Love Machines: The 5 Best Robot Lawnmowers
Paul Bunyan and John Henry were both pitted against machines to prove that pure muscle and manpower could do a better job than any robot. They were wrong. If you think that you’re more man than them, we wish you the best of luck. For everyone else, the robots are here and they like to cut grass.
Consumer robot lawnmowers are a relatively new phenomenon in the U.S. that haven’t caught on yet, but it is time to embrace the future. They work by having you lay a guide wire around the property and then set them loose. They follow a pattern so that they never miss a spot. They have tip and tilt features that prevent them from going rogue and sensors to track the area around them so they won’t chew up anything they shouldn’t. Frankly, they’re a lot smarter and less dangerous than letting the neighborhood kid do the job. Every single one is electric and comes with its own charger making buying oil and gas a thing of the past. So join the revolution and choose one of the 5 best robot lawnmowers.
Little Bit: The question was not whether or not to include a Robomow, but which one? While the RM400 isn’t the biggest or the fastest, it offers one of the best choices for individuals with smaller plots. Generally it can trim down approximately 4,500 square feet or approximately 1/10th of an acre on a single charge. Additionally, the wire that is used to determine the boundary doesn’t need to be buried, therefore if you have a bigger yard, simply move the wire and let the device go back to work once it has recharged.
This unit doesn’t work in the rain, though it does have a sensor that tells it when it’s getting wet so that it can run again home and wait for drier weather. It chops up the clippings very finely to help add nutrients to your grass. Estimations say that using this model you can water up to 85% less. Comes with a remote so that you can run it around the yard from the shade of your deck. Includes an anti-theft alarm so that anyone that wants to pilfer your little chopper will think twice. There are also smaller and larger models from Robomow that are good, just not RM400 good. [Purchase: $2,000]
John Deere Tango E5
All Weather: Leave it to John Deere to make a robotic mower that can handle just about any kind of climate. If you live in the pacific northwest or another area that has a long wet season, this will help you keep up with your greenery growth. You program in when you want it to run and it will be on the job, rain or shine. The unit is intended to work with full autonomy. Once it has completed its sweep, it heads back to the charger to wait for another day.
The Tango uses a fully random path which helps cut down on the sometimes patchy appearance that direct path options will give you. It has multiple on-board sensors to alert it of objects so it can cut close without getting stuck or hung-up. The sensors also help stop the blades if it comes too close to an object – like your foot – or if it is tilted more than 35 degrees. The travel over tough terrain isn’t bad, but if you live in the land of the hill folk, it’s going to run into troubles. Covers a full 1/2 acre or approximately 1,800 square meters. Strangely, it can be hard to find a dealer for these in the U.S. [Purchase: $3,500]
LawnBott LB1200 Spyder
Rough Rider: Traditionally these type of mowers require relatively flat surfaces to do their work. The Spyder lives up to its name by being able to get over multiple surfaces, climb hills, and take dips without falling over. It is also the only model that doesn’t require a guide wire. Instead it uses a sensing system so it can tell when it isn’t going over your grass so it can shut the blades down. Here’s the catch: it works best with boundaries to bump into in order to stop. Without them it could just keep on truckin’.
Technically the amount that the Spyder can cut is unlimited, but it requires a lot more help than other models. It only does about 1/10th of an acre per charge then will just die. You need to manually replace it in its storage charger after 5 hours of cutting. The high body is great for tough grasses and can be lowered to cope with other lawns, just don’t leave your hose out or it will get perforated. Great if you need a climber, and very inexpensive. Just needs a little babysitting. Sensors are adept at stopping blades the minute there is any hint of a foot or body part in the way. Kids and pets will be safe. [Purchase: $1,104]
Husqvarna 265 ACX
Big and Bad: The Husq again comes in with the biggest bite for very little bark with the 265 ACX. This will cut up to 1 full acre and was designed mostly with professional and commercial use in mind. It’s operation is smooth as silk since it interfaces with your smartphone or mobile device and will keep you up to date on its progress. Works in any conditions so you can just leave it where you need it and trust it to take care of the rest. Typically you’ll want to bury the guide wire partly because this has a tendency to bump it out of shape if the wire is loose.
Here’s the thing you will notice the minute you look at it: It is big. The issue that many buyers have had is not with their kids getting cut. Kids want to ride it. The massive size gives it difficulty with smaller areas, or places where there is a lot of furniture for it to navigate. The price tag also tends to be prohibitive, as can finding a dealer. Usually you’ll need to contact Husqvarna directly. If you do have a smaller yard (or want to save a little green) they also make a 230 ACX model that does about half the cutting. [Purchase: $3,500]
Easy as Pie: The Miimo had to be included even though it is not commercially available in the states yet. It is easily the most user-friendly model and perfect if you want a relatively affordable little chopper that anyone can use without error. It works in rain and sunshine. Can be set to fire-and-forget with tons of scheduling options depending on how much lawn maintenance you want to do. The low body and excellent sensors make it safe as houses and ideal for suburban deployment where it could easily encounter kids and pets.
The range is very good on the Miimo cutting up to half an acre, though don’t expect it to take too kindly to slopes or hills. The height is easily adjustable as is everything else via the bright LCD screen on the top. The grinding blades mulch your grass into perfect fertilizer. Lowers water costs and keeps any lawn healthy and happy. Will even shut down if disturbed and then requires a PIN to restart protecting it from would-thieves and large dogs that think it is a new toy. Uses a minimum of electricity as well keeping your power bill low. [Purchase: $3,400]