The Proper Use of a Reel Mower


More and more environmentally conscious people are turning to reel mowers as way to cut their lawns. Reel mowers are quiet, use no gas and do not exhaust gas fumes. Your lawn will benefit as well with the proper use of a reel mower. Reel mowers do not shock the grass nearly as much as gas powered mowers; furthermore, you can also keep your lawn shorter using a reel mower than a gas mower. Reel mowers are also healthier for you because you are the engine for the reel mower.

Step 1

Inspect the reel mower before each grass cutting. Operate the moving parts on the reel mower to check for binding. Spray the moving parts on the reel mower with spray lubricant after each mowing.

Step 2

Walk at a steady pace while pushing the reel mower. You are providing the horsepower for the mower like an engine on a gas mower. A comfortable, quick pace will keep the reel mower blades turning quickly and cutting the grass.

Step 3

Position the reel mower to overlap the previous cut as you turn the mower around. Ideally you want to place ¼ of the reel mower blade width over the previously mowed row and ¾ of the blade width on the new row to be cut.

Step 4

Try different mowing patterns with the reel lawn mower. Grass grows in different directions on each lawn. You may not notice this when mowing with a gas powered lawn mower. Attempt to cut the grass in different patterns to see if you get a better cut mowing one way versus another.

Step 5

Mow the grass frequently when using a reel mower. You can mow your grass shorter because you will not be damaging the grass the way a gas powered mower will. However, a good rule of thumb is to not allow the grass to get too tall between cuttings. If you are mowing the grass to 1 ½-inches tall, you want to cut the grass before the grass reaches 2 ¼-inches. The frequency will vary, but you should count on mowing your lawn at least once a week.

Step 6

Mow later in the day when the sun is starting to go down and the grass is dry. Not only will this be comfortable for you, it will be more beneficial to your grass. When you cut grass, you expose the little air tunnels going to the grass roots to heat and surface winds. The surface winds die down in the late afternoon and the sun is not beating down upon your yard.

Tips and Warnings

  • Walk your lawn and pick up sticks and large debris before mowing. This will help prevent dulling the reel mower blades too quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • Reel mower
  • Spray lubricant


  • Reel Mower Manual
  • Reel Mowers
Keywords: using a reel mower, cutting grass with reel mower, reel mower usage

About this Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with over 10 years of writing experience. Ken has written over 350 Home Improvement articles for Demand Studios. He has also been published by The American Chronicle. Kenneth holds an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Commonwealth College in Richmond, Va.