Robot Lawn Mowers Icon Read our reviews of the best automatic Robotic Lawn Mowers of 2021 and ditch that old-fashioned mower!

updated: August 16, 2021

Here are our 2021 reviews of the best robot lawn mowers on the planet. By reading them, you’ll be able to purchase the one that’s best for you! How does mowing your lawn make you feel? Does the mere thought of it get you excited or fill you with dread?

Even if you start the summer in total ecstasy because you love mowing your lawn, you probably won’t stay that way the entire season.

Invariably, there will come a time when you’ve done the chore so many times you start to utterly detest it. When that happens, you might want to get yourself a robotic lawn mower.

Are Robotic Lawn Mowers Effective

Robot lawn mower at work.
Lawn care just got a lot easier

With a reliable robo-mower, you’ll get to enjoy the delightfully fragrant aroma of fresh-cut grass without having to lift a finger.

Lawn care just got a zillion times easier!

These tiny tank-like mobile gizmos tirelessly cut your grass while you’re basking in the beautiful summer sunshine drinking your favorite beer. You won’t have to push a noisy gas-powered mower around your yard anymore because you’ll have a lean green cutting machine doing it for you!

Are you excited now?

How Do Remote Lawn Mowers Work

Robo-mower is parking on its base for a recharge.

Robot lawn mowers operate on the same principle as robotic vacuum cleaners.

So, they’re pretty much like a Roomba, only for your lawn.

Robot mowers consist of the unit itself plus a base that charges the mower and supplies a perimeter wire with electricity. The robot has sensors that detect this charge, so it won’t wander off into a busy street or your neighbor’s backyard. That way, it stays within an area that you pre-determine.

When the lawn is finished, or the battery needs to be recharged, the mower returns to home base. Most robotic mowers have options for setting a timer, creating a cutting schedule, setting up a zone, configuring edge cutting settings, running diagnostics, and reviewing cutting history.

Some robotic mowers even have built-in Bluetooth, WIFI, and cellular circuitry. This means you can track the progress your bot is making from anywhere on the planet you happen to be.

Various remote control options for robotic mowers.

You can get robotic mowers that use your phone as a de facto remote control to invisibly guide your automated friend to any area you’d like. This means these machines are capable of spot maintenance, a nice feature to have if some areas of your lawn grow faster than others.

Other models have Amazon Alexa built right in, so you can use voice commands to start and stop mowing.

Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Pick Up the Grass

Robot mower cuts the grass.

If you need to cut grass, a robot mower is a fantastic gadget to have.

It does this by chopping the grass into superfine, sandpiper-like cuttings and then returning the clippings to the lawn as mulch. This provides added nutrients for your hungry grass, making it greener and healthier.

In fact, it makes your grass so astonishingly robust, many robot-mower owners find that they can drastically cut down on the amount of fertilizer they use!

Robotic lawn mowers have two types of cutting systems:

  • Rotating Disks: Rotating disks have several freely rotating cutting blades attached to them. The blades are the same size as razor blades. The cutting diameter of these mowers tends to be relatively narrow, but they make less noise than your other choice.
  • Underside view on a cutting disk.
  • Solid Cutting Blades: Solid cutting blades increase the width and rate at which your yard is cut. The disadvantage is that they’re louder and consume more power. This means you’re going to need a bigger battery to get the same amount of cutting time.

Most robotic mowers use what’s known as a floating disk design. This lets you adjust the cutting height while the mower is in operation.

This way, you won’t scalp the grass.

The robot’s cutting width determines how wide a path it will cut on a single pass.

How Long Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Last

If you take good care of your remote lawn mower, it should last around ten years or so.

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Best Robot Lawn Mowers: 2021 Ratings and Reviews


1Most impressive technology
Eye-popping aesthetics merge with state-of-the-art functionality.

The Husqvarna 315X is a tireless grass cutting bot that will effortlessly maintain your lawn as you kick back and drink piña coladas on your deck. You’ll make your neighbors jealous because they’ll still have to laboriously push a hydrocarbon spewing behemoth while you have it made in the shade.

ProsThe Good

One incredible feature of this fantastic machine is the weather timer. This allows you to adjust your mowing to the grass growth rate, increasing the cut when growth is the most robust and decreasing it when it’s not. The 315X is one of the few mowers to use cellular technology. This means you can control it remotely wherever you happen to be in the world.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

On some units, the wheels have an unfortunate tendency to fall off smack dab in the middle of a job. The cutting disks can get completely detached from the blades, rendering your poor bot inoperative.

The back wheels could use a little more torque because the robo-mower has difficulty climbing hills when the gradient suddenly gets too steep. This model isn’t waterproof. However, it’s IPX4 rated for water resistance.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers used to dread mowing their lawns, but now, with the 315X, they can focus on the yard work they love to do—like gardening. Many customers are ecstatic the 315X uses a floating deck design. This allows the gadget to navigate the contours of your lawn without scalping the grass. This means no more unsightly holes caused by primitive gas-belching mowers.

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2Best at trimming edges
Magnificent little machine is your own personal greens keeper.

With the Landroid, you’ll finally be able to cancel your lawn service.

Best of all, it’s so super quiet, you can run it at night without disturbing anyone. Convince all your neighbors of the benefits of letting Landroid take over their lawn mowing duties, and pretty soon your Landroid won’t be working the night shift alone!

Its robot friends will be working alongside it, quietly keeping all the lawns in your neighborhood looking their very best.

ProsThe Good

There’s a handy-dandy alert that sends you a notification if your machine leaves your property. This either means it’s gone rogue and wants to start the robot rebellion or that someone is trying to steal it.

An independent brushless motor drives each wheel to help the bot navigate obstacles and slopes up to 20 degrees.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

It’s only got a 20V battery capacity, so it’s not the most powerful bot on the market.

Sometimes the wheels slip and lose traction on flat dry grass. This causes the mower to wiggle its way out of the boundary wire like a bulldog digging underneath a fence to escape its master.

The Landroid mows in a random pattern, so if you dislike those stripes in your lawn, you might want to consider another option.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Some customers love that their Landroids are so quiet, they can pre-program them to work overnight without waking up the neighbors. This way, their lawns always have that “just cut” look day in and day out.

Others are thrilled about the way their droids mulch the grass cuttings into sawdust-like particles. This makes lawn cutting with the Landroid not only environmentally friendly and time-saving but also extremely beneficial to their lawns’ health.

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3Best for larger yards
Sleek jaw-dropping unit is the ultimate grass cutting machine.

If you love a well-manicured lawn, you’re going to flip for the 430XH.

This higher-priced, higher-end robot looks like the Batmobile. It’s a superheroic, super-quiet, slick little grass-cutting bot that’ll make short work of one of the most universally despised homeowner chores.

With this tireless droid at your service, your days of getting all sweaty pushing a pollutant-belching manual lawn mower are over forever!

ProsThe Good

With the incredibly user-friendly app that’s easy to use even for those who aren’t tech-savvy, you’ll be able to control the robot-mower even when you’re thousands of miles away.

It’s your tireless robotic servant, slaving away day and night to keep your lawn looking plush as can be. And with world-class, state-of-the-art, theft-deterrent technology, the chances that your unit will be stolen are practically nil.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

The headlights are on all the time, even though the manual says there’s a setting on the app where you can switch them off. This makes overnight operation at night a little problematic.

That’s too bad because the droid is super quiet. If the company had actually created an option for turning the lights off, it would be perfect for night use.

The unit doesn’t mulch up leaves too well. That’s something you’re just going to have to do yourself.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

People are thrilled at how much time this eminently practical device can save them. All they have to do is set the schedule, and the machine does everything on its own. If the battery runs low, it takes itself back to home base, tops off its juice, and continues right where it left off.

How cool is that!

Others love that even during torrential downpours, the unit still does its job, seemingly impervious to the worst that Mother Nature can throw at it.

More Info

4Best for night operation
This is one incredibly efficient, beautifully designed grass-eating droid.

The future is here, and it’s time to embrace it! The Robomow RS630 is a dream come true if you’re sick to death of conventional lawn mowers that have a devastating effect on both the environment and your poor ears.

The RS630 is a grass-cutting bot par excellence, and will free you forever from the back-breaking chore of mowing the lawn yourself.

Isn’t it time you gave yourself a break?

ProsThe Good

This well-designed grass-cutting droid boasts a ton of technologically advanced features, including a rain sensor that sends the unit back to the charging station if it so much detects a single raindrop.

After the rain clouds dissipate, it’ll be out in your yard again doing what it does best: mulching grass into zillions of tiny particles, becoming grade A lawn fertilizer in the process. Send your silent sentinel out in the middle of the night, and it’ll give your lawn an expert manicure without so much as making a peep.

That way, you won’t get any angry calls from neighbors you woke up. That’s not something you can do with loud and dirty manual mowers.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

There have been some reports that the RS630 has a troubling tendency to get stuck on yard obstacles every two or three days or so. The engineers should go back to the drawing board and try to problem-solve this annoying peculiarity so it doesn’t happen as much.

Another known issue is motor spindles breaking in half.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Some customers are impressed by the unit’s floating deck design that perfectly adheres to the contours of your lawn, which means there won’t be any unsightly gouges.

This is one huge benefit the RS630 has over it’s more primitive predecessors.

Other buyers appreciate that the robo-mower mulches grass into ultra-fine particles, and therefore, no laborious bagging up of lawn clippings is required.

More Info

Do Robo-Mowers Cost a Lot

Robot lawn mowers price trend.

Once upon a time, robot mowers had a reputation for being exorbitantly expensive, putting them out of the range of most homeowners.

However, as the years pass away and the market for robotic lawn mowers skyrockets, the costs are steadily going down. If you want to save wads of cash on your automatic lawn mower purchase, choose a robot that’s appropriate for your lawn size. While those designed to cut large lawns can be expensive, the ones for small yards are surprisingly affordable.

You don’t need all the technologically sophisticated bells and whistles to get an exceptional robotic lawn mower.

Think about the features you can live with and those you can live without.

Consider Lifetime Value

The total cost of ownership could be lower for the robot.

Even though robotic lawn cutters remain somewhat pricey, they’re more cost-effective than their gasoline-powered counterparts.

When you’re thinking about whether to buy a robot mower, it’s all too easy to just focus on the upfront cost and not the lifetime value the machine will give you. Robotic lawn mowers have low maintenance and repair expenses and don’t need to be professionally serviced every year.

The fuel for conventional mowers is more expensive than the costs of running a robotic lawn mower. Traditional gasoline-powered lawn mowers have more mechanical parts than robots, making these types of machines more susceptible to breakdowns.

Even if you compare a manual electric lawn mower to a robot one, you’ll find the robot mower has lower electricity expenses. This is because a manual electric lawn mower uses cutting technology, which requires far more power than robotic lawn mowers.

When you add everything up, you’ll discover that robot lawn mowers are cheaper than conventional ones.

Are Robo-Mowers Safe

A robot mower with an emergency stop activated.

Robot mowers have lift sensors. This means if the mower’s wheels are lifted off the ground, the emergency stop is activated. This stops the blades from spinning.

This is an excellent safety feature. Robo-mower blades use way less energy than conventional mowers.

This means that even if a person was to touch a moving part, there would be no injuries, or they would be minimal.

What Kind of Batteries are Used in a Robo-Mower

Battery type is an important consideration when choosing a robot lawn mower.

Battery and a battery compartment of a robot mower.

Not all use lithium-ion batteries.

Some still use lead-acid ones.

Avoid these models because while lead-acid batteries are cheaper, they don’t hold a charge for as long.

Plus, they take a lot longer to charge.

The charging time for lead-acid batteries is 16 to 20 hours vs. one to two hours for a lithium-ion battery.

Mowers using lithium-ion rechargeable batteries can last anywhere from half an hour for small machines and up to four hours or more for high-end mowers.

How Do Robo-Mowers Avoid Collisions

Robots use a combination of perimeter wire and onboard collision detection systems to avoid lawn obstacles.

Collision sensor at work when mower bumped at a tree.
Robot mowers are equipped with a collision detection system

You can decide whether to install perimeter wire around a hurdle or let your robot’s collision detection system avoid it. Each wire end is connected to the base unit, forming a continuous loop. Low voltage electricity is applied to the wire. This produces an electromagnetic field that the robot can detect.

Installing the perimeter wire on your lawn is super easy.

It can either be pegged down to your grass or buried a few inches underneath the lawn. The only obstacles that won’t be recognized by the collision detection system are those that are small and lightweight, like a crumpled-up paper cup.

Perimeter wire stops robot from moving further out of the yard.

One collision system some robots use is a floating shell surrounding the motor chassis that becomes displaced if an obstacle is encountered. This tells the mower to turn around and go in the other direction.

Other robots use soft bumpers along with one or more accelerometers mounted to the mower’s outer shell. Accelerometers can detect obstacles when there’s an impact.

Yet another method robot-mowers use to prevent lawn fender benders is by detecting abrupt changes in wheel speed. This usually indicates that there’s been a crash, so the mower can go the other way.

Some advanced models even use sonar and lidar (like sonar only using laser light) for collision prevention.

Should I Peg My Perimeter Wire Down or Just Bury It

A man pegs the perimeter wire.

While pegging the perimeter wire down is a quicker option, it’s not as good as burying it.

This involves cutting a small slit in the ground and burying it between five and 10 centimeters deep. If you peg the wire down, it should sit flush with the grass. Over the first few weeks, there’s a risk that the growing grass will push the wire up into the blades of the mower, causing the perimeter wire to break.

For this reason, run the blades of your robot at the highest setting. Then, gradually lower them until you achieve the ideal cutting height over the space of a couple of weeks.

Eventually, the perimeter wire will disappear as the grass grows over the top of it.

Do I Have to Clean My Robotic Lawn Mower

Owner cleans the robot lawn mower.

Regularly cleaning your lawn mower is crucial to preventing the buildup of grass clippings around moving parts such as the cutting mechanism and wheels.

A buildup of grass clippings over time can deteriorate the cutting performance and mobility of your robot. It could also cost excessive wear on your machine, shortening its lifespan.

Cleaning a robotic lawn mower is an effortless task requiring no special tools. All you need is a coarsely bristled handheld brush and a damp cloth.

You should also either wear protective gloves or remove the lawn mower blades when spiffing up your machine.

What Size Robotic Lawn Mower Do I Need

Before buying a robotic lawn mower, figure out the size of your yard.

A smaller robot lawn mower at work.

This is what’s called the lawn mower’s working capacity. Residential models usually have a working capacity of 0.20 to 1.25 acres. A mower suitable for bigger lawns has a high-capacity battery back that lets it work longer and travel farther between charges.

The shape of your lawn matters too.

If your lawn is an obstacle course, your machine must use more battery power to navigate hurdles than if it was just cutting a rectangular plot.

Can I Use My Robotic Mower in the Rain

Weatherproof robot mowing your lawn.

Most robotic mowers can do their job even when it’s raining out.

However, that might not be a good idea because grass cuttings can stick to the cutting deck, making quite a mess. Consider purchasing a robot with a rain detection system that stops your bot from mowing the grass when it’s raining.

A garage specifically made for your bot can protect it from the elements.

This will help it last longer.

Can Robotic Mowers Climb Hills

Slope performance is one of the most important things to research before considering a robot lawn mower purchase.

You don’t want to set up your brand-new robotic mower only to find out that the slope of your hill was too much for the bot to surmount!

Robot mower cuts grass on a hill.
Robot mowers can handle steep inclines easily

If you have a particularly hilly yard, it can be torturous to haul a heavy conventional lawn mower up and down the side of your yard. Robot lawn mowers have a low center of gravity, which means they can handle steep inclines without fear of tumbling down.

If your lawn has some treacherous hills, get a mower with big wheels to better navigate the challenging landscape. Robotic lawn mowers depend on well-gripping wheels with deep treads to give them the traction they need.

Robotic mower climbs onto the hill.

Cheaper models generally don’t have as good slope performance as the more expensive models. However, this isn’t always true. Like the Worx Landroid, some entry-level machines can handle steep gradients at a very reasonable price.

Rain can cause your grass to be slippery, which will limit your unit’s traction.

Over time, your lawn bot will pick up significant dirt and grass clippings in the wheels’ treads. This will reduce the depth of the treads and the traction of the wheels on the ground.

That’s why you should clean the treads every few weeks. Clean them more frequently in wet weather.

Can You Adjust the Cutting Height on a Robot Mower

Every robotic mower lets you adjust the cutting height using a handy-dandy dial on the mower.

Cutting height adjustment regulator.

Some models even let you do this adjustment using a mobile app.

What Anti-Theft Features Do Robotic Mowers Have

You might think robot mowers would be an easy target for thieves, but you’d be wrong.

Robo-mowers are equipped with features that render them impervious to the evil designs of burglars, bandits, and assorted other no-good-doers. The onboard safety mechanisms deter theft and help you recover your bot on the off chance someone makes off with it.

One way robotic lawn mowers keep themselves out of thieves’ hands is technology that only lets authorized users with the right PIN code turn them on.

Your robot-friend can be programmed to request the pin code every time the motor is started and/or the access panel is opened. If a user doesn’t know the correct pin, he won’t be able to operate the mower.

Owner enters the pin code to activate the robot mower.
Only authorized users with the right PIN code could turn the robot on.

After a specified number of incorrect attempts, the robot will lock, preventing further tries until a predetermined period has elapsed.

You can purchase mowers with time locks. This means they’ll run for the amount of time you select before asking for your PIN again. Since a robber could use your machine until it’s time for PIN entry, you’ll only want to use this setting if the risk of theft is low.

Like, if you live out in the boonies somewhere.

It’s best to set it up so that it asks for a PIN code every time to make sure your robot mower doesn’t end up getting stolen.

GPS

Some models have a GPS built-in.

Some robot mowers have GPS functionality. This allows for location tracking, making it easier to recover your mower.

From a security perspective, GPS functionality lets you know precisely where your robotic mower is at any time of the day or night.

Your smartphone app connected to the GPS will let you instantly know if it’s been taken outside of the predetermined cutting area. There have been many cases where this anti-theft functionality resulted in the safe recovery of the robotic lawn mower and the perpetrator’s arrest.

Alarms

Some mowers sound an ear-shattering alarm if a would-be thief tries to take them.

An invisible thief grabs the robot to activate the alarm.

Most of them can be set to make a deafening noise if an unauthorized user lifts the mower off the ground. The alarm will also sound if the unit is removed from its charging station without inputting the PIN.

If a user presses the “STOP” button, a timer will be immediately activated. During this countdown (usually ten seconds), the correct code must be entered to prevent the alarm from going off.

The alarm’s duration can be adjusted on the control panel. Most models allow you to adjust it for a time interval of between one minute and 20 minutes.

Pairing with the Charging Base

Some robotic lawn mowers are paired to their charging base.

This means that if your unit is stolen, it will be rendered useless to the thief because he won’t be able to charge it with the right base.

Low Incidence of Theft

Red robot lawn mower doing its duties.
Stolen robots could be blacklisted in service centers.

Because of all these anti-theft features, the incidence of stolen robot lawn mowers is extremely low.

However, if you do get your unit stolen, you should contact the manufacturer to have your unit blacklisted.

This usually results in the model being added to a central database. If it’s brought in for servicing, the service center will be immediately alerted.

Will Automowers Be Able to Cut Every Part of My Lawn

While robot mowers can cut up right next to the edge of your lawn, they usually won’t be able to do this next to flower beds or ponds.

This will leave a narrow strip of uncut grass. You’ll then have to manually trim the edges with a trimmer.

How Quiet are Robotic Mowers

Sound loudness comparison scale.

Almost all robotic lawn mowers are extremely quiet, operating in the 55dB to 74dB range. This is the same range difference between being almost entirely silent and two people having an enjoyable conversation.

However, there are a few mowers that can generate up to 75dB of noise.

The quieter models can be operated during the evening hours. In fact, some of them even have headlights. Because robot-mowers are whisper quiet, you can run them at any hour of the day or night without disturbing your neighbors.

What are the Main Differences Between Conventional Mowers and Robotic Lawn Mowers

Robot lawn mowers use significantly different cutting technology from manual lawn mowers.

Manual lawn mowers are energy-inefficient. That’s because they use high powered cutting blades to let somebody cutting their lawn do it quickly and efficiently. As conventional lawn mowers cut a large volume of grass per unit time, the blades need to be more powerful.

Robot lawn mower vs manual lawn mower.

This, along with the fact that they’re gasoline-powered, makes them much louder than robot lawn mowers. Robot lawn mowers have smaller cutting blades and move slowly, cutting a narrower volume of grass per minute than a manual mower.

Robot lawn mowers have sharp blades that slice through the blades of grass. This is in contrast to conventional rotary lawn mowers, which knock the tops off the blades. Sharp blades cause significantly less damage to the growing grass and ensure the grass recovers quickly after being cut.

This is why a lawn cut by a robot will be greener and more vibrant than a lawn mowed by a conventional rotary mower.

Author
Stephen A. Hancock received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Robotics Track) from University of Utah in 2004. Since then, he’s contributed to numerous articles and has been a consultant for many technical publications and websites.
image description Comments
Roy
October 6, 2021 at 7:24 am

I have a couple of slopes in my yard. Will a robo-mower be able to tackle them, or should I just continue to mow manually?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
October 12, 2021 at 8:37 am

Hello, Roy, thanks for the excellent question. Every mower on our list can handle at least a 20° slope, which is a 35% grade. If the inclines on your lawn aren’t steeper than this, you’re good to go!

Louise
July 26, 2021 at 11:15 am

I’m thinking about getting the Husqvarna 315X. How often do I need to change the blades?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
July 27, 2021 at 1:41 pm

Hello, Louise! You’ll need to change the blades approximately three or four times a year. The unit comes with a supply of replacement blades. It only takes five minutes with a Phillips head screwdriver to switch them out.

Daniel Perkins
April 7, 2021 at 4:59 am

Hi, Stephen! I’m going to finally pull the trigger and buy a robot lawnmower. I kind of have my eye set on the Husqvarna 315X. Can I really use it at night, or will the dew cause the grass to be so wet that the machine will be ineffective?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
April 8, 2021 at 4:34 am

Hello, Daniel! I know lots of people who run their Husqvarnas during nighttime hours. The model’s leading-edge technology ensures optimized lawn coverage and an excellent cutting result even on wet grass. You can even operate it in the rain with little to no loss of efficiency. With energy-efficient LED headlights, you’ll have no trouble seeing it after the sun goes down.

Billy C.
March 12, 2021 at 1:29 pm

Hello, Stephen! I’m getting real sick of cutting my lawn by hand. So much so, that I’m tempted to buy a robotic lawn mower. I’ve kind of got my eye set on the WORX WR140 Landroid. Can I leave it out in my yard after it finishes it work, or will I have to put it in my shed at the end of the night?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
March 14, 2021 at 11:45 am

Hi, Billy! You don’t have to go through that rigmarole if you get yourself a robotic lawn mower garage.

You can keep your charging dock in one. That way, after your little guy finishes for the day, it’ll head right over to the garage where it’ll be safe from the elements. These things can be simple wooden structures, or elaborate mechanisms outfitted with lights and sliding automatic doors.

I hope this was a satisfactory answer! Take care, and have a splendid day.

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