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Are reel lawn mowers effective? The answer is complicated. A manual push mower is plenty effective for smaller spaces that receive regular upkeep. In fact, you may start to see more of these zero-emission lawn mowers make an appearance around your neighborhood this summer. The price of gas is skyrocketing, and every precious gallon you can save, the better. Not to mention, manual push mowers are better for the environment, better for bees, and better for your health. 

Read on to learn about the eight best reel lawn mowers for summer 2022, according to Popular Mechanics.

8. Great States Push Reel Lawn Mower

Red Great States reel lawn mower covered in grass clippings
Great States reel mower | Patrick Whittemore/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Popular Mechanics named the Great States 415-16 16-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower the best budget reel mower. With a price of just about $100, this is a cheap and simply manual push mower. Tackle your yard and embrace a slightly longer lawn with five blades and rugged 10-inch wheels.

7. Sun Joe Manual Reel Mower

The Sun Joe MJ500M 16-Inch Manual Reel Mower is the best value push mower with a price of $110 and an included grass-clippings collector bag attached. It’s lightweight but wide and best for small, level yards. It requires little to no lawn lower maintenance.

6. DuroStar Reel Lawn Mower

An older man pushes a reel lawn mower along grass to cut it
Man pushing a reel lawn mower | Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The DuroStar 10-in Reel Lawn Mower is the best small manual mower, but don’t let its pint-sized frame fool you. Chunky-treaded wheels, heat-treated blades, and rear tracker wheels make this a robust and lightweight mower.

5. Scotts Outdoor Rush Reel Lawn Mower

The Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 304-14S 14-Inch 5-Blade Rush Reel Lawn Mower is the best midsized reel mower for the money. It costs only $100, takes about 10 minutes to put together, and weighs less than 20 pounds. A 14-inch cutting width means more ground covered with each push.

4. Scotts Outdoor Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower

The Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 200-20S 20-Inch 5-Blade Classic Push Reel Mower took the crown as the best large push mower. Its quad wheel system provides more stability than other models when used on uneven lawns. It’s easily adjustable and has a max cutting height of three inches.

3. Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Push Lawn Mower

The intimidating Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Push Mower is Popular Mechanics’ best high-end push mower and is recommended as the best reel mower for tall grass. It costs around $210-$250, making it one of the most expensive on this list. However, an attached grass chute and a max cutting height of four inches give this model a big advantage.

2. Scotts Outdoor 20V Electric Cordless Reel Lawn Mower

The Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 2020-16S 20-Volt 16-Inch Electric Cordless Reel Lawn Mower (that’s a mouthful) captures the title of best electric reel mower. This lawn mower will be the most similar to the gas mowers you’re used to, but it’s still fully emissions-free. It’s one of the best powered reel mowers on the market, and it costs a little over $300.

1. Scotts Outdoor Elite Push Reel Lawn Mower

The Scotts Outdoor Power Tools 415-16S 16-inch Elite Push Mower takes the competition as the best all-around reel mower for 2022. It’s a five-blade model that assembles easily. The minimum cutting height is a mere 0.5 inches—but the maximum is only 1.75 inches. It costs around $140 to buy new.

These gas-free, emissions-free, guilt-free lawn mowers are perfect for smaller yards. You’ll save money purchasing a cheap, well-built reel mower and continue saving for years to come. Very little maintenance, no gas fill-ups, and no oil changes.

It’s a win-win for you and the environment.