I Tested And Ranked The Best Robot Lawn Mowers In 2023
The best robotic lawn mowers are fully-automatic, easy to set up and program, and very quiet. However, they don’t come cheap. Here’s my personal ranking of the best options on Amazon.
FYI, prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.
1. MAMMOTION LUBA - Mows up to 1.25 Acres
Top-rated: 158 ratings
Highlight: Mobile app for easily setting up mowing tasks and no-go-zones for multiple working areas.
Helpful review: "I recently purchased some property that's an acre total, we're at just under an acre of yard that needs to be maintained. I attempted mowing most of this using a small electric push-mower that I previously had owned. As expected this wasn't "cutting" it… pun intended. I spent days cutting after work and by the time I was "done" the area I first started at had already started growing back up… I haven't even gotten into the challenges with battery management using this method. I realized immediately the need to upgrade to something more efficient to address the problem I was faced with.
I started looking into ZT's, if you don't know what that acronym is short for I envy you haha. A ZT refers to a Zero Turn mower, you're probably thinking hey, what about your typical riding mower? I looked at those but due to the complexity of my yard - complexity is something we'll talk more about… I decided a Zero Turn would be the most efficient tool for the task. I continued my research and reached out to my neighbors who all seem to have Zero Turn's to take care of their yards to hear their thoughts. They all suggested that nothing less than a Zero Turn would do. I took their advice and went to the Lowe's website to purchase one immediately. Lowe's delivery time was estimated at a few weeks out, great I thought…
It was around this time that I started looking into robot mowers and their capabilities. I learned a lot and grew particularly interested in the RTK technology (Real time Kinematics) that solves the signal issues most GPS mowers would encounter in a yard that's as Complex as mine. I have 50 ft trees everywhere on this lot, most of which have some pretty bad roots that reach above the surface. I've also got random tree stumps all over that add to the complexity of the yard. The complexity here is nothing for a Zero Turn mower but for an automated robot would be a massive challenge.
Shortly after putting in my order for the ZT Mower I started paying more attention to my neighbors level of effort to mow with these $3000, $4000+ heavy duty machines. Even with a Zero turn most of my neighbors easily spent at least 2+ hours mowing. I'm including trimming, blowing and edging here. Most of them have similar challenges with the yard complexity and their not professional landscapers so even while equipped with the most capable of machines, it still takes more time than I was hoping to especially considering the costs. I consider just about any ZT mower to be a commercial grade machine, they're huge and built for one purpose. When not in use my neighbors have these monsters taking up considerable space. I quickly had some buyers remorse and thought this solution wasn't practical. I cancelled my ZT order and started reaching out to Landscaping services feeling defeated.
Finding a (objectively speaking) "fairly priced" landscaper was challenging, many pointed out that the above ground roots and the random stumps lead to the exorbitant prices they proposed.
MOWING WITH THE LUBA:
I'd spent hours upon hours researching every RTK robot mower up to this point and was extremely confident that the Luba may offer me the solution I'm looking for. I purchased it and let it loose on my backyard which I did a quick sweep of to remove large debris like fallen tree limbs and branches, rocks, baseballs? Haha yeah. It got stuck a lot on that first run… To preface this I should've shared that I was new to the Robot Vacuum scene when they first were a thing. I had Roborock's first lidar vacuum and I was sold on automated navigation tech. Man does the Luba shine, the RTK allows it to navigate precisely in my backyard that in some areas are entirely covered by tree's. Luba, will lose its main satellite connections but will push through thanks to the RTK assistance.
RTK is the way folks. Mapping out no go zones is a painful task, and I'm hoping Mammotion is able to improve this as it's just a pinpoint with the software, their app, which can be improved through an over the air update. They should just rip. I mean they should get some inspiration from what the robot vacuum's are doing for map management of zones and whatnot.
ONE WEEK THOUGHTS:
I'm just one week in, and after a few days of running the Luba multiple times in each zone, I've finally been able to get it to a set and forget stage. I still can't believe it myself how practical this is and I often sit down and wonder to myself what the implications of technologies like this being brought into other devices…
So many mundane and dangerous tasks can be sorted out…
Anyway, my Luba runs in the rain, at night… It's whisper quiet btw. It runs when I'm home or away.. The neighbors have all signed up to look out for it as it's sparked the interest of just about everyone haha. They couldn't wait to bring it up in conversation. I've seen folks stopping to take photos of it, I see lawn care companies coming to a full halt in the middle of the street as they watch in amazement. You don't need to sweat it out anymore and in the age where everything is a subscription it was a huge relief for me to not have my Lawn be one of them. I'm contemplating buying a fleet of these guys to start up something here in the neighborhood, I can make a cutting subscription service and repo the Luba's if payment isn't received haha..
I don't know that the price point and my lack of not wanting to cut my own yard much less others makes me a good fit to kick something like this off. But I think there's a way to make it a thing, I know there are commercial robo mowers using this tech as well.
As most reviewers on YouTube and here will tell you, if you're on the fence, I'd recommend giving it a go. My yard's about as complex as it gets, and the LUBA gets the job done. Will it take some time to properly "onboard" and configure the device, yes especially if it's also complex. Once you take some time setting up your no go zone's though this thing can't be touched. I haven't even gotten into the quality of the cut.. Stripes! I've never had a striped lawn or even known I needed one but I have them and it looks great! I don't see stripes with my neighbors ZT cut lawns.
*READ THIS BEFORE YOU PURCHASE!*
It's a new device though so you'll need to understand that the app isn't perfect and the instructions/support may not be all there. I haven't needed to reach out and I'm hoping I never do but I have seen some complaints on YouTube about poor tracking/positioning, poor cut quality and some concerns about the waterproofing.
I encountered 2 of these issues and want to share what worked for me. When I first installed the Luba and RTK antenna I just stuck it in the ground as close to the first power outlet that I could find. It was touching the house and was positioned under the roof overhang.
No - I didn't read any of the instructions haha. Of course this positioning of the RTK and base caused poor signal quality with the satellites. I moved the RTK and base behind the house about 15 ft. out where it had a clear enough view of the sky (there's still some tree coverage but it has surprisingly good signal). I haven't had any communication issues that caused the mower to stop it's mowing progress since this change.
I also had issues with the blades gumming up which would cause them to not slide out to cut the grass. The way these robo mower blades are set up are pretty cool, they're tiny but effective and the safety considerations made are great. I found this only really happened when the grass was wet (who mows wet grass? Luba does haha) and when the grass was overgrown. My first backyard cut left the Luba to work through both of these challenges. It was a bit annoying but I would tip the Luba on it's side to inspect and free up the blades to ensure I was getting the sharpest cut. I haven't had issues with this since the grass has been cut down to height and I only cut now when the grass is relatively dry (early morning dew seems to have little to no impact I've also noticed). I want to come up with a permanent solution for this. I saw a few youtubers who have come up with some solutions and will be looking to do the same on my Luba. Huskvarna mowers seemed to have solved for this as they have a similar blade setup where they put a plate that covers the blades when they are retracted minimizing the chances of the build up of grass gunk that seems to get the blades stuck. A guy on YouTube made on from plastic binders from walmart - just cut a circle, and screwed it onto the bottom of the Luba and seemed to have had great success. I want to get an aluminum circle from Home Depot and cut it down to see if I can make the Huskvarna equivalent to solve for this.
The last issue is the complaints about water damage. The Luba is IP68 rated I believe? I can't recall I know it's got some decent water proofing though - that should be expected for something that lives outside right? Well, some folks are cleaning Luba a bit too thoroughly. Here's the simplest way to explain this… Luba doesn't like Baths or dunks. It also doesn't like upside down showers.
They built it to roll on the ground and the waterproofing considerations seem to be made with this positioning in mind as well. Folks have been turning over the Luba on it's back and soaking it down with water. Some of the waterproofing rubbers, especially around the moving parts like the blade motors underneath and the wheel, suspension covers have some play in them to allow the Luba to be as versatile and flexible when it comes to mowing. You should see this thing's suspension and AWD power when it climbs a hill. Crazy impressive! I couldn't even make it up the same hill with my light electric push mower. It just crawls right up - IN IT'S PATTERN. It's just flexing on me at this point but yeah. Don't turn it over and soak it down with water. Just use a couple of damp microfiber rags and rinse it quickly with a hose. The rain doesn't seem to be an issue as it's in it's "proper" position.
I'll give an update in a few weeks or if I run into any issues sooner than that. I can say I'm thoroughly impressed by Mammotion's Luba and would easily recommend it especially if you have to make similar considerations today with how to maintain your lawn." — Lamont Largie
Get it from Amazon now: $2,799.00 & FREE Returns
2. Gardena SILENO Minimo - Mows up to 2700 Sq. Ft.
Top-rated: 7,279 ratings
Highlight: Collision sensors ensures the mower operates safely with no accidents or damage to your garden.
Helpful review: "This is an extremely convenient little device, if like me you absolutely hate mowing, don’t mind a little setup and prep, and don’t care about a “perfect” lawn.
So let me preface this full review with: I absolutely loathe mowing. I tend to avoid it as much as possible and as such my yard frequently gets out of control very quickly in the Florida rain. That being said, this little guy is exactly what someone like me needs, something to make my yard look presentable without all the hours of manual work. And it’s probably the coolest thing I now own.
PREP AND SETUP:
I definitely suggest watching the YouTube videos from the manufacturer on how to unbox and setup the mower, the included guide was quite lengthy and a little hard to follow but after watching the videos, setup was a breeze. Unboxing everything was also easy, everything was packed and labeled nicely, and I was actually surprised with how compact the mower was.
You absolutely need to clear out your yard of any large branches or obstacles that the mower might catch on. I did see it get stuck on some branches that I missed cleaning up.
The hardest and lengthiest part of setup is definitely setting up the boundary/guide wire. This process involves outlining your yard with the included wire. These wires connect back to the base station where I’m assuming it then gets power to tell the mower where the boundary limits are. There’s also a guide wire that runs from the base station to the boundary wire where they’re spliced together with an included coupler. If you’re not familiar with cutting and joining wires this might seem a little daunting but honestly after watching the videos it was very straightforward.
The biggest thing is to absolutely make sure the wire is firmly in the ground. The instructions give 2 options: One using stakes and the other to bury the wire. I opted to use the stakes, but I made the initial mistake of not using more of them closer together and the mower got tangled in the wire, this was an easy fix by making sure about every 2 feet of wire a stake was put down to hold it down (they included a lot of stakes).
RUNNING THE MOWER:
As soon as you power on the mower you go through a simple install wizard to set your preferences and schedule. You also can override the schedule to test it out and let it run. You should definitely watch it the first time to make sure it runs smoothly but after that it’s basically set it and forget it. I don’t know if it could handle large brush, but I had mowed my lawn a few weeks prior, so it didn’t have to work very hard. I watched it go for about 30 minutes before I went back inside where I continually checked on it, it didn't get stuck and after a couple hours made it's way back to the base station to charge up for the day.
SETTING UP THE APP:
There's another review on here that mentioned not having the Bluetooth model and not being able to use the app, which got me thinking the one I had also didn't have Bluetooth. Turns out all their models have Bluetooth, you just need to have the app open and turn off the mower while it's in the station and turn it back on. It was listed as P0.2 on my phone, I renamed him to 'Fenton'. My Android phone picked it up almost immediately and I was pretty happy with the options, which allows you to better select your schedule or spot mow a specific area where you place it and of course manually start it for a set period.
CHARGING STATION COVER:
The weather is quite sporadic here in Florida, getting the charging station cover or "Garage" is a nice addition to not have to worry about it. It provides a nice little cover from the extreme heat and the Florida downpours. While the guide says the mower is built for all types of weather, I do recommend getting the cover if you'd like a little more peace of mind. Install takes all of 5 minutes and looks like it's built to last.
The mower is insanely quiet, I only ever heard the blade when it hit a taller piece of grass. I was also very surprised with how maneuverable it is. I have very soft, leaf ridden soil and so my push mower constantly digs into the always wet soil, and it makes it pretty difficult sometimes to mow. This little guy I guess is light enough that it hasn’t gotten stuck. All that being said, this mower is not a “do it all” type of device, at least not for my yard. I set my boundaries to basically a large open area, I’ll have to touch up the areas where I thought it wouldn’t work very well because of large brush or just obstacles that would get in the way.
I would highly recommend this mower to people with very “simple” yard layouts and those who hate mowing. For me it’s extremely convenient having a freshly kept yard without doing any of the work." — Patrick Clark
Get it from Amazon now: $649.99 & FREE Returns
3. Worx Landroid - Mows up to 0.5 Acre
Top-rated: 472 ratings
Highlight: The 20V 6.0Ah Power Share battery is compatible with all Worx 20V, 40V and 80V tools, outdoor power and lifestyle products.
Helpful review: "After reading all the negative reviews and watching many negative videos I decided that I would still give the Landroid L a try. I am glad that I did. This robot does a fine job in my opinion. There are some minor improvements that would make it even better. I will get in to these later in this review.
I not only purchased the Landroid, but I also got the ACS, Dual Off Limits , Radio Link and Garage. All of these accessories work very well.
First of all I am 73 years old and almost blind. I went with a robot mower mainly because of my poor vision. I decided to bury the boundary wire instead of pegging it down. It is only buried to a depth of less than one inch. I did this all by myself. I buried around 850 feet of wire. It took me 5 days and was hard work as I did it with only hand tools. I think the extra effort will be worth it in the long run. Before I buried the wire I tested different areas of my yard with the 165 foot accessory kit wire by pegging it down in places that I thought might be a problem for Landroid to mow. I found that these areas were not a problem after all. I was mostly concerned about the slopes in my yard. The slope runs right to the boundary of my yard so I could not stay the recommended distance away as noted in the manual. The Landroid did not have a problem over running the boundary wire as so many people have complained about. This may be because the firmware has been altered to rectify the problem, but I do not really know this for a fact. Any way I went ahead and buried the wire.
My yard is quite bumpy and this seems to not bother the Landroid at all. I bought the Anti collision system as an add on so I would not have to make no go zones around my propane tank, bird feeder pole, well pipe, observatory and a tree. It works very nicely most of the time in avoiding these items. Once in a while it will bump in to them but not a big deal.
I have it mowing two zones which are the front and back yards. I separated the zones by running the boundary wire 6 inches apart through a passage way separating the two zones. I also used small lengths of magnetic strips to prevent the Landroid from leaving the zone by following the narrow 6 inch passage that the wire created. I had to do this because the Landroid did try to enter the other zone through the 6 inch opening. I have also set up two short cuts with the magnetics strips and the dual off limits module so the Landroid will take a shorter way back to the charging base. These two uses of the magnetic strips are very useful as well as it's no go capability.
I have been running the mower for four weeks now and it has not got stuck once or over run the boundary wire. I have run over pine cones and small twigs with out any issues. So far my lawn looks great as the Landroid does a great job of maintaining it at a set height of 2.7 inches. I have it mowing each zone for two hours each every day unless there is a rain delay.
The battery life seems to be quite good. I have the 6.0 AH battery and it used only 35% over a 1 and 1/2 hour time period. Of course it was not cutting much grass so I guess the life will shorten as it cuts more grass.
The mower works very well but the free app can be a bit of a challenge to figure out when it comes to redefining zones. The instructions for this are somewhat lacking. When I tried to re set up the zones I kept getting error messages. After a lot of trial and error I finally figured what needed to be done to accomplish the task. Before redefining zones you need to first disable multi zones in the app. I also needed to run the mower and send it back to the base using the controls in the app. After doing this I was able to redefine the zones. The initial zone set up was however very easy to do.
This is not a real big deal but it would be nice if zones were handled differently during a rain delay. My yard is divided into two zones. My Landroid was waiting out a rain delay before starting to start mowing zone 1. After the delay ended and mowing of zone 1 started, it started to rain again so the mower returned to it's base as it is supposed to do. When the rain delay again ended the mower went to zone 2 instead of finishing zone 1. It would be nice if it would resume mowing the zone it was in when the rain delay occurred. I have my zones set up so that the mower can not leave it until it returns home. I have the mower set to mow zone 1 for 1 1/2 hour and zone 2 for 1 hour because zone 1 is larger than zone 2. When what I described above happens the mower will then mow zone 2 longer than zone 1. My only solution to this is to make both zones have the same mowing times. To accomplish the different times for each zone I had the mower going out twice a day. In other words schedule 1 corresponds with zone 1 and schedule 2 with zone 2. This works great if there is no rain delays. Another solution to this is Worx changing the software so that the mower returns to the zone it was in when the delay occurred. Just a suggestion to make a great mower even better.
I also modified the garage so that it will allow rain to get to the rain sensor. I did this by using a small length of pvc pipe which i attached to the underside of one of the roof supports of the garage with one screw. I plugged one end of the pipe and drilled a hole in the pipe near the plugged end of the pipe. I placed a small funnel in the hole. When it rains the funnel catches the water and it flows along the pipe and exits at the other end of the pipe which is directly over the rain sensor. This was simple to do and works good. I also only had to put one very small hole in the garage where it can not be seen easily..
The bottom line here is that I think this mower works great and is going to be a big help for this somewhat blind old man. It is a bit of work to set it up especially when burying the wire but you only need to do it once. If you are on the fence about getting this mower, my advice is to just bite the bullet and do it. Just be sure to read the manual and do a good job installing the boundary wire. If you peg it down I would suggest to get more stakes as the mower does not come with enough of them unless your yard is perfectly flat with no bumps.
I am doing this update mostly because of another reviewer who recently updated their review because of firmware 184.108.40.206+1 This reviewer reported a lot of issues after getting this update. I have the same mower except I did not upgrade to the 8 ah battery and I do not have the "find my Landroid module". I did not have any of the issues that this person has. I did, however, experience two different issues after getting this firmware update. I no longer get notifications to my phone. Before the update I got notifications about everything. The activity log does however now work better and gives me all status updates.
The other issue I am now having is how the Landroid reacts with my isolated loop during the Landroid going home. While going home, if the mower comes in contact with the isolated loop before hitting other parts of the boundary wire it will think the isolated section is a normal boundary wire and follow it in an effort to get home. So now it will just go in a circle around the isolated loop until the battery runs dead. I fixed this by changing the isolated loop where the boundary wire is supposed to be right next to each other. I moved these wires to be 4 inches apart. Now the mower sees this loop as a part of the regular boundary and will follow it when going back to the base.
The 4 inch wide section gets cut twice a week while the mower does it's edge cut, so no longer a problem. The only difference is now the mower has to travel an additional 60 feet when going home. The advantage to this is that the mower does a edge cut around the rose garden and looks much neater. Of these two issues, the no notifications is the big one. If the mower has a error such as outside boundary wire I will not know about it unless I watch the Landroid all the time. I have had a outside the boundary wire error four times now. It was caused by the front castors hitting a pine cone while on a slope and getting diverted from the wire when searching for a zone. This is not a problem with the Landroid as I should keep the pine cones out of the mowing area any how.
I could rectify these issues by reverting to the previous firmware version but my ACS works much better with this version of the firmware. Hopefully Worx will fix these firmware issues in another update. I still like my Landroid and would still recommend it." — Elaine Hansen
Get it from Amazon now: $1,499.99 & FREE Returns
4. Husqvarna Automower® - Mows up to 0.4 Acre
Top-rated: 125 ratings
Highlight: Equipped with a built-in alarm system that will sound if it is lifted and is only deactivated with your unique PIN code.
Helpful review: "I was skeptical at first, but I am rather pleased. I was in no way compensated for this opinion.
I have a dog that doesn't like grass, much like tall grass. She (dog) has an area in the back yard that is fenced to the space of about 60' x 50' that she can freely go without a leash. But, I live out in the sticks and that is also where the septic system is located - meaning it grows like crazy. I work and am getting older and find it difficult to mow as often as is needed, and then as often as she would prefer. I like the warmth of summer, but hate the dread of constantly and continuously fighting with the grass. When I have the time or energy to mow, it rains and ruins everything - and the grass grows.
I was aware of automowers, but somehow Amazon made it super easy to justify purchasing one with their credit card and no interest payments for a year and as luck would have it, this little 115h was in stock for way less than others, after several YouTube videos, I decided to try it, but it was going right back in the box and back if it could not handle the incline. It arrived via Amazon delivery on a Monday. I didn't even open the box until Friday or Saturday. There are 3 areas of my yard in the picture, the back with the blue fence indicator, the front and the side on the other side of my driveway. I had intended to main zone the back yard, and then secondary zone the front yard and across the driveway.
It was drizzly and cold when I put the boundary wire in. I did not bury them, I staked them in and the wet actually made it easier to get the stakes in the ground. I did NOT mow beforehand as recommended. The basic process is that you determine where you want the boundary to be, you stake it to the ground by crouching or kneeling, you get up, move over about 3 feet (ish), crouch down, insert another stake, etc for what is about 1,700 feet of boundary wire. After a minute, it hurts. The orange line is from one spool, the yellow is from another and you see where I got. My neighbor actually mows the part I did not stake, so....
The boundary wire is also used as the guide wire with use of a connector. 4 connectors are included. There is also a "low voltage" wire included, which goes into the power supply and acts as an extension cable to the charger unit for more flexibility in dock placement. I am limited as I have 1 spot in the back yard that is flat and it is up on an incline and that is right by the house.
Challenges of the main area: the prior homeowners dug a rather large burn pit about 12-15' in diameter. I did originally form an island entirely around it. Also, the incline that is most pronounced closer to the house but is inclined throughout. There are also areas that are dipped that are smaller, maybe1-2 foot. I had originally packed these smaller ones with top soil from Lowes.
Challenges of the front yard: there is a pit closer to the driveway and the road about a foot deep, wide and about 3 feet long with ditch shoots from it. And there are trees, several of them. And then right by the house where the two lines meet, there is a 8x12' patch on the other side of the sidewalk.
Mowing the Main Area: my mower has a name. It is Tiny. Tiny did not like that I did not mow the yard prior to first use. It was also wet and he did slip some on the hilly area. I do not let Tiny mow in the rain. Tiny also did not like the crab grass that is thick and makes up about 10-15% of the back yard. He did get stuck repetitively on a few of the dimples in the yard. I did wind up observing Tiny over a few days and did take the weedwhacker at the crabgrass and other areas where I noticed it repetitively stopped and turned around (though he will turn his ash-end on to it and cut things all the same). Honestly, after the 2nd day, the back yard was fantastic.
Mowing the front area (Secondary Area): the flowery weeds were about 10" tall and he repetitively ran into the trees and got caught between the line of trees and the boundary wire closer to the road. But more annoyingly, he found the hole...a lot. With some supervision and bump-stopping him with my feet, he did mow the front yard satisfactorily.
Then I got Tennessee Chert mixed with some sand, and over the week after work I filled in the burn pit in the back and front yard, packed them down with my feet and body weight. The day after it rained and Tiny did not mow. The following day, Tiny became basically unsupervised without incident in the back yard. He can do the job just as well in the front yard, but since that is more visible to the neighbors and road, I don't want him to get stolen. Yes, he is pin-coded and every time you pick him up, you have to put that code in or he won't work, but that would not keep someone from running off with him and then I wouldn't have it to mow the yard.
Tiny does have just the knack of finding himself on the path to the dog whenever the dog actually wants to potty. My main negative is that there isn't a digit keypad for when you have to put in the pin. There are only arrows: up, down and to the sides. So if he's parked on the app, you still sometimes have to manually tell him to start. Another negative is that he won't clean the house. Otherwise, Tiny is a good lil' autobot." — Monica Delaney
Get it from Amazon now: $699.95 & FREE Returns
5. GARDENA SILENO City - Mows up to 5400 Sq. Ft.
Top-rated: 1,405 ratings
Highlight: Cuts all shapes of lawns within the boundary wire limits, including slopes of up to a 35% gradient (19°).
Helpful review: "I owned a robotic lawnmower ("Robomower 500") 15+ years ago and I did the installation myself; it was a fairly easy process. More recently, I owned a competitor to this mower, and it was professionally installed. Installation of this mower is identical to both, so the self-installation is a viable option for most people. I used the existing wires that were installed for my last mower since they were identical wires, except for color, and the two systems had the same general design of a boundary wire and a guide wire.
I am breaking this review into three sections: Installation, Features, and Operation.
It is important before doing any installation that you call the 811 (Call-Before-You-Dig) number for your area, to ensure that all underground utility lines are identified and marked before the installation. You should do this even if you are self-installing. Other items to do include filling any holes in the lawn, removing sticks, toys, and other debris that might interfere with the mower. You also want to preplan the installation so that you know exactly where the boundary and guide wires will be installed.
Installation consists of determining a location for the mower’s charge station, installing the perimeter boundary wire and the center guide wire, wiring them to the mower’s charge station, and running power to the charge station. Installation of the guide wires can be done yourself, or you can hire an outside company to do the installation. Since many other robot mower manufacturers use the same type of wiring system, there are generally installers out there that can do this for you.
If you do the installation yourself, you can either lay the wiring on top of the grass or rent a cable installing machine from your local big box store. I would rent the machine so that the wire is buried, which is what was done with my current installation. Installation on top of the grass consists of laying out the wire and stapling it down with the included staples. It is important to get the wire as close to the ground as possible to avoid the mower cutting it or it being otherwise damaged. The lawn should be mowed as short as possible in the areas where the wire will be laid to get it as close as possible to the ground. Eventually the grass will grow around the wire, and it will disappear.
There is an included template that provides the measurements of how far from the lawn’s edge, fences, gardens, house, etc., that the boundary wire should be installed. Since the mower runs past the boundary wire a bit before stopping, it is not to be installed closer than recommended to these objects. Do not worry about trees, swings, utility boxes, etc. in the yard – the mower will bump into them, stop, then change directions.
Once the wires are installed, and the charge station is installed and wired for power, the mower is placed into the charge station to charge. While charging, you can program the basic settings necessary for the mower to be operational, such as language, country, date, time, and PIN code. Afterward, and once fully charged, the system goes through a calibration process to establish the corridor width then runs along the guide wire to where it connects to the boundary wire. If the calibration is successful, the mower starts to mow.
One of the features of this mower is the ability to set a daily schedule of when the mower will start and end its mowing. The manual has a reference for determining how long the mower should operate each day based on the size of the mowed area. Since my mowed area is about 4000 square feet, I set the schedule to run 10 hours each day. My mower runs from 3am to 1:00pm. I like to avoid the heat of the afternoon, so it runs mostly overnight and in the morning. I will change to a later time as we move into Fall.
Operational settings can be set from either the mower’s menu or from the Gardena app. I did not download the app because it only works via Bluetooth, so its range is limited. I would just as soon do the programming on the mower. Operational settings such as adjusting the schedule, enabling SensorControl, selecting a security level, setting the lawn coverage and corridor cut functions, setting how far it drives past the boundary wire, etc. can all be set. I believe that the PIN can only be set from the mower.
SensorControl allows the mower to operate based on its determination of how fast the grass is growing. If you have the schedule set for 8 hours, but it determines that it does not need to run for more than 6 hours to properly cut the grass, it will stop at 6 hours. It will never run for more than your set time, so if more than 8 hours are needed, it will still stop at 8 hours. With SensorControl on, you should increase the scheduled hours so that it can run longer if needed.
The only security with this mower is the PIN. If it is stolen, it cannot be operated unless the PIN is known. Unfortunately, this does not help you get it back. I am not sure, but if you report it stolen to Gardena, it might be recovered if it is brought to a dealer for a PIN recovery.
The lawn coverage feature allows you to allocate a percentage of the cutting time to certain areas of your yard. This might be helpful if you want the front yard mowed more than the back yard. The corridor cut feature is used for narrow passage mowing.
The mowing height ranges from 0.8"- 2.0". If you have grass that you like to keep taller than 2", then this mower is not for you. In my case, the 2" setting is perfect.
Since being installed, the mower has been mowing almost daily for a week. While it is capable of running during periods of rain, I decided to not have it mow during mostly rainy days. So far there have been no tracks left in my lawn. Since I have experience with robot mowers, I know what to expect, and this mower is performing as I would expect. My lawn looks consistently cut to the exact same length throughout the entire property. There are areas of grass along my sidewalk, privacy fence, and the house which are not cut because a system such as this is not designed to get that close to these obstacles in order to avoid damage. I just need to weed whack in these areas occasionally. The mower is exceptionally quiet. I do not hear it running except when I am close by, and even then, it is not really noticeable." — Hugh Carter
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6. MowRo Robot Mower - Mows up to 0.25 Acre
Top-rated: 35 ratings
Highlight: Has a cutting width of 9.5 inches.
Helpful review: "We bought this via a local big box hardware store's web site. Mentioning that because I am guessing Amazon would actually do better as far as not "accidentally" sending us a used one at new price, like the big box store did. Although we had the option to return it in person, it actually would have been just as easy for returns if we had used Amazon, so you're likely just as okay to fulfill the order here if that's a worry you have. Also, the RM24 does NOT have smart features. There is a model that does but it's about $100 more expensive. Took me awhile to realize we got the dumb one. What does that say about me, lol. But truly - I'm not a tech wizard nor particularly handy AND I have a TBI (which was why we got it, but also because of angry stinging insects and an allergy to life itself), so if I can do this, you can too.
Now, about the robot...
We have a hillier yard than the RM24 is graded for, which means it spends a lot of time literally spinning its wheels, stuck on wet grass or soil where traction is tougher. We plan to eventually transition hilly areas to wildflowers, so will move the boundary cable. But for now, we just spend a little bit of time every day just helping our little Mowbuddy out. This isn't for you if you want an absolutely perfect lawn all the time. It will tear up the grass and leave little wheel marks on many uneven or hilly spots especially when the ground is wet. But it does good about keeping our lawn within local ordinance laws.
And it's cute. We gave it googly eyes and a mustache. The neighborhood drivers slow down and actually use the often-forgotten stop sign to stare at it. So even if it isn't the best mower, it makes our neighborhood safer. It also attracts dog people to our yard because so far at least two dogs have insisted upon holding a face-to-face conversation with it. The internet named it Mowbot McMowface via popular vote (some other possible votes were RoboChop, Mowzart, Mowpheus, etc). We tell stories about it to our friends, such as that it likes to try to drive up a tree and gets stuck, so we used a Bouncer to protect the tree. But then it just climbed the frog to get even higher up the tree (the solution was Duckbert McWaddleson, the Bouncer's backup). So this thing is basically a 3 star mower (unless your yard is perfectly dry and flat) but a 5 star entertainment piece.
The boundary wire was obnoxious and took about a month to get it right, plus two calls to Mowro. Their customer service via phone is excellent. I tried via email too and they wanted order number and other specific info I couldn't find and I didn't care enough, so I gave up and just called. Apparently one of the most frequent issues people have is putting the "in" line in the "out" plug. The "in" wire runs down the middle of the base station. The wire runs only one direction, so the robot will follow it in a predictable way to calibrate where it is if it gets lost, meaning you'll have at least the first mow, possibly another mow later, where the robot only runs along the wire, touches nose to nose to the charging hook things, then dismounts the base unless it needs to charge. If it spins or fails to ever leave the boundary wire, switch the wire plugs. It's in the wrong hole (twss).
You may also want to buy spare wire, splittors, and stakes. We ended up actually getting metal stakes like are used for dog invisible fences and those work alright. Because our home is hilly, it still will get its tires caught on the wire after a rainy day or where we didn't stake it well enough. There's a learning curve. No issues with broken wires yet (after one season) but the splitters have worked well where we have had to intentionally break the wire to make more space. Also, IMPORTANT LESSON for boundary wire - leave extra loops around your yard that are also staked down. This is important because you will probably need to make adjustments and it prevents you having to pull up all the stakes across the entire yard just to get a little slack. We definitely made some mis-stakes, lol. Also, don't immediately press your splitter down just because it looks like a weird button. Look up what a splitter is. DO NOT PUSH THE BLUE BUTTON until you know what it does and how it works. I wrecked a few before I learned my lesson. Whoops.
You do have to set up the base station in your yard, not your garage. The plug and adapter have to stay dry. We haven't solved that conundrum yet. We unplug the base during major storms and bring the bot itself inside, put to sleep via killswitch. It is our baby and we are overprotective. Though we have left it outside overnight in rain before because we aren't exactly the Best Robot Parents ever either. But it didn't mind. It comes from a strong family line that sometimes appreciates a good shower, even when the rain makes its eyes fall off. We learned our lesson about putting the base station outside (not in the garage) after someone hit it with the car while it was trying to escape the confines via banging its head into the garage door when the boundary wire extended indoors. Don't be dumb like us. It hadn't even fledgling mowed yet before it sustained its initial head injury. But it is a trooper! It wanted to be more like me, I guess.
OH - and don't put it next to a tree like we did. After it leaves the boundary wire, it plugs out a little bit and always turns 90 degrees to mow the area furthest from its base "in" line so it can start "out" and work its way toward "in" as battery decreases. It mows kind of randomly but we have noticed that pattern specifically as it leaves the dock. We noticed it because every single time it leaves the dock, it drives directly into the tree. We plan to move the dock but we needed it hidden from street view while also being open enough to not trigger obstacle sensors (you cannot put it directly against a wall - it should have space on each side).
Oh - battery life... We have an electric push mower and the battery life for this is better than the battery life for that, especially since this only requires electric battery life versus the push mower, which requires my quick-dying human battery life. I honestly don't care if it mows the lawn in 1 day or 3. Some days, if it's dry, it can mow 1/4 acre in one day without issue. If it gets stuck a lot and I don't pay attention, it might take a few days since it has to recharge a lot.
Someone mentioned having to take it back to base at every error. That's not true. It depends what the error is. Low battery life requires redocking, yes. I usually check battery indicator and don't bother to read the codes. If battery is low, take to dock. If not, lift/push/redirect/reangle it a little since it probably got stuck or left the boundary wire by accident.
We also set up a flamingo army within about 8 inches of the boundary cable where someone mows too vigorously. That has kept the line from getting run over. The village Buy Nothing group banded together to help us create an army of free 5 foot tall plastic flamingo brethren. There are ordinances about fence construction and weeds/overgrowth so close to the property line, but no ordinances about bird armies so close to the property line.
We still have to mow or weed whack areas too hilly or otherwise problematic for it to go. And still have to pick up sticks. But I get injured a lot less than when I used to mow manually and now it's more like walking around the yard with a friend. It helps me get out of bed and go outside because I want to check on it and make sure it is having fun today and didn't mow its way into trouble overnight if it had a long day. Our followers want us to give it a GoPro, which we are considering. My mom disapproves that our family album is almost exclusively pictures of our lawnmower. The internet understands.
I wish I could give it 5 stars but it's still a baby and it has some growth to do. Hopefully MowRo will release some sort of wheel adaptation to make it more able to handle hills and dewey/wet grass. If they did, we'd probably buy another so it wouldn't be lonely (but probably with separate boundaries). With better wheels, I'd give it as many stars as a proud parent would give its beloved robot child. You can do this Redback. We believe in you!" — Kat Mailloux
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