Mowing the lawn is one of those chores that everyone dreads. It eats up weekends, and getting sweaty and dirty in the hot sun isn’t exactly relaxing. And to validate that dread, the average American spends 70 hours per year (nearly 3 days!) mowing their lawn. We think that’s too much, and we’re willing to bet you agree.
Luckily, there’s finally a high-tech solution in the form of robot lawn mowers that will cut your grass while you kick your feet up. They typically work via a companion app on your smartphone that allows you to program a mowing schedule or start the mower at your command, but some are programmed right on the machine. To know where it’s going, mowers use a GPS, a perimeter wire around your lawn, or a combination of both. In any case, your workload consists of pushing a few buttons.
Robot lawn mowers are relatively new, so there’s only a handful of options available — and they’re not cheap. However, it’s important to know what differentiates each robot mower before making a purchase. The first consideration when buying a robot mower is yard size. Area capacities for robot mowers range from 1/8th of an acre all the way up to 1.3 acres, and picking one that matches your lawn’s size will save you money (more area capacity costs more). Also, if your lawn is slanted, you’ll want to note the robot mower’s hill-climbing capacity.
If you’re ready to take back your weekends, read on. We’ve rounded up 8 of the best robot lawn mowers that you can buy right now to get the job done.
1. Husqvarna 115H Robotic Lawn Mower
This mower from Husqvarna (we can’t pronounce it either) has solid stats across the board and a reasonable price tag for robot mowers. It works on lawns up to half an acre large (more than enough for most), keeps grass quite lush and long at 3.5 inches (some robot mowers only cut very short), and works in the rain. In short, it’ll handle almost any lawn, and comes with a great app for programming.
2. WORX Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower
Robot mowers are still pricey, so this WORX mower is currently the most affordable option at $1,000. The design is exceptionally precise with blades that cut to the edge of the mower, ensuring the edges of your lawn get attention too. It cuts up to ¼ of an acre, which should be enough for most suburban lawns. And although it’s not rain resistant, it will sense water and return to the safety of the charge station until the storm passes.
3. McCulloch ROB 1000 Robotic Lawn Mower
Another great budget robot mower is this one from McCulloch, dubbed “ROB.” Like the WORX mower above, ROB can mow 1/4 acre of grass, but ROB isn’t as good on hills with a maximum incline of around 25% (the WORX can handle around 35%). However, the main difference between the two is that ROB is controlled via an on-board control panel while WORX is app-controlled. We assume most users will prefer the app, but an onboard panel can be more reliable with new technologies like this as you don’t have to worry about losing WiFi or signal.
4. Robomow RC306 Robotic Lawn Mower
BEST FOR SMALL LAWNS
If you have a small lawn, this little Robomow RC306 is great. It works for lawns up to 1/8th of an acre in size, but the mower itself is also smaller so you don’t have a big robot eating up lawn space while it mows. It also packs edge-trimming capabilities, which is especially important for small, well-kept lawns.
5. Husqvarna 430X Robotic Lawn Mower (3/4 Acre)
BEST HILL CLIMBER
For hilly lawns, you’ll want this mower from Husqvarna. It can handle inclines up to a 45% grade, making it a very capable hill-climber. It also mows a fairly large space — up to ¾ of an acre — and it’s quiet at 57dB(A), or the noise level of a typical conversation. The installation kit isn’t included, so we’d recommend picking up the materials (pet safe wire, dog fence splice kits and yard staples) on your own instead of shelling out for Husqvarna’s package kit.
6. Husqvarna 450X Robotic Lawn Mower (1.3 Acre)
BEST FOR BIG LAWNS
This mower, also from Husqvarna, boasts the largest ground coverage on the market at 1.3 acres. This capability comes at a price, but it might be a worthy investment if you’ve been pushing a manual mower around that big yard. Like Husqvarna’s other models, this mower has top-of-the-line capabilities such as handling 45% inclines.
7. Robomow RS630 Robotic Lawn Mower
Worried about the noise of your mower? Go for this Robomow. It boasts the quietest operating noise level on the market, with about the same amount of noise as a refrigerator. In other words, you’ll barely hear it while you have a BBQ or an evening drink outside.
8. Gardena Robotic Lawnmower
SHORTEST CUT HEIGHT
If you want razor-short grass, this Gardena mower is the device for you. It cuts grass as short as .7 inches, which is great if you use the lawn for sports or do outdoor activities. However, if you were excited about controlling your mower with your smartphone, you may be disappointed; this mower is controlled via an on-board panel only.