Compared to most other mowers in this category, the Flymo XL500 is a hover mower on steroids. One of the only petrol hover mowers on the market, this large-size unit comes equipped with a Honda 160cc engine, offers a cutting width of 50.5 cm and allows you to cut in any direction that you want. It certainly won’t be suitable for everyone, and we did some digging to learn about its main pros, con and exactly whom it might be a good fit for.
Flymo XL500 Review - Specifications
|Deck Size||50.5 cm|
|Cutting Heights||10 - 30 mm|
|Number of Cutting Heights||3|
Flymo XL500 Pros: What People Like About this Mower
- Reliable, Powerful Engine – If you opt for a petrol lawn mower, the engine it comes with is everything. It can be the most well-designed mower in the universe, but if the engine is naff, then it'll either a) disappoint you with its performance, or b) it won't last half as long as you had hoped. And for that reason, it's great to see that the Flymo XL500 has been built with a Honda engine, which are known for their reliability. It’s also a damn powerful engine, as you’ll see in our next point.
- Cuts Like a Beast – This mower is an animal when it comes to cutting grass, weeds or whatever else you throw at it. No question about it. Our research showed that consumers are in unanimous agreement on this point. It’s also one of the few mowers that you can buy that actually performs well on wet grass, both in a cutting sense and in terms of usability. So no matter how rough or challenging the area you need to mow is, if you don’t end up buying the Flymo XL500, it shouldn’t be because you don’t believe it can do the job (it definitely will).
- Fires Up Easily – Another big benefit of using a quality engine is that it's a very reliable starter. If you're like me, you might have painful memories from when you were a kid and you used to use your dad's beat-up old petrol mower to cut the grass (and keep your mum happy in the process). I remember a few occasions when it was a good 5 minutes before I got it started, and my shoulder felt as though it was going to fall off it ached that much. This won't happen with the Flymo XL500. Most people report it starting on the first pull.
- Well Built Unit – I’ll make no bones about it, this is a premium mower at the higher end of the price spectrum. And it really shows when it comes to the build quality. The materials and components that have been used in its design are all very high quality, and this is a rugged mower that will put in an honest shift each and every time. It’ll resist bangs, bumps and scrapes and should give you years of service.
- Great on Slopes and Wet Grass – These are two scenarios in which lots of other mowers struggle to function, let alone do a good job. Self-propelled walk-behind petrol mowers can be a good option for slopes, but forget about using them on a damp site, as their heavy weight will just sink into the ground and likely cause tire ruts in your lawn that need to be fixed. And electric hover mowers are restricted by the cable and might not reach the areas that you need to mow without a lot of hassle. The Flymo XL500 hover mower does great in both scenarios. It won’t sink into wet ground, and gives you the freedom go wherever you want and lots of consumers remarked that it works very well on slopes.
Flymo XL500 Cons: What People Complain About
- Heavy When Not in Use – There’s no getting away from it. This thing is heavy. When it’s not running and is essentially just a dead weight, lots of people have trouble in moving it from “A to B”. You used to be able to buy it with some detachable transport wheels, but we've read quite a few reports from recent purchasers saying it's very hard to get hold of these wheels now, and without the wheels, you have to lift the whole weight of the mower when carrying it. If you do go ahead and buy, you might want to think about purchasing some sort of trolley to help you wheel it out to the lawn. Otherwise, you might find you wake up the next day with a rather strong pain in your back.
- Air Intake Gets Blocked – The air intake, which draws in the air and allows the Flymo XL500 to hover, can get blocked by clippings (as there’s no grass bag, so they fly all over). This is an issue because you’ll notice it gets harder and harder to push, and you’ll have to stop to clear it. This wasn’t mentioned by too many people, but something to keep in mind.
- Cut Quite Short – You can alter the cutting height on this mower with the use of spacers, but several consumers did specifically mention that they found the cut to be rather short. It’s not so much of an issue on a level surface, but on uneven ground, the cut might be uneven in places. If there are times during the year when you want to leave your grass a bit longer, you might want to look at another model.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Flymo XL500
Is it cable of cutting grass on steep banks?
The Flymo XL500 has been designed with slopes in mind and can be used on slopes up to 45 degrees.
How is the cutting height adjusted?
First, you will need to remove the cutting blade (you’ll need a spanner to do this). Then you use the spacers that come with the mower to increase or decrease the cutting height (from 10mm to 30mm).
The Bottom Line
We're going to leave you with a few final thoughts on who we believe the Flymo XL500 would be a good fit for.
Leave It on the Shelf
Flymo XL500 Review Conclusion:
The Flymo XL500 is a beast. When it gets pulled out onto the lawn, the grass is literally scared. The Honda engine gives it the power to cut through literally anything you're likely to find and ensures it starts up easily, every time. It's certainly not for everyone though as it's big, heavy and would be overkill for a small lawn.