Will A Hover Mower Cut Long Grass?

Wondering whether you can use a hover lawn mower to cut a longer section of your lawn? Or considering buying a new lawn mower and want to know whether a hover mower is a good choice for long, thick grass? I’ve tested a number of Flymo, Mountfield, and Black+Decker hover mowers, and here’s what I’ve found, from my own experience, about a hover mower’s ability to cut long grass.

✅Key Takeaways:

  • Hover mowers float on a cushion of air slightly above the ground and are more manoeuvrable than wheeled mowers, making them ideal for mowing unusual lawn shapes.

  • Generally, hover lawn mowers can’t cut long or thick grass because they’re usually restricted in terms of power and maximum cutting height, and they’re likely to get clogged blades or worn motors if they’re used to cut long grass frequently.

  • If you plan to mow long grass often, I recommend instead going for a petrol-powered wheeled lawn mower with a powerful engine and a higher maximum cutting height (around 75-85+mm).

Table of Contents

🤷‍♂️ How Does a Hover Mower Work?

First, so we can understand exactly how a hover lawn mower might work to cut long grass specifically, let’s quickly look at how this mower type works generally.


A hover mower uses air cushion technology to “float” over the ground, rather than being pushed back and forwards on wheels, as with a conventional wheeled mower. It typically has a rotary blade housed within a deck, which is connected to a motor. When the mower gets turned on, the motor drives the blade’s rotation. The mower is able to float or “hover” because of a powerful fan beneath the deck, which draws air into the deck, creating an upward airflow and lifting the mower slightly off the ground. As a result, the mower can move in any direction with very little friction against the grass.


The main benefit of a hover lawn mower is its extra manoeuvrability that comes from the ability to swing the mower from side to side. That makes this mower type great for a lawn with an unusual shape, but it’s not going to make it any better for cutting long or overgrown grass.

📏 Can Hover Mowers Cut Long Grass?

Yes, hover mowers can in theory cut long grass, but they’re not our top recommended mower type for this purpose.


Essentially, the suitability of a hover mower for cutting long grass depends on the mower you go for. Hover mowers typically use rotary blades, which are more capable of handling longer grass than cylinder blades, but many of the cheaper, more basic hover mowers aren’t powerful enough to handle very tall or dense growth.


A lot of people think that hover mowers are better for cutting long grass because they hover above the ground, so they can get higher off your lawn and won’t face the same issues with grass clogging in the wheels and various mower components. For the most part, this isn’t true. Hover mowers actually have a lower maximum mowing height than wheeled mowers (we’ve discussed this in more detail in the next section). Plus, most hover mowers for domestic use are electric models, and their motors aren’t super powerful, so they’re more likely to get clogged when cutting longer grass.


If you want the best chance of effectively mowing longer grass with a hover mower, look for one that has a powerful motor. Go for a 1,700-1,800-watt electric hover lawn mower. Or, even better, upgrade to a petrol lawn mower that’ll give you the most power, preventing the likelihood of engine stalling or blade clogging when you’re dealing with the extra resistance of long grass.


Generally, though, we’d say that hover lawn mowers aren’t the best solution for tall grass. The average hover mower for domestic use is intended for regular upkeep of a smaller lawn, and it’ll probably clog or struggle in overgrown, lengthy grass.

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🧐 Are Hover Mowers Better At Cutting Long Grass Compared To Wheeled Mowers?

No, hover mowers aren’t any better at cutting long grass compared to wheel mowers because wheeled models usually have a higher maximum cut height and more power options than hover mowers.


When we reviewed a selection of hover mowers for our best hover lawn mowers guide, we found that the average height of cut ranged from 10 to 30mm. In comparison, most wheeled models have a height of cut ranging from 25-75mm. Some have a highest cut setting of 80mm or higher, so you can use a wheeled mower to more easily cut long grass on this highest setting, then reduce the setting to gradually mow your lawn shorter and shorter without stressing the grass.


Plus, hover mowers divert some of their power towards their hover function, enabling them to hover above the ground as you mow (an essential feature since they don’t have wheels). That means a wheeled mower with the same power rating as a hover mower will have a more powerful grass cutting performance because it can focus all its power on the spinning blades.

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💎 What’s The Best Mower Type For Long Grass?

So, given that I don’t recommend a hover lawn mower for cutting long grass, what is the best type of mower for this purpose?


My top recommendation would be a powerful petrol lawnmower that has enough drive to cut through even the thickest, longest grass with no bother. Bonus points if the mower is self-propelled because it’ll take the effort out of pushing the mower through longer grass. Take a look at our recommendations for specific lawn mower models in our guide to the best mower for cutting long grass.


That said, in most cases, it’s best to simply cut the grass on your lawn more often rather than allowing it to get consistently overgrown so that you feel like you need a special mower to handle your backyard jungle. Even the most powerful lawn mower will experience more wear and tear than necessary if it’s constantly being used to mow long or dense grass. Treat your mower with kindness and it’ll reward you with more years of great service!

🏁 Final Word

I wanted to write this article because I think a lot of people assume that the hover mower design enables it to more easily mow long grass, but that generally isn’t the case. While hover mowers are ideal for mowing unusually shaped lawns, they don’t have any features that make them any better for mowing long grass. In fact, the hover lawn mowers we’ve reviewed generally aren’t very powerful, which is far from ideal for long grass situations, where more power is required to tackle the extra resistance of the increased grass leaf volume.