They look cool but do robotic lawnmowers work? And if so, do they work well enough to justify their rather high prices?
Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work?
Let’s face the facts, we all hate to mow the lawn!
Did you know that there are now robots to keep your grass trimmed and you’re your garden looking well-manicured?
These robotic lawnmowers resemble tiny racing cars and glide around your lawn. Supposedly, they save you time.
If you are a professional gardener or need a mower for pro-sporting fields, can a robot mower do the job as well as a human?
Robotic lawnmowers move around the garden in a random pattern (in a similar way to robot vacuums). Therefore it is not possible to get those stunning straight lines that many proud homeowners love!
In honesty, grass-cutting robots work pretty well but are only worth the high price tags for very busy or exceptionally lazy gardeners!
A smart choice is a self-powered mower such as the EGO Power+ Cordless Lawn Mower. It actually works well and can give you those “cricket-style” straight lines. It also costs a fraction of the price of a robotic mower.
How do robot lawnmowers work?
Robot mowers are designed to cut little and often (approx 2-3mm per pass). This is the gentlest way to cut grass and it also reduces any moss from creeping into your garden.
They are powered by rechargeable batteries and come with a charging station that can be plugged into an outdoor outlet. After your mowing robot has finished its task, it will automatically return to the charging dock.
These kinds of mowers are more economical than their gas-powered counterparts. They use less energy and don’t release planet-destroying emissions.
How do you prevent a robot mower from getting lost?
Autonomous mowers use a simple mapping system and are delivered with a reel of low-voltage wire. This wire is then placed around the perimeter of the mowing area. This gives the bot a kind of “invisible wall” that the unit will not cross.
If you happen to have flower beds, outbuildings, hot tubs, or paths in your garden, you can use the wire to make new boundaries. This will keep special parts of your garden “off-limits” to the mower. When the mower reaches the boundary wire (or an obstacle), tiny sensors are activated. This causes the robot mower to select a new route around the obstacle.
How do robot mowers work on uneven surfaces?
These machines are only built for fairly flat surfaces. Lawn robot manufacturers claim that gradients of up to 35% can be handled by their machines. A point to note, however, is that the steeper the angle the faster your battery will run out.
Our biggest gripe with robot lawnmowers is that the wheels can get stuck in holes or divots. It’s therefore, necessary to fill in any depressions or set the boundary wire carefully. Higher-end mowers can rock themselves back and forth until they get free of the hole/depression in the grass.
In conclusion, robotic lawnmowers and uneven ground are not the best mix.
Which is the best robotic mower for me?
The key factor when choosing a mower is the size of your lawn. Larger mowers have wider cutting areas and cover a lot of ground in less time.
The best thing to do is to estimate your mowing area and then spend a few minutes investigating the models which are best suited to that size.
You should also consider the gradient of your lawn. Again, look at the manufacturer’s website to make the right choice.
Are robot lawnmowers noisy?
The robot mowers featured in this article all run on electricity so they are not noisy.
They are virtually silent with a gentle hum at most. Many owners of robot mowers run their machines overnight (without annoying the neighbors) and enjoy waking to a freshly cut lawn!
By using an app, these mowers can be used from anywhere with an internet connection. With high-end models, you can even adjust their cutting height from your phone.
Are they easy to program?
Yes, the three mowers featured in this article have easy-to-understand controls. They can be programmed from the onboard panel, or remotely via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Do they get damaged when it rains?
No, these machines are designed to work in all conditions. Many of today’s mowers have built-in rain sensors which command the mower to return to its base until the rain stops.
Can robot mowers cause injuries?
We haven’t heard of any incidents involving robot lawnmowers.
They’re designed with safety as the priority and when tilted or lifted, the mower automatically switches off.
Someone will steal it!!!
Robot lawnmowers are fitted with anti-theft systems (such as PIN numbers) which must be entered before use.
With Husqvarna’s Automower app, you can set up an alert every time the mower is moved. You can also see your mower’s current location.
Is there a lot of maintenance for robotic lawnmowers?
No, these machines are made to be used by people with no mechanical or technical knowledge.
Robot mowers are electric so have no oil, petrol, or spark plugs that will need replacing.
You will need to replace the cutting blades every 3 to 12 months (depending on your use). You will also need to replace the boundary wire if it breaks.
How much do I need to spend?
The cheapest robotic lawn mower will set you back a bit over $900! For this, you can be the proud owner of a WORX WG794 Landroid. The Landroid uses a 28V rechargeable battery and has no carbon footprint!
At the top end of robotic lawnmowers is Husqvarna. The Husqvarna Group is a Swedish company that specializes in outdoor power products such as chainsaws, trimmers, tractors, and mowers. Their highest price model on Amazon is the Husqvarna 967646405 Automower 450X which is priced at over $3K!
But you certainly don’t need to shell out that much! If you are looking for the best value top-end machine, we recommend the Husqvarna 967622505 Automower 430X. It’s just as good as the 450X but about a thousand dollars cheaper.
So should I buy a robotic lawn mower?
They’re certainly not cheap but after the initial outlay, a robot mower will only cost around $20 per year to run.
An important point to note is that these machines are not for hacking through tall grass and weeds. They are meant to be used regularly to keep your lawn under control. If your grass is too long, you’ll have to cut it the “old-fashioned” way before you can let your lawn bot get on with its job!!!
Some people love the ritual pleasure of mowing the lawn, and would never be deprived of their calming pastime. For the more “techy” types that are always in a rush, robot lawnmowers are now competitive enough in price that they are a worthy alternative to petrol lawnmowers.
In our opinion, unless you are a lover of all-new gadgets, you would be better off with a self-propelled gas mower like the brilliant EGO Power+ Cordless Lawn Mower. At a fraction of the price of a robot mower, the EGO robot mower will do a much better job. You’ll also get a little heart-strengthening exercise while you’re at it!
A big thanks to Panasonic DMC-Fz200 for our featured image.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like to discover the quietest robotic vacuum cleaners from our tech section.