Gas and electric lawn mowers are expensive, cumbersome and difficult to maintain, especially if only used for small to medium sized yards.
Which is why you may want to consider purchasing one our recommended best manual lawn mowers, an equally reliable and effective option that has been used for decades.
However, they are far from old-fashioned, having kept up with modern design advancements, making them easier to use than ever. When combined with a line trimmer, they're great.
We've compiled 5 of the top quality manual lawn mower models that will make maintaining your yard faster, cheaper and easier!
Best Manual Lawn Mowers
1. Bosch AHM 38 Lawn Mower
Ideal for pocket lawn areas the Bosch AHM 38 hand mower is exactly that – a hand-powered mower without electric cords, batteries or petrol. A wonderfully ‘green’ choice.
With a width of 38cm, it will deliver clean and precise and leave a neat short mown area down to a variable 15 – 43mm height. A rear roller allows you to leave stripes over your lawn for that professional look.
The mower has a fixed lower blade and a series of five other horizontal blades mounted in a ball-bearing weighted cylinder which rotates and cut against the fixed blade at the base of the grass like a pair of scissors.
The blades are made of long-lasting hardened steel. The height of the cut can be set by a tool-free ‘click’ locking device. The lawn clippings are caught in the large 25-litre grass box for easy disposal.
Wheels mounted high on either side and geared, together with the rear roller, make the mower easy to push, move and turn.
Also, the mower only weighs 7.5 kg which also contributes to its ease of manoeuvrability around the garden. The handle is sturdy and withstands pressure.The mower does require some assembly but comes with easy to follow instructions.
2. American Lawn Mower Company 1415-16
The 16” (40.6cm) hand mower from The American Lawn Mower Company is both efficient and easy to use for small lawns. Free from all power sources except your own energy it is an environmentally friendly device as well as being light on the budget. Noise is not an issue with a hand mower either.
A hand mower only works when it’s moved in a forward direction so there are no safety issues at all. The mower uses a 5-blade cylinder with a ball-bearing mechanism for a smooth rolling action.
The fixed base blade can be height adjusted to between 1.3 – 6.4 cm for a variable cutting length. And the blades are made from heat-treated steel alloy for long-lasting sharpness, guaranteeing a scissor-like cut every time. It will tackle even long grass (reportedly as long as 8 inches ad more).
Two 10” side wheels make the manoeuvring of the device easy and comfortable – no sticking on turns. A T-shaped handle has a comfortable cushioned grip. The mower does not have a grass catcher.
This is a very compact and lightweight machine (only 11.3kg) and is ideal for townhouses, apartments etc.
The machine does require assembly but that doesn’t require any tools and the product comes with full instructions.
3. Earthwise 515-18 Manual Mower
The Earthwise 515-18 push reel hand mower is quiet, efficient, eco-friendly and extremely easy to use, especially on smaller lawns.
Push style lawnmowers are coming back into favour for a variety of reasons. The new ones are vastly superior to the traditional varieties and are certainly worth considering if you have a small lawn and don't want all the features that powered mowers have. This one is a reasonably priced option with some attractive features.
With a large 18-inch cutting width and blades which can be easily adjusted to cut between 1 – 3 inches, you can cut the lawn quickly and efficiently.
It has a non-contact 5-blade ball bearing reel system which is designed to ensure that the blades stay sharp and that the mower is easy to push.
The blades are made from tempered alloy steel for sharpness and durability. Weighing only 11.3kg the mower is light and easy to push and carry.
Two 10-inch durable rubber wheels and a “V”-style handle with a cushioned grip make it very comfortable to use.
Grass cuttings are thrown forward for easy clean-up – the mower does not have a grass catcher. Some assembly is required but this is very quick and easy to do.
4. Victa 16” Razor Cut Push Mower
At an extremely budget-friendly price, the Victa 16' Razor Cut Push Mower is a great choice if you have a small lawn area and you're wanting to be free from the hassles of electric cords, battery charging, petrol fumes etc. It’s also eco-friendly – something many of us are keen on being.
The mower has a 16" cutting width and the base blade is height-adjustable to three settings between 13 – 38mm.
A word of caution: the blades do need to be adjusted and attended to from time to time to prevent them from locking up but the manual provided does give good instructions on how to attend to this.
And the occasional use of a product such as WD40 to oil the moving parts is also recommended for a longer life of smooth running. The blades are self-sharpening, guaranteeing a razor-sharp cut every time.
A height-adjustable handle with an ergonomically designed comfort grip makes the machine easy to use for people of all heights. And weighing only 9.5kg it's also ideal for the elderly, women and kids. The mower has a large catcher for clippings leaving a clean neat finish.
This is a robust and compact machine ideal for maintaining small to medium lawns and grassy areas like street verges.
5. Saon 40cm Push Cylinder Hand Lawn Mower
At the lowest end of the price bracket for push lawn mowers is the Saxon 40cm.
This is a wide 400mm hand-powered mower with a 4-step cutting height range between 15 – 35mm. The reel has five blades with the fixed blade at the base being height adjustable with an easy to use lever action.
Setting the cutting height appropriately for the length of the grass being mown will achieve the best results.
The mower will perform at its best if used to bring the lawn down gradually rather than attempting to slash long grass at the lower settings. In other words, a softly ‘groomed’ approach is best.
The mower may become stuck on loose twigs and sticks but these are easily kicked away from the blades as this occurs because the blades are not fixed to the reel.A catcher for the grass clippings is included for a nice neat finish.
The machine is made from ABS plastic and hardened steel for durability. It’s both robust and reliable.
Weighing only 7.7kg and with the catcher being both removable and collapsible the machine is ideal for mowing small areas of grass and lawn and carried and/or stored in a small space.
When it comes to choosing the best manual lawn mowers you're really spoilt for choice. You can pick one up at any hardware store in the country such as Bunnings or Mitre 10. You can also buy one on Amazon.com.au with international brands from the USA also shipping directly to your home here in Australia.
You don't need to spend a fortune either, with budget friendly offers available as well as more expensive brands such as American Lawn Mower Company.
For a great entry level manual mower with lots of features we recommend the Bosch Manual Garden Mower which offers fast, convenient mowing of small lawn areas. This model costs well under $150 and various height cuts.
A passionate traveller, mother and registered nurse. She’s been to over 140 countries prior to settling down in Melbourne. When she’s not writing for Best Five or working, she can be seen swimming, playing squash and playing the guitar.