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What are the Disadvantages of a Reel Mower?

What are the Disadvantages of a Reel Mower?

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The disadvantages of a reel mower include limited cutting power and a greater amount of physical effort required for operation. Reel mowers have less cutting power than rotary mowers, making them less effective for tackling thick or tall grass.

Additionally, using a reel mower requires more physical effort as they rely on manual pushing rather than a motorized engine. Despite these drawbacks, reel mowers offer advantages such as being eco-friendly, quieter, and requiring less maintenance. With proper usage and for smaller lawns, a reel mower can still provide a satisfactory mowing experience.

What are the Disadvantages of a Reel Mower?


1. Limited Cutting Power

Reel mowers have limited cutting power, which makes them unsuitable for tall or thick grass. They may also struggle with overgrown areas and uneven terrain. Additionally, these mowers require frequent maintenance and can be time-consuming to use. However, reel mowers are environmentally friendly as they don’t require gas or electricity to operate.

Moreover, they provide a quiet and peaceful mowing experience. In addition, reel mowers are lightweight and easy to maneuver, making them ideal for small lawns. Despite these advantages, it’s important to consider the disadvantages before investing in a reel mower.

2. Difficulties With Non-Grass Materials

Reel mowers can face difficulties when it comes to cutting non-grass materials such as sticks, rocks, or debris. Jamming or damage can occur, reducing their efficiency and performance. These manual mowers are not designed for tackling anything other than grass, which limits their versatility.

To ensure the longevity of your reel mower, it is important to avoid cutting over non-grass materials that can cause potential harm. Regularly inspect the cutting blades and remove any debris that may have become lodged. Remember that reel mowers are ideal for maintaining small to medium-sized lawns with even grass surfaces.

By understanding the limitations of reel mowers and taking proper care, you can make the most of their benefits while minimizing the disadvantages.

3. Regular Maintenance Required

Reel mowers require regular maintenance like sharpening and adjusting the blades for optimal performance.

4. Time-Consuming


Reel mowers can be disadvantageous for larger areas because they have a narrower cutting width, making the mowing process slower. Manual pushing can also be tiring compared to using a powered mower. These factors contribute to the time-consuming nature of reel mowers.

However, despite these drawbacks, reel mowers have their own merits and appeal to certain individuals who prioritize eco-friendliness and a quieter mowing experience. It is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding on the best type of mower for your specific needs.

5. Not Ideal For All Lawn Types

Reel mowers may not be suitable for certain grass types like bermuda or st. augustine, which are not low-growing. They work best on well-maintained lawns, but not on all lawn types. Users need to consider their specific grass type before investing in a reel mower.

While reel mowers have their advantages, they may not be the best choice for everyone. It’s important to research and understand the potential disadvantages of using a reel mower before making a decision. Factors such as cost, maintenance requirements, and the type of lawn need to be taken into consideration.

Ultimately, choosing the right mower for your specific lawn needs is crucial to achieve the desired results.

6. Limited Cutting Heights

Reel mowers often have limited adjustable cutting heights, which can restrict their usefulness for desired lawn lengths.

7. Inconvenient For Rough Or Uneven Terrain

Reel mowers can struggle on rough or uneven terrain, resulting in an uneven cut. They may not perform well in yards with slopes, bumps, or deep grooves. The wheels of the mower can get stuck or bogged down, making it inconvenient to mow in these conditions.

Additionally, when using a reel mower on rough terrain, the blades may not cut the grass evenly, leaving behind patches of tall or uncut grass. This can affect the overall appearance of the lawn and require additional efforts to achieve a uniform and well-maintained look.

Reel mowers are better suited for flat and level lawns without any obstacles or uneven surfaces.

8. Challenging For Physical Limitations

The manual operation of a reel mower can be physically demanding, especially for those with limitations.

9. Not Suitable For Large Lawns

Reel mowers, although great for small to medium-sized lawns, are not suitable for large lawns. The manual operation of these mowers makes them less efficient for bigger areas.

10. Weather Limitations

Reel mowers have some disadvantages, one of which is the weather limitations. These mowers are less effective when it’s wet outside or the grass is wet. Wet grass can clog the blades, reducing their cutting efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions On What Are The Disadvantages Of A Reel Mower?

Are Reel Mowers Difficult To Push?

Reel mowers are lightweight and easy to push, making them ideal for smaller lawns. However, on rough or uneven terrain, they may require more effort to maneuver.

Can Reel Mowers Cut Long Grass Effectively?

Reel mowers are designed to cut short grass efficiently. While they can handle longer grass, it may require multiple passes and can be more challenging to achieve a uniform cut.

Do Reel Mowers Require More Maintenance?

Compared to gas or electric mowers, reel mowers have fewer components and require less maintenance. However, regular blade sharpening and occasional lubrication are necessary to ensure optimal performance.

Can Reel Mowers Handle Thick Weeds?

Reel mowers are not effective in cutting thick weeds or brush. They work best on grass, so it’s important to maintain your lawn regularly to prevent weed growth that may be difficult to tackle with a reel mower.

Do Reel Mowers Have A Limited Cutting Width?

Yes, reel mowers typically have a narrower cutting width than powered mowers. While this can make the mowing process take longer, it also allows for more precise trimming around obstacles and tight spaces.

Are Reel Mowers Noisy Compared To Other Lawn Mowers?

Reel mowers operate quietly, producing little to no noise pollution. Unlike gas or electric mowers, they create a peaceful mowing experience without disturbing your neighbors or causing irritation.


While reel mowers offer several benefits such as environmental friendliness, quiet operation, and a more natural cut, they do come with a few disadvantages to consider. One key drawback is the limited cutting height adjustment, which may not accommodate certain types of grass or ground conditions.

Additionally, reel mowers may require more physical effort to push and maneuver, making them less suitable for individuals with limited strength or mobility. Another downside is their reduced effectiveness when dealing with tall or overgrown grass, as the blades can become clogged or struggle to deliver a clean cut.

Lastly, compared to the convenience of gas or electric-powered mowers, reel mowers require more frequent maintenance and sharpening to ensure optimal performance. Overall, while reel mowers have their advantages, it’s important to weigh these disadvantages and consider individual circumstances before making a decision on the best type of mower for your needs.