What Is The Purpose Of A Flail Mower?

If you haven’t ever heard of a flail mower, then you will be surprised to know how many people have never come across it either. It’s just a mower, right…? Well, in today’s article, we are going to uncloak one of the most underrated pieces of equipment available on the market to date… the purpose of a flail mower. By the end of this article, you will have a great understanding of what a flail mower is, how it operates, the jobs they best fit, and the advantages to using them.

What is a Flail Mower?

Flail mowers are garden/agricultural machinery designed to cut and manage heavier grass and shrub areas where a lawnmower cannot cope. Unlike a standard garden mower, these machines operate by a horizontal drum spinning parallel to the ground with numerous amounts of blades (knives) attached. These blades are known as flails.

The two most common types of flails are called hammer blades and knife blades. A hammer blade is shaped like a T, whereas a knife blade shaped like the letter Y.

T blades are the preferred style for all types of cutting, including through shrubbery and hedges. The Y style blades are ideal for jobs that require a large amount of mulching such as lawns and brambles.

Unlike a standard lawnmower, a flail mower does not collect any grass or debris cuttings when operating. Flail blades are attached in staggered rows for a more even cut. Thus when the mower passes over the area, the blades spin at such a high intensity that they cut through any vegetation it is the way.

A flail mower is a popular choice for groundskeepers, landscapers, agricultural and smallholdings. The equipment helps speed up projects and is an effective way to keep areas well maintained throughout the year. It is also considered far safer over rough terrain because of the rolling rotation of the flails axle. The rolling rotation of the knives over the ground surface avoids any debris flying out of the side of the machine and causing accidents.

Types of Flail Mower

Walk behind flail mower
Walk Behind Flail Mower to Hire

Walk-Behind Flail Mowers

These petrol, two-wheel-drive mowers offer a lot of flexibility and power to any grounds maintenance project. As a result, they are a popular choice for clearing small to medium-sized areas down to 20mm in height. These powerful mowers are designed for paddock areas which are too thick for a standard mower to handle. They operate on a 2-speed gearbox offering speed variation, mechanical/ neutral control and a parking brake.

This machine is too heavy to lift by hand, therefore help is required for delivery or loading. A walk-behind flail mower may struggle on larger grounds keeping projects, however, ideal for those more difficult of access projects.

PTO (Power Taken Off) Tractor Flail Attachment

A flail tractor attachment is the most common choice for large-scale projects, such as within forestry, estate park maintenance and golf courses. Above all else, most aspects of agriculture. Tractor flail mowers are more powerful than their walk-behind counterparts. Their PTO driveshaft passes directly into the flail attachment, which runs from the vehicle’s engine. PTO flail attachments normally operate off a tractor or an all-terrain vehicle. Thus, allowing operators to tackle jobs in the toughest of terrains and within deeper grass/brambles.

Advantages of using a Flail Mower

Reducing The Amount of Flying Debris

The machine is designed to prevent as much debris from escaping whilst in operation. The tumbling spinning knives cut brambles and weeds into tiny pieces of mulch to be left to decompose naturally.

Can Be Angled

Similar to sickle mowers, PTO flail mowers can be angled to cut banks and uneven ground. Therefore, their flexibility makes them a popular choice for people in the agricultural, landscaping and grounds maintenance industries.

Maintenance is inexpensive

As all the flail knives on the machine are individual, they can be replaced quickly and at a far cheaper cost than having to replace an entire drum.


Flail mowers are the perfect tool if you are looking to undergo any large-scale grass or ground keeping. Their cutting diameter is far greater than a standard lawnmower, allowing you to do larger areas at once.

Where To Hire A Flail Mower?

WHC Hire Services loader hire

For over 20 years, WHC Hire Services have supplied the grounds and agricultural sector with the most up-to-date hire equipment available. From walk-behind flail mowers to PTO attachments for compact tractors, we can guarantee that we have the knowledge and machinery to help you get the job done. With local depots in Tewkesbury, Worcester and Chipping Norton, our service is never too far away.

Click here to view the latest grounds maintenance equipment we have available to hire. Alternatively, call your local depot to arrange hire today.

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