We’ve evaluated the best robot lawn mowers for three years. In that time, we’ve considered dozens of models and compared their features, benefits and drawbacks. We believe the Husqvarna Automower is the best model because it is easy to operate, has an innovative blade system, and includes safety and anti-theft systems. It can cover .37 acres, which is more than enough for most residential homes. On a full charge, the battery lasts 70 minutes, then the machine automatically returns to its base to recharge before continuing.
Husqvarna Automower 315
You won’t find a robot lawn mower quite like the Husqvarna Automower. It’s easy to set up, has a powerful battery and keeps your lawn neatly trimmed with little effort on your part.
At less than $1,000, this is the least expensive robot lawn mower we evaluated. And while it doesn’t have everything, it’s sufficient to keep your yard trim and clean through the mowing season.
This robot mower is a good option for lawns with exceptionally steep hills or uneven terrain. It’s listed incline capacity is 30 degrees – much steeper than those of other models we evaluated.
The Husqvarna Automower 315 is the gold standard for robot lawn mowers and our best pick. It’s easy to set up – all you have to do is set the guide wires, program its mow schedule and put it on its base, and the machine takes care of the rest.
The mower can cut on slopes with inclines up to 22 degrees, which is relatively shallow but acceptable. You can set the cutting height anywhere between .8 and 2.4 inches, so you have a great deal of control over the length of your cut grass.
This robot lawn mower’s blade system is a stark contrast to those used in its traditional counterparts. Instead of large blades, it has a circular disc that contains three carbon steel razor blades. This makes for a finer cut than is possible with a push lawn mower.
The Automower doesn’t have the longest battery life we saw, but it doesn’t need to. Starting with a fully charged battery, it can zip around your yard for 70 minutes. It then returns to its base to charge for about 60 minutes before it continues its work.
Husqvarna includes lift, tilt and obstacle sensors that shut down or redirect the machine so it doesn’t cause injuries or damage objects in your yard. It also comes with a PIN code lock that keeps children from activating it.
Top-of-the-line robot lawn mowers cost more than $3,000, and the Landroid M is a fraction of that price. It doesn’t have lots of fancy features, such as GPS, but it’s still a good value. You can program the mower with custom settings for up to four separate zones in your yard. It also doesn’t require much maintenance and automatically adjusts its behavior when it rains.
WORX, the Landroid’s creator, claims the robot mower is ready to use when you take it out of the box. This is partially true; however, you need to install the boundary wire and charging station. Unlike some mowers we evaluated, there is no option to have a professional install the system for you. The machine comes with detailed instructions, and it should only take two to four hours to install.
Once you have everything set up, this robot lawn mower can handle almost everything automatically. It roams the yard until it runs low on power, then returns to its station to recharge. The Landroid automatically returns to its work when the battery is full. Aside from occasional wipe downs and software updates, you only need to check the blades every few weeks to see if they need to be replaced.
Best for Hilly Yards
All robot lawn mowers make easy work of flat, smooth yards, but hilly or uneven ground can prove to be more of a challenge. If you have a particularly hilly yard, consider a model with a good climbing capacity like the Denna L600. It has an incline ability of 30 degrees, which is significantly steeper than even our top pick can handle.
This Denna robot mower comes in two models: one with a 24V battery and one with an 8ah battery. Both take much longer to charge than competing mowers, but their battery lives are also longer than those of other machines we looked at. The 24V battery takes three to four hours to charge, while the 8ah battery takes two to three hours. They last one to two and two to three hours, respectively.
The Denna L600 has a mowing width of 9.44 inches and can mow a maximum area of 2,300 square feet per day. The blades spin at 3,200 RPM, so the mower creates a clean, consistent trim. It’s made of strong ABS plastic and can withstand the punishment of daily use.
Quietest Robot Lawn Mower
The McCulloch is easy to install – you just loop the wire around the edge of your yard and staple it down. Professional installation is an option, but it costs roughly $300 more.
This robot lawn mower impressively only makes about 57 dB of sound while in operation. That is the quietest in our comparison and 9 decibles quieter than our top pick. One thing to be made aware of is the McCulloch mows in a random pattern. This is to avoid track lines in your yard, which some people might prefer. Without track lines, it looks like a smooth single cut. Without professional installation, the McColloch ROB 1000 costs roughly $1,245.
Most Cutting Zones
This robot lawn mower has a couple unique features and one that really stood out to us: four separate zones that can be programmed to cut with different mow settings.
Perhaps there is a patch of grass in your yard that you want to keep longer because it’s relatively new grass; you can make that a zone and the lawn mower will know to adjust once it hits that zone.
It also has two triangular blades on the bottom, which are easier to replace than blades on other robot mowers we compared. There are a couple drawbacks to this machine. It is one of the most expensive models we reviewed and has the shortest warranty we’ve seen.
Why Trust Us
In addition to surveying user reviews, watching videos and examining user manuals, we consulted industry professionals and dealers to get a sense of what robot lawn mowers can do and what is important to consider when purchasing one.
Per Lindberg, an engineer and the founder of Embla Robotics, gave us an in-depth look at our top choice, the Husqvarna Automower. He stressed that the main purpose of a robotic lawn mower is to maintain grass at a consistent height daily, rather than letting it get long and then cutting it short again. This results in a healthier lawn since it reduces the trauma the grass endures on a weekly basis.
He also showed us the results around his own yard, pointing out that it takes care of spontaneous tree sprouts before they become a problem. Lindberg also sees these machines as potential friends, saying, “When you name a mower, it becomes like a pet or family member and a celebrity in the neighborhood.”
Jared Platt of Lindon Outdoor Power Equipment walked us through the benefits of choosing a more expensive mower over an entry-level model. He said the “biggest advantage for the more expensive models are GPS navigation built into the mower.” This allows the mower to map your yard and the terrain differences in specific areas and zones. You can also connect to higher-tier models through an app on your phone. These two features are great for security – if someone makes off with your mower, you can track it through the GPS.
How We Picked the Best
As a matter of course, Top Ten Reviews thoroughly examines every product we feature on our site. As we evaluated robot lawn mowers, we looked at manufacturer spec sheets and comments from real-life users. We combed through hundreds of user reviews and watched several videos posted by robot mower owners. We also consulted each model’s owner’s manual to get an idea of what it has to offer. In addition, we considered price to find models that give you the best value for your dollar.
How Much Does a Robot Mower Cost?
Even though robot lawn mowers are relatively new to the Americas, they’ve been a big hit in Europe for a long time. In fact, companies like Husqvarna have been refining the technology since the ‘90s. Now models made by huge corporations, such as the Honda Miimo, are popping up. Another part of the reason is the price. Based on our research, a robot lawn mower costs between $800 and $1,900. The mower we chose for our best budget pick costs roughly $1,000. But keep in mind, if you want a professional to install and set up the perimeter for you, it generally tacks on an extra $150 to $300 dollars for installation.
There are many features to consider as you choose a robotic lawn mower, including how many zones it can mow, how much area it can cover and whether you can program it with a mowing schedule. If your lawn is quite large and has hills, things like slope capability and running time should also be on your list of considerations.
First, consider how big your yard is and make sure the mower can handle it daily. Our best pick can mow up to 0.4 acres of grass – not including your house or other structures on your property – which is the top end of the models we evaluated. Others we reviewed can handle anywhere from 0.25 to 0.33 acres, which is sufficient for small to medium-size lawns.
If you have a hilly yard, pick a model that can climb up and down the inclines with ease. The mowers we reviewed can handle slopes between 22 degrees and 30 degrees, depending on the model. However, the dealers we spoke to say they’ve seen some models handle almost 45-degree inclines with little difficulty.
Even though you generally won’t notice how often your robot lawn mower returns to its base or how long it stays there, you should consider how long it takes to charge the battery, as well as how long the machine runs with a full battery. The best mowers we reviewed last about an hour right off the charger and take a little longer than that to recharge. Battery life doesn’t affect your experience or the results, but it’s a good indicator of how well the machine is designed.
Not all automatic lawn mowers travel to distinct, separate areas to cut grass – for that, you need one with multizone capability. This feature is necessary if your home or business has a small front lawn and larger back lawn that are not directly connected. In this scenario, each lawn is considered a zone. Most multizone robot mowers cover two to four zones.
Programmable mowers can be scheduled to run on particular days at specific times. When buying a robot mower, consider how you program it and what you want it to do. You program some units from the mower base, and others can be set remotely over a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection.
As convenient as most robotic lawn mowers are, there are features that put some a cut above the competition . Some models include GPS features that map your yard and track your mower if someone steals it. You can control, configure and monitor some machines from anywhere you have an internet connection via a mobile app. Some also have rain-detection technology that senses when it’s too wet to mow – a few even continue mowing during a shower.
Considering how expensive these robot lawn mowers are, you should consider the length of the warranty. If a model breaks down early in its life span, you may be able to replace or repair it for free if you’ve registered your warranty properly. Plus, a longer warranty provides peace of mind that the manufacturer is confident the product will last a long time.
Warranty periods vary quite a bit for robot lawn mowers. The shortest warranty in our comparison was one year, for the McCulloch ROB 1000. The Worx WG794 boasts a much longer, three-year warranty. And the five-year warranty for the Denna L600 was the longest warranty in our comparison.