Should I buy a flail mower or a topper in 2023?


What is a flail mower?

A flail mower for a tractor runs on the PTO (exactly like a topper). Flails are designed to cut and mulch vegetation. They differ from toppers in a number of ways. Toppers are large and use rotary blades to cut up an organic matter (often long grass). Toppers can be thought of as oversized lawn push mowers. 

What is a topper?

A topper is a large rotary cutter that uses blades or chains to mow grass, taking only the ‘top’ of the grass off and leaving a large stem.

Due to their cutting action, toppers leave long clippings over the area that has been cut. This means that the clippings can take quite some time to biodegrade and positively impact the grassland. Whilst toppers have their uses, the flail is a far more versatile machine as the mulching action that a flail provides ensures that the clippings biodegrade and mulch down quickly, encouraging grass growth and encouraging the sward to thicken. They are also compact and can be transported easily due to their shape, which means they don’t hang out far behind the tractor. 

Every company has some fixed points that define its success, and the Flail is one of them. Del Morino sells a variety of different types of flail mowers that are well regarded as high-quality and heavy-duty, thanks to their design, reliability and practicality (they can be easily changed from rear mount to front). The Del Morino Flails will deal with tough situations without a problem. Perfect for gardens, paddocks, and fields.

Flails are mowers that use the power of rotating hammers at high speed to finely cut and mulch organic matter. You can purchase both a front mounted flail mower or a rear mounted flail.

Flail Benefits

One of the main benefits of flails is their ability to cut various types of vegetation, including thick, dense grass, weeds, and even miniature shrubs. Toppers can also cut various types of organic matter and vegetation, but the key difference is that because toppers will chop but not mulch the plant matter, what’s left is messier and doesn’t biodegrade very easily.

Flails have several advanced features that make them easy to use and maintain. Many models come with adjustable cutting height settings and various cutting attachments, depending on the task. Additionally, many flails include advanced safety features such as rollover protection.

As flails can be set to different heights, they can cut short grass, such as amenity grassland or lawns, and they can also cut taller grass in paddocks and fields. You can still ‘top’ a field with a flail by simply setting a higher cutting height which will stop the mower from cutting the grass too short.

Should I buy a topper or a flail?

If you are looking for a low-cost, easy way to keep your grass fields and paddocks tidy, then a topper is most likely your best bet. They are easy to operate, simple to maintain and don’t cost as much as flails. Due to their simple design, you can just drop the topper to the floor and start cutting, and the topper will leave a good length of grass to ensure that the grass isn’t cut too short. You can purchase a compact tractor flail mower that is designed to have all of the power of a larger flail whilst remaining compact enough to run on a smaller horsepower tractor.

If you are looking for a mower that can handle many different types of vegetation, is more compact, and can be used to cut both very short and long grass, then a flail is for you. Providing the height is set correctly, a flail mower can do a very good job at keeping grass fields, and paddocks topped whilst leaving plenty of grass to encourage the sward to thicken. The small clippings left will then drop in between the grass blades and mulch the soil to encourage new growth.

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