What is: Reel Mower Maintenance Guide

Reel mowers are a popular choice for homeowners who prefer a more environmentally friendly and quiet way to maintain their lawns. These manual push mowers have a set of rotating blades that cut the grass cleanly, resulting in a healthier lawn. However, like any other piece of equipment, reel mowers require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. In this comprehensive reel mower maintenance guide, we will explore the various aspects of maintaining a reel mower, from sharpening the blades to lubricating the moving parts.

Sharpening the Blades

One of the most important aspects of reel mower maintenance is keeping the blades sharp. Dull blades can tear the grass instead of cutting it cleanly, leading to a less attractive lawn and potential damage to the grass. To sharpen the blades, you will need a reel mower sharpening kit, which typically includes a sharpening compound and a brush. Start by removing the blades from the mower and applying the sharpening compound to the cutting edges. Use the brush to scrub away any debris or rust. Repeat this process until the blades are sharp and clean.

Adjusting the Cutting Height

Another crucial aspect of reel mower maintenance is adjusting the cutting height. Different grass types require different cutting heights to thrive. Most reel mowers have adjustable cutting heights, allowing you to customize the height according to your lawn’s needs. To adjust the cutting height, locate the height adjustment mechanism on your reel mower and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It is recommended to start with a higher cutting height and gradually lower it until you achieve the desired results.

Cleaning the Mower

Regular cleaning is essential to keep your reel mower in top condition. Grass clippings, dirt, and debris can accumulate on the blades and other parts of the mower, affecting its performance. After each use, remove any grass clippings or debris from the blades and the cutting mechanism. Use a brush or a cloth to wipe away any dirt or residue. It is also a good idea to periodically clean the underside of the mower to remove any built-up grass or debris that may hinder the cutting action.

Lubricating the Moving Parts

To ensure smooth operation, it is important to lubricate the moving parts of your reel mower. Over time, the bearings, gears, and other components may become dry or worn, leading to increased friction and potential damage. Apply a suitable lubricant to the moving parts, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Be sure to use a lubricant that is specifically designed for reel mowers to avoid any potential damage. Regular lubrication will help extend the lifespan of your mower and keep it running smoothly.

Inspecting and Replacing Parts

Regular inspection of your reel mower is crucial to identify any worn or damaged parts that may need replacement. Check the blades for any signs of wear or damage, such as nicks or bent edges. If the blades are beyond repair, they will need to be replaced. Additionally, inspect the wheels, handles, and other components for any signs of wear or damage. Replace any worn or damaged parts to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your reel mower.

Storing the Mower

Proper storage is essential to protect your reel mower from the elements and prolong its lifespan. Before storing the mower, clean it thoroughly to remove any grass clippings, dirt, or debris. Apply a light coat of oil or rust inhibitor to the blades and other metal parts to prevent corrosion. Store the mower in a dry and sheltered area, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. If possible, cover the mower with a protective cover to further shield it from dust and moisture.

Safety Precautions

When performing reel mower maintenance, it is important to prioritize safety. Always disconnect the spark plug or remove the battery before working on the mower to prevent accidental starts. Wear protective gloves and eyewear to shield yourself from any potential injuries. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for maintenance procedures. If you are unsure about any aspect of reel mower maintenance, consult a professional or refer to the mower’s user manual.

Regular Maintenance Schedule

Establishing a regular maintenance schedule is key to keeping your reel mower in optimal condition. Create a checklist of the maintenance tasks that need to be performed and set a frequency for each task. For example, you may choose to sharpen the blades every few months, adjust the cutting height at the beginning of each season, and clean the mower after each use. By following a regular maintenance schedule, you can ensure that your reel mower performs at its best and lasts for many years to come.


With proper maintenance, your reel mower can provide you with years of reliable service. By sharpening the blades, adjusting the cutting height, cleaning the mower, lubricating the moving parts, inspecting and replacing worn parts, storing the mower correctly, and following safety precautions, you can keep your reel mower in excellent condition. Remember to establish a regular maintenance schedule and adhere to it to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your reel mower.