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Flymo have been making hover mowers for decades so you would expect by now that they would be pretty good. I need to use a hover because not much of my garden is flat and so the lawnmower has to be lifted around quite a lot into different positions. As much of the garden is on a slope, then a hover is also best because of not being too heavy. As a result, I have had hovers, both Flymo and Black and Decker.
You will note of course that this is by no means my first mower and might want to know why the first one has not lasted, nor the subsequent ones. It's never been the electric motor. With one, my first Flymo, the shaft, if that is what to call the bit joining the grip to the main body, (you can see I'm a golfer here) got regular metal fatigue. This was an early Flymo design, where there was just a single shaft instead of the twin one now fitted. The second Flymo had those flimsy little plastic blades that wear out so easily. The Black and Decker simply shook itself to bits.
So I went back to Flymo, and discovered that there was one with not only a metal blade, but a bigger one, at a whopping 40 cm. I was tempted! I see Amazon have put the price up since May 2009, when I paid £67.50, but maybe it will come down again. RRP is about £80. It only seems to be available by mail order, though you might find it in some very large outputs.
It comes in a box, but only takes a few minutes to put together, and the box is handy if you want to transport the mower without taking up too much space. Power comes via a detachable 12 metre lead. Consumption is 1500W.
It's pretty light for a mower, at 7.5 kg, and it's easy to handle, without feelling flimsy. The extra size compared with Flymos like the 330 takes a bit of getting used to, but it covers the mowing area quickly, and cuts well. Like all Flymo blade hovers, you can adjust the cutting height, quoted as being between 1.5 and 4.1 cm.
Like all hovers, it's pretty good at long grass and you can lift it above really tall bits, although I think it's better for those areas to use a dedicated trimmer, as a hover isn't really designed to be held in the air. On normal grass it glides across the surface like an ice skater - its' sooooooooooo smoooooooooooth!
The blade is reasonably robust, but I suspect that if you hit a stone it would deform. This is always the problem with hover blades. They can be persuaded back into shape, but the gradually get more and more twisted. If you have the pateince, then you can prevent most such accidents by raking the grass before you start, but that does feel a bit like doing the job twice. New blades are expensive. Flymo charge £17, but you can get one for about £14 including P and P on Ebay.
If any bits break, Flymo have an excellent and comprehensive parts list.
Hover Lawnmower / Power: electric / Power output: 1500W / Cable length: 40m.