Best Manual Lawn Mower of 2022: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

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The best manual lawn mower opens the door to many opportunities when maintaining your property. Manual mowers are great for small properties instead of investing in a push mower or expensive riding lawn mowers. You’ll find you’ll have more versatility and unique hands-on experiences when you upkeep your lawn.

Let’s explore the features, pros, and cons of five manual lawn mower models to help you find the right unit for your needs.

Comparison Chart

American Lawn Mower Company 1304-14 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2000-20S 20-Inch 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower
Great States 815-18 18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
American Lawn Mower Manual Lawn Mower
Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Catcher

Best Manual Lawn Mower Reviews

1. American Lawn Mower Company 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower

The American Lawn Mower Company 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower is a great all-around option. It has an easy-to-use design with high-quality cutting blades for more precision. You’ll also find it’s a fantastic eco-friendly alternative to traditional mowers.

Product Highlights

Let’s look at the top highlights of the American Lawn Mower Company 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower.

  • Five-Blade Reel

This manual mower comes with five individual blades installed in the reel for a better trimming experience. Also, it has a cutting width of 14 inches, making it much easier to get into hard-to-reach areas. You’ll find working with most types of grass will be seamless with the sharp, five-blade reel.

  • Polymer Wheels

Instead of using standard wheels on the mower, this model features ten-inch polymer wheels. They are ideal for navigating all types of terrain, whether your tall grass is wet or dry. Also, you’ll find they help boost the maneuverability of the mower.

  • Multiple Blade Height Options

Like a standard push mower, this manual mower allows you to adjust its cutting height. Fortunately, it adjusts from one to 1.75″, helping to make it easier to customize the length of your grass.

  • Heat-Treated Steel Blades

The sharpness of your mowing blades is important to preserve the quality of your manual mower. This model boasts alloy steel blades that have been heat-treated and maintain their sharpness over time. You’ll be far less likely to need blade sharpening at the start of every season.

  • Lightweight

One of the largest selling features of the American Lawn Mower Company 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower is its weight. With its lightweight design, navigating it across your property is easier than expected. This feature makes it a great option for seniors and teens. 

What to Like About It

The American Lawn Mower Company 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower is great for an easy-to-use mower. It stays on its path as you push it, and it’s whisper-quiet, making it great for neighborhoods.

What Not to Like About It

The largest issue with this manual mower is that it’s not designed for the thick, overgrown types of grass. Also, the handles can bend relatively easily under pressure.

Pros:

  • Stays straight when mowing
  • Extremely easy assembly
  • Slices through regular grass easily
  • Whisper-quiet operation

Cons:

  • The handles bend easily
  • Not ideal for very thick grass

2. Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower

Scotts is synonymous with yard work, as they have an assortment of outdoor products for homeowners and professionals. Their 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower is an impressive solution if you need an easy way to upkeep your property.

Product Highlights

Let’s look at the best features of the Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower.

  • Ten-Inch Cutting Width

This manual mower has a relatively small cutting width, perfect for small properties. It also navigates effortlessly beside driveways, around interlocking, and in between houses. You’ll be able to maintain the smaller areas of your property within minutes.

  • Dual Tracking Wheels

The built-in wheels on this mower are some of its best features. You’ll benefit from dual tracking wheels, keeping the mower straight as it’s pushed. Also, you’ll find they’re ideal for navigating over bumpy terrain.

  • Quick Height Adjustments

When you need to adjust the cutting height of your mower, this model makes it easy. With its Quick Snap design, you can adjust the height between one and three inches in seconds.

  • Heat-Treated Steel Cutting Blades

This model also features uniquely designed cutting blades like the previous manual mower we explored. The heat-treated alloy steel stays sharper for longer, giving you years of use before needing sharpening.

  • Ergonomic Handle

You must have access to top-tier comfort when mowing your lawn. The Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower has ergonomic, cushioned handles.

What to Like About It

The Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower is a great lightweight manual mower. The height adjustment levers are easy to reach, and it’s effortless to keep straight when mowing.

What Not to Like About It

As with most manual reel mowers, this model doesn’t work its best on bump lawns. Also, it’s not recommended if you want a grass height below one inch.

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Easy-to-reach adjustment levers
  • Easy to push and keep straight
  • The blades are pretty sharp

Cons:

  • The handles bend easily
  • Not ideal for very thick grass
  • Not ideal for bumpy lawns
  • One inch is the lowest height

3. Great States 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower

The Great States 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower has a good cutting width paired with sharp blades. Its unique design makes it a fabulous option for homeowners looking for a manual mower.

Product Highlights

Let’s jump into the highlights of the Great States 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower.

  • Adjustable Cutting Height

As you would expect, this mower is designed with an adjustable cutting height. You’ll be able to customize the length of your grass between 0.5″ and 2.75″, making it more versatile than other models.

  • 18″ Cutting Width

With an impressive cutting width, this manual mower is helpful for small to midsize properties. You’ll find the five-blade cutting head easily navigates across your lawn while getting into hard-to-reach areas.

  • Composite Wheels

The composite wheels on this mower are ten inches in size, giving you plenty of traction. When working on your lawn, you’ll find it’s quite easy to navigate without losing control.

  • Alloy Steel Blades

The Great States 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower features alloy steel blades, perfect for sharpness. They stay sharper for much longer than with other manual reel mowers.

  • Lawnmower Handle

If you’ve used a manual lawn mower before, you know they typically have bicycle-like handles. Over time, this handle design can be hard to control and feel uncomfortable. As an alternative, this model features a lawnmower handle with added cushioned grips.

  • Motorless

The Great States 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower doesn’t have a motor. This means you won’t be offputting emissions, and it features a whisper-quiet operation for mowing at any time.

What to Like About It

The Great States 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower is a great option for an easy-to-control, sharp manual mower. It works well on small and midsize properties, especially with its remarkable blade sharpness.

What Not to Like About It

This manual mower isn’t the best option for longer grass, especially if it’s over five inches. Also, the general mower build could be too lightweight, making it hard to navigate on uneven terrain.

Pros:

  • Perfect for seniors
  • Works well on midsize properties
  • Very easy to control
  • Extremely sharp blades

Cons:

  • It could be too lightweight
  • Not recommended for 5″ + grass heights

4. American Lawn Mower Company 18-Inch Push Reel Lawn Mower

The American Lawn Mower Company 18-Inch Push Reel Lawn Mower is a powerful option for midsize properties. With its 18-inch cutting head, it’s slightly larger than the previous 14-inch model in this review. You’ll find it navigates easily and is a fantastic alternative to traditional mowers.

Product Highlights

Let’s look at the American Lawn Mower Company 18-Inch Push Reel Lawn Mower offers the best features.

  • 18″ Cutting Head

The most notable highlight of this manual mower is its 18″ cutting head. You’ll find it’s perfectly sized to make even lines across your property. Also, it’s small enough to get into hard-to-reach areas with less effort.

  • Cushioned Handles

Using a manual mower will take longer than an electric lawn mower or gas-powered mower. With that said, you need comfortable handles to prevent hand fatigue and cramps. This model features unique padding to help you comfortably push the mower across your yard.

  • Less Maintenance

This model is ideal if you’re looking for yard tools that require little maintenance. Thanks to the highly sharpened blades, you’ll only need to consider servicing every three to five years. Compared to other mowers, you’ll save time and money on upkeep costs.

  • Emissions-Free

As you would expect, this manual mower cuts emissions completely when cutting your lawn. You won’t have to worry about excessive noise either, making it a great option for maintaining your property at any time.

  • Adjustable Cutting Height

When you want to customize the look of your lawn, you’ll need to change the cutting height of your mower. This model allows you to change the cutting height between one and 2.5 inches.

  • Scissor-Action Cutting

Effortless cutting is essential when mowing your lawn. With scissor-action cutting, you’ll be less likely to go over the same spot twice. This is especially true if your grass isn’t overgrown and the blades are relatively thin.

What to Like About It

The American Lawn Mower Company 18-Inch Push Reel Lawn Mower is a great lightweight option for the whole family. When mowing, you won’t have to worry about scalping your yard, as it cuts cleanly and quickly.

What Not to Like About It

The largest concern with this manual mower is the wheels, as they have little to no traction. Also, the cutting blades aren’t as sharp as expected, as the mower isn’t ideal for thick and overgrown grass.

Pros:

  • Cuts cleanly and quickly
  • Easy for seniors and children to use
  • It doesn’t cause any scalping
  • Lightweight and easy to store

Cons:

  • Not for thick grass
  • The wheels have limited traction

5. Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower

As a leader in yard tools, Greenworks has a line of manual lawn mowers for you to consider. They have a couple of innovative features that differentiate them from competing models.

Product Highlights

Let’s jump into the highlights of the Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower.

  • 16″ Cutting Path

Managing your lawn has never been simpler than with a decently sized cutting width. This mower features a 16″ cutting path, helping you manage your grass height. It’s also a decent size to get into tight spaces, such as between houses or beside your fence.

  • Two-in-One Design

The largest feature that makes this manual mower different is its two-in-one design. With the detachable grass catcher, you can either mulch or dispose of your clippings.

  • Four-Position Height Adjustments

When cutting your lawn, being able to customize its height is essential. The Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower has four different height adjustments to consider. You can customize your grass height between 1 ⅛” and 2 ¼”.

  • Easily Maneuvered

Another impressive feature of this mower is its wheels. You’ll have dual two-inch rear rollers and two 10-inch front wheels. Navigating your mower across your lawn has never been simpler with this design.

What to Like About It

The Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower is a whisper-quiet solution to maintaining your grass’ overall health. The extremely sharp blades cut effortlessly, and any clippings are quickly caught in the detachable grass catcher.

What Not to Like About It

One issue with the Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower is how easily it gets caught on debris, like sticks. Also, it’s not the best choice for uneven terrain, as it’s so lightweight.

Pros:

  • Whisper-quiet when cutting
  • Easy-to-use detachable grass catcher
  • Extremely sharp blades
  • Helps to maintain overall grass health

Cons:

  • It easily gets caught in debris
  • Not recommended for bumpy terrain

Buyer’s Guide

When hunting for the best manual lawn mower, it’s important to keep some key features in mind. You’ll want a yard tool that’s strong enough for the job, but that’s also easy for the whole family to use. Let’s explore some of the top features your manual mower should have. 

Cutting Width

The cutting width of your manual mower is one of the most important features to consider. The smaller the width, the less of your yard you’ll be able to cut in a single pass. However, if the cutting width is too large, you can’t get into tight spaces as easily.

Generally, most property owners find a width between 14″ and 20″ preferable for manual mowers. With this size, you can tackle most of your yard in less time while also navigating hard-to-reach areas.

Wheels

Wheels are an often overlooked feature of manual mowers, but they are incredibly important. If your mower has low-quality wheels, it’s harder to navigate, especially on rough terrain. Our recommendation is to find a model that features all-terrain wheels, ideal for wet and dry yards.

Wheel size is also important to note, as you’ll want large enough wheels to make maneuverability seamless. Fortunately, most manual mowers have ten-inch front wheels and two additional rear wheels. This layout is ideal for easily pushing the mower while using far less effort.

Ergonomics

No doubt, using a manual mower takes far more strength and time than an electric or gas mower. With that said, you’ll need plenty of ergonomic features to reduce body fatigue and discomfort. Ideally, your top choice should have an ergonomic handle to prevent cramping and injury.

Cutting Blades

One of the main features that determine the efficiency of a manual mower is its blade design. You also need to consider the blade materials and the number of blades. Most high-end models feature at least five cutting blades, helping you easily work through most types of clean grass.

You’ll want to ensure the blades are made from high-quality material, such as alloy steel. The harder the metal, the sharper the blades will stay over time, helping to reduce your maintenance costs.

Clipping Management

When mowing, it’s important to think about what you’ll do with the clippings after the job is done. Do you typically mulch your lawn, or do you prefer to throw your clippings away? If you mulch, using any manual mower will be easy.

However, if you want to catch your grass clippings, you’ll have to find a mower with a grass catcher. Like a traditional mower, grass catchers are detachable at the rear of the mower. As you push the device across your yard, it will catch all grass clippings in the bag for later disposal.

Best Manual Lawn Mower FAQs

1. How good are manual lawn mowers?

Manual lawn mowers are a great option for homeowners looking for an easy solution to maintaining their properties. They are relatively good, giving you the ability to manage most types of grass effortlessly. However, they’re not the ideal solution for thick or overgrown grass, as they lack the power of electric or gas mowers.

Rotary mowers are fantastic if you need a yard tool that helps you get into tight spaces and for weekly yard work. They’re designed with multiple blades that turn in succession, clipping away at your blades of grass. You’ll also find they’re easy for everyone in the family to use, making them ideal for seniors and kids.

2. Is it hard to use a manual lawn mower?

The majority of reel mowers are much simpler than you’d think. After putting the mower together, all you have to do is begin mowing. It can also be beneficial to consider adjusting the cutting height to your preferences.

Unlike other mowers, you don’t have to worry about working with oil and gas at specific ratios. You also won’t need to charge batteries or find an outlet and extension cord as you would with electric mowers or electric reel mowers.

3. How to maintain a manual push mower?

The most important part of maintaining a manual push mower is to ensure its blades are kept in their best shape. After every mow, you should take special care to remove grass clippings and debris from the blades. Also, be sure to wipe them clean and dry them afterward to prevent rusting over time.

Another important maintenance step is to keep the blades sharp over the years. Fortunately, most models won’t require a sharpening until three to five years of use.

4. How to cut grass with a manual mower?

Cutting a patch of grass with rotary lawn mowers is just as effortless as you’d think, especially as the tool is always ready to use. The top recommendation is to start on one side of your property while working across in straight and even strokes. This will help you achieve a professional look to add to your home’s curb appeal.

5. How to sharpen manual lawn mower blades?

Your best option for sharpening lawn mower blades is to take them to a professional. However, it is possible to do it at home with a sharpening kit. The majority of push lawn mowers offer sharpening kits to purchase so you can maintain the blades.

Our Final Recommendation

Our choice for the best manual lawn mower is the Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower. It has a perfectly sized 16″ cutting width and extremely sharp blades upon arrival. You’ll also love the built-in grass catcher, helping you keep clippings off your yard.

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