Brill Reel Mower Repair Information

new brill 38

Manual reel mowers are very simple and effective machines, and there is very little that can go wrong with them. This page is intended to cover the few repair issues that I have seen come up for the Brill reel mower.

Replacing the wheel on a Brill reel mower:

If you happen to drop your mower on its side so that the wheel smashes down on the cement driveway (why did you do that?), you might need to put a new wheel on a Brill reel mower. Here is how you do it. First step, pop off the black plastic hubcap with a knife or key. It just comes right off.

remove hubcap

When you remove the hubcap, you’ll see the C ring that holds the wheel onto the axle of the mower. If the wheel was really broken, you’d see a big crack in it, or it might have just fallen off. You’d still need to remove the rest of the wheel from the axle though, so you could put a new complete wheel back on.

remove hubcap 2

Removing the C Ring:

To remove the wheel, you’ll need to pop off the C ring that holds the wheel in place. In the photo I am using a pair of C Ring Pliers, which you can pick up at the hardware store for about $10. However, you can also use a large flathead screwdriver to simply leverage the C Ring open so that it pops off. You can pop it back on using the same flathead screwdriver or a pair of regular or needlenose pliers. It takes a little bit of patience to do it that way, but it saves you from buying a new tool.

If you actually have the C Ring Pliers, you’ll just put the pointed ends into the little holes on the C Ring and then open the ring with the pliers so that it comes out of the groove in the axle.

remove c ring

Below is what the C Ring looks like when it isn’t attached to the mower.

ring removed

Take off the wheel

Now that the C Ring has been removed, the wheel will just slide right off the axle. At that point you can repair your cracked wheel with superglue or attach a brand new wheel if you have one. You’ll see that underneath the wheel there is only an axle, and a cog

wheel off

Cool features of the Brill Luxus 38:

Brill reel lawn mowers have several cool feature that set them apart from most other reel mower models. They have a powder coat paint job. You can read about the advantages of powder coating versus plain old paint here.

Brill reel mowers have sealed bearings. That means you don’t have to mess with constantly oiling them, etc.

Brill reel mowers have flame hardened, welded steel blades. This flamed hardened steel, combined with the non-contact silent cut design, means that you pretty much never have to sharpen the blades. You just have to adjust them now and then.

Where to buy the Brill Luxus 38:

Buy reel mowers here.

Other information about using push reel lawnmowers:

Don’t forget to read the general guide to using a manual reel mower on the front page of the site.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Trying another reel mower... 04.24.10 at 1:12 pm

The Brill 38 that I bought last September is now in a box as junk being sent back to EcoMowers which is who I purchased it from. Cracking and parts flying off (today was the last straw) made this a real problem machine. I thought it was going to be great given the reviews I had seen, but I am on my way to Home Depot or Lowe’s to buy a new reel lawnmower. $239 down the drain with the Brill. A MAJOR disappointment.

I thought your site might have more information on repairs. I needed two after less than one season.

lars 04.26.10 at 9:11 am

@Trying another reel mower…,

Sorry to hear that the Brill didn’t work out for you.

I work for the company that imports the Brill mower into the United States, and your experience is not typical.

If you’re looking for a heavy duty mower, here’s what I’d recommend:

This mower is the same as the old Agri Fab mower, which is model that was available for decades.

It’s heavy to pick up, but it plows through the grass pretty easily when you push it. I use this model on my yard, because I have thick St Augustine grass that isn’t well suited for the Brill.

Isis 09.12.10 at 5:49 am

I bought a Brill reel mower also. It was already assembled as a floor model at the New York Botanical Garden gift shop. I am extremely frustrated that every time I mow a patch of lawn that is not perfectly level, it jams and then the handle pops off the base of the mower. I need to know if it can be permanently adjusted. Where would I bring it in the NJ/NJ area? Need a Brill mechanic!

steve 09.14.10 at 10:06 am


Follow this link to a video about adjusting the mower. I imagine it needs it.

I do not know of any mower repair shops in your area.

Madonna McGovern 04.24.11 at 2:38 pm

Just received my purchase of a Brill RazorCut Premium 38 from someone who used it once. The handle came off three times while mowing. See above comment was the same. Any solutions that you know of? I live in the Washington, D.C. area.



steve 05.02.11 at 5:39 am

@Madonna McGovern, If the handle is coming off then it has not been installed correctly. The end of the handle should be attached to the bolts which have the small notches at the end; they are referred to as dog ears. This video shows how to install the handle on the Brill Razorcut 38 reel mower:

Bob 05.15.11 at 1:16 pm

I lost one of the two orange height adjustment wheels. Where can I get a replacement?


steve 05.18.11 at 7:31 am

@Bob, Try emailing, they will be able to sell you parts for the Brill reel mowers

Jennifer 05.04.12 at 7:21 am

I am a new homeowner and I bought a Brill Reel mower, the first year I loved it but this second year I am having difficulties with the cutting. In the manual it says to grease the bearings, I hate to ask this but what and where are the bearings? I’m too embarrased to ask anyone I know 🙂 And secondly does “grease” mean like a WD40, someone told me to use motor oil but that doesn’t seem right…
Thanks, hopefully I’m not the only one clueless about this!

steve 05.04.12 at 8:39 am

@Jennifer, I would lubricate your Brill Razorcut 38 with a can of silicone spray lubricate, which can be purchased at any hardware store. You need to spray where the reel connects to the main body of the mower. Using the red straw tip of the spray can, spray all around where it connects, give it a few turns and spray again.

Jennifer 05.28.12 at 7:01 am

Thank you for that.
I have completely cleaned and lubricated plus adjusted the blades but it still doesn’t cut well at all, it basically doesn’t work. I know the blades don’t need to be sharpened for 10 years or so. What else could be wrong with it?

steve 06.04.12 at 7:47 am

@Jennifer, How tall is your grass; if too tall it will roll down and not get between the reel and cutting bar. If this is the case, borrow another type mower, cut it down and stay on top of mowing. Reel mowers do not do well on tall grass or tall weeds. If this is not the case, then I can only imagine it’s not adjusted correctly. Did you use the paper test to set the distance between the reel and the cutting bar? If not then try readjusting it.

Kelly 07.06.12 at 3:12 pm

The handle is on the correct bolt, however, it keeps coming off! the handle bars themselves are “wobbly”…we have tightened the bolts on the neck of the handle bar to no avail….thanks for any help!

steve 07.10.12 at 8:44 am

@Kelly, Go to a hardware store and buy a bottle of liquid lock nut, there is permanent and semi permanent options.

Richard 08.03.12 at 8:07 am

Where can I get new wheels and ratchet wheels ( L_R), used the mower so much, the wheels and gears are falling off.
Dosn’t anyone sell parts ????

steve 08.06.12 at 9:05 am

@Richard, Contact for Brill razorcut 38 parts.

Susan 09.19.12 at 5:24 am

I have recently purchased a Brill Razorcut and it worked perfectly the first time. However, the next time I tried to cut the grass, the wheels locked. The will move in reverse but not in a forward motion. Help!

steve 09.19.12 at 7:09 am

@Susan, It sound like you may have gotten something in the gear which is easily accessed by taking off the wheels. You will need a tool to remove snap rings if you don’t already have a pair. Pop off the hub cap with a flat blade screw driver, remove the snap ring and take off the wheel. If you don’t see anything, try the other side.

Susan 09.19.12 at 10:25 am

Well, Steve…I found the culprit! A penny was stuck in the blades. Of course this was AFTER I took the wheels off! (insert: Women! )
Thanks so much for your prompt reply. I’m off to mow the front lawn.

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