Learn New Things and Change Your View: Heavy Construction Equipment

How to Tell If It's Time to Upgrade to a Flail Mower

by Nisanur Kronenberg

A flail mower refers to a type of mower that is meant to handle tougher vegetation and brush, which cannot usually be cut by a standard lawnmower. Many flail mowers are attachments that get pulled or towed behind a tractor or other such heavy-duty equipment, rather than riding the mower itself or trying to push it along. If you're not sure if your property is right for a flail mower and don't know if you should invest in this type of mower, note a few factors to consider.

Rocks and other debris

Flail mowers have shorter blades than standard lawnmowers so they cut on a smaller turning radius. This is part of how they cut down thick, heavy vegetation; those shorter cuts allow for more strength in the blades overall, as opposed to longer blades that lose power at the tip. This also means that flail mowers and their blades are less likely to toss rocks and other debris behind them or out the side, as the rocks are more likely to simply get rotated in the spin of the blades and then deposited right back underneath them. If your property has a lot of rocks from a nearby gravel road or driveway or from a creek bed, a flail mower can be the better and safer choice for mowing.

Tractor use

If you have a tractor that you use for your property, a flail mower can be a good choice as this means one less piece of equipment you need to store in a barn or shed. A flail attachment is much smaller than a standard riding mower, and you can even find attachments for both behind and to the side of the tractor. With these attachments, you can cut twice the amount of grass in the same time as you would spend with a standard riding lawnmower, as you have two mowers working at once.

Variations in cutting ability

Flail mowers often come with different knives or blades so that you get different types of cuts. Side slicer knives may offer more cutting ability for rough and thick vegetation, whereas smooth knives may give a property a trim look. If you have a variety of cutting surfaces on your property, meaning a back area that is very rough and overgrown but a front lawn that you want to look pristine, a flail mower might allow you to use one piece of equipment for cutting both areas quickly and easily.