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After a couple of years struggling with another Flymo product with plastic blades, we gave in and bought a newer model as the old one could not cope with a bumpy and stony lawn - we were buying new blades every few weeks. This was purchased on offer from Argos for £65 around 3 years ago. It is still available from various suppliers for around £75 - the longevity usually being a sign of a good product.
Look, feel, and operation
It is very orange. If you don't like it, don't buy Flymo! For a mower, it is fairly light, with the handle folding down for storage. At the top of the handle there is an orange starter button and 2 grip handles on either side. To start the motor, press the button and hold one of the levers down - this must be continuously depressed to keep the motor running. It does not need to much strength, but if you are in doubt, ask to try in store before buying. There is also a power socket where you attach the cable.
The business end of the machine consists of a 12 inch thick metal blade that has 4 adjustment settings between 10 - 30mm - it is easily adjustable and the blades are removable should they need changing. adjustment / removal is straight forward and covered in the manual, however to do so you will need to use a special Flymo spanner which was included with ours, but I cannot be sure that is still the case.
The grass collecting tray is accessed by lifting the central handle on the mower, sliding out the tray, emptying and replacing - very simple!
The mower comes with a 12 metre power cable which plugs into the power socket on the handle, making it easy to lift and avoid cutting the cable as you mow. Depending on the location of your power source, 12 metres may be a bit short; however it is easy enough to extend by using an extension cable. The cable comes wound on a spool, making for easy storage and tangle free cable.
The motor runs the blades at 4300 rpm and it really does create a nice, lightweight hover effect, making it easy for someone of average strength and fitness to use.
How does it perform?
Our lawn is fairly bumpy, so it is used on a high setting to give a uniform appearance. This way you avoid chopping too many stones as well, preserving the life of the blade. It was advertised as edge to edge cutting, however I have found that this is not quite the case (as with most mowers), so there will be a need to strim the edges too. The grass tray fills fairly quickly, although it will compact if you keep using it. There is no indicator to show how full it is, so you will have to keep an eye on it until you are used to it on your lawn. The blades are still in good condition after 3 years use; hopefully this will continue! As stated we do have a slightly stony lawn, and yes, I do regularly clip stones with the mower - the fact that the blades are largely unmarked indicates a good product to me!
Care & maintenance
Most of the mower just needs an occasional wipe down to keep clean. You should however check the filters after each use (easily accessible on the side of the machine and under the grass tray) to remove grass that may obstruct airflow and cause the engine to overheat.You will also need to clear out compacted grass after each use - to do this, turn the mower upside down and wipe off the grass - it is best to do this whilst the grass is wet - if left to dry it is much harder to remove.
As with all electric mowers it is good safety practice to use a circuit breaker to protect against shocks and to visually inspect the cable before each use.
Availability of spares
Very good - either from your supplier or direct from Flymo. All replaceable parts are available, including a longer cable if needed.
All in all a good compact machine for a smallish lawn, and I would not hesitate to recommend. Our lawn looks lovely and flat (even though it isn't) and the mower itself has proved extremely reliable. Now just to get someone else other than me to cut it!
Like most things in life you get what you pay for. This is a middle-of-the-road mower for a middle-of-the-road price.
If you want a mower that can cut through a lawn that's not been mowed for a week or two then this will do it.
It's easy to use, easy to empty and can store a good volume of grass before it needs emptying for such a small mower. The power lead is quite long as well.
There are no adjustable height settings but you can purchase spacers which does the same thing but obviously it's not a simply click of a lever to lift or lower once they have been fitted.
I find that the cut grass tends to clog and stick to the interior underneath which in turn causes the mower to disperse clods of grass all over the lawn and it can be a pain having to pick them up.
If you want a stripe in your lawn then don't buy this.
All in all, if it's just a case of buying a mower with no frills to cut the grass then this is the one for you.
After recently moving to a new home, we found the state of our grass was not good. It had been left by the previous owners to grow wild, long and looking very sorry for itself. We tried using our trusty old push-along cylinder mower, however due to the un-even ground it felt heavy, took a lot of work and a very long and frustrating time to cut. Eventually, after it had taken many chunks out of our garden, we had to give in. The swear jar overflowing, we decided it was time to upgrade to an electric hover mower.
Whilst searching for an appropriate standard and priced mower, we saw an advert in our local observer stating that B&Q had an offer on the Flymo 300 mower. At an original price of £79.99, the Flymo seemed great value for a sale price of £65. How could we go wrong?
After taking a trip to the nearest B&Q, we learnt that not only was it a good price, but it was also high-spec, with four options to change the cutting level (10-30mm and 30cm with a metal blade) and a powerful 1400 watt motor that spins at 4,300 rpm, making easy work of cutting your lawn quickly and efficiently.
But, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say, so we soon set about cutting our grass. Out of the medium-sized box (that fit well in our Seat Leon, but probably not in a two-door car), it was light and seemed like it couldn't handle any blade longer than your index finger. Nevertheless , it tackled our lawn easily and quickly. The 12m chord may have been a little too short, but I could hardly say the Flymo 300 had any major flaws. It was outstanding.
Our 30ft by 24ft grass was cut in around 10 minutes.
And then it was cut again, a week later. And then again. And again.
Mowing was a chore no longer. The Flymo raced across the grass like a breeze and left stunning results.
Even setting up the Flymo was easy. It is quite literally, out of the box and go. The handles fold down simply when you're finished for easy storage, and pull back out to click into position the next time it's needed. This means that anyone can use it, even the elderly. Perfect.
All in all our Flymo 300 mower is great value for money; I'd even, now after using it, have been happy to have paid it's original £79.99 price tag. It's a breeze to use, and apart from needing maybe a slightly longer cable, and making an ever so slight noise, it has no flaws. It's not enough to disturb your neighbours, and enough to make them green with envy.
I've had this Flymo for a while now and it's done its job day in and out, struggling only slightly on the wetter grass so it's still wise to wait until it's dry to make it a quicker easier job.
Even though it's a flymo, the hover concept obviously only works when the lawn mower is turned on, meanwhile you have to reply on these petty few wheels on a rolling bar at the front. This wheel bar idea is just awful and I always find it easier just to pick up the darn thing. Speaking of which it's pretty heavy.
When it's running the hover function is effective and makes it easy to glide over your lawn, until it starts to get pretty full of grass which weighs it down, this does let you know when it needs emptying.
emptying this lawn mower is easy you just pull up on the top and take out the box of full grass which once emptied slots back into place and the top comes back down onto it.
The only problem i ever had with mine was that the orange cable plugs into the underside of the handle, if you accidently tread on the cable, or so much as look at is the wrong way it would fall out causing occasional annoyance, an elastic band stopped it falling off so it wasn't a big problem.
The whole thing looks good and works well, robust too.
Spring has sprung and my flymo has now had three outings this year. My mood always lifts so much when the good weather arrives and even mowing the lawn doesn't seem a chore as I begin to create some order in the garden. I love the smell of the freshly cut grass, especially after the first cut of the year and everything looks so much better when the grass is short and the edges neat.
I'm the chief grass cutter in our family and it's important to me to have a lawnmower that works well, is reliable and that I can manoeuvre relatively easily. Our Flymo Hover Compact 300 is just entering its fourth summer of service with us and has met my needs perfectly. We brought it to replace an earlier model of the same mower that we'd had for 9 years and had worked well for us until the handle broke and I'd bashed the front skirt into things once too often and the plastic cracked. I'm hoping that our current one will last as long and so far it still appears to be in top condition and does its job as effectively as when we first brought it. This is despite it being totally used and abused and receiving no maintenance whatsoever. I know that some people clean off the surplus grass that collects on the underside after use and sharpen their blades, but I'm just lazy and put it straight away after use.
I would describe this mower as a medium sized one. It is large enough to be effective in small to medium sized gardens and weighing 7.6kg is a manageable size for me, at 5'2", to manoeuvre without too much of a struggle. It is the classic bright orange colour that all Flymo products come in and the shape is sleek and attractive compared to other manufacturers. A lid on the top flips easily up to reveal a lightweight grey plastic collecting basket for cut grass. This basket is a good size (holds 20litres) and in my small to medium sized garden I need to empty it just 2 or 3 times depending on how long I have let the grass grow. The brown metal handle is attached on pivot points which enable it to fold down onto the mower for storage; this is activated by pressing both sides of the handle in simultaneously and then rotating the handle forwards. I find this one of the harder actions to make with the mower as it takes a fair amount of pressure to press in enough to release the handle to fold, but I do manage it. A sturdy cross bar links the two sides of the handle at the bottom and this has grip marks on it and can be used to carry the mower when it is folded.
An electric cable is secured by clips up the handle length and links the motor to the control levers and button that are located at the point on the handle that you hold. Safety features require you to press the ignition button that is located centrally on a mount on the handle at the same time as squeezing a lever with your other hand mounted immediately below the handle, before the machine will activate. The central button can then be released. This is an excellent feature as it ensures that there is no risk of inadvertently starting up the machine when it is not planned and that a child can't press a button and cause an accident. The trigger squeeze buttons are located on either side of the handle to cater for both left and right handed users. I don't find this start up procedure complicated at all and the triggers are easy to maintain pressure on for the duration of time that I am cutting the grass without causing fatigue or discomfort. It feels a natural position for my hand to be placed in. The main handle also pivots while in use so that it gently rises and falls as you push the mower making it easier on your back and easier to push. I imagine this also makes it more suitable for a variety of different height users.
A 12m cable allows you to cut a reasonably large area of grass without needing an extension cable. An extra foot would have been a real benefit for me as I have one small patch that it will not reach. I could replug into a different socket to reach this, but I like to think that I'm being environmentally friendly by allowing this small patch under my cherry tree to be my mini wildlife garden! This cable is bright orange, another good safety feature as it is so vivid that I am unlikely to cut it by mistake and I really have no desire to disappear in a puff of smoke by electrocuting myself. I would recommend using a circuit breaker on the socket that you plug any lawnmower into just in case of any such problem as it will save your life - I must remember to buy a new one as ours stopped working.
Underneath is a large concavity - an area that does have a tendency to collect lots of congealed lumps of grass in. When too much collects I will pull off some of the dried lumps and a plastic tool is provided for this purpose. There is a hole in the under surface that gives entry to the collecting basket and the majority of the grass that has been cut is fanned up through this. There is a large circular plastic fan plate and onto this the single cutting blade is mounted. This is height adjustable between 10 and 30mm, but we have left ours in the factory set position. The motor is hidden away under there somewhere and is 1400watts which seems ample power for the size of machine. I'm impressed that after a long cold winters break in the garage it came to life immediately with no signs of coughing and spluttering.
A number of bright yellow and black hazard diagrams are stuck onto the back of the main part of the mower and are clearly visible from the main position of use. Most of these I could clearly identify their meaning such as read the instructions, don't use in the rain, wait for the blade to stop, turn off if using tools, but 2 of them I don't know what they're supposed to mean.
**My experience of using it**
Our old mower used to hang from brackets on the garage wall and I could easily lift it to hook the handle over these for out of the way storage. This one however is too heavy for me to do this and I tend to leave it in its folded position dumped on the floor in the corner. This is not as convenient as the garage gets very full. The cable also lives in a heap on top, as if you wrap it around the handle it falls off when it is folded. This has not proved too much of a problem as I'm able to hold it in my hand at the same time as lifting the mower. I ensure that I have driven it under power as close to the garage as I can as it is a little heavy and awkward to lift. I tend to balance the bottom on one foot and lift with both hands on the cross bar and slowly move.
Once in action though it is quite easy to manoeuvre. I don't use the classic hover action of rotating it from side to side in a sweeping motion as I find it too heavy and it twists my back, although on the rare occasions that my husband comes into contact with the Flymo he will use it like this with no apparent difficulty. My technique is more of a rock backwards and forwards between my feet and gradually work my way sideways and forwards across the lawn. Whatever way you use it it's not going to give you those perfect lines, so if that's what you like it's probably not the mower for you.
Initially it is light to push and I can move quite quickly. As the grass box fill though the weight and effort required does increase quite considerably and I am very aware that I need to empty the box, often before it is actually full. The quality of the cut is very even and gives just the type of finish that I like. If the grass box does become too full it will start to leave small clumps of cut grass behind. If only it would do the edges too!
This model is still available from Amazon for £58.69. However, manufacturers like Flymo are always updating their products, so the exact model is no longer present in this year's Argos catalogue, although it was in last summer's version, so is probably still available in some outlets and second hand. However, the Flymo Easi Glide 300 currently being sold in Argos looks virtually identical although it is now 1300watts and the weight is slightly increased. It costs £79.99 which seems reasonable. I hope that this review is still useful as it indicates the reliability, robustness and ease of use this type of lawnmower. I would certainly recommend it and would probably buy a direct replacement when this one comes to the end of its life. I therefore give it 5 stars.
**Update October 2011**
The mower has made it through another season, cutting my grass very successfully. It is getting quite nosiy though so I expect a bearing may be going, but this has not affected performance.
This review will appear on both Ciao and Dooyoo under the same username.
We used to borrow my Mum's petrol mower, but hers is a serious beast of a machine and although it would make quick work of our lawns, it was obnoxiously heavy and objected to the lumpiness of our garden. Last year, when we saw this hover-mower in Argos for sale for between £40/50 with a dinky little strimmer thrown in, we snapped it up. I'd wanted something lighter and felt a hover-mower would cope better with our garden. I also remembered the little Flymo we'd had when I was young with fondness, reminding me of long sunny days when I'd be watching _other_ people mow! As Mum is a bit of a expert in these matters, I figured it was a good make. All this reasoning (of sorts) went into the decision to buy.
*** Storage ***
This Flymo folds: you squeeze the handle inwards to pop it out of locked position, and then it will lie over the main body of the machine. For storage, obviously it needs somewhere dry (as an electrical item), such as in a leak-free shed, garage or utility room. Its base is about 16 inches by 25 (although that doesn't take into account the handle, which overhangs at the back) so although "compact" it's not exactly tiny and takes up a fair amount of floor or shelf space.
To save room, I hang it from the wall, using the bar lower down where it is jointed. It weighs 7.6 kg, so you would need appropriately strong hooks installed if you were to do the same. Once hung, I wind its 12 metre cable loosely around the hooks as well to keep it out of the way. It may not be ideal to hang the mower, as you can only really have it with the blade on the outside, but as long as it's out of the way of children, it's a good solution.
The machine feels a bit flimsy to me sometimes, especially the lid, and I think it'll scratch on the wall or break, but it never seems to happen.
*** Cleaning/Maintenance ***
Mown grass collects in the lip of the machine and sticks underneath, every nook and cranny really, so it's important to poke that out regularly and make sure the air intakes are clear. This is easy to do, and not particularly time-consuming. Otherwise, very little needs doing to it.
*** In use ***
To prepare it for use, it's simply take it down and pop the handle back into locked position. There's a little bit of flex in the handle, which initially I found worrying, but is never a problem: it doesn't collapse or fold when you don't want it to.
To get it started, you press the middle button on the top of the handle, and squeeze the lower bar of the handle upwards. This is a safety feature to prevent it being accidentally started. Obviously as the blade underneath spins at something like 4,300 rpm, you should not turn over the mower or attempt to access the blade until it has come to a complete stop! The 12 metre cable is bright orange to match the rest of the machine, which makes it easy to see it on the grass to avoid cutting it.
The mower can cut at 4 different heights, from 1cm to 3cm. It's easy enough to adjust, or indeed to replace the blade. Parts can be bought online from Flymo itself, or are readily available at DIY stores or garden centres. It produces a good even cut, quickly and efficiently.
It has a grass-collecting box of approximately 20 litres size. The box supposedly compresses the grass to collect more. In practice, I find it's better to empty the box more often than expect it to compress: once it's over about three quarters full it starts to be less efficient at collecting and starts blowing grass out somewhat. You access the box by raising the hinged plastic lid of the machine. It simply lifts out to be emptied, and then you slot it back in afterwards. If you don't get it aligned right, the lid won't close, so at least you know it's not in properly. For my size of back garden, where the 12 metres of cable would be enough play to cut it all (if we had an electric socket on the outside wall), I usually empty the box three times when mowing.
The mower manages the uneven areas of my garden quite well and certainly is easier to use than a wheeled mower was. It works by blowing air down and out to lift the machine slightly, so it can glide over your garden. This works very well, I've found, although the very lumpy bits run the risk of grounding the machine. You have to look out for debris, such as larger bits of wood, stone or toys, as it will make a horrible grinding crunching noise if it eats something other than grass, but that's the same with other mowers as well.
*** Cut to the chase ***
I find this Flymo perfect for my needs, and would recommend it to those with small to medium sized lawns. It's currently available from Amazon at £78.39, which is quite a bit more than we paid for ours, so I'd recommend shopping around if you think this is the mower for you.