What are the Pros and Cons of a Manual Lawn Mower?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

A manual lawn mower is an old fashioned style of mower that does not require the use of a power source such as an engine or electrical supply. It is a very easy to use option that is lightweight, eco-friendly, and inexpensive. A manual lawn mower may not be the best choice, however, for larger lawns or extremely thick grass, as the mechanisms are likely to clog, and larger lawns will take a significant amount of time to mow. A manual lawn mower may also be unable to provide the most consistent or even cut, and the owner of such a mower should be prepared to sharpen the blades by hand when necessary.

Unlike motorized lawn mowers, a manual lawn mower requires no fuels, such as gas or oil, or even an electrical supply, to operate. This makes it the most eco-friendly, as well as the most cost-effective option. For small lawns, this type of mower is perhaps the best choice. Since it is less powerful, however, it may not be a good choice for larger lawns or lawns that require an even, quick cut. Users of a manual lawn mower may need to go over the same patch of grass more than once to get the best cut, and mowing larger swaths of grass can take considerable time and effort.

Maintenance for a manual lawn mower is not significant, though it will take some time. Lubricating the rotating metal parts will be necessary, and the blades of the mower will need to be sharpened after consistent use. Gas-powered lawn mower blades can be sharpened as well, but they are more likely to simply be replaced after time; manual lawn mower blades can be hard to find, meaning replacement may not be the most feasible option. Sharpening the curved blades of a manual mower is not difficult, but it will take some patience.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of a manual mower is its simplicity, ease of use, and durability. Fewer moving parts means less maintenance and potential for damage, and the mower will not kick up debris at high speeds like a gas powered mower can, meaning it is a somewhat safer option. The blades are exposed, however, unlike gas-powered mowers that feature metal decks to protect the blade and the user. This means extra caution must be taken around pets and children, as the exposed blades can be dangerous and cut skin easily.

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