American Reel Mower Maintenance


Keep your American Reel Mower well maintained for a clean cut every time. American Reel mowers require very little maintenance and with a few simple steps taken each time after you mow, you'll greatly reduce the overall time spent maintaining the mower. Complete the majority of your reel mower maintenance tasks once a year to once every two to 10 years.

Step 1

Adjust the height adjustment lever located on the side of most reel mowers. Move the lever to a higher level for taller grass and a lower lever for shorter grass.

Step 2

Tighten or loosen blades to correct misaligned blades. Misalignment is made obvious by rough, uneven cut or when the mower is hard to push. Loosen the blades by turning the screws on the back of the cutting bar blade counterclockwise. Turn the front screws clockwise to tighten and keep the blades secured. To tighten blades, loosen front screws by turning counterclockwise and tighten back screws by turning clockwise.

Step 3

Test the blades' sharpness once a year by sliding a piece of paper between the blades. Move the mower forward to cut the paper. As long as the paper shows a clean cut, sharpening is not necessary.

Step 4

Sharpen the blades every one to ten years, depending on your reel mower model, how often you use the mower and if you clean and lubricate the blades regularly. Most models include a sharpening kit. If not, a sharpening kit may be purchased online or at home improvement stores.

Step 5

Wipe the blades with a clean cloth each time after mowing. Spray the blades with a garden hose if blades do not easily come clean from using a cloth. Wipe wet blades with a clean cloth until completely dried. Apply a spray lubricant to the blades, reel axle and wheels.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Sharpening kit
  • Cloth
  • Spray lubrican


  • People Powered Machines: Successful Mowing with a Reel Mower
  • American Lawn Mower Co: 414-16, 415-16, 705-16 Owner's Manual
Keywords: american reel mower, reel mower maintenance, sharpen mower blades

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.