We’re well into the 21st century, and we haven’t seen any of those flying cars or automated kitchens everyone kept predicting for “the future”.
There is at least one newfangled invention that’s finally materialized, though; it may not be as amazing as a flying car, but it’s potentially more useful for exhausted homeowners after a long week at work: the robot lawn mower.
You’ve probably seen Roombas vacuum rooms before; robotic lawnmowers work in much the same way. You put a guide wire around the grassy area you want to be cut, and with the help of electronic sensors and the ability to tilt and tip as needed, the robot moves in a pattern to ensure the entire area is mowed.
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The Best Robotic Lawn Mower Reviews – How to Decide Which Robot Lawn Mower to Buy?
There are a number of ways to narrow down your choices. Key among them is the way the robot lawnmower is powered: a rechargeable battery and solar-powered (sorry, the solar-powered/ rechargeable models were proven to be too unreliable for now) are the two most popular options (with batteries much more common, and their operating time playing an important role).
Programmability is another desirable function, allowing you to set your lawnmower to run at specific times or on specific days automatically; some programmable models have to be set on the unit itself, while others can be controlled by smartphones using WiFi or Bluetooth.
Some higher-priced models are so-called “multi-zone” mowers, which can be set to move between different areas of a lawn or even to take themselves from the front lawn to the back one.
More powerful robot lawn mowers are built to easily handle steep slopes while others are better suited for level ground.
In Your House Garden’s rankings, we’ll focus on the value of the mowers that we list – some will handle only small lawns, others will tackle medium-sized to larger ones, but in the review teams opinion, each deserves a place in our compilation of the 5 best robotic lawn mowers you can use in your garden.
One important note:
If you shop on Amazon for these products you may find that there are very few reviews available because they’re relatively new (and probably on the expensive side). Therefore, Your House Garden has found that, on the whole, Amazon reviews don’t tell the “real story” on robot mowers because of the small sample size. Feel free to change this trend by buying from Amazon and leaving your feedback.
1. Robomow RS630 Battery Powered Lawn Mower
This Robomow is a terrific robot mower and fully deserving of our Your House Garden #1 ranking. We do wish it ran longer than 90 minutes before it needs a 120-minute recharge at the base station, but no reasonably-priced model will give you much more mowing time on a single charge. And the review team thinks the RS630 has much more to offer than any competitor for this price point.
First, the important details. The RS630 can handle two zones and four “subzones” within the master zones, it’s designed to mow up to 34,000 square feet or 3/4 of an acre (but will need at least one recharge to do it), and it will scale slopes as steep as 20°.
There’s also a floating deck with an “edge mode” which is designed to eliminate the issue with most robot lawn mowers that can’t cut the grass right along the perimeter wire. It’s a great idea, but it requires you to change settings to engage edging and you’ll have to supervise it carefully. There’s also the patented Robomow turbo-mow setting which provides slower and more powerful cutting for the first mowing of the season.
This Robomow has heavy blades for excellent performance on thick grass, and the Bluetooth connectivity with a (decent, not great) phone app lets you program and operate the mower from the comfort of your lawn chair as you watch. It has sensors to stop and reverse direction when hitting obstacles, the blades stop automatically if the unit tips too much or flips over, and it has a child lock and PIN code feature. It also has an integrated rain sensor so it will return to its base when it starts raining, and start cutting again when the rain stops.
This is an excellent robot lawn mower, with an impressive amount of programming flexibility.
Going in-depth on the Robomow RS630 Battery Powered Lawn Mower:
2. McCulloch ROB 1000 Programmable Robotic Mower
The ROB 1000 comes in at #2 primarily because it isn’t designed to cover as much ground as the Robomow, 11,000 square feet instead of 13,000. But this is one of the quietest and smoothest-running robot lawn mowers that the Your House Garden team has found, and it’s definitely worth considering.
Programming is ridiculously simple via a 15-button LCD control panel and screen, the McCulloch can handle three separately-defined zones, and what is particularly impressive is that this robot mower never seems to get stuck even if it gets into a tricky area of the lawn. That’s probably because it’s designed to mow at random angles, eventually hitting every spot without leaving “patterns” mowed into the grass.
Other features we like: the ROB 1000 has a run time of one hour, it can easily handle inclines of 15°, it works in the rain, it has bells-and-whistles like PIN code and theft alarm protection, it has tilt and flip sensors that stop the blades immediately, and if the blades hit a hard object they will bend inward to avoid damage.
However, there’s one big negative: the maximum cutting height is a surprisingly-low two inches. McCulloch says that’s plenty if the ROB is used as designed – cutting the lawn continuously (or at least every 2-3 days) rather than waiting until the grass grows high. But if you prefer your grass to grow taller than two inches, you may want to look at one of our other reviewed models.
The McCulloch ROB 1000 is a reliable and high-performing robot mower, as long as you like to keep your grass cut short.
Here are the specifications for the McCulloch ROB 1000 Programmable Robotic Mower:
3. WORX Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower WG794
Those who still can’t see themselves spending a fortune on a lawnmower should take a long look at the WORX Landroid.
This is a small and lightweight robot unit that can handle a lot more than you’d think at first glance, designed to cover lawns as large as 13,000 square feet.
As with any quality robot mower, you have to do some preliminary work by setting up the wire boundaries that determine the limits for the unit and that can be a bit tricky. Putting the boundaries right at the lawn’s edge could force the robot to get stuck in a corner or fence, so you have to leave a little no-man’s-land that needs hand trimming. The WORX isn’t alone when it comes to this minor annoyance, though. The best alternative to hand trimming is to invest in a top of the range weed eater – a quick walk around the yard with one of these beauties will sort out those pesky edges.
This robot lawn mower is powered by a single 28-volt lithium-ion battery so it requires recharging after 45-60 minutes of run time. However, the base station charges the battery in just 45 minutes after the mower automatically returns and “plugs itself in,” so it can be a time-saver for larger lawns.
A cool feature of the Landroid is its “AIA” (artificial intelligence algorithm) which directs the mower to cut different areas of the lawn at random to avoid pattern “cut-in,” detect the height of each section of grass to adjust mowing height accordingly, and even head back to base when it starts raining (although the WORX mower does a great job on wet grass).
There are several reasons the WORX falls behind our top-ranked robot lawnmowers. It isn’t set up for zone cutting. It will try to churn right over anything that’s on the lawn, whether it’s a piece of plastic that gets chopped into zillion pieces, or tree roots or the base of a lawn chair which can trap the mower until it breaks a blade. Also, it can’t be programmed via cell phone; you have to set functions on the mower itself.
However, this mower is virtually silent when working, can handle 20° slopes, has several security features including a PIN number required to start operation, allows you to move the easily-changeable blades to different height positions, and is simple to set up (once the boundary lines are in place).
For straightforward lawn-cutting duties, the Landroid is clearly in the top three of our top 5 best robot lawn mowers.
Facts and figures for the WORX Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower WG794:
4. Husqvarna Automowers Robotic Lawn Mower
You have a smaller yard and don’t need the capacity of the Automower 220AC? Your yard is larger and you don’t want to spend all day on your riding mower? Husqvarna has added more options to their fantastic line of robot lawn mowers.
While the older model 220AC can handle lawns up to ½ an acre in size, there are now Husky models designed specifically for smaller lawns. For example, the less expensive and newer Automower 315 is built for lawns that are 1/3 of an acre and below, providing all of the features of the 220AC and able to handle 40% slopes.
However, we’re particularly enamored of the larger (and more expensive) models that the company has added.
The 430X will mow lawns as large as ¾ of an acre, but the Your House Garden review team’s favorite is the Husqvarna 450X, which can plow through a huge spread of 1.25 acres while you take a nap or sip cocktails on the veranda. The 450X has a long-life lithium-ion battery (as opposed to the 220AC which has a Ni-MH battery), and it has to be charged for about 75 minutes. But when you turn the mower loose it will mow for nearly four hours before returning to its base, recharging and heading back out to finish the job.
This beast can handle slopes up to 45% (compared to 36% for the 220AC) while still mowing half-an-acre per hour, and thanks to ultrasonic sensors and boundary guide wires it behaves itself admirably. There’s also a built-in SIM card for mobile connectivity, so you can adjust the mower’s height or timer from your phone. That also means you can mow your lawn while you’re napping or sipping cocktails on a tropical island, too. If you need the capacity or want the features of the 450X, it’s a sensational product that’s worth its high price.
The Husqvarna robotic lawn mower range has something for everyone.
Looking deeper at the Husqvarna 450X Robotic Lawn Mower:
Looking deeper at the Husqvarna 315 Robotic Lawn Mower:
Looking deeper at the older Husqvarna Automower 220AC Robotic Lawn Mower:
5. LawnBott LB300EL Robotic Mower – currently unavailable on Amazon
Yes, the team couldn’t resist putting this LawnBott entry on our top 5 best robot lawn mowers list – and all most people will need to know about it is this: $4999.
If you were to look at all of the robotic machines available without considering price, the LB300EL would have topped our rankings, because it does everything the others do and a lot more. However, this lawnmower is designed for use both in residential and commercial settings and is capable of tending up to two full acres (87,000 square feet) (with four zones) on a single charge – so we decided it shouldn’t really compete with more “realistic” choices for homeowners.
This top-of-the-line LawnBott runs with two large lithium-ion batteries and can stay on the go for ten hours before needing to recharge for six hours. It also has advanced technology allowing it to recognize tall grass, so it knows what parts of the lawn need more attention than others. It will take the shortest possible distance between zones, and it will do a perfect job even on hilly or uneven ground.
The LB300EL accomplishes all of this by using a gyroscope, an inclinometer, a magnetometer and an accelerometer. No, we’re not quite sure what all of those are either, but they work exceptionally well. Add in a brushless motor, Bluetooth programming capability, and a wide 14-inch cutting area, and you have a premium robotic lawn mower at a premium price.
If you have a need for a machine like this – and the budget – just flip our ratings upside down and you’ll see your dream machine ranked at #1.
What you need to know about the LawnBott LB300EL Robotic Mower:
Your House Garden’s Best Robot Lawn Mower Comparison Table
Use the comparison table to help you identify if there is a specific robot lawn mower that interests you, and identify the key differences. You can then choose to:
- use the “Quick Navigation” button at the bottom of the table to navigate straight to the model you are interested in reading more about
- use the “Check Price on Amazon” button if you know exactly what you want to buy
- Take your time and read more about the different types of robot mowers and buying considerations back at the top of the article
LawnBott LB75DX Robotic Mower
18th June ’17 – sorry this model does not seem to be available on Amazon at the moment.
When you’re not willing to take the plunge for a $5000 robotic lawnmower (check out the last entry on this list if you’re looking to spend that type of cash), this model from LawnBott will definitely make you smile.
The LB75DX works like most robotic mowers – you set up a wire boundary line (included with the mower) around the portions of the lawn you want it to cut, and around any flower beds, trees or other obstacles. That tells the lawnmower where to cut. Then, program your cutting schedule on the easy-to-use LCD display screen – and you’re done. Right on schedule, the LawnBott leaves the docking station, cuts all the grass within the boundaries you’ve set up, and returns to the docking station when it’s done or when it needs to recharge. It even knows to “go home” if it starts to rain outside. Presto – your lawn will be cut regularly and automatically without any additional work on your part – and yes, it does a terrific job without missing spots.
This LawnBott model has twin lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, can be set up to maintain three different “zones” on your lawn, and is designed to take care of spaces as large as 12,000 square feet (at 3300 square feet per charge).
It even comes standard with both PIN code and a GPS tracking systems to make sure there’s no unauthorized use of the system and to locate the unit if it’s stolen. For even greater control, you can add remote control apps for your phone or handheld device for an extra charge. The mower uses less than $10 worth of electricity per year.
If you can think of extra features which they should have included on this robotic mower, you’re doing better than we did. The Your House Garden review team couldn’t think of anything that’s missing.
Here are the specifications for the LawnBott LB75DX Robotic Mower:
Want to try something a bit more conventional then continue reading the Top 5 Best Electric Lawn Mower Reviews.
Also, if you are interested in finding out about more “advanced” robot lawn mowers that don’t need perimeter wires, then please read our article Robot Lawn Mower Without Perimeter Wires?
Or, if you need other tools like fertilizer for your lawn, why don’t try to read our article about the best lawn fertilizer?