Robotic Lawn Mowers: Your Guide To Embracing The Future

Robotic Lawn Mowers: Your Guide To Embracing The Future

The age where you have to spend all weekend cutting your grass is quickly coming to an end. The age of robots has come! No, we're not talking about Skynet. There are actually robots that cut your lawn now. They are basically a more intelligent version of those little robotic vacuum cleaners that bump around in your Uncles beach house.

These automowers have a single charging station that they return to when they aren’t in use, and can usually mow an average sized lawn on a single charge. Once you factor in the time and energy that they save you, they will be well worth every penny you spent.

Robotic lawn mower.

After they are set up, they will spend a couple of days learning the layout of your lawn and updating their inner GPS, and then after that, they are almost completely maintenance-free. They will keep your grass cut short (or high if you prefer) all year long, giving you days of extra time to complete all of those extra projects that you've been trying to find time for.

Are They Worth It?

Now you may be thinking, “that’s cool, but are they worth me spending all the extra money on?” The answer is a resounding yes. Not only do they save you time, but they also eliminate the need for you to pay landscapers. Let’s look at a simple calculation:

  • The average landscaping company charges around $40 per servicing (if you have a small lawn).
  • That means $160 per month, just to pay your landscapers.
  • If you live in a warm area, grass often grows for eight months a year.
  • That’s around $1300 per year you would have to pay a landscaper to get the same amount of free time.
  • $1300 is the base price for a robotic lawn mower, which means it pays for itself after the first year.

Your time is worth a lot. Even if you don’t value having free time to relax, having a robotic lawnmower would give you four extra days a month to work. Depending on how much your job pays, that’s even more money in your pocket.

So yes, if you’re willing to invest a little bit of money up front, then a robotic lawnmower can give a lot back to you. Free time, peace of mind, extra money, and a lawn that’s always immaculately cut can do a lot for your happiness.

What Features Should I Look For?

This is cutting-edge technology, and as a result, the competition is stiff. In any competitive market, there are going to be cheap knock-offs and products seeking to mislead you and take your money.

Before you go out and drop a few thousand dollars on a product, you will want to make sure that you are getting the best bang for your buck. Read on to learn about the features that are most important when it comes to comparing robotic lawn mowers.

Battery Life And Recharge Time

Your robot's battery life is going to be very important depending on the size of your yard. If you have a large lawn, then you're going to want to get a unit with a longer battery life. If you only have a small yard or a tiny garden, then a smaller unit will suffice.

Opened robotic lawn mower.

If your lawn takes the robot five hours to cut, and it only has a one-hour battery life before it has to recharge, then it could potentially take the robot several days to finish cutting the grass. Optimally you want your grass to be fully cut on a single charge.

That brings us to our next point. If your grass grows fast, then you need a quick-charging battery. The less downtime that your robo-mower has, the more evenly your yard will be cut.

Ability To Handle Slopes And Rough Terrain

If you have a flat property, then this won’t make much difference to you. However, if you live in a hilly area, or have inclines built into your landscape, then this is a very important consideration.

Certain automowers are programmed to avoid hills and do not have the low center of gravity needed to handle harsh inlines. Robotic lawn mowers that are built for hills will usually have a wide wheelbase and an even distribution of weight. Also, they will usually have stronger batteries that put out the extra power needed to handle hills.

Most robo-mowers that are built to handle hills are also good at handling rough terrain. If your lawn has a lot of roots, debris, holes, or has a tendency to develop wet or muddy spots in the rain, then you will need a unit that can handle rougher environments.

There is no worse way to ruin your new investment that to find out it fell down a hill and smashed into a tree trunk or got stuck and sunk into the mud without your knowledge. Make sure you’re getting the right robotic mower for your lawn.

Noise Level

Perhaps you’re one of the few people who enjoy the loud drone of a lawn mower. Maybe it gives you a nostalgic memory of long summer vacations and white picket fences. However, if you’re like most people, few things are more annoying to have to listen to (except maybe that one song on the radio that plays every 10 minutes).

Most robotic lawn mowers are very quiet, and can even be programmed to cut grass during the night. Your typical push power generates around 100 -120 decibels depending on the model. They can be loud, annoying, and repeated exposure without proper ear protection can cause you to.

Robotic mowers, on the other hand, operate around 50 - 80 decibels. If you plan on programming your mower to cut during the night time, you'll want to get a unit that's on the quieter side, so it doesn't wake your sleeping neighbors.

A general rule of thumb is that larger units with more blades tend to be louder, and smaller more compact units will be significantly more quiet.

Smart Phone Control

As "smart" as modern-day robots are, they're not entirely self-sufficient, sentient beings yet. They still need a little bit of human guidance along the way. You don't have to learn how to speak to your robot with chirps and beeps. You can use your smartphone!

Most high-quality robotic mower developers also give customers the option to download an easy-to-use smartphone app that allows you to see your robot's statistics. From the app, you can program what time it will mow your yard, how often it will do so, and keep track of its location.

Waterproofing

Many robotic lawn mowers these days are engineered to be completely water-resistant. Obviously, you wouldn't want to drop it in a pond, but a quality automower can be stored and charged outside without fear of damage.

Robotic lawn mower in the rain.

This also means that they can cut grass in the rain! You ever had one of those months where it rained every weekend, you couldn’t get out to cut your grass, and your lawn slowly turned into a 6-inch tall jungle? Well, if you get a waterproofed robot, you will never have to worry about this again.

Blade Diameter And Quality

First, let's talk about diameter. Blade diameter is the width that your automower can cut in one pass. A wider diameter blade will be able to cut your lawn quicker than a smaller diameter blade can.

If you have a wide open field, you are going to want to get a unit that has a bigger cutting width. On the flipside, a wide cutting width means that your robo mower won’t be able to get into the small nooks and crannies that it’s smaller counterpart would.

If you have a small garden or you have a bunch of tight areas that need to be cut, then a more compact unit will be the right choice for you.

The second blade feature to keep an eye out for is the quality of the blade. A higher quality of blade will be able to maintain it’s edge for far longer. Keeping sharp blades is essential to having well-cut grass.

Many species of grass will react negatively if they aren’t clean cut. For example, the lush St. Augustine grass, if cut with a dull blade will develop yellowed, burnt-out tips that are very unsightly.

Higher-quality blades will also have increased resistance to damage. If you have a rougher terrain and the robo mower is going to be traversing roots and debris, you want your blade to be strong. That way your unit can run over anything in its path without fear of damage.

Anti-Theft Protection

The unfortunate fact about buying a thousand dollar, high-tech, robotic mower, is that it will make a lot of people jealous. If you live in a nice neighborhood, you might enjoy the fact that your jealous neighbor is enviously staring at your robot every day. However, you certainly won’t like the staring eyes of the neighborhood thief.

Thankfully most high-quality automowers are installed with anti-theft protection. They are usually programmable from a small pin pad, or your smart phone and have multiple levels of security.

High-security levels will usually sound an alarm the moment the mower is lifted from the ground, and lower security levels will sound when the mower crosses its border of operation.

All units will also come with a registration number, that once registered, will show up on computer systems. This means that the second a thief tries to sell your robot to a pawn shop, he will be apprehended, and your unit returned to you safe and sound.

Working Area

The working area is a measurement of how far a robotic mower can stray from its central charging hub. Generally speaking, larger units have bigger batteries, a longer run-time, and can handle a more extensive working area.

Robotic lawn mower.

Another feature that accounts for a unit's working area is the ability of its GPS navigation system. Cheaper units tend to have smaller memories, can't store a lot of information, and tend to "get lost" when confronted with a large property. So make sure you do your homework and make sure that the unit you want to purchase has a good sense of direction.

Product Recommendations

So now that you’re really interested, and you know exactly what features to look for in your new robotic mower, let’s take a look at a few models. After careful consideration and extensive tests, we came up with the top three units on the market. Check them out!

Winner: WORX WG794 Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower

Features:

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    Pre-Programmed
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    Can handle inclines of up to 20 degrees
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    Shock sensing system identifies and avoids obstacles
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    Rain sensor and automatic shut-off
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    ¼ acre working area
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    Self-charging
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    Can handle tight spaces

If you’re looking for the simplest robotic lawnmower on the market, this is it. It’s perfect for most small residential yards, can handle a versatile environment, and automatically shuts down when it senses rain.

Pre-Programmed Simplicity

The feature that draws a lot of people to the WORX unit is that it’s preprogrammed and incredibly simple to set up. Most robotic lawn mowers require you to program and set them up before using. With WORX, all you need to do is set up the charging station on lay your boundary wire.

WORX WG794 Landroid Pre-Programmed Robotic Lawn Mower

source: worx.com

Intelligent Design

The WORX robotic lawn mower uses an Advanced Intelligence Algorithm to calculate the layout of your yard. This allows it to reach all of the intricate, hard to reach corners that would be a challenge for larger units.

Shock Sensing

This WORX unit has a built-in shock sensing system that allows it to easily maneuver around any obstacles in your yard. It will lightly bump into an object, record its location, and then cut around it.


Runner-Up: Husqvarna Automower 430X

Features:

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    ¾ acre working area
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    Lithium-Ion battery
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    65-minute charging time
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    57-decibel operating sound level
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    Can handle slopes up to 45 degrees
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    Large Display
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    Water-Proofed
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    Compatible with Automower Connect smart phone application

Priced at just over $2,000 this is a bit of an investment, but it is worth every penny. It will run during rain and shine, and will never let you down.

Large Working Area

With a working area of ¾ of an acre (34,000 square-feet), the Husqvarna 430X can handle most large properties with ease. No longer will you have to spend four hours slaving behind the old push mower. Now you can sit back on your lawn chair, sip a mojito, and soak up the sun while your robot mows for you!

Husqvarna 967622505 Automower 430X Robotic Lawn Mower

source: husqvarna.com

Quiet As A Mouse

The Husqvarna 430X is so quiet, you'll question if it wandered off and got lost. With an operating sound level of only 57-decibels, it's quiet hum is no louder than a quiet conversation between two people. You can run this automower all night long, without having to worry about your neighbor filing a complaint with the HOA.

Lightning-Fast Charging And Long Run-Time

It only takes 65 minutes to charge this unit. It can operate for 4 - 5 hours at a time, and with such a quick recharge time, it will have your entire yard mowed in one day. A typical cycle will involve your automower cutting half of your grass, recharging for an hour, and then returning to finish cutting the other half of the grass.


Alternative: Husqvarna Automower 315

Features:

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    Can handle rough terrain
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    Can operate on slopes up to 27 degrees
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    8.7-inch cutting width
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    Smart Blade technology
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    60-minute charging time
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    Automatic Charging Technology
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    57-decibel operating sound level
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    Waterproof
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    ¼ acre working area

If you're looking for a smaller unit that's packed to the brim with useful features, then the Husqvarna 315 is the choice for you! It's perfect for a busy garden or a small yard can operate in any weather, and has a great navigational system.

Smart Blade Technology

The Husqvarna Automower is equipped with razor-sharp blades that will give your grass the cleanest shave it's ever had. They are made from strong high-carbon steel are attached to a strong rotating disk mount.

Husqvarna 967623405 Automower 315 Robotic Lawn Mower

source: husqvarna.com

The blades will automatically adjust their speed and rotation to respond to the current weather as well. When it’s raining the grass will be heavier and require extra speed to cut through. This means that your automower won’t miss a single spot, no matter how nasty the weather gets.

Automatic Charging

The Husqvarna 315 automatically senses when it’s battery level is getting low and will redirect itself to the charging station, plug itself in, and self-charge. This means that you will never have to go out looking for your robot. Just sit back and relax while it takes care of everything.

Conclusion

If you’ve never before considered purchasing a robotic lawn mower or had no idea that they even existed, now you’re all the wiser. We hope that this buyer’s guide has been helpful in giving you all the materials that you need to make a well-informed decision.

Automowers are the future of home and garden technology, and while they can be expensive upfront, once you get used to having one around, you won’t know how you survived without one.

So, take advantage of one of these awesome deals, and get ready for a summer spent relaxing by the pool!


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