The Fiskars StaySharp Max has a solid reputation for being well built, safe and manageable. Like most reel mowers, it's quiet and requires little to no maintenance. Furthermore, the innovative position of the five-blade reel in front of the large wheels allows for a wider, more powerful cut than other manual mowers. However, using this or any reel mower requires more effort on the part of the use than gas and electric mowers.
Efficient manual power. According to reel mower comparison tests, the Fiskars StaySharp is tougher than other manual reel lawn mowers and is able to tackle taller and thicker grass. Experts say it uses its 52-pound weight (which is heavier than other reel mowers) to its advantage, making it easier to roll than some competitors. Cutting performance is good, but testers at TheSweethome.com found that it wasn't quite as consistent as some competitors. While the mower has one of the widest adjustment ranges of any reel mower (1 to 4 inches), performance is better when set toward the top end of that range.
Comfortable. In comparison to other manual reel mowers, users say the Fiskars StaySharp is easy to manage. Of course, it does require some effort to push the mower, but most owners say they appreciate the aerobic exercise it offers. The handle adjusts to different heights, and users find the padded grip is comfortable and steers the reel mower well. The handle folds for storage. A one-touch lever is used to set the cutting height. The unique mechanism propels clippings forward, not back at you -- and your shoes -- like other reel mowers, but at least one expert reviewer notes that his testers were not impressed with that feature. The StaySharp is protected with a three-year limited warranty.
Safer than gas and electric. With no motor or engine powering the blades, the Fiskars StaySharp 6201's reel stops spinning when the mower stops moving forward. This also makes it nearly impossible to catch your fingers in moving blades when removing caught debris. Additionally, reel mowers like the StaySharp are not prone to ejecting rocks and debris while mowing. With no motor or engine, this is the quietest type of lawn mower to use. The StaySharp Max 6201 is exceptionally quiet even among reel mowers because the blades don't touch each other during mowing, creating only a whirring noise as it moves -- though TheSweethome.com notes that other reel mowers can be adjusted to also work this way.
Fiskars StaySharp Max 6201 Review
This is the most current professional review of reel mowers that we spotted. Though Ed Grabianowski gives his nod to a different reel mower, he finds lots to like with the StaySharp Max 6201 and calls it "also great."
Review: The Best Reel Mower for Your (Small) Lawn, Ed Grabianowski, Jan. 21, 2015
In a summary of their 2010 report on lawn mowers, Ed Perratore of ConsumerReports.org discuss results from testing three reel mowers: Easun NaturCut Classic, Fiskars Momentum 317736 and Scotts 2000-20. The Fiskars Momentum is the same mower as the StaySharp Max. This is an older review, but still relevant as the products have not changed.
Review: Review of Easun NaturCut Classic, Fiskars Momentum 317736, and Scotts 2000-20 Reel Mowers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, March 8, 2010
The Fiskars StaySharp Max earns an overall rating of .1 stars out of 5 in nearly 1,330 reviews. Most say it works great for a reel mower. Some owners aren't as satisfied with its performance, saying it can leave behind uncut grass and weeds. Others say it's heavy and hard to wrangle.
Review: Fiskars 18 Inch Staysharp Max Reel Mower, 18-inch, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2016
Nearly 245 owners give the Fiskars StaySharp Max reel mower a good overall rating of 4.3 stars out of 5, with about 84 percent saying they'd recommend it to a friend. The StaySharp receives compliments for being quiet and easy to use.
Review: Fiskars 18-in Reel Lawn Mower, Contributors to Lowes.com, As of May 2016
More than 310 owners rate and review the Fiskars StaySharp Max 6201 here, giving it a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. About 88 percent say they would recommend it. Owners note it's a durable reel mower that's very easy to use in spite of its manual push.
Review: StaySharp Max 18 in. Push Walk Behind, Non-Powered, Non-Electrical Reel Lawn Mower (6201), Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of May 2016