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Push Reel Mowers Versus Rotary Mowers

Published on NewsOK Published: June 26, 2013

Full disclosure: I own a Push Reel mower. I am a downright dirty earth-loving station wagon-driving, no wait, I mean bike-riding urban homesteading vegan. It’s true. So I’m biased.

But sometimes bias can be the basis of exploration. Like when your own confusion – in this case “Wait, why would anyone want to do that ever?” – leads to new and enlightening discoveries. Discoveries like “Oh, well I guess that makes some sense.” (See, I’m actually an open-minded nut job!)

Before we get into the Push Reel versus Rotary Mower debate, let’s define our terms. A Push Reel mower is manually operated, by which I mean you use your body and your own energetic calories to propel it forward and spin the blades. A Rotary Mower, on the other hand, uses gasoline or electricity to power the engine. You still push, but it’s much easier work and the actual spinning of the blades is provided by the engine.

Also, for the purpose of this article, we’re talking about a home gardener/lawn keeper situation, and NOT commercial landscaping businesses or larger-scale grounds keeping.

So let’s do a bit of side-by-side comparison.


Using a Reel Mower has zero environmental impact. They use no energy, they create no pollution, and they don’t burn any fossil fuel. A Reel mower has no carbon footprint.

A Rotary Mower, on the other hand, uses gasoline or else uses electricity, which originate from fossil fuels. C’mon though, let’s be real. It’s no question. From the eco-friendly perspective, the Reel Mower takes the prize, hands down.

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