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The Flymo Compact 350 hover mower has had a place in my garden shed for about two years now, and so I have decided to share my thoughts on it.
My previous mower had decided that it no longer wanted to toil in the long grass anymore, and so packed in completely mid mowing one sunny day. The previous mower had basically been purchased due to the fact that it was the cheapest I could find at the time, as I had just moved into my first house, and things were a little tight.
However cheapest isn't always good enough, and the mower was never much use, it had a tiny grass collection box, which constantly needed emptying, and a very short electrical lead.
With the above in mind, I was looking to pay a little more for my next mower, and so eventually decided on the Flymo Compact 350 priced at around £80 at my local Argos.
The main reasons for choosing this make and model was that it was a mid ranged price, and it came with a 22 litre grass collection box, and even more importantly a 12 meter electrical lead, which would eliminate my need to use our extension cable.
The full spec / details of the Compact 350 is as follows:
*1500 watts motor.
*35cm metal cutting blade.
*4 cutting heights from 10-30mm.
*Lightweight grass collecting electric hover mower with central grass box and hinged lid for easy emptying.
*Grass box capacity 22 litres.
*Suitable for use on medium to large garden sizes.
*Comes fully assembled with fold down handle for storage.
*** My opinion on the Mower ***
Overall I have been very happy with this bright orange lawn mower!
I find that it is very lightweight compared to others that I have used in the past, and the hover mower makes cutting grass - even very long grass (like mine often is) a pretty effortless job, as it just glides along over the surface trimming away.
As mention above the collection box is a decent size, and is very easy to remove when it is ready for emptying. On top of this the box itself is easy to empty, and due to the hinged lid, and so there is no need to ferociously shake and bang the box to get the cut grass out, it just falls out of the large exit door with ease.
The 12 meter electrical lead is easily big enough for my little gardens, but if you have a large garden, you may want to check on this.
This mower is currently available on special offer at Argos for just £59.99
Thanks for reading.
© L500589 2010
To say that I am in awe of this machine would be an understatement.
My mother recently went into a care home and as my brother and I both live well over 200 miles away, we agreed to take turns at visiting month and month about to keep the house and garden up to scratch until we decide what to do with the house. Unfortunately, my brother missed his last visit, but that's a tale for another day.
So, after an eight week gap (and a four hour drive), I turned up at the house, which is a large 1930s one with good sized lawns on three sides, to be greeted by a veritable jungle. I now know just what the bloke in Oklahoma meant when he sang about the corn being as high as an elephant's eye! After a quick cup of coffee to bolster my failing spirits, I got Mum's mower out of the garage and set to work.
The mower itself, although it's fairly large, and as bright orange as every other Flymo, is reasonably lightweight and I had no difficulty lifting or carrying it, other than that it's rather cumbersome and I'm only five foot three on a good day. There is a long flex which allowed me to mow each lawn without the need to keep stopping halfway through to change electrical sockets. Unbelievably, this mower made very short work of the grass which had grown to be over two feet high in places. Not only did it chop the grass down to size with ease, it also neatly compacted it in the integrated compartment, which reduced the number of times it needed emptying. I was rather afraid that the task would be too much for the motor and it would burn out dealing with such neglected lawns but it cut through without any sign of strain or overheating.
If I have any criticism at all, it's that the connector is loose. I'm not sure how long Mum has had the mower and it may have become like this over a period of time but the connector is supposed to plug into the mower handle and then click shut, instead of which it won't stay clicked and gradually works itself loose thus cutting the power. But that is a very minor niggle when I consider the sterling work it has just done.
I didn't do any adjusting of blades as I'm not very technical and thought it best to leave well alone, but my own Flymo, which is the very basic model, is pretty easy to adjust and I can only assume this one would be also.
My mother was once the archetypal 1950's housewife and never threw anything away, including manufacturer's leaflets, and I've taken the specifications from that.
Power: 1500 W
Cutting width: 35 cm / 13.78 inch
Cutting height steps: 4
Cutting height, min-max: 10 - 30 mm / 0.39 - 1.18 inch
Blade type: Metal
Cutting height adjustment: Spacers
Collector volume: 22 lit / 0 bushels
Cable length: 12 m / 39.37 feet
Weight: 7.6 kg / 16.75 lbs
This is an excellent piece of garden equipment currently retailing at Argos for £59.99, though normally selling for £89.99, which seems an absolute bargain for something which is so sturdily made that it can cope with the most neglected lawns.
I think when we do eventually sell the house, I'll be keeping this mower.
After using a Flymo Turbo Lite very successfully for many years, I decided that I was fed up of raking up grass every time that I mowed the lawn and needed to upgrade to a mower with an integral grass collecting box. At 6.5kg, the Turbo Lite had been light to manoevre, extremely easy to use, and extremely effective - so I was looking for a replacement hover of good quality. The Compact 350 was £10 cheaper and also collected the grass. It was advertised as being suitable for medium to large sized gardens, which suited me very well.
I paid £59.99 at Homebase for my mower.
The motor size is 1500, which is more powerful than many small mowers. The 35cm cutting blade seems fairly standard, and I was confident that the 350 Compact would tackle my lawn more than adequately. The mower has a small viewing window which indicates when the grass box needs emptying.
The mower arrived fully assembled in a large cardboard box. I was surprised that the handle was ready attached, but it fitted into the box nicely because the design enables the handle to fold forward over the mower, creating a satisfyingly square and box-like shape. Looks-wise, the mower is still traditionally orange, shiny and snail-like in shape, but is far less cumbersome than the troubled Flymo 330 model, which received so many consumer reports of motor failure.
The 350 weighs 7.6kg and is very light and easy to move around the garden when empty, cutting the grass effectively and fairly neatly. The suction system that collects the grass works well, and the grass arrives in the collection box where it is nicely compacted. The large hinged lid on top of the grass collection box is easy to lift up, and the box itself has a large side handle to lift it out and empty it with.
The aforementioned fold down square handle makes the mower very neat and easy to store (there are no sticking out bits to catch on other shed equipment).
As with all Flymo mowers, a large orange safety button in the middle of the handle must be depressed before the the two side handles that operate the mower will work. This safety feature is very easy to operate, and reassuring if there are young children in the garden. The curved operation handles are ergonomically designed, and easy to keep depressed as you mow the lawn. The fact that there is one on the right and one on the left makes it easy to change hands if you get cramp, and also suits both right and left handed people. Once the handles are released, the motor turns off, and the orange safety button must once again be depressed before the handles become operational again.
The 12 meter cable length is just about adequate, but as my garden is on the small side, I was surprised that a mower that was targeted at medium to large gardens did not have a longer cable. In addition, there was no self-retraction mechanism on the mower and no hooks to wind the cable around ready for storage. The only way to store the cable is to drape the cable loosely around the handle, which is not ideal.
The little window to indicate a full grass box is an excellent idea, and an advantage. Unfortunately it only worked for the first two times that I used the mower. I believe that the only problem is that the small orange ball has become clogged up with grass clippings, but I do not have the time nor the patience to try to sort the problem out.
By far the most annoying aspect of this mower is the way that it changes the way it hovers when the grass box is half full. The grass box capacity is 22 litres, which is smaller than many models and has to be emptied several times even on my small lawn. When the box gets just over half full, the mower becomes very heavy and starts to drag rather than hover. As it happens fairly often, it adds to the physical expenditure quite considerably.
The mower has four cutting heights, from 10cm to 30cm. The blade can be adjusted with the small orange plastic spanner which comes with the mower. Unfortunately changing the blade height is quite a fiddly operation, and thus my mower has remained at one height for the entire year that I have owned it. Needless to say, the orange spanner is lost somewhere in the recesses of the cupboard under the stairs.
As I look at my cons list, I must conclude that I should have bought a different mower.
For £10 more I could have bought the Flymo Vision Compact, a hover mower which has the benefit of an easireel device to retract and store the cable. This model also has a larger 30 litre grass box and the same motor size, and thus seems to be much better value.
My Flymo 350 compact can only be described as adequate, and I cannot really recommend it to anybody when there are much better mowers on the market.
I only have a small grassed area in my garden. I hesitate to actually call it a lawn because it is more like collection of couch grass and various other varieties and a variety of weeds, all rolled into one. So I needed a mower that would cope with this and get the job done before I got bored and decided to complete the job on another day. Getting the mower out is the most difficult thing for me as the one I had before was far too bulky and heavy.
So, I treated myself to a Flymo Hover Compact 350 Hover Mower from Argos. Yes, I spoil myself!
The orange machine cost me £59 which was a saving of £20 on the previous catalogue price, so that was a good reason for choosing it.
It is constructed from metal and plastic. The blades are metal and the power is 1500w. It will cut grass as long as thirty five centimetres according to the instructions ans specifications but it it did struggle with my tangled up green patch. The key to getting the best from this machine seems to be to use it regularly.
Fortunately, at just 7.6 kilograms it is very light for me to get out and put away again, so that helps me a great deal. The height of the blades can be adjusted if you like a close cut lawn but I dared not cut my greenery that far down.
There is a 12 metre cable with this which is more than enough for my garden and the grass collection box holds 22 litres so I didn't have to empty it until I had finished using it.
I like the fact that this is very light but it isn't very robust and I would be worried about catching the blades with a stone, or pebble. I did feel that it was a bit too light in operation to keep control of so it was just as well that I wasn't mowing a large area.
What you save in weight you certainly lose in quality. The whole unit feels quite flimsy and needs to be used carefully. Having said that, I have had this for more than a year now and used it for almost two summers and it is still working perfectly. I did try a cheaper mower that a friend had paid under £30 for and I found this more efficient, lighter and easier to manoeuvre, so I don't think I would buy another Flymo.
I bought this lawnmower last year. I dont have a big lawn so i thought this would be perfect for me. I had a petrol one before and it was just to big and clumsy due to me having the type of garden where there is a swing, clothes dryer, round patio and flower beds to get around with the big petrol machine, so it was time for a change:
Advantages: Its very light and easy to use and it comes with a tool and extra spacers to adjust the blade height. The blade is metal which is good because a number of years ago i had a flymo with plastic blades and i had to continually replace them, also this means you can remove it to have it sharpened. It really holds alot of grass for such a compact lawn mower and it has a perspex view to let you know when the box is full. The grass collector is amazing it only has a tiny compartment to hold the grass cuttings but it compacts them all down so i never have to empty it till the end. It also is so easy to manouvre around the lawn, my back garden has alot of things to go around and this is where its so much better than the big petrol mower. I also feel that the whole makeup of the machine is very simple and in my mind if its a simple lawnmower then there's not alot that can go wrong with it. Its powered by electricity and has an electric cord which i guess is about 6 meters long.
My wife has alot of really nice plants, shrubs, flowers etc and in the past i've had a nasty habbit of having run ins with the above mentioned, much to her displeasure. The shape of this lawnmower seems to lend itself to actually either going under the plant life quite well or simply pushing it to the side. The damages to the plants in the garden are now way down most are now strimmer related. It is meant to create an air bubble underneath it which makes it really easy to move around the grass.
I have twice been at the ends of cutting the grass with this lawnmower when the rain has started and it was light showers, i just kept going and because its so light it was easy to up my pace and throw it around to get the job done. Even though the grass was damp it still made a decent job of it.
Disadvantages: None that i can think of apart from the cutting width isnt that big but i guess if you want a bigger cutting width then you buy a bigger lawn mower. I do miss the nice stripes that the petrol lawnmower used to make with its big roller, but its a small price to pay.
I bought it from Homebase and i think i paid about £75 if my memory serves me correctly. Great lawnmower i highly reccomend it.
I have owned this particular lawnmower for about two years and have not had any significant problems with it.
This lawnmower is pretty unexceptional but then I am not sure what functions I would expect a lawnmower to have to make it exceptional! It works well enough and has not given any trouble at all - despite me inevitably letting the grass grow too long every once in a while.
The Flymo Compact 350 comes with a helpful tool that you can use to lower the blade to allow you to cut the grass shorter. Unfortunately I only realised this after a year (of course I did not read the instructions, I am a man) but now that I have lowered the blade the grass looks a lot better when cut closer to the ground.
I understand some Flymo models now compress the grass cuttings they collect, but this one just collects them. It would be good if it compacted the grass, as the collector is not massive and it does feel like you are emptying it regularly - but again maybe this is because I leave it too long in between cuts.
It is quite lightweight and is easy to push around, even though my garden is on a slope. I do not think that it gets particularly heavy or anything and when empty you can lift it with one hand. It gunges up with matted grass underneath rather easily but is quite easy to clean when it does. This lawnmoer is definitely ideal for the smaller garden.
I had always used a petrol lawmoer before this one, so the cord getting in the way was a new sensation for me as this lawnmower needs to be plugged into the electricity mains. It is also an annoying sensation! Constantly having to flick it out of the way so you do not mow it is necessary but tedious. The length of the cable is good and long enough.
This lawnmower comes with a metal blade. It must be pretty sharp as even after two years it still cuts very well and does not need replaced yet.
It also comes with a handy folding down of the handlebars mechanism which is very good for storing the lawnmower away out of view. You just push one side in and fold the bars over, very easy to work.
The Flymo Compact 350 claims to float on a cushion of air and you do feel the lawmower rise up slightly when you turn it on. This does help you to manouevre it around the garden.
This lawmoer retails at around £65 and it is decent enough value. I have not had to buy any spares or parts for it, so I am happy with it.
Power: 1500 watts. Cutting width: 35cm. 4 cutting heights (10 - 30mm). Metal blade. Grassbox capacity 22 litres. 12m cable. Weight 7.6kg. Comes fully assembled with fold down handle for storage. Lightweight grass collecting electric hover mower with central grassbox and hinged lid for easy emptying.