Do Reel Mowers Work?

Old man in a garden. Senior in a blue shirt. Grandfather mows the grass in the yard.

We frequently come across numerous DIY enthusiasts that find themselves in dire straits while selecting gardening tools that aren’t a total waste.

Especially when it comes to choosing the appropriate model that addresses their lawn mowing needs precisely, many are as clueless as one can get. Several questions pop up – What sort of mower is the best for me? Should I opt for a rotary mower? Are reel mowers any good?

Having doubts when it comes to investing in such maintenance tools is quite natural, we presume. These products come off as pricey, so it’s wise to be extra careful while choosing your pick. But the most common dilemma here is regarding the efficiency of reel mowers.


So, it is understandable that you would be looking for the answers to several questions about reel mowers. We too, faced that struggle and then decided to come up with this guide.

Here’s our expert take on your most asked questions about reel mowers, so read on to learn about this exceptional tool in detail!

What Is A Reel Mower?


Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s walk through the basics of this product. One of the main reasons why reel mowers stand out from other types of mowers is that their blades revolve in a vertical north-south direction. These mowers have a distinctive method of cutting the grass, i.e., their edges function in a scissoring motion to cut the grass.

The way a reel mower snips the grass is quite precise, and it leaves a clean cut that maintains the optimal health and visual appeal of the surface. For instance, golf courses are one of the most common grounds where reel mowers are used for maintenance.

How Do I Choose A Reel Mower For Myself?

Before we discuss whether these tools work or not, let’s have a quick peek at the essential characteristics of an efficient reel mower. Here are two of the key factors that determine whether buying a reel mower can work for you or not.

  1. Product Weight

Considering that these tools require being pushed consistently while using, it’s pertinent for their weight to complement your strength and capacity. If you aren’t comfortable with pushing around a heavy reel mower, go for a compact unit to avail of a satisfactory experience.

  1. Cutting Width

A wide reel mower saves you from engaging in an exhaustingly continuous back-and-forth movement during lawn maintenance. In brief, the larger and heavier the mower is, the larger cutting area you’ll get from the tool. And the larger cutting width you have, the quicker the device gets the job done.


Do Reel Mowers Work?

Coming to the main area of concern, let’s find out whether reel mowers work. How are they any better from the conventional gas-powered lawn mowers? Well, here are the primary advantages of using a reel mower for lawn maintenance.

  1. A higher value for money than gas-powered mowers

First and foremost, reel mowers have a higher advantage over gas-powered mowers, when it comes to value for money. To be precise, gas-powered may be quite efficient at its job, but it’s too pricey for everyone to afford. On the other hand, reel mowers offer a similar user experience at a fraction of its cost.

Apart from the initial price, gas-powered mowers come along with subsequent expenses related to fueling, which isn’t the case with reel mowers. Furthermore, reel mowers are also recorded to last longer than typical gas-powered mowers, which spells value for money at its finest.

  1. Environment-friendly option for lawn maintenance

Usually, we unknowingly contribute to environmental damage when we operate gas-powered tools. Such products have higher emissions that leave a significant carbon footprint, and this shouldn’t be encouraged. On the flip side, reel mowers are best-known for not having any negative environmental impact. 

According to a study, the pollution generated from an hour of using a typical lawn mower is equivalent to a 300-mile vehicle trip. Switching from a gas-powered mower to a reel mower is equivalent to changing from a Hummer to a skateboard for daily commuting.

  1. Very low-maintenance product

Maintaining a reel mower is as easy as cake, and the credits go to its low-maintenance mechanism. Neither do these products run on gas, nor do you face any motor issues while using them. Consequently, you spend very less on keeping this product intact for years. If this isn’t the best value, what is?


  1. Significantly low noise levels

As most of us are aware, the most significant downturn of using a typical lawn mower is how deafeningly loud it can be at times. If pushed beyond its usual capacity, its noise levels can severely damage the user’s hearing abilities.

Most professionals are bound to use noise cancellation headphones while using lawn mowers. On the flip side, reel mowers are famous for producing comparatively lower noise levels. Overall, you can properly maintain your lawn and not be cursed at by your frustrated neighbors while using reel mowers.

  1. Extremely safe compared to power mowers

A moment of distraction can be life-threatening while using a gas-powered lawn mower. A recent study had claimed that on an average, around 75 Americans die every year due to mowing accidents, which calls for severe safety measures to be followed. And being a manually-powered device, reel mowers offer higher safety than their pricey alternatives.


For Whom Does A Reel Mower Work Best?

Despite having such convenient features, we can’t assure that reel mowers can be everybody’s cup of tea. However, if you fit any of these criteria, then a reel mower is the perfect option for you to consider.

  1. You own a half-acre yard

If your yard measures half an acre (or even smaller), these mowers can be extremely beneficial. It’s primarily because when it comes to mowing larger grounds, the power mowers will always have the upper hand over the manual mowers. That’s why most of the yards in the suburban developments are the best option for reel mowers.

  1. Your yard isn’t necessarily bumpy

There’s a high possibility that reel mowers might not work if your yard is uneven. It’s primarily because such surfaces don’t help the wheels in gaining higher traction, which is fundamental to get the blades moving. In such situations, electric/gas-powered motors would better serve your needs.

  1. You’re not cutting long grass

Although reel mowers are best-known for their clear and precise grass cutting abilities, they are not as efficient when it comes to cutting tall grass. To be precise, they work at their finest when it comes to scheduled maintenance. If your ground isn’t previously well-maintained, a reel mower would be a terrible option to trim overgrown lawns.

  1. You’re not good at bagging clippings

To be honest, reel mowers won’t work out for you if you’re not accustomed to manually bagging your clippings. It’s because these products come equipped with a convenience basket that struggles to store the processed wastage. Most of the time, these baskets do not even catch any clipping.


Final Words

At the end of the day, a reel mower may not deliver as much power as typical rotary mowers, but it doesn’t mean that one should invalidate its relevance. These products are equally efficient at medium-duty lawn maintenance jobs. Heck, it can work wonders for you if it fits your requirements precisely.

This concludes our guide to exploring reel mowers in depth, and we hope that we could teach you a thing or two about this product with our unbiased information.

Stay tuned for more interesting articles. Till next time!


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Anna Vaughn

Anna Vaughn

Immense painting experience recommends Anna. She shaped The Little Painters, a small local painting workshop for children that invites the little ones to explore painting through simple and creative means in a safe, loving and extremely colorful environment. In her home panting studio she plays with all paint mediums but watercolor is her expertise.

Posted in DIY

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