Got reel mower questions?

We’d love your feedback! Do you have any unanswered questions about reel mowers in general or a specific model of reel mowers?

Let us know, so we can improve this site.

Leave us a comment with your question, and we’ll do our best to answer it for you. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll look it up!

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Adele O 06.19.12 at 8:15 am

I have a Scott 304-14s it’s a simple mower I’m a mid age lady and the other mowers are too heavy I love this mower but it mows too low and I’m afraid I’ll burn my grass I have adjusted to roller but
the mower side plates seem soddered and I can’t adjust them do
you know how I can raise the blades??? thanks!!!

steve 07.10.12 at 8:53 am

@Adele O, I have heard of people gluing carpet or other materials to the wheels to make the wheels taller and therefore the mower cuts higher. You might want to either look for larger wheels or try making the wheels taller.

Dennis Mastrolia 06.25.12 at 7:21 am

I just found at a yard sale a Colmans 5 blade reel mower.Manufactured in Middletown,N.Y. The blades do not contact the cutting bar completely when rotating–is this normal? I can make adjustments o.k. Any thoughts. Also should the blades continue to spin after I stop walking? (on a cement surface for instance). Thanks–Dennis.

steve 07.10.12 at 8:47 am

@Dennis Mastrolia, They should just barely be making contact. Use a wrench and adjust each side equally so they just barely touch. You can try the paper test to see if it’s working. Just cut a small piece of paper with the mower flipped on its back and spin the blade with the paper between the cutting bar and reel and see if it cuts. Make adjustments accordingly.

Tessa 06.26.12 at 12:37 pm

I’ve looked at all kinds of reel mowers & read the questions/answers & now I’m more confused than ever! My lawn is very uneven – bumpy; I have no idea what kind of grass I have-it is a 150 year old home & there are a few small thick patches (2 or 3); I live in Berks Co., Pa. I don’t have a lot of strength anymore (due to a car accident),as well as being in my low 50’s. I would prefer one of the mowers that doesn’t require sharpening every year,if possible. And I prefer to have a bag on it. Are there any mowers that do not have plastic pinions? What mower(s) would you recommend? Do you know anything about the Easy Push Reel Mower? It is Amish made. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

lars 06.26.12 at 12:43 pm

If you have limited strength and a bumpy lawn, a reel mower is not going to be a good solution for you.

I would recommend a small, lightweight corded electric mower. Those are very light and easy to push around, and the electric motor will do all of the cutting work for you. Perhaps something like a Black & Decker corded mower.

Dennis Mastrolia 07.10.12 at 9:57 am

Thank you for the info-It is much appreciated.

Ken Houghton 07.15.12 at 1:20 pm

I visited your web site because i am looking for a new battery for my Brill Mower. in the article about mowers you indicate that new brill batteries are available for $89 can you tell be where. i have not had any luck finding these. i keep getting links to sites that never even heard of mower batteries let alone Brill mower batteries. please help

Ken houghton

steve 07.17.12 at 9:20 am

@Ken Houghton, Your best bet is to have it rebuilt, most towns have a battery store. Its hard to get them apart but once done any battery shop can install new batteries. I think they are size “c” rechargeable.

Tim Matejkovic 07.17.12 at 2:15 pm

Does anyone know how to tighten the chain a Fiskars Reel Mower?
I bought it used so there is no directions.

carol 07.18.12 at 8:54 am

We just purchased the 7 bladed American reel mower model# 1705. We are trying to use it to cut a bent grass golf green to the height of just less then 1/2″. We are happy with the height since we are not that picky about our green…however…the mower is leaving a corderoy look after we cut over the entire surface. This isn’t good for a nice smooth putt surface. I know this mower is less then great for this is all we could afford without getting into the very expensive greens mowers. Any suggestions for a smoother cut?

steve 07.20.12 at 10:47 am

@carol, Sorry but no, that’s the best your going to get with a reel mower not designed to cut putting greens.

Dan Coloccia 07.29.12 at 4:06 pm

My son-in-law has a Craftsman Reel mower that throws the cut grass on the left side of the mower into the grass catcher, but the grass cut on the right side is thrown forward of the mower. Is there an adjustment on the Craftsman mower that will allow us to correct this problem? Do you have any suggestions that we might implement?

Thank you,

Dan Coloccia

Michelle 08.11.12 at 11:40 am

I have a Remington 3100 Reel Mower new from Sears. I have used it twice successfully in the past, but it seems like the wheels jam and will not turn (as a result no mowing can happen). Do you have any suggestions on what I should do to fix this/stop this from happening?
Thank you so much in advance!

steve 08.27.12 at 6:52 am

@Michelle, Try taking off the wheels and see if there is something stuck in the gear.

David Howell 08.12.12 at 11:31 am

Just moved to georgia form florida. Seems to be way more types of grass up here. Recently came across a craftsman gas powered reel mower model #328-375301. Not sure what I have. What grass is it best used for? Currently it doesnt run. Is it worth the time and effort to refurbish it? Dont really know it benefits. Thanks for any input

steve 08.27.12 at 6:52 am

@David Howell, No it’s not worth fixing, gas mowers are huge polluters, I suggest buying a manual push reel mower.

Michelle 08.13.12 at 6:50 am

Problem solved… one of the blades was ever so slightly bent on it could not pass the guard.

Jason 09.13.12 at 5:50 pm

I have a Craftsman reel mower, Model #123-8165 I think (the tag is a bit worn) and am seeking any info on this mower. I picked it up a few years back while out “junk hunting” with a buddy for $5. It was in pretty rough shape as it had been sitting outside for 30+ years, so said the gentleman I bought it from. But with a little cleaning, WD-40 and a minor adjustment, it works great! The only downside is it is missing the grass catcher. I got rid of my gas mower and use this exclusively. Any info; age, where to find parts if needed, etc, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

steve 09.14.12 at 8:05 am

@Jason, Try this site, he knows about older mowers –

kathy brown 11.04.12 at 3:42 pm

Hi…..I just bought and old wooden handle Eclipse self sharping lever adjustment reel mower at the flea mkt. it has a wooden roller and was manufactured in Phorhetstown Ill.USA its a model m….whats it worth? anyone know? Thank you

tom sherman 05.22.13 at 1:49 pm

below is suggestion i submitted to majorie king of reels etc. it is a cheap way to convert your reel mower to cut grass as high as as foot or low grass faster. i have sent her a kit based on these instructions to do this. the priciple is based on bolting the handle to the reel body. then it can be lowered like a wheelbarrow to top the grass. i do this simply with cord and use the weight of the mower. if you wish to email me put the term knotbone in it and i may be able to then mail you a kit for $3.

Their Questions or Comments: below is something i did to two of my reels. this idea is being submitted to you gratis with no financial or, confidential obligation. my ph is 414 491 8553 if you have any questions or you can em me if desired. how to modify a reel mower (see patent # 2329383) to cut high grass by topping it the mowers i modified for this purpose are yardworks 20″ and sears craftsman #291.376101. make sure you can lower the handle of the mower you buy at least parallel to the ground (in the case of the yardworks i had to cut off two projecting handle rests to do this). 1) remove the rollers or the wheels to free up holes. 2) what you need for each mower is 1/8 inch cord, 2 washers with 1/8″ openings ,a small turnbuckle or a niteize “knot bone connector” for 1/8″ cord,. what you do: is cut two cords of each about 2′, tie an overhand knot at the end of the cord and slide a washer against the knot. put the cords open end through one of the holes from the inside preferably, then wind the open end around the mower handle 2-3 times. do the same for the other cord on the other side of the mower. then connect the two open ends with the knotbone or turnbuckle. for high cuts one sets the handle via the connector parallel to the ground or maybe 5-10 degrees below that. for low cuts the handle should be set at about 40 degrees the shorter the cord adjustment the higher the cut. the force of gravity will cause the mower body and handle to move as one like a wheel barrow. this mower can cut grass a foot high. one may need to add weight. in the case of the craftsman mower one could take the roller rod and/or roller and reattach it to the top hole of the three holes if the cords use the middle hole. a different way to do this would be to bend a piece of metal around the top of the handle on each side where there are holes where it clears the handle. these holes could be connected as before by a cord from the mower holes below. the difference being a connector would not be used instead the overhand knot would be retied in different positions. this means to change the cutting height one needs to make two different adjustments.

tom sherman 05.22.13 at 2:45 pm

oh and one last thing. the secret to using reel mowers is to use them only when the grass is damp, or moist but not soggy. that would be a morning dew or an hour after a rain where the sun has had a chance to dry things out. i have found this makes pushing the mower a lot easier,

Rick 06.13.13 at 12:09 pm

I have a Brill Luxus 33. It’s been a good mower for the past seven years. My only complaint is the limited cutting height. I really perfer a 3 to 4″ cutting height for my St. Augustine grass. Is it possible to modify the cutting height of a Luxus 33 to at least 3″?

Carol 06.22.13 at 10:09 pm

We just picked up a Montgomery Ward Whisper Garden Mark Reel mower (human powered), with one wheel that seems to seize up. Does anyone know who actually manufactured these? We’d like to take it apart and get it working correctly. For the smaller areas of lawn we have it would be perfect–if only it would work easily enough for me to push it.

Greg C 07.16.13 at 10:09 am

Hello, my neighbor was throwing away an old Clemson Bros reel mower. Its in rough shape (missing a tire, and the roller) but I was hoping to clean it up and restore it. Do you know of anywhere I could get parts for it?


John 07.27.13 at 12:48 pm

I’ve had a reel mower for over a decade. I sharpen the blades regularly so I am currently of our sharpening compound. Is there a way to buy sharpening compound without having to purchase a whole new sharpening kit?

lars 08.01.13 at 11:54 am


You can contact American Lawnmower at They can tell you the grit of the compound so that you can just go to a hardware store and buy some compound of the same or similar grit. Alternatively, I think they sell the compound by itself, although I am not completely sure.

john 08.30.13 at 10:57 pm

I recently found an old reel push mower that uses a bicycle chain around a sprocket centered on both drive wheels which turns the reel the wheels are all metal and the wooden roller is missing. I have looked on the internet for 2 + hours but haven’t seen anything close. I have found no name but by its looks between 1900-1920 or earlier. where would I go for more information?

Roger 09.22.13 at 6:13 am

GREAT information… noted some links are not working.

Grass cutting heights, varied – should be this: not..

Some other links are not working but there seems no ‘other’ DNS listing. Thanks for a great site.

Victoria 05.04.14 at 3:28 pm

We’ve dug out a Scott’s Silent 5 M 3 Reel Mower from my father in law’s garage. The blades are stiff but are moving; it hasn’t rusted, but the wheels are stiff — not locked up, but not turning properly.
We think the wheels may need to be taken apart and cleaned, but they don’t seem to want to come off. we popped off the caps from the ends, and the wheel is attached with a bolt over a washer (not a “c – clip” or whatever most of them are held on with). We can’t get the wheel off — it wiggles a bit but doesn’t pull off. I tapped it a bit with a mallet, but didn’t want to break anything so went pretty easy — didn’t help.

Does anyone have any insights on how to remove the wheels on this model?

lisa 05.31.14 at 1:09 pm

I have a v and s special ball bearing push mower that I know is at least 35 it has a wood handle but I dont know I’d v and s is the maker or the model please help.

mikayla 04.12.15 at 11:27 am

So we were mowing the lawn and everything was going great… but then the back wheels locked up. they will go backwards but not forward. me and my family have tried anything and everything to get it to unlock but we just cant figure it out. please help.

Daniel 04.13.15 at 8:50 am

My fiskars push mower blade just stopped spinning yesterday while I was mowing the lawn. I can spin wheels and blade. Nothing is blocked. It appears that the rear wheels are not spinning the gear that sounds the blade. Anyone out there ever had this issue or have any ideas of what is happening ? This mower is less than 1 year old. Lightly used at this point.

Ken houghton 05.03.17 at 12:19 pm

I visited your web site because i am looking for a drive belt for my Brill Electric Rotary Mower 380 ASM. Is there a website that might sell these drive belts that you might know about?? i have not had any luck finding anyone on the web. Can you please help.

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