Looking to buy a new Robotic Mower? Wondering how to choose a robot mower and what criteria you should look at when deciding which is the best robot mower to suit your needs? If it’s your first time dipping your toes into this gadget world, we can give you a few top tips on things you probably need to know before purchasing one:
Top ten tips on what to look for when purchasing a robot mower:
- Get the right size for your lawn. You will need to understand the size or measure out the area of lawn you are looking to cut as most mowers are chosen according to the upper limit on the size they can cut over a period i.e. 2000 sq m’s over 5 days, a total of approximately 10 hours a week. Ideally you want a mower to cover the area quickly and most efficiently, leaving you more time to enjoy your lawn. This usually means choosing a mower that doesn’t waste time by stopping a lot, and turns instead of reversing, stopping, then moving off. This stop and starting makes the mower less efficient and wears the edges of the lawn. This is sometimes known as the mower’s operating system or intelligence and you want to choose one that is efficient especially when it come to the mower’s turning pattern.
- Look for one that cuts to the edge. The closer the robotic mower can cut up to the edge of any lawn, the less time you have to spend cutting the fringe it leaves behind. The best robotic mowers on the market are the ones that have side trim technology. This means they can leave the smallest possible edge to trim or none at all, depending on layout of your garden, and can be quickly and easily with a grass trimmer. Some leave a big fringe around the edge that requires a mow.
- Does it have multi-zone capacity? Garden zones and complexity also make a difference to which mower you choose. If you have both a back and a front lawn, you need a mower which you can set up in zones to cover more than one area. You also need to have a mower which can move between these zones easily. If, for example if you have a narrow passage or strip of grass between zones, look out for a robotic mower that can traverse a narrow passage without getting stuck and one that will still cut that strip of grass as it travels between the zones.
- Does it come with a weather sensor? It is a good idea to choose a robotic mower that has a weather sensor on board as cutting wet lawn is bad for the grass and can damage it if the mower’s wheels slip in the mud. A rain sensor means your mower will automatically decide when to go out and cut the lawn, ceasing when it begins to rain, and then waiting for a time to allow the grass to dry before going out again.
- Can it handle slopes? Does your lawn have slopes and how steep are they? If you have sloping lawns or hills within the area of lawn you are looking to cut, make sure the robotic mower can handle these gradients without slippage, so look at the gradient it can handle.
- What is the charging station like? Charging stations are another important consideration. Most robotic mowers have a large flat dock they sit on which can take up a lot of room and look untidy in the garden, especially as they reverse and wear the grass around their base. The more advanced mowers on the market have discrete, side-charging docks on a grid-base which allows the lawn to grow through them, making the base almost hidden and definitely more pleasing to the eye.
- Low maintenance. Another consideration is maintenance. As the mower will be going out for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, you ideally want to make sure that the mower has durable blades that can cope with the continuous cutting. Look for a robotic mower which has a deck that rotates both ways while cutting, optimising both sides of the cutting blades and reducing maintenance in half.
- Does it have app control and Wifi connectivity? You also need to consider app control capability and wifi. Some mowers on the market have an App which provides an easy way to set-up your robotic mower and programme it, or adjust the schedule from anywhere, at any time. It’s also a great way to keep tabs on how much mowing your mower has done and how many hours the blades have been in use. This is very useful to know when it’s time for a service or to replace the blades.
- Is it future proof? Or will you need to buy a new model if your needs change or you move house? By opting for a modular system you future proof your robotic mower. Look out for mowers which you can easily upgrade certain features or add features to the mower later down the line, when technology advances. This also means you are not paying for features you don’t need, but have the option to choose them should you wish to get them in the future.
- Does it come with sensor or can you add one if you need it, easily? Sensors or obstacle avoidance technology is important. Most robotic mowers on the market will hit into objects that are in front of it on a lawn such as trees, garden furniture etc. This can cause damage to the mower itself or to the object it hits. Most importantly the mower will have to stop, reverse, stop and start over again making it less efficient. Most mowers get around this problem by having you physically exclude them when you are laying the boundary wire. Currently there are only a few mowers on the market which have solved this problem by having obstacle avoidance sensors on board, or as an optional extra, allowing the mower to go right up towards the object and then curve around it like a slalom skier. This saves time during cutting without needing to stop & reverse, as well as effort on installation, and in the future as for any additions you make to the garden.
You can take a look at Worx’s multi-award winning Landroid range here – Landroid Range