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How to choose the best flail mower for your tractor

Choosing a flail mower for your tractor involves several considerations to ensure you select a model that is compatible with your tractor's capabilities and meets your mowing needs. Below is a guide to help you navigate through these considerations:

Understanding Flail Mowers

Firstly, understand what a flail mower is: it’s a type of mower that uses a drum or shaft that spins on its  horizontal axis with pivoting/flailing blades mounted on it.. With PTO driven flail mowers the mower is usually powered from the PTO via a gearbox and belt drive to the drum with the blades on it. 

Flail mowers are often referred to as "mulchers" as they are designed to handle tougher vegetation than traditional rotary mowers, making it ideal for cutting through overgrown grass, bushes, and even small tree branches. The flailing blades cut the material being mowed up into smaller pieces allowing it to decompose faster (mulch) and so it leaves a better end result.

Tractor Horsepower (HP) Rating

Ensure the flail mower is compatible with the horsepower (HP) rating of your tractor. The HP requirements will be listed in the mower's specifications.
 A mower that requires more HP than your tractor can provide will not operate efficiently and could damage your tractor , on the opposite side too much power could damage the driveline of the mower leading to you having break downs  and replacing things like drive belts more frequently.

Weight of the mower 

It’s very important that your tractor can safely carry and lift the flail mower. Check your tractors 3 point linkage lift capacity from the manufacturers specifications if it’s close to the mower’s weight it might be best to check its lift capacity in practically and not just on paper. Avoid damage by ensuring the tractor can handle the mower's weight and won’t be unstable when transporting the mower.  You may need to fit front weights to counter balance the weight of the mower, particularly when there is no front end loader fitted . Without this the front wheels might lift off the ground in some situations.

  • Operational Impact: The weight of the flail mower influences not just the operational dynamics but also the ease of handling and manoeuvrability. A heavier mower might provide more or less stability Balancing the mower's weight with your tractor’s capabilities is key to achieving efficient and safe operation.

  • Terrain Consideration: Heavier mowers are generally more suited to flat and open areas where their weight aids in consistent cutting. In contrast, lighter mowers might be preferable for hilly or uneven terrain, where a heavy mower could pose a challenge to manoeuvre and control in unexpected situations

Number of Belts

Power Transmission: The number of belts on a flail mower affects how power is transmitted from the tractor to the mower. More belts can mean a more even and reliable power transmission when you have higher hp ,it’s important to match the number of belts to the horsepower or the belts maybe burnt out easily. We generally find 3 belts are good on tractors up to about 55-60hp , above that 4 or more belts is more durable. If you are only mowing low grass or not very dense growth it will be  less stress on the belt drive.

Working Width

Flail Mulching Mower 1.75m

  • Size of Property: Consider the size of the areas you'll be mowing. Larger widths cover more area but require more power and can be less manoeuvrable.
  • Compatibility: Make sure the working width is suitable for your tractor's HP rating and weight capacity.

Type of Blades

Material to be Cut: Different blade types are suited to different materials. Hammer blades are better for rougher materials and are better at cutting heavier growth as they generally have more weight and striking force , they also leave a flatter more manicured finished to grass , while Y-blades can be more effective for cutting grass and lighter vegetation leaving a finer chop , they can leave a slightly serrated finish to grass.

Hammer blades

Speed Requirements:

  • PTO (Power Take-Off) Speed :Ensure your tractor's PTO speed matches the requirements of the flail mower for optimal performance.  The input speed is very important, if the mower is not turning at the correct speed it will not mulch properly and put undue stress on the drive system. Running the correct PTO /engine speed will mean the flail mower is producing the correct blade tip speed  for it to cut and perform as intended
  • Tip Speed : Blade tip speeds varies between brands and models of flail mower ,generally the higher the tip speed the higher quality finish and smaller particle size is produced. The optimum tip speed will be at the mowers rated PTO speed, usually the rated  540 RPM PTO speed will be producing 2000- 2500 RPM tip speed.
  • Travel Speed:  The speed the tractor travels is also a factor to how the mower performs and the end result of what is left behind , generally with flail mowers you will be travelling around walking speed to achieve great result. The longer the grass or other material is contained in the mower body the finer it will get mulched, if you travel too fast the grass will not be being mulched up as fine and then there maybe too much volume of grass in the mower body mower causing it to load up. In this situation driving slower or having a mower with a wide opening back door can be advantage.Otherwise this can lead to premature failure of the drive belts if the operator is not careful.


  • Height Adjustment: Look for mowers with adjustable rollers and or skids so the cutting height can be altered to suit different types of terrain and vegetation.
  • Side Shift: Some models offer side shift capabilities, this adjustment lets the mower slide left or right , allowing you to mow ditches and edges more effectively. Some models may have a fixed offset that is suitable for  mowing outside your tractors width  all the time without any need to adjust.

 Durability and Maintenance

  • Build Quality: Look for a sturdy construction and good design features that protect     vulnerable components  along with  surface quality coatings to ensure longevity.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Consider how easy it is to replace blades, adjust belts, and perform other maintenance tasks like greasing the bearings. Opening rear doors or tail gates on some flail mowers make access to the blades and rotor a lot easier.

 Brand & Warranty

  • Reputable Manufacturer: Choose a mower from a reputable manufacturer  that has been producing flail mowers for many years, look for products with good reviews and customer support with local spare parts availability. 
  • Warranty : Look for products with a warranty to protect your investment.


  • Budget: While it's important to choose a mower that meets your needs, it's also crucial to consider your budget. Higher-priced models may offer more features  or less features and more durability, but there are also cost-effective options that may be suitable for your requirements , there are also models which maybe cheap and poor quality ,underperforming or unsuited to your tractor. In short it's best to choose a flail mower that suits your tractor and your property rather than considering only the price. 

When selecting a flail mower, it's a good idea to consult with a dealer or expert who can help you match the mower's specifications with your tractor's capabilities. Taking the time to choose the right flail mower will ensure you have a tool that serves your needs effectively and lasts for years to come.