They may be less efficient than their electric counterparts, but hand push lawn mowers have a beauty and practicality all of their own. Some gardeners prefer them while others like to use both an electric and then a push mower on their lawn (the latter providing a neater finish).
The benefits of hand push manual lawn mowers haven’t gone unnoticed in our eco-friendly age. Not only are they environmentally-friendly because they don’t use electricity or petrol, but they don’t cost anything to use either. This is obviously a big advantage for those prioritising household budgeting.
Another reason hand push manual lawn mowers are preferred by many gardeners these days is that they’re easier to use – in that they don’t have any annoying cables to trip over (or worse, accidentally cut). Nor do they take time to set up, it’s simply a case of taking the hand push mower out of storage and go…
Oh, and there’s also the fact that pushing a mower will give you more exercise than an electric version. And the neighbours will be happy too since there’s far less noise.
In this guide, we’ve looked at five hand push lawnmowers. They vary in price and whether or not there is a fixed blade (which provides a neater, scissor-like cut).
There are also differences in the capacity of the grass collecting bins – although many gardeners prefer not to use these anyway and simply leave the grass cuttings to become mulch.
You’ll find adjustable cutting heights between the mowers, as well as in their weight. None of the mowers we’ve reviewed though could be described as particularly heavy or difficult to push. Some are produced from a combination of metal and plastic while others are solid metal.
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One thing we’ve noticed is the pleasure using a hand push lawn mower brings gardeners. Whether because it’s the case that mowing manually gives them a feeling of being more connected with their lawn, or they enjoy the rhythmic effort involved in pushing a manual lawn mower, they certainly seem to better enjoy their time in the garden. And to us, that’s really what gardening is all about!
A mower that’s light, easy-to-use and guarantees a neat finish every time
Sturdy, yet easy to use, the Einhell GC-HM 30 Hand Push Lawn Mower comes equipped with five quality steel blades to give you a neat and clean cut. There is a total of four levels of cutting height adjustment, from 15 mm to 35 mm. And its large wheels mean there is less stress on the lawn itself.
Quiet to push – thanks to its smooth-running, ball-bearing mowing spindle – you won’t unreasonably disturb the neighbours even if you decide to start mowing the lawn before sunrise. It’s easy to assemble too and light enough for an elderly person – or someone who doesn’t have a lot of strength – to use.
The Einhell GC-HM 30 Hand Push Lawn Mower has a plastic roller of 45 cm diameter and is best for lawns up to 150 m² in size. The removable rear grass basket can collect up to 16 litres of cut grass at a time.
Finally, this is a good-looking machine; compact – just 45 mm in diameter – and with smart red bodywork.
- Quiet thanks to a smooth-running, ball-bearing mowing spindle
- Capable of cutting lawns of up to 150 m² in size
- Wide wheels mean far less stress on the lawn
- Easy to use
- Produces impressive lawn stripes
- Adjustable cutting height of from 15 mm to 42 mm
- Very reasonably priced in comparison to other hand mowers
- Not great on uneven grass as needs a lot more exertion to get it moving
- Grass basket can be fiddly to remove every time it’s filled
- On assembly the bolts and nuts need to be extremely tight otherwise they can loosen quite quickly
- The blade can get jammed on long grass
An inexpensive hand mower that does exactly what it says on the tin
Cost: Price not available
The fact it is lightweight, well-priced and produces a lovely, neat cut for small gardens means the Charles Bentley Hand Push Lawn Mower comes top of our value picks.
Produced from both steel and plastic, this sturdy hand push lawn mower measures 120 cm in height, with a width of 43.5 cm. This means it doesn’t require a lot of storage space in your garden shed either.
With a cutting width of 30 cm and height adjustment ranging from 12 mm – 45 mm, it does the job as well as more expensive hand mowers. The blades are located on the rotating spinner. The attachable plastic grass collection basket can carry up to 16 litres of grass cuttings at a time.
Its lightness to lift and use makes the Charles Bentley Hand Push Lawn Mower an ideal choice for elderly gardeners or those with limited strength. That same lightness also makes it more manoeuvrable and far easier to get to difficult to reach areas of the lawn than petrol-based or other heavier hand push lawnmowers. Despite the weight, this is a sturdy and presentable hand push lawn mower which gives a good finish to lawns.
- Lightweight – at just 6.5kg it can be lifted with one hand – so it’s easy to carry and use
- Has an adjustable cutting height of from 15 mm to 42 mm
- Doesn’t take long to cut grass on a small or medium-sized garden
- Not a lot of effort required to use
- Cuts grass into tiny pieces for those who just leave cuttings on the lawn
- Grass collector doesn’t always pick up cuttings since the blade can spray in all directions
- No stationary blade at the bottom of the cutter
A well-made sturdy mower with an extra-large grass collecting cylinder
Another light mower to use and lift, the Bosch AHM 38 G Cylinder Lawnmower is suitable for adult gardeners of all ages, including those who find it difficult pushing heavy hand mowers, thanks to its high geared side wheels.
It also has a comfortable handle, making it perfect for those with arthritis in the hands. In addition to easier access, the high geared side wheels allow the mower to be easily manoeuvred into areas of the garden which may prove difficult for other mowers to reach.
With a five-blade horizontally mounted cylinder cutting against a fixed bottom blade producing a 38 cm cut width, as well as a rear roller, you will be assured of a neat and very precise cut on your grass every time you use this mower. Certainly, unlike some other hand push lawnmowers, it won’t tear the grass.
Those who find it difficult to bend down low and yet like to collect their grass cuttings will be pleased to hear that the Bosch AHM mower has a grass box which can collect up to 25 litres of grass trimmings at a time.
The mower itself makes a not-unpleasant hypnotic and gentle whirring noise when being used. It is also easy to store in a garden shed since it doesn’t take up too much space.
- A rear roller offers stability when mowing up to lawn edges so it’s good for decorative lawns
- Produces attractive stripes on the lawn
- Has an adjustable cutting height from 15 mm to 43 mm
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- Easy to assemble – takes just 10 minutes – thanks to printed instructions
- Grass cuttings basket can prove a little cumbersome
Perfect for gardeners who like a neat cut with impressive lawn stripes
Cost: Price not available
Like the other hand push lawn mowers in our review, this machine has a cutting width of 30 cm wide and an adjustable cutting height of between 12 mm and 45 mm – meaning a neat and very presentable lawn every time it is used.
The fixed blades ensure the grass isn’t ripped, but rather, trimmed to precision. The rear roller guarantees smart stripes for those who enjoy a decorative look to their lawns.
The Garden Gear Manual Mower is perfect for small gardens and yet has a generous 17-litre grass collecting bag capacity. It is also extremely light-weight, coming in at just 6.4 kg, and making it ideal for those who are elderly or don’t have a lot of muscle power or energy. The handle has also been designed to give a very comfortable grip.
Meanwhile, the large wheels on the Garden Gear Manual Mower make it easy to access hard-to-reach areas of the garden.
- Comes with a 12 months guarantee
- Provides an option of buying a safety visor face shield
- Great for reaching previously inaccessible areas
- Gives a neat and precise cut
- Grass collector can prove a nuisance at times
Great for gardeners who like their lawn very short as well as neat
Cost: Price not available
The most expensive hand push lawn mower in our review, the WEBB H30, is robust, nicely put together and excellent for mowing grass measuring two inches high or less.
Like most other hand push lawnmowers, the height can be adjusted – although with the WEBB H30 it cuts to a shorter height (10 cm) than any of the other mowers we have reviewed here. The tallest level it cuts to is 40 cm.
It has six blades in total and the entire mower is produced from metal. The grass collection box has a capacity of 18 litres.
Although the handle doesn’t fold down, it stands over the actual mower so that it doesn’t take up much space when stored.
- Has side wheels to manage longer grass
- Cutting height is from 10 mm to 40 mm
- Has a two-piece rear roller
- Expensive to purchase compared to other hand push lawn mowers (though not excessively so)
How To Sharpen Push Lawn Mower Blades
It may seem a little daunting – especially if you have never attempted it before – but really sharpening your push lawn mower’s blades isn’t difficult; especially if you break it down into manageable steps, such as these:
Take a look at those blades and you’ll see one is fixed and the other on the reel (or cylinder). In a nutshell, what you want to do initially to sharpen them is to make the blades rotate the opposite way to what they would if they were cutting your grass.
Next, put grinding compound onto the blades so that they effectively sharpen themselves and push it across your lawn as if you really were cutting it. Once you’ve done that wipe off the grinding compound and then push the mower so that the blades go in the right direction again to cut the lawn.
How to make your mower go backwards
Take off the wheels and remove the gears then swap the latter (ie right and left) so that the cylinder will move in the opposite direction when attached again to the mower. Put the wheels back on.
How to ensure the blades are sharpened
Adjust the fixed blade (by turning the screws) so that it touches the blades on the cylinder. This should make it more difficult to move the mower when pushed. It’s at this stage that you should apply the grinding compound to the blades so that they sharpen themselves.
Push the mower until the cylinder moves easily once more, then adjust the screws on the fixed blade to make it difficult to push again. Repeat this exercise until every single blade is shiny.
Along the way, you can start removing the grit compound by pouring water over the blades. Eventually, there won’t be any left – at which stage you should be finished sharpening the blades on your mower.
Finally, reverse the process you started with – take off the wheels and put the gears around the correct way so that the blades move forward when you push the mower across your lawn.
I'm an avid gardener and home DIY enthusiast from Yorkshire in the North of England. I'm passionate about helping our readers get out into their gardens - by making the most of the outdoors and ensuring they get the best possible deals on their gardening equipment. I also believe strongly in the preservation of our beautiful garden wildlife.