How Do Hover Lawn Mowers Work?

Hover lawn mowers are a popular choice for folks looking for a corded electric mower that’s easier to maneuver than a conventional wheeled mower.


Here, I’ve shared everything you need to know about hover mowers and how they work to cut your lawn. In the end, I’ve also summarized whether or not a hover mower is worth it for your garden.

✅ Key Takeaways:

  • A hover mower is a type of wheelless lawn mower that floats on a cushion of air over your lawn.

  • Hover mowers work by raising the mower above the ground while the blades underneath rotate to cut the grass.

  • Hover mowers are more lightweight and maneuverable than wheeled lawnmower models, but they give you less control over cutting height and can’t be used for a striped lawn.

Table of Contents

❓ How Does A Hover Lawn Mower Work? Quick Overview

A hover mower works by using an impeller to push air downwards out of the bottom of the mower, causing it to hover above the lawn. As you push the mower while walking forward, the rotating blades on the underside of the mower will cut your grass.

🤔 What Is A Hover Lawn Mower?

A hover mower is a type of lawn mower that’s commonly used on small lawns. As the name suggests, a hover mower hovers on a cushion of air rather than being supported by four wheels.


There are electric hover mower models and petrol hover mowers. In this guide, I’ve focused on the most popular type of hover mower: the electrically-powered mower.


Electric hover lawnmowers are essentially the same as conventional wheeled mowers: they have an electric motor that’s powered by mains electricity. The mower only works when it’s plugged into a power source.

🧐 How A Hover Lawn Mower Works

A hover lawn mower works by forcing air out of the mower base, causing the mower to be elevated from the ground on a cushion of air. This mechanism is similar to a hovercraft, and makes it easier to turn and maneuver the mower while cutting your lawn.


Most hover mowers are rotary mowers, meaning that they cut grass with a single high-speed rotating cutting blade. Rotary mowers are powerful mowers that chop grass on impact, and can be used on varying grass lengths and a variety of terrains.

  • Brand: Flymo
  • Price: £

  • Power source: Electric corded (hover)

  • Cutting width: 33cm

  • Cut height range: 10-30mm

  • Weight: 8.2 kilograms

  • Grass box capacity: 20 litres

  • Dimensions (DxWxH): 52.8×29.5×32.7cm

  • Power: 1700 W

🏁 How Do You Start A Hover Mower?

You start a hover mower in the same way that you’d start any electric corded mower: by plugging the mower in and pressing the “start” button. Some hover mowers might have a lever to press rather than a button, but it achieves the same result.


When you press the “start” button, it’ll send power into the engine and starts up the impeller, which causes the mower to lift off the ground.


You only need to press the button once to start the mower, but your other hand should keep hold of the safety switch (on the other side of the handle) while you’re mowing.


For safety reasons, the motor is only engaged while the switch is gripped. So if you let go, the lawnmower will switch off, and you’ll have to start it up again.

✂️ How To Use A Hover Mower: Step-By-Step

Using a hover mower is just like using all electric models.

To use a hover mower, follow these steps:

  1. Plug in the mower. Check that the mower’s condition is still good before plugging it in, especially if it’s been in storage over winter.

  2. Switch the mower on. Press the “start” button and keep a firm grip of the safety switch.

  3. Mow your lawn. With hover lawnmowers, you can mow in any direction, but I recommend doing laps of the widest part of your garden to get the job done quickly.

  4. Clean the mower. Once you’ve finished, switch off the mower, unplug it from your power outlet, and carefully clean it before putting it back into storage.

  5. Collect the grass clippings. Your mower should collect most of the grass cuttings, but smaller clippings may be missed.

hover, mower, cutting, lawn, turf,

🧰 Parts Of A Hover Lawn Mower

There are a few different parts of a hover mower that you should know about:

  • The motor is what powers the machine and drives the rotating blades. It’s powered by mains electricity from your power socket.

  • The fan draws in air and blows it forcefully out of the bottom of the machine, creating an air cushion that causes the mower to hover.

  • The blades rapidly rotate while the mower is switched on, chopping the grass on impact.

  • The handle is what you hold when you’re mowing the lawn. It extends up from the machine to comfortable holding height and you should place one hand over each grip on either side.

🤷‍♂️ Hover Mowers Vs Wheeled Mowers

In many ways, a hover lawnmower is exactly the same as a wheeled lawn mower.


Like wheeled mowers, hover mowers are powered by electricity and need to be plugged into a power outlet, they’re good for small or medium-sized lawns, and they collect grass clippings as they mow (most have a vacuum system to do this).


Both mower types also have a few limitations in common – for instance, both shouldn’t be used on wet grass.


The key difference between a hover lawnmower and a wheeled lawnmower is that a hover mower is suspended off the ground, while a wheeled model sits on four wheels.


That means that, compared to wheeled lawnmowers, hover mowers are:

  • Easier to maneuver around corners and on slopes

  • Smaller, lighter, and slimmer in design

  • Capable of being swung in all directions, rather than in a straight line forwards and backwards

A hover mower allows for more flexible mowing than a mower with wheels, but because of its smaller size, it’s not a good choice for larger gardens.

hover, mower, underside,
Hover Mower
lawn, mower, 4 wheels, grass
Rotary Mower

✔️❌Pros & Cons Of Hover Mowers

Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of hover rotary mowers:


✔️ Hover Mower Pros

↩️ Can Be Moved In Any Direction

A key advantage of hover mowers is that you can mow in any direction, which means you can easily mow an awkwardly shaped garden without the back-and-forthing of a mower on wheels.


🏋🏻‍♂️ Lightweight And Easy To Use

Due to their design, hover lawn mowers are also around 5-10 pounds lighter than mowers on wheels, which means they’re easier to carry, use, and store.


🟢 Ideal For Small Gardens

A hover lawn mower is ideally designed for a small garden, with all the features of a powerful mower without being unnecessarily big and bulky.


🏡 Space-Saving Design

Hover mowers are slim and compact, so they fit nicely in small sheds with limited available space.


❌ Hover Mower Cons

⛳️ Can’t Be Used For Striped Lawns

A hover mower doesn’t have a rear roller, so it can’t be used to cut your grass with a striped finish.


🏞 Not Good For Larger Lawns

Because it’s restricted by size (this machine can’t be too large because it needs to be as lightweight as possible), a hover mower isn’t a convenient or efficient lawn-mowing option for large gardens.


📏 Less Control Over Cutting Height

It’s more difficult to get an exact cutting height with a hover mower compared to a mower on wheels because the mower floats on an air cushion.

hover, mower, underside, blade,

🛠 How To Maintain A Hover Mower’s Performance

To keep a hover lawnmower working as it should, there are a few basic maintenance tasks to remember.


Make sure to clean the mower after every use with a dry cloth to remove the leftover grass, and sharpen the blades regularly according to the user manual. Before every use, check the condition of the cable and confirm that it’s safe to use before plugging the mower in.

💰 Are Hover Mowers Worth It?

Most people love hover mowers because they’re cheap and low-hassle, but that doesn’t mean this mower type is worth it for your needs.


Hover mowers are the best choice for you if you want a light-weight mower that’s easy and versatile to use in your small garden.


However, these mowers probably aren’t the best fit for you if you have a medium or large garden, you want to mow stripes into your grass, or you want complete control over your cutting height.


Regardless of the mower you choose, make sure it’s sold by a reputable manufacturer, and has plenty of positive customer reviews and great feedback from industry experts.

📊Pros And Cons Of Hover Mowers

Pros Cons
Lightweight and easy to maneuver Can be more expensive
Quiet and environmentally friendly Not suitable for large lawns
Can be used in all weather conditions Difficult to control on uneven surfaces
Easy to store May not be able to handle thick grass or weeds
Susceptible to theft Can tip over if they are not properly balanced