A man’s home is his kingdom, and his front yard is a reflection of his personality, so it’s no wonder that anyone that has a house might want to have it looking perfectly at all times.
The only problem is that when it comes to grooming your lawn, there’s always the drawback as with other maintenance tasks, and that is the fact that it takes time, even if you’re an expert that knows what he’s doing.
Of course, there’s always the option of hiring a professional landscaping company to do the job for you, but you’ll have to pay through the nose, since it is something that you’ll have to do periodically, and even if you pay your neighbor’s kid $20 to do it, they aren’t exactly qualified personnel and you may end up with a hack job.
Why a Robot Lawn Mower?
Since all three options come with very noticeable drawbacks, we’d suggest that you’d go for a 4th option, and that is to get your very own robot lawn mower, which is basically what it sounds like: a robotic lawn mower that takes care of your lawn with next-to-no human input.
These gadgets save a lot of time, and while the initial investment may deter you from buying one at first, you’ll realize just how cost-efficient they are when you see how clean your lawn looks and how the only other money you’ll be spending will be the extra watts that will appear on your monthly electric bill.
However, like all other smart gadgets for your home, robot lawn mowers come in a wide variety of price ranges, with the more expensive ones having some extra features, such as rain and anti-theft sensors, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity, a mobile app, or even flexible scheduling capabilities.
TLDR: Which are the Best Robot Lawn Mowers that I Can Buy?
In a rush and don’t have time to read it all, these are the 6 best robot lawn mowers:
- WORX WR140 Landroid M
- Husqvarna Automower 430XH
- Husqvarna Automower 315X
- MowRo Robot Lawn Mower
- Gardena 4069 R80Li
What’s a Robot Lawn Mower?
In the simplest of terms, a robot lawn mower is basically a Roomba for your lawn, since it wanders around randomly in your yard cutting the grass to a precise level and keeping everything clean and evened out.
The inside is also similar to that of Roombas, since all robot lawn mower are battery-powered, and the inside is mainly made up of a powerful motor that drives a set of razor-sharp blades, the AC station, perimeter wires, and the sensors that allow it to navigate through your yard without exiting the property or wandering off in the streets.
The perimeter wire serves two functions:
- It charges the robot lawn mower
- It acts as a perimeter guideline that will act as a boundary for the electric lawn mower
How Does a Robot Lawn Mower Work?
Powering a Robot Lawn Mower
Speaking of powering up your lawn mowers, the internal battery varies from model to model, and their maximum capacity usually plays the biggest role in determining a device’s price tag, with the cheapest ones starting off at around 30 minutes, while the more premium models last for well over 4 hours.
As for how long it takes to charge the mower, it all depends on how big it is, as well as what the battery’s maximum capacity is, but it should never take more than 2 hours. Unfortunately, Fast Charge options like in smart phones don’t exist yet, but then again you don’t mow your lawn that often as to need it constantly charged and ready to work.
Programming a Robot Lawn Mower
No matter how smart a device is, you’ll still need to program it yourself, even if it’s just once at the very beginning, and most models can be set up from an onboard control panel. There are many parameters that can be configured from these control panels, including:
- Zone creators
- Seasonal timers
- On and Off buttons
- Running diagnostics
- Cutting time scheduler
- Viewing the cutting history
- Edge cutting settings configuration
As mentioned earlier, some robot lawn mowers even come with dedicated apps that allow you to control them from your mobile device, although this is something only those with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity have, and they are also the ones that come with a bigger price tag.
Not only that, but if your lawn is pretty big, you might also need to employ some Wi-Fi extenders as well for when the lawn mower gets very far away from your house.
How Do I Pick a Robot Lawn Mower?
Despite the fact that robot lawn mowers are relatively new on the gadget market, there are a lot of models available from companies that are more or lesser-known, and this can make choosing the right product for your particular needs a bit difficult.
If we’ve piqued your interest, let us show exactly what to look for if you want to browse for your very own robot lawn mower, and at the very end of the article we’ll also show you a few great models that you should definitely look over.
The Size and Shape of Your Lawn
This criteria is probably the most important one for when you choose a robot lawn mower, since the maximum cutting capacity varies greatly from lawn mower to lawn mower, with the cheaper ones having a working a capacity of 0.25 acres, while the bigger and more expensive ones being of 1.25 acres in capacity.
A bigger cutting capacity means a larger battery pack since it needs to be able to cover as much ground as possible between recharges.
The second criteria is the shape of your lawn, since yards that have many possible obstacles such as flower beds and trees and garden furniture will take up more of the lawn mowers battery, and this is mainly because your robot will be constantly using its internal sensors to avoid them, while a rectangular plot of land with nothing but grass will be easy to handle.
For those of you that never used a lawn mower before, even a traditional one, the cutting deck is basically the area underneath the mower where the blades spin, and a bigger cutting deck means a better ratio between the how much lawn it can cut and how much it has to travel.
With that in mind, smaller robotic lawn mowers have cutting decks of around 7-inches in cutting width, while the biggest of them can even reach 2 feet.
The shape of the cutting desk is equally important, since it determines the height at which it will cut the grass, and how it will behave if the terrain itself isn’t too even. For example, many robot lawn mowers use a floating deck design that allow quick adjustments in height, and this insures that the blade molds itself on uneven terrain, so bumps in your lawn will not have bald spots.
Lastly, the cutting blade varies from lawn mower to lawn mower, and there are many different types to choose from, including:
- Single spinning blades
- Multiple spinning blades
- Spinning disc lined with multiple razor blades
The shape of the blade itself isn’t all that important, since almost all lawn mowers cut the grass into pieces that are so small that they become fertilizer within a few days, and you don’t have to worry about bagging it either, so that’s yet another way through which these devices help you save time.
All lawn mowers can cut grass and keep within your lawn’s boundaries, so whatever extra money you’ll be paying that isn’t for the battery will be because of whatever extra features it has.
That being the case, make sure that you choose something that you’ll actually be using, and here’s a list of things you may or may not see in all robotic lawn mowers:
- Flexible programming – This lets you create grass cutting schedules, and you can create individual ones for multiple zones, which is handy when your front lawn and your backyard are separated.
- Multi-zone compatibility – Those of you with bigger lawns may split it into multiple manageable zones, so that even lawn mowers with smaller battery capacities will be able to handle them. This also lets them focus more often on the more troublesome area so that a lawn where the grass grows differently will still be evenly cut.
- Weather sensors – Working in muddy environments can be hard even when you’re in a car, so imagine how a robotic lawn mower will behave. Its cutting deck can get clogged up by a mix of grass and mud, and the wheels can even get stuck or split erratically. If you live in an area with frequent rains that come suddenly, a robotic lawn mower with rain sensors will know how to return to cover all by itself until told otherwise.
- Wheel size – Monster trucks can handle the roughest of terrain for because of their giant wheels and, to some extent, the same principle applies to robot lawn mowers as well, since this is something you’ll need to pay attention to if your lawn is made up of uneven landscape.
- Navigation system – As mentioned earlier, many robotic lawn mowers use perimeter wires in order to establish the boundaries of your yard and ensure that it cuts the grass from all corners and edges. However, there are also models that work by navigating via GPS, and while this does mean that there’s one less wire to worry about, cloudy weather may hinder it to some extent.
- Remote control capabilities – A lot of robotic lawn mowers (admittedly, the more expensive ones), come with their own dedicated apps so that you can control them through your mobile phone, and they can be connected to the rest of your network via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or cellular circuitry, and if you’re looking for even more freedom, there are a few models that can even be controlled through voice assistance such as Amazon’s Alexa
- Noise Levels – Since a robot lawn mower is something that you can program to work at any hour of the day, those of you that want to program it during night time hours may want to look for more silent models, although most modern-day lawn mowers are made to work at around 55-65dB, although the louder ones can reach 75dBs.
- Anti-theft capabilities – Given how expensive robotic lawn mowers are, it’s almost understandable if something might think of taking yours instead of buying one for themselves.
Fortunately enough, many robotic lawn mowers come with an anti-theft system that shuts them down when they are picked up, and prevents them from working again unless a designated PIN is entered. Other models even come with built-in alarm systems such as those from cars, or their GPS tracking system can be used to locate them again.
Like all modern-day electronic devices, there are entry-level devices, and there are the more expensive ones that come with a lot of extra features but, also like modern-day electronic devices, there is a fine line between a price tag that is worth it and overpaying for some features you’ll seldom use.
Whichever the case, even the cheap lawn mowers aren’t actually very cheap, so look carefully for what you’re buying, because it is better to pay attention than pay with your credit card and regret it later.
As an example, a cheap model with nothing but the basics is a bit over $500 if you can get it on sale, while the really expensive ones can reach $5000 dollars, on top of which you should add a few extra hundred dollars for professional installation if your lawn mower model requires it.
Fortunately enough, many robotic lawn mowers sellers will sometimes include a lawn inspection so that they can recommend precisely what model will be good for you, but then again one needs to remember is that their main goal is to make a sale, and not necessarily help you.
Installation is yet another big money sink when it comes to robotic lawn mowers, so whether or not you decide on installing it by yourself or with the help of an expert is not something that has to do with your expertise.
In fact, it has more to do with your level of patience, since the process is easy in itself, but it’s also extremely tedious.
For instance, most robotic lawn mower vendors will provide you with online video tutorials, written instructions, a measuring tool for laying the wire, a spool of wire, and stakes to hold the wire in place, but depending on how big your lawn is, expect to spend an hour or more just to install the wiring.
As we said earlier, some vendors even offer to do the installation for you, although it will set you back by quite a lot, and some models even require a professional to install it for you, otherwise you’ll love your warranty.
The good news is that after this admittedly considerable upfront investment, the only thing you need to do once it is installed is remember to clean the cutting deck, and replace the blades once every few months.
BEST Robot Lawn Mower for 2021 (Reviews)
The WORX WR140 Landroid M wins our #1 spot not because it has the most features or the best design, but because it has the best price-to-feature ratio all of all our models, so for anyone that has never has such a device before, it is the perfect entry level model to start off with since it is well-balanced.
In fact, all of the following entries after this one are basically variations of it, with more emphasis on one area than the other, or with more features, but with a price tag that may intimidate most average users.
This robotic lawn mower comes with dual rotary blades, and a large LCD screen where you can calibrate certain features, and as far as internal sensors go, it has a very useful anti-rain sensor. Those of you with a bit of extra cash can also add an anti-collision sensor that lets it navigate more clearly around your garden obstacles.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the WORX WR140 Landroid M comes with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS support, and it also comes with its own mobile app that is available for both Android and iOS, so controlling it remotely comes easily.
The app can also prove useful since you can set your lawn mower preferences from it, such as mower progress, or any issues that may have occurred during the mowing process, and it also notifies you whenever someone tries to steal it from your property.
Of course, the app isn’t just about feedback, but also allows you to command and control the lawn mower as well, including tools such as a lawn size calculator
Installing this particular model isn’t that much of a big deal, since it is one of those that don’t require an expert’s touch, just time spent laying down the perimeter wiring, and you’ll receive 250 wire pegs and a 590-foot spool of perimeter wire by default, which is more than enough for an average-sized lawn.
Once everything is installed, all you need to do is power up the lawn mower, sync it to your Wi-Fi, wait for the firmware to update (yes, it’s so smart that it has firmware updates), and you can get straight to using it.
Testing this product went extremely well, as it managed to turn our unmanaged lawn into something akin to a soccer field in no time, and the cut grass was cut into such fine pieces that you could barely see it anyway.
The WORX WR140 Landroid M responded accordingly whenever it hit an obstacle or when it started to rain, and as soon as the battery started reaching low levels it knew how to go back to the charging station all by itself.
All in all, we recommend this robotic lawn mower to be a must-have, especially for those of you that have never owned such a device before since it has plenty of features, has anti-theft capabilities, and the app is more than reliable.
You can buy the WORX WR140 Landroid M from Amazon, and because of its popularity it is frequently included in sales from time to time, so make sure you take advantage of any possible discount.
Husqvarna is most widely known as a leader in chainsaw manufacturing, but it seems that their gardening tool expertise extends to making robot lawn mowers as well, and one of their crowning jewel is the Husqvarna Automower 430XH, and while it does come with a much higher price tag than our previous entry, it more than makes up for it through the sheer number of features that it provides.
In terms of size, the Husqvarna Automower 430XH can be considered a medium-sized device, although don’t be fooled by this since the internal battery is more than enough to allow it a 0.8-acre coverage before needing to recharge.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the device can be configured and controlled from the device’s onboard panel, the dedicated mobile app called Automower Connect, Amazon Alexa, or Google Home, and as long as your Wi-Fi signal is strong, you can control it regardless of wherever you are.
This robotic lawn mower is very silent, and it has a wide range of onboard sensors that make using it as hassle-free as possible, including Plus, Lift & Tilt sensors that allow it to easily navigate uneven terrains without much issues, and they also provide intuitive obstacle avoidance and child safety controls.
Other neat features that are worth mentioning are the LED headlights, rubber bumpers, special wheel caps, and GPS navigation and theft tracking, which are standard in X-Line Series mowers.
The grass cutting is also efficient since the cutting deck can have its height adjusted from 2 to 3.6 inches, resulting in the cut grass being essentially turned into mulch that needs to bagging afterwards so this tool not only cuts your lawn, it also fertilizes it.
Installing the Husqvarna Automower 430XH is pretty standard, since you’ll have everything you need in the box, from boundary wires to the patented guide wires. Simply install the pegs, lay down the wiring, sync your robotic lawn mower, input your desires mowing parameters, and sit back and relax while it does the job for you.
If you don’t mind paying a bit more for some extra features and for pristinely cut grass, then go ahead and buy the Husqvarna Automower 430XH. It is easy to install, easy to configure, and you don’t need professional help setting it up either.
You can go ahead and check out the Husqvarna Automower 430XH on Amazon, and you can look over their other models as well, since they offer plenty for a wide range of users.
Without desiring to make it look like we have favorites, we couldn’t help but include yet another Husqvarna product on our list, since they are just that good (although a bit pricey).
The Husqvarna Automower 315X is a much smaller version of the Husqvarna Automower 430XH, being roughly half the size, having around half the cutting capacity, and being at around (you guessed it) half the price of the 430XH.
Just like its bigger brother, the Husqvarna Automower 315X features a dedicated app through which you can control and monitor its activity, although the onboard control panel is still present, and voice control via AMazon Alexa and Google Home is still an option.
The onboard sensors are very efficient, especially the weather detection ones, and this little robot is quick to get out of the rain as soon as it senses the very first drops. More so, you can program it to get out of its shelter from time to time to see if the rain stopped and , if it did, resume lawn mowing as soon as possible.
Another nifty tool that this little guy has is the advanced GPS, and it doesn’t just prevent it from going outside your lawn’s boundaries, it also alerts it of the areas it has already visited so that it doesn’t cross the same are twice while forgoing others.
As for security features, the Husqvarna Automower 315X is one of those lawn mowers that automatically shut down and ask for a PIN in case it senses that someone is trying to steal it, and even if someone does take it, you can use the GPS to find it instantly.
There’s nothing special about installing this particular robotic lawn mower as compared to the bigger Husqvarna models, since you still need to lay down the wire pegs and the wiring, you still need to pair it the lawn mower to your Wi-Fi and App, and you still need to manually input certain parameters before it starts cutting grass.
One thing worth mentioning is that despite the smaller size and battery capacity, there is no difference between this lawn mower and the previous one as far as grass cutting efficiency is concerned, since this little robot will turn any grass into much, it will just need to spent a bit more time and need a few extra recharges in order to complete the task.
If that bothers you, we recommend that you get the Husqvarna Automower 315X only if you have a smaller yard, but if not, choose whatever model you please.
The Husqvarna Automower 315X performed perfectly during testing, and after calibrating it to cut grass to a specified length, it was almost funny to see it scurrying around and turning out unkept lawn into one that we could be proud to show off to our neighbors.
If you’ve set your eyes on buying the Husqvarna Automower 315X, you can get it, along with all of the other Husqvarna robotic lawn mowers from Amazon, and don’t worry about paying a little extra, since it will be worth it in the long run. Besides, Amazon has flash sales on pretty much anything, so getting this device at a bargain is definitely something you shouldn’t miss.
MowRo is a bit newer to the robotic lawn mower market, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t good at it, since we deemed one of their models to be worthy of our list, especially given its advanced scheduling capabilities that allow a very hands-off approach when it comes to cutting the grass around your house.
The main highlight of the MowRo Robot Lawn Mower is how independent it acts once you give it some initial directives. The onboard sensors make obstacle avoidance look like not much of a big deal, as it can easily detect moving ones as well, such as your pets or kids.
Speaking of which, they are safe from the MowRo’s blades since they are housed in a specialized Mowing Blade Guard that prevents any accidental injury, similar to the blade guards used by lint removal devices.
The advanced scheduling system lets you set it and forget it, since you can choose the time at which you want it to start and let it do the rest. Besides, you don’t need to worry about it running out of power in the middle of your yard, since it knows how to return to the docking station to charge up once the power levels reach a certain threshold.
MowRo is also great for areas where the weather is either very rainy or if the climate is very dusty, since it is built to resist both, but it would have been ideal if it had a built-in rain sensor to avoid them entirely.
Unfortunately, one feature that it is lacking is the ability to resume progress if for some reason it ran out of power before managing to do your entire lawn at least once.
Installing the MowRo isn’t hard at all, since you follow the standard procedure of installing a robotic lawn mower. You simply lay down the no-trip perimeter wire to set the out boundaries of your lawn and also provide the lawn mower with a way to guide itself to the charging station when it needs it.
Then you have to set the time schedule and input your lawn size, and then MowRo’s complex algorithms will do the rest for you, making sure that your grass is cut evenly everywhere, so that it never seems greener on the other side.
Albeit simplistic and with limited control options, the MowRo Robot Lawn Mower has many features that make it almost completely autonomous, and the small price tag make it a great entry level robotic lawn mower for anyone that wants to get rid of an extra chore without investing too much.
Speaking of investments, you can buy the MowRo Robot Lawn Mower from Amazon at a special discount price.
The last entry on our list is not necessarily the least good, it’s just not as feature-rich as our other entries. The Gardena 4069 R80Li is reliable and well-rounded robotic lawn mower that can make short work of small front lawns and back yards, and it also features a very modern-looking and compact-side chassis.
Controlling this robotic lawn mower is pretty basic since you can only do it from the onboard control panel from which you can adjust the cutting height (between 2 to 5 cm (via a rotary knob), while a large selection panel and display allows you to set different mowing times or days.
It does an excellent job cutting grass, requires no bagging, and it is built to resist in the rain although, just like with the previous entry on our list, it would have been better if it knew how to get out of it entirely.
It has a total mowing capacity of up to 800 square meters, and it knows how to recharge itself when the battery reaches critical levels. Speaking of which, the battery capacity is around 60 to 80 minutes depending on the grass in your lawn.
Unfortunately, it lacks any of the finer navigation skills present in the other models, which is something that you’ll notice when you see it running in an apparently random fashion throughout your front and backyard.
However, it is also the most silent lawn mowers on our list, being effectively unnoticeable unless you’re in the actual yard.
This particular robotic lawn mower is a bit easier to install than the others, particularly because besides setting the boundary wires, there’s not much else you need to do, since there is no app to pair it with, and no Wi-Fi network either.
The Gardena 4069 R80Li is the textbook example of what an entry-level product can be, and that is why we don’t recommend it to those of you that are already familiar with such devices, and are already ready and looking for something with a few extra tricks’ up its sleeve.
You can buy the Gardena 4069 R80Li on Amazon, and even if you don’t manage to catch it while it is on sale, the price is already so low that it won’t be such a big deal anyway.
You’ll also need: NETGEAR Wi-Fi Range Extender EX5000
We’ve already talked about the need for a Wi-Fi extender when using a robotic lawn mower, especially if you plan on controlling via app or voice commands, since the natural range of even a top-tier Wi-Fi router rarely ever manages to penetrate the walls of a house.
Because of this, we recommend that you try out an extra powerful Wi-Fi extender just so that you can be sure that the signal goes way beyond the boundaries of a house, and that Wi-Fi extender is the NETGEAR EX5000.
With the help of this powerful device, you can extend the current range of your router signal by an extra 1500 square feet, and it can easily provide connectivity no just to your robotic lawn mower, but to a total of 25 devices.
Besides, it can support transfer speeds of up to 1200Mbps, and even if this isn’t all that important when it comes to your lawn mower, the fact that it has almost 100% uptime does, since losing signal means pretty much losing control of your robot.
If you have a very large area of land around your house that needs constant attention for your smart lawn mower, we recommend that you get this Wi-Fi extender, since the extra coverage alone is enough to make it a worthy addition.
The price isn’t high at all, and if you buy the NETGEAR Wi-Fi Range Extender EX5000 from Amazon, you might even get the chance to find it during one of their periodic sales.
Automatic Lawn Mower: Conclusion
We hope that we’ve provided you with enough information regarding what you need to look for when browsing for a new robotic lawn mower, as we know the importance of making the right purchase, especially when talking about devices where even the cheapest models available still cost well over $500 dollars.
That is why the entries on our list were selected so that as many budgets and needs are met, so that you can see what exactly the market has to offer, and what each and every price bracket will bring extra.
In the end, it is all a matter of personal preference which lawn mower you choose, but one thing’s for certain: nothing beats that feeling of sitting back in the shade while a smart little robot turn your unmanaged lawn that looks like an African Savannah into something that looks like a European Football field.
Let us know what other models you think are worthy of this list, we’ll look over them and, if they do indeed stand out for one reason or another, we’ll add them to our list without a second thought.