The best robot mowers for 2021

There is nothing quite like the look and smell of fresh cut grass, but unless you are paying for a professional landscaping service, you will need to take the time to keep your lawn looking perfect. state. You can spend hours each week doing the job yourself, the old-fashioned way, or you can invest in a robotic lawnmower to do the job for you.

Available for lawns of all shapes and sizes, robotic lawn mowers are relatively easy to set up and program, and because they are powered by rechargeable batteries, they are super quiet, meaning you can let them go. their work at any time of the day without disturbing the neighbors. They don’t come cheap, however, and you’ll pay more for features like rain and anti-theft sensors, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity, a mobile app, and flexible scheduling capabilities. You’ll also pay more for a model that can handle larger lawns that have steep slopes and obstacles like flower beds, trees, and ornamental decorations.

Read on to find out which robotic lawn mower is best suited for your lawn size and budget.

Worx Landroid M 20V Cordless Robotic Lawn Mower (WR140)

How robotic lawn mowers work

Robot mowers look like robot vacuums. In action, it’s almost like watching a Roomba scurry across your lawn to tidy things up. As for what’s inside, however, things couldn’t be more different.

All mowers use a battery powered motor with cutting blades, an AC powered base station, a boundary wire, and sensors that keep them from stepping outside your property or onto the street. With one end of the Perimeter Wire connected to a terminal on the Base Station, the wire is laid along the edge of your lawn and held in place using stakes similar to those used to pitch a tent. The other end of the wire ends at the base station and is connected to the second terminal. The base not only charges the mower, but provides the cord with an electrical charge. Sensors on the mower use the charged wire to guide it along the boundaries and back to base when the lawn is mowed or when the battery needs to be recharged.

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Speaking of battery, mowers use a rechargeable battery (usually lithium-ion) that can last from 30 minutes for an entry-level model designed for small lawns, up to four hours and more for a high-end mower. range designed to handle larger property. Depending on the size of the mower and the capacity of the battery, you can expect charge times ranging from 30 minutes to two hours or more.

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Programming is typically done using a built-in control panel with on and off buttons, as well as menus to set seasonal timers, schedule cutting times, create zones, configure edge trim settings. , run diagnostics and view cutting history. Almost all robotic mowers are very quiet and operate in the 55dB to 60dB range, but there are a few models that can emit up to 75dB of sound. You can run the quieter mowers at night (some even have headlights), but louder models should probably be limited to daytime service, unless you’re trying to irritate your neighbors.

Ayi DRM3-600I robot lawn mower

Ayi DRM3-600I robot lawn mower

Lawn size and cutting deck

Before purchasing a robotic lawn mower, you must first determine how much lawn you will need to mow or the capacity of its working area. Residential models typically have a working capacity of 0.20 acres to 1.25 acres. A mower that will be used to mow large lawns will have a high capacity battery 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 needs to use more energy to navigate those obstacles than if it was. that cut a rectangular or square ground.

The mower deck refers to the area under the mower where the blades turn. Most robotic mowers use a floating deck design that allows you to quickly adjust the height of cut while still allowing the mower to travel the contours of your lawn without scalping the grass in higher places. Different mowers use different types of cutting blades. For example, some mowers use a single rotating blade configuration while others use multiple rotating blades or a rotating disc lined with multiple razor blades.

The mower’s cutting width determines the width of a sample it will cut in one pass. Models designed for small lawns may only have a 7-inch cutting width, while mowers designed for larger lawns offer cutting widths of around two feet. All robotic mowers cut the grass in a fine, almost sawdust-like state that penetrates the soil as mulch that fertilizes your lawn. Equally important, there is no bagging.

Price and characteristics of the robotic lawnmower

Robotic lawn mowers don’t come cheap, but in most cases light-duty mowers will be significantly more affordable than their heavy-duty counterparts. Whatever you do, make sure you buy a mower that can handle your lawn. Most sellers have calculators online to help you choose the right model for your needs, and many will send a dealership representative 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 over $ 5,000 for a mower with all the features. Resellers that require professional installation can 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 the features. Look for a mower that offers flexible scheduling options that allow you to create schedules for multiple zones. For example, if you have a large lawn, you might want to divide it into multiple zones and have the mower focus on specific areas on specific days. With multi-zone programs, the mower will go directly to the specified area before starting to mow, which saves battery life.

Most robotic mowers will work in rainy conditions, but it can get messy: the cut grass stuck to the mower deck and the deck and blades will eventually need to be cleaned, and some mowers may have issues with wheel slip. Look for a mower with a weather detection feature that tells it to come back to base in a heavy downpour.

If you have a lawn with a lot of hills and slopes, you will need 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. The Husqvarna 435X AWD can handle extreme slopes with an incline of up to 70%.

All robotic mowers allow you to adjust the height of cut using a dial on the mower, and some models allow you to make this adjustment electronically on the control panel or via a mobile app. While all mowers use boundary wires and advanced algorithms to ensure full lawn coverage, some models also use GPS technology which tells the mower where it has been and where it needs to go. Some robotic mowers offer built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or cellular circuits that allow you to program and control the mower using a mobile app and track mowing progress from anywhere.

There are even a few models that allow you to use your phone as a remote control to guide the mower to certain areas for one-time maintenance, and use Amazon Alexa voice commands to start and stop mowing. Other features to look for include a dedicated remote, replacement cutting blades, and an anti-theft system that stops the mower when picked up and requires a unique PIN code to operate again. Some mowers also have an audible alarm and use GPS tracking to help locate it if it has been stolen.

Robot lawn mower

Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD

Personal or professional installation

Setting up a robotic lawnmower can be tedious depending on the size of your lawn, but it’s not very difficult. Almost all of the vendors offer online video tutorials and provide written instructions, a measuring tool for laying the wire, a spool of wire, and stakes to hold the wire in place. Expect to spend an hour or more (depending on the size and complexity of your lawn) on your knees to lay wire.

A handful of robotic lawn mower manufacturers will do the installation for you, and some actually require the mower to be installed by an authorized dealer. In that case, be prepared to spend more money and make sure you get a quote in advance, as it can be expensive.

Once your mower is installed and programmed, however, all you have to do is keep its mower deck clean, change its blades every now and then, and relax with a cool blade while it mows your lawn to you.

To learn more about how to automate the rest of your home, check out the best smart home devices we’ve tested, as well as the best outdoor smart home devices for your backyard.

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