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  1. #1
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    TBD

    Default Kioti RFM or Caroni Flail?

    I'm about due for a new lawn mower and rather than buy a new riding mower I'm considering a RFM or flail mower to pull behind my CK35.

    I don't really have that much grass to mow, takes about an hour on my 42" zero turn snapper. I have a rotary cutter that I use on the rougher ground down the sides of the driveway. This is only the second summer in a new house, so the yard is still not perfect and seems to grow small to medium rocks.

    Can I get as good a cut with a Caroni as with a RFM?

    Should I get the F model rotor on the Caroni?

    How will the Caroni do running along the edge of a gravel driveway? I currently just raise the rotary cutter high enough that it doesn't suck up the gravel.

    I also use the rotary to mow fire roads/paths at my hunt club once a year. No big stuff, mostly just grass and weeds that grow through the summer. If I got the F model Caroni could I still use it for that?

    My other option is to just buy a new lawn tractor, but even a cheap one cost as much as the Caroni or the RFM. My plan would be to throw some new blades on the old snapper and keep it for trimming around trees, etc.

    I have an Agri Supply, TSC, and several good tractor dealers within 30 minute drive so lots of options.
    Kioti CK35 with FEL and BH

  2. #2
    Silver Member
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    May 2006
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    243
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Tractor
    JD 2320

    Default Re: Kioti RFM or Caroni Flail?

    I went through a very similar thought process this spring. I bought a 59" caroni w/ the fine cut blades to mow my 1.5 acres. I liked the idea of the safety of a flail mower and the ability to do some limited brush work at the back of my property. I was very disappoined, however, with the cut quality I got on my yard. The cut was pretty good, but the grass clippings are just laid on the top of the grass. While clumping wasn't much of a problem, having whole pieces of grass on freshly mowed areas was a real drawback for me.

    I think a high quality rear finish mower could be a viable alternative for you, but I don't think you'll see the cut quality out of a flail mower that you've seen w/ your 42" rider.

    Should you decide to go the flail mower route, I have a like new 59" I would make you a great deal on.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Prudence Island, RI
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: Kioti RFM or Caroni Flail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike5252 View Post
    I was very disappoined, however, with the cut quality I got on my yard. The cut was pretty good, but the grass clippings are just laid on the top of the grass. While clumping wasn't much of a problem, having whole pieces of grass on freshly mowed areas was a real drawback for me.
    I don't use my flail on a lawn so I don't have direct experience on this point. However, I don't understand how the flail would be different than say a rear discharge finish mower with regard to the depositing of grass cuttings. Don't all mowers simply discharge so that the cuttings lay on top of the grass. Obviously not if you are vacuum collecting the cuttings but otherwise where else would they go? Are you referring more to the difference in mulching effect? Did you cut grass only when it was very high? I certainly see that when I mow a field with tall grass at higher speeds that there are some long cut strands of grass laying about after I mow. If I go slowly there is more of a mulching effect and I don't see long pieces of grass behind.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
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    May 2006
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    243
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Tractor
    JD 2320

    Default Re: Kioti RFM or Caroni Flail?

    I never experienced much of a mulching effect w/ the flail mower. Even when I mowed very slow on grass that wasn't very high, the clippings were still relatively long. I now have a zero turn and the individual clippings are much smaller.

    For example, with the flail mower it looked like each piece of grass was getting cut a couple times, but with the zero turn it looked like they were getting cut 2 or 3 times as much as with the flail. Also the more traditional deck on th zero turn didn't seem to deposit the entirety of the clippings on top of the yard as bad as the flail.

    I would also regularly get big clumps of grass in the yard as they would fall off the rear roller.

    As I said earlier, I'm a big fan of flail mowers.....just not for high quality finish cuts.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Prudence Island, RI
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: Kioti RFM or Caroni Flail?

    It sounds like a mulching effect alright. I don't have any trouble believing that a zero turn would cut grass finer. However, flails are used routinely on athletic fields and similar spaces so there must be some way to get the flail to approximate what you are looking for. I'm guessing it is frequent mowing so there aren't any long pieces of grass around.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member mark.r's Avatar
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    Leesburg, VA
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    Kioti DK45SE

    Default Re: Kioti RFM or Caroni Flail?

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor View Post
    However, flails are used routinely on athletic fields and similar spaces so there must be some way to get the flail to approximate what you are looking for. I'm guessing it is frequent mowing so there aren't any long pieces of grass around.
    I think this is the key.

    As for the original question, if you already have a rotary why are you even considering a flail mower? Make the decision easy on yourself and buy a RFM and you know what type of cut you're going to get. You'll have one type of mower for both types of jobs. I don't use a flail and I'm not knocking them in any way but it seems that you are you trying to set it up as a hybrid type of implement. I don't think it's going to be as good as either the RFM or the rotary at either of the jobs they are intended for. I use both and they both work well for what they are designed for.
    DK45HST w/401 Loader
    On The Farm: Updated 5/19/2008

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Matoaca, VA
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    TBD

    Default Re: Kioti RFM or Caroni Flail?

    Quote Originally Posted by mark.r View Post
    I think this is the key.

    As for the original question, if you already have a rotary why are you even considering a flail mower? Make the decision easy on yourself and buy a RFM and you know what type of cut you're going to get. You'll have one type of mower for both types of jobs. I don't use a flail and I'm not knocking them in any way but it seems that you are you trying to set it up as a hybrid type of implement. I don't think it's going to be as good as either the RFM or the rotary at either of the jobs they are intended for. I use both and they both work well for what they are designed for.
    That's why I'm asking. I keep seeing post that claim a flail mower cuts with finish mower quality of cut, and that's not even with finish blades. So I'm trying to figure out if a flail mower with finish blades is as good as an RFM on the lawn with more versatility.
    Kioti CK35 with FEL and BH

  8. #8
    Platinum Member mark.r's Avatar
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    Leesburg, VA
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    Kioti DK45SE

    Default Re: Kioti RFM or Caroni Flail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybr View Post
    That's why I'm asking. I keep seeing post that claim a flail mower cuts with finish mower quality of cut, and that's not even with finish blades. So I'm trying to figure out if a flail mower with finish blades is as good as an RFM on the lawn with more versatility.
    I've "heard" people say that to, but I put little faith in it. They may be close but as someone mentioned above I think you get finer cut, call it mulching if you want, with a finishing type mower. If I could only have ONE mower I would consider it but having both I would go with RFM with your current set up. Another thing to keep in mind, I don't have experience with this, is what are the replacement cost for blades as well as shapening efforts for each type of mower. How many blades does the flail mower you want have vs. the finish mower you want have. How much service time will each take, etc, etc.

    I cut my horse pastures with a BIG finish mower set up at it's highest setting and my yard with a small one. I use the rotary for the tall stuff that gets cut twice, three times a year. They all do a great job.
    DK45HST w/401 Loader
    On The Farm: Updated 5/19/2008

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    wallace's Avatar
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    MAHINDRA

    Default Re: Kioti RFM or Caroni Flail?

    If you want to mow your green grass go with a finish mower..
    One other thing to point out..the cost of blades
    The finish mower blades will cost a fraction of what all those knives would
    Last edited by wallace; 09-06-2008 at 12:54 PM.
    Wallace Tractor and Equipment
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  10. #10
    Silver Member BJN644's Avatar
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    Maine
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    Kioti CK35 HST

    Default Re: Kioti RFM or Caroni Flail?

    Not to mention it's quite time consuming changing and sharpening all those knives on a flail mower.
    2008 Kioti CK35 HST, KL130P FEL, Woods BH80X hyd thumb backhoe, Woods Brushbull BB60, King Kutter II 60" tiller, Markham grapple, Caroni 72" finish mower

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