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Small Cheap Mower for Small Lawns

Updated on March 15, 2015
Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren gardens in Pennsylvania, specializing in earth-friendly, unconventional, creative, joyful artistry at low cost.

A Reel Mower

Light and lovely - a reel mower does not need to be fueled.
Light and lovely - a reel mower does not need to be fueled. | Source

Reel Lawn Mower is the Name of Human-Pushed Mower

A reel mower is a grass-cutting machine with no internal power source. The power comes from the person behind it. Some call it a push mower, but if you research the term “push mower” on the Internet, the results are often for gasoline- or electric-powered lawn mowers. Reel mowers are easy to use, smaller to store, super cool and super green (ecologically friendly.)

So Small and Lightweight that they are EASY to Push and Store

Reel mowers come as small as 14 inch- wide blades to 20-inch wide, with sizes in-between in 2-inch increments. The new ones weigh as little as 20 pounds (about 9 Kg). [I once had a reel mower built in the 1920’s – I think parts of it were made of IRON and it was much heavier!] Can the mowerperson of your household push twenty pounds attached to wheels? I am guessing that this will be easy-peasy. Reel mowers are so much easier to maneuver up and down hills because their weight is practically minimal. Furthermore, pushing a light reel mower to your starting place is no effort, whereas pushing a gasoline-powered mower is a bigger task.

Of course, when planning for storage add a few more inches of width for the wheels. Also, the “footprint” of these mowers is a narrow rectangle, rather than the honking huge square footprint of a gasoline-engine mower. You do not need to relinquish one-quarter (or more) of a garden tool shed to store a reel mower.


I have seen some costing as little as $70 and others in the high $200 range. There are even a few Lamborghini-level mowers offered for over $2,000. My guess is that a reel mower costing in the low $100s range will certainly meet the needs of a lawn totaling less than 2,300 square feet. Naturally, personal preference is a factor in this opinion. Furthermore, it is a simple machine with less moving parts than a mower with a motor. This leads to less expensive maintenance and repair.

Even AMAZON sells Reel Mowers!

Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower
Scotts 2000-20 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower

I bought a smaller Scotts reel mower and I have been delighted with it.


Check Ratings and Reviews

When I was researching what reel mower to buy, one brand continually had poor reviews. This was extremely useful information because it was attractive, inexpensive, and had a catchy name. All of those factors, of course, would be useless if the machine didn’t do the job or broke frequently. Obviously, I gratefully steered clear of that mower after learning this. So, be a smart consumer: check reviews which include the current year in order to inform your purchasing decision.


Almost all reel mowers have a mechanism for changing the height of the grass which remains after the “haircut.” The operating manual describes how to change this. It usually requires a slot-head screwdriver and nothing more.


People used to pay big bucks for mowers which would chop up the cut grass blades and redeposit them on the ground. I say, mow frequently enough and you won’t need the extra chopping feature. Go push that reel mower to get fresh air and vitamin D sunshine for yourself! Allow the clippings to lie where they fall and nourish your lawn. Problems solved.

Ecological Advantages

The most obvious advantage is that a reel mower has no fuel emission consequences. A gasoline-powered mower has stinking exhaust fumes. Additionally, one can factor in the gasoline used to drive to the gasoline station to fill the fuel can for the mower. Although an electric-powered mower is not spewing fumes, somewhere an electric generating plant is. With a reel mower, just feed the person pushing it.

Noise pollution. The reel mower does not get any more obnoxious than a steady Walter Middy-ish ta-pocketah ta-pocketah. Maybe some would feel the need to wear OSHA-style ear protectors, but I think most people will not. There are a few reel mowers which advertise themselves as “silent.” I do not know what they mean by that.

A Simple Machine: The Reel Mower

A beautiful mower: my reel mower from Scotts.
A beautiful mower: my reel mower from Scotts. | Source

Go for It!

You now know that a reel mower is small, light, and makes sense (cents) regarding purchase price, maintenance, and fuel. It does not cause pollution. Extra advantages are its small size and how stylish it is. Be the trend-setter on your block – buy one! Or, if you live near me you can borrow mine to give it a test drive.

Photos and text copyright 2013 Maren E. Morgan.


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    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you Dolores Monet and janderson99. No gasoline and no racket are major assets, in my opinion. I haven't explored the blade sharpening yet, but I know that my former hometown had a shop which specifically sharpened mowers of all sorts and tools. If lifting it into a car is a problem, maybe a friendly neighbor could help?

    • janderson99 profile image

      Dr. John Anderson 3 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

      Great idea!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I reely want one of these. I think the problem would be in keeping those blades nice and sharp. I am no spring chicken but don't have a whole lot of grass. I love the idea of no gasoline, and no racket. (voted up and shared)

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Gus - too funny, and also, good for you having the family close by!

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 4 years ago from USA

      Hi Maren (Maren Morgan M-T) -

      Those reel mowers were "It" when I was a kid, mowing neighbors'' lawns for a buck. These days my lawn mowers have a brand name -grandkids. :-)

      Gus :-)))

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      DDE, yes and with much less noise and pollution.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Small lawn mowers are so convenient and can do the same job with ease