How to choose a robotic lawnmower

What is a robotic lawnmower?

A robotic lawnmower is an autonomous lawnmower that cuts your grass without you having to be present.

Why might you need a robotic lawnmower?

If you don’t have the time or physical ability to mow your lawn (and don’t want to pay someone else to do it for you) then a robotic lawnmower might be the answer to your problem.

How does a robotic lawnmower work?

A robotic lawnmower works by creating a map of your lawn defined by a wire which is either pegged around (or buried underneath) the perimeter of the lawn.

The mower cuts your lawn in a random pattern with internal sensors allowing it to navigate around obstacles and stay within the perimeter of your lawn. It periodically return to a base station in order to recharge itself.

Robotic mowers don’t collect the grass they have cut, they create very fine cuttings and leave them on the lawn as a mulch.

Things to consider before you buy a robotic lawnmower

How big is your garden?

Manufacturers typically specify a maximum lawn size that is appropriate for each of their models. This is calculated to try to ensure that the mower can get back to its base station without running out of power. It also defines how much perimeter wire is supplied with the mower when you buy it.

Is your garden on a slope?

If your lawn has a slope then you need to ensure that you choose a robotic mower what has enough power and traction to cope with the incline. Manufacturers typically specify a maximum gradient that each of their models can handle.

Do you have more than one lawn?

If you have more than one lawn (or your lawn is separated by fences, borders or paths) then you may need to choose a mower that can handle multiple zones.

What’s the battery life and battery recharge time?

Battery life dictates how long your mower can operate between charges and battery recharge time defines how long it remains idle whilst it recharges. If you like the idea of getting your lawn(s) mowed whilst you are around to keep an eye on things then you might want to choose a robotic mower than can complete the task in one go, or (if that’s not possible) one that doesn’t have to spend too long in its dock.

Further reading