Love My Reel Lawn Mower

I just got in from cutting the grass with my reel lawn mower.  In case you aren’t familiar with these marvelous machines, a reel lawn mower is people-powered and has a different type of cutting blade than the typical helicopter-style blade of a more common gas or electric powered mower.

While I still get a good workout pushing it around, my reel mower, or push mower, is relatively easy to use and low maintenance.


Long Lasting – This machine is durable. It has no engine and few moving parts to break down and cause trouble. There are push mowers 50 years old and older still going strong.

Push-Powered – No gasoline or electricity is required, so it is virtually free to operate.

Pollution-Free – Unlike gasoline-powered mowers, my push mower produces no unpleasant and harmful exhaust fumes. I also like not needing to store dangerous gas in my garden shed and wondering if the gas is still usable after spending the winter out there.

Low Initial Cost – Because of its relatively simple design, most reel mowers sell for less than their motorized counterparts.

Safety – When you stop pushing, the blades stop turning. It is practically impossible to hurt yourself with a reel mower. Of course you should take every precaution, such as wearing sturdy shoes or boots whenever you cut the grass. Also, a people powered push mower does not throw grass, sticks and rocks the way a gas or electric powered mower does.

Great Exercise – But you already know what a great workout it is to cut the grass!


Grass Must Be Kept Short – If you wait too long between mowings, you will need to borrow someone’s power mower. The blades get bogged down in tall grass and just can’t cut it!

Twigs Must Be Cleared Away – Sticks will get stuck in a reel mower, forcing you to reverse and pull the twig out of the blades by hand. This can get annoying.

The Blades Will Get Dull – In time, I know the blades of my reel mower will get dull and need sharpening. There are people who will do this for a fee. You could also learn how to do it yourself, though I don’t yet have any experience with this. Blades dull eventually no matter what kind of mower you have.

You Have to Push It – If you have a very large lawn, you might want to keep your riding lawn mower. It does take work to push a reel mower, since you are not only pushing the mower, but also powering the blades. See Great Exercise, above!

It Only Works Going Forward – While you can pull it backwards, this machine only cuts when you push forward.

A reel mower does make noise, even though it has no motor. My neighbour’s dogs bark incessantly whenever I cut the grass because they hate the noise. It is no more noisy that a power mower, though, and may be even quieter.

I would heartily recommend a push mower to anyone with a small yard and good health. It is relatively cheap, great exercise, and environmentally friendly. I don’t mind cutting the grass at all with my reel mower. But then, I also like shoveling snow in winter!

A Message from Norma...

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