Hover lawn mowers sound like futuristic contraptions, but they’ve been around for decades and are often a good choice for yards that are a little more challenging to mow. Choosing a lawn mower suited to your yard will make life infinitely easier. Here’s everything you need to know to decide whether a hover mower is the right choice for you.
What is a hover lawn mower?
According to Flymo, a hover lawn mower creates a cushion of air between itself and the grass. This means hover mowers can move in every direction rather than back and forth in a straight line. This extra maneuverability is ideal for smaller or oddly shaped yards because it’s easier to reach nooks and crannies with this type of mower.
Hover mowers are also ideal for lawns on slopes. This type of mower tends to be much easier to move up and down hills due to the cushion of air underneath it.
However, hover mowers have some downsides, too. Though they’re typically fairly easy to maneuver, hover mowers can sometimes pose a challenge for people with limited upper body strength. They need to be swung from side to side to function properly, which requires different muscles than those needed to push a lawnmower straight forward.
The other main downside of hover mowers is aesthetics. Flymo points out that hover mowers can’t leave distinctive stripes on your lawn because they don’t have a rear roller to flatten the grass as you mow. So if you want these stripes on your lawn, don’t use a hover mower.
The differences between hover and rotary mowers
Hover and rotary mowers are similar in that they both use a rotating cutting deck to mow the grass. However, while a cushion of air elevates hover mowers, rotary mowers have wheels. This means they can be moved only forward and backward, never from side to side.
According to Yard Surfer, rotary mowers are typically a better choice if you have a much larger yard, as they can offer higher amounts of horsepower. While their larger motors make rotary mowers heavier than hover mowers, this may be worth it to people with larger lawns that require a more powerful trim.
What model hover mower should you get?
If you think a hover mower is the best choice for your lawn, Yard Surfer has several recommendations for the best models you can purchase. Most highly recommended is the Sun Joe MJ-HVR12E, which provides 10 amps of power and is very lightweight. Reviewers praise its affordability, ergonomic construction, and ease of use but are less impressed with its short electric cord. If you have a tiny yard, though, this isn’t likely to be a significant problem.
Another option is the Air Force Honda Hover Mower, which Yard Surfer states is “an ideal choice for someone who wants a small machine that delivers superior performance.” It has an adjustable cutting height, but it’s also heavier than many of its competitors.
Finally, you might consider the California Trimmer RC190. This option has a 19-inch hub, giving it a wider cutting range. It’s also available with two engine choices, one from Honda and one from Briggs & Stratton. However, users occasionally find that this option doesn’t work as well on wet grass.
Although hover lawn mowers don’t always offer the same amount of power as their rotary counterparts, they still offer a range of other benefits. So if you have a small yard and are looking for something compact, lightweight, and maneuverable, a hover mower is worth considering.