Have you ever wondered how you could get away from mowing your lawn without paying a company or someone to mow your grass? We dive into these products, so you can decide if robotic lawnmowers are worth it.
I value my time, looking to invest my time into meaningful or rewarding activities rather than wasting time on things that don’t serve me well.
Using a robotic lawn mower allows me to have the time I would normally spend maintaining a lawn mower and still mowing the grass. And not to mention carrying the clippings away.
Despite negative information about this product in other articles or videos, the smart mower is evolving.
I’ve looked at several resources and seen that the issues mentioned were already improved or had a new feature to address the problem.
With that being said, I will try and keep my article updated the best I can. A shortcoming with a robotic lawn mower can be non-existent in under a year, sometimes even sooner.
The good and the bad of a robotic mower
Here are some pros and cons of an automatic lawn mower. Hopefully, this will lay it all out for you to see the good and the bad.
- Cutting Pattern: It won’t cut nice patterns into your grass as you can manually do. I do not doubt that it’s just a matter of time before a feature is brought into new models to accomplish this.
- Predefined Edges: Presently, smart lawnmowers can only mow within a fixed boundary, which means they cannot.
- Boundary Line: A line has to be installed to allocate a fixed boundary line for the mower.
- Clippings Disposal: No more piling up your grass clippings and putting them all into bags.
- Low Maintenance: Low maintenance and service costs.
- No Weather constraints: You never have to plan your cuts around the weather. Especially if you only have time on weekends to mow your grass.
- Always Tidy: Your grass will always be an optimum length. No more letting grass get overgrown when missing a cut.
- Quiet: They are so quiet that they can even mow your grass at night. It makes about the same level of noise as a heat pump.
- Control: You can control or program your mower using your mobile device. Furthermore, Alexa can control the unit at any time using voice commands.
One thing I was surprised by is their ability to traverse hills. It doesn’t seem to have any problems making its way up or across slopes.
How do they work?
The major components are:
- Body/chassis and cover: This is the components’ housing. The chassis provides a solid base for everything to be attached to it strongly and safely. The cover keeps the outdoor elements from affecting the machine.
- Electric Motors: One of the motors receives power from the battery and rotates the blade assembly. The others also use battery power but drive the wheels for motion and direction.
- Battery: The battery powers the electronics and motor.
- Electronics: This is everything that operates the motor and is the ‘brains’ of the mower.
- Wheels: This is used to drive the mower from the drive motors and steer it.
- Blade Assembly: This is what cuts the grass. The main motor rotates it. On most of these mowers, the blades pivot, getting swung out when the motor rotates the blade assembly. This way, if the blades hit anything, they can fold away, reducing the impact on the object and the amount of damage on the blades. Some manufacturers still use fixed metal blades, which I’m sure still work quite well, but probably won’t last as long.
Technically they are categorized as a mulcher or a grasscycle product. They cut small lengths of grass each time and don’t catch any clippings.
The clippings fall back into the grass, decay, and form fertilizer for your lawn. These machines have been known to get lawns looking healthier this way.
A smart sprinkler system will go a long way to help you get a healthier lawn.
Does a robotic mower work on large lawns?
In a word, yes. If you want one for a larger lawn, the initial cost goes up for a bigger model.
It could do around 1.25 acres or about 54,450 square feet at the most significant end of the spectrum. That’s a relatively large area for one automated unit.
What happens to it if it rains?
Automated mowers are usually weather-resistant. So it can mow just fine in the rain. At the very least, it may just dock until the rain subsides.
Some manufacturers claim to have zero influence from rain. So they can cut just fine in the torrential rain.
Are they safe?
It’s incredibly safe. If it bumps into something, it will change direction.
If you pick it up, it will sound an alarm and shut off instantly. So it’s safer than a traditional lawn mower.
Can someone steal it?
While it is possible, it would be a fool’s errand, and here’s why.
A pin code is required to change any setting on the device.
The moment the unit gets picked up, it shuts off, and an alarm sounds.
If the owner knows it’s stolen, it can immediately be black-listed. Some models also have a geofencing feature, if it exceeds a certain radius away from home, the alarm will go off, and a tracking feature will allow tracking to its location.
Essentially it will be a rock. Its original base is required because it’s paired very specifically to it. So no charging can occur without its native base.
How short is the grass kept?
You can set the height of the robotic lawn mower to the height you want.
Ideally, you should set it higher for the first few weeks, then put it to your desired height. This will ensure that your grass gets healthier before getting your grass cut to your ideal length.
How long does it take to mow my whole lawn?
This depends on the size of your lawn.
For a medium-sized lawn (usually around 20,000 square feet), it usually takes about 2-3 days to have everything uniformly cut.
If your grass is very long, you’ll need to cut it with a conventional mower, so your automated lawn mower can take over from that point onward.
How much do they cost?
Here is a price range based on three main categories of lawn size:
- Small Lawns (up to 16,000 square feet): $2,000 – $3,000
- Medium Lawns (16,000 – 35,000 square feet): $3000 – $4000
- Large Lawns (35,000 – 54,000): $4000 – $5000
Please remember that these prices are rough estimates to give you a ballpark figure.
There is one point I’d like to make as a word of caution. Going for a cheap product won’t give you the experience that a quality-grade unit can deliver.
So it might be easy to waste money on something cheap and walk away thinking that the whole smart lawn mower industry is a scam.
A final recommendation I would like to add is the installation. It is relatively straightforward, and most people can do it.
I recommend you get the company selling it to you to do the installation.
The reason is simply the boundary cable and the machinery they install.
They can install it a few inches under the ground, which I think anybody would prefer. It’s out of sight and reduces the risk of being snagged by something.
They are worth it for the kinds of people that like to save time. Yes, you save money over time, but it takes time to get your money back.
After you have thought, it will be a good saving and investment.
Consider the time, effort, and financial savings coupled with the fun of permanently operating a machine to do your lawn.
So, are smart lawnmowers worth it? In my opinion, it is. But everyone’s situation is different. But to fully answer that, after learning about them in this article, is going to be down to you.
Are you willing to invest and wait for it to pay off?
If unsure, ring up a local dealer and ask them to demonstrate for you on your lawn.
They should be willing to do this with no hesitation regarding the price they cost. If not, try someone else.
I’m sure that your mind will be made up after that, don’t you think?