A reel mower, also known as a cylinder mower or a push mower, is a type of lawn mower that uses a rotating cylinder of blades to cut the grass. It is a manual mower that requires no fuel or electricity to operate, making it an eco-friendly and cost-effective option for maintaining a well-manicured lawn. However, like any other piece of equipment, reel mowers require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. In this glossary, we will explore the various aspects of reel mower maintenance, including sharpening the blades, adjusting the cutting height, cleaning and lubricating the mower, and more.

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, resulting in an uneven and unhealthy lawn. To sharpen the blades, you can use a reel mower sharpening kit or take the mower to a professional. 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.

Adjusting the Cutting Height

The cutting height of a reel mower determines how short or long the grass will be after mowing. It is important to adjust the cutting height according to the desired length of the grass and the season. During the summer months, when the grass grows faster, a higher cutting height may be necessary to prevent scalping. Conversely, in the cooler months, a lower cutting height can help maintain a neater appearance. Most reel mowers have adjustable cutting height settings that can be easily changed.

Cleaning and Lubricating the Mower

Regular cleaning and lubrication are essential for keeping a reel mower in good working condition. After each use, remove any grass clippings or debris from the blades and the cutting mechanism. Use a brush or a hose to clean the mower thoroughly. Additionally, lubricate the moving parts of the mower, such as the wheels and the cutting cylinder, with a suitable lubricant. This will prevent rust and ensure smooth operation.

Inspecting and Replacing Parts

Periodically inspecting the various parts of a reel mower is crucial to identify any signs of wear or damage. Check the blades for nicks or dents and replace them if necessary. Inspect the handle, wheels, and other components for any loose or broken parts. Replace any worn-out or damaged parts to maintain the mower’s performance and safety.

Proper Storage

When not in use, it is important to store a reel mower properly to protect it from the elements and prolong its lifespan. Store the mower in a clean and dry area, preferably indoors. If storing it outdoors, use a protective cover to shield it from rain, sunlight, and other harsh weather conditions. Additionally, ensure that the mower is stored in a secure location to prevent theft or damage.

Regular Maintenance Schedule

Creating a regular maintenance schedule for your reel mower can help ensure that all necessary tasks are performed in a timely manner. Set reminders for tasks such as blade sharpening, lubrication, and inspection. By following a schedule, you can stay on top of maintenance and prevent any potential issues from arising.

Using the Mower Correctly

Proper usage of a reel mower can contribute to its longevity and reduce the need for extensive maintenance. Avoid mowing wet grass, as it can clog the blades and lead to rust. Additionally, do not force the mower over thick or tall grass, as this can strain the blades and the cutting mechanism. Instead, mow in multiple passes, gradually reducing the grass height with each pass.

Benefits of Reel Mower Maintenance

Maintaining a reel mower offers several benefits. Firstly, it ensures a clean and precise cut, resulting in a healthier and more attractive lawn. Regular maintenance also extends the lifespan of the mower, saving you money in the long run. Additionally, a well-maintained reel mower operates more efficiently, requiring less effort to push and reducing the risk of injury.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Despite regular maintenance, reel mowers may encounter certain issues. Some common problems include uneven cutting, difficulty in pushing the mower, or the blades not rotating properly. These issues can often be resolved by adjusting the cutting height, sharpening the blades, or cleaning and lubricating the mower. If the problem persists, it is advisable to consult a professional for further assistance.


Reel mower maintenance is essential for keeping your lawn looking its best and ensuring the longevity of your mower. By following the tips and guidelines provided in this glossary, you can effectively maintain your reel mower and enjoy a well-manicured lawn for years to come.