The Fiskars StaySharp Max 6201 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. It requires more effort on the part of the user, however, than gas and electric mowers.
Efficient manual power. According to reel mower comparison tests, the Fiskars StaySharp 6201 is tougher than other manual reel lawn mowers and is able to tackle taller and thicker grass. It "cuts extremely well and the mower blades are sharp," writes one user at CleanAirGardening.com, a retail website that carries environmentally friendly mowers. Experts say it uses its 52-pound weight (which is heavier than other reel mowers) to its advantage, giving it more cutting power for tougher grass varieties.
It has a tendency to bend over thicker stalks, which pop up uncut after the mower passes. It often takes two to three passes to get a "perfect trimming of the grass," one owner at Amazon.com says. But it performs beautifully on Zoysia -- a soft, fine grass often found in temperate climates.
Comfortable. In comparison to other manual reel mowers, users say the Fiskars StaySharp 6201is 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 adjusts the cutting height from 1 to 4 inches. Because it cuts higher than many other reel mowers, owners say it can easily cut tall grass with just one pass. Finally, 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, leaving several users comfortable enough to mow near pets and children.
With no motor or engine, this is the quietest type of lawn mower to use. The StaySharp Max 6201 is exceptionally quiet because the blades don't touch each other during mowing, creating only a whirring noise as it moves.
The StaySharp Max has an average 4.1-star rating, based on a 5-star scale, at Amazon.com, with about 785 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.
Review: Fiskars 18 Inch Staysharp Max Reel Mower (6201), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2014
Together, about 200 owners give the Fiskars StaySharp Max 6201 mower a good overall rating of 4.32 stars out of 5, with about 85 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 June 2014
About 220 owners rate and review the Fiskars StaySharp Max 6201 here, giving it a very good rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. Almost 90 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: Fiskars StaySharp Max 18 in. Push Reel Lawn Mower (6201), Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of June 2014
In a summary of their 2010 report on lawn mowers, the editors 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 6201.
Review: Inside Consumer Reports Test Labs: Review of Easun NaturCut Classic, Fiskars Momentum 317736, and Scotts 2000-20 Reel Mowers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, March 8, 2010
This site, owned by ConsumerReports.org, praises the Fiskars Momentum (same as the current StaySharp Max 6201) as a good choice for small lawns. It also notes the cutting quality doesn't equal that of a good gas or electric mower.
Review: Lawn Mowers That Save Energy 8/10, Editors of GreenerChoices.org, August 2010
6. Clean Air Gardening.com
Here, more than 10 owners give detailed reviews on the Fiskars Momentum, which is the same as the StaySharp Max 6201. The mower receives an average rating of 5 stars out of 5, and owners say it's durable, sturdy and cuts well.
Review: Fiskars Momentum Reel Lawn Mower, Contributors to CleanAirGardening.com, As of June 2013