Cylinder Lawn Mowers 101

Cylinder / Reel Mowers

A reel or cylinder mower carries a firm, parallel cutting blade at the preferred cut level. Above this is a fast-rotating reel of blades forcing the grass along the cutting bar. Every blade in the cylinder constitutes a coil around the cylinder axis, and the spinning blade set describes a reel.

how to use a cylinder mowerOf all these machines, a correctly-adjusted reel mower makes the smoothest cut of the lawn, and this lets the grass heal faster. The cut of a cylinder mower that is well-adjusted is definite and straight, as if cutting with scissors. With this, it promotes thicker, healthier and sturdier lawn development that’s more resistant to parasites, weeds and disease. Cutting grass by means of a cylinder mower is less prone to cause yellow, brown or white stain due to leaf shredding. While the cutting activity is frequently compared to that of a pair of scissors, it isn’t essential for the spinning cylinder blades to contact the cutting bar. If the blade gap is less than the grass’ thickness, a clean cut could still be completed. If more on the other hand, the grass will slide through.

Top 10 Cylinder Mowers for 2019

SaleBestseller No. 1
American Lawn Mower Company 1204-14 14-Inch 4-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
  • 14" Cutting width, 4-blade ball bearing reel, and 8.5" Composite wheels
  • Adjustable cutting Height of 0.5"-1.75" For a clean, scissor-like cut every time
  • Blades are made of quality, heat-treated alloy steel for staying sharp longer
  • Eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered lawn mowers; no oil, low maintenance, easy assembly
  • 4-Blade reel offers supreme versatility for multiple Common grass types- Fescue, Bluegrass, Rye, and mixed...
SaleBestseller No. 2
Fiskars 362050-1001 StaySharp Max Reel Mower, 18 Inch, Black
  • The lawn mowing enjoyable with an advanced reel mower that's 60 percent easier to push than other reel mowers
  • InertiaDrive reel is designed for all grass types, delivering twice the cutting power to glide through tough...
  • New reversible grass chute can be positioned to direct clippings forward, away from your feet, or backward and...
  • Inset wheels allow the blades to extend across the mower's full 18 inch cut width and cut height can be easily...
  • Inset wheels allow the blades to extend across the mower's full width, eliminating uncut strips and edges near...
Bestseller No. 3
Great States 815-18 18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
  • Quick, adjustable cutting Height of 0.5"-2.75" For a clean, even cut every time
  • 18" Cutting width, 5-Blade ball bearing reel, and 10" Composite wheels
  • Blades are made of quality, heat-treated alloy steel for staying sharp longer
  • Loop-style handle with cushioned grip and lightweight design for comfort; easy, tool-less assembly
  • Clean and quiet way to maintain your lawn; requires no gas or oil
SaleBestseller No. 4
Sun Joe MJ500M Manual Reel Mower w/Grass Catcher | 16 inch
  • Best Use: Small to medium lawns
  • Drive Type: Push
  • Cutting Width: 16 in.
  • Tailor cutting heights up to 1.81 in. deep
  • Blade: 5 steel blades
SaleBestseller No. 5
Sun Joe MJ502M Manual Reel Mower w/Grass Catcher | 20 inch
  • Best Use: Medium lawns
  • Drive Type: Push
  • Cutting Width: 20 in.
  • Tailor cutting heights up to 2.44 in. deep
  • Blade: 5 steel blades
SaleBestseller No. 6
Fiskars 17 Inch Staysharp Push Reel Lawn Mower (6208)
  • The smart design of our eco-friendly reel mower offers a cleaner cut without the hassles of gasoline, oil,...
  • A combination of advanced technologies make the StaySharp Reel Mower 30 percent easier to push than other reel...
  • Patent-pending InertiaDrive Reel delivers 50 percent more cutting power to blast through twigs, weeds and...
  • Lifetime warranty
SaleBestseller No. 7
Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Catcher 25052
  • 16" cutting path gets the job done quicker and more efficiently
  • 2-in-1 feature provides mulching and rear bag capabilities
  • 4 position height adjustment offers a range of cutting height from 1 1/8" to 2 1/4" for the perfect cut on all...
  • 10" front wheels and 2" rear rollers makes it easy to maneuver across your lawn
  • Zero fumes, No Gas, Quiet and Easy to Use for a Green healthy lawn
Bestseller No. 8
Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2000-20 Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower, 20-Inch
  • 20" cutting width, 5-blade ball bearing reel, and 10" dual tracking wheels
  • Quick-snap 1"-3" cutting height adjustment for a clean, even cut every time
  • Blades are made of quality, heat-treated alloy steel for staying sharp longer
  • Ergonomic handle with cushioned grip for comfort; Easy, tool-less assembly
  • Lightweight and easy to operate; Requires no gas or oil
SaleBestseller No. 9
Earthwise 1715-16EW 16-Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower, Gray/Silver/Green
  • 16" Cutting width, 7-blade ball bearing reel, and 10" Composite wheels; unbreakable Steel side plate
  • Ideal for cutting bent grass- Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede, St. Augustine, and Seashore paspalum
  • Blades are made of Alloy Steel for staying sharp longer
  • Adjustable cutting Height of 0.5"-2.5" For a clean, even cut every time
  • Eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered lawn and garden equipment
Bestseller No. 10
Sun Joe MJ506E 16 in 6.5 Amp Quad Wheel 24 Blade Electric Reel Lawn Mower w/ Grass Catcher
  • ELECTRIC REEL MOWER: Power 6.5-amp motor cuts a crisp 16 in. wide path
  • ADJUSTABLE: 5-position manual adjustment allows for cutting heights: 1 in. - 2.6 in. (25 mm - 65 mm)
  • STEEL RAZORS: Each of the 24 steel razors are designed to lift trim your grass to ensure the perfect, precise...
  • ACCESSORIES: 14.6 gal (55 L) capacity grass bag collects clippings
  • WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED!: Your new reel mower is backed by the Snow Joe + Sun Joe Customer Promise. We will...

There are numerous models of the reel mower. Push mowers do not have engine, and are frequently utilized on smaller lawns where access is a difficulty, where there is an undesirable noise pollution, and where pollution of the is unwanted. As the machine is shoved along, the wheels drive machinery which speedily rotates the reel. Cutting widths are typically 10 – 16 inches. Advances in engineering and materials have caused these machines to be extremely light and simple to maneuver and operate unlike the older models while still providing all the cutting pros of huge professional reel mowers. Their individual environmental advantages, both in air and noise pollution, are intense selling points as well, something not lost on numerous animal sanctuaries, international zoos, and elite hotel groups.

The fundamental push mower method is also utilized in gangs pulled behind a tractor. The mowers are set in a “V” behind the tractor, with the track of each mower somewhat overlying that of the machine facing it. Gang mowers are utilized over huge turf areas like parks or sports fields.

An electric/battery lawn mower or gasoline engine can be included to a reel mower to generate power to the cylinder, the roller, the wheels, or any combo of these. A classic arrangement on electric-powered mowers for housing lawns is for the motor to generate power to the reel while the machinist pushes the machine along. The electric version can either be cordless or corded. On petrol-powered ones, the engine both drives the rear roller as well as the cylinder. Some models only have three reel spinning blades at real great speed, and these variants are able to slash grass that has grown way too long for an ordinary push mower to cut. One model of cylinder mower, now basically out of date, was a power-driven version of the side-wheel push mower, which was utilized on housing lawns. An inner combustion engine placed over the reel housing, and with a use of a belt, it drove the wheels. In turn, the wheels propel the cylinder just like the push mower.

Golf greens are precisely cut by means of greens mowers. These mowers have a cylinder constructed with at least 8, but usually 10, blades. The mower has a roller after and before the cutting reel which smooths the newly cut grass and reduces wheel marks. Because of the weight, the engine drives the mower as well. Much lighter and smaller models of the roller mower are occasionally utilized for minor patches of decorative lawns close to flower beds, and these don’t have engine.

People Also Ask

What’s better, a cylinder or rotary mower?

These are two entirely different types of mowers used for different grass cutting applications.  A rotary mower, like most of us have, uses a horizontal blade that spins to cut the grass.  A cylinder mower uses a drum with 8-10 blades which rotate with a scissoring action to cut the grass at a very low height to the ground.  If you have a very low growing grass, such as bermuda or bent, a reel mower will cut it much closer than a rotary mower.

Are self propelled cylinder mowers available for residential use?

Most self propelled reel mowers are used for commercial applications such as golf course green and fairway maintenance, however there are smaller self propelled cylinder mowers available to homeowners.

Can homeowners purchase battery powered reel mowers?

Many of the top lawn mower brands offer cordless/battery powered reel mowers for residential use.  You can find many of these on

Do reel mowers have adjustable heights for the cylinder?

Yes, most have an adjustable height between 12 mm and 42 mm.  This is very low, so it will not a typical fescue lawn very well.


riding reel mower
riding reel mower

Riding cylinder mowers are produced as well. Cutting reels are typically in front of the machine’s main wheels, in order that the lawn can be cut prior to pushing the grass above onto the ground by the wheels. The cylinders are frequently hydraulically powered.

Blade cylinder/reel – made of several (3 -7) spiral blades attached to a spinning shaft. The blades spin, making a cutting motion just like of a scissor.
Bed knife – is the fixed cutting instrument of a reel/cylinder mower. This is a stationary horizontal blade mounted to the mower’s frame.

Body frame – the mower’s major structural frame onto which other parts of the machine are mounted.

Wheels – these aid drive the mower functioning. Cylinder mowers generally have 2 wheels.

Push handle – the power source of a manually-operated cylinder mower. This is a tough T-shape handle attached to the wheels, blade chamber, and frame.

Motor – a reel mower’s power source powered by electricity or gasoline.


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