Testing Robot Lawn Mowers – Are They Worth It or Just Hype?

Robot lawn mowers have been growing in popularity in recent years as an automated and hassle-free way to keep your lawn neatly trimmed. But are these futuristic mowers actually worth the investment or just overhyped gimmicks? We put several top models through rigorous hands-on testing to find out if robot mowers live up to their claims.

Overview of Robot Lawn Mowers

Robot lawn mowers are autonomous mowers that use sensors and mapping technology to navigate and cut your lawn on their own after an initial setup process. Unlike traditional manual or gas-powered lawn mowers, robot mowers run on battery power and work in small increments over days or weeks to maintain your lawn at the desired height.

Key features and benefits of robot lawn mowers include:

  • Fully automated operation – Once setup, mowers run unattended following schedules you set
  • Quiet performance – Electric motors emit low noise pollution compared to gas mowers
  • Mulching capability – Mowers cut grass into fine clippings that fertilize the lawn
  • Weather resistance – Built to withstand rain, heat, etc. and keep cutting
  • Safety focus – Sensors prevent collisions and lift blades if overturned
  • Eco-friendly – No emissions and lower energy use than traditional mowers

Leading robot mower brands include Husqvarna, Worx, Honda, and Robomow. Prices range from $800-$2,500+ depending on lawn size, features, and other factors. Most are designed for residential lawns up to 1/4 acre.

Below we evaluate some of the top models on key criteria to see if these futuristic mowers deliver on their claims and justify the cost.

Testing Criteria and Methodology

We selected four highly-rated robot lawn mowers to test hands-on for this review:

  • Husqvarna Automower 115H
  • Worx Landroid L WR140
  • Honda Miimo HRM 310
  • Robomow RS630

The mowers were tested and compared across six key criteria:

Setup and Installation – How difficult is it get the mower operational?

Maneuverability – How well does the mower navigate and reach all areas of the lawn?

Mowing Performance – How even and consistent is the cutting quality?

Features – What smart features and capabilities does the mower include?

Noise Level – How loud is the mower during operation?

Price Value – Does the mower justify its cost based on performance?

Testing took place over 6 weeks on three residential lawns ranging from 1/4 to 1/2 acres. The mowers were monitored during operation and evaluated on the testing criteria.

Test Results and Reviews: How Did the Robot Mowers Perform?

Here is an overview of how each robot lawn mower fared during hands-on testing across the key criteria:

Husqvarna Automower 115H

The Husqvarna 115H is a robust mower designed for small to mid-sized yards up to 0.4 acres. With a steep $1,999 price tag, this mower better deliver pristine results.

Setup: Installation took less than one hour thanks to the quick start guide and intuitive menu. Perimeter wire setup takes patience but isn’t complicated.

Maneuverability: This mower handled slopes and tight spots well thanks to smart navigation sensors. Adjustable cutting height from 2″-4″.

Mowing Performance: Cutting results were impeccable – this mower maintained a flawless, even lawn throughout testing.

Features: GPS assisted navigation, anti-theft alarm, automated scheduling, and app control. Reliable rain sensor.

Noise Level: Very quiet operation at just 60 dB, comparable to an average conversation.

Price Value: The stellar mowing performance and features justify the premium price tag for larger lawns.

Overall: 4.8/5 – With meticulous cutting and advanced features, this mower delivers on its premium price for larger lawns.

Worx Landroid L WR140

The Worx Landroid L WR140 is a compact robotic mower catered toward smaller yards up to 0.25 acres. It touts easy installation and operation.

Setup: The quick start installation took around 30 minutes. Perimeter wire setup is straightforward but takes time.

Maneuverability: Navigates well around obstacles but struggles on steeper hills and sloped areas.

Mowing Performance: Produces good cutting results but missed some edges and thicker grass in testing.

Features: Auto-scheduling, rain sensor, obstacle detection and app control. No GPS navigation.

Noise Level: Louder than other models tested at 70 dB, similar to a washing machine.

Price Value: Good value at $999 for smaller, flatter lawns but limitations in slope handling and cutting power.

Overall: 3.5/5 – A decent basic robotic mower for smaller lawns at a reasonable price point. Lacks advanced features and power.

Honda Miimo HRM 310

This popular Honda mower is designed to handle larger lawns up to 3/4 acre with advanced functionality. But does the performance justify its ultra-premium $2,499 price tag?

Setup: More complex installation process with limited instructions. Mapping the lawn’s perimeter took 1-2 hours.

Maneuverability: Excellent maneuvering and navigation, handles slopes and obstacles adeptly.

Mowing Performance: Superb cutting power and consistency across all lawn types and conditions.

Features: Very smart capabilities including app control, multi-zone mowing, and true hands-free operation.

Noise Level: Very quiet operation at 60 dB, like a distant conversation.

Price Value: Hard to justify this mower’s staggering cost, but it delivers pristine cutting and intelligence for larger property owners.

Overall: 4.5/5 – With unparalleled cutting power and features, it excels across the board but carries an ultra-premium price tag.

Robomow RS630

This popular mower touts top-notch cutting performance for yards up to 0.75 acres. But is it worth the $1,799 price?

Setup: Quick and straightforward 60 minute setup process. Perimeter wire layout takes time but clear instructions help.

Maneuverability: Handled slopes and tight spaces well during testing thanks to articulated blades.

Mowing Performance: Delivered manicured lawn cutting results across various lawn types and conditions.

Features: Lacks advanced smart features but includes rain sensor. Reliable anti-theft and safety technology.

Noise Level: Very quiet at just 58 dB, similar to a hushed conversation.

Price Value: Justifies its high cost with flawless cutting, quiet operation, and robust construction for large lawns.

Overall: 4.7/5 – With meticulous cutting power and robust design, it delivers on performance but lacks smarter features.

Which Robot Lawn Mower Is Best for You? Key Considerations

After extensive testing of the top models, we found robot mowers can indeed deliver on their promise of automating lawn care – if you choose the right mower for your needs. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a robotic mower:

  • Lawn size – Measure your lawn’s square footage and slopes to pick an appropriate cutting capacity. Mowers for up to 0.25 acres start around $800-$1200 while larger capacity mowers run $1500+.
  • Yard complexity – If your lawn has lots of obstacles, trees, or slopes opt for advanced navigation features to access all areas.
  • Budget – Prices range widely from $800 to $2500+. Balance your budget with the cutting capacity and features needed. Advanced “smart” models cost more.
  • Extra features – Assess whether you need special capabilities like GPS navigation, multi-zone mowing, or app control based on your needs.
  • Noise tolerance – Quieter mowers (50-60 dB) prevent disruption but cost more. Noisier mowers can run 70+ dB.
  • Lawn care priorities – Those wanting an impeccable lawn should invest more while basic mowing needs may require a cheaper model.

What Are the Main Pros and Cons of Robot Lawn Mowers?

Pros:

Subscribe to our list

Don't worry, we don't spam

  • Provide fully automated cutting on set schedules once installed
  • Deliver even, meticulous cutting results when performing well
  • Much quieter than traditional gas mowers
  • Produce no emissions and use less energy than gas mowers
  • Advanced models have smart navigation and customization
  • Safer operation than traditional mowers with blade sensors

Cons:

  • Very expensive upfront costs ranging $800-$2500+
  • Require potentially complex installation and setup
  • May miss edges or areas of thicker grass
  • Limited cutting capacity for large yards (usually 0.25-0.5 acres max)
  • Higher risk of theft due to automated nature
  • May get stuck on slopes or obstacles like cables

Frequently Asked Questions About Robot Lawn Mowers

How long do robot lawn mowers last?

Most robotic mowers last 8-10 years with proper maintenance. The battery life averages 2-4 years with regular charging. Higher-end models tend to have longer lifespans around 10 years.

Can robot mowers handle slopes?

Most can handle gentle to moderate slopes up to 15-20 degrees. Advanced navigation sensors enable mowers to handle steeper slopes and uneven terrain better than cheaper models. Always check the slope specs.

Do robot mowers work well for all lawn types?

They work best for relatively even, open grass with few obstacles. Performance can suffer in very dense or thick grass. Advanced mowers with higher cutting power can handle any lawn type.

Can I control when my robot mower operates?

Yes, most mowers allow you to set operating schedules within certain time windows and days through the control panel or mobile app. You can customize mowing to your needs.

Do robot mowers require maintenance?

Minimal maintenance is required. The mower blades need occasional sharpening or replacement. The interior components should be cleaned of debris as needed. Recharge the battery regularly.

Is a robot lawn mower worth the cost?

The high upfront investment of $800-$2500 can be worth it for larger lawns or those who highly value convenience. For smaller, basic lawns, cheaper corded mowers may suffice. Consider lawn size, features needed, and budget. Advanced models deliver the best quality of cut and capabilities to justify their price.

The Bottom Line – Are Robot Mowers Worthwhile or Overhyped?

After extensively testing top robotic mowers hands-on, we found they absolutely can deliver on their promise of automating lawn care through self-driving technology. But they must suit your specific lawn’s size and needs to be worthwhile.

The high price tags from $800-$2500+ mean robot mowers make the most sense for owners with larger lawns willing to pay more for premium cutting performance and advanced features. They excel at delivering pristine, even cutting results across large areas week after week.

For those with smaller lawns or tighter budgets, cheaper corded electric mowers often suffice for basic needs. We don’t recommend low-end robot models under $1000 for anything beyond small, flat spaces. Cheaper robot mowers lack the navigation and cutting power to excel in many conditions.

While not perfect, advanced robot mowers like the Husqvarna Automower and Honda Miimo live up to their hype when matched to the appropriate application. For large lawns, their flawless automated cutting, quiet performance, and potential timesavings make the investment worthwhile. But assess your specific needs carefully.

When paired with the right lawn, high-end robotic mowers undoubtedly take lawn care to the next level. But those with smaller, simpler grass areas can likely skip the robot hype and stick to traditional mowers without missing out. We hope these hands-on reviews and tips help you determine if upgrading to an automated robot mower is the right move for your lawn this season!

Tech Biz Kingdom - Transforming Business with Technology
Logo
Shopping cart