Which is the best robotic lawn mower? To find out, we have done massive research and would like to present an overview of the best lawn mower models of 2020 available on the market. You can get good robotic lawn mowers for less than $1,000. In the case of very large lawns or more steep slopes on the site, the price may touch the $2000 or so.
The most important facts at a glance
- No matter whether small or large garden – robotic lawn mowers are available for all property sizes and shapes.
- Almost all models work with a perimeter wire inserted into the ground, which shows the robot to its limits.
- It is best to choose a device whose maximum lawn area is larger than the actual size, otherwise, the robotic lawn mower will drive very often.
Interesting facts about robotic lawn mowers
Here you can find out everything you need to know about automated robotic lawn mowers. The information is general and may vary depending on the manufacturer and model. Not all robotic lawn mowers offer the functions and safety sensors mentioned below.
What exactly is a robotic lawn mower?
They come in a futuristic design and relieve their owners of the regular mowing work that occurs again and again in summer. A robotic lawn mower offers you special convenience by mowing your lawn independently and without human guidance. Unthinkable a few years ago, today it is easily possible to have your lawn mowed completely autonomously with the help of a robot so that you can use your leisure time more sensibly in summer.
Once correctly installed and configured, the little garden helper automatically mows the entire lawn at the set times. Most models rely on a so-called boundary or orientation cable, which is laid on or in the lawn and shows the robotic lawn mower in which area to mow.
Is it worth to buy a robotic lawn mower?
In summer, the grass usually has to be mowed weekly, which is time-consuming and exhausting depending on the size of the lawn. Even in the case of small plots of land, the purchase of a robotic lawn mower can be worthwhile, as it takes the hassle out of gardening. The larger your garden, the more worthwhile it is to invest in an automatic lawn mower. Even during your vacation, you always have a perfectly mowed lawn. The only requirement for a robot is only a suitable garden.
Advantages of robotic mowers
- Mows completely independently
- Quiet way of working
- Environmentally friendly, energy-saving and efficient
- Detects obstacles automatically
- Reloads automatically
- Mown grass remains on the surface as a mulch
- Theft protection through alarm system and PIN code
Disadvantages of a robotic lawn mower
- High acquisition costs
- Most models require a lot of installation work
- Not suitable for all lawns
- More suitable for shorter lawns
For which lawns and gardens are robotic lawn mowers suitable?
Robotic lawn mowers can now work in many different types of gardens. Free lawn areas that are as flat as possible are ideal, without many obstacles such as trees and shrubs. The installation effort for this is correspondingly low.
But also angular, hilly or sloping and divided lawns are no longer a problem for most models. With the installed boundary and orientation cable, the robotic lawn mower only needs to be given in advance where to drive and where to mow. However, setting up such plots is more time-consuming and maybe somewhat more complicated.
Our expert tip:
For large, angled or sloping plots, you should rather use a higher quality device that has been designed for such cases. Inexpensive robotic lawn mowers often struggle and do not meet expectations.
Are there robotic lawn mowers for sports fields?
As explained in the previous section, large, ground-level areas are predestined to be mowed by a robotic lawn mower. You can have a robot automatically maintain sports and soccer fields.
However, the majority of the models are aimed at garden owners with lawns of up to 1,000 m². Therefore, only professional robotic lawn mowers such as Husqvarna are suitable for sports fields, which are designed for large areas of 1,000, 2,000 or more square meters.
Our expert tip:
Just keep in mind that robotic mowers are so-called mulching mowers. Even if the clippings are very short when mowing regularly, mulch remains remain on the lawn.
How does a robotic lawn mower work?
A robotic lawn mower has sharp knives on the underside with which it independently mows the grass. The grass clippings remain as mulch. With the help of a boundary wire or GPS navigation, the robot knows in which area to mow. A variety of sensors help him navigate and detect obstacles. Weekdays and times can also be set using an adjustable mowing plan.
How much does a good robotic lawn mower cost?
You should make the choice of robot dependent, among other things, on the size of the lawn to be mowed. For smaller gardens from 250 to a maximum of 1,000 m², you can get good robotic lawn mowers for less than 1,000 dollars. With larger areas, you should plan accordingly more. Depending on the equipment and range of functions, the prices of robotic lawn mowers can vary considerably. The top models from Husqvarna, for example, range from 2,000 to 3,000 dollars.
Which robotic lawn mowers are the best?
High-quality robotic lawn mowers with good equipment and software are available from manufacturers such as Husqvarna, GARDENA, WORX, and McCulloch.
In the case of entry-level devices, there is no GPS navigation or control. Only with expensive professional mowers for large gardens with several thousand square meters are models with a GPS module available, because the use of GPS makes sense here. The mowing area is measured using satellites and the position of the robotic lawn mower is determined. This allows the autonomous lawn mower to optimize its mowing strategy, as it always knows where it has already mowed. The mowing result is even more uniform and there are no uncut areas.
Another advantage of an integrated GPS module is increased theft protection. The communication module mostly serves as a GPS tracker and can transmit the current location to the owner.
Can a robotic lawn mower cut on a slope?
From a slope of 2%, the specialist speaks of a slope. If you own a hillside property, you should definitely determine the highest slope before buying. For example, if the difference in height of your property over a horizontal distance of 10 meters is 1.4 meters, this corresponds to a gradient of 14%.
All models can easily negotiate gradients of up to 15%. Most robotic lawn mowers manage slopes between 25 and 35%, some devices even up to 50% and more. It should be borne in mind that the manufacturer’s specifications are maximum values that the mower can only maintain under optimal conditions. As a precaution, choose a robotic lawn mower model that is designed for even steeper slopes to avoid difficulties.
How does a robotic lawn mower know where to mow?
In most cases, the area to be mowed is limited by a buried or an inductive power cable that is laid with the help of pegs. It starts and ends at the charging station and runs as a loop around the entire lawn area and around large obstacles such as bushes and shrubs. The cables have grown invisible on the lawn within 2-3 weeks.
The robot recognizes this limitation and works through its area without any action. Depending on the device, there are also orientation cables that guide the robot over sidewalks or through passages to other lawns.
Are there any robotic lawn mowers without boundary wire?
There are some robots that can do completely without installing a boundary wire. You can recognize the area to be mowed with so-called grass sensors. However, these devices are rather rare and only suitable for optimally designed lawns. In the meantime, the first models have been launched that enables navigation via GPS.
Higher-quality robotic lawn mowers also have crash sensors, for example, to recognize levels and boundaries. As soon as a wall, another obstacle or a lawn edge is recognized, the loopless lawn robot automatically changes its mowing direction.
The big advantage of these robotic lawn mowers is an easy installation. In fact, it is not necessary: the lawn mower can start immediately. The only downside is the lack of a charging station. If the battery of the robotic lawn mower is empty, it must be recharged manually by the owner.
Another advantage should not be forgotten: the wireless robotic lawn mowers can be used anywhere. For example, you can mow the home garden and allotment. And alternating use among neighbors is also conceivable, which means that the costs can be shared and the device pays for itself much faster.
Mowing several separate areas is also possible with some robotic mowers with the boundary wire, but requires a separate charging station for each area.
What pattern does a robot mow?
There are different strategies for robotic mowers on how to drive and mow the lawn. The most common mowing strategies are:
- Free movement pattern (random driving with occasional changes of direction)
- Driving in parallel tracks (like with conventional lawn mowers)
- Spiral travel (the robot moves in an ever-increasing circle)
Even though the plot is completely mowed a little faster in most cases due to the parallel drive, the first mowing strategy has proven itself in practice, which is why the majority of all robotic mowers work according to a random movement pattern. The cut pattern of the lawn looks a bit more even and therefore more natural.
Does a robotic lawn mower need to be charged regularly?
robotic mowers get the energy they need from a battery, which in most cases is automatically recharged at a charging station. If the battery is low, the robot automatically drives back to the station to recharge. So you, as the owner, do not have to worry about loading the lawn mower.
How safe are robotic lawn mowers?
All devices have various safety functions to reduce the risk of injury to a minimum. Depending on the equipment, more or fewer sensors are installed.
Lifting and tilting sensors, in particular, ensure that all of the robot’s knives stop immediately when objects are lifted, tipped over or run over. In addition, depending on the model, there are other sensors and functions that increase the safety of a robotic lawn mower.
|Common sensors / safety functions||function|
|lift sensor||Detects a lifting of the device and stops the cutting knives.|
|tilt sensor||The knives are stopped if they tip over or tilt too sharply.|
|slope sensor||Detects whether the slope incline exceeds the ability of the robotic lawn mower and changes the direction of travel in this case.|
|Shock sensor/collision sensor||If the robot collides with an object, it resets and changes direction.|
|obstacle sensor||Impending obstacles are recognized early and the direction of travel is changed.|
|rain sensor||Rain is detected and the robotic lawn mower either drives back to the charging station, stays there or acts as specified (not all robots support mowing when it rains).|
Our expert tip:
robotic lawn mowers are quite safe. With all safety functions, you should still make sure that there are no children or small pets playing near the lawn mower and that no objects are left on the mowing surface.
How does a robotic lawn mower react to obstacles, animals, and children?
Built-in sensors react quickly and flexibly to any obstacles that may appear. As described in the previous section, lifting, tilting and collision sensors primarily ensure that the robotic lawn mower either stops its cutting blades as soon as it is moved unnaturally or changes the direction of travel.
With larger obstacles, you do not need to worry about damage as they are reliably recognized. Small children and animals, in particular, should not play or stay in the immediate vicinity, despite all safety functions, in order to avoid injuries.
What must be considered when installing and setting up?
In contrast to any other lawn mower, a robotic lawn mower usually requires more installation work. So a suitable location for the charging station must first be found, which is close to a socket and has enough free space. If possible, the robotic lawn mower should not be exposed to direct sunlight or weather conditions.
Then the boundary wire must be laid in the entire garden to be mowed. Ideally, this happens just below the lawn to avoid tripping hazards. Usually, the scope of delivery includes cables and pegs in order to be able to narrow down the lawn area specified by the manufacturer. Due to many obstacles around which the loops are placed, or in the case of winding lawns, the installation material supplied may not be sufficient. In this case, an optionally available expansion set is required.
Our expert tip:
Find out in advance, for example in the operating instructions for the desired robotic lawn mower, which requirements must be met and carefully measure the mowing area. This ensures that there is suitable space for the charging station and that there is sufficient installation material available for the installation.
Are special preparations necessary for using a robotic lawn mower?
In some gardens, preparations are highly recommended or necessary. In some cases, eliminating or at least widening bottlenecks is an important prerequisite for using the robotic lawn mower. If the device should also work close to the edge and you do not want to work with the trimmer afterward, you should consider laying lawn edging stones.
How often does a robotic lawn mower mow the lawn?
While a normal lawn mower is used on average every one to two weeks in summer, robots continuously mow the lawn at shorter intervals. So it is always kept short and always looks neat.
How often a robotic lawn mower mows the lawn also depends on the maximum area for which it is designed. The device only manages this square meter number by very frequent mowing. If, on the other hand, you would like your robot to mow rarely, it is best to choose a model with a larger area.
Mowing plans can also often be defined. You can define the exact days of the week and times when the robot should do its work in the settings. For example, it is only possible to have it mowed when you are not at home – very quiet models optionally even at night. So you can play undisturbed with your children on the freshly mowed lawn carpet after work or at the weekend.
Can a robotic lawn mower mow separate lawns?
If your garden consists of several lawns, a connecting wire or search wire must be laid between the individual areas. The robotic lawn mower uses this orientation cable to find the way to the next mowing area. Many, but not all, robotic mowers support such multi-zones.
The existing zones must then be configured in the robot menu. In some cases, it can be determined which zone should be mowed preferentially or more frequently.
If two areas are connected to each other via a narrow lawn passage, the lawn mower varies from time to time in order to optimally mow this connecting piece.
Can a robot also mow lawn edges?
Depending on the setting, the robotic lawn mower can move a certain area beyond the boundary wire and mow the edges. Precise laying of the cable is essential for this. Some robot housings are also designed in such a way that they cut lawn edges particularly well so that you do not have to rework them. The manual tells you whether your robotic lawn mower has a special edge mowing function.
Does a robotic lawn mower mow in the rain?
Some devices have a built-in rain sensor and thus automatically detect when the rain starts. Depending on the model, the automatic mower then drives back to the base and refuses to work until the rain is completely over or a certain drying time has ended. Or he acts according to the settings you specified and continues to mow steadfastly even when it rains. There are also robotic lawn mowers that are rainproof and can, therefore, be used in any weather.
Our expert tip:
Even if some robot manufacturers allow mowing in the rain and wet grass, we generally advise against it. Wet clippings stick faster in the robot housing and on the knives, which means that the owner has to clean the device in a timely manner.
How good is the cutting pattern when using a robotic lawn mower?
Robots mow the lawn at very short intervals and therefore only ever shorten the grass tips. As a rule, several cutting blades are used for this purpose, which is attached to a rotating disc and cleanly separate the blades of grass. The resulting cross-section is often excellent. It is important, however, that the knives are always sharp.
What does a robot do with the cut grass?
robotic lawn mowers are mulching mowers, there is no grass collector or collecting function for this. The grass clippings created during mowing, also called mulch, remain on the lawn and give the soil vital nutrients. Your lawn will not only look better when you use a robotic lawn mower, it will also be healthier. Due to the frequent mowing, the shortened grass is always very fine, so that it does not interfere and your children can easily play on the lawn.
How often do the cutting blades of a robotic mower have to be replaced?
Just like conventional lawn mowers, robot mowers also need to be serviced at regular intervals. It is particularly important to replace the cutting knives from time to time. Due to the constant use, the small knives wear out much faster than the large sickle knives and, depending on the model, should be replaced every two to three months. You can easily get suitable blades for your robotic lawn mower as accessories.
Our expert tip:
Take a close look at the lay plan regularly. When the blades of grass start to fray after mowing, it’s time for a set of new cutting blades.
Can a robotic mower also mow at night or on the weekend?
The usage times of garden tools are regulated in the “Device and Machine Noise Protection Ordinance” This also includes robotic lawn mowers, which may only be used during the day in densely populated residential areas. If the distance to the neighbors is greater, most robots can also be mowed at night, as their volume is far below that of conventional lawn mowers.
How loud is a robotic lawn mower?
Robotic lawn mowers are surprisingly quiet garden tools and are often well below 70 decibels. In comparison, most electric lawn mowers produce over 80 dB and more. Since 10 decibels corresponds to a doubling of the volume, these devices are considerably louder than robotic mowers.
Do robotic lawn mowers have theft protection?
In addition to many other security functions, common robotic lawn mowers are also equipped with theft protection. Although the PIN code and alarm functions do not offer 100% protection, they make the device unusable in the event of a thief. Manufacturers offer the following functions in their devices:
|PIN code / installation lock||The robot is protected by a PIN code. Without this code, settings can no longer be made on the device.|
|time lock||Due to the time lock, the PIN code must be re-entered at regular intervals. Otherwise, the device will become unusable.|
|alarm||If the robotic lawn mower is raised or removed from the property, a very loud alarm signal sounds that thieves are often deterred.|
|GPS Tracker||robotic lawn mowers that have an integrated GPS communication module usually also include a GPS tracker that reports the location of the lawn mower.|
|charging station||Many devices are connected to the supplied charging station and cannot be operated on any other base.|
Our expert tip:
We generally recommend that robots are mowed primarily on fenced or at least not visible surfaces. This is the only way to effectively protect your robotic lawn mower from theft.
What maintenance and care does a robotic lawn mower need?
robotic lawn mowers rarely require maintenance. Unlike conventional mowers, which should be cleaned after each use as possible, it is sufficient in this lawn mower type, him to free them from time to time from dirt and grass cuttings. Otherwise, the metal elements on the device could be affected by corrosion.
It is also advisable to check the mower’s blades from time to time or to have them checked by a workshop and, if necessary, to have them sharpened/replaced. Like the cordless lawn mower, a robotic lawn mower should not be exposed to extreme cold and should be kept protected, especially in winter, together with its charging station. The boundary wire can, of course, remain in the ground.
Which robotic lawn mower accessories make sense?
robotic lawn mowers are designed for a certain plot size and usually have enough installation material for this. However, if there are obstacles in the mowing area such as a garden pond, swimming pool or large trees, additional boundary wire, cable connectors, and pegs may be required.
Depending on the location of the charging station, a carport or garage is recommended to protect the lawn mower from the weather. For winter storage, a wall bracket that is offered by some manufacturers may also be useful. So your robot and charging station can save space and safely survive winter on the garage wall, for example. There are also special winter protection boxes for the ends of the boundary wire that are exposed during this time. For some models, the robotic lawn mower accessories also have wheel brushes that clean the wheels during operation and thus increase grip, which is particularly worthwhile on hillside properties.
If you place particular value on individuality, you should choose a robot with a removable cover, such as that offered by Bosch or Husqvarna. In addition to different colors, you can also stick your own robotic lawn mower on with individual patterns or photos and give it your own personality.
Useful robotic lawn mower accessories at a glance:
- boundary wire
- Cable clamps / connectors
- fastening hooks
- Garage or carport
- wall mount
- Winter protection box for cables
- wheel brushes
- Exchangeable covers/foils
What robotic lawn mower spare parts are there?
There is an extensive range of spare parts for robotic lawn mowers. It applies that brand manufacturers such as GARDENA, Husqvarna or Bosch offer better model support than no-name manufacturers.
Most often you will need new blades that should be replaced as soon as the robotic lawn mower’s cutting quality deteriorates. You can easily recognize this by the raked out blades of your lawn. In the case of older devices or incorrect storage in winter, it may also be necessary to replace the installed battery. Replacement or replacement wheels are also available.
- Replacement blades/knives
- Replacement Battery
- spare wheels
What is the danger for hedgehogs and insects from robotic mowers?
A common topic is the risk of injury to hedgehogs from robotic lawn mowers. These animals are particularly active at dusk and at night, when many robotic lawn mowers have their robots mowed – particularly quiet devices make it possible. The hedgehog either does not perceive the lawn mower as a danger or it curls up instead of fleeing. As a result, he keeps getting accidents between robotic lawn mowers and prickly garden visitors.
Unfortunately, there is currently no binding standard for robotic mowers that prescribes a safe design. It is therefore up to the garden owner to minimize the risk to hedgehogs:
- Adjust the mowing times so that the robot does not mow at night or at dawn.
- Operation in the morning or early evening is recommended when it is still bright for a long time.
- Check your garden regularly for hedgehogs and possible sleeping places.
- In order to have the lawn completely mowed despite shorter mowing intervals, you should choose a robot that is designed for larger areas.
Autonomous lawn mowers are sometimes blamed for the decline in butterflies and bees. Since these insects primarily feed on flowers and are responsible for the pollination of flowers and fruit trees, alternatives should be provided in the home garden. Flowering herbs, such as sage and lavender, bees and butterflies are particularly popular with insects, with mallow and lilac.
Our expert tip:
Create a colorful wildflower corner in your garden, which is spared by the robotic lawn mower. In this way, you provide insects with sufficient food and a safe retreat despite the lawn being cut short. Read our tips for an animal and insect-friendly garden .
How can I prevent my robot from driving over my flower bed?
Trees, shrubs, flower beds and areas that the lawn mower is supposed to bypass or skip are individually excluded from the robot’s work area by the inductive boundary cable. To do this, the cable must be laid accordingly. With many obstacles, a longer cable and additional floor hooks may be necessary.
Can a robotic lawn mower run over smaller objects such as pine cones?
In principle, a robot can also drive over smaller pine cones or dry branches that are not too thick. However, it is better to collect them regularly or remove them with a leaf blower. The mower is generally not damaged, but the knives wear out much faster and must be replaced earlier.
How does a robotic lawn mower react to fruit falling?
In most cases, smaller robots or apples are cut up by the robotic lawn mower, whereas larger fallen fruits are usually recognized as an obstacle and are therefore avoided. You should therefore regularly clean your mower of leftovers. For longevity, however, it is best for your robot if it does not even have to drive over falling fruit and you collect it like pine cones and branches.
Are there robotic mowers that can be controlled via app or voice assistants?
More and more robotic lawn mower manufacturers are launching models that can also be connected via an app on a smartphone or tablet. You don’t necessarily have to be at home to do this, you can also control and monitor the robotic lawn mower from work or vacation.
In most cases, the robotic lawn mower apps support common Android and Apple iPhone phones and operating systems. As a precaution, check the availability and support for your mobile phone in the associated app store before you buy it. Devices with an older operating system, in particular, could no longer be supported.
Voice assistants such as Alexa (Amazon), Siri (Apple), Cortana (Microsoft), Bixby (Samsung) and the Google Assistant are becoming more popular every year. They can now be used to control not only the light and other things in your own smart home but also individual robotic lawn mower models. The most well-known brand manufacturers GARDENA and Husqvarna, in particular, are pioneers here and offer systems and models that enable voice commands. For example, you can use your voice assistant to carry out commands such as starting, stopping, parking and status updates. You can find out which language assistants are supported by the manufacturer.
What can we expect from robotic mowers in the future?
Although the desire of many people to have their lawn mowed completely automatically has been fulfilled, the development of robotic mowers is still progressing. If the control and monitoring via app is already integrated as standard in many robotic lawn mowers, the support of voice assistants and the integration into the smart home still leaves something to be desired.
Manufacturers who have a wide variety of garden tools in their portfolio are also beginning to link them more and more. For example, GARDENA: the latest robotic lawn mowers of the smart series are compatible with the ” smart system “, a complete ecosystem for fully automatic irrigation and lawn care that can independently control lawn sprinklers, robotic mowers, and other devices.
The software of the devices is also continuously improved, as is the detection of lawns and obstacles. The progress does not stop at the ever-better battery technology, which means that the robotic lawn mowers can mow ever larger lawns in one piece. The future of the robotic lawn mower will definitely be exciting!
Buyer’s Guide: Tips for Buying a Robotic Lawn Mower
There are many points to consider when buying a robotic lawn mower. With our purchase advice, we give you helpful tips so that you can find the model that best suits you and your garden.
Maximum lawn area
Each robot is designed for a maximum lawn area that it can process according to the manufacturer. The scope of delivery usually includes sufficient installation material such as perimeter wire and fixing hook to limit the specified area. Most of the time, expansion sets are available as options, but they are often only used to set more complex limits. Larger areas can be covered with most robotic lawn mowers, but these are no longer optimally mowed if the size and speed of the lawn mower are not designed for this.
Location of the charging station
You should also consider the later location of the robotic lawn mower charging station. In addition to a power supply, a certain distance to the sides and a flat surface are also necessary in most cases. In addition, weather-proof placement without too much sunlight and rain is advantageous. An optionally available robotic lawn mower garage offers very good protection against wind and weather. If necessary, contact the manufacturer in advance to find out which requirements must be met for the charging station.
Our expert tip:
Give your robotic lawn mower good protection against the weather. Hobby tradesmen can build a robotic lawn mower shelter themselves with a little creativity and skill, others get ready-made garages for the most common models.
When it comes to robotic lawn mowers, manufacturers rely on two different types of batteries. The majority of the robots has already installed a modern lithium-ion battery, which has a high energy density in a small design and remains functional for at least five years. Although it is more expensive than a lead acid battery, it allows an almost 10 times higher number of charge cycles, which results in significantly longer service life. You should, therefore, avoid lead batteries and look for a model with a Li-ion battery.
Battery charging time and runtime
Since robotic mowers automatically return to the charging station and charge themselves, battery charging time and runtime play a minor role in these garden tools. In addition, the times depend on the type of battery installed and its strength or capacity. The annual power consumption also depends on this, but in any case, is far below that of electrically operated electric and cordless lawn mowers.
If you want to save additional electricity, you can use a robotic lawn mower with a solar panel or install an optional solar system that supplies the charging station with energy.
Depending on the residential area and area, you should also pay attention to its volume when buying a robotic lawn mower. Frequent mowing could otherwise become a nuisance for you and your immediate neighbors. Fortunately, with a volume far below 70 decibels, automatic lawn mowers are one of the quieter devices in the garden and rarely interfere.
The higher the cutting width of a robotic lawn mower, the more lawn it mows per lane. This is particularly advantageous for large areas. However, a large cutting width also leads to a larger device width, which can lead to problems in tight spaces in the garden. Therefore, determine the narrowest passage before buying and then select the model.
Cutting height/cutting height adjustment
An important function is the setting of the desired cutting height. With this, you can determine the length to which the grass should be shortened when mowing. In most cases, this is done without tools using a rotary wheel directly on the robotic lawn mower.
The optimal length depends on the type of lawn. While it is about three centimeters for ornamental turf, utility turf should be about four centimeters long. For shady areas, a stalk length of around five centimeters is recommended.
If your property is on a slope or has at least some slopes, you should definitely pay attention to the maximum slope that the robotic lawn mower can handle. To do this, measure the highest slope in the garden beforehand, as already explained above. Also, keep in mind that the specified slope is a maximum value that should be a few percentage points as a precaution.
The weight and size of a robotic lawn mower are only decisive if you want to use the device on different surfaces that it cannot reach itself. Then it has to be carried by hand from one lawn to the other. Most mowers weigh less than 10 kg but can be bulky due to their size. It is then advantageous to carry a handle that some manufacturers integrate into the device.
As already described for the cutting width, too large robot dimensions can lead to problems with narrow passages. Therefore, choose a device that can easily pass through the narrowest spots in your garden.
Safety functions / sensors
Since robotic mowers work completely autonomously, safety functions are particularly important here. Ideally, they protect playing children, animals, and objects lying around against injuries or damage. Standard robotic lawn mowers, therefore, have lifting and tilting sensors as standard, which stop the cutting blades in a very short time. Integrated obstacle detection ensures that the robot stops and changes direction.
Other sensors are primarily dependent on your own wishes, such as a slope or rain sensor. Devices with a PIN code and theft alarm are recommended.
Depending on the lawn area, additional functions can be very useful. For example, if you want a lawn robot to mow several separate areas, look for a device with a multi-zone function. Some manufacturers also offer programmable mowing times or a special function for mowing close to the edge. GPS navigation may be of interest to very large areas.
App control / smart home / assistant support
More and more people are using their smartphone or voice assistant to control their homes. The robotic lawn mower manufacturers have recognized this and are gradually equipping more models with the appropriate app and / or smart home support. When purchasing, make sure that your smartphone or home automation system is supported if you value this.
Cleaning and maintenance
robotic lawn mowers are very low-maintenance and rarely need to be cleaned. However, we recommend that you check regularly that the robot is working properly and that it is not too dirty. Some models can be cleaned directly with a garden hose, so that grass residue is quickly removed.
If the cut shows fringes after a while, this indicates blunt knives. Depending on how often the robotic lawn mower is used, the cutting blades have to be replaced at regular intervals. With a little skill, this knife exchange can be done yourself. Less experienced users should consult a specialist or contact the manufacturer.
Price – beware of supposed bargains!
Unfortunately, it happens again and again that alleged robotic lawn mowers are offered on marketplaces like the Amazon Marketplace, the price of which is suspiciously far below that of the competition. Before buying or paying, an email should be sent to a dubious address and only then bought. These scammers want the buyer to pay the money directly instead of through the secure marketplace. It is not uncommon for real marketplace providers to be hacked and their positive seller account misused.
Our expert tip:
Be vigilant when it comes to very cheap robotic lawn mower offers and always carry out all sales via the marketplace or online shop or buy directly from Amazon. Also report suspicious sellers.
Which manufacturers of robotic lawn mowers are there?
The first manufacturer launched lawn robot models on the market in 1995 that was still very immature. The selection of robotic lawn mowers has increased since then but is still very clear compared to other types of lawn mower. Husqvarna, in particular, can be mentioned as a pioneer with the Automower G1, Bosch, GARDENA, VIKING as well as WOLF-Garten and Robomow as the best-known robotic lawn mower manufacturers.
Where can I buy a robotic lawn mower?
The best sources of supply for robotic lawn mowers are online shops, the local hardware store or the specialist trade for garden machines. There are also a few offers at discounters, but usually only at the start of the new gardening season. Let us briefly consider the advantages and disadvantages of each provider.
Popular online shops for robotic lawn mowers
If you attach particular importance to a large selection of models or if you have already decided on a mower, you will find it the fastest on the Internet. Here you get the largest selection at the best price. In addition, the device is usually sent to your home free of charge.
The only disadvantage: you will not receive expert advice, nor can you test the device beforehand with a robotic lawn mower. However, customer reviews already give you a first impression of what you can expect from the desired device. If the robot does not meet your expectations, you can use your statutory right of withdrawal and easily return the item. Just note that the exchange of products already used may be restricted.
Popular hardware stores and retailers
In specialist shops and hardware stores, you will receive expert advice and can test the desired lawn mower robot live or at least look at it before buying. However, they are limited to the selection of the respective specialist store, which usually only includes a few devices. Depending on the model, it can be transported in most cases, so that there are no additional costs.
If you don’t trust yourself to install and set up the robotic lawn mower, some markets offer a paid installation service that takes the time-consuming work off your hands.
Discount Deals On Robotic Lawn Mowers:
Robotic lawn mowers are rarely found in discounters. If so, then usually only briefly before the start of the new gardening season. We also advise against supposed bargains, since inexpensive no-name robots can rarely keep up with expensive branded devices. In particular, poor and immature software, the heart of the robotic lawn mower, is often frustrating.
How do we compare robotic lawn mowers?
Compared to classic lawn mowers, installing and setting up the robotic lawn mower is usually considerably more time-consuming. For most models, a so-called boundary wire must be laid in the garden beforehand so that the mower knows in which area it should or may mow. Since these devices offer a large number of functions and setting options, the enclosed operating instructions are also an important evaluation criterion. And the scope of delivery also flows into our evaluation.
Functional scope and volume
We also look at the range of functions of the device. What setting options are there and how understandable is the menu navigation according to the instructions. Particular attention is paid to the mowing times to be set. Even though most robotic lawn mowers work very quietly, many garden owners only want their lawn to be mowed automatically during the week when they are not at home.
The volume already mentioned is another important point. Since robotic lawn mowers mow more often and longer than other lawn mowers, it should be correspondingly quiet. Some devices can even be operated at night without disturbing themselves or their neighbors.
Power consumption, battery type, and runtime
A not insignificant aspect of robots is power consumption. The charging station is continuously supplied with electricity throughout the summer and the mower is charged regularly. This means that a few kilowatt-hours come together each year. Even the used battery technology is evaluated by us. Modern lithium-ion batteries usually have a longer life expectancy than lead-acid batteries. A strong battery also has the advantage that it can be mowed in one piece for a long time.
Movement pattern and cutting system
The manufacturers control their robotic lawn mowers with various movement patterns across the lawns. Some models are systematic, others drive in a random pattern. Whether the mowing strategy used works or whether parts are forgotten is carefully examined in the comparison. It also examines how well the cutting system works and what the cutting pattern looks like.
Integrated safety functions
Safety should be a top priority for autonomously operating devices. Lift and tilt sensors protect against serious injuries. This safety function should be available, especially when children are playing in the garden. Collision and rain sensors are also important criteria that are rated positively accordingly. So that there is no bad awakening after your absence, some robotic lawn mowers protect themselves with an alarm system and PIN code.
App and smart home connection
Control via an app or a connection to a smart home are not mandatory requirements, but they make handling with the robotic lawn mower easier. The status query on the go is particularly appreciated by many owners. Therefore, we rate this accordingly positively.