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If you’ve been in the market for a robot mower, you’ve probably noticed you have a lot of options.
Many large brands are making robot mowers and every day it seems like new, smaller companies are popping up. Even the popular fundraising platform Kickstarter is filled with projects looking to create the next robot mower.
But you’ve probably also noticed that some of these robot mowers can be quite expensive. And while a few models are coming down in price, there are very few reputable brands once you get well below the $1,000 price point.
But Gardena and their line of robot mowers may change all that. So, below we’ll review Gardena’s line of mowers and see how they compare to more expensive brands and models.
Who Is Gardena?
Gardena has been selling and manufacturing lawn and garden equipment since 1961. Starting out as mostly a trader and reseller, they soon began designing their own tools and equipment. Ultimately, they became a popular European brand for lawn and garden tools that still has a strong following today.
In 2007, they became a member of the Husqvarna group and operate under that parent company, although as a separate division.
Husqvarna also makes robot mowers, so the Gardena Mowers may share some internals with Husqvarna as some of the styling for the Gardena Mowers looks very similar to the Automower Line.
Gardena robot mowers are designed in-house and are manufactured at various facilities located throughout Europe.
The Gardena Lineup
Gardena has a relatively sizable lineup of models considering their small size as a company. All of the mowers are branded under the SILENO name which consists of 6 different mowers.
The mowers are then broken down into 3 categories each with its own name. The Minimo, the City, and the Life models. There are two models of each.
SILENO Minimo 2700
The smallest mower from Gardena, with a total range of 2700 square feet, it’s best for smaller lawns. However, with a price of only $649, it’s one of the cheapest robot mowers you can find.
SILENO Minimo 5400
A step up from the 2700, but only in range. This model can handle lawns up to 5400 square feet with a slightly larger battery. All other features are the same compared to the 2700.
SILENO City 2700
The City line has a little more power than the Minimo series and the main benefit is that it can handle slopes up to 35% compared to the Minimo, which is good for only 25% slopes.
The range is the same as the entry-level Minimo at 2700 square feet and all other features are virtually identical.
SILENO City 5400
A slightly larger battery and charge time give this model the extra range. All other features are the same as the City 2700, including the increased slope maximum.
SILENO Life 8100
For those with larger lawns, the SILENO Life series has you covered. This model has a range of 8100 square feet but there are no real additional features over the previous models other than range.
SILENO Life 16200
As you can probably guess, this model doubles the square footage it can handle from 8100 due to its larger battery and increased power. All of its features are the same as the 8100.
Robots with AI
Sileno mowers now include a brand-new and unique feature called Lona Intelligence. This AI-based technology learns your lawn layout and creates a map that can be accessed on the GARDENA smart App. Easily define zones and set up custom settings for them. With one fingertip you can track the location of your SILENO on the garden map at any time.
Setting Up The Gardena SILENO Mowers
The Gardena SILENO line of mowers are all minimalist in their design and also their features. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It keeps the cost down and it also makes setup rather easy without much to learn or figure out.
These do use a traditional perimeter wire for guidance so a bulk of your setup time will be installing the wire. The mowers do come with instructions and the app can help you find videos to help with installing the wires.
Overall, that aspect was similar to other perimeter wire mowers we’ve tested and we had no issues installing the wire. Each mower came with more than enough perimeter wire and enough staples to get the job done.
As far as the setup goes, there isn’t much else. The app doesn’t use a remote control feature like some newer models, so in order to tweak the path, you have to move the perimeter wire as needed.
However, this is usually not necessary and once you get it set properly, you never have to touch the wire again.
Gardena SILENO Performance
Despite the somewhat basic features, these mowers performed flawlessly from the start. The two models we had access to were both extremely quiet. In fact, they were some of the quietest robot mowers we have tested.
We did notice they were definitely a little slower than some other mowers with similar ranges. However, those competing mowers also often cost $200-$300 more.
But even though it was slower, the SILENO mowers still worked fine. It just took an extra few hours to a day to get that first cut totally finished. From that point on, the lawn looked neat and trim as the mower made its regular rounds.
All the Gardena mowers use the disc-style cutting head that most robot mowers are using these days. We assume these are made at the same factory as the Husqvarna blades.
The blades give you just over a 6-inch cutting width and the mower allows for height adjustments of .8 to 2 inches.
For those that like their grass a little longer, this may be a negative as some other mowers can generally go to about 2.5 inches to 3 inches as a maximum height. So it’s something to be aware of based on your preference.
Cutting height is controlled manually via a dial on the mower itself.
Gardena SILENO App
The SILENO app also works with other app-enabled Gardena products, such as their watering systems. So you can schedule your watering and your mowing and the app will know if there is a conflict.
The app is simple and lacks many advanced features, but it’s also very easy to use and we had no issue with it.
It is Bluetooth only and there is no wifi option with any of the mowers. This means you have to be relatively close (30 feet max) to the mower for it to work.
We have heard with some phones you may have to update the mower’s firmware to get it to connect. This requires you to connect a standard USB cable from your computer to the mower.
This is only needed in certain circumstances, but the app will let you know how to troubleshoot the problem and how to update the firmware if it can’t get a connection.
Overall Review of The Gardena SILENO Mowers
On the surface, these mowers may seem a little bare-bones, but that’s also their main appeal and selling point.
Generally, when you are chasing a bargain, you have to sacrifice features and quality. With the Gardena SILENO mowers, you only give up a few features but the quality is still there.
Performance was great with these little mowers and the only negative we could find was the slightly slower speed compared to some more expensive mowers. Other than that, the cutting performance was very similar.
Complex edges along your lawn may be a problem as there is no way to tweak certain zones via the app or remote control. You can still get it perfect, but it will require you to move the guidewire around. However, this is only needed for more complex shapes or corners.
Overall, these are great budget-friendly mowers and they come from a brand and parent company that you can trust. If you’re in the market for an entry-level mower, make sure to consider the Gardena SILENO mowers as they just be the perfect fit for your needs.
Where to Buy
You can find the SILENO lineup of robot mowers on Amazon or Autmow. With Autmow, you get US-based customer service from a technical support team with decades of robotic lawnmower experience. And you can use the Autmow coupon code to save 5%.