Maintaining a perfectly manicured lawn can be a time-consuming and challenging task for homeowners. However, thanks to advances in technology, we now have a smarter and more efficient way to keep our lawns looking neat and pristine: the robot lawn mower.
Robotic lawn mowers have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their convenience, ease of use, and the fact that they can save homeowners both time and money.
In this article, we will take a closer look at exactly what robot lawnmowers are and what to look for when picking the right one for your lawn. We’ll also share our picks for the 5 best robot lawn mowers in 2023 and explore their features and benefits that make them stand out from the rest.
Whether you are a tech-savvy homeowner or just looking for an easier way to maintain your lawn, this guide will help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right robot lawn mower for your needs.
What are Robot Lawn Mowers?
Robot lawn mowers are self-contained, autonomous machines that mow your lawn without the need for human involvement. They can cover the entire yard on their own thanks to self-learning programming.
These machines are equipped with sensors and mapping technology that allow them to navigate and mow lawns on their own while avoiding obstacles and following predetermined mowing patterns.
Most versions include dedicated smartphone apps that make it simple to change settings and mowing schedules. After being programmed, these robots require minimal human supervision.
Robotic lawn mowers are kind of like Roombas, but for your lawn. Both Roombas and robot lawnmowers are classified as ‘autonomous robots.’ These are intelligent devices that can do tasks on their own without continuous human control.
These robots will not require constant monitoring or remote control once they have been set up and programmed.
How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work?
To use a robot lawn mower, the owner must first place border perimeter wire around the area to be mowed. Think of it as the electric wire fence that some people use to keep their dogs in.
The border wire tells the robotic lawn mower where it can and can’t go. This keeps it from cutting your flower beds or getting out of your lawn. This wire has a low voltage, which means it is safe for people and pets to touch.
It will take roughly half a day to set up the wires, although this time frame is variable based on the size, shape, and landscape of your property.
After the robot’s task is done, it will follow the border wire back to the charging dock. Robotic lawn mowers are battery-operated, and most can cut an average-sized lawn on a single charge.
The robots will need a charging station to charge their batteries, which will need to be plugged into a power outlet outside the house.
How Much Do Robot Lawn Mowers Cost?
The price of most versions is between $1,000 and $4,000, though we’ve included a more budget-friendly option under $1,000 as well in this article. This may seem pricey, especially for such a compact device, but the robot’s advanced technology necessitates this high price.
You may get a model for as little as $500 if you’re willing to give up some of the more advanced capabilities. As mentioned above, we’ve included the best budget-friendly robotic lawn mower in this article as well.
Robotic lawn mowers are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which typically last 2–3 hours or around 300 to 500 charges. The battery life will differ from one model to the other and may also be affected by how well you maintain the robot.
The typical cost to replace a battery is around $50. The cost of batteries varies by manufacturer, but in general, they shouldn’t cost more than fifty bucks.
You can avoid frequently buying new batteries by investing in a docking station. While most docks will run you around $100, some robotic lawnmowers actually have charging stations that are included in the base price.
Even though you can leave your robotic lawn mower and charging station outside, many people prefer to buy or build a small shelter, like a dog house, to provide shelter. However, instead of building or purchasing a pricey shelter, you may just keep the robot and its docking station in your garage.
Also, you must include the indirect cost of the electricity needed to charge your robot. Charging will cause you to use more electricity, which will cause your monthly electricity bill to go up.
Given the wide range of electricity costs across the country, it would be hard to provide a universal estimate for this additional cost. However, the average rechargeable robotic lawn mower only requires 3.5 watts, so the cost will not be excessive.
When you include the cost of annual maintenance, a robotic lawn mower should only cost about $25 in additional charges per year following your initial investment.
What to Look for When Buying a Robot Lawn Mower
Here are the top things to look for when buying a robot lawn mower:
Before you buy a robot mower, you should measure the size of your lawn. This is, by far, the most important factor to consider when buying one.
Mowers that are less expensive typically cover less ground. Their batteries are smaller, their blades are narrower, and their guidewires are shorter. You can quickly exclude models from consideration if you discover that your lawn is too large for them.
Most people don’t give robot lawnmowers’ battery life much thought because they can charge themselves.
But, if you want a mower that gets more done at a given time of day or night, you will need a battery that lasts for a longer period of time. This will allow you to consolidate the daily mowing into fewer active sessions.
When it comes to controlling your smart home devices, nothing beats being able to do it from the comfort of wherever you happen to be. Some robot lawnmowers do exactly that.
You can use your phone’s Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or cellular connection to connect to them and look at statistics or send new commands. This technique can also quickly alert you to problems, like a blade stoppage or a theft attempt.
Some mowers only use an onboard control unit to operate. Even though it isn’t always necessary, the convenience of a phone app is something to think about when making a purchase.
The mowers on this list all work in essentially the same way, but they each have their own special features. The WORX mowers are equipped with an offset blade that allows them to mow right up to the perimeter, reducing or eliminating the need for extra trimming.
Models with cellular connectivity use GPS tracking to track down mower thieves. This can also be useful when trying to recover a robot mower if it manages to escape your lawn and drive into bushes.
So, keep an eye out for other special features that might be helpful for your lawn.
5 Best Robot Lawn Mowers in 2023
As technology advances, robotic lawn mowers are becoming increasingly popular and efficient. There are many models on the market today, all offering different features that can make a big impact on your lawn. Here is a list of the 5 best robot lawn mowers in 2023:
1. Best Overall Robot Lawn Mower: Worx WR155 Landroid L
Maximum Area: 0.5 acres
Cutting Width: 8 inches
If you want a perfectly manicured lawn, look no further than the Worx Landroid. The Landroid series has various models, but the WR155 is the clear standout. This small robot is powered by Worx’s 20V Power Share battery, which is removable and may be used in any of Worx’s electric tools.
The WR155 can cover lawns up to half an acre in size, making it ideal for nearly any suburban property. It has an 8-inch cutting deck with an automated raising and lowering blade disc to provide uniform cutting, even on uneven ground and difficult terrain.
What’s best is that it can also cut closer to boundary lines, fences, and walls than other robotic mowers since the cutting disc is offset to one side.
The Worx Landroid AI tracks the mower’s motions and directs its labor toward regions that aren’t being mowed, ensuring that it keeps a uniform cut. A discrete ground wire keeps it within the boundaries of your property. It automatically goes back to its charging bay when its battery runs out or it detects rain.
A user-friendly mobile app allows you to monitor and adjust your Landroid’s settings. You can connect via either a direct Bluetooth connection or your home Wi-Fi. If the Landroid leaves its designated area, you will be notified instantly by an anti-theft system.
If theft is a significant concern for you, consider the WR153 which is a Landroid with GPS tracking built in. The WR155 was our top pick because of its versatile battery, rock-solid dependability, and feature-rich software.
Plus, you could save some money if you have a smaller lawn. The popular Worx Landroid line of robotic mowers includes the S, M, and L models, which can take care of yards up to 1/8 acre, 1/4 acre, and 1/2 acre, respectively.
2. Best for Medium to Large Lawns: Husqvarna 430XH Automower
Maximum Area: 0.8 acres
Cutting Width: 9.45 inches
While being more expensive, the 430XH covers the largest ground of any robotic mower, with an incredible 0.8 acres of area coverage. This intelligent little robot is backed by the Husqvarna brand and contains cutting-edge mowing technology.
The adjustable deck can cut up to 3.6 inches high. Three extremely sharp blades on a 9.45-inch mower deck produce a cut of professional grade. Plus, the battery can power the mower for a maximum of 145 minutes on a single 60-minute charge.
Three guide wires guard your grass against streaks generated by repeating the same route. Five remote starting points can be set up to make sure the area closest to the dock doesn’t get cut too much and to reach areas that can only be reached by a narrow path.
Husqvarna’s unique technology uses GPS to create a digital map of your lawn, which it then uses to cover the entire area.
You may access and program your mower using the Automower Connect app from a nearby Bluetooth connection or from anywhere in the world using a cellular uplink. You can even use your Amazon Alexa or Google Home system to control the mower.
The anti-theft system comes with a GPS tracker, an alarm, and a custom PIN that stops the system from working outside the boundary wire. When the mower detects abnormal activity, sophisticated lift and tilt sensors rapidly disable the blades to prevent damage.
Overall, the Husqvarna 430XH is one of the best robot lawn mowers money can buy, and you won’t be disappointed by its cutting-edge technology, advanced features, and large coverage area.
3. Best Quick Charging Lawn Mower: Husqvarna 115H Automower
Maximum Area: 0.25 acres
Cutting Width: 8.5 inches
Robotic mowers require frequent charging for the best runtimes because they use either interchangeable or built-in batteries. Sadly, it also means that you might be forced to wait while your mower charges before it can continue mowing the grass.
The Husqvarna 115H offers one of the quickest charging times, with a fully charged battery in under an hour. This means you won’t need to spread out your mowing across multiple days to account for charging times. Plus, you can focus on other outside tasks like edge trimming and weed picking while it quickly charges!
It’s a great robot mower for small to medium-sized lawns. The 115H can mow up to a quarter acre with its 8.5-inch cutting deck, and its lift and tilt sensors will disable the blades if the mower is elevated. This prevents pets, children, and adults from being injured if the mower becomes trapped on an object or flips over.
To prevent theft, your robot mower has an anti-theft alarm that can only be disarmed by a specified personal identification number (PIN). This means that thieves can’t just turn the alarm off and take your robot mower.
A rain sensor stops it from cutting grass when it’s wet, so it won’t get damaged. It comes with the same high-cut deck as the 450XH mentioned above and can make cuts up to 3.6 inches long. And it also works with the same Automower Connect app, making it simple and easy to use.
This Husqvarna Automower is different in a few key ways from its more expensive cousin. It lacks the cellular capability necessary for GPS-assisted mapping and theft tracking.
4. Best Robot Lawn Mower for Steep Hills: MowRo RM24 Robotic Lawn Mower
Maximum Area: 0.25 acres
Cutting Width: 9.5 inches
The MowRo RM24 Robotic Lawn Mower is an easy choice for people with small to medium-sized yards and tight budgets. It has a 28V 4Ah lithium-ion battery that can run the efficient brushless motor for 2 hours on a single charge. The RM24 can mow up to a quarter acre, including steep slopes up to 30 degrees, on a set schedule every 48 hours or on demand.
It can work safely because it has sensors for rain, tilt, and impact. This means it can automatically avoid bad weather, steep slopes, and obstacles. The cutting height is manually adjustable between 1 and 2.5 inches.
The MowRo RM24 was one of the simplest robot mowers thanks to its intuitive onboard controls and dependable performance. It has a similar boundary wire and base station setup as the rest of the mowers on the list.
But it’s important to note that this robot lawn mower doesn’t come with Bluetooth connectivity and all operations are done using the onboard control panel, including setting up the schedules for mowing.
It’s a great robotic lawn mower that offers good value for money and is ideal for lawns with steep terrain.
5. Best Budget-Friendly Robot Lawn Mower: Gardena Sileno Minimo
Maximum Area: 5,400 sq. ft
Cutting Width: 6.2 inches
A robot mower doesn’t have to cost a fortune for homeowners with smaller yards. The Gardena Sileno Minimo is intended for small suburban or urban lawns of up to 5,400 square feet.
The Sileno Minimo from Gardena is one of the quietest mowers on the market, and its compact size makes it ideal for tight places and intricate landscaping. Plus, the Bluetooth-enabled app makes it easy to set up and schedule.
The lithium-ion battery allows for 65 minutes of mowing time on a single charge. What’s best is that this mower is waterproof and will keep working regardless of the weather. A frost sensor checks the temperature of the ground, and when it gets cold enough, the robot goes to sleep for the winter.
If you have a lawn that’s under 2,700 square feet, it’s worth checking out this other Gardena model that’ll help save even more money!
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Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa’s work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.