Maybe you’ve already experienced the magic of a robot vacuum cleaner, and are familiar with the benefits of owning a robotic machine to help around the house. Or, perhaps you’re just curious about robot lawn mowers and want to learn more. These machines tend to cost a bit more than your average robot vacuum cleaner, but enthusiastic owners agree that the convenience and amount of time saved by having a robot lawn mower do the work is worth the initial cost.
You’ll find a relatively broad range of prices, and for good reason. In general, the less expensive models tend to be more compact, and are best suited for gardens and other small spaces. Some are better for maintaining grass once it’s cut, rather than for tackling overgrown lawns. On the other hand, you can find larger and more powerful mowers that perform more like a regular lawn mower. However, the cost of this type of robot mower is often higher.
Aside from price tag and size, many shoppers look for specific features, such as battery life, theft protection and weather resistance. Many robot lawn mowers run on a Lithium-ion battery, which delivers emission-free power and typically requires a relatively short time to recharge. An automatic lawn mower understandably draws a lot of attention, and the thought of letting your mower run free when you’re not home may be troubling. Rest assured that many mowers come equipped with alerts, alarms and built-in PIN codes for added security.
While it’s best not to let the mower continue to operate in harsh weather conditions, some models can tolerate light rain. Even if your mower is designed to remain outdoors in heavier rain, the added moisture can cause issues with blades of grass getting stuck, among other problems. Those that can’t are equipped with a rain sensor, and simply return to their charging base until it’s dry enough to resume mowing.
1. Worx Landroid M
The Worx Landroid M relies on an algorithm to cut lawns, and even navigates tight spaces, such as narrow pathways. Before starting, just install the boundary markers to keep the robot out of forbidden areas. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to program the mower, even if you want to schedule cleanings in advance. An onboard computer helps the mower navigate hills.
Landroid returns to its base to recharge when necessary, then heads out to complete the job. As an added bonus, it also heads home if it starts to rain, and will start again once it’s dry enough. Its minimal noise operation, making it easy to mow the lawn during the day or at night without disturbing the neighbors. The mower can tackle various types of grass, from Bermuda to Kentucky bluegrass and more.
Price: $910.21 (9 percent off MSRP)
- Customizable mowing schedules
- Routinely trims grass
- Minimal noise operation
- Subpar battery life
- Time-consuming setup
- Doesn’t always return home to charge
2. Robomow RX12
Out of all the robot lawn mowers in the Robomow lineup, the Robomow RX12 is the smallest and most affordable model. The RX12 mows lawns up to 1/20 acre, or 2,000 square feet. In comparison, the most powerful RS360 is suitable for lawns up to 3/4 acre. The RX12 can handle slopes up to 15 degrees. You can expect the mower to run up to 120 minutes per session on a single charge. The included base station can be hidden if you’d prefer it to be out of sight.
- Compact size
- Ideal for smaller lawns
- Runs up to 120 minutes per charge
- Doesn’t have a rain sensor
- Can take up to 20 hours to recharge
- Not suitable for St. Augustine grass
3. Husqvarna Automower 450X
Husqvarna Automower 450X isn’t your average robot lawn mower. This model cuts off smaller bits of grass at a time, then uses the clippings to help fertilize the soil. It also stands out for its ability to mow in inclement weather, whereas most other robot mowers must return to their home base until it’s safe to resume. However, the mower may return to its base in the event of heavy rain, or during extreme weather. This model is best for lawns up to 1.25 acres. The Lithium-ion battery yields up to 290 minutes of mow time per charge, and recharges in just 60 minutes.
Automower handles obstacles and slopes up to 24 degrees, and can be used during the day or night. Large wheels help propel the mower up hills and along uneven terrain. Even if the mower is working during off-peak hours, its quiet operation means the neighbors won’t be disturbed. The accompanying app makes it easy to control and remotely monitor the mower. If boundaries are a concern, use the included wires to keep the mower on track. Other features include a durable front bumper, LED headlights, theft tracking and GPS navigation. The 450X is the top-tier model from Husqvarna.
- Clips and maintains grass
- Can continue to mow in light rain
- Best for lawns up to 1.25 acres
- Not ideal for cutting overgrown grass
- Relatively basic app
4. McCulloch ROB 1000
If you’re looking for a robotic lawn mower for a garden or other small space, consider the McCulloch ROB 1000. This handy mower can tackle inclines up to 25 percent and is best suited for spaces up to .25 acres. In addition to clipping the grass, it also disperses the clippings back into the soil, creating a healthy and fertilized lawn. Some mowers make too much noise to use during off-peak hours, but the R1000 is quiet enough for use during the day and night.
Theft protection measures include a PIN code and an alarm that sounds when the mower is lifted up. To ensure the best results, the mower cuts lawns in random patterns according to each garden shape. Wire boundary markers keep the mower from escaping onto neighboring properties. This mower is weatherproof and can continue to cut grass when it’s raining. When its Lithium-ion battery runs low, ROB automatically returns to its base to recharge.
- Best for gardens and lawns up to .25 acres
- Can be used during day and night
- Continues to cut grass in the rain
- Initial programming can take awhile
- Can struggle or get stuck if blades are higher than two inches
- Some find the amount of included wires isn’t enough
5. Gardena R80Li
Gardena R80Li is designed to tackle lawn areas up to nearly .20 acres. An adjustable cutting capacity, up to two inches, ensures the mower can be used for a variety of yard maintenance demands. Its on-board sensors help prevent missed spots, while ensuring grass stalks are mowed to the appropriate length. The mower can tackle inclines up to 25 percent and comes with wire boundary markers to keep it on your property.
It’s also quiet enough to use during the day or night. An integrated alarm and PIN code deters potential thieves. A Lithium-ion battery powers the robotic lawn mower and delivers up to 60 minutes per charge. Gardena R80Li returns to its charging base when the battery runs low, and will continue to operate even when it rains.
- Can operate in the rain
- Adjustable cutting capacity
- Handles inclines up to 25 percent
- Doesn’t have an accompanying app
- Relatively short battery life
- Lacks a rain sensor