“Automated lawn mower” probably isn’t something you expected to read today. Yet, in a world where self-driving cars are starting to take off, and having had Roombas for almost twenty years, it’s not inconceivable to think something like this exists now. In this article, you will learn all there is to know about them, why you should definitely get one, and hear about three models that we feel are especially good.
What Are They and How Do They Work
Robot lawn mowers (automatic lawn mowers) are battery powered and typically don’t require intervention to recharge. They’ll return to their charging station on their own when they’re either finished with their task or are too low on power to continue working.
These devices do one important thing, and that thing only: cut your lawn. Everything else is secondary. Keep this in mind, because depending on the model you get, you will be responsible for various things to ensure it operates properly. Most models will have scheduling to a degree, so you usually won’t be manually turning it on and off every day. They also all have some sort of included fencing system so it knows where your lawn is and where is off-property. Beyond that though, things can vary quite a bit.
For example, mobile app integration is not going to be found in the cheaper models. Likewise, while most can safely operate during rainfall, it can get dicey the heavier the downpour is. Higher-end models will include weather sensors that control when to abort the mowing and return to the charging station.
Beyond that, there’s Bluetooth integration, wifi, anti-theft protection, and more, all of which you will only find on more expensive models. It is our opinion it is better to spend more and end up saving more later, as opposed to spending less and saving less overall when the device inevitably needs to be repaired or replaced sooner.
One thing that is just about always consistent though is the setup process. It’s usually pretty similar in the core tasks. It almost always comes with a special bundle of wire you will need to set up the boundary fencing so the robot knows where and where not to mow. The wire is then buried so animals or the weather can’t damage it.
When the mower gets close enough to the wire, it picks up a weak electrical signal that tells it to turn around. This can be fairly time-consuming, and even when done there’s a chance you must adjust it a few times in various places until you figure out what works best for you. Once you do have the fencing where you need it though, you’ll never need to worry about that again.
If that sounds too time-consuming, then you will be happy to know most if not all manufacturers will offer to send somebody out to lay down the wire for you. Note there will obviously be additional costs in that, but you get the advantage of somebody being there to help you understand all the nuances with your device and ensures everything will be working the first time it’s set up.
Why You Need One
There are plenty of people who get satisfaction from doing things themselves. They view things like mowing as a chance to get away from everybody and have some alone time. Others see it as a craft that only they can do correctly. That being said, not everybody has the time, energy, or willpower to pull that off every week (or more!). If you are the type to hire somebody or a company to mow your lawn then chances are this is something you definitely want. For the majority of people, it will quickly pay for itself, as you are only buying the robot and not continuously paying for a service.
Quality Automatic Lawn Mowers You Can Count On
This is the first model that we’d recommend. It’s on the cheaper side of things with mowers on Amazon, but you’re actually getting a good value out of it. If you’re familiar at all with power tools, you might recognize the brand as a well-known power tools manufacturer. They even run on the same 20-volt batteries as them, allowing owners of those tools a very easy and convenient way to swap them out.
The mower has a special feature where it will ride the circumference of your lawn and perform an edge-trimming pass, which cuts down on the number of weeds you have to wack periodically. Finally, it’s surprisingly light. Weighing in at only 23 pounds, it’s one of the lightest robotic mowers on the market.
That probably doesn’t sound too important until you realize you’ll eventually need to pick it up for one reason or another, whether that would be to correct its position, clean the inside of it, or put it away for the season.
Husqvarna easily is the most prolific maker of robot mowers, manufacturing 10 different models, all available for sale. The 315X model includes support for integration with Alexa, Google Home, or even their dedicated app. Even cooler though is its narrow passage feature.
The 315X stores wherever it’s been and keeps track, so that whenever it cuts a thin area or passes through part of the lawn to another, it can vary the route it takes to avoid leaving tracks. Just with a single touch of a button, you can have the top yard in our neighborhood. It even works in the rain! This lawn mower prides itself on creating a “carpet-like” lawn.
The 430XH does everything that the 315X does and a lot more. Right off the bat, the most important feature is the state-of-the-art anti-theft protection. When you purchase the unit, you are given a special pin number that prevents the operation of the unit if stolen. How would it know it’s been stolen, you might ask?
With the built-in GPS navigation system of course! While GPS may not be accurate enough to be able to set up virtual fencing yet, it is more than sufficient to assist in both general navigation and, you guessed it, theft protection. In normal operation, if the robot manages to wander too far off the property and doesn’t pick up the buried fencing, then the GPS will be able to tell it’s off the property and shut itself down.
At that point, regardless of when it’s stolen, it will only become functional again once you enter the pin and answer a couple of questions it displays. This makes sure that your expensive device neither wanders onto the highway one night or gets stolen. Less important, but still certainly cool, is the unique cutting system that, while mowing the lawn, is also mulching it with the very same grass.
This means your lawn is actually getting more healthy when mowed by the robot than it would be if you were the one mowing it!
As you can now see, lawn care doesn’t have to be so time-consuming and potentially even painful. While the initial cost may at first give you pause, you’ll be saving so much time and money in the long run. There’s nothing quite like waking up on a warm summer morning to a perfectly cut lawn, every day. You’ll be the talk of the town, for sure!