Fiskars StaySharp 18″ Max Manual Push Reel Mower Review

With the advent of engine operated mowers be it the ones powered by gasoline or the ones that are powered by electricity (battery or cordless), reel mowers have almost become obsolete. You will hardly find someone using one.

This is mainly because with reel mowers the operators have faced a lot of obstacles that could be easily overcome by the engine operated mowers.

The reel mowers are generally hard to push, they are often clogged by twigs and they miss tall stalks of grass and weeds.

Fiskars have addressed each issue about the use of the reel mowers carefully and have designed an advanced reel mower in the form of Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower so that it suffices the need of a person who is looking for an eco-friendly of mowing, while not worrying about the cord or the battery charge and wants to involve some physical activity in the form of maintaining the lawn regularly.

The Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel has won the Popular Mechanics 2010 Green Design Award and has received many accolades along with being recommended by Consumer Reports over other reel mowers.

Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Push Mower Review

To start with, let’s first find out how Fiskars has addressed each issue that posed as obstacles for the use of reel mowers and how this advanced Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower has managed to come out as a champion over other reel mowers.
The first thing that bothers you when you use a reel mower is that it is hard to push.

Fiskars claims that the Stay Sharp Max Reel mower is 60% easier to push than any other reel mowers available in the market. The Fiskars reel mower has an ergonomically designed handle with a comfortable grip that calls for less fatigue.

But what makes it easy to push through tough thick grass is the presence of an InertiaDrive system. The InertiaDrive system is somewhat similar to the mechanism in a bicycle. The Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower has two pairs of wheels which are like a deviation from the standard reel mowers.

The main or the bigger rear wheels are connected to a chain that turns the blades of the mower faster than the wheels by reducing the number of gears in the process.

The InetriaDrive system is said to deliver twice the cutting power so that the mower can blast through twigs, weeds and tough grass that clog other reel mowers. The smaller auxiliary wheels which are present in the front of the mower help you in moving the mower straighter.

Furthermore, it is equipped with a freewheel clutch that allows the blades to spin for a few seconds even after the forward momentum has stopped.

The inset wheel design of the mower allows the blade to extend across the entire length of the mower and thus does not leave any uncut strips of grass under the wheels.

The freewheel clutch along with inset wheel design together is especially useful when you are trimming around the bushes, trees, flower beds, or other obstacles. They let you go as close to the obstacles as possible. Another detailing in the design helps in achieving the fact that this reel mower is easier to push.

The mower has a precision-ground hardened steel blade system that cuts through the grass without touching. The blade has a width of 18” which is fairly wide for a small or a medium-sized lawn and enables you to cover the entire lawn area in fewer passes and will thereby involve less time.

This contactless cutting system offers less resistance for the user to push it through and in turn, reduces the risk of clogging to a certain extent unless and until you are driving it through twigs and long grass. The contactless design of the blade has a beneficiary effect on the blades as well. Less resistance means less friction and lesser chances of the blades to wear out easily.

Hence, you do not feel the need to sharpen these blades every season. If you use the mower carefully then you may never need to sharpen them at all.

This saves a lot on the annual sharpening and maintenance costs of the reel mower. There is a blade adjustment option wherein you can adjust the blade if it is disturbed by hitting a hard object or a twig.

The blade height or the grass cutting height can be easily adjusted owing to the presence of the Versa Cut technology and the one-touch lever that allows you to set the cutting height between 1” and 4”. The smaller wheels in the reel mower aid in the blade height adjustment.

The blade cassette is situated between the two sets of wheels and the positioning helps in maneuvering the mower through tough areas. The height adjusting facility provided in this mower is also unique and very unlike average reel mowers.
The final matter of concern is the clippings management.

For most reel mowers the grass clippings that are cut fly backward and often disturb the person driving it. The Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower comes with a little yellow-colored chute that allows you to direct the clippings forward or rearward according to your convenience.

There is a Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Grass catcher (18”) that has to be purchased separately and can be fitted to the reel mower. This grass catcher with an open-top is fitted in front of the reel mower so that the grass clippings are ejected from the front with the aid of the chute and are collected in the catcher for disposal at a later stage.

The open-top allows you to see how much of it is filled and when do you need to empty it. It has a heavy-duty steel frame and a UV and mildew resistant polyester screen. The built-in handle allows you to attach it easily to the mower or remove it for emptying.

The Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower hardly takes any time and effort to assemble. The compact reel mower with a handle that can fold up requires very little floor space and can be easily stored in the garage space.  The mower weighs around 52lbs but as it’s the rolling weight you can’t feel it while maneuvering it across your yard.

The Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel mower is as we mentioned earlier, environment-friendly. Neither does it use gasoline to power it, nor does it emit harmful gasses to the environment.

It is better than even electrically driven mowers in that it does not require to be connected to an electrical outlet nor do you have to take care of any cord that may come in between nor do you have to recharge it like battery operated ones.

This also cuts down the running cost of the mower and its maintenance. You just need to clean the mower after every session. This increases the durability of the mower to a great extent and is the only form of maintenance that it requires. Above all, it does not make any kind of noise and will save you a lot of embarrassment which you might face if you are using a gasoline-powered mower.


There are no frivolous safety features in the reel mower and its best not to go very close to the blades when it is spinning. Additionally wearing toe covered shoes, safety glasses eliminate the risk of an accident to a great extent.


The manufacturers offer a three-year warranty on the product.

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