While there are a number of implements for every size of yard and property, some places cannot handle the kicking force of standard mowing blades. This is where the best flail mower with its collapsible blades offers a solution for rocky areas or properties with plenty of brush. We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can make an informed choice. While we think the Titan Attachments is the best for most people, we found some unique solutions too.
Best Flail Mowers in 2019
|Titan Attachments FMWRSS185|
|Titan Distributors Inc. AT120|
|Farmer Helper FH-EF155|
1. Titan Attachments FMWRSS185 – Best Flail Mower
Titan Attachments is owned by Titan Distributors Inc. and is made in China but still maintains a high level of quality. Part of this is likely due to the fact that Titan Attachments specializes exclusively in implements and other accessories for outdoor lawn and land care. This specialization allows Titan Attachments to identify potential issues that consumers could face in the real world and provide solutions to them. The Titan Attachments FMWRSS185 does this better than most which is why we rated it our Editor’s Choice best flail mower.
Chew Through Anything
Though flail mowers are generally used to mow grass in an area with a lot of loose gravel and debris, they are also often used when mowing an area that has a bit of brush. This is because the flail mower will pass harmlessly over the brush while still hitting the spots in between without damaging the mower. However, some of the better flail mowers also include other options, namely mulching, so that you do not have to simply mow around the brush – you can easily get rid of the brush altogether. What is even more impressive is that the Titan Attachments FMWRSS185 can mulch through brush up to 3” in diameter, the size of a small sapling.
2. Titan Distributors Inc. AT120 – Best Gas-Powered Flail Mower
Titan Distributors Inc. is actually the parent company of the Titan Family brands which includes sporting and outdoor equipment, warehouse equipment, and agricultural implements. Though Titan Distributors may not specialize in implements specifically, they still provide what we find to be the best gas-powered flail mower on our list. Of course, this offers the AT120 some legitimate versatility with which a PTO-driven flail mower cannot compete. On the other hand, having to support a powerful 420cc Briggs & Stratton Professional Series engine does limit it in other ways.
Once you hit the border between commercial and industrial equipment, the power begins to settle a bit more with most manufacturers able to make the necessary grade. In this instance, one of the more important considerations often becomes either efficiency or versatility. Efficiency is fairly straightforward as a measurement of effectiveness, but versatility is a bit more complicated. For the AT120, its ability to serve in a number of different situations and configurations allows it to be used for virtually any arrangement. For instance, the 5 offset positions allow this flail mower not only one of the widest offset ranges we saw but the ability to offset to the left as well as the right.
The engine we mentioned earlier does come with the downside of making the working width smaller at 4’, even though the total width of the AT120 is 6’. Still, the 13 ½ hp that it generates is more than enough to spin its drums at a blistering 3150 RPMs. On top of that, this flail mower also features 80 y-shaped teeth which altogether make this one of the fastest cutting flail mowers that we saw. However, this flail mower is also the most expensive on our list, though its options are extended further with the ability to be towed by an ATV or UTV.
3. Farmer Helper FH-EF155 – Best Budget Flail Mower
Farmer Helper is an agricultural implements brand owned by Betstco, a company which has been around for over 3 decades. That said, this flail mower is definitely not positioning itself to be the outright best performing, but it is not a poorly performing flail mower either. In fact, if you do not mind trading your cash for your time, we feel that this is the best budget flail mower that we encountered. Keep in mind that this means the Farmer Helper FH-EF155 may not be able to do everything its competitors can, but it is still a solid flail mower.
The Farmer Helper starts strong with a good working width of 5’ which, while not the largest on our list, is generally more than enough for most commercial purposes. On top of that, this flail mower actually features the tallest maximum cutting height we saw at 6” with a minimum cutting height of ¼”. That said, one of the biggest issues with the Farmer Helper is that it does not cut as quickly as some of the other models and may require multiple passes or a slower pace through thicker grass. This is in part due to the fact that the Farmer Helper has the fewest blades that we saw at only 54.
Decent Options and Build
This is one of the more important considerations as it will determine how you can use the flail mower, but it is not actually all that important when determining how well the mower will perform. This is because both types of power that flail mowers use, a gas combustion engine and a PTO shaft, are able to transmit enough power to the flail mower for it to perform well. That said, PTO powered flail mowers do have a tendency to be a bit more reliable because they have fewer moving parts which could otherwise fail. The difference between the two will actually have more to do with where you can use the flail mower and with what vehicles.
Basically, a gas-powered flail mower is more versatile than a PTO powered flail mower because it does not need to be attached to a tractor. Gas-powered flail mowers are generally able to be attached to a wide variety of vehicles and can usually expand that list further with a hitch adapter. This allows gas-powered flail mowers to be used in a heavily wooded area that still requires landscaping. It is worth noting that gas-powered flail mowers will be more expensive over the long haul due to the expense of their fuel.
This is easily one of the most important considerations when choosing a flail mower, but it can actually be judged in a couple of ways. The first and most obvious way of comparing the blades of flail mowers is through sheer quantity. The more blades that a flail mower has, the more grass the flail mower will be able to cut in a single pass. This is especially true for flail blades which are generally designed to collapse should they encounter resistance. However, the number of blades can be a bit difficult to compare if the flail mowers have different working widths.
The other way to judge the flail mower’s blades is by considering the shape of the blade as well as the material. For the materials, most flail mower blades will be made of steel, but some grades of steel are longer lasting and will stay sharper than others. Another important feature when gauging the blades is to look at their shape with a preference for “Y” or “T” shaped blades. The Y-shaped blades are especially effective as the vertex of the blade catches the grass before cutting it, making it a more effective design.
There are a couple approaches when it comes to the technique used to mow with a flail mower, but the RPMs work hand in hand with the blades to determine how effectively the flail mower will cut grass with every pass. While some manufacturers will provide the PTO’s RPMs, that is a standardized number which does not help us. Instead, we are interested in the flail mower’s drum’s RPMs since that will often increase the rate of cutting. That said, the selection of a proper speed is a bit more paramount with a flail mower than it is most other landscaping equipment as you must make sure enough blades meet the grass per pass but also want to avoid disturbing the ground below.
This is likely the most important consideration if you either have a large plot of land to mow or are a commercial landscaper. This is because the working width basically determines to a large degree how quickly you can cut a given area. With this being the case, there really is not a give and take to this consideration: the wider the working area the quicker it will mow. Granted, the larger flail mowers are meant to be used at larger properties and may have maneuverability issues if used on a smaller yard with tighter corners.
It is worth remembering that PTO powered flail mowers have a tendency to offer wider working widths than gas-powered flail mowers. This is because a gas-powered flail mower must maintain a higher level of structural integrity, and a more stable center of gravity, to support the mower’s engine.
This is a fairly important consideration if you intend to use your flail mower in a fairly wooded area or one overgrown with brush. Basically, the cutting range refers to the maximum and minimum cutting heights, though the minimum is generally ground-level. The maximum cutting height, on the other hand, is not usually that low, though it may not necessarily be anything to brag about either. However, flail mowers which were designed for use in heavier brush than others will usually provide a solid maximum cutting height to allow for multiple passes over a more solid obstacle which might otherwise ruin a variety of mowing blades.
An offset position refers to the ability to position the flail mower to one side or the other rather than lined up center with the vehicle towing it. The reason to do this is generally either to mow an area that would otherwise be difficult for the towing vehicle to maneuver in or to be used as part of a larger multi-mower arrangement. It is worth noting that the ability to offset left as well as right of the towing vehicle is a bit more of a premium feature for a flail mower than it is many other implements. That said, the actual range of the offset position is not usually that impressive with flail mowers, so it may not matter as much anyway.
While the specifics of most flail mower’s transmissions are not made explicitly public, but you can usually get a rough idea about the flail mower’s capabilities based on the number of belts the transmission uses. Generally, the more belts a transmission uses the better it tends to perform, but this is also heavily dependent on how large and powerful the flail mower is expected to be in the first place. Seeing that a flail mower has 3 drive belts might seem nice at first glance until you realize that the other flail mowers in that size category usually use 4. As such, this can only provide rough estimates in terms of reliable power, but it does definitely indicate how many belts will eventually need to be changed.
The Titan Attachments pretty much blows away the competition with a number of the more important metrics. Arguably the most important factor simply comes down to quickly that flail mower can cut. Throw the ability to mulch tougher brush and the toughest build quality that we saw, and the Editor’s Choice was a no-brainer. Of course, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, then the Farmer Helper flail mower is a solid choice. Though you may have to ride a little bit slower so that it can cut all of the grass, it provides you everything you need with the room to grow. Finally, the Titan Distributors offers the best gas-powered flail mower with a 420cc engine that spins the drums at 3150 RPMs making it one of the best level-field flail mowers we saw. The fact that it can also be towed by a wide range of vehicles in a number of different settings is just icing on the cake.