Rotary mower vs. Typical Lawn Mower: A Guide

Healthier cut

The rotary mower blades cut the grass by sucking and plucking it. This action leaves a ragged edge on the lawn, making it more susceptible to infection and dehydration.

The scissor-shaped cutting action of a lawnmower leaves a clean cut. This causes less damage to the grass and is therefore healthier.

Large patios

Although a lawnmower is healthier for the lawn, it is not practical in terms of time and effort for larger yards. It is difficult to push a mower without a motor or drive. Most newer rotary motors come with a forward drive, which makes them very easy to push.


Lawn and garden conditions

Rotary mowers can be used on any type of lawn and in any growing condition. Yards with thicker grass species, or those that are overgrown, will require a rotary mower.

When buying a lawn mower, check the manufacturer’s specifications. Some spool blades are not rated for certain types of grass, such as Bermuda. Reel mowers also have a hard time mowing covered grass, so frequent manicuring is a must with a reel mower.


Single coil mowers are much less expensive than rotary mowers. They also require less maintenance and there is no need to buy gas, oil, batteries, or electricity. Rotary mowers


They run on gas, electricity, or a battery. All of these have a negative impact on the environment. If garden clippings from rotary mowers are not shredded or composted, they end up in landfills. There, they take up space and don’t decompose as fast as they could if they were composted. In some states, laws have been passed to prevent this.

Traditional reel mowers are only labor intensive and have no negative impact on the environment. Those who do not have catch bags place the clippings on the grass so there is no need to dispose of them.


Rotary mowers do not distribute grass clippings evenly, causing small piles of grass to accumulate in different areas of the lawn. Since rotary mowers are often used less frequently, the blades of grass that are shredded are also larger. Larger blades of grass and piles of grass don’t break down as easily and are therefore less healthy for grass. However, reel mowers produce even distribution of mulch and smaller grass clippings.


Rotary mowers require regular adjustments, including oil changes, new spark plugs, gas stabilizers, and blade sharpening.

Traditional reel mowers require blade sharpening, blade adjustment, and part lubrication. Rotary vs. reel can make a difference in the health of your lawn, the environment, your time constraints and your budget. Choose wisely and your cutting experience will be an enjoyable one.

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