Are Flymo electric hovers cr*p?

I need a new mower and I am tempted by a Flymo Compact Hover. One of the ones around 70-80. Thing is, having researched on Google groups, it seems many people are unimpressed. So does anyone here have one? and if so are they ok?
Cheers
Matt
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I've had my one for years and it's needed a switch (common problem, apparently), a motor under warranty, and three blades. It's one of the big ones...350 perhaps? It cuts well and sucks all the trimmings up well. Not too good if your lawn's very lumpy though.
I'm thinking of getting a new mower and I'm tempted by the petrol one that Argos are doing for 90 - the McCulloch one. This is mainly because I'm fed up having to fling the Flymo's power cable to and fro.
Si
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If you buy an electric mower, make sure it has an induction motor. AFAIK, that rules out all flymos. A specialist lawnmower centre will have plenty of choice, but the mowers stocked by the DIY sheds were all cheap universal motors when I last looked a couple of years ago.
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Don't know why, all electric mowers are crap and IMO less safe than petrol ones. Buy a cheap petrol mower, it will only cost a few tens of quids more than the Flymo and you'll never, ever regret the decision.
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     snipped-for-privacy@malloc.co.uk (Steve Firth) writes:

This is true of the electric mowers sold by the sheds with universal motors. I use two electric mowers with induction motors, and it's not true of them. Their torque/speed profile is rather similar to a petrol engine, and not at all like a universal motor, which is badly suited to grass cutting. Also, don't worry that an indiction motor may be rated less power than a universal motor for same width cut -- the induction motors I have barely get warm, whereas a flymo universal motor wastes much of the energy getting too hot to touch, rather than putting the energy into cutting the grass.
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wrote:

I had a Qualcast rotary mower until last week when it was struggling once again on fairly short but damp grass and the motor just died. The motor was red hot when I took the cover off. This mower was around 8 years old but was never happy with anything other than fine dry grass despite occasional new blades as it clogged up.
I'll be looking at the newer breed rotary's and have noticed that petrols are now affordable but was a bit wary that they were built to a price. Anyone know anything about these brands such as Sovereign and Spring that Homebase and B&Q are selling? I wondered if I was going to be able to get spares in a year or two. One of them looks quite like a Mountfield mower. Unless anyone can recommend a good electric mower that stripes with around a 35cm cut? We have a large garden but the lawns are split on tow levels and with into seperate sections including some awkward bits.
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On Sat, 9 Aug 2003 07:52:46 +0100, Brownie wrote:

Take a peek at the silver label on the top of the deck that says how much noise it makes, note where they are made. Almost certainly going to be CastelGarden in Italy.

Choose a decent engine (Briggs & Stratton would be my choice) and you probably won't go far wrong.
What I find curious is the HP rating they put on the tickets for the various mowers. If you actually look at the engine model, type and code they identical, so how come they have different HP ratings? Or does a different bit of plastic trim have some magical property that I'm not aware of?

Probably because it essentially is...
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I was using a Sears Roebuck mower my parents bought in the US in 1966 until about 5 years ago. That had a Briggs and Stratton 3.5HP petrol engine, and all the spare parts were available for that -- indeed, they still made exactly the same engine. When the mower finally died, that wasn't anything to do with the engine which inspite of only having an oil change every 10 years, was still in A1 condition as far as I could tell. I was just thinking of replacing the gasket between the petrol tank and carbureter when the the body of the mower died, which is why I had looked into spare parts availability, although the only spare parts that were actually ever bought in 30+ years was a new silencer and a couple of new sparking plugs.

I'm presuming you will need a cylinder mower for that, and I have no experience with electric cylinder mowers. I used a 2-stroke one many years ago, which I had restored, it having been abandoned in my parents' garage before I was born. It was large and heavy, with a powered roller. One day, there was a loud bang as the clutch bearing disintigrated and the rotating cylinder blades shot all the ball bearings several gardens down the road, leaving the cluch permanently engaged. One thing I had never bothered restoring was the engine cutout, so I now had this large heavy self-propelled mower with no means to stop it. I managed to steer it in a large circle round the garden whilst I worked out my next plan. After a couple of trips round the garden, I steered it into a large tree, where I left it for a few seconds while I fetched the piece of metal I used to short out the sparking plug to stop it. For some moments then, I had had visions of the thing ploughing through all the front gardens in the road all by itself...
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I've had a Sovereign (Briggs & Stratton engine) for five years now. It has been a good reliable mpower. I bought it in a hurry when the Flymo died at an inconvenient moment and it has been excellent by comparison with the Flymo. The only minor complaint is that each year I need to wire-brush and repaint the mower deck. Could just be me being fussy, but I don't want the thing to rust away.
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Hi

FWIW I bought a Sovereign with a 4.5HP Briggs & Stratton about 5 years ago - and it's still going strong. Think it was their end-of-season sale - about 120 if I remember correctly. The metalwork on the mower's a bit thin, but seems to have stood up OK so far.....
HTH Adrian Suffolk UK
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Recommend the petrol one, much better. Unless you have a very small lawn then a rabbit in a movable cage may be a better option!..
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Bought a (replacement) Flymo in the spring, the build quality definitely isn't what it used to be. Still, it was cheap (B&Q clearance line) and has a reasonable grass capacity. If it sees me through a few years I'll be happy.

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Maybe they are ok but we just looked in B&Q and our opinion was - "not long for this world" The plastic casings are so thin! They look like they should be classed as disposable - oh I suppose they are ;-)
We're gonna get the McCulloch petrol from Argos for 89.99, probably just as flimsy but we'll see how it goes.
Matt

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Hovers don't work any more. They sort of worked when they didn't have grass collection. However, with the grass box they just weigh down and just cut a rut into the mud. A rotary mower with wheels will give a more consistent height, will cut wet grass, will be easier to push and won't dig up the ground. They're cheaper too.
Christian.
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Christian McArdle wrote:

They used to work well on sloping banks without grass collection.
These days I use the hedge trimmer :-)

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Yup, we used to have a petrol flymo when I was a kid, my Dad bought it because we lived on a steep slope and it was the only practical way to cut the grass. IIRC he used to use a couple of ropes on one section, with no problems. He was very safety conscious, he never, I was never allowed to use it without steel capped boots on.
Peter
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Our family business is repairing lawnmowers so I think I am well qualified to answer your question.
Based on the number of modern flymo electrics we get in for repair then Yes, they are cr*p. They are IMHO badly designed and we scrap lots of them because the sheds sell them so cheap that if it isn't a minor repair then its not worth repairing. B&D and Qualcast electrics are pretty the same these days. They are simply catering for todays throw away society. Having said that, if you treat one very carefully then there is no reason it won't last.
First, go to a local lawnmower place that also does repairs - they will give you good advice, will assemble and check the mower before you take it away and if there are any problems with it then they will be sorted without hassle. As others here have said - do you really need a hover? Only really those with steep slopes need a hover. Also, do consider an induction motor as they are a lot better - just let them get up to speed before ploughing into the grass and don't let them stall as you can burn them out. Finally, don't be afraid of a small petrol machine.
Alan.

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