There are a lot of different points to think about when Buying a Robot Lawn Mower. From lawn size to features, safety, install time, and even what kind of grass you have and types of trees you have.
What is a Robot Lawn Mower?
Let’s start with a basic description of what a robotic lawn mower is. A robot lawn mower is a battery-powered lawn mower that is completely autonomous. It uses a combination of guide wires, GPS, obstacle avoidance, location beacons, touch detection, and other inputs to avoid obstacles and navigate around your lawn. Each mower uses some or all of these sensors to navigate around your lawn so that it does not get stuck so it can cut all the grass.
What type of lawn do you have?
Every lawn is different, they all have different shapes, edges, slopes, passageways, and more. All these things will come into effect when buying your robot lawnmower.
Some robot mowers are designed for neat little lawns around a townhouse that are very easy to take care of and don’t need a lot of power or remote management features to worry about.
Firstly, the size of your lawn is very important. You will need to calculate the total surface area of your lawn so that you know that the mower you choose has the battery capacity to cover it. No point getting a mower that will run out of juice halfway through.
All robot mowers are classified first by the maximum lawn size that they can cover. This is very important because if you buy a robot mower that is too small for your lawn it will not be able to do the job.
Buying a robot mower with a lawn capacity, larger than your lawn size is not a problem this is actually recommended. But keep in mind, robot mowers built to cover more area are much more expensive so getting one that is the right size for your needs is the best option.
We have an article to help you with calculating your lawn size.
What is the maximum slope of your lawn?
The next point is finding the steepest slope on your lawn and calculating the incline of the slope. Robot lawnmowers have limits on the slope that they can deal with for several reasons.
The most obvious one is grip for the wheels. If the wheels don’t grip you are not going anywhere.
The second is that all robot mowers have a tilt sensor built-in as a safety feature. If the mower tilts past a certain position it will stop the cutting blades automatically. The idea is that if you or your kids go to turn over the mower the blades will stop before they are exposed so you don’t get cut.
That’s not a problem as long as your mower doesn’t need to climb any steep hills that might put the mower on a slope where the blades will stop automatically.
If you have a very steep lawn then there is a robot mower built specifically for this. It is the Husqvarna Automower 435X that has 4 wheel drive and is designed specifically to cut very steep lawns.
See our article on calculating the slope of your lawn for the easiest way to do this.
Shape of your lawn
Does your lawn have a strange shape or have multiple separated areas that need to be mowed separately?
These are important points to consider when buying a robot mower because different robot mowers have different capabilities for different kinds of lawn features like this.
Have a look around your yard to see if you have any of the following “difficulties” that a robot mower will have to deal with to mow your lawn.
- Narrow passage between mowing areas
- Separated mowing areas
- Stairs or ramps
- Impermanent obstacles in the lawn like a kids pool or trampoline
Robot mowers come with features that will allow them to deal with many of these navigational issues. Some features like small passage navigation, multiple cutting zone support, multiple starting points, and others help you set up the mower so that it will be able to navigate your garden with ease.
Just make sure you get the robot mower that has the correct navigation features for getting around your garden so you can be confident it will do a good job without getting stuck.
Trees, Grass-type, and Obstacles on the Lawn.
So there are some autonomous lawnmowers that have heavier blades than others, for example, the Robomow Mowers, or specifically the Robomow RS 630 is much more capable of cutting thicker grass. With blades similar to normal mowers, so they can chew through heavier grass and even some objects on the lawn, like twigs and other debris, dropped by trees.
Most other robot mowers only have small razor blades that spin at high speed and don’t deal well with this kind of debris on the grass. This isn’t an issue for most lawns where they remain clean and the mower will only encounter grass and at most a few leaves.
Toys and other objects on the lawn will mostly be avoided by a robot mower they are quite sensitive to bumping into objects and even something small like a tennis or golf ball it will turn away and leave it alone. You shouldn’t have to worry about dog toys or anything like that as long as they are not too small.
Features to think about when buying a robot lawn mower
Lawn Robots come with a wide variety of different features some more useful than others. If you are looking to keep costs down it’s important to know what features you absolutely need and what ones you can do without. Buying the full-featured robot mower is going to be much heavier on the wallet than one that is not quite as smart.
The other consideration is safety, all automatic mowers have a tilt switch in them that stops the blades of the mower if someone goes to turn it over.
This is so that if your kid’s a neighbor or you turn it over the blades stop spinning straight away so no one gets hurt. But a robot mower that can go up very steep hills also needs a switch that will not stop the blades automatically when going up a slope. This is why there is a limit to how steep of a slope they can deal with.
Some other features they include for safety are obstacle avoidance so if it runs into something, like your foot, it will simply turn around and go the other way. Some also have movement sensors where they will stop operation when it detects movement close to itself, for example, if a dog or a toddler approaching.
Mowers use a combination of different sensors to navigate around your lawn but each mower uses different sensors for the same task.
The most basic being simply the boundary wire and detecting when it bumps into objects. This is how the cheapest robot mowers operate, they merely drive around in random directions until it has covered your lawn.
Alternatively to this there are a large number of other features that make the robot much smarter and more efficient at navigating your lawn. GPS, obstacle avoidance, guide wires, location beacons, smart cutting patterns, and others can all be used to increase the speed and efficiency of how a robot mower cuts your lawn.
Connectivity with Bluetooth, wifi, or with the mobile network allows the robot mowers to work in much smarter ways. Some robot lawn mowers come with the capability to be controlled by talking to your smart home like Google or Alexa.
There are also other benefits to having them connected to the internet like the ability to control the device remotely so you can tell the robot to mow the lawn while you are at work or on holidays.
Even smart scheduling where the robot will check the weather and automatically change when it cuts the lawn so that it avoids rain and mows only when the weather is good for the perfect cut.
Even the noisiest robot mowers are much much quieter than a traditional petrol-powered lawnmower. But if noise really is an issue for you then it is worth checking the robot mower you are looking at buying so that you know it will suit what you are looking for.
Most robot mowers are about the same sound level as the outdoor unit of an air conditioner or a few people having a normal conversation.
Robot Lawn Mower Price – How much do you want to spend?
Now that we have talked about all the amazing features that robot mowers can come with we come to the topic of the price of a robot mower.
Well there is a very big range. From the cheapest robot mowers with very few features selling for only around $500. All the way up to the multi-acre models with all the features that you could want selling for $5000 or more. And on top of that, there are commercial robot mowers priced even higher.
Any robot lawn mower you buy really will be a great investment because over the long term they are so much cheaper, efficient and more convenient than any other lawn mowing option that is available.
Servicing and Maintenance
While robot mowers don’t need much maintenance it is possible that from time to time they will need a little work. Some models like the WORX WR140 and WR150 have interchangeable batteries that will make it much easier when the batteries do finally die out.
Other than that robot mowers are very easy to take care of, but if you don’t want to worry about it at all then maybe buying from a manufacturer that has a service center nearby is a good idea.
Spare parts for all robot mowers are easy enough to get online. There are many different places you can get them from the manufacturer websites to Amazon and small garden tools parts websites. Simply search Google for what you are looking for will be the best for this.
Again though if you would prefer someone else to take care of this or would just prefer to buy spares off the shelf then making sure your local gardening center or hardware store has what you need will be the way to go.
Other benefits of Robot Mowers
Best looking lawn
If you want to have the best-looking lawn in the street then look to the robots to make it happen for you.
Seriously the best way to have an amazing lawn is to take care of it regularly. Robot mowers are the best for this because they will cut your lawn often and in a very consistent way. They also mulch the clippings and return them to the lawn so there is no need to use fertilizer.
They are good for the environment
Because robot mowers are electric they release much less carbon into the atmosphere than a traditional mower.
They also don’t release harmful gasses right around your home where they can be harmful for you and your family.
If you subscribe to a green energy provider then they are even better because it’s possible that the are zero-emissions from using your robot mower at all.
Better for People with Allergies and Asthma!
Automatic Mowers are great for people with allergies and Asma! Why? because they create less dust and less pollen in the air. This is because they are much more friendly on your lawn and aren’t huge heavy machines like traditional lawnmowers.
Not to mention they can run at night when everyone is asleep in bed and, they don’t need someone to operate them. So, you can be safely inside with the door closed, while the mower is out there doing its job.
We hope this information will help you when you are buying a robot lawn mower in the futute.