If you’re looking to keep on top of your yard work without the hassle of a traditional lawn mower, and having to charge and refuel it on a routine basis, then at Current we have the list for you!
As you might know, reel mowers (or the old push style mowers from the ‘olden days’) are starting to make a comeback in Aussie neighbourhoods. Not only are they an environmentally cleaner way to mow the lawn, they’re also silent and a good workout too!
For small and medium-sized city backyards, these are the ideal solution to keeping the lawn mowed without an issue or having to store a bulky, fuel-guzzling lawn mower.
Have a look below at the best reel mowers of 2020 and we’re sure you’ll have your lawns in tip top shape in no time.
Pulling through at the top spot is the American 1815-18, and for good reason.
It’s one of the most well-known and reputable reel mowers out there, and American have been making this mower for a good 40 years now. Plus, with the brand’s 120-year history, there’s little doubt about whether you can trust them or not.
We’re sufficed to say that this reel mower may actually be the best mower in 2020 if you’re looking to compare between a push mower and a reel mower.
There’s a reliable design here and a construction that’s been well-thought out to ensure there’s as few laps needed as possible in the yard. With the 18-inch blades, you’re getting a totally mowed lawn in as little time as possible.
There are some incredible alloy steel cutting blades making an appearance in this reel mower, and the ball bearings are top quality too, which means a nice and smooth ‘ride’ or push, rather, is a given here.
There’s a few heights to choose from too, which means you have the ability to cut as low as half an inch, or up to 2 and 3/4 of an inch. Ideal for those who want a taller lawn out the front than out the back.
To end, the whole mower folds down and is easily stored in just about any nook or cranny in the house.
0.5 to 2.75 Cutting Height
Fiskars StaySharp Max
Coming in second place, and a little more costly than the American above, the Fiskars is our top choice for those looking for a great, green and simple way to keep on top of the backyard mowing.
It’s designed a little differently to the American, though this doesn’t seem to impact the cutting style all too much.
The ball bearings in the mower are ultra-high quality and these keep everything nice and smooth and easy to push around. You’ll notice that the 18-inch reel and accompanying ultra-sharp blades here make for a really smooth and effective mowing experience. Unlike other reel mowers which do have a tendency to get ‘caught’ this mower glides through just about anything you put in front of it.
The Fiskars website touts that there are thicker blades coming into play here and a technology they’ve named InertiaDrive, which essentially means you’re getting twice the mowing power in the same size mower.
Another technology making an appearance here is the StaySharp Cutting System which essentially keeps the blades from making contact with anything that has a tendency to blunt them. In all, this means you’re getting sharp blades for a lot longer.
Finally, there are wheels integrated into this design, which means if you’re mowing up against a walkway, footpath or driveway you’re able to keep going without hitting the concrete.
Cutting heights are an ideal one inch to four inches, and the pushing mechanism make it 60 per cent easier to push this reel mower.
1 to 4 Cutting Height
Another model from American, the 1204-14 is our top choice for a smaller and more compact mower. It’s a lighter weight variant of the one above, and you’ll be able to rely on it to be even easier to push around.
There is one fewer blade here, bringing the total to four cutting blades, though this remains ideal if you have a smaller yard. The reel mower won’t take too long to cut through taller grasses, and again, if you have a smaller yard, you won’t notice much of a difference between this model and the two above.
A 14-inch cutting reel is a little smaller, again, than the two models above, but for yards that are a little smaller, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
The materials used in these blades are the same high-end tempered steel alloys that you’ll find in the more expensive American models, and that means you’re getting what is literally a scissor-style ‘slice’ through the grass in the front and backyard.
The cutting heights supported here are ideal with half an inch through to 1 3/4 of an inch being a possibility.
When it comes to the wheels, there are some study 8-inch polymer wheels here that are going to make it easy to push the mower without too much effort. Keep in mind that the larger the wheel, the smoother and easier the pushing experience is going to be.
To end, the mower is as compact and easy to store as the other American models, which means you’re able to fold parts of it and up easily hide it in the shed or garage.
0.5 to 1.75 Cutting Height
Great States 415-16
Another one of our top reel mowers is coming from Great States. The model is smack bang in the middle of the two above with regards to size as is offers a 16-inch cutting reel which will keep you from making too many laps of larger yards.
We’re glad to say that Great States does offer impressive design and build quality, so you’re not going to see any wear and tear or reliability issues down the track.
When it comes to the blades, these are, again, alloy steel and they’re designed to remain sharp for as long as possible.
One big perk of this mower is its lightweight design and accompanying reel power. You’re essentially able to push the mower very easily and see it do all of the work when it comes to cutting the lawn. This is thanks to the ten inch wheels that come into play, making a little push go a long way.
As we mentioned, the 16-inch reel is ideal for medium to small sized yards, though, for larger yards you may want to consider 18 or above.
The cutting height for this reel mower is adjustable and between 1/2 inch and 2 1/2 inches, making it another great option for those who like a low cut for some parts of the yard, or just want to keep the grass a little bit longer.
Again, this is an ideal reel mower for those who want an easy-push solution and a sharp set of blades for years to come.
0.5 to 2.5 Cutting Height
Although there are a few parts of the Scotts 2000 reel mower that might be lacklustre, the reel length is not one of them.
With a massive 20 inch cutting width, this reel mower is going to make light work of all suburban backyards. You’ll have to do far fewer laps with this reel mower, and the 10-inch wheels come in handy when it comes to getting a lot of power out of each push.
The blades on this mower are ultra-sharp and ideal for all grass types, and are so sharp, in fact, that you’re not going to feel a change in the pushback when you move from one grass thickness to the other — the reel mower just keeps on cutting.
You’ll find 5 reliable and durable blades here that have been heat treated and designed to offer a cut that is ultra-precise. If you’re looking for that clean and scissor sharp cut on the front lawn, then this is the model for you.
Doubling down on the precision, there are massive nine different cutting heights to choose from here, which means getting the exact height you’re looking for won’t be any trouble at all.
You can choose from 1 inch all the way to 3 inches, so whether you’re looking for multiple heights in the front and backyard, or a different height for specific sections of the yard, you’re able to do that with no trouble at all. This is ideal for under the backyard swimming pool for example.
One good safety feature is the welded hood that sits atop the mower, where you’ll be able to rest assured that nothing flicks up and hits anyone when you’re mowing along footpaths or the edges of the backyard.
1 to 3 Cutting Height
A little further down the list is the reel mower that is trying its hardest not to look like a reel mower.
The Greenworks 25072 reel mower is a great option for you if you’re looking for an affordable reel mower and not too much else. It has a great design a grass catcher as we as wide 20-inch cutting blade that, like the model above, makes light work of even the biggest yards.
The blades on this model are outstanding in that they’re a type of forever-sharp blade and will continue to give that scissor level of precision in your grass-cutting for years to come.
There’s also a good nine levels of adjustment for the height of the lawn too, which means from 1 3/4 inches all the way up to 2 3/4. That said, you can get nice and low to the soil, or keep things a little longer if you’re looking to hang on to that luscious springtime lawn look.
When it comes to added features, we mentioned the grass catcher that comes included in the design, so you’re going to have a little less clean up after things are all done. A great time saver if you’re someone who likes to have their lawn nice and clean.
There are two sets of wheels here, with 10 inch ones landing at the front and 6 inch ones at the back, and as we’ve mentioned, these are ideal for getting the most out of each push you’re making. Having two sets of wheels also means you’re all set when it comes to manoeuvring around the yard and keeping the mower stable when your turning or cutting in those hard-to-reach spots.
It’s a rather lightweight model too, with the mower coming in at 31 pounds.
In all, this is our top mower if you’re looking for an experience that is as close to a push mower as possible and ensures little clean up thanks to the integrated catcher on the back.
1.75 to 2.75 Cutting Height
The Remington RM3100
A little further down the ladder, though for no unfavourable reason, the RM3100 by Remington has to land on your watch list if you’re looking for durability above feature set.
As we’re sure you’ll agree, nothing bad or poorly built comes out of the Remington workshop and the RM3100 reel mower is no exception.
There’s a solid 5-blade set up here that ensures you’re getting a nice smooth cut from your mower and there’s 10-inch wheels coming into play here along with a nifty level for adjusting the height of the cut you’re making.
With the cutting length being 18 inches, it does offer an ideal width of cut for larger yards and smaller ones alike. Keeping in mind that there are 20-inch cutting lengths on the list, the Remington might be a little too short for you, however, it’s ideal for getting into smaller spaces in the yard without relying on a brush cutter.
The model is another light weight option too, with a total product weight of just 28 pounds, making it easy to carry and store.
There are a few user-friendly features added in here that make the use of the mower a little more comfortable too, like the addition of a handgrip and soft touch plastics, so if you do happen to be out in the yard mowing for a long period of time, you’re not going too suffer from fatigue or a god-awful blister.
To end, there is also a collection bag here for your grass clippings, so you’re not left in the lurch when it comes time to clean up the yard.
0.75 to 2.5 Cutting Height
Coming in with a second mention on our list, the StaySharp 17-inch model is the smaller model to the one above and is our winner when it comes to a compact and precise lawn trim.
You’re going to get an experience that’s similar to a powered-push were here thanks to the wheels and easy-push design. Reviews online and even Fiskars themselves have touted that you’ll find this mower up to 30 per cent easier to push around the yard than similar mowers in this class, and that’s ideal for just about all users.
There’s a 17 inch cutting width, which is also ideal for smaller city yards, though we wouldn’t take this model to anyone’s home that has acreage.
The InertiaDrive technology that we mentioned at the start of the article makes another appearance here, and this also assures users that you’re getting up to a 50 per cent increase in cutting power, which is ideal for those thick lawns and grasses.
Finally, there’s a low-maintenance design coming into play here and total product weight of 40 pounds. That said, you’re getting a simple overall experience and a mower that’s easy to store and carry, although it can be a little heavier than some of the other models on the list.
One last thing to note is that the blades on this mower have been crafted to detangle and slice through grass that often has the tendency to knot up reel mowers, so that’s a fantastic perk for anyone dealing with tough natural Aussie grasses.
1.5 to 3.5 Cutting Height
Sun Joe MJ501M
At ninth place, the Sun Joe is our ideal reel mower for those looking for a push mower-like experience with the grass catcher.
We know that a lot of our readers aren’t looking to stay out and rake up their lawn clippings and this mower is the option for you. With the included grass catcher you’ll be getting a clear lawn, but also mulch if you want to use it.
The cutting length here is an ideal 18 inches, so it’s perfect for suburban yards that aren’t too large. There are also a great 9 levels of cutting length here, so you’re getting the control you need to get the exact length needed for your grass.
Dual wheels are also making an appearance here and these will be your saving grace when it comes to getting the most manoeuvrability. You can easily twist and turn this mower into tight and small spaces in the yard without an issue, and you’re all set when it comes to getting the most movement out of the force you’re pushing behind this reel mower.
The grass catcher that’s included here is a solid 6.6 gallons, which means you’re getting a tonne of cleanup included, and you shouldn’t really need to empty it more than once during your backyard mowing activities.
In all, this is our top choice for those who don’t want to deal with grass clipping clean up, or at least want the option to catch and mulch your grass after you’ve finished mowing the lawn.
1.63 to 2.63 Cutting Height
When it comes to the no-frills but incredibly designed reel mower, the best reel mower might have to be the 1715-16EW from Earthwise.
It’s a lightweight reel mower and comes with a retro-like design that we’re sure most Aussies will love. It does have a rather small cutting length at 16 inches, however, it’s only 26 pounds in weight and comes with 7 blades to make up for this.
If you’re looking for the best reel mower with regards to the blade count, then this is your best bet — and it’s actually the winner on our list for this. You’re able to rest assured that you’re getting a tonne of cutting power here, and you don’t need to put too much effort into each push either. The blades are ultra-sharp and designed not to go blunt in a short period of time either.
There’s a few cutting heights to choose from too, that range from half an inch all the way up to 2.5 inches, so you’re getting exactly what you need.
To end, with the 16-inch cutting length and the incredible 7-blade design, you’re getting a cutting experience that’s unrivalled on this list. You could push this reel mower through some of the thickest natural grasses and have little to no pushback at all, it will simple glide through and offer the perfect cut.
0.5 to 2.5 Cutting Height
A Few Things to Note
When you’re looking to invest in a reel mower, there are a few small things you’ll need to keep in mind, in order to get the best experience. Of course, all the models on our list are a safe bet, and so are the leading brands.
However, you’re still going to want to consider the following to make sure you’re getting the best reel mower possible.
Size or Weight
One of the top things to keep in mind is the size and the weight of your reel mower. Generally speaking, all of these mowers are small and light weight, though if you’re partial to a smaller mower for better storage, then you’ll need to look for something that offers a good size for you.
Most websites and resellers will have sizing guides so you know what you’re buying — so make sure to check this.
As we mentioned a lot in our article above, there are a couple of metrics that will tell you a reel mower’s effectiveness; the blade count and the cutting width.
Your blade count will be the number to look at when it comes to your mower’s ability to offer up a smooth and clean cut on the grass. The more blades you have, the more ‘powerful’ and precise the cut with be.
Your cutting width is the width of the cutting blades. To keep things simple, this will let you know how wide of a cut your reel mower will give you after each lap around your backyard. The wider the cutting length, the fewer laps you’ll need to make, and the less time it will take to mow your back lawn.
And there you have it.
All of Australia’s best reel mowers for 2020 by Current!
Make sure to check back on our website for updates on our best reel mowers, or if a new model arrives that blows any of our top picks out of the water!