Top 5 Best Lawn Mowers for Zoysia Grass (2021 Review)

Zoysia grass lawns can be some of the most beautiful lawns out there. This versatile grass comes in many different varieties, but almost all of them are bright emerald green when they are well cared for.

That makes zoysia lawns some of the best grass for your lawn.

But zoysia grass can need special care, especially when it comes to trimming and helping the grass grow as well as possible.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I’ve looked at the best lawn mowers for zoysia grass, including which types of lawn mowers work best. Plus, I’ve got some tips to help you keep your grass healthy and beautiful.

In this guide, you’ll learn: 

  • Why do you need to choose a lawn mower specifically for zoysia grass
  • What kinds of lawn mowers work best for zoysia grass
  • And much more!

Below is a quick list of my favorite lawn mowers for zoysia grasses. Keep scrolling to learn more of my top tips to choose and use the best lawn mower for your zoysia lawn.

ImageProduct
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Scotts Outdoor Power Tools Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower
  • Durable desing
  • Easy to use
  • Consistent cutting
  • Durable desing
  • Easy to use
  • Consistent cutting
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Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower, 18 Inch
  • Easy to manuever
  • Good for uneven ground
  • Adjustable cutting length
  • Easy to manuever
  • Good for uneven ground
  • Adjustable cutting length
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Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16'' Cordless Lawn Mower
  • Good rotary option
  • Eco friendly
  • Bags grass clippings
  • Good rotary option
  • Eco friendly
  • Bags grass clippings
View on Amazon
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Earthwise 515-18 18-Inch Quiet Cut Push Reel Lawn Mower
  • Ergonomic design
  • Quiet cutting design
  • 18 inch cutting length
  • Ergonomic design
  • Quiet cutting design
  • 18 inch cutting length
View on Amazon
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Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Catcher
  • Eco friendly design
  • Small grass picking bag
  • Comes with a leaf blower
  • Eco friendly design
  • Small grass picking bag
  • Comes with a leaf blower
View on Amazon

My Overall Top #1 Pick: Scotts Outdoor Power Tools Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower

Zoysia grass really benefits from lawn mowers that actually cut the grass instead of tearing it, which makes reel lawn mowers the best choice overall for this kind of grass.

The Scotts Outdoor Push Reel Lawn Mower really stood out to me though as one of the best options for zoysia grass for a few reasons.

For one thing, its wide 20″ profile makes trimming your lawn a lot faster than smaller more compact reel lawn mowers. Its efficient blade design also cuts through grass more quickly and evenly, so you can walk a little faster with this mower and still get great results.

It also has a durable bearing rotary system that doesn’t need a lot of maintenance and is incredibly durable.

Top 5 Best Lawn Mower for Zoysia Grass

In a hurry? Check out our top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about these top lawn mowers for zoysia grass.

  1. Scotts Outdoor Power Tools Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower (My Top Pick)
  2. Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower, 18 Inch (Best High-End)
  3. Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16” Cordless Lawn Mower (Best Environmental)
  4. Earthwise 515-18 18-Inch Quiet Cut Push Reel Lawn Mower (Quietest Option)
  5. Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Catcher (Best Lawn Tool Set)

What are the Advantages of a High-Quality Lawn Mower for Zoysia Grass? 

Zoysia grass does best when it’s well cared for, and that means that your lawn mower needs to help take care of your grass too. High quality lawn mowers work better and offer more consistent cutting power, but it’s about more than that.

Before we really dive in, this video will give you a little more insight into zoysia grasses. It’s particularly informative around 3:23 if you want to skip ahead a little.

The best lawn mowers cut your grass more cleanly, helping prevent the ragged edges that can release too much water and dry out your grass. Dehydrated grass leads to yellowing and thinning patches.

No one wants a patchy dehydrated lawn.

Choosing a high-quality lawn mower also means that the mower itself will last longer. No more worrying about breakdowns, expensive maintenance, or a malfunctioning lawn mower right before your HOA inspection.

High quality lawn mowers also generally need less maintenance than cheaper versions that don’t use high quality materials in their construction. Since I’m focused on the right reel lawn mowers for zoysia grass, this can mean significant time savings for you.

It’s also important to note that zoysia grass is typically thicker and tougher than many other kinds of grass. That’s one of the things that makes this type of grass so attractive for your lawn. But, this does mean that you’ll need a higher quality reel mower. Low-quality blades and less powerful mowing designs simply won’t cut it when it comes to zoysia grass (See what I did there?).

Not sure how often your zoysia grass lawn needs to be mowed? I’ve written a guide to help you decide how often (and when) you need to mow your lawn no matter where you live or what variety of grass you have.

How to Pick the Best Lawn Mower for Zoysia Grass?

Choosing the right lawn mower can be a challenge, but knowing that you have a zoysia type grass has already put you one step closer to a fantastic lawn.

Here are the features I recommend you look for in a great lawn mower for zoysia grass.

Reel Lawn Mowers or Rotary Lawn Mowers?

Most of the time I recommend reel lawn mowers as the best lawn mowers for zoysia grass. That’s because the scissor cutting action of reel lawn mower is cleaner and more efficient, which is better for zoysia grass’ continued health.

However, rotary lawn mowers can be an option as long as you’re mowing your lawn often enough. I typically recommend that people with a zoysia grass lawn and a rotary lawn mower mow just a little more often to help prevent the grass from getting long enough to be more vulnerable to damage.

Remember, you only want to cut zoysia grass when it’s in the leaf stage. Cutting through zoysia stems can kill the individual plants and thin your lawn.

Size

Reel lawn mowers can take a little longer to use than a rotary lawn mower. That means it’s a good idea to look for larger reel lawn mowers if you’re trying to take care of a large lawn. Longer reel mowers cover more ground as they mow.

That means you’ll be able to go through your whole lawn a little faster thanks to the large size of the lawn mower, even though you’ll be walking and mowing a little more slowly. About 20″ seems to work well while also reducing the amount of time you spend clipping your lawn.

If you need larger than that to manage your property you might be better off with a rotary push-behind model, or a riding lawn mower for even bigger properties.

Powered or Manual Lawn Mowers

Most reel lawn mowers are what’s called no motor reel mowers which means that there is no internal power source, the mower is powered by the wheels and by your momentum. That’s great for eco-friendliness, but can mean that your lawn care takes a little longer. Reel mowers are also some of the best lawn mowers for zoysia grass because they tend to be sharper and cause less damage than rotary lawn mowers.

There are some powered options available — some motored reel lawn mowers can give you a push assist, making it easier to walk up hills and difficult terrain, or some can move the blades independently of the wheels.

Speaking of mowing hills, I have another guide to the best lawn mowers for hills to help you get started. There can be some overlap here, so don’t feel like you need to choose a good lawn mower for zoysia or a good lawn mower for hills. If your zoysia lawn is hilly, I’d recommend reading my features recommendations here, and then hopping over to the hills guide to choose a lawn mower that will be safer on your terrain.

I don’t generally see a lot of benefit to adding a motor onto a reel lawn mower. It usually doesn’t offer a significant boost to performance, and can make your reel lawn mower a lot more dangerous if you slip and fall while mowing your lawn.

Instead, I mostly recommend switching to a rotary model if you’re looking for a powered lawn mower. Using an unpowered motor is different, but it’s more eco friendly, quieter, and a bit safer for the user.

Of course, there are disadvantages as well. It’s important to make an informed decision when you’re choosing between reel lawn mowers and rotary lawn mowers, so here are a few of the main disadvantages of reel lawn mowers.

One last thing before we get into the lawn mower reviews. This guide to how to mow your lawn like a professional will really make managing a zoysia lawn a lot easier. Good lawn care is both simpler, and more complicated, than most people anticipate, but this guide will help you learn how to keep your grass in the best possible condition.

My Reviews of the Lawn Mowers for Zoysia Grass

1. Scotts Outdoor Power Tools Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower (My Top Pick)

Mower Features:

  • 10″ dual track wheels
  • 28″ total width, 20″ cutting width
  • 3 height options
  • Heat treated steel
  • Easy-push steel handle
  • Approx. 12 lbs.
  • 2 wheel 2 caster design

This reel lawn mower might look simple, but it’s actually a really complex design that’s perfect for zoysia grass cultivars.

That’s because of the steel alloy blades. Steel alloy is harder and offers superior cutting performance, making it an ideal choice for zoysia grasses.

Remember when I said that zoysia can be some of the toughest and hardiest grass types? That’s perfect for this lawn mower.

The double wheeled design also makes it a lot easier to keep this lawn mower steady and to make sure the cutting edge is where you want it. That’s a big improvement over a lot of older reel mower designs, which didn’t offer blade stability and often ended with uneven cuts. That might be alright for some grass types, but zoysia thrives best with a more even mow so that all the grass is at the same point in it’s growth cycle.

That because the second set of wheels in back helps hold the reel mower in place. As long as all 4 wheels are on the ground you should be getting a relatively even and consistent cutting length. Even in places where the grass is growing on uneven ground.

This reel mower gives you three height settings — 1″, 2″, and 3″. That makes these great lawn mowers for zoysia because you can really customize your height to your grass and needs. Plus, 1″ is plenty low enough to satisfy even the most picky HOAs. Zoysia grass can do well trimmed down as low as 1 inch if necessary, so don’t be afraid to experiment and see which length works best for your lawn.

Tool-less assembly and an ergonomic handlebar both make this reel lawn mower even easier to use. It’s also easy to push and incredibly comfortable. This is a great option for people who like to relax while they are mowing their lawn since you almost forget you’re working at all.

PROS (+) CONS (-)
+ Ergonomic handle for more comfortable pushing
+ Tool-less assembly, easy to put together
+ 5 durable steel alloy blades won’t need as much maintenance over time
+ Easy to keep level while mowing for a better-looking lawn
+ 3 Different height settings to help work with a wider variety of user heights
– You need to maintain a fairly constant walking pace for the best results, too fast or too slow will both result in ragged ends and uneven height

2. Fiskars Stay Sharp Max Reel Mower, 18 Inch (Best High End)

Mower Features:

  • Cutting heights 1-3 inches
  • 18 inches of cutting width
  • 5 ball bearing reel (improves smoothness and stability)
  • 51.7 lbs.
  • Ergonomic handle design (also improves pushing power)
  • Limited 3 year warranty
  • High efficiency cutting design limits unnecessary contact with the grass

My high end pick has some similar design features, but almost all of them have been improved on in some small way to make this reel lawn mower even more effective.

Its unusual handle design actually works to give you a little more leverage and maneuverability over the reel mower.

The wheels on this mower are also more spaced out, which helps in two ways. It creates a more even surface between different levels of ground, and it also helps make sure none of your grass is caught in the wheels instead of getting cut.

The slightly smaller reel size isn’t small enough to make much difference in cutting efficiency, so this is still a good model for small to medium sized yards, and even some larger yards.

The blades on this lawn mower are also specially designed to help minimize unnecessary contact with your grass. Not only is that good for your grass, it also helps keep your lawn mower blades sharper longer.

A directional grass clippings shoot also helps you control grass clipping distribution. That protects your shoes and allows you to spread an even layer of clippings while you’re mowing.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Directional clippings give you more control over distribution
+ Blades stay sharp longer than average, cutting down on maintenance and improving long-term mower performance and lawn health
+ Wide wheel design helps cut more grass in a single pass, cutting the time it takes to mow
+ Ergonomic handle also improves mower maneuverability
– This design is pretty heavy for a reel mower, which can make it harder to push and maneuver.

3. Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16” Cordless Lawn Mower (Best Environmental)

Mower Features:

  • 37.5 lbs.
  • 16 inch cutting deck
  • 5 cutting deck positions
  • 40 V Battery powered lawn mower
  • Electric start
  • Bagger or Mulcher
  • cutting height from 1 1/4″ – 3 3/8″

This lawn mower is my top contender pick because reel lawn mowers aren’t going to be the right option for everyone.

This rotary lawn mower is still very eco friendly thanks to the battery-powered design, but it’s also a little faster and can tackle slightly larger properties with ease.

I already highly recommend Greenworks as a brand. Their lawnmowers and other power tools all tend to be powerful and effective while using environmentally friendly designs and manufacturing techniques.

That combination makes this company a great option for homeowners and anyone looking for a greener more environmentally friendly lawnmower. This company commits to not only producing a lawn mower than can be operated more environmentally friendly, but also the manufacturing the lawn mower in a sustainable way. Thats a big contrast with most power tools manufacturers that only offer limited environmental friendliness.

Greenworks has also been around long enough that their batteries are getting increasingly more efficient. The company is also very good at matching their battery power to the size and design of the lawn mower, which is important if you want the best performance from your lawn mower. This model in particular is well balanced for zoysia.

This lawn mower’s cutting deck is a bit smaller, only 16″, but it still has the cutting power you need to mow your lawn quickly.

Especially if you mow your lawn a little more often, this lawn mower can be one of the best lawn mowers for zoysia grass.

The grass collection bag at the back of the lawn mower also makes it a little easier to mow more frequently. It’s still best to avoid mowing wet grass, but having the bag at the back of the lawn mower helps control wet grass clippings and make them less of a breeding ground for fungi and other grass pests.

PROS (+) CONS (-)
+ Rotary design is a good option for larger zoysia lawns since it’s faster than most reel mowers
+ Battery-powered design is incredibly environmentally friendly
+ Long-lasting battery helps cut down on replacement costs and environmental damage.
+ Fully integrated grass clipping bag
+ Comes with battery and efficient charger to keep you mowing a little longer and cut down on charging times
+ Efficient blade design for faster cutting
– Slightly smaller cutting deck which can make things take a little

4. Earthwise 515-18 18-Inch Quiet Cut Push Reel Lawn Mower (Quietest Option)

Mower Features:

  • 25 lbs
  • Alloy steel construction
  • 18 inch cutting width
  • 1-3 inch cutting height in 1 inch increments
  • Ergonomic handle + comfort grip
  • 5 ball-bearing blade design

Earthwise is another brand that specializes in creating eco-friendly products that don’t come with a huge price tag for then environment.

This reel’s cutting performance is most similar to my high end pick, but it doesn’t have the innovative wheel design that helps prevent trapped grass making an uneven cut on your lawn., it’s 5 ball bearing design is incredibly smooth, and offers consistent cutting action on zoysia grass, as well as many other grass varieties.

This design also uses a durable steel alloy to cut your grass cleanly and smoothly. That means that the blades on this reel mower don’t need nearly as much sharpening as cheaper metal alloys.

This design is also significantly more lightweight than some other options, which makes mowing with this reel mower a lot easier.

Plus, since this is a plain reel mower you don’t have to worry about the sound of a motor or gas fumes when you’re using the lawn mower. The high quality blades are also even quieter than most reel mowers since there is less friction with the grass to make noise. If you do notice any squeaking or noise with this model a little WD-40 or other machine lubricant will take care of it.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Lightweight and easy to push and maneuver
+ Effective cutting design helps create an even cut for zoysia grass.
+ Ergonomic handle is more comfortable and less likely to stress your shoulders and arms
+ Durable steel alloy blades don’t need much maintenance over time
– Larger wheel size can be harder to maneuver

5. Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Catcher (Best Lawn Tool Set)

Mower Features:

  • 16 or 18 inch cutting area
  • Grass clippings bag included
  • 10 inch front wheels + 2 rear rollers
  • 7 amp leaf blower
  • 160 MPH blowing speed
  • 4 height options from 1 1/8″ to 2 1/4″

This model is available in both 16-inch and 18-inch versions, and they are both good options for different yards.

I recommend going with the 18-inch model if you’re looking at trimming a larger lawn, but the 160inch model may be more cost-effective for a smaller property.

This reel lawn mower may be fairly simple, but it’s got the added bonus of a clippings bag. That makes this lawn mower a good option for lawns that have started to go to thatch. This combination of a reel mower with a clipping bag is pretty unusual, and really stands out compared with the competition. Plus, since it’s another option from Greenworks, you know that this model also has environmentally friendly construction.

It’s also good for lawns that have invasions of weed and other varieties of grass that you don’t want to accidentally spread.

The inclusion of a small battery-powered leaf blower just sweetens the deal on this reel mower. But it’s a great addition for leafy yards or yards that need a lot of cleanup between seasons. The combination of both tools makes this a great lawn care tool set, especially if you live somewhere with fast growing zoysia grass. The blower helps make clippings more manageable, while the reel mower does a good job of keeping your lawn healthy and good looking.

In terms of cutting power this reel mower is powerful enough for zoysia grass, but it isn’t really a stand out model. However, the handle design can be a lot more comfortable for users with wrist and elbow injuries.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Comes with a leaf blower to make yard maintenance easier
+ Durable design means you won’t have to replace this mower
+ Very eco friendly
+ Comes with a grass clipping bag to help with yard maintenance
– Needs a little more maintenance than some other reel mower options

My Top Pick: Scotts Outdoor Power Tools Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower

While I stand behind all of these lawn mowers as great options for zoysia grass, I still think that this mower is the best combination of performance and value overall.

Of course, if you’ve got the budget to opt for the upgraded High End Pick, that’s a great choice as well.

I know that this lawn mower isn’t right for everyone. But, between it’s top of class cutting power, efficient design, and reliable manufacturer reputation, it’s a great choice. More importantly, this is an awesome lawn mower for zoysia grass and will help keep your zoysia lawn looking healthy and well-kept.

Final Thoughts On The Lawn Mowers for Zoysia Grass Lawns

Zoysia grass is beautiful, hardy, and relatively easy to care for. It’s an excellent choice in almost any climate able to support it, and can even handle shade and partial shade growing conditions better than most warm-season grasses.

I hope that this selection of lawn mowers makes it easier to care for your zoysia grass lawns. In the meantime, check out this zoysia grass care guide for more tips and tricks to keep your lawn as healthy as possible!

Rhiannin Bunney

Rhiannin Bunney

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Rhiannin Bunney

Rhiannin Bunney

About Learn Planting

Here at Learn Planting, I review the best planting tools and products so that you can get everything you need to create your vibrant garden, whether indoors or outdoors!

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