How to Adjust the Cutting Blades of a Reel Mower


When the blades of your manual-push reel mowers are adjusted correctly, you can be confident that it will cut the grass blades neatly without ripping them, which might leave the grass vulnerable to disease. According to Home Depot, reel mowers are equipped with five twisted cutting blades that are stacked in a cylinder. The lawnmower’s blades spin and cut the grass against a cutting bar that is positioned in a fixed position at the base of the mower while you push the mower. The cutting bar and blades need to be positioned in close proximity to one another, but they should not contact. When the settings are exactly right, the blades are capable of making a clean cut through a strip of paper, much as you would get with a pair of scissors.

  1. According to Mother Earth News, positioning the reel mower on a table or work bench will make it much simpler to reach the reel. Put some tiny wood blocks on top of the wheels to stop them from moving and twisting the cylinder that houses the cutting blade.

  2. You’ll need to manually turn the reel in order to figure out what kind of modification is needed. Adjust the position of the blades so that they are no longer in contact with the horizontal cutting bar if you hear the sound of metal being scraped. If the reel can be spun freely without resistance, you should move it closer to the cutting bar.

  3. On the reel mower, you should be able to find four adjustment screws. One screw may be found on each side of the reel, and there is also one screw on either side of the cutting bar.

  4. According to the instructions on YouTube, a flat screwdriver should be inserted into the screw slots located on the sides of the blade reel. If there is a requirement, you may bring the blades closer to the cutting bar by tightening the screw. To separate the blades from the cutting bar, loosen the screws holding them in place. Make the adjustment by turning the screws very little so that there is very little change.

  5. You should spin the screws that are located on each side of the cutting bar in the opposite direction that you twisted the screws that were attached to the blade reel. Loosen the cutting bar screws if you moved the blades so that they are closer to the cutting bar and tightened the screws to move them. If you moved the blades away from the cutting bar, you will need to tighten the screws that hold the cutting bar in place. To the same degree that you moved the blade reel screws, you should turn the cutting bar screws as well.

  6. Turn the blade reel to see if any more adjustments are required and then proceed. Adjust the location of the component by turning the adjustment screws very slowly until the desired position is reached.

  7. One sheet of paper should be cut into strips that are about 2 inches wide. To practise, place a strip of paper in the space between the cutting bar and the blades. Slowly rotate the reel such that the first blade goes over the cutting bar. If the blade makes a clean cut through the paper, there is no need for any more modifications. In order to evaluate the functioning of the remaining four blades, lift the paper and rotate it ever-so-slightly. Continue making adjustments to the blades until each blade produces a clean cut on the paper.

    Things You Will Need

    • Flat screwdriver

    • Paper strips


    The position of the cutting blade and cutting bar may be dramatically altered with even the smallest turn of the adjustment screws. It is possible that you will find it simpler to adjust the screws by using a ratcheting socket wrench since this kind of wrench allows you to count the number of clicks that occur with each turn of the screw. There is a possibility that screw sizes could vary, however in most cases, an 11-mm socket will be required.

    Even though there are many different brands and kinds of reel mowers, the location of the adjustment screws is generally the same across the board. If you are having trouble locating the adjustment screws, the user’s handbook for your device might give you with more detailed information.


    When you spin the reel to check for contact with the cutting bar, you need to get your hands out of the way as soon as possible.

    If the paper strip becomes too short for you to continue holding it in place while keeping your hand away from the blades, you should replace it with a fresh strip of paper.