The Scotts 2000-20 Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower is a timelessly simple throwback to an era before gas-powered mowers changed the face of lawn care. To be completely honest, I have always held a nostalgic soft spot in my heart for these analog models precisely because they are the crocodiles of lawn and garden tools. Their design sensibilities haven’t evolved since inception precisely because they haven’t needed to change. Push reel mowers were never inherently “flawed” in the first place. Sure, motorized mowers nowadays can groom a yard to an almost peerlessly soft finish in a fraction the time, but grass is still grass and this analog dandy cuts it as deftly as any yesteryear predecessor.
If you can accept a handful of structural drawbacks to this particular mower, you have a budget-priced combination of exercise equipment with a nostalgic take on home landscaping.
- 10-inch dual tracking wheels with durable radial tires
- Weighs only 34 pounds
- Nine optional heights from one to three inches
- 20-inch deck
- Five heat-treated steel blades
- Two-year warranty
When I ordinarily discuss a lawn mower’s performance, I weigh criteria such as its horsepower, how it handles over uneven terrain, dimensions and the like. The Scotts 2000-20 isn’t nearly so complicated. Being motorless, it will muster every inch the cutting power you can push behind it — no more and no less. If you have under a quarter-acre of grass spread over fairly flat terrain, this or any other push reel mower is an outstanding low-cost way to keep yourself in superb physical shape this summer while pristinely manicuring your turf. Even when mowing somewhat rough patches, the 10-inch dual tracking wheels and ultra-tough radial tires maintain outstanding traction and balance for surprising maneuverability.
Ease Of Use
Despite being 100-percent manually operated, this is one of the few categories wherein the Scotts 2000-20’s flaws can’t hide. While easy enough to assemble without tools, the multi-section handle feels a bit flimsy. The joints feel somewhat awkward and, although I relished the extra strength the included foam grips allowed me to pour into each pass across my lawn, the lack of heft in the mower’s 34-pound frame can be as much a detriment its feel as it is a boon to keeping it easy to store and maneuver through tight squeezes.
The less debris covering your lawn, the better the Scotts 2000-20’s results. Like any push reel mower, it lacks the blade velocity to deal well with twigs, thick weeds and masses of leaves. Going over your yard with a leaf blower or rake prior to mowing will go far toward ensuring you enjoy the kind of finely trimmed finish quality mowers of this kind has always been prized for providing. Finally, it might go without saying, but this or any push reel mower makes an astonishingly poor choice for maintaining a larger, hilly lawn. Unless you happen to be a masochistic glutton for punishment, splurge for a gas or cordless electric mower.
Nobody needs a workout that badly.
Cut Quality & Options
While this is not the big gun you call upon to handle an unruly savannah thriving outside your front door and stretching behind your property as far as the eye can see, the varied inclinations of the Scotts 2000-20’s five heat-treated helix steel blades administer swift, slick cuts with the precision of an array of twirling scissors. Their arrangement along the reel significantly reduces friction to allow for surprisingly rotational high speeds even when pushing the mower at a fairly leisurely pace. The quicker your walk, the faster they turn. Speaking from my hands-on test, I found that, no matter the nature of the ground or thickness of the grass growing from it, the neatest slices came from a fairly normal gait. Pace yourself. Keep in mind, this fellow has a 20-inch deck that creates the kind of time-saving broad swaths one would normally expect from a decent-sized electric or moderately wide gas mower.
The three-inch maximum cutting height is surprisingly tall for a push reel mower, but with nine quick-to-adjust settings as short as a single inch, you will also never need to worry about clipping your grass too short. Still, you will want to stay on top of your lawn’s growth. Instead of properly cutting it, the Scotts 2000-20 tends to simply push taller blades down.
Given its exceptionally wide deck, I didn’t expect the Scotts 2000-20 to turn nearly as tightly as it does or seemingly float right across my yard as I pushed, but its girth manages to work against it at times. Between its fixed-direction design and blades positioned inside its wheels, don’t expect to cut closer than six inches to edges. If you plan on sticking with a push reel mower, I generally recommend also keeping a trimmer handy.
Hey, here’s a lovely bonus of owning a push reel mower: the Scotts 2000-20’s blades only need sharpening every few years, as long as you keep all moving parts adequately lubricated and properly adjusted to your lawn’s conditions. The five support spiders where the blades are mounted, their rotating shaft, each cutting surface and the wheels and cutting reel axle shaft will all benefit in the long run from regular WD-40 applications. In addition, this mower comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty.
It’s a manual push reel mower. In the event of an emergency, stop walking and let go of the handle. Seriously tho, there is a bar in the front in the event of hitting something in front of you, the blades won’t directly hit that object.
Assuming you don’t plan on mowing some absurdly massive lawn with it and stay on top of keeping the blades sharp and the moving parts oiled, there is nothing more cost-effective than a push reel mower, period. You have no engine. Thus, you never have to purchase fuel or spark plugs or sweat engine maintenance. At an already-low price, the Scotts 2000-20 starts paying for itself almost instantly. It doesn’t get cheaper than this.
- Extremely affordable
- Wide deck
- Surprisingly maneuverable
- Sharp, clean-cutting blades
- Easy to assemble
- Doesn’t edge very well
- Struggles with larger twigs
- Pushes tall grass down instead of cutting it
- Not ideal for large lawns