Which Compact Tractor Mower?

Here at Farm Tech Supplies, we receive lots of enquiries throughout the year about our compact tractors and extensive range of attachments. One of the most common questions we get asked is: “which type of mower should I buy?”.

With so many different options and blade systems available to choose from, deciding which one is right for the application and grass type can be overwhelming. But there’s no need to worry! We’ve cut our fair share of fields, paddocks and lawns over the years. So, it’s safe to say we’re in a pretty good position to provide you with an overview of the different mowers available.

To help you pick the cutter that’s best suited to your needs, we’ve put together this handy guide comparing the benefits of our range of topper, finishing and flail mowers. 

Topper mowers

A topper mower does precisely what it says on the tin: it takes the tops off long grasses, small saplings and scrubs. As such, this type of mower is ideal for rough, overgrown pastures with long grass, weeds, brambles and other woody plants.

Toppers have two blades which are attached to a rotating carrier that allows the blades to top the grass. On flat land, they make easy work of cutting back grasses to a more manageable length — leaving a rough cut behind and rows of long cuttings which are easy to rake up.

If the ground is very uneven or rough, a topper isn’t the best choice. The same can be said if you’re after a close-cut finish. But other than that, we can’t think of many disadvantages of using a topper.

Generally speaking, these types of mowers are mechanically pretty basic — meaning they are straightforward to maintain and offer excellent value for money. Our toppers start at £780 and come in three different widths ranging from 1.1m to 1.6m. These are ideal for compact tractors 16hp to 40hp.

Finishing mowers

Perfect for use on flat areas of short grass, a finishing mower is ideal for regularly maintaining golf courses, sports fields and lawns. Although they can also be used in well-maintained paddocks or pasture which has recently been topped.

Finishing mowers use a three-blade design. The centre of each blade is fixed to the mower, and each blade then rotates on the blade spindle or hub assembly. The height of finishing mowers can easily be adjusted using the wheel spacers, to ensure a close-to-the-ground cut and fine finish.

Typically, finishing mowers are more expensive than toppers, although the WFM120 Winton Finishing Mower is currently on sale for £795 incl. VAT!

Flail mowers

For a great all-round cutter, you can’t go wrong with the versatile flail mower. A flail is suitable for short grass such as lawns and will leave a good finish if used regularly. Much like a topper, it will also make light work of cutting through long grass, weeds and woody material in overgrown areas or on uneven land.

Unlike a topper, a flail mower leaves a fine finish and spreads short, smaller cuttings across paddocks or fields. These cuttings soon mulch down and provide a fantastic natural fertiliser.

Rather than the standard Y-blades, Winton flail mowers use heavy-duty hammer blades that sit on a horizontal rotor which spins the hammers to create the flail motion. As such, flail mowers are well-equipped to handle rough, uneven ground and overgrown areas.

Flails are also more compact than topper or finishing mowers, making them highly manoeuvrable in tight spaces — ideal for cutting verges and lawns — and easier to store in between cuts.

In the past, the topper would have been the mower of choice for smallholdings owners. However, we are now starting to see more and more customers buying flail mowers due to their immense versatility.

Of course, this added versatility does come with a higher price tag — with prices ranging from anywhere between £955 for a basic compact flail such as the Winton WCF85 up to £2,500 for a high-quality verge flail. Our MIST106 Agrint Flail Mower has been reduced to £1,152 in our end-of-season sale, while the BORA158 Agrint Heavy-Duty Flail Mower is now only £2,102.

If your compact tractor is fitted with hydraulic spool valves, you may be tempted by one of the Winton Hydraulic Flail Mowers, the most popular being the WHF175.  The big advantage with these is that they can be offset during operation, making them ideal for mowing right to the edge of the field and around trees and fence posts.

We welcome viewings of all of our products and are happy to give advice or answer any questions you have. And if you want to ‘try before you buy’, we can even arrange working demonstrations so you can see the mowers in action!

Please contact us on 01420 520510 or email sales@farmtechsupplies.co.uk if you wish to book a viewing.