American Lawn Mower 1204-14 Review: Safe, Easy to Use & Durable

Today you are going to read the complete American Lawn Mower 1204-14 Review: Safe, Easy to Use & Durable [A Reviews Guide]. There are a few reel mowers that can boast the test of time. If there ever was a classic in the reel mower industry it would be the American lawn mower 1204-14. There is the reason for this and it’s all in the design.

When it comes to the features, this lawn mower seems to have hit the right combination. Was it by design or by chance? None of that matters. What is important is that it continues to do what it was built for while providing you with great service.

American Lawn Mower 1204-14 Review and Buying Guide 2024

The Features

Even before you give it a test drive, one of the striking features of the American reel mower 1204 that is sure to catch your attention is the lightweight design. This is immediately apparent as you pick up the equipment.

And that’s not the half it. It is excellent at maneuvering sharp corners and edges and will do a great job regardless of the incline of the yard. Just place it on the grass and get going.

It’s easy to mistake the steel frame for being too lightweight and not sturdy enough. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is a classic remember? It wouldn’t have been around for so long if the construction was unreliable.

The American lawn mower 1204-14 combines both lightweight and sturdiness giving you a durable product that performs when it is required to do so. The 8.5-inch wheels have a strong attachment to the frame as well as adding to the products durability.

There is a zinc plated handle that has plastic grips. These prevent your hands from slipping when it gets too hot.


Cutting Width 14-inch
Handle T-handle
Mower Type Manual Push
Blades 3-spider 1-blade
Grass Catcher Optional
Cutting Height 1/2- to 1-1/2-inch
Cutting System Standard
Weight 19 pounds

How Long Does It Take to Assemble?

Well, I’m just going to come out and say it. 15 minutes. That’s all it takes to put the equipment together and get it to work. All you will be required to do is to attach the handle to the upper part of the frame. You can do this with the use of bolts.

The next step is to connect to the mower. All this can be done with the help of basic tools that can tighten a nut and bolt.

How to Operate

Thanks to its lightweight design and maneuverability, the American lawn mower 1204 is perfectly suited for small to medium sized lawns, However; it is not very good for large lawns.

With its width of 14 inches, you can trim the grass while avoiding obstacles such as passageways and other landscaping designs. You can even move through small spaces to get to that hard to reach grass that other larger models simply would not get to.

Getting into the actual grass cutting, you will need to push it with a bit of effort. Don’t worry, this is short lived. As soon as you get that momentum going, it will cut with ease.

Though the American lawn mower 1204-14 is designed for cutting only grass, it will go through small twigs and branches. Be advised however that too much of these and your reel could jam.

One other drawback of this reel mower becomes apparent when cutting tough grass. It struggles on thick, dense and tough turf. Of course, you can increase the number of times you mow your lawn every week, but you will still feel the strain.

When it comes to the soft grasses such as fescue, bluegrass, and rye, it could compete with an electric mower. You can buy a separate grass catcher if need be.

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Few Parts

Motor-driven lawn mowers may be good on large lawns but they are not ideal for everyone. They have many basic parts which increase the odds that something could go wrong. If you are usually busy and lack a lot of time to fix the mower in case of damage, your lawn will be left in bad shape.

Whether it’s the gas leaking, the spark plugs not transmitting or just something with the motor, you will need to be mentally prepared for the possibility of equipment failure.

The American reel mower will not be affected by these issues. Few parts mean that its durable and the chance of something breaking is quite minimal. With a handle attached to the reel, maintenance is simple and less time-consuming.

If you are environmentally conscious, the American reel mower will prove to be a reliable partner as there is no emitting of greenhouse gasses.

Adjusting the Height

The American lawn mower 1204 allows you to determine the height of your grass by adjusting the height of the blades. Choose anywhere between ½ inch to 1 ½ inch. The standard recommended is to cut up to 1/3 of the height of the grass. However, this will totally depend on your particular needs.

Some people may find the ½ inches a bit too short while for others it is a perfect size.

What we liked in our American Lawn Mower 1204-14

  • The equipment is inexpensive and easy to access
  • Easy to maintain
  • Has a strong and sturdy construction

What we didn’t like in our American Lawn Mower 1204-14

  • The reel mower has a tough time dealing with hard and dense grass
  • The cutting height of the blades is a bit too low
  • A width of 14 inches makes this reel mower unsuitable for large lawns

Final Thoughts

The American lawn mower 1204-14 will do a terrific job on your lawn. It has a sturdy design and is reasonably priced. However, I’m afraid the small width size makes it unsuited for larger sized lawns.

When it comes to dense grass, this reel mower is not the best. One of the contributing factors is the blades being set too close to the ground. That Said, I think it is a great product that has stood the test of time.