Reel mowers are a popular choice for maintaining lawns due to their eco-friendly nature and ability to provide a clean and precise cut. However, like any other piece of equipment, reel mowers require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. In this glossary, we will explore various reel mower maintenance tips that will help you keep your mower in top shape. From sharpening the blades to lubricating the moving parts, we will cover all the essential aspects of reel mower maintenance.

1. Sharpening the Blades

One of the most crucial maintenance tasks for reel mowers is sharpening the blades. Dull blades can result in an uneven cut and put unnecessary strain on the mower. To sharpen the blades, you can use a sharpening kit specifically designed for reel mowers. It is recommended to sharpen the blades at least once a year or more frequently if you have a large lawn or encounter particularly tough grass.

2. Cleaning the Mower

Regularly cleaning your reel mower is essential to prevent debris buildup and ensure smooth operation. After each use, remove any grass clippings or dirt from the blades and the cutting mechanism. You can use a brush or a cloth to clean the mower thoroughly. Additionally, make sure to remove any grass clippings stuck in the wheels or other moving parts.

3. Lubricating the Moving Parts

Proper lubrication is vital for reel mowers to function smoothly. Apply lubricating oil to the moving parts, such as the wheels, gears, and bearings, to reduce friction and prevent rust. Be sure to use a lubricant that is specifically recommended for reel mowers. Regular lubrication will not only improve the performance of your mower but also extend its lifespan.

4. Adjusting the Cutting Height

The cutting height of your reel mower plays a significant role in achieving the desired lawn appearance. It is essential to adjust the cutting height according to the grass type and season. During the summer months, you may want to keep the cutting height slightly higher to prevent stress on the grass. Conversely, in cooler months, a lower cutting height can help maintain a neat and tidy lawn.

5. Inspecting and Replacing Parts

Regularly inspecting your reel mower for any worn-out or damaged parts is crucial for its proper functioning. Check the blades, wheels, and other components for signs of wear and tear. If you notice any issues, such as bent blades or loose wheels, consider replacing them promptly. Replacing worn-out parts will not only improve the performance of your mower but also prevent further damage.

6. Storing the Mower

Proper storage is essential to protect your reel mower from the elements and ensure its longevity. Before storing the mower, clean it thoroughly and remove any grass clippings or debris. Store the mower in a dry and sheltered area, away from direct sunlight and moisture. If possible, cover the mower with a protective cover to prevent dust accumulation and potential damage.

7. Checking the Belt Tension

If your reel mower is equipped with a belt drive system, it is crucial to check the belt tension regularly. A loose or worn-out belt can affect the mower’s performance and result in an uneven cut. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the correct belt tension and make any necessary adjustments. Regularly inspecting and maintaining the belt will ensure optimal performance.

8. Cleaning and Replacing the Air Filter

If your reel mower has an air filter, it is essential to clean or replace it regularly. A clogged or dirty air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, leading to reduced performance and potential damage. Consult the mower’s manual to locate the air filter and follow the recommended cleaning or replacement schedule. Keeping the air filter clean will help maintain the mower’s efficiency.

9. Checking the Spark Plug

The spark plug is a critical component of the reel mower’s engine. Regularly inspecting and cleaning the spark plug is essential to ensure proper ignition and efficient operation. If the spark plug is dirty or damaged, it may need to be replaced. Consult the mower’s manual for instructions on how to access and maintain the spark plug. A well-maintained spark plug will contribute to smooth engine performance.

10. Inspecting the Handle and Controls

Regularly inspecting the handle and controls of your reel mower is essential for safe and comfortable operation. Check for any loose or damaged parts, such as loose handles or malfunctioning controls. Tighten any loose screws or bolts and replace any damaged components. Ensuring the handle and controls are in good condition will provide a secure grip and enhance overall user experience.

11. Checking the Drive System

If your reel mower has a drive system, it is crucial to regularly inspect and maintain it. Check the drive belt, gears, and other components for any signs of wear or damage. Lubricate the drive system as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure smooth operation. Proper maintenance of the drive system will contribute to the mower’s overall performance and longevity.

12. Following the Manufacturer’s Guidelines

Lastly, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for reel mower maintenance. Each mower may have specific maintenance requirements, and adhering to these guidelines will ensure optimal performance and prevent any potential damage. Refer to the mower’s manual for detailed instructions on maintenance tasks, recommended lubricants, and any specific precautions.


In conclusion, proper maintenance is crucial for keeping your reel mower in top shape and ensuring its longevity. By following the reel mower maintenance tips outlined in this glossary, you can optimize the performance of your mower and achieve a clean and precise cut. Remember to regularly sharpen the blades, clean the mower, lubricate the moving parts, and inspect and replace any worn-out components. With proper maintenance, your reel mower will continue to provide excellent results for years to come.