Top 5 Best Robot Lawn Mower Reviews for Jan. 2017
We’re well into the 21st century, and we haven’t seen any of those flying cars or automated kitchens everyone kept predicting for “the future”. There is at least one newfangled invention that’s finally materialized, though; it may not be as amazing as a flying car, but it’s potentially more useful for exhausted homeowners after a long week at work: the robot lawn mower.
You’ve probably seen Roombas vacuum rooms before; robotic lawnmowers work in much the same way. You put a guide wire around the grassy area you want cut, and with the help of electronic sensors and the ability to tilt and tip as needed, the robot moves in a pattern to ensure the entire area is mowed.
How to Decide Which Robot Lawn Mower to Buy?
There are a number of ways to narrow down your choices. Key among them is the way the robot lawn mower is powered: rechargeable battery and solar-powered are the two most popular options (with batteries much more common, and their operating time playing an important role). Programmability is another desirable function, allowing you to set your lawnmower to automatically run at specific times or on specific days; some programmable models have to be set on the unit itself, while others can be controlled by smartphones using WiFi or Bluetooth. Some higher-priced models are so-called “multi-zone” mowers, which can be set to move between different areas of a lawn or even to take themselves from the front lawn to the back one. More powerful robot lawn mowers are built to easily handle steep slopes while others are better suited for level ground.
In GroomNStyles’ rankings, we’ll focus on the value of the mowers that we list – some will handle only small lawns, others will tackle medium-sized to larger ones, but in the review teams opinion each is worthy of their spot on our compilation of the top 5 best robot lawn mowers.
One important note: if you shop on Amazon for these products you may find that there are very few reviews available because they’re relatively new (and probably on the expensive side). Therefore, GroomNStyle has found that, on the whole, Amazon reviews don’t tell the “real story” on robot mowers because of the small sample size. Feel free to change this trend by buying from Amazon and leaving your feedback.
1. LawnBott LB75DX Robotic Mower
When you’re not willing to take the plunge for a $5000 robotic lawnmower (check out the last entry on this list if you’re looking to spend that type of cash), this model from LawnBott will definitely make you smile at about one-third the price.
The LB75DX works like most robotic mowers – you set up a wire boundary line (included with the mower) around the portions of the lawn you want it to cut, and around any flower beds, trees or other obstacles. That tells the lawnmower where to cut. Then, program your cutting schedule on the easy-to-use LCD display screen – and you’re done. Right on schedule, the LawnBott leaves the docking station, cuts all the grass within the boundaries you’ve set up, and returns to the docking station when it’s done or when it needs to recharge. It even knows to “go home” if it starts to rain outside. Presto – your lawn will be cut regularly and automatically without any additional work on your part – and yes, it does a terrific job without missing spots.
This LawnBott model has twin lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, can be set up to maintain three different “zones” on your lawn, and is designed to take care of spaces as large as 12,000 square feet (at 3300 square feet per charge). It even comes standard with both PIN code and a GPS tracking systems to make sure there’s no unauthorized use of the system and to locate the unit if it’s stolen. For even greater control, you can add remote control apps for your phone or handheld device for an extra charge. The mower uses less than $10 worth of electricity per year.
If you can think of extra features which they should have included on this robotic mower, you’re doing better than we did. The GroomNStyle review team couldn’t think of anything that’s missing.
Here are the specifications for the LawnBott LB75DX Robotic Mower:
2. Robomow RS612 Battery Powered Lawn Mower
Functionally, GroomNStyle like the Robomow RS612 as much or even a bit more than the LawnBott, and it’s about $100 less expensive. Quite frankly, we rank it at #2 simply because it only runs for about 45 minutes on a charge and then requires 90 minutes at the base station before it’s ready to go again.
First, the important details. The RS612 can handle two zones and four “subzones” within the master zones, it’s designed to mow up to 13,000 square feet (but will need at least one recharge to do it), and it will scale slopes as steep as 36° which is very impressive. There’s also a floating deck with an “edge mode” which is designed to eliminate the issue with most robot lawn mowers that can’t cut the grass right along the perimeter wire. It’s a great idea, but it requires you to change settings to engage edging and you’ll have to supervise it carefully. There’s also the patented Robomow turbo-mow setting which provides slower and more powerful cutting for the first mowing of the season.
This Robomow has heavy blades for excellent performance on thick grass, and the Bluetooth connectivity with a (decent, not great) phone app lets you program and operate the mower from the comfort of your lawn chair as you watch. It has sensors to stop and reverse direction when hitting obstacles, the blades stop automatically if the unit tips too much or flips over, and it has a child lock and PIN code feature.
This is a very good robot lawn mower. The team just wish it didn’t have such a short running time.
Going in-depth on the Robomow RS612 Battery Powered Lawn Mower:
3. WORX Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower WG794
Those who still can’t see themselves spending more than $1000 on a lawnmower should take a long look at the WORX Landroid, which sneaks in just under the magic price point.
This is a small and lightweight robot unit that can handle a lot more than you’d think at first glance, designed to cover lawns as large as 13,000 square feet. As with any quality robot mower, you have to do some preliminary work by setting up the wire boundaries that determine the limits for the unit and that can be a bit tricky. Putting the boundaries right at the lawn’s edge could force the robot to get stuck on a corner or fence, so you have to leave a little no-man’s-land which needs hand trimming. The WORX isn’t alone when it comes to this minor annoyance, though.
This robot lawn mower is powered by a single 28-volt lithion-ion battery so it requires recharging more frequently than the LawnBott; expect to get 45-60 minutes of run time per charge. However, the base station charges the battery much faster than the LawnBott (45 minutes vs. two hours) after the mower automatically returns and “plugs itself in,” so they will each effectively take about the same amount of time to cut the same amount of grass. A cool feature of the Landroid is its “AIA” (artificial intelligence algorithm) which directs the mower to cut different areas of the lawn at random to avoid pattern “cut-in,” detect the height of each section of grass to adjust mowing height accordingly, and even head back to base when it starts raining (although the WORX mower does a great job on wet grass).
The WORX definitely falls short in a few areas when compared to the Lawnbott. It isn’t set up for zone cutting. It will try to churn right over anything that’s on the lawn, whether it’s a piece of plastic that gets chopped into a zillion pieces, or tree roots or the base of a lawn chair which can trap the mower until it breaks a blade. Also, it can’t be programmed via cell phone; you have to set functions on the mower itself.
However, this mower is virtually silent when working, can handle 20° slopes, has several security features including a PIN number required to start operation, allows you to move the easily-changeable blades to different height positions, and is simple to set up (once the boundary lines are in place).
For straightforward lawn-cutting duties, the Landroid is clearly in the top three of our top 5 best robot lawn mowers.
Facts and figures for the WORX Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower WG794:
4. Husqvarna Automower 220AC Robotic Lawn Mower
Providing a step up in cutting performance (thanks to the company’s decades of experience in the field) – but with a big step up in price as well – the Husqvarna is a quiet, quality machine which unfortunately doesn’t have quite the number of features or capabilities you might expect from a more expensive robotic lawn mower. It’s perhaps the best choice if you want gorgeous looking grass, but don’t expect it to cover a huge amount of ground quickly.
The key to having a great-looking lawn with this lawnmower is to have it cut very frequently; its unusual, strong carbon steel blades and disc cutting system trim the grass gently, meaning it’s not a machine meant to tackle 6-inch high grass, but rather one to maintain a ½ acre or smaller lawn on a regular basis. The rest of the Husqvarna features are pretty much standard: the mower returns to base for automatic recharging, it’s programmed via a keypad, and it has a PIN code lock and theft alarm. The 220AC uses a Ni-MH battery which only runs for 45 minutes and then requires just another 45 minutes to recharge. The battery also has a shorter lifespan than lithium-ions, and must be replaced every few years.
The Husqvarna automower gives you a great looking lawn at a premium price. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth the extra money.
Looking deeper at the Husqvarna Automower 220AC Robotic Lawn Mower:
5. LawnBott LB300EL Robotic Mower – currently unavailable on Amazon
Yes, the team couldn’t resist putting a second LawnBott entry on this list of top 5 best robot lawn mowers – and all most people will need to know about it is this: $4999.
If you were to look at all of the robotic machines available without considering price, the LB300EL would have topped our rankings, because it does everything the others do and a lot more. However, this lawnmower is designed for use both in residential and commercial settings and is capable of tending up to two full acres (with four zones) on a single charge – so we decided it shouldn’t really compete with more “realistic” choices for homeowners.
This top-of-the-line LawnBott runs with two large lithium-ion batteries and can stay on the go for ten hours before needing to recharge for six hours. It also has advanced technology allowing it to recognize tall grass, so it knows what parts of the lawn need more attention than others. It will take the shortest possible distance between zones, and it will do a perfect job even on hilly or uneven ground. The LB300EL accomplishes all of this by using a gyroscope, an inclinometer, a magnetometer and an accelerometer. No, we’re not quite sure what all of those are either, but they work exceptionally well. Add in a brushless motor, Bluetooth programming capability, and a wide 14-inch cutting area, and you have a premium robotic lawn mower at a premium price.
If you have a need for a machine like this – and the budget – just flip our ratings upside down and you’ll see your dream machine ranked at #1.
What you need to know about the LawnBott LB300EL Robotic Mower:
Want to try something a bit more conventional then continue reading The Top 5 Best Electric Lawn Mower Reviews. Or now that you have decided to buy a robot lawn mower you will have much more time to enjoy time with friends and family around your top of the range outdoor grill.