How to Adjust Reel Push Mowers


Reel mowers perform the same basic function as gas-powered rotary mowers---they cut your grass. However, reel mowers cut grass in an entirely different way than rotary mowers. They have a rotating reel that inches the grass against a stationary blade; this action cuts the grass in the same manner a pair of scissors would. Both mowers have the ability to adjust the cutting height. Unlike rotary mowers which have simple levers on the tires, it's a little more complicated to adjust reel push mowers' cutting height.

Step 1

Loosen the bolt that holds the height of the roller shaft on each side. Most are held tight with wing nuts that can be opened by hand.

Step 2

Remove the bolt out of the adjustment hole. Raise or lower the roller shaft to align a different adjustment hole. As you raise or or lower the roller shaft, you will notice that the bed knife on the front of the mower also raises or lowers. A higher bed knife means a higher cut, and a lower bed knife means a lower cut.

Step 3

Put the bolt in the new adjustment hole to hold the roller shaft in place once you've adjusted the cutting height to your desired level.

Step 4

Tighten the wing nut down to hold the roller shaft firmly in place. Cut your lawn at the new adjusted height.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep your fingers away from the area where the reel contacts the bed knife. Serious cuts can result if your finger gets pinched in between the two.


  • Bob Vila: Adjusting Reel Mowers
  • Grounds Maintenance: Adjust Cutting Heights of Reel Mowers
Keywords: adjust reel push mowers, bed knife, roller shaft, cutting height