A flail mower is a type of mower that is best used on very dense vegetation, brush, and the like. It has stronger and tougher blades than a standard lawnmower and is built to be more rugged in order to withstand tough mowing conditions. Since a flail mower is a bit different than a standard lawnmower, note a few things you might want to look for when you're in the market for a new one.
1. Skid plates
Note if the mower has skid plates on the sides of the cutting face. These plates can protect you from flying brush and debris as the mower works, but they also protect the blades from that debris as well. Skid plates can also provide added cushioning for the mower, as it may tend to bounce up and down over rough, uneven brush more so than a standard lawnmower running over grass. Without rugged skid plates, the blades would suffer more wear and tear from this bouncing and uneven ground alone.
Note if a flail mower has a thick hood in front of the unit for the blades. This hood will protect the blades from debris that may go flying back toward the mower and also ensures a smoother cutting path, as the hood will tamp down vegetation and brush as the mower approaches. In turn, the blades won't need to work as hard to cut and will suffer less wear and tear. Check the material and the thickness of the hood; you want something made of rugged rubber that is thick enough to tamp down debris and to stay rigid when debris comes back toward the mower.
3. Ease of blade sharpening
You will typically need to sharpen the blades of any mower you purchase, including a flail mower. Note how easy it would be to access and sharpen the blades of any potential mower; this means how easily you can reach the connectors for the blades and remove them. Note if the blades can be sharpened with a standard knife sharpener or if there is special equipment you'll need; for some flail mowers, you may even need to take them to a specialist since the material used on the mower's blades might be very dense and would damage your sharpening equipment. This can ensure they're tough and rugged but can also add to the cost of owning your flail mower, so be sure you consider the long-term care and maintenance before you make a purchase.
Keep these things in mind when you're shopping for flail mowers.