We all love labour-saving technology. But if you’ve ever locked your keys inside your automatic car, you’re probably nostalgic for … as our cousins call it … a stick shift. And this ‘return to analogue’ may flow into other areas of your life. Including your garden shed.
But we’ve been in the self-propelled space for a while now. So identifying the best manual lawn mower could be a challenge. You don’t want to go antiquing and end up with a model that won’t start. Or has zero spares. Let’s start with a Top Seven list and go from there.
The Best Manual Lawn Mower In UK Market 2021
1. Fiskars 18-Inch Manual Lawn Mower
Manual lawn mowers sometimes have reels, and this one does. It’s fitted with four curved blades that snip grass as the cylinder rolls. It has patented technology they call InertiaReel, and it’s more effective than standard hand mowers. This is a lightweight model – barely 50 pounds – so it’s easier to push by up to 60%. But it works best on short, fresh grass.
The cutting height is adjustable between 1 inch and 4 inches, but this mower won’t do very well if your grass is above six inches. The curved reel will ‘float’ over the stalks and you may have to come back and trim the stubborn sections with a petrol mower, hedge trimmer, or shears. But the VersaCut lever ‘gear’ makes it easy to swap between cutting heights.
This is a quiet, eco-friendly model. The rear wheels are bigger than the front ones. Being a manual mower, those back wheels don’t signal 4WD. But they do offer enhanced traction in hilly gardens. This hand mower doesn’t have a grass collection bin. But it has a grass chute. The chute flap is reversible so you can deposit clippings in front of the mower or behind it.
The official name for this manual mower is Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel. The blades retain their edge far longer and don’t need sharpening. With some mowers, the sections directly below the mower will escape the blades. But this Fiskars model has inset wheels. They let the blade stretch the entire width of the mower, meaning no ‘blind spots’ are left uncut.
This form of contact-free trimming also allows closer cuts along kerbs, corners, and designated edging. The three reels have a bigger diameter than typical reels. They double the chopping force of this hand-pushed mower. It seems like a low-impact mower but with a cutting width just over 45cm and extra-large reels, you get convenience and efficiency.
This Fiskars lawn mower seems cute and curvy. But it’s an effective grass slicer that’s easy to use and leaves far less mess. Use the front-facing chute to keep the grass off your feet.
- Its cutting width is 18 inches.
- The mower has a 3-year limited warranty.
- It has a reversible grass collector.
- It doesn’t work on grass taller than 6 inches.
2. Bosch 38cm Manual Lawn Mower
Bosch is a trusted name that bears the immutable reputation of German engineering. But it gets weirdly bad reviews, and you’re probably wondering why. It’s about usage. This manual mower is like the little girl with the little curl. If you set it up right, it’s a dream to use. But get the foundation wrong and it’s a nightmare of horrid levels. So let’s just start with the basics.
This manual lawn mower uses a reel as its cutting mechanism. The reels have a spring balance so they’re not centralised. Pro tip: turn right instead of left as your trimming. It’ll lessen your labour because you don’t have to do as many overlapping runs. When the mower arrives, it’s in three pieces. You need to clip the handle onto the reel and secure the 4 bolts.
The two sections of the handle are bolted together and you do need to adjust the blades. They’re deliberate tightened to avoid damaging the mower in transit. But this setting won’t work in live use so turn the knobs and loosen them, creating a sliver of space between the blades and the chassis. Think of it as creating a ‘scissor’ effect – that’s how the grass gets cut.
Visually, this Bosch lawn mower will grab eyeballs. It’s a bright cheerful mix of red and green that cuts 38cm across and can be set to multiple cutting heights. And it does have a rear roller so you can cut stripes and patterns into your lawn. The mower has a collection basket with an open top so you do need to manually compact your clippings as you cut the grass.
Remember, the bin only holds 25 litres of cut grass. And this mower has five rotary blades so it generates a lot more grass than your average hand mower. The wheels have large diameters and well-defined treads so it’s easy to push this mower. It has a 2-year warranty which you can extend to three by officially registering your mower at the Bosch website.
This manual mower offers tons of benefits. And if you verify ownership within a month of buying it, your warranty expands by a year. So be sure to swing by Bosch HQ Online!
- It has a 38cm cutting width and weighs 9.3kg.
- You can cut from 15mm to 43mm.
- The mower comes with a 25l grass collector.
- You need to be careful about blade adjustments.
3. Webb 46cm Manual Lawn Mower
What the most important feature in a manual mower? Adjustable height is a plus, and this Webb WEH12 gets that in spades. You can set a remarkable nine cutting heights ranging from 12mm to 75mm. It’s easy to switch between heights – just flick the dial beside the wheel. And these wheels are large and slim, facilitating high cuts and narrow edges.
This mower also has a small rear roller. The roller comprises two pieces, and while it’s a little accessory, it’s heavy and allows you to design pretty stripes through your grass. The mower cuts 46cm across and has a 22l open-topped collection bin. The cylinder has 5 blades curled around its reel in loose waves. The blades are made of durable, weatherproof, hardened steel.
The mower won’t fold. But if you have limited storage space, you can unclip the handles to shrink the mower. Said handle isn’t padded like some other models. But the large wheels and wide trimming width mean you can speed past fatigue. This isn’t a light mower – it’s a little under 20 kilos. So expect to work up a sweat while cutting the grass. It has a 2-year warranty.
Because the wheels are laterally positioned and the two-piece roller is on the slight side, you’ll see some wheel ruts edging your stripes. They’ll be more distinct as you overlap your cutting path. But the grooves aren’t obtrusive and you can work them into your stripe pattern.
The slim wheels on this hand mower make it easy to cut uphill. And it’s safe or bumpy or rocky ground. But if your yard includes gravel, sand, or pebbles, consider lifting your mower over those sections. These small barriers can get wedged between the curved wheels and end up messing their alignment or causing a jam. And it’s hard to dislodge them without injuries.
While this mower has adjustable grass height, the handle is fixed. But you can clip it higher or lower along the shaft. These micro-adjustments can offer a little extra mowing comfort.
- Its 46cm blade is hardened steel.
- The collection bag holds 22 litres.
- You can trim at 9 cutting heights.
- The handles don’t fold for storage.
4. Charles Bentley 30cm Hand Push Lawn Mower
Bentleys are considered a symbol of unmatched luxury. At least if they’re cars. But this Charles Bentley is more inclined towards commoners … more for its pocket-friendly pricing than its neon green shade. Though that colourful tone is nice too. This mower is designed for small yards (or asymmetric ones). It has a relatively narrow 1-foot cutting width.
Its collection bag is minuscule – just 16 litres. But with its narrow trimming width, it’s sufficient. Plus, the collection bin is made of netting fabric. That lowers the overall weight of the mower, even when it’s full of clippings. The weave does let air flow freely through the cut grass, which stops it from petrifying and giving you extra cleaning – wet grass gets rock hard!
This device may seem cheaply made. Especially with that cheerfully childlike colour. But its most important parts are made of steel – the blade, handles, and body. This ensures the durability of your lawn mower. The wheels are plastic though, and the roller is plastic too. So yes, you can cut stripes with this manual mower. And the collection bin is made of polyester.
The plastic wheels and roller may worry you. They don’t seem hefty enough to be functional. But the mower is light in general – barely 15 pounds. So those pieces don’t need to be too heavy. They’ll still get the job done. The mower comes in separate pieces so you’ll need to assemble it. And you can shift the trimming height from 12mm to 45mm, which is generous.
- It has a rear roller for striping.
- The mower’s width is 30cm.
- It’s a lightweight 6.5kg model.
- The grass collector isn’t that effective since the clippings disperse in multiple directions as they spin past the blade. The netting isn’t built to catch them in flight.
5. Einhell 30cm Hand Push Lawn Mower (Our Top Pick)
You walk into a hardware store (or type into a search engine) and ask, “What’s the best lawn mower for my garden?” Surprisingly, the UK’s most popular purchase is this Einhell. “But it’s so small!” True, but city gardens aren’t that big, to begin with. They’re often squashed into the front or back of the street, with weird angles, curves, and corners. Or boring squares.
So a ‘minor’ mower that can take on those edges and crevices is the perfect piece for your yard work. It’s a lightweight manual mower, a little over 6 kilos. So you can easily nudge it around the garden. The mower has a cylindrical cutting reel with five steel blades. And it has an infinite dial that can adjust cutting height in myriad positions between 1.5cm and 4.2cm.
You can cut stripes too! The mower has a rear roller with a 4.5cm diameter. At the back of the device, a grass bin made of polyester netting can carry up to 16 litres of grass clippings. The cutting reel has supporting springs and ball bearings so you can smoothly move the mower around the yard. But here’s the thing about infinite adjustments … they’re micro.
So you essentially raise the blade a micro-millimetre at a time. Which means when you hit taller or thicker grass, it may not be as easy to cut. The mower often gets jammed when it encounters tougher stalks. So try to mow at least once a week before the grass becomes unmanageable. That way, the plastic roller can cut pretty stripes and patterns on the grass.
The wheels on this mower have a sizeable diameter and a slim rim. So they don’t press as deep into the ground or mess with your stripes. Use it frequently to keep your grass neat.
- The ball bearings facilitate convenient height adjustments.
- Its rear roller has a diameter of 45mm.
- It has a 30cm mowing width.
- The blade sometimes jams on longer grass.
6. Garden Gear 30cm Hand Push Lawn Mower
Green-and-red seems like a common colour combination for manual lawn mowers. Maybe it’s homage to stop-and-go. Or it could be a nod to green grass and red cutting power. Either way, Garden Gear opts for a lime green body and a bright red reel. The wheels are large, pretty, and pleasantly decorated. But they’re plastic so the trim soon falls off and gets lost.
The mower is built for smaller gardens and urban spaces. So it has a cutting width of 30cm and adjustable cutting heights of 1.2cxm to 4.5cm. Like many mowers in that class, it won’t do well past 6 inches so stick to short grass and frequent trims. The mower has a 1-year warranty and you’ll get more use from it if you don’t force it through rougher yards.
While this manual mower may look cheap and flimsy, it does a decent job. The roller makes effective stripes as you soundlessly stroll through the yard. The weight of this lawn mower is both a plus and a minus. On the upside, pun intended, you can push it up a hilly garden without straining too hard. On the downside, the low mass may not cut as keenly.
In this scenario, the mower might not have the physical pressure to ensure a good trim, whether you’re huffing up like Sisyphus or chasing your runaway mower down the garden incline. So it’s best to focus on flat yards if this is your trimmer of choice. And since it’s noiseless, you could try a midnight mow when sleep eludes. Wear reflective gear though!
The low weight and padded handle make this mower fun to use on level surfaces. You may be less excited if you have a bumpy garden … or a dog. Cutting mounds of pet poo is messy!
- It weighs a convenient 6.4kg.
- Its grass bag holds 17 litres.
- Cutting height ranges from 12mm to 45mm.
- The plastic wheels are easily damaged during regular use.
7. AL-KO Soft Touch 38cm Hand Push Lawn Mower
We’ll close our list with this bright AL-KO. It’s sure to pull your eye, but let’s see if it measures up. Its cutting width is a mid-range 38cm and you can select cutting heights from 14mm to 35mm. The mower come in three pieces that need to be joined before you can trim.
The basic part of the assembly process is straightforward and quick. Adjusting the ‘scissor blade’ is a bit more complex and that thick instruction booklet is no help. It offers generic tips in twenty languages but no practical advice. So find a blade adjustment video. It’s easy once you see how it works – just pull out the pegs and slip them into a lower/higher slot.
This step may seem trite but the mower won’t work without it. If the reel isn’t positioned right, it’s like trying to snip something with loose scissors whose blades don’t touch. Other than that, it’s an easy device to use. You can fold it for storage by pressing the quick-lock. The reel holds 5 steel blades arranged in a wave. And the height range has four steps between.
The ‘soft touch’ in this product name isn’t necessarily about mowing ease. It weighs almost 10kg so you’ll definitely exert yourself. But the handle is ergonomically shaped and firmly padded so your palms won’t strain as much. This AL-KO has plastic wheels so it’s best used on even surfaces and soft grass. It doesn’t have a basket, but if you mow weekly, you’re fine.
This manual mower is mostly made of plastic and is ideal for small gardens. The rubber front bumper protects the mower from spinning gravel, abrasive edging, or tougher thatch.
- The quick-lock function folds your mower for storage.
- It weighs 9.8kg.
- The mower can cut up to 250m2.
- The instruction booklet doesn’t have any … helpful instructions …
Manual mowers need more physical energy than electric or automated ones. So you’ll get a thorough workout. Especially with the dense clay and thick grass varieties that are common in the UK. So how can you ensure you got the best manual lawn mower for your money?
Type of Mower
Manual lawn mowers are often described as push mowers. They might have a cylinder system with a spinning reel. Or it might have a stationary blade and a rotary wheel. Friction cutters slice through the grass by pushing the fresh blades against the … metal blade. This creates a ‘scissoring’ action that snips neat rows of grass. Another styling option is gapped cutting.
Sometimes called contact-free cutting, these mowers slide grass between two blades. The upper blade is static with a rolling reel below. These kinds of manual mowers are easier to use because that ‘cushion’ of space makes the mower more flexible. It takes less physical strength to push this second type of mower. Friction mowers need more muscle power.
With any lawn mower, the cutting width matters. For big yards, you want a mower with 50cm or more. Smaller gardens can use blades that are a foot or less. Cutting height matters too. Most mowers range from 10mm to 40mm, depending on their design. And these mowers have multiple steps between those extremes so you can easily dictate grass height.
With a manual mower, buy a blade width that’s right for the shape and size of your garden. You can also check how easy it is to tweak cutting height. Some mowers have levers while others have to be flipped and screwed. But the biggest sizing factor is weight. Mowers should be heavy enough to apply pressure to the grass … but light enough to comfortably push.
Do you like grass collection bins or would you rather rake the clippings? If you use cut grass for composting or animal feed, you may want a mower that compacts the grass into boxy bales. And manual lawn mowers rarely have grass collectors attached, so that’s something to order separately. Also, how easy is it to stash your mower? These ones don’t fold for storage.
So buy a model that suits your garden shed. If it will stand in a corner of the garage, pick one with a wheel lock so it doesn’t slip and scratch the car or hurt the kids. If you plan to keep it in a flower shed, get a model that can withstand moist conditions. Otherwise, it’ll soon be too rusty to function. You can check for extra features like padded handles or enhanced traction.
Given our research, we believe the Einhell is the best manual lawn mower. Here’s why:
- It’s suitable for yards up to 150m2.
- It’s pleasantly lightweight at 6.46 kilos.
- It has a 1-foot cutting width.
- The five trimming blades are solid steel.
- The mower comes with a 16l grass collection net.
- You can adjust cutting height from 15mm to 42mm.
- You can cut stripes using the 45mm rear rollers.
- Its wider wheels avoid punishing your lawn.
- The spindle has ball bearings for smoother mowing.
Which manual mower are you using at the moment? Show us a photo in the comments!