When you hear the word ‘hover’ … you probably think about our cousins across the pond. You know – hovercrafts, hoverboards, back-to-the-future, and other Americanisms. Or maybe you’re thinking more of mice and cursors. Either way, hover mowers have their place.
They’re not new – the Swedes introduces their first model in 1964. It was a Flymo and it … flew off the shelves. Today’s hover mowers have lots more features and accessories though. So how do you verify the best hover mower? Let’s start with a Top Seven list and see.
The Best Hover Mower In UK
The Best Hover Mower In UK 2021
1. Flymo Easi Glide 300 Hover Mower (Electric) (Our Top Pick)
The idea of a ‘floating’ lawn mower may seem magically modern. Something thought up by the Weasleys (or maybe the Flintstones). But they’ve been around a while – at least since the swinging sixties. And while most hover mowers have no wheels, this one does. They’re not for trimming though. They’re positioned at the front of the mower and are small plastic ones.
You don’t use these front-facing castors to cut grass. You engage them when you’re putting away the mower. It folds into a cute compact shape then you can tilt it and tug it to the garden shed. This mower has a relatively quiet 1300W engine. It’s electric so you do need to plug it in. But the cable is 12m long so you get a generous mowing radius and three heights.
Add an extension cable or two and you can cut even further. Plus, the mower has cable clips on its handlebar so you can tuck the wires safely out of the way as you cut. These reducing tangling and avoids accidents like cutting through the wire, tripping over it, or dragging it into a puddle. The mower has a 20l collection basket hidden under its bright orange casing.
The bin doesn’t just catch grass clippings – it also compacts them for easier distribution and disposal. And you can cut at four heights ranging from 10mm to 30mm. Adjusting the cutting height is a process though. You have to disconnect the power, flip the mower and change the spacing discs. The mower generally comes with 3 to 4 spacers and a spanner.
The mower comes pre-assembled but you do need a spanner when you’re shifting the height of your grass. The metal blade cuts swathes about a foot wide. Handle with thick gardening gloves to avoid cutting yourself while working with the spacers. And plan ahead since, unlike rotary lawn mowers, you can’t easily switch this hover mower’s cutting height in mid-mow.
The Flymo 300 has controls on both sides of the handle, so you can use it whether you’re left or right-handed. It glides easily over stony gardens but isn’t effective against long grass.
- It’s pleasantly lightweight at 8.5kg.
- The 12m cable gives you lots of wiggle room.
- It works well on slopes and bumps.
- The ‘hover’ function makes it inappropriate for trimming kerbs and edges.
2. Flymo XL500 Honda Hover Mower (Petrol)
Picking between a petrol mower and a hovering model can be tough. Especially if they’re from the same brand. And more so if it’s a brand you already love. Flymo is the mother of the hover. Partly because they invented the class, but also because they spent so long improving their series and perfecting their technology. So let’s peek under the bonnet, shall we?
At roughly 18kg, this mower is heavier than competing hovers … but it’s still lighter than the average petrol mower. You can buy optional wheels for a little extra cash. They can be useful if you have pavers between the storage shed and the lawn. Otherwise, you’d have to lift the mower off the grass or risk damaging its ‘feet’ as it drags over the gravel and concrete.
The motor is a powerful 160cc model. So while it can cut rougher strains and tougher stalks, it can get loud. This mower cuts half a metre wide so it’s quick. Its square shape (with rounded edges) and upturned lip lets you cut closer to the edge of the garden. The curved tip also makes it easier to trim lawn edging without damaging the landscaping (or the mower).
This 4-stroke Honda engine offers cutting heights between 10mm and 40mm. It’s a mulching mower – naturally – since it doesn’t have a grass collection bin. It runs on 5.5hp (4.1kW) and is amazing for 45° slopes. And yes, it’s self-propelled so as long as it’s on, you’ll barely feel that 20kg mass. The OPC disengages the engine when you step back or release the handle.
OPC means Operator Presence Control, meaning the hover mower won’t slip away and cause potential damage or injuries. This feature saves fuel too since you can’t accidentally leave the Flymo running. The mower also has choke controls on the handles so it’s a pleasure to use. You can safely control speed and power. This Flymo comes with a 2-year warranty.
If you don’t mind adding to your carbon footprint, this a great hover mower to buy. You can adjust your cutting height in three positions and you can buy optional wheels for storage.
- It’s relatively light at 18.2kg.
- The engine has a 160cc capacity.
- The blade is 51cm wide.
- It’s easy to spill the petrol.
3. Sovereign Hover Mower (Electric)
Mowers with plastic blades can be useful. And they often ship with multiple blades. This isn’t about added value – manufacturers know plastic wears out faster. So if they didn’t include ‘extras’, you’d soon dump their machine. But you do eventually need to buy new blades.
And once the starter pack wears out, you’ll find Sovereign blades to be oddly expensive … The brand has one saving grace though – its cutting tray has a pretty standard design. So you can swap it out for a hover mower tray that fits metal blades … problem solved! But why are you keeping the rest of the machine of you’re trading in its most important component?
Well, there’s still a lot to like in the Sovereign hover mower. It cuts at two heights – 12mm and 33mm. And it mows in swathes of just under a foot. So it’s ideal for smaller gardens. Because the cutting heights are so low, you do need to cut your grass regularly – at least once a week. Even with the original plastic blades, the Sovereign can handle three-day grass.
The mower has bright red knobs on the side. These knobs let you fold down the handles for storage. You can also adjust the height and angle of the handle while using the mower. This reduces fatigue and muscle strain. The hover mower weighs a mere 5.2kg so you’ll barely feel the weight. It’s built for small yards and shorter grass though, so expect to use it frequently.
This stylish hover mower comes with multiple spare blades and an adjustable handle. It’s entry-level equipment designed for light work so don’t wait too long between trims.
- It emits 900W of cutting power.
- You can adjust the cutting height in two positions.
- Its blade width is 29cm.
- Its plastic blades are expensive to replace.
4. McGregor Hover Mower (Electric)
When you’re working with a hover mower, the lighter the better. After all, it typically has no wheels so less mass means easier usage – you won’t have to push it as hard. The McGregor weighs a bit under six kilos and comes in separate pieces so you’ll need some basic craftsmanship skills to put it together. The steel blade has a 30cm swathe in four heights.
These heights range from 1.2cmto 3.3cm, a popular setting among the best hover mowers. It’s an electric mower that emits 1.45kW. This mower is built for small yards so the 10m cable is sufficient. But if your garden is oddly shaped, you’ll probably need extension cables to fully cover its radius. And the mower comes with a built-in 20-litre grass collection bin.
This bin is seethrough so you can tell when it needs to be emptied. And the handle has levers on the side that let you adjust the angle of the handle or fold them for smaller storage spaces. The castors at the front make it easy to tug the mower to your chosen storage slot. These wheels are not intended for use while mowing – they’re more like larger luggage castors.
The handle also has clips on the side. They hold the power cable and keep it out of your way while you mow. Ordinarily, electric mowers have a tough time with thick grass. But this one has a powerful torque and higher horsepower. So it does okay as long as the garden is small. For bigger spaces, the drama of linking extension cable contraptions isn’t worth the trouble.
This is a good lawn mower if you have a small yard and easily accessible outdoor sockets. Otherwise, the process of looping wires through windows and gutters can be a headache.
- Its power cable is 10m long.
- The steel blade cuts a foot wide.
- The mower has a 1450W motor.
- It needs a bit of assembly so prep for that.
5. Spear & Jackson Hover Mower (Electric)
Flymo makes a lot of good hover mower models. But if you have something against the brand, you could sample this blue baby. It has a 1.7kW motor, the strongest one we’ve seen so far. And like many hover mowers, it’s self-propelled. The wire handle ignites the mower when you tug it against the padded handle. This allows for one-handed trimming.
The wire frame also serves as an OPC device since letting go of the wire stops the machine. It’s an electric model so you do need a socket nearby. Ideally within 12m, but you can cobble together extension cables if you need to. The mower has a 20l grass collector with clear plastic walls and vents. The mower has castors and a steel blade that trims in 33cm stretches.
The castors are bright red, positioned at the front for convenient transportation. While the collection bin is averagely sized for a hover mower, the engine power makes this mower effective against long, dense grass. You can select from four cutting heights between 12mm and 33mm. It’s a heavier device though, weighing in at 8.76kg when the bin is empty.
If you’d rather not bother with the grass collection bin, don’t. You can remove it and just deposit grass clippings directly onto the garden. The mower chops the grass into small enough bits for effective mulching. But while this motor has solid cutting power, the hover mower’s design is optimal for short, fresh grass. So space your mowing days closer together.
As with many hover mowers, shifting your grass height isn’t as simple as flicking a lever. You have to switch the mower off, turn it upside down, unscrew the blade, add or remove spacing disks, then bolt everything back into place. So if your grass is especially thick, you’ll need several passes with a height switch between. Or just cut it often, using the lowest setting.
This Spear & Jackson hover mower will catch you with its bright blue colour scheme and its high-powered engine. But it still works best on shorter grass that’s frequently mown.
- It has a 12m power cable.
- The cutting width is 33cm.
- The mower has a 1700W motor.
- You should probably sharpen the blade when you first unpack it.
6. Flymo 250 Ambidextrous Hover Mower (Electric)
There’s an advantage to Flymo offering so many models … with more items to choose from, you can find one that fits your needs. But you may also get paralysis analysis. The paradox of choice is strong because you can’t easily tell models apart. Not even with comparison charts! From what we’ve seen, this model’s biggest advantage is its small size, pun intended.
As a 250 model, it’s slimmer than other Flymos and has a cutting width of 25cm. This keeps it suitable for tiny yards and asymmetric gardens. It’s especially good around curved edges. Oddly, it has a stronger engine than the Flymo 300 – this one is 1.4kW. And it has a 10m power cable. If you spotted it in a catalogue, you were probably excited about storage.
According to the brochure, you can fold the handle flat for more convenient packing. Once the handle is flattened, you can hang the mower vertically, suspending it on a (strong) hook. And you can. But unlike other Flymos, the handle levers on this Flymo 250 are plastic. So they’re not as sturdy and can’t effectively support the mower’s weight while it’s hanging.
These plastic clips also mean the mower’s handles sometimes fly off while you’re cutting grass. That can be embarrassing at best … and injurious at worst. The metal blade is a plus though. And while you do have to flip and dismantle it like all Flymo hover mowers, you can adjust cutting height between 11mm and 31mm using the included spacer discs and spanner.
This lightweight Flymo is marketed as Turbo Lite. Like its siblings, it carries a 2-year warranty and that trademark orange ‘skin tone’. Be careful with the handle – it can fly off!
- It folds flat for storage.
- It weighs about 6 kilos.
- The mower cuts 25cm across.
- It’s not as effective on bumpy gardens.
7. Black + Decker Hover Mower (Electric)
Let’s close the list with a name-brand product. Black + Decker keeps changing its logo but it retains its reputation for quality. So if you must buy a plastic lawn mower, buy it from this lot. The mower comes with 10 spare blades (all plastic) plus the one pre-fitted in the mower’s head. It’s a lightweight 6kg manual mower, so you do need an energy drink before you begin.
Ordinarily, hover mowers are good for slopes and bumps. The reason being the air cushion propels them over barriers and steep angles. All with no extra effort from you. But this is a manual mower so if you’re trimming uphill, expect to work your biceps, triceps, and calf muscles. You’ll also need to position your extension cables carefully along the incline.
This mower only has a 10m cable so you can’t cut too far from the house. And while it does have three cutting heights, they start higher than the competition. Which could work against you if your residents’ association prefers a buzz cut. (The lowest grass height you can achieve is 2cm. The maximum is 4cm.) The mower has a 30cm blade and an American plug.
So you’ll need a step-down adapter and you may need to change the plug for UK sockets. Either that or get an extension cable with American sockets. The mower doesn’t have a collection box so it’s a sort of auto-mulcher. That’s fine if you just want to fortify your topsoil, but it can be a challenge if you prefer finer control or compacted grass clippings.
You can adjust the height of the handle by a few inches … and you can hang the mower vertically on a hook. But this isn’t a foldable model so check that you have enough storage space. You’ll work up a sweat though because the mower weighs close to 8 kilos and lacks self-propulsion. It uses a 1.2kW motor so it’s relatively quiet. But it only works on soft grass.
This Black + Decker mower carries its own spares – at least for the blades. It doesn’t need much maintenance and fresh blades are widely available. It’s manual though, so snack first!
- It’s ideal for 250m2
- You can cut from 20mm to 40mm.
- The cable is 10m long.
- The mower doesn’t have a grass collection bin.
Hover mowers don’t have wheels. So you can cut and turn in any direction. And you’ll use less energy mowing up a hill or along rugged terrain. But what features should you prioritise as you hunt for the best hover mower? Let’s check out some top shopping tips as you … hover the rows and aisles of hardware stores (or the pages of online landscaping catalogues).
Most hover mowers are electric, but you can still find a few petrol-powered models. These will be older brands, so finding the spares may be a chore. But petrol hover mowers are best if you keep your grass longer. Electric mowers will struggle with anything over 12cm. So you’d have to weigh your environmental concerns over the grass variety and height of your grass.
With electric mowers, you have to worry about access to power plugs and extension cables. Or if you can find a rechargeable hover mower, consider how long it takes to charge. And how long it works before it needs recharging. Larger yards generally work better with electric mowers. Especially if the hover mower has a grass collection bag that’s 70 litres or larger.
You don’t get as many added benefits with hover mowers. The rotary mower space is flooded to saturation. So manufacturers will offer all sorts of frills to differentiate their product. But with hover mowers, the absence of wheels is quite an effective differentiator. As a result, Manufacturers feel less pressure to distinguish their equipment from market rivals.
That said, you can focus on your deal-breakers. Some factors to consider include adjustable blades and mowing width. You should also confirm the power output. Low-voltage models may be cheaper, but they might lack the force needed to mow tough grass. Think about mowing frequency as well. You need a heavy-duty model if you only cut once a month.
We’ve already hinted at mowing frequency. You’d think someone who mows three times a week would need a stronger mower. After all, it’s used more often so it does more work. But mowing every two or three days means you’re dealing with soft, short grass. Monthly mowers are facing taller grass with thicker, more established stalks. So you need a stronger engine.
Frequency can affect blade selection too. Hover mowers can be fitted with metal blades or plastic ones. Plastic blades often come bundled with multiple spares. Metal blades are more durable but may need sharpening. Look for a mower that lets you swap metal blades with plastic ones. Or better yet, find one that can take a nylon-threaded spool. That’s magic!
Up, Up, and Away!
We’ve looked around and we can safely recommend the Flymo 300. Here’s why:
- It has a 30cm blade and a 20l grass bin.
- Its power cable is 12m long.
- Its cable clips keep the wires out of the way as you work.
- You can adjust the cutting height from 10mm to 30mm.
- This lightweight model is so easy to manoeuvre.
- The mower is fitted with a 1300W motor.
- It folds into a compact size for storage.
- The mower has front rollers for added portability.
Which hover mower is trimming your lawn this week? Show us photos in the comments!