Robot mowers range in price from several hundred dollars at the low end to several thousand dollars at the high end. They all have one or more means of connectivity (wifi, bluetooth, gps, or cellular). They all mow the lawn area assigned to. They then return to their charging station, charge up, and head back out to mow more. There are robot mowers that specialize in mowing steep lawns and commercial properties, but this calculator is not intended for them. This tool is meant to give you an estimate of the cost to buy a wireless GPS-enabled residential robot mower. And when you see the cost estimate, only you can decide if a robot mower is worth it.
While mowing the lawn does get you outside to enjoy sunny summer weather, most people can likely name several other activities they’d prefer to do outside on a beautiful day. This perennial chore no longer has to be something you outsource to your teens or begrudgingly do yourself. Thanks to advanced technology, you can let a robot do your lawn mowing.
Robot mowers are growing increasingly popular and as such, each new model comes with more and more improvements. Like robot vacuum cleaners, the idea is that you let your mower roam your yard while you busy yourself with more important or fun endeavors.
If you are thinking of buying a robot mower but aren’t sure of the cost or if they are right for you, look no further. We’ve got answers for all your robot mower questions.
Do robot mowers work?
Yes! Robot mowers can be highly effective especially when used regularly. If you’re simply looking to keep your lawn trim and neat but don’t care too much about the direction your grass is cut, or that every inch is cut the same length at the same time, a robot mower is right for you.
Robot mowers work much like robot vacuums. They wander freely around your yard in every direction until they bump into something or reach the edge of your property line. If you don’t have fencing to keep the robot mower within the boundaries of your yard, you will need to lay out a wire (like an invisible fence) along the perimeter of your yard. This is probably the most labor-intensive step of the process but once you lay the wire once, you don’t have to do it again.
Robot mowers have safety features that prevent them from running over objects like kids’ toys, garden hoses or planters. When they hit an object, they simply turn around and move in another direction. They also automatically stop running if they are picked up.
Because they do have “bumpers,” robot mowers cannot cut too close to the edge of fencing or your home. Therefore, you may still need to trim certain areas of your yard.
If you want to ensure your grass appears evenly cut, it’s best to run your robot mower at least once a week as it can take time for it to reach every section of your lawn (depending on the size of your yard).
How long do they last?
Like regular lawn mowers, you can expect your robot mower to last a fairly long time if well-maintained. Most robot mowers will give you about 10 years of hassle-free grass cutting. This can depend on a number of factors including the thickness of your grass, the size and slope of your lawn, and the climate in your area.
Like most other appliances, the cost of robot mowers is significant, but if you treat your robot mower well, it will return the favor. Most robot mowers run on lithium-ion batteries so this part will most frequently need to be replaced. To prolong the life your mower, make sure you follow some simple tips.
Keep the charging station in the shade. During grass cutting seasons, your robot mower will return to the charging station when not in use (or if it starts to rain). Keeping this away from the scorching sun or torrential rains will help extend the life of your mower.
Clean the mower regularly. You can clear out tufts of grass and other debris by simply lifting the mower and looking underneath.
Sharpen the blades as necessary. Smooth, sharp blades require less strain on the machine and batteries so be sure to periodically check the blades.
Prepare your robot mower for winter months by fully recharging the battery before cleaning and stripping the machine for storage.
Replace batteries as necessary.
Most robot mowers also come with some kind of warranty so be sure to check before you buy.
What maintenance is required?
The maintenance on your robot mower is fairly minimal but definitely should not be ignored. The three main aspects of robot mower maintenance include regular cleanings, and periodically replacing blades and batteries.
To clean your machine, make sure it is turned off or remove the batteries. Flip it over so you can see underneath. Pull out any grass clippings and debris. For a deep clean, use a coarse bristled brush and/or a wet cloth to dislodge and clear out grass that has stuck to the sides of the mower. You could also use a vacuum to clean out debris that is tucked into tight spaces. The more often you clean it, the quicker the process. If you let weeks of grass become lodged in the machine, it will take longer to clean.
To replace the blades, you need to determine which type of blade your robot mower employs. Are they smaller freely rotating blades or larger, individually mounted blades? Freely rotating blades generally have to be replaced more frequently. Both types of blades can be fairly easily removed with a screwdriver and careful handling of the blades. If you are uncomfortable with this step, you can ask if they will do this for you at your local hardware store.
To replace the batteries, simply ensure you have the correct size and voltage replacement and follow the instructions in your owner’s manual.
Where can you buy a robot mower?
Because robot mowers are becoming more and more popular, you no longer need to search for them at a specialty garden centers. You can find an excellent variety of both top-of-the-line and more basic models at most big box hardware stores online and in person.
We love the options at Lowes, Amazon, and Walmart. At these stores, you will find well-known brands like John Deere, Worx, and Landroid. You’ll also find some lesser-known models like ones from MowRo, Greenworks and Robomow.
Each of these retailers has robot mowers at various price points to fit both your unique lawn needs and your budget. Be sure you understand the best mower for your size and shape lawn. At Lowes and Walmart, you can shop online or at your local store if you prefer to see the mower before you buy.
If you buy on Amazon, you’ll benefit from hundreds of real, honest reviews and extensive product descriptions. You can also easily compare different models and features to ensure you get exactly what you need.
Returns at all three retailers are generally hassle free.
Robot mowers are an excellent way to free up your precious summer weekend hours. With a little bit of work to initially install, you’ll get season after season of reliable mowing provided you take some simple steps to care for your machine.
Most robot mowers are about as loud as a window air-conditioning unit and will freely roam your yard without you even realizing it’s working. They are safe and effective even for families with kids and pets. And when you consider the time they will save you by not having to mow (or maintain much), the cost is not bad at all. Start your search for a robot mower today but visiting your favorite retailer and spend your summer relaxing, not toiling away at landscaping!