. HELP!

153 Eric 04.13.12 at 4:45 pm

I’ve been researching reel mowers now for a few weeks and have narrowed it down to either a Scotts Classic or a Brill 38. I live in Canada where the grass is not particularly thick, so the light weight design of a Brill would be adequate. I have heard a number of complaints however, that the Brill handle falls apart easily, or the wheel hubcaps fall of frequently and that people want to throw the mower out after the first year. For a German engineered product, and one that receives mostly favourable reviews, I’m somewhat dumbfounded.

Is this a typical issue with the Brills, and should it steer me towards getting a Scotts Classic?

154 lars 04.13.12 at 5:18 pm


The “handle falling off or breaking” is typically people who don’t assemble the mower correctly. Some people attach the handle to the orange height adjustment knobs instead of attaching it to the handle attachment point. This also makes it hard to push. The hubcaps falling off was an issue with one year of production, but it isn’t very common anymore.

The Scotts Classic has its own issues these days. The production quality doesn’t seem as good to me as past years, and I hear complaints about the handles for it breaking or bending.

I would probably go with the Brill over the Scotts Classic in Canada, and would additionally look at the Fiskars mower, which is quite good.

155 Gabrielle 04.13.12 at 10:53 pm

Hi! Just yesterday I purchased a lovely little Clemson Brothers push mower, used of course. My husband went to adjust the blade height today and it seems that, while mowing, one of the pins that holds the bar at the right height fell off! It must have fallen out during some heavy-duty mowing and I am distraught, for I don’t think Clemson is in business anymore. Does anyone have a suggestion or info on little-known Clemson dealer? Many thanks and I really love this site. Cheers!

156 Michelle Morgan-Perry 04.19.12 at 4:59 am

Hello we are getting a new TIFGREEN Lawn soon and we have a Great States Push Mower we found at a thrift store as a joke now it seems we actually have to use it.. Do you know if it will work on this lawn, and should we get the blades sharpened? Thank you for your time.

157 steve 04.20.12 at 4:09 pm

@Michelle Morgan-Perry, Tifgreen is a very dense, low-growing grass so you have a chance it will work. Best way to know is give it a try. Sharpening may not be as important as adjusting it, you need the reel as close to the cutting bar as you can get it and just barely touching. As for sharpening, there are kits on the market that make it a simply 30 min job. This one may work, and if its to wide, you can cut it down in a matter of seconds with a hack saw:

158 Lee Harris 04.21.12 at 5:56 pm

How do I buy the mascot reel mower?
How do I obtain the larger 10 inch wheel for the mascot reel mower?

159 Jan Starr 04.23.12 at 10:09 pm

I recently bought a Fiskar’s reel mower. During the second time using it, I hit a brick. One of the blades won’t go past the metal bar “above” it. No one around here fixes reel mowers, so I’m wondering if you know what could be wrong.

160 MarylandBill 04.26.12 at 4:27 pm

Hi, I am strongly considering a reel lawn mower to replace an 11 year old Toro gas mower that is on its last legs. My yard is not huge, and while it has a fair number of weeds, most of them are low weeds like clover and ground ivy. I like the fact that a reel mower will be quiet enough, and safe enough, that my young children will be able to play in other parts of the yard while I am mowing (and also, no dangerous fumes either).

So Anyway, I have my eye on the Fiskars Momentum, but I am worried that the small wheels in the front could cause issues on some of the rougher spots. Another mower that looks interesting is the Ellison/Husqvarna Evolution mower. So am I right to worry about the small wheels in the front?

Oh, I also have a small but fairly steep hill in the front of my yard (say about 200 square feet, 30-40% grade) to cut. Would either of the mower I have mentioned do ok on that? Its not a killer, since I might end up landscaping that anyway since it is in a fairly shady spot.


161 steve 04.26.12 at 5:18 pm

@MarylandBill, I only have experience with the Fiskars mower and it will likely work well with what you have described.

162 Jan Starr 04.26.12 at 9:09 pm

I have the newest Fiskar mower and like it a lot. I’ve only used it twice, but it cuts really well, and is easy to push.

Raising the blade height helps on hills.

I haven’t had any problems with the small front wheels.

163 Sue 04.29.12 at 1:46 pm

Our backyard is very steep. We are considering changing from a powered lawnmower to a push reel mower because it is so hard to mow. We think it might be easier because the push mower is lighter. Does anyone know how it would work on a hill?

164 steve 05.01.12 at 3:57 pm

@Sue, Typically it works very well when mowing a hill with a reel push mower. However, the grade of the slope is obviously going to be a factor. If using a gas mower is hard because it tends to be to heavy too push along the slope then a reel mower being lighter should do the trick. Keep in mind, this is assuming the grass is kept mowed regularly and there are not a ton of weeds, which reel mowers do not typically do well with.

165 Lisafaz 05.03.12 at 11:52 pm

I’m *this* close to buying a reel mower.

I just bought a house in town with a small yard, no slopes, basic Ohio grass with a little crabgrass. I’ve read some comments on this site, and now I”m concerned: how frequently does one have to mow with a reel? More than with a gas mower? I mowed the lawn of my last place every two weeks, but some people have written that they mow every 2-3 days. Please let me know, because I’m just not every going to be that committed to a lawn.

166 Mike 05.04.12 at 6:46 am

I live in San Diego with Aloha Paspalum sodded. Just laid this past November and since It’s a warm season grass it just started taking off. Reel mowers are recommended, so I’ve borrowed a fiskars momentum to try it out. Obviously, on the higher settings it pushes great, however at the 1″ and 1 notch above 1″ it bogs down and leaves horizontal lines/rows of uncut grass. I’ve tried “stepping” down the height but always bogs on the 1″ setting. Although the aloha should be fine at higher heights. It’s better at lower heights and is the look I want. Is the Mascot a better option? And more general question should I bee catching the clippings to reduce thatching?

167 steve 05.04.12 at 5:23 pm

@Lisafaz, Yes, you will have to mow a little more often with a reel mower, and the crab grass could be a problem, unless you can stay on top of the mower and not allow the crab grass to get to tall. A push reel mower works best on weed free lawns that are well manicured and mowed regularly.

168 steve 05.04.12 at 5:25 pm

@Mike, You may encounter the same problem with any reel mower, however the Mascot is a little different than the Fiskars. No, you do not need to catch the clippings, we recommend letting them break down on the lawn.

169 Jan Starr 05.05.12 at 3:08 pm

You do need to stay on top of mowing. Once a week works great for me, but when I waiting almost two weeks and it rained a couple of times, it was harder to mow. But it’s great exercise! :-)

170 JOANNE 05.09.12 at 8:22 pm

I have a Clemson push reel mower. Are just the tires available for replacement or do I have to buy the whole wheel w/ the tire?

171 Mike 05.11.12 at 1:13 am

Thanks for the info. Could you expand on how the mascot is different. As for the fiskars…can’t say for sure if the front wheels help or hinder at this point. I’m borrowing for free UFN, so a little more effort still seems wiser than dropping 30o bucks on something I can’t get my hands on. Any ideas of who might have display models out here? I couldn’t find an official mascot website or anything.

172 cheryl 05.16.12 at 2:18 am

I just got a vintage reel mower and we’re all trying to figure out what the wood rollers behind the blades are for?

173 Paul Przy 05.16.12 at 4:03 am

Growing up, we had a push mower trimmer that was basically half of a regular push reel type mower. It had one wheel and the blades were shorter . This allowed trimming very close to edges. I think it was a Sears Craftman trimmer. Seen anything like that around ?


174 lars 05.17.12 at 7:16 pm


It typically controls the height of the bedknife, which keeps a steady cutting height.

175 lars 05.17.12 at 7:17 pm


I have heard about these, but I have not seen one. I don’t think anyone has made one for many years, and I don’t think it is possible to buy one anymore.

176 Vicki 05.18.12 at 5:19 pm

I bought one last August at Sears. There are at least 3 companies that still make a reel mower.

177 steve 05.30.12 at 2:28 pm

@Joanne, I believe the Clemson reel mower is an older mower, try this site – he should be able to direct you.

178 Archie McKay 05.31.12 at 2:48 am

I have a reel mower which I discovered on purchasing a lake house.
It is made by F & N Lawn Mower Co and has an coloured stamp on the handle ‘Ideal Ball Bearing’. Can you tell me the approximate age, and where I can purchase new rubber wheels. Thank you.

179 steve 06.01.12 at 3:10 pm

@Archie McKay, We are not experts on older models, try this site –

180 bobby burress 06.01.12 at 7:19 pm

I have a old reel mower by the rose brothers co. i do not have any idea how old it is

181 Marian 06.03.12 at 10:12 pm

Hi, there. We’ve had an older reel mower for our small yard in PA, but the terrain is uneven and the “grass” very weedy, making it extremely hard to do. I’ve just returned an electric mower whose starter quit on mow #2, and understand that this is a common problem. I do not have any place to store gas for a gas mower. So back to reels. Help! What do you recommend for ground that is a bit uneven and weedy? Thanks for any guidance…

182 steve 06.04.12 at 2:57 pm

@Marian, Reel mowers work best with well manicured lawns which are fairly even and weed free. I suggest trying another electric mower. There are some good ones out there.

183 steve 06.04.12 at 3:02 pm

@bobby burres, Try this site – he should be able to help.

184 Roman H. 06.06.12 at 12:41 am

A friend moved into a new house and found an old Scotts Silent mower 10-M-3. I tried to mow the lawn, but discovered the mower only went the wrong way! It moves easily backwards — so the blade is pointed the wrong way, and doesn’t cut — but it won’t move an INCH forward. What’s up? I’m thinking it has to be some weird safety mechanism. Thanks!

185 Julia 06.06.12 at 4:10 pm


This link doesn’t work:

Is this the same guy?

186 lars 06.06.12 at 6:34 pm


Yes, that is the same guy. Looks like he finally got a dedicated domain name for the site.

187 steve 06.14.12 at 3:49 pm

@Roman H, It sounds like you need to adjust the reel.

188 Nikki 06.22.12 at 1:07 am

I have a Task Force 16″ Reel Mower that did work well and now will not turn the blades to cut any more. What can I do to correct this?

189 steve 07.10.12 at 4:04 pm

@Nikki, Try lubricating it with some silicone spray lubrication.

190 Chris 07.22.12 at 7:15 pm


I have a Husqvarna 18″ easy push reel mower, When I start to push the mower the gear seems to not be able to catch and turn the blades. This is just about two months old and I feel this problem should not be happening. I have taken some pieces off to try and get a closer look, but seem to be stuck. Any suggestions?

191 steve 07.24.12 at 1:51 pm

@Chris, Typically the gear is in the wheel, try taking that off and see whats going on inside. Otherwise return it to the place of purchase, and buy a Mascot reel mower or Fiskars Reel mower.

192 Mark 08.04.12 at 3:06 pm

@ Vicki….my Task Force 16 inch locked up recently, I hit it (not extremely hard) with a rubber mallet a few times on the blades in the direction it turns to loosen it up. I imagine there is crud inside the assembly, but this will free it up for at least the time being.

193 steve 08.06.12 at 4:07 pm

@Mark, Try adjusting the reel before beating it any more with the mallet. If the does not work, beat it harder.

194 Jeff 08.13.12 at 6:14 pm

I have the Great States 18″ reel mower with a hybrid bermuda grass in southern CA (Orange County)….

I LOVE using the reel mower as I can get the bermuda down to where we like it at around .6 – .7″ in height without burning the grass. When I cut it, the mower seems to leave a very consistant “bump” in the grass. The best way to describe it is it has the texture of a sand that’s been raked. The grass is not smooth. Does this make sense? If i look at the cut lawn across the length of where it is cut, it almost looks like the grass has been raked like those sand zen garden things?

It’s not terrible, but I know it shouldn’t look like that. If I cut the grass when a bit damp (in the morning) it almost seems that in some areas, it will rip up the grass. The mower is new and the blades are sharp. I looked at the blade adjustment, and they are just barely scraping the cut bar. I tried loosening the blades bareley, and it wouldn’t cut.

Is it just becuase it’s a 5-blade mower? I can’t find anything online about this…


195 Mairelys 08.16.12 at 9:55 pm

I have a 16 inch Reel push mower and i have no idea how to assambly the grass catcher? Can someone help me plsss?

196 jean day 08.21.12 at 6:19 pm

I’m getting “tired” of mowing my yard with only 3 wheels on my 20″ Task Force. One of the back small tires, with the plastic center, came off, and there’s the mechanism sticking out that digs down into the yard when I back up. I just couldn’t deal with it until now. I am hoping beyond hope that this wheel or the whole part can be replaced. I have no idea where to go, as the reel mower was given to me by a neighbor years ago. Thank you, Jean.

197 Rhiannon 08.27.12 at 3:08 am


I have a 20″ Scott’s Reel Mower and I have a problem with one of the rear wheels coming loose at the axle. This means that before I know it, the height adjustment lever and the whole shebang are rotating around and getting run over while I mow. I have tried tightening to no avail. The outside lugnut holding the wheel to the bar that attaches to the axle is locked up and I don’t know how to get it off without stripping it. Anyone have any advice or ideas about why this could be happening?

Thanks in advance for any possible help! This site is great, and reel mowers are great.


198 steve 08.27.12 at 1:46 pm

@Jean day, I believe task force is a Lowes brand, I think that is a good place to start.

199 steve 08.27.12 at 1:47 pm

Mairelys, It would be helpful if you let us know what brand it is. Typically you need to assemble the frame then attach the cloth to the frame then attach to the reel mower.

200 steve 08.27.12 at 1:49 pm

Jeff, Readjust the reel back to the way it was and try cutting the grass in a different direction, in other words if you were cutting it from north to south, try cutting it from east to west.

201 Jeff 08.28.12 at 4:08 pm


I tried that and it left marks in the other direction too. If I do both directions during the same cut (cut the grass twice), it gets a bit better, but not so much. It did this when it was adjusted higher too.

202 Jeff 08.28.12 at 4:11 pm

I tried loosening the cutting bar and the grass wouldn’t cut at all. I tightened it, and it does the same thing, but now the mower sounds like I’m riding a bicycle with playing cards in the spokes. ha.

Really strange.

PS – the blades perfectly cut a piece of paper at all inches through the mower. So I know that’s all good.

203 Sandy 08.29.12 at 8:26 pm

I was hoping you might be able to educate me on a reel mower I have recently acquired. The long wooden handle has the following imprinted on it….Blair manufacturing co. springfield mass in a blue oval and then in black block letters…DRAUGHT LEADER 10-4. It has metal wheels, the left one has M 2 and the right has M 1 stamped on them and on the “blade guard” behind the four blade reel has what appears to be D or B X 4 16 stamped on it. I don’t really see any other identifiers. Any information you could provide me would be greatly appreciated. I have pictures that I can send you if that would help.
Thank you in advance for your information and assistance.
Sandy Lajoie

204 steve 09.05.12 at 2:29 pm

@Sandy, Sorry I am not an expert on older mower, but this guy is:

205 Donetta Zimmerman 09.13.12 at 2:59 am

I have an older reel mower (American Mower Co. 17.5 inch blade, excellent cindition ). I purchased a sharpening kit when I bought the mower several years ago but no longer have it. Where can I purchase another sharpening kit that will work with this mower. It is a model 1415-16.
Thank you
Donetta Zimmerman

206 steve 09.14.12 at 3:04 pm

@Donetta Zimmerman, This one is just short of the size you need so it will sharpen 85% of the blades:
Or you can get this one and use a hack saw to trim it to the size you need:
It takes about 10 seconds to cut it with a hack saw and a pair of scissors to trim the strips.

207 Jeff C. 09.22.12 at 4:00 pm

I have a flavor of St. Augustine grass call Floritan that is a bit thick.The folks I bought my home from left a reel mower [Taskforce 20″] behind that looks relatively unused. After a few tries I can see why.
I have the wheel height as high as possible but am unsure how to adjust the cutting gap. How do I get info on adjusting the mower?

208 lars 09.22.12 at 4:24 pm


That mower is never going to cut it with thick St. Augustine, in my opinion. I don’t think adjusting it is going to help you much.

I believe that brand is a Lowes house brand (where they just get something private label manufactured in China), so you might go there and see if they have a manual for the mower that you can look at.

209 George 10.02.12 at 10:08 pm

Ok I have one of the Scott’s 20″ Classic Push Reel Mowers and something’s stumping me. How exactly does one install one of the “c” or “e” rings to hold the handle in place? Does it take an insane amount of force or would using a plier or something similar do it?

210 steve 10.03.12 at 3:17 pm

@George, Watch this video of George putting the handle on the Scotts Classic, I believe he uses a pair of long nose pliers to pinch the “c” ring in place.

211 Jeff 10.09.12 at 7:28 pm


Did you see my reply posts #201 and #202? Not sure if you have any suggestions for me. Thank you.

212 Tim 10.13.12 at 9:01 pm

I’m looking to replace a pinion gear in an old push reel mower. Not sure of the Make or Model. I can give the dimensions of the gear I need to replace: Inner Diameter = 5/8″; Outer Diameter = 1 & 5/16″; Length = 1 & 5/16″. Know where I might be able to find one?

213 steve 10.15.12 at 2:58 pm

@Tim, Try this site:

214 Frank 11.04.12 at 5:44 pm


I have a suffolk 14″ reel mower it’s yellow and says made in englland. Do you know how old it would be and what it might be worth.



215 steve 11.05.12 at 7:48 pm

@Frank, Sorry I am not an expert on older reel mowers however this guy might be able to help you:

216 Bill Anasti 11.18.12 at 8:06 pm

Reel mower sticks when trying to mow lawn. Lawn recently cut by rotary mower (grass not high at all – kind of low) and there are no sticks or obstacles in the grass. Runs fine on cement – sticks only when starts cutting grass.

217 steve 11.20.12 at 1:59 pm

@Bill Anasti, Which reel mower do you have? Try pushing it from the cement onto the grass.

218 bill 11.22.12 at 10:22 pm

where can I buy 8″ inside and 10″ outside and 1.75″ wide tires for a gw davis 1931? reel mower

219 steve 11.27.12 at 4:14 pm

@bill, Try this site, he is an expert on older models and may have some ideas –

220 Mariln 01.10.13 at 10:32 am

Have a 6 month old fiskars push mower that worked well until yesterday. I started to mow then it locked. Didn’t hit anything, small level lawn. It just won’t move. Can’t see anything sticking to it. How can I get it to work?

221 steve 01.10.13 at 8:18 pm

@Marlin, Try taking off the chain guard on the side and see if there is anything block it. Also, make sure something is not caught in the reel.

222 Mariln 01.11.13 at 1:52 pm

Thanks for the reply and will do tomorrow A.M.
Will post the outcome.

223 Marlin 01.14.13 at 9:05 pm

I turned the mower on its side and there jammed between one wheel and the bar at the bottom (don’t know what it’s called) was one of the tiny red rocks from the flower beds.

Thanks, again.

224 Jeff 01.25.13 at 7:13 pm

I’m not sure if my posts are not going through or not?

Before the season kicks back in, I was hoping that someone might know why my mower is causing the grass to have perfectly even/uniform bumps after a cut of around .75 inches tall. on hybrid bermuda grass. It looks like what sand would look like if you raked it with a metal rake. Each “trough” is about 1″ apart. It’s perfectly consistent. Could it be the number of blades on the mower? Great States 18″…

225 cathy 03.29.13 at 11:24 pm

How do I oil a squeaking agrifab “silent reel” mower? It only squeaks (actually squawks) when pulling backwards. Pushing forward is silent as advertised. The squawk appears to be inside the wheels. Thanks!

226 Teresa 04.05.13 at 4:14 pm

Hi, I have a reel mower. I had to remove the wheels to replace the bearings, but now I cannot get the wheels back on. I have tried to push/pop them back on and gently hit them with a hammer. Is there some advice on how to get them back on?

227 steve 04.09.13 at 3:17 pm

@Teresa, The wheel and shaft might be notched so if that is correct then make sure they are lined up correctly. Otherwise I would make sure there is not something in the wheel or on the axle shaft stopping it from going on.

I hope that helps!

228 steve 04.09.13 at 3:18 pm

@cathy, Pull off the wheels and apply grease around the axle, etc.

229 MDS 04.17.13 at 2:24 pm

I use a Scott’s 18″ reel mower, and while it worked fine for awhile, my new ryegrass lawn is now very thick which makes pushing it difficult. I have had the blades sharpened recently. While the wheels turn very easily on pavement, the wheels are very difficult to push through thick grass, which I like to maintain at 3″ in length. Is this simply an artifact of all reel mowers, or do I need to put some big off-road tires on mine?

230 steve 04.17.13 at 3:34 pm

@MDS, You can try larger wheels if you find some that will help, however with thicker grass, much like pushing a manual gas mower, you are the driving force so thicker grass is harder to push through.

231 Steve 04.20.13 at 9:18 pm

I am interested in purchasing a reel lawnmower for all the usual reasons, but I like the mulching action of good gas mowers. Does the cut of a reel lawnmower have any mulching action, or would I be better off bagging the grass?

232 sam 04.30.13 at 2:53 am

I have a craftsman reel mower model #1238171, can you tell what year it was manufactured ?

233 Philip 05.05.13 at 9:15 pm

After notifying friends/family that I was interested in switching to a reel mower, I was recently given an ancient, yellow, Eclipse 18″. There are 5 blades on the reel.

Problem is, the wheels are locked. The reel turns freely, and all the parts appear well-greased, well-maintained. I know it worked previously, but the previous user has moved to Thailand; I was able to contact him over FB, but he doesn’t know what could be causing the problem.

I can’t really tell the model or anything, as the only markings anywhere on it are “ECLIPSE” and below that “PROPHETSTOWN ILL”. On the inside of the wheels is stamped 905-c and 906-c, one on the left, one on the right.

I’ve tried to get the wheels off to see if I can get a look at the inside, but I can’t figure out how. I’ve removed the bolt in the center of the wheel, and the little square-headed one that appears to attach them to the fixed axle, but no luck.

Any suggestions? Any idea where I might find some kind of owners/repair manual?

234 Dee Thomas 05.11.13 at 2:04 pm

I bought a Remington 16″ for my son-in-law. I got it at a reduced price from a store that was going out of business. It was new but didn’t have an owner’s manual. It looks great but it won’t push forward. Is there a safety device that needs to be removed prior to using it?

235 bill 05.13.13 at 1:49 pm

Wheel very hard to turn, other wheel turns freely

236 lars 05.13.13 at 2:21 pm


Sometimes a wheel will get full of grass that gets in there and jams up the gear that turns the reel. See if you can get the wheel off and check that. It might also be that the gear inside the wheel is broken or worn out.

237 lars 05.13.13 at 2:22 pm


It might just be that the blades are adjusted wrong, so that they are so tight against the cutter bar that you can’t even push the mower. Do a search for the owner’s manual to that mower and try loosening the cutter bar so that the blades are not jammed up against it and see if that helps.

238 Elaine 05.19.13 at 6:28 pm

I have an old Husqvarna 64. The wheels sometimes lock when I push it forward. The cutting bar is adjusted well. I think the gears inside the wheels need lubing, but I can’t figure out how to remove the wheels and open them up. No manual. Please advise.

239 Erin 05.20.13 at 7:25 pm

I just bought a Scotts 14″ reel mower. We have new sod, and would like to keep the mowing height at 3″. I have adjusted the roller bar to maximum height, but that’s barely 2″. I saw a video by Clean Air Gardening that addresses adjusting the wheel height on the Scotts 20″, however, the axle on my 14″ does not have a hex head on it to loosen (to then rotate the wheel plate to a higher setting). Any advice on how to adjust the wheel height on the 14″? Thank you!

240 lars 05.22.13 at 3:39 pm

The Scotts Classic 14″ mower does not have the same cutting range as the larger Scotts Classic 20 inch. Your mower maxes out at 1.75 inches as the high cut, according to what I saw when I looked up the specs of the mower.

241 lars 05.22.13 at 3:40 pm

Sometimes on some reel mowers, there is a hubcap that covers the spot where you can find the pin to remove the wheel. I am not familiar with that mower, but you might see if there is a hubcap that you can take off on the wheel and maybe get to the parts that way.

242 dlc4 05.22.13 at 7:50 pm


I would love a manual for a Scott’s Silent 16″ mower Model 5M9. “David Strasz” posted [10-4-11] that he had it and I posted a reply to him but never heard back. Anyone have access to it? Or, know how to reach David? Please let me know. Thanks. Donna

243 Julie 05.23.13 at 2:30 pm

I feel very stupid, but here is my problem: I have a Great Lakes non-motorized push mower (basic model) and it will only cut the grass when I PULL it. I try to push it and nothing……………………..what am I doing wrong?

244 lars 05.24.13 at 4:21 pm


Did it ever work correctly? It might be an issue where there is a bunch of grass stuck in the wheels that is preventing the gears from working in the correct direction. So you might take off the wheels and check to see everything is okay there. There are not many parts, so it does not require a lot of mechanical ability.

245 James Patrick 05.26.13 at 12:00 am

I have an old reel mower and need the bracket that holds the roller to the frame. Problem is, I cannot find the manufacturer name! The wheels are marked Reading Model 5. but thatm could just be the wheel type.

Where do you usually find the manufacturer stamp?? Thanks

246 Trudy A. in Texas 05.27.13 at 6:57 pm

I am considering one of the 18″ Mascot reel mower but don’t know which model would be best. I live in Texas and have mostly St. Augustine with some centipede and a few weeds here and there. My lawn is slightly sloped maybe as much as 15 degrees in some areas. I am reasonably fit 5’8″ tall 69 year old widow and have done a great deal of yard work in my life but never used a gas mower and don’t really want to. I am more concerned about adjusting alingment of the rotary blade (if necessary) than the weight of the mower. When and how often does one have to do such adjustment? I have used electric drills, chain saws, rotary skill saws sanders and weeders and can remember using a reel mower in my youth. I looked at the mascot mowers on a web site but after reading their info and your comments, I am unsure about which model to buy, the ‘bent’ grass or ‘tall’ grass (which is the silent? model). Thanks

247 Brian 05.28.13 at 4:31 pm

I had our 20″ Scotts Classic sharpened and was told the “sprocket” was bad. I have not noticed any skipping blade rotation yet but I was told it would get worse with time. The hardware store would credit the $40 sharpening fee towards a new mower (from them; very limited selection, including another 20″ Scotts) should I wish, charge $25 to repair, or do nothing. How durable are Scotts? If I pay to repair am I going to see some plastic part fail next month? We were given this lawnmower about 3 years ago and I think it was practically new at the time. I am disappointed it only lasted 3 years. Should I just drive it into the ground? By the time I pay for the sharpening and repair I’m halfway to the cost of a new mower! Of course then would come the question of which replacement…

In discussion of various 18″+ mowers I see complaints about flimsy handles. You did mention apparently ‘better build’ in the context of Yardworks and Ellison Evolution, yet I notice neither of these mowers are sold by you. Is the Yardworks even available outside of Canada (all web mention is for Canada but you apparently have one in Texas)? Any opinion on Troy-bilt (another model not carried by your company so is this an omen)?

I’m used to the efficiency of the 20″ mower on our 2000 sq.ft. northern lawn but the ground is slightly uneven (tree roots near the surface). I notice some mowers have a set of rear wheels (e.g. Scotts Classic) versus a line of rollers. Is a set of wheels better at straddling small bumps than a line of rollers which would hit any bump in the row? I usually mow with 50% row overlap so a set of wheels which hit a 6″ wide bump on one pass will sit in the dip the next whereas a line of rollers would ride over a bump with each pass and sit too high for the grass in the dips. Would a 16″ be better for accommodating slightly uneven ground even though it would take 5 passes to our current 4? Overall web reviews seem to be better for 16″ models than 18″+.

248 lars 05.28.13 at 5:05 pm


The tall grass model would probably be your better choice, although both mowers would work. Mascot doesn’t adjust the mowers anymore so that they are silent (where the blade does not make contact with the cutter bar), because they determined that you get a slightly better cut with light contact. So you can adjust it yourself to make it silent if that is your preference, but I left mine alone and let the blades hit the cutter bar and am happy with that setup.

249 lars 05.28.13 at 5:14 pm


It is a simple repair that you can do yourself. You can contact American Lawnmower to get the parts you need at

The sprocket is plastic, and they do wear out. I’m not totally thrilled with the quality of the Scotts Classic anymore, but it’s still a good mower overall.

It is also very, very easy to sharpen the mower yourself, so you can save money by doing both of those things at home.

I am not a handy person, by the way. And I still think both things are pretty easy.

I haven’t used a Yardworks mower, so I can’t say. I used an Ellison Evolution, and it was okay. I have not used a Troy-bilt yet.

The reason the Scotts Classic doesn’t have rollers is because those wheels are the only way they could make it adjust to a 3 inch maximum cut. Rollers are pretty standard on most other models that aren’t a design like that.

I like wider mowers better than narrower mowers, because all of those passes add up and make it take longer with smaller mowers. However, when the grass is overgrown, a narrow mower can sometimes be easier to push through than a wide one because you aren’t cutting as much grass at once.

250 Zoysia Zeb 05.28.13 at 10:16 pm

Which to purchase : MASCOT 18 Silent Cut vs. Fiskars 18 in.MAX REEL — that is the question? The application is a 4700 sq.ft. – flat – residential lawn with newly installed Zoysia turf. The main problem for me is that I must make a purchase decision site unseen – as no store in my area has (demo) models of either brand. Judging by website photos – it looks to me that the Fiskars Max Reel appears to be made like a plastic toy and rather unsubstantial compared to the images of the very solid looking Mascot 18 in Silent Cut. Feedback from persons who have physically used both are appreciated. In terms of technical decision points, am I correct to assume that the 6-bladed Mascot Silent Cut will deliver a more even/manicured cut at the lower heights than the 5-bladed Fiskars Max Reel ? Any drawbacks associated with either are also desired and appreciated. Also, if anyone believes that there is a better contender than these 2, I would appreciate knowing that as well. Thanks — Zeb

251 lars 05.29.13 at 8:40 pm


I own both. I prefer the Mascot by a small margin. Although I own the 21 inch version, which is part of the reason I prefer it. It takes fewer passes to cut my lawn that way. Yes, the six blades cut a little bit better, but not to a large degree. The Fiskars is much, much easier to adjust the cutting height. The Fiskars is very heavy and sturdy, and not plasticky.

You would be okay with either model.

252 MarylandBill 05.29.13 at 9:38 pm

I have the Fiskars. The only disadvantage I have noted compared to other reel mowers is the small front wheels. While they make height adjustments easy, they can also get stuck in any holes you might have in the yard. The unit itself is very sturdy. In a year of use I have no complaints about that.

253 Zoysia Zeb 06.04.13 at 5:04 am

Lars – thanks for your reply. Please elaborate on your Mascot 21″ “small margin” preference if there is something else beyond the lower number of passes to cut your lawn. (i.e. Is the Mascot a back-throw or front- throw [ like the Fiskars 18. in.] ? How do the grass catching attachments compare for each?).

Maryland Bill – I appreciate your reply. Did the small front wheels become mis-aligned or worse as a result of holes/declivities? Is your lawn generally flat ?? Are there any other downsides to the Fiskars 18 in. MAX REEL from your perspective ???

Best wishes ~ Zeb

254 MarylandBill 06.04.13 at 5:27 am

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.

255 Anne 06.08.13 at 1:31 pm

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?

256 lars 06.08.13 at 4:16 pm

You can buy parts for the Scotts Classic here:

257 Bruce 06.12.13 at 10:04 am

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

258 Dylan 06.12.13 at 1:25 pm


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?

259 Michael 06.13.13 at 4:10 pm

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.

260 shaun 06.13.13 at 4:19 pm

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.

261 Zoysia Zeb 06.13.13 at 7:57 pm

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!

262 Brett 06.14.13 at 7:44 pm

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.

263 Andrew 06.15.13 at 4:57 am

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?

264 Steve8867 06.16.13 at 4:55 pm

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.

265 MAG Small Engine 06.18.13 at 10:59 pm

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!

266 John 06.19.13 at 4:34 pm

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?

267 Rayni 06.23.13 at 1:21 pm

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

268 Kathy O'Neal 06.23.13 at 3:44 pm

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.

269 shruthi 06.25.13 at 9:35 pm

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 ?

270 Gypsy Chief 06.25.13 at 10:13 pm

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.

271 gene geisen 06.28.13 at 4:29 am

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

272 Lynn Phillips 06.29.13 at 1:15 pm

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!

273 lars 06.29.13 at 7:16 pm


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.

274 Don Urquhart 06.29.13 at 9:04 pm

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 :-)

275 Rik 06.29.13 at 9:32 pm

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

276 Craig 07.02.13 at 2:28 pm

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!


277 Amanda 07.03.13 at 6:24 pm

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!

278 Audrey Vordenbaum 07.10.13 at 4:17 pm

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.

279 Karen Riemersma 07.12.13 at 6:59 pm

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.

280 Vickey 07.14.13 at 1:09 am

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?

281 Mike Cooper 07.14.13 at 1:30 pm


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?



282 Amanda 08.02.13 at 9:53 pm

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?

283 andrew roper 08.07.13 at 12:52 am

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!

284 lars 08.07.13 at 3:53 pm


If the model number starts with 291, then the Craftsman mower was made by American Lawnmower, and you can contact them about parts.

Otherwise, not sure what to tell you.

285 Daniel 09.02.13 at 6:15 pm

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.

286 Jeff 09.02.13 at 10:46 pm

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.

287 Jeff 09.02.13 at 10:48 pm

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.

288 William Richards 10.07.13 at 11:24 am

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?

289 Milly 11.10.13 at 5:09 pm

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.

290 Harvey 11.18.13 at 8:58 pm

When removing wheel and pinion gear how to install the pawl for the pinion gear

291 Larry L 12.04.13 at 8:36 pm

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.

292 Steve 12.30.13 at 8:53 pm

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.

293 Dave Hanson 04.15.14 at 5:04 pm

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

294 Chris Lewis 04.18.14 at 10:16 pm

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.


295 Joe R. 05.12.14 at 8:36 pm

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.


296 Lupe 05.13.14 at 5:11 am

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.

297 dave 05.27.14 at 2:04 pm

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

298 Robert Rieger 05.29.14 at 12:51 pm

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.

299 Admin 05.29.14 at 1:42 pm


A reel mower isn’t really going to work for the situation you described. Consider using a string trimmer or an electric mower or a scythe. sells them.

300 Admin 05.29.14 at 1:44 pm


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.

301 Chris Powell 05.31.14 at 12:06 pm

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

302 Victoria 06.04.14 at 12:15 am

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.

303 David Dierenfeld 06.07.14 at 2:05 pm

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

304 ed 06.23.14 at 1:32 am


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?



305 Bill 06.26.14 at 7:44 pm

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.

306 David Larensen 06.27.14 at 8:40 pm

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

307 michelle 06.30.14 at 9:56 pm

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?

308 Admin 06.30.14 at 10:02 pm


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.

309 Michael Metzger 05.19.15 at 11:40 pm

I have a lawn with tall fescue and live cincinnati, ohio. I cut the lawn between 3.5-4 inches. I am wanting to get a reel mower for my front yard which will by about 3000 sqrt foot.

I am trying to decide between:

Scotts 2000 vs Fiskars StaySharp Max.

Which would be the better reel mower given the above?

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