The Hover Vac 280 features that classic Flymo design and colour that anyone who has mowed a few lawns in their time would recognise from a mile off. With a 29cm cutting width, it is designed for use in small to medium size gardens and boasts a barebones set-up that allows you to keep on top of your lawn care for less. We analysed hundreds of consumer experiences to put together this Flymo Hover Vac 280 review, and in it, we will talk about its main pros, cons and who it might be a good fit for.
Flymo Hover Vac 280 Review - Specifications
|Model||Hover Vac 280|
|Deck Size||29 cm|
|Cutting Heights||10 - 30 mm|
|Number of Cutting Heights||4|
Flymo Hover Vac 280 Pros: What People Like About this Mower
- Decent Cutting Ability – There were a few people that said it cuts unevenly, but on the whole, most people report the Hover Vac 280 doing a satisfactory job of cutting their grass. Sure, it’s not going to give you the most pristine cut ever, but in all honestly, if that’s what you’re searching for you shouldn’t be looking at this mower and you should be prepared to pay a lot more. But if you’re looking for an affordable mower to keep your grass to a respectable length and looking tidy, then you should be satisfied with it.
- Straightforward to Clean + Maintain – There’s nothing worse than having to spend longer cleaning a mower than you actually spend using the damn thing. Lots of people remark at how easy this one is to clean after use. It just needs a quick wipe down, wrap the cable, fold the handle and it's ready to store. And in terms of maintenance, all it needs is a blade sharpening once per year. Nothing too demanding here!
- Small Storage Footprint – Is space limited in your home? Your garden shed overcrowded? Well, good news. The handle folds right over, without the need to loosen any knobs like on most mowers, and it reduces the overall size of the mower to a minimum. So there’s no need to clear a huge space if you buy this. It’ll fit into any little corner that you have free.
- Pushing It is Simple – At under 9kg the Hover Vac 280 is not exactly a heavyweight, and is generally very easy to push and manoeuvre around your lawn. Consumers have said that it does tend to hover better on flatter surfaces and that on bumpy ground the air-cushion the mower creates is not quite as effective. The other thing we found people saying is that as the grass basket fills up, it does get a little harder to move.
- Very Easy to Use – As we mentioned in the intro, this Flymo mower is very, very basic. There are no bells and whistles and nothing really that could confuse you or take too long to understand. You push a button and pull a trigger to start it up, and then it’s just a matter of managing the cord and pushing the mower where you want it to cut. Emptying and then replacing the grass catcher is also very simple.
- Quiet When in Operation – If you’ve had a petrol mower in the past, this is something you’ll greatly appreciate. I’m not saying it’s silent by any means. Any garden tool will produce noise. But it’s not “I CAN’T HEAR MYSELF THINK” noise. So mowing the grass will no longer be a thing that scares your pets and annoys the neighbours!
Flymo Hover Vac 280 Cons: What People Complain About
- Cable Not that Long – The cable is 10 metres, which should be ok for most smaller yards that have an outdoor power point. But if your nearest plug is further away or you plan on using this on a bigger garden, you’ll probably need to buy an extension cable, which obviously drives up the price a bit. One thing to note is that the power cable that comes with it is integrated into the design, so you can’t actually remove it (some people find this a bit annoying for storage, while others don’t mind it).
- Doesn’t Always Catch All Grass – Opinions seem to be divided on this one. Some people were really happy with how it “sucked up the grass” while others just said it “sucked” in this department. I think the key question here is “what are your expectations?” If you expect it to bag every last clipping, you’re likely to be left disappointed. Hover mowers are renowned for kicking up some of the clippings and blowing them out sideways, and you’ll likely experience that with the Hover Vac 280.
- Can’t Get Right Up to Edges – If you have any raised flower beds, borders or fencing, you’ll still need to go around with a strimmer or edging shears to cut these areas afterwards, as the Hover Vac 280 doesn’t deliver a close cut right to the edges. This is because of the position of the blade, which is a good 2 inches away from the edge of the mower, if not slightly more. Something to consider if your lawn is bordered by fences and walls.
- Not the Most Robust Mower – We don’t like to BS, so we’re not going to pretend like this Flymo is the most solid mower every produced. It is a little flimsy in its design and isn’t designed for use in rough and trying conditions. The two components that were mentioned a few times in particular in this regard are the lid that opens and provides access to the grass catcher, and the starter trigger. But as long as you’re careful with it, it should still last a while, and at this price, if you get 2+ seasons out of it, it’s still a bargain!
Frequently Asked Questions About the Flymo Hover Vac 280
What material is the cutting blade made from?
The Flymo Hover Vac 280 has a metal cutting blade.
How long is the power cable?
It’s 10 metres long.
How is the cutting height adjusted?
It comes with 3 spacers and a spanner. You need to remove the blade and then insert the required number of spacers to get the cutting height you want, before reattaching the blade.
The Bottom Line
You should now have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the Hover Vac 280. We're going to conclude our review by outlining who we think it would be a good fit for.
Leave It on the Shelf
Flymo Hover Vac 280 Review Conclusion:
The Flymo Hover Vac 280 is an entry level electric hover mower that is easy to use, understand and maintain, and has everything you need to keep a small lawn looking trim and tidy. If you're happy to live with the caveats we've described in this review, it's a solid option for the money.