So are you convinced that you should be using a reel mower too? I hope so!
I live in Dallas, and have a St. Augustine grass lawn, one of the most challenging grass types for reel mowers. Right now I’m using a Mascot reel mower, which I am very happy with. The Mascot is a very heavy mower, which makes it hard to pick up. But it’s actually much easier to push through a thick, tough grass like St Augustine. It does not require a huge amount of effort to mow with. My wife is able to mow with it with no problems when I’m out of town. I’m going to try the Fiskars mower soon to see how it does, as my St Augustine grass starts to thicken up as the weather warms. I’ll be sure to update when I do.
So which push reel lawnmower should you buy?
The truth is that there’s not a single “best” reel mower that excels for every situation. Different mowers have different strengths and weaknesses.
You have to consider your type of grass (or area of the country), and the features that are important to you, and choose based on that.
I’ve narrowed things down to the four models that cover all of the various lawn scenarios, and that are also the four best reel mowers in general, in my opinion.
I sell reel mowers for a living because I work for Clean Air Gardening. I’ve been doing this since 1998, so I’ve dealt with thousands and thousands of people, and gotten their feedback. We have a 60 day money back guarantee, so we have to take the mowers back if someone doesn’t like them. That gives me an incentive to sell something that is actually going to work, so that it doesn’t get returned.
So here are the mowers for sale that you can shop for online or in local stores that I recommend, with a short explanation of why you might consider each model.
Brill Razorcut 38
The Brill Razorcut 38 is an excellent German-made push reel mower.
It weighs only 17 pounds, but is ultra durable, and features a silent cut design. This mower works well on a large variety of grasses – however, it is not recommended for thicker grasses such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia. With thicker grasses like those three, the light weight tends turns from a huge advantage into a big disadvantage. Overall, this is an phenomenal reel mower. Its superior construction and design make it an ideal choice. I wish I could use this on my own lawn, but I have St Augustine and cannot.
If you are in the northern half of the country, the Brill Razorcut 38 (or the similar-but-smaller Razorcut 33) is likely to be your best choice for a reel mower.
Mascot 18 Inch 6 Bladed Reel Lawnmower
The Mascot 18 inch 6 Bladed Reel Mower is a tough, sturdy push reel mower. It’s heavier than most push mowers (it weighs in around 42 pounds), yet it is still easy to use. The added weight to this real mower actually has a positive effect, as it allows you to easily push through thick grasses such as Zoysia, St. Augustine, and Bermuda. The Mascot mower has a silent cut design, which means the reel blade barely makes contact with the cutter bar. Its cutting range is adjustable, from half an inch, all the way up to two and three quarter inches.
So if you’re in Florida or Texas or the gulf coast area and you have St Augustine, Bermuda or Zoysia grass, this is a mower should you consider. If you’re in the northern half of the country, the extra weight of the mower might not provide much of an advantage for you.
This reel mower is built to last, and built to keep your lawn looking sharp. If you are familiar with the old Agri Fab reel mowers from years ago, I am pretty sure this mower is a duplicate of that design.
There’s also a cool backstory about this mower. It is made in China, but an Amish company owns the design. They import them into Pennsylvania, where an American inspects and sharpens each one and adjusts it before the mower ships out to any customer.
Scotts Classic Reel Mower
The Scotts Classic Reel Mower has a large 20 inch cutting width. It’s a workhorse of a push reel mower. The cutting width of this mower, combined with extra back wheels for maneuverability, a cutting height ranging from 1 inch to 3 inches, and a reasonable weight of 30 pounds help make this mower a wonderful value for the money. It can knock out a wide variety of grasses, and is a good choice if you like to keep your grass on the tall side. It doesn’t have the build quality or elegance of a German made mower, but it gets the job done. It has been a best seller for more than a decade.
I used this mower on my own Bermuda lawn, and then a St Augustine lawn for several years until I recently switched to a Mascot reel mower. The Scotts Classic reel mower is a good mower for the money, in my opinion. It isn’t quite as easy to push through Bermuda or St Augustine as the Mascot (because it is a medium weight mower, probably), but it’s still reasonable. This is a good all around mower for someone who wants a wider cut, and the ability to cut higher, and it works all over the US.
Fiskars Momentum Reel Lawn Mower
The Fiskars Momentum Reel Lawn Mower is a brand new design, introduced in 2010. Unlike other push reel mowers, it throws the grass forward, instead of backward. It’s a pretty strange looking beast, and it’s a very heavy 53 pounds. Like the Mascot though, that makes it hard to pick up and carry, but not necessarily hard to push through the grass when you cut.
This mower ranges in cutting heights from 1″ to 4″ – the tallest cut of any reel mower out on the market. I can’t imagine anyone keeping their grass 4 inches tall, but I suppose you could if you wanted to. The Fiskars lawnmower features an 18 inch cutting width. A nice feature about this mower is also the chain and gearing feature, which is related to the way that the mower throws the grass in front of the mower instead of behind it. Fiskars says that this chain system delivers twice the energy of a normal reel mower. I’ll be testing this mower on my own thick St Augustine lawn soon, and will report back on how it does compared to the Mascot. Overall, the Fiskars Momentum looks like a durable, long lasting mower that will provide your lawn with a premium cut. The build quality is very nice on this mower.
Have a reel mower that you love? Leave a comment and tell me why you recommend it.