7 Best Robot Lawn Mowers for Hands Free Lawn Maintenance
Do you enjoy a freshly mown lawn but hate to do the mowing? A robot lawn mower may be the perfect choice for you!
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Buying a Robot Lawn Mower
Most people like a well-maintained lawn, but that doesn’t mean they enjoy doing the actual maintenance. Robotic lawn mowers are battery-powered lawn mowing devices that drive around your lawn, keeping the grass under control.
Robot mowers have been rapidly improving, with each new model featuring improved performance and dependability. Even so, this technology is in its relative infancy, making it a good fit for DIYers who enjoy tinkering with their tech as much as they enjoy using it.
It’s also worth noting several manufacturers have struggled to produce enough robotic lawn mowers to meet demand, and many popular models are currently back-ordered. For this list, we did our best to highlight in stock and available models.
Here are a few factors to consider when buying a robot lawn mower:
Yard Size. Larger yards need a mower with a longer battery life. If the battery is too short-lived, it will need to recharge halfway through mowing, leaving you with a patchy, half-cut lawn. Most robotic mowers have a manufacturer’s recommended yard size, usually around a half acre.
Installation. While the actual mowing is hands-free, robotic mowers do require work to set up. Robot mowers use low-voltage wire to establish a perimeter and mowing zones (much like a dog’s invisible fence). The low-voltage wire is powered by the mower’s charging base, and the mower can emerge on command or at regular intervals to trim the grass. Installing the charging dock and low-voltage wire is a great way to save money, but it can be time-consuming. DIYers should plan on spending about half a day on installation.
Landscaping and Obstacles. Not surprisingly, robotic mowers work best on flat, level lawns. Most robotic mowers can handle gentle slopes, and can traverse flat pavement without incident. If you have gravel, mulch or other irregular surfaces, you’ll want a mower with either multiple start points (so it won’t mow over those materials) or to invest in more low-voltage wiring to define the mowing zones. If you have many trees, bushes, furniture or other obstacles, look for a mower with avoidance detection, and consider one with a narrow wheel base.
Cleaning and Maintenance. Robotic mowers are relatively light, so you can simply flip them over and hose them off to clean away grass clippings. Batteries will probably last three to five years. Blades may need to be sharpened or replaced every year.
Remote Controls. Most mowers have physical controls to start stop, and adjust the mowing height. More complex command entry depends on the model; some use an on-board interface while others rely on an app, often through a computer, smartphone or voice assistant.
Rain Sensors. Mowing in the rain can lead to grass clumps or clogs. Some models have rain sensors that direct them to return to the charger if they detect precipitation.
Noise. Robotic mowers are far quieter than a gas-powered mower, but they’re not silent. Most models produce about 60 decibels (dB) while mowing, which is about as loud as a conversation in a restaurant. Some models are even quieter, which makes them a great choice for operating at night.
Clippings. All robotic mowers are mulchers, and tend to make many passes taking just a little off the top of the grass. This enriches the soil and makes for fewer grass clogs.
Theft Prevention. Robotic mowers are expensive pieces of equipment that are stored outside. That makes them very attractive to thieves. Manufacturers have a variety of theft prevention techniques, ranging from PIN codes and loud alarms to geo-fencing.
Price. Expect to pay around $1,000 to $3,000 for a robotic mower. There are models available for as little as $800, and as much as $5,000.
WORX WR155 Landroid Robot Lawn Mower
WORX is one of the major robotic lawn mower brands, and they offer several models to choose from. The WORX WR155 Robot Lawn Mower features an 8-inch cutting width and and the ability to tackle slopes up to 20 degrees. It has a rain detector to help it avoid moisture, and it’s backed up by a three-year limited warranty.
With both smart phone and virtual assistant integration, the Landroid has an easy set up and control system. WORX offers optional upgrades, such as the Landroid Anti-Collision System (ACS) to help navigate the unique contours of your yard. We tried the Worx Landroid Robotic Lawnmower to see how it really works in the real world.
Husqvarna 115H Automower Robot Lawn Mower
Husqvarna is another major player in the robotic mower industry, with a number of models with different features and price points. The Husqvarna 115H Robot Lawn Mower is a popular model for those with small to medium-sized yards (Husqvarna recommends it for lawns up to four-tenths of an acre).
The 115H can mow for up to 60 minutes on a single charge. It includes Bluetooth connection for easy control from a phone or laptop. The H-line leaves grass standing taller than Husqvarna’s other models. The 115H has a cut height ranging from 2 to 3-1/2 inches.
It comes with a DIY installation kit, allowing you to save some money by not hiring out the job.
WORX WR165 Robot Lawn Mower
The second WORX model on our list, the WR165 Robot Lawn Mower is intended for yards one-eighth acre or smaller. The modest 7-in. cutting base and patented WORX AIA (Artificial Intelligence Algorithm) is specifically designed to allow it to navigate narrower spaces than most other robotic mowers. It’s also more affordable that other robotic mowers, which often run into the thousands of dollars.
The WORX WR165 can be controlled by the Landroid app over a Bluetooth or WiFi connection, so you can adjust mow schedules on the fly, and get immediate notifications should any issues arise.
Husqvarna Automower 315X Robot Lawn Mower
The Husqvarna 315X Roobot Lawn MowerX is considered a premium entry in their X-line of robotic mowers. It excels at complicated lawns with obstacles, slopes and narrow passages. Intended for lawns up to 0.4 acres. The X-line features GPS tracking to alert you to potential theft, as well as assist with navigation, LED headlights and a stylish front bumper. Husqvarna’s Automower Connect app allows you to track and interact with the mower from anywhere in the world. This one is for the DIY kit. A professionally installed model retails for $700 more.
MowRo RM24A Robot Lawn Mower
The MowRo RM24A Robot Lawn Mower ($999) robot lawn mower has a 9-1/2-in.-cutting width, allowing it to get through smaller paths without becoming so narrow that it takes longer to mow the lawn.
At 65 dB, it’s slightly louder than most of the other mowers on this list, but still significantly quieter than a gas-powered push mower. (Most homeowners would still be able to run it at night without getting complaints from the neighbors.)
A rain sensor sends the mower back to the cover of its charging station if rain is detected Recommended for up to one-quarter acre in size, the MowRo RM24A can handle up to a 30-degree slope and cut between 1-inch to 2-1/2 inches of lawn height. It has a one-year limited warranty on the mower and six months on the battery.
Husqvarna Automower 430X Robot Lawn Mower
The 430X Robot Lawn Mower is another premium entry in Husqvarna’s X-line. Perfect for cutting narrow paths and obstacle-filled yards, the GPS-assisted 430X is a solid choice, and comes with a DIY kit for self-installation. Its cutting height ranges from 3/4-inch to 2-1/2 inches, setting it apart from the high heights of the H-line. It has 145 minutes of single-charge cutting time and is recommended for lot sizes up to three-quarters of an acre.
Husqvarna Automower 430XH Robot Lawn Mower
Husqvarna’s 430XH Robot Lawn Mower is part of both the Husqvarna’s X-line and H-line of robotic mowers. The high-level cutting deck allows your grass to grow up to 3-1/2 inches, and the 145-minute charge time lets it tackle lawns up to three-quarters of an acre. Able to handle slopes of up to 45 degrees, this mower also comes with GPS-assisted navigation and theft detection, remote object detection and LED headlights. It’s remotely controlled through the Automower Connect app.