How to Adjust the Height of a Reel Mower


Reel mowers present a quiet, environmentally friendly way to cut your lawn, working best on small, level yards. The revolving blades of the reel mower cut the grass as you push the mower across the lawn. Modern mowers have steel blades that stay sharp longer, and adjustments raise and lower the cutting height of the blades.

Step 1

Locate the adjustment nuts on either side of the cutter bar. On some models these nuts are covered with knobs, so all you have to do is turn the knobs manually to make an adjustment.

Step 2

Turn the knobs or use a wrench to turn the nuts to adjust the blade height. You can usually adjust the height of the blade 1 inch or so with this method.

Step 3

Remove the nuts completely to adjust the height further. The cutter bar fits into a plate on either side of the mower. The plate should have three holes in it. Moving the bar into the top hole raises the bar, while moving it into the bottom hole lowers the bar. Move the bar into the appropriate hole.

Step 4

Replace the nut. Repeat the process on the other side of the mower.

Step 5

Turn the nut to fine-tune the height adjustment. Test the cut by sliding a sheet of paper between the roller bar and the blades. You should get a nice, even cut. If the cut is too high on one side, adjust the nuts until the cut is even.

Tips and Warnings

  • Mower blades are sharp. Be very careful to avoid contact with the blades as you work.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench


  • Push Mowers 101: Push Reel Mower Maintenance
  • Grounds Maintenance Magazine: Adjust Cutting Heights of Reel Mowers

Who Can Help

  • Cornell University: Great Lawns
Keywords: adjust reel mower, adjusting reel mower blades, adjust the height of a reel mower

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.