Are Manual Mowers Safe For The Elderly?

Whether you’re looking for a new lawn mower for yourself or a family member over the age of 60, you might be wondering whether manual mowers are a safe option.

Here, I’ve shared everything you need to know about the safety of manual lawn mowers for seniors.

✅Key Takeaways:

  • Manual lawn mowers are safe for operation by the elderly as long as they’re used to mow a small, flat space.

  • A manual mower is a great choice for seniors because it’s affordable, lightweight, and easy to use, without the hassle of a petrol or battery-powered mower.

  • To ensure safe mowing with a manual mower, buy a lightweight ergonomic mower with grass collection or a mulching feature, don’t let your grass grow long, and only mow a small space.

Table of Contents

🧐 What Is A Manual Mower?

A manual mower is a type of mower that’s powered by the operator.


That means the blade spins as a result of the person pushing the mower forward, rather than by electricity or petrol.

👷 Is A Manual Lawn Mower Safe For Older Gardeners?

Yes, a manual lawn mower is safe for operation by older gardeners.


In fact, manual push mowers are ideal for people over the age of 60 because they’re lighter than all other mower types and they can be removed from storage and used immediately, without the hassle of charging a battery or plugging in a cord.


Be aware that a manual mower requires more pushing effort because the operator’s push power is needed to spin the mower blades as well as move the mower forward. However, when used on a small, flat lawn, a manual lawn mower should be quick and easy to use, making it a good option for seniors.


Quick Specs:

  • Brand: Bosch

  • Price: £

  • Power source: Manual

  • Cutting width: 38cm

  • Cutting height: 15 – 43mm

  • Weight: 6.9 kilograms

  • Grass box capacity: 25 litres

  • Power: N/A

👍 Why Are Manual Mowers A Great Choice For Seniors?

Here are some of the key reasons to consider a manual lawn mower instead of another mower type for elderly gardeners.

🏋🏻‍♂️ Lightweight Design

Manual mowers weigh around 6-8 kilograms, making them some of the most lightweight lawn mowers available to buy today.


An older person is less likely to sustain injuries from overexertion if they use a lightweight lawn mower like a manual push mower.

Manual mowers don’t contain a heavy battery or motor, so they’re easy to operate and don’t require much core or arm strength.

🛠 No Setup & Minimal Maintenance

Manual mowers require virtually no setup. You can take a manual mower out of your shed and start using it straight away, without having to charge a battery, top up the fuel, or plug in a cord.


Manual lawn mowers are also easy to maintain. They need a quick clean after every use, and their blades should be sharpened once or twice per year.


If you’re looking for a low-hassle lawn mower for yourself or an elderly relative, a manual mower is the best choice.

manual, lawn, mower, grass, collector, box,

🏁 Quick & Easy To Use In Small Spaces

If you live in a bungalow or retirement property with a small lawn, a manual lawn mower makes the most sense for you.


Manual lawn mowers are quick and easy to use. There’s no point in setting up and lugging around a heavy petrol mower if your lawn only takes 5 minutes to cut.

💰 Affordable Option

If your purse strings are a little tighter now you’ve retired, you don’t want to spend a fortune on an expensive lawn mower that’s too big and feature-heavy for the space you’re mowing.


Manual lawn mowers cost as little as £45, so they’re a budget-friendly option for older gardeners who want to spend as little as possible on an effective lawn mowing solution.

🚧 How To Ensure Safe Manual Mower Operation For The Elderly

Here are a few ways you can ensure safe operation of a manual lawn mower by an older person.


💪 Choose A Lightweight Mower

First, choose a lightweight manual lawn mower that isn’t weighed down with unnecessary features.


The lighter the mower, the easier it is to push, and the lower your likelihood of strain or injury.

♻️ Use Mulching Or Grass Collection

Most manual lawn mowers disperse grass clippings onto the lawn, and they’ll need to be collected and bagged after mowing.


If you or a senior relative struggles to bend, choose a manual lawn mower with a grass box, which only needs to be emptied once at the end of mowing a small space.


Or, even better, choose a manual mulching mower, which will disperse tiny grass clippings on your lawn that decompose rapidly and don’t need to be collected.


I recommend the Webb WEH30 Sidewheel Manual Hand Push Cylinder Lawnmower, which has a front grass box for collection. This mower also has a mulching effect when used to mow a lawn frequently because it shoots clippings out of the front of the blades, preventing the cut grass from being trodden into your lawn as clumps.

bin, bags, grass, clippings, collected, lawn,

🟩 Mow A Small Space

I only recommend manual mowers for older gardeners if the lawn space is small – ideally less than 50-100 m².


If your lawn is larger than this, you’ll be better off using a corded electric lawn mower instead, which requires more setup and is slightly heavier but is easier to push due to its motor-powered blades.

📏 Don’t Let Your Grass Grow Long

Mowing long grass is significantly more difficult with a manual lawn mower. So, if you or a senior relative is considering investing in a reel mower, you’ll also need to commit to regular lawn mowing.


Don’t let your grass grow too long. Long, thick grass will clog your mower’s blade and increase the resistance, so you need to exert more pushing effort to move the mower forward.


Mow your lawn at least once a week during the summer months to avoid this scenario.

part, mown, lawn, grass, clippings,

😏 Choose An Ergonomic Mower

Finally, look for an ergonomic manual lawn mower that has features for comfortable mowing for older users.


Find a mower with a padded bar handle that can be adjusted to your comfortable pushing height, so you don’t have to strain your back or arms from pushing the mower at an odd angle.


The Gardena Comfort Hand Push Lawn Mower is one of the best ergonomic manual mowers I’ve reviewed, and I recommend it for you if comfort is your priority.

🔌 Alternative Lawn Mowers For Seniors

Don’t like the sound of a manual lawn mower?


There are a few other lawn mowers that are also great for elderly gardeners, depending on your use case:

  • Hover mowers – These electricity-powered mowers are easy to maneuver due to their lack of wheels and are ideal for unusually-shaped or bumpy lawns.

  • Corded electric mowers – These mowers are the best choice for seniors who have medium lawns with slopes or hills because the electric motor powers the blades and reduces pushing effort. Look for a mower no heavier than 11-12 kilograms.

  • Self-propelled lawn mowers – Older gardeners with large lawns should look at petrol lawn mowers with self-propulsion, which makes mowing easy because the mower’s motor drives the wheels forward without your input.

folded, stored, flymo, hover, lawn, mower,

💬 Final Word

Manual lawn mowers are ideally suited to senior citizens who live in retirement bungalows and want a quick, easy solution for mowing lawns smaller than 50-100 m².


These mowers are best used to mow relatively short grass on flat ground, with no slopes or hills that could make operation too taxing for an older gardener.


Consult with your doctor if you’re not sure whether it’s safe for you to mow your lawn with a manual mower or any other mower type.


If you’re keen to learn more about our top recommended manual mowers, check out our best manual lawn mowers guide.


😤 How difficult is a manual lawn mower to push?

A manual mower is easy to push, although slightly more difficult than pushing an electric or cordless lawn mower, because the operator’s pushing power also drives the blades to spin. However, a manual mower is still easy enough for an older person to push, as long as the mowing space is relatively small and flat, and the grass isn’t overgrown.


🤨 Do people still use manual lawn mowers?

Yes! Manual lawn mowers date back to 1830 and became less popular in recent years due to the invention of petrol and electric lawn mowers, but they’re now back in fashion – and the manual mowers of today are much more ergonomically designed. Take a walk on a sunny Saturday morning in the UK and you’ll probably see at least one person mowing their lawn with a manual mower. Manual mowers are becoming almost as popular as electric mowers for smaller lawns.


💎 What’s the best manual mower for an elderly person?

In my opinion, the best manual mower for an elderly person is the Garden Gear Manual Lawnmower Hand Push Mower Grass Cutter because it has a lightweight build (it weighs just 6.4 kilograms), a built-in grass bag that eliminates the need for raking or sweeping post-mow, and an ergonomic handle for comfortable mowing.