The 8 Best Reel Mowers
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in February of 2018. If you've got sensitive neighbors or a postage-stamp patch of lawn, you can probably do without power landscaping equipment that takes up valuable storage space when it's not raising a fuel-guzzling ruckus in your yard. A compact and eco-friendly reel mower from our handy assortment only needs someone to push it to quietly and efficiently cut grass down to an an acceptable height. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 08, 2020:
We removed several entries during this update, including the LawnMaster LMRM1601, and the DuroStar Lawn Demon, two expensive models with significant quality control issues.
To add another mid-priced option, we brought in the Scotts 304. This machine allows you to adjust the cutting height from .5 inches to 1.75, making it a great choice for those extra-short yards. Its also nice and lightweight, which would be beneficial for older users.
Reel mowers are a great way to keep your yard trimmed, but they're not ideal for all yards. If you're tackling an area smaller than a 1/2 acre, they should be fine, but anything larger would probably require a power mower. Reel mowers also work best on very flat, even ground, so they wouldn't be best for bumpy yards.
If it sounds like your yard is too challenging for a reel mower, but you're still interested in staying eco-friendly, consider purchasing an electric lawn mower. These machines can perform the same functions as gas-powered mowers, but with zero emissions.