Great States 815-18 Review

18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower, Grey


Final Score

4.3 / 5 from 8414 users

Great States 815-18 | Tools Official
Great States 815-18 | Tools Official
Great States 815-18 | Tools Official


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We spent 9.1 hours reading reviews from customers and experts. In summary, here's what users think:

10 reasons to buy

  • The Great States 815-18 mower is lightweight and easy to push around, making it simple to handle, especially in smaller lawns or intricate areas with bushes and perennials. (32 reviews)

    • “It’s lightweight and easy to push around.”

    • “It's easy to maneuver and lightweight and it's really nice to avoid the hassle of getting gas and oil and trying to start a gas mower.”

    • “I wanted something I could push easily around our backyard where I have perennials, bushes and grass.”

    • “The mower is well-designed, cuts our grass and weeds, is easy to push, and is absolutely fun to use.”

    • “It’s very flat, so it’s very easy to maneuver and cuts very well.”

    • “I love that it's light.”

    • “I'm a small 65 year old woman and can maneuver this thing with ease.”

    • “The reel mower -- so much lighter, easy to back up, & I could even lift up limbs with one hand as I push this under with the other.”

    • “Surprised at how easy it is to push, even at 63. Literally, I could mow with one hand and I did just for the heck of it for a little while. Basically easy to maneuver and pretty light weight overall.”

  • The mower operates quietly, making it possible to mow early in the morning or late in the evening without disturbing neighbors. (19 reviews)

    • “The lawnmower is very quiet, so you don't have to worry about using it early in the morning or late in the evening.”

    • “Much quieter than motorized counterparts.”

    • “Quiet.”

    • “minimal noise”

    • “What I like: It is quiet. No ear plugs. I am not under pressure to get the job done within a time window so it won't bother the neighbors.”

    • “It is much lighter and quieter than a gas mower.”

    • “It’s nice not making any noise, so you can do it slightly earlier in the morning or later in the evening without worrying about annoying the neighbors (or yourself).”

    • “This is a great mower & it is very quiet.”

    • “Perfect for our townhouse yard and quiet enough to use any time without worry of waking the neighbors.”

    • “No noise loud enough to prevent an early morning mow”

  • Using the mower provides a physical workout, which is seen as an added benefit for personal health and fitness. (18 reviews)

    • “Pushing the mower isn't very difficult and it's good exercise.”

    • “I love it. I get exercise.”

    • “I've decided to take the exercise, save the money and do it myself.”

    • “You’re getting some exercise, and that's a good thing.”

    • “I enjoy the exercise.”

    • “I recommend it for people that don't mind working on their abs a bit”

    • “I get a good work out using it to mow the yard, so I can feel as if I'm killing two birds with one stone.”

    • “Amazing workout as well.”

    • “Overall, the result is great, and mowing the lawn is a good weekend exercise.”

  • Users describe the mowing experience as enjoyable and not overly strenuous, even finding it fun to use. (17 reviews)

    • “It was fun to fiddle around with the different adjustments and see the differences.”

    • “Kinda like vacuuming but more fulfilling.”

    • “I absolutely love using it and it does a great job trimming our small front lawn in about 20 minutes.”

    • “The mower is well-designed, cuts our grass and weeds, is easy to push, and is absolutely fun to use.”

    • “So easy to push even over bumps and maneuvers quit well.”

    • “I mow more often because this is so simple to use.”

    • “I actually enjoy cutting the grass.”

    • “Fun - this is the most enjoyable lawn mower I have ever used.”

    • “Turns out it is actually quite enjoyable to use.”

    • “Mowing is a breeze, it is about the same physical effort as using a non-self propelled gas mower, but with so many advantages!”

  • The Great States 815-18 mower offers a smooth and even cut, often described as better than that of a gas mower, producing a greener and thicker-looking lawn. (13 reviews)

    • “I don't know why, but I like the "cut' produced by this mower much better than the gas mower. It is much greener and thicker looking.”

    • “The quality of the cut is noticeable. Very noticeable! I have a smooth even cut across the entire lawn, almost like a visit to the barbershop.”

    • “Looks good - the grass looks decidedly better than any mower I've ever used. With previous mowers, no matter what I did, there always seemed to be a line of grass sticking up. Now it's all even with no lines.”

    • “The lawn has a very clean, even cut look which is really hard to describe, but definitely noticeable.”

    • “I was surprised at just how good a job it does at cutting grass. The cut lawn looks good and is even.”

    • “The next morning, I went out to look at my work. I was surprised. The yard looked great. The next evening, I cut the back yard. The results were also very good.”

    • “Now, one really good part of this reel mower is the quality of the haircut that the grasses receive. It's a top class.”

  • The mower is low maintenance, requiring no fuel, oil changes, or engine upkeep, and has easily replaceable parts like plastic pinion gears and wheels. (11 reviews)

    • “relatively low maintenance”

    • “I don't have to deal with keeping the old engine working. ... Plastic pinion gear is approx $1.80 each online. Wheel is $12.10. Not bad.”

    • “It's easier and far cheaper to maintain the equipment.”

    • “because it is simple it has less problems”

    • “Still, total maintenance will be far less on a manual mower than a power mower.”

    • “I don't have to deal with gas or much maintenance on it.”

    • “i love not buyin gas & oil & having to worry about upkeep crap.”

    • “The least amount of maintenance as possible.”

    • “Love not having to maintain a gas mower and have all the dirt, grass and allergines flying up at me.”

    • “No filter, spark plug or valves to replace”

  • Being manual, this mower produces no gas fumes or emissions, making it environmentally friendly. (9 reviews)

    • “I love that there are no gas fumes and no vibrations from a power mower to hurt your hands.”

    • “Quiet and no gas fumes.”

    • “plus no exhaust”

    • “No gas or electricity. No engine. No pollution to make the gas or electricity. No pollution in exhaust fumes.”

    • “You don't reek of gas exhaust when you finish.”

    • “No cords or gas to hassle with, no exhaust fumes, no batteries to charge, no loud noise, no dangerous blades, no projectiles hitting your ankles (or face).”

    • “For me though, the lack of noise and gas fumes, the ease of control and the good cut make cutting the grass with this reel mower a pleasant task.”

    • “Other positives include: easier to operate, no gasoline, oil, or exhaust fumes.”

    • “No gas burnt or spilled”

  • The mower features multiple height adjustments for both the rollers and the front wheels to cater to different lawn compositions and user preferences. (6 reviews)

    • “It has several adjustments for height which is nice. The rollers have three settings and also the front wheels have three height settings.”

    • “The wheel axle can be mounted to one of 3 holes to achieve different cut height.”

    • “I cut my lawn to 3 inches plus, but the highest setting of 2 3/4 inches is just fine for the area I'm doing. It's the setting I would recommend. It does require an easy adjustment.”

    • “Can adjust the height of the cut”

    • “Easy to adjust cut and wheel height”

    • “I adjusted it to cut lower for my bermudagrass turf and I am very pleased with the results.”

  • The Great States 815-18 mower is made with good quality steel, making it durable and long-lasting. It's built to withstand regular use without significant wear and tear. (6 reviews)

    • “Very durable and made with good steel but not crazy heavy either.”

    • “It also feels sturdy and well made.”

    • “We'll see how it holds up, but so far seems sturdy and durable. It's been 3 months with the only maintenance being a regular clean and lube.”

    • “This mower is very well made.”

    • “Durability is pretty good as long as you put it together correctly and tightly.”

  • The mower's manual includes part numbers and ordering information, making it possible to repair and maintain the mower easily. This feature stands out in a market where many products are not designed for repair. (3 reviews)

    • “Speaking of parts the manual has part numbers and where to call to order them. Nothing is repairable anymore but this is and I'm so happy for that!”

    • “I do like the fact that when it's jammed you can be sure that something is stuck that you can remove yourself without getting the unit serviced (unlike the Snapper).”

    • “i emailed the company whcih by the way american & great state is one & the same company to tell them this & got a email back from them in a day in a half casue it was a weekend.. & told me the mail me the replacement part.”

3 reasons not to buy

  • Several users pointed out that if larger sticks or twigs get caught in the blades of the Great States 815-18, it stops abruptly, which can be inconvenient and requires manual removal of the debris. (22 reviews)

    • “If one gets in the stops SUDDENLY. Just pick the stick out.”

    • “Just make sure to remove all sticks in your path since it won't cut through then but get stuck on them.”

    • “Any tiny little stick or twig will lock it up and you have to manually clear the blockage to get it moving again.”

    • “A longer stick or piece of wood mulch will catch the blades and stop you in your tracks.”

    • “As mentioned in other reviews any twig thicker than a chopstick will jam it. If you have a yard with lots of trees, it could get to be a hassle, but those yards with a few (or none) trees will discover you find most of the twigs the first time you use the mower and with subsequent mowings this is not a problem.”

    • “if you have a lot of tiny sticks—I’m talking little broken stick pieces that end up under trees, like 1 inch or less down in the grass, this mower will catch on them repeatedly until you want to give up and cry. Don’t try to use it if you have a tree filled yard.”

    • “They’ll choke on twigs, pieces of mulch, walnut shell halves the squirrels leave behind, etc. So you have to be patient about having your momentum stopped while you pick out whatever it is that’s gotten stuck on a blade.”

    • “The biggest challenge is that small twigs and sticks will stop the mower. To clear the mower, I reverse the blade with my foot.”

  • While some found the mower easy to push, others noted that it requires more physical effort compared to a gas mower, particularly when dealing with taller or tougher grass. (21 reviews)

    • “subjectively - the cost is not justified considering the amount of additional physical effort with multiple passes needed to get a clean even cut compared to a gas mower”

    • “Performance: More difficult to push, as expected. More difficult than a motor mower with no driven wheels. It is not TOO bad. My problem is that I am out of shape. This thing will either get me into shape or it will kill me.”

    • “It also takes a lot more effort if you're doing this uphill versus downhill.”

    • “It does take a little bit of effort, no more than a non-self propelled power mower, but you definitely have to push the thing. It is very light, but it's not like floating on air. It's good full body exercise!”

    • “The 2nd season we invested in a motorized push mower because I was pregnant and need something a little easier so one person would use this mower and the other would use the gas powered one. This is best for people with very small yards.”

    • “The whole thing took me about four hours of very difficult work.”

    • “If you smoke or have not done cardio for a while, then I suggest closing this window and search for gasoline lawnmower.”

    • “As compared to my self-propelled mower, the reel mower takes a little more effort”

    • “You will need a certain amount of strength and stamina to use this mower, but this is true of lawn care in general.”

  • Several reviewers noted that the assembly process is not straightforward and can be frustrating. They pointed out problems like poorly designed parts that need extra work and effort to fit properly. (13 reviews)

    • “It could have been 10 minutes but a few minor things that make me pause or go get a long handle pliers. First, the lower handle snaps into the welded stud on the frame. A cir-clip keeps the handle from falling out. Not necessary. The handle is bent wider than the frames studs on either side. I had to squeeze the bent tube to clear the studs. I depended on the spring quality of the metal bent tube to keep itself in place. The studs have a groove for the cir-clip so I pop in the clips. One side goes in easy. The other side had paint in the groove so the clip did not go in easy. The user manual picture list item number for the upper 2 screws different than the lower 4 screws. Why? They are same screws?”

    • “One commentator recommended installing the lowest portion of the handle onto the mower posts before attaching the upper portions. The comment was helpful, although getting the handle on the mower posts was still difficult.”

    • “Build quality seem acceptable for a 100 dollar piece of equipment. However, it's engineered terribly. They basically send you two left sides to a handle. And this is actually an issue if you want to fasten the wing nuts/bolt in the same direction on both sides of the handle. Because the left handle is basically the right handle upside down, the bolt no longer fits inside of a dimple in the handle frame. So you're left with two choices: bolting one bolt and wing nut upside down and one right side up, or muscling one of the wing nuts so hard that you make your own dimple in the frame. I chose the second option and don't think I'd do it that way as the wing nut doesn't seem to like that much force. After reviewing some photos of other peoples' mowers on here, I can tell they had the same issue. The manual touches upon this in Chinglish. But in reality it's a lazy design flaw.”

    • “It was tricky to assemble and the instructions were vague at times.”

    • “You have to bend a bar as the last step of assembly.”

    • “The assembly was pretty frustrating, but your results may vary.”

    • “Oh, yeah. The assembly instructions were terrible. But I watched a few videos, and used those to figure out how the handle was assembled correctly, how to adjust the cutting height, and how to actually apply the "E rings" to the ends of the bolts properly.”

    • “Tip #1: When have to compress the bottom "fork" of the handle assembly to pop into the two prongs on the mower...I found this nearly impossible if the mower sat flat on the ground.”

    • “I found that attaching the handlebar to the mower was a two-person job because I didn’t have the hand strength to do it myself.”

    • “I had assembled the handle as per instructions and did not know how I was going to get it onto the reel before I thought of this, because I am certainly not strong enough to have compressed the two sides together to fit.”

    • “However, I wasn't able to squeeze the end of the handle over the posts on the mower. I ended up taking the bottom part of the handle back off and mounting it to the mower and then reattaching the top of the handle to it.”

Bottom Line

The Great States 815-18 mower is a user-friendly, lightweight, and durable manual lawn mower, ideal for small to medium-sized lawns. It's easy to push, operates quietly, and provides a good workout. Users enjoy its smooth and even cut, which can outperform gas mowers, contributing to a greener lawn. This mower is low maintenance, eco-friendly, and has adjustable heights. However, it can struggle with larger sticks and requires more effort on tough grass. Assembly can be tricky for some.


BrandGreat States
Cutting Width (in)18 inch
Max Cutting Height2.75"
Min Cutting Height0.5"
Power SourceManual
CategoryReel Mowers
Warranty2 Year Limited
Weight19.5 lbs.

Video Reviews

Special Features

  • Adjustable Cutting Height: You can change the cutting height from 0.5 inches to 2.75 inches to get the lawn just the way you like it.
  • Wide Cutting Width: It cuts a wide 18-inch path, so you finish mowing faster.
  • High-Quality Blades: The 5-blade ball-bearing reel is made of strong alloy steel, which means the blades stay sharp for a longer time.
  • Comfortable Handle Design: The handle is loop-style and has cushioned grips, making it more comfortable and easier to push.
  • Easy Assembly: You can put it together quickly without needing any special tools.
  • Eco-Friendly Operation: It doesn't use a motor, so it's quiet and doesn't pollute the air.
  • Durable Construction: It's built tough with a steel side plate and 10-inch composite wheels, so it lasts a long time.
  • Low Maintenance: There’s no engine to worry about, making it almost maintenance-free.
  • Enhanced Lawn Health: It cuts the grass cleanly, which helps keep it healthy and less likely to get bugs or diseases.
  • Smooth Performance: The blades spin smoothly and the wheels are easy to maneuver, making mowing easier.
  • Historical Reliability: Great States has been making these for over 100 years, so you know it's a reliable product.


  • Q:

    Does this mower cut both when pushed forward and pulled backward, or only in the forward direction?

  • A:

    This mower cuts only when pushed forward.

  • Q:

    Where is this mower manufactured?

  • A:

    The packaging indicates that it is made in China.

  • Q:

    Can push reel mowers effectively cut all types of grass, or are some grasses more challenging?

  • A:

    Push reel mowers generally cut all types of grass effectively. However, more flexible weeds may require mowing from different angles to align with the cutting blades.

  • Q:

    Will this mower perform well on a sloped and uneven lawn?

  • A:

    Yes, it should perform adequately on sloped and uneven lawns. However, some areas may require multiple passes.

  • Q:

    How durable is the handle of this mower?

  • A:

    The handle is very durable and well-made. It includes a foam wrap for added comfort while pushing.

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