Do Pushmowers Really Work?

July 15, 2010 One comment View all articles in Lawn and Garden

After you realize mowers can burn up to 13 times more gas than cars in the same period of time, using one to keep your lawn looking picture-perfect seems downright barbaric. You still want your lawn to look well-maintained and attractive, however. So is there a way to take care of your lawn while remaining environmentally friendly?

Yes, there is: by using a push reel mower. The push reel mower is the original lawn mower, much like the one your grandfather likely used. It has no engine and will cut your grass just as cleanly as a regular mower. Let’s go over some of the push reel mower’s pros and cons before you buy one of your own.

Pros to Using a Push Mower

  • It has no engine, so there’s no gas to pollute the environment.
  • No engine means no engine maintenance is required: you never have to change the oil, replace the filters, or perform a tune-up.
  • Without an engine, there’s no noise pollution.
  • Unlike the mowers in your grandfather’s day, today’s version is extremely easy to push.
  • Clipping BagThey are generally much cheaper than gas mowers.
  • You can attach a clipping bag to some models to avoid having to rake after mowing.
  • Depending on the size of your lawn and how often you mow it, the blades may only need to be sharpened once every few years.
  • Most reel mowers cost between $120 and $250, which is much cheaper than the average gas mower.

Cons to Using a Push Mower:

  • More physical effort is required with push reel mowers than with riding mowers, especially for large lawns.
  • Pushmowers don't shred leaves 
wellMowing must be done when the grass is at the correct height. You’ll have a tougher time if you wait too long; push reel mowers don’t cut long grass as effectively as gas mowers.
  • Yard debris like twigs must be raked before mowing or they’ll get caught in the blades.
  • They don’t shred leaves effectively.

Push reel mowers are easy to find. Not only are they readily available on the internet, most garden shops that carry gas mowers will also have reel mowers. So if you’re getting sick of the noise, the engine maintenance, and the gas-guzzling of your current mower, try out a push reel mower. You might be surprised at just how rewarding and convenient it is to be environmentally friendly.


Sophia Clark on July 29, 2017 at 8:53 a.m.

My father was the most mechanically inept person in the world, so a reel mower was great for him. I will say, hand reel mower are very, very hard to use unless the ground is perfectly flat with no dips, large ant hills, or roots. And when they say "more physical effort" try thinking along the lines of "extreme-strength" lawn mowing.

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