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Best Lawn Mower for the Money: A Comparison of Three Top Quality and Affordable Lawn Mowers

Best Lawn Mower for the Money: A Comparison of Three Top Quality and Affordable Lawn Mowers

Having a clean cut lawn is a feat that most families work hard to achieve. Some pay for a professional gardener to take care of their lawns while there are also others who find that tending to their own is the best way to go. If you are on the hunt for the best lawn mower for the money, you can sit back and relax because we got you covered.

Before we introduce to you our top three picks, know that this article is focused on reviewing some of the best reel lawn mowers. A reel lawn mower is perfect for those who have a small and flat yard.

This type of lawn mower works best on yards that are a third of an acre or smaller. Reel mowers provide a clean cut while also being quiet and emissions-free, which make them a really wise investment if you are trying to lessen your carbon footprint. These old-fashioned lawn mowers are also low-maintenance and can last for many years.

Those who enjoy taking care of their own yard would really like this equipment as you would need to use them more often than other types of lawn mowers because it sometimes struggles with cutting taller grass.

Best Lawn Mower for the Money

So, if a reel lawn mower is what you are after, then check out our top three picks to help you get started on the right model for you. These lawn mowers each boast a set of features that just might make them the perfect choice to match your personal needs and preferences.

American Lawn Mower 1204-14

Coming from the oldest lawn mower company in the United States, the American Lawn Mower 1205-14 is guaranteed to make your yard look neat and healthy. This brand has a history of designing and manufacturing reel lawn mowers that goes back more than 120 years.

What Makes It Stand Out

Perfect Cut for a Healthier Lawn

For those who are new to this, mowing lawns is not just about cutting grass to make the yard appear neat and clean. In reality, you want to make sure that the grass stays healthy and free from diseases and insect attacks. The cutting height is adjustable from ½ inch to 1 ¾ inches.

The American Lawn Mower 1204-14 can make that happen. With each push, you can be sure that each blade is cut neatly, resulting in a greener, healthier, and more appealing yard.

It does this by cutting the grass much like when using a pair of scissors, instead of hacking, tearing, and ripping it.

Requires Low Maintenance

As mentioned above, reel lawn mowers require little to no maintenance at all unlike other types of lawn mowers. It does not have any engine, nor does it use oil, gas, or spark plugs; all you have to do to get it to work is to push it.

Using a reel lawn mower such as this model from the American Lawn Mower Company is a very simple and effective way to take care of your yard.

Easy to Use and to Store

The American Lawn Mower 1204-14 is made of heavy-duty materials that are very lightweight. It comes with two wheels that are easy to push and move around to cover any yard.

Additionally, they also do not take too much space, so you can just simply hang it on a wall in your garage until the next time you need to use it.


  • Can be operated using only one hand
  • Safer to use compared to gas mowers
  • Easy to assemble
  • Gets you to burn some calories
  • Can be adjusted to desired height
  • Comes with really sharp blades that can cut thick grass


  • Measures only 14 inches wide and might not be big enough for larger yards
  • Cannot cut through twigs and branches
  • Does not work on rugged yards
  • Handle is not adjustable
  • Uneven cut on yards with different grass types

Great States 815-18

This model is also a product of an established reel lawn mower company in the United States. Back in 1936, the brand Great States Corporation was bought by and merged with American Lawn Mower Company.

Today, both brands sell high-quality gardening gears that are manufactured in the same plant.

What Makes It Stand Out

Bigger Span

Quite similar to the model above, the Great States 815-18 is also a reel lawn mower. This means that it does not run on engine and fuel.

Instead, you get a set of sharp blades with an 18-inch cutting width. These blades are heat-treated, so you can rest assured that it stays sharp for a long period of time.

Like the previously reviewed model, this reel lawn mower also makes precise, clean cuts that make the yard look healthy and beautiful as well as free from insect attacks and certain diseases.

Does Not Require Too Much Upkeep

Similar to all reel lawn mowers, this model is a very simple equipment that you can use right out of the box. All you need to do is take it out of the box, assemble it, and you are good to go. It is designed with two 10-inch composite wheels with molded hubcaps.

Very Practical and Easy to Maneuver

This model is made of a lightweight alloy steel that is durable. The handles are powder-coated to ensure a longer lifespan free from rust. It is also designed with a full-length foam grip for added comfort.

The height can be adjusted from ½ inch to 2 ¾ inches. The fact that it does not run on an engine also means that it is very quiet and safe to use.


  • Only has a few parts, so it is very easy to assemble
  • Cuts nicely in one passing
  • Easy to troubleshoot when it gets jammed with twigs or sticks
  • Gives a uniform cut
  • Works even on slightly sloped or bumpy ground


  • Only cuts when pushed forward
  • Cannot mow over rocks, mulch, pine cones, sticks, and twigs

Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower

Fiskars is also a reputable brand that is well-known for producing practical equipment used in gardening and cooking. They are an ironworks company that has been around since 1649.

They are also the mother company of other globally recognized brands such as Royal Copenhagen, Gerber, Wedgwood, and Waterford.

What Makes It Stand Out

Easier Push Compared to Other Models

The Fiskars StaySharp Max is equipped with a mechanism that makes it 60% easier to maneuver as compared to reel lawn mowers from other brands. It has a chain-drive design that offers less friction and better inertia.

Increased Cutting Power

Adding to its remarkable design is the InertiaDrive technology, which delivers double cutting power through its thick blades attached to a large-diameter cutting reel. This mechanism makes it possible to cut through weeds of varying thickness. This model has a cutting width of 18 inches.

Adjustable and Makes Healthy Cuts

The cutting height is adjustable from one to four inches to accommodate the different needs and preferences of its users. Additionally, the handle height can also be tailored to the preferred height of the user.

This model also boasts a set of sharp blades that extend beyond the width of the mower for easy mowing of tricky edges near fences, foundations, and sidewalks.


  • Can cut through different types of grass
  • Gives a very fine, clean, and healthy cut
  • Stays leveled over uneven yard
  • Very easy to assemble
  • Requires little to no upkeep
  • Environment-friendly and emits no noise


  • Can only cut grass when pushed forward
  • Quite difficult to turn when on thick grass

The Verdict

All in all, each of these products could be the one that would best fit your needs. All three models are recommended to use in small yards. The American Lawn Mower 1204-14 has a cutting width of 14 inches while the Great States 815-18 and Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower both have 18 inches.

When it comes to adjustability, the Fiskars model offers the widest range, boasting a cutting height that can be adjusted from one inch to four inches. On the other hand, the American Lawn Mower and Great States models have adjustable cutting heights of ½ inch to 1 ¾ inches and ½ inch and 2 ¾ inches, respectively.

To conclude, the best lawn mower for the money is the Friskar StaySharp Max Reel because of its advanced and well-thought-of features that are packed in a rather old-fashioned and practical gardening equipment.

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