Mowing the lawn is to yard work what sunshine is to summer. It’s quintessential! But if you’re sick of pushing or driving, you may be considering other options, like a robot lawn mower. But is the switch worth the squeeze?
How do robotic mowers work?
If you’re tired of spending hours mowing your lawn, you may be enticed by a robot lawn mower. What we love about them is their efficiency. Available for lawns of varying shapes and sizes, they’re pretty smart. They don’t require rocket science to set up and program. And, since they’re powered by rechargeable battery packs, they’re very quiet.
Much like robotic vacuums, they begin their first cycle by mapping out the space—in this case, your yard. First and foremost is the perimeter wire. One end is attached to a terminal at the base station. The other wire is put in place around the perimeter of your lawn using stakes, and then it wraps back to the second terminal at the base station. This process is essential for ensuring the mower stays on the lawn, and only the lawn. After it’s done mapping, the robot lawn mower returns to its AC-powered base station and awaits its first real job.
Using the app on your phone or the manual power button, you prompt your automatic lawn mower to move around your lawn, cutting the grass and using its sensors (guided by the charged perimeter wire) to remain on the mapped path and avoid obstacles.
Many robot lawn mowers use a floating deck design that allows the user to adjust the cutting height. As the blades (some models have a single blade, some have multiple blades and others have a spinning disc configured with razor blades), cut the grass, they chop it up super-fine and the chopped grass seeps into the soil when you water the lawn or it rains. Depending on the size of your mower, you can expect anywhere from a seven-inch cutting width to around two feet.
How much is a robot lawn mower?
Prices vary, and with good reason. For instance, entry level models typically won’t have the battery power of the higher end models. If you have a big lawn, that’s a problem, since you might only get 30 minutes of run time on a lower end model. The pricier versions will have battery power of four hours or more. Other factors include how many zones it can mow, how much area it can cover and features like programming it with a mowing schedule. Oh, and some robot lawn mowers even have headlights for nighttime mowing! You can expect to pay around $800 to $1,900.
What type of robotic mower is right for you?
The reality is, if you’re going to purchase a product that’s going to cut down your time spent doing yard work, you’ll want something that works for your specific lawn. If you have a small lawn, buying a pricier version isn’t necessary. Small to medium-size lawns require a mower that can handle between 0.25 and 0.33 acre. You’ll also want to factor in the topography of your yard. If it’s hilly, be sure to seek out a robot lawn mower that is designed to climb with ease. Whether it’s big or small, hilly or flat, battery life matters! The longer the battery life, the more likely it is a well-built robot lawn mower.
Other factors to consider
If you have multiple areas of lawn that are not connected, you’ll want to seek out a robotic mower that has multi-zone capability. Most can handle between two and four zones. If you want a super-smart mower, then you might consider one that you can program to run on certain days and at specific times. If you live in a rainy region, you might want a model that comes with technology that senses when it’s too wet to mow the lawn.
What is the best robotic mower?
Husqvarna reigns supreme in the robotic lawn mower world. The Automower 430X Robotic Lawn Mower is great for rough terrain and slopes with an incline of up to 45%. We also like the Automower 450X (shown here) for its whopping 1.3-acre capacity.
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