The Most Affordable Robot Lawn Mower
At $895, the Ayi DRM3-600I is the most affordable robotic lawn mower weve tested, but dont let its price fool you: This is one tough mower. It did a fine job of cutting my lawn and proved to be quite durable when it was accidentally run over by a car. It has a rain sensor that prevents it from going out in foul weather and it can be scheduled to work in the middle of the night without waking the neighbors. A GPS radio would be nice so you can see where the mower has worked and track it down if someone decides to liberate it from your property, but its not essential and would likely raise the price. That said, for an extra $100, the Worx Landroid WR140 includes GPS and remains our Editors’ Choice for offering the best balance of features and price overall. If money is no object, meanwhile, the Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD is the most advanced and feature-rich robotic mower weve tested, with all-wheel drive and a cellular radio, but at $5,199.99, its also the most expensive.
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Best Robot Lawn Mower : Robotic Mowers To Cut The Grass As You Chill
Top autonomous sward slicers to spruce up your lawn while you loaf about in the summer sun
ByDerek Adams,Robert JonesLast updated 2021-07-01T10:38:02.930Z
The best robot lawn mower could be THE perfect garden tech for 2021. This summer more than any before everyone is going to be out and enjoying themselves after months of being stuck in the house, and a robot lawn mower can make garden work easy while you’re relaxing and soaking up the sun.
Mowing the lawn can be an arduous task. Luckily, modern tech companies have noticed the problems that mowing a garden can present and have come up with a nifty solution: the robotic lawn mower. Unlike the best lawn mowers and best petrol lawn mowers, these turf cutting systems require little to no human input at all, and can be left to routinely slice that sward.
Here at T3 we love the idea of getting stuck in to food cooked on one of the best barbecues or best pizza ovens, all the while watching as a robot lawn mower maintains your lawn, safe in the knowledge that by the time the sun goes down and you’re sitting out under some of the best outdoor lights on the market, you’ve got an immaculate garden.
And the robot lawn mowers below can make that dream into a reality.
How Does A Robot Lawn Mower Work
Having a little robot to do your yard work for you might sound too good to be true, but how a robot lawn mower works is really quite simple. All robot lawn mowers run on rechargeable batteries, so you never have to worry about refueling them.;
How do they find their way around your yard? They respond to a perimeter wire, much like a dog with a shock collar responds to an invisible pet fence.;
Heres how it works: To set up a robotic lawn mower, you install a wire around the area you want the robot to mow. Sometimes you bury the perimeter wire, and sometimes you secure it to the ground with pegs, depending on the specific brand of mower and your own preferences.
The wire sends out a signal which the mower receives. When it gets close to the boundary wire, the mower will turn around, ensuring that it doesnt leave your property or damage landscape features such as flower beds.;
Depending on the mower, it might run a pre-set amount of times per week, or you might be able to set up a completely customized mowing schedule.
Either way, when the robot mower is out working and the battery runs low, it will return to the docking station on its own to recharge. This is a standard feature, so no matter which mower you choose, you wont have to worry about it dying in the middle of the lawn.;
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Worx Wr150 Landroid L
If your yard is too big for the MowRo RM24, your best bet is the WR150 Landroid L from WORX. This mower can handle yards of up to a half-acre and slopes of up to 20 degrees.
The Landroid is smarter than many of our other top picks, with built-in Wi-Fi control and an app for your mobile phone that lets you check the mowers progress, measure your lawn, or edit your custom mowing schedule from anywhere.;
The custom scheduling option is an improvement on the MowRos pre-programmed 48-hour schedule. With the Landroid, you can choose to cut your grass every day, every other day, or whenever you want.
The Landroid is smart enough that it can even recommend a schedule designed for your lawn, based on size and other conditions.
Thanks to the mowers rain sensor, it will never run in the rain to avoid the sloppier cut that comes from cutting wet grass.;
Precision cutting is better with the Landroid than many of our other top picks, so it might be the best choice for yards with lots of landscaping and other obstacles. When the Landroid encounters any obstacle, it will bump it gently and then turn around.
Plus, with advanced AI technology, it can navigate narrow passages better than other robot mowers. Because of the cut to edge blade design, Landroid mows closer to borders and leaves you with less edge trimming to do later.;
How We Did The Test
We carried out the test ourselves and tested all of the robot mowers as they are intended to be used in reality. To obtain test results that are as reliable as possible, we tested the robotic lawn mowers for several months on several different types of lawns and in different types of weather. This made it possible to judge longer-term effects and seasonal impact on their cutting ability.
For example, it’s often wet in the autumn but dry in high summer. The grass grows mostly at the start of the summer and the lawn is most brittle during the dryness of high summer and the autumn rains. Testing robotic lawnmowers under all these conditions also gives a better overall picture than simply testing them for a couple of weeks in the early summer – something that is common in other robotic lawn mower tests.
In other tests it’s also common to use only one grass area to test each model, on which the testing body artificially tries to include all types of difficulty. However, our experience tells us that it’s extremely difficult to succeed with this. Primarily because it’s so difficult to predict all of the types of difficulties that different lawns present. So we think that the more types of lawn that a robotic lawn mower is tested on, the better.
In our assessment we have focused on the following characteristics:
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You Dont Need Smart Features Or Gps To Get A Great Robot Lawn Mower
If you want to get a cheap robot lawn mower, you need to think about what features are essential and what features are optional. You need to make sure that the robot lawn mower that you choose will cut your lawn well and make your grass look good.
Thankfully, the vast majority of robot lawn mowers these days will do a great job of cutting your lawn. I was actually really surprised to find that my lawn looks better being cut by a robot lawn mower compared to when I used to cut it manually with a conventional lawn mower.
This is due to the fact that robot lawn mowers cut your grass a little bit on a much more regular basis so that your lawn always looks freshly cut. It also mulches the clippings and returns them to the grass and this provides additional nutrients for the growing grass, making it greener and more healthy.
With robot lawn mowers doing a really good job of the core functionality of a lawn mower, why do you really need smart features or integrated GPS or Bluetooth?
The marketing of more premium robot lawn mowers emphasizes the smart features, which allow you to control the settings of a robot lawn mower from a smartphone or tablet.
Some also emphasize their GPS features, which allow you to navigate the robot lawn mower remotely to target areas of your lawn that you are keen for extra attention to be paid to.
I would also imagine that your friends would be impressed if you were able to pull out your phone and show them how youre able to control your lawn mower.
Robotic Lawn Mower Prices
Robotic lawn mowers have one other thing in common with Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners: theyre both quite expensive. With robotic lawn mowers, there are essentially two major price categories.;
Entry-level robotic lawn mowers
These generally cost between $600 and $1,000. Compared to their pricier counterparts, mowers in this category are usually either smaller in size or somewhat lacking in features or build quality. Lawn mowers in this price range are more appropriate for smaller lawns.;
Larger, more capable robotic lawn mowers
These are priced between $2,500 and $3,500. In most cases, the price jump is money well spent more expensive robotic lawn mowers include luxury features like task scheduling, wider decks for cutting more grass at a time, and even rain sensors that cancel a job when it starts to rain.
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Pick A Robot Lawn Mower That Is Appropriate For Your Lawn Size
There are a lot of different robot lawn mowers available to buy today from a range of manufacturers. Most companies have models that are suitable for gardens of any size.
Whilst those that are designed to cut large lawns can be very expensive, those designed for lawns of under 600 m² can be surprisingly affordable. Ive written a really helpful guide to help you choose the right robotic lawn mower for you.
Personally, my lawn is approximately 400 m² and I was able to purchase the Flymo 1200R for only £510. Prior to purchasing a robot lawn mower, I had a conventional rotary mower, the Hayter R53S which actually cost £600 new. Therefore, buying a robot lawn mower was actually a cheap option for me compared to the last lawn mower I owned.
Cordless Electric / Battery Powered Lawn Mowers
Dont want to fill your mower with gas or worry about cords? Cordless mowers or battery powered mowers are the most environmentally conscious choice of the bunch. They run quietly and efficiently, and the batteries can be swapped out when power is running low for even more run time, so you can tackle any job.;
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John Deere Tango E5 Series Ii Robotic Mower
Our rating: 3.8 out of 5
- Buy now from Balmers GM
- PIN code is only security feature
- No Smart connectivity
This substantial and robust mower is great for cutting large lawns but it cant cope with narrow gaps. Large back wheels help it tackle slopes up to 36 per cent and its single steel blade cuts evenly and closely with a good finish. Its a bit noisier than other models we tested and has few features for the price.
Read the full review: John Deere Tango E5 Series II Robotic Mower review
How Robotic Mowers Work
If youre new robotic mowers, you may be wondering how they work without driving right out of your yard. Its actually quite simple. They function using a guidewire and internal sensors. The wire is installed around the parameter of the area that you want to mow. Dont worry, you dont have to dig a giant trench. The wire is staked down, almost like a tent, but much closer to the ground so as not to create a tripping hazard. Once the wire is installed, the mower will drive on until it encounters a wire at which point it will turn and go a different direction. The wire also works as a kind of map that leads the mower back to the docking station when mowing is complete or when its time to recharge.
It is important to ensure that the guidewire is installed fully and properly before your turn on your mower, otherwise, you could end up with a runaway lawn mower.
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The Best Robot Lawn Mowers For 2021
If you’ve got better things to do than spend every Saturday pushing a noisy gas-powered mower around your yard, consider investing in a robot lawn mower and letting it do the work for you. Get started with some of the best we’ve tested.
- Includes Wi-Fi and GPS radios.
- User-friendly mobile app.
- Excellent cutting and edging performance
- Slick mobile app
- Includes Bluetooth, cellular, and GPS radios
Lawn Size And Cutting Deck
Before purchasing a robotic lawn mower, you first need to figure out how much lawn it will be required to cut, or its working area capacity. Residential models typically have a working capacity of 0.20 acres up to 1.25 acres. A mower that will be used to cut large lawns will have a high-capacity battery pack that allows it to work longer and travel farther between charges. The shape of your lawn will also come into play: If you have things like flower beds, trees, and lighting, the mower has to use more battery power to navigate these obstructions than if it were just cutting a rectangular or square plot.
The cutting deck refers to the area underneath the mower where the blades spin. Most robotic mowers use a floating deck design that allows you to quickly adjust cutting height while allowing the mower to navigate the contours of your lawn without scalping the grass in higher spots. Different mowers use different types of cutting blades. For example, some mowers use a single spinning blade configuration while others use multiple spinning blades or a spinning disc lined with multiple razor blades.
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Robot Lawn Mower Price And Features
Robotic lawn mowers don’t come cheap, but in most cases light-duty mowers are going to be significantly more affordable than their heavy-duty counterparts. Whatever you do, make sure you buy a mower that can handle your lawn. Most vendors have online calculators to help you choose the right model for your needs, and many of them will send a dealer representative out to your house to do a site check to help you make the right choice. You can expect to pay anywhere from $600 and up for a barebones model to more than $5,000 for a mower with all the bells and whistles. Dealers that require professional installation may add hundreds of dollars to the total cost.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices based on lawn complexity and working capacity, it’s time to consider features. Look for a mower that offers flexible programming options that allow you to create schedules for multiple zones. For example, if you have a large lawn, you might want to split it into multiple zones and have the mower concentrate on specific zones on specific days. With multi-zone schedules, the mower will travel directly to the specified area before it begins cutting, which saves battery life.
If you have a lawn with lots of hills and slopes, you’ll want a mower with large wheels that can navigate the changing landscape. Most mowers can handle slopes of up to 20 degrees, but some can handle slopes of up to 30 degrees.;Husqvarna’s;435X AWD;can manage extreme slopes with an incline of up to 70 percent.;;
What Are The Benefits Of A Robotic Lawn Mower
There are a number of benefits to buying a robotic lawn mower in comparison to the more traditional petrol or electric models.
These benefits include:
- Less work for you: Once installed and programmed, the robotic mower cuts the grass little and often. The lawn always looks tidy, clippings are dropped into the grass for nourishment and the lawn mower returns to its dock on its own when it needs recharging.
- Zero emissions: Unlike petrol mowers, they emit no emissions because theyre powered by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery.
- Quiet:The lack of an engine also makes the mowers incredibly quiet.
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Robotic Lawn Mower Requirements
Although theyre fully automatic once set up robotic lawn mowers are more complex initially compared to a traditional, petrol, electric and cordless mower.
Firstly, a robotic lawn mower requires an outside power source to connect the docking station to. The mower will then dock and recharge when necessary.
There are requirements when it comes to the docking station itself, too. Ideally it should be out of direct sun and level. Most also need a clear area around them typically two metres to the front and a metre each side.
This can limit where you can place the docking station, especially in a small garden.
Accessing the layout is also essential before purchasing a robotic lawn mower. Some models can struggle with narrow passages, uneven ground and steep slopes.
Finally, they need installing and the boundary wire laid. Robot lawn mowers may be expensive but many models include installation by a dealer in the price. They will assess your lawn, lay your boundary wire for you and show you how to programme and operate the keypad.
Cheaper mowers can be installed without any professional guidance but the instructions must be followed precisely for the robotic lawn mower to run correctly.