Having made the switch from a conventional lawnmower to a robot mower, I couldn’t go back. This article will discuss the differences between the two and why you should give serious consideration to a robot mowers.
1. Time Saving
Mowing your lawn can take a lot of time and has to be done regularly through the growing season. For people who have limited free time, cutting the grass can really eat into the amount of time you have to enjoy other things in life.
Conventional lawn mowers need to be brought out each time you want to cut the grass and need to be maintained and cleaned to keep them in working order. If you don’t cut your lawn sufficiently frequently, it makes it harder and more time consuming to cut the grass, and you get a worse looking lawn over time.
Robot mowers take this out of your hands. Once they are set up, they will work independently, day or night, according to your schedule. They require minimal maintenance or cleaning and have great reliability. A robot lawn mower will let you get on with other things or to relax while your lawn is being cared for. You don’t even have to be at home while your lawn is being attended to.
2. Energy Efficiency
Conventional lawn mowers are considerably less power efficient than robot mowers. The energy you use to power your robot mower comes from the electricity grid, which is produced much more efficiently than a dirty petrol engined mower. Modern lithium ion batteries are energy dense and have great efficiency, reducing the cost and environmental impact of mowing your lawn.
Conventional lawn mowers often leave unevenly cut patches, particularly if it has been a while since the last time the grass was cut. I used to find if I left it more than one week between cuts during the growing season, the grass needed more cutting. I would have to cut in one direction first and then do a second cut at right angles to ensure the grass looked evenly cut and neat. This added to the time required and the cost of operating the mower.
Robot lawnmowers are energy efficient devices that operate with minimal power requirements. They have small, but powerful motors, which are able to get the job down without running up a big electricity bill. Some models use as little as 20 watts during operation and have an annual cost of less than £10 per quarter acre of lawn.
Robot lawn mowers can even be charged with solar panels from a home or garden installation, enabling you to power the mower with freely generated electricity.
3. Save Space With A Robot Mower
Robot mowers dock with a charging station in your garden when not in use. Conventional mowers need to be stored in a shed or garage for the majority of the time. This takes up space which may be at a premium. My own garage can barely fit one car, and it doesn’t take much to make it feel cramped. Getting rid of the conventional mower freed up space that I was able to use for other things.
Things are even worse if you have a ride on mower, as those things are enormous and aren’t suitable to store outside. Some robot lawn mowers can easily cut up to 6000sqm (1.5 acres), are fully waterproof and will stay in the garden right through the growing season.
Conventional lawn mowers really destroy the peace of a garden. They are loud and it is difficult to ignore one in use. I don’t think many people enjoy relaxing in the garden while a lawn mower is roaring away in the garden.
Robot lawn mowers are usually very quiet. Many are barely audible while in operation. This is important, as they typically cut the grass much slower than a conventional mower, so they need to work without causing a disturbance to people enjoying the garden.
My own mower cannot even be heard when I am standing more than 10 feet away from it, so it never causes any disturbance when I am enjoying the garden. You can have coffee and read the paper while the robot mower quietly cuts the lawn.
5. Maintain A Beautiful Garden
There are few sights as satisfying as seeing a freshly cut lawn. Unfortunately, you can’t achieve this every day with a conventional lawn mower unless you are very dedicated! Due to the effort required, it is tempting to leave the grass a little too long between cuts, and sometimes the weather prevents you from getting out to cut the grass as often as you would like. It then becomes more difficult to cut, and it is unhealthy for the grass to cut a large proportion of the length of the grass at a time.
Robot lawn mowers are designed to cut the grass frequently. My own mower is scheduled to cut the grass every day. This means only a tiny amount of grass is cut daily, but the grass looks immaculate and freshly cut every day.
6. Your Grass Will Be Healthier And In Better Condition
To keep your lawn in good condition, it must be cut on a consistent basis. This stops weeds from being able to establish. Grass also suffers when a large chunk of the length of the blades is removed at once. It weakens the grass and leaves it looking less healthy and vulnerable to disease.
Many lawn mowers collect the cuttings and these are removed and composted. This removes essential nutrients from the soil, negatively impacting the ability of the grass to grow and remain healthy.
You will therefore have to use more fertiliser to maintain a healthy lawn, or put up with grass that looks less healthy and vibrant.
Robot lawn mowers mulch the clippings when they cut your grass. This means that the clippings are cut up into very fine particles and are returned to the ground, to act as fertiliser for the growing grass.
This means your grass will not only look immaculately cut all the time with a robot lawn mower, but the grass will be greener, healthier, and less prone to weeds and disease. You will also have to fertilise your grass less often, saving you time and money.
7. Great If You Have Hayfever
Hayfever sufferers usually hate cutting the grass, as this is the time that they have the closest contact with the allergens which cause their symptoms to flare up. Every time I used to cut the grass, I knew I was going to spend the rest of the day sneezing, with a stuffy nose and itchy eyes. That was even with appropriate treatment.
As robot lawn mowers do all the cutting for you, there is less allergen exposure and so fewer symptoms to deal with in the summer. In addition to the reduced contact with allergens, due to the increased frequency of cutting, there is less opportunity for the grass and weeds to produce pollen in the first instance, so this can also alleviate allergy symptoms.
8. Much Safer
Robot lawn mowers have a variety of safety features, and the cutting systems are much smaller and lower in power than conventional lawn mowers. When lifted or tilted, robot lawn mowers stop immediately. The blades are well tucked in under the mower, so it is very difficult to accidentally injury yourself.
In contrast, conventional lawn mowers have a terrible safety record. There are thousands of hospital attendances each year due to lawn mower injuries. Traumatic amputation of fingers, toes, hands and feet are all too common. Another cause of accidents is from being struck by a thrown object, such as small stones, by the blade. I have personal experience of how dangerous conventional lawn mowers can be as one of my relatives lost her foot to a lawn mower at the age of five.
9. Simple Installation
Although it takes a bit longer to get a robot lawn mower up and running than a conventional mower, it is very simple. Basically, you pick a location for the docking station and then place a boundary wire around your lawn. The wire can be buried or left for the grass to grow over the top of. I would strongly recommend you to read the operator’s manual carefully, as the installation instructions are usually very precise and clear.
10. No Mess Or Dirt
Cutting a lawn the conventional way is dirty work. I normally end up fairly dirty and sweaty, and usually wear old clothes and shoes for the job. Bringing the mower to and from the garage and along the path usually leaves a trail of grass clippings and some dirt. This has to be brushed up and adds to the time required to finish the job.
Robot mowers don’t cause this problem as they do all the work for you and stay on the grass permanently. I normally clean the mower once every few weeks by turning it over and brushing the underside with a stiff brush and removing any dirt from the wheels.
11. You Don’t Need To Be Home When The Work’s Being Done
With conventional mowers, the work won’t be done unless your there. OK, you could get a gardener to cut your grass, but the costs will mount up over time.
A robot mower will work independently according to the schedule that you set. You can have it working while you sleep, when you’re out, or even when you’re on holiday. Many models these days even have smart features that let you adjust the schedule or monitor it’s progress via an app on your smartphone.
12. No Need To Worry About The Weather
Living in the UK and working full time, I used to rely on the weekends to get my lawn cut with a conventional mower. If the weather is bad, it can be difficult to get the job done. A rainy weekend meant that the grass would be like a jungle before I got a dry day to get it cut.
Robot mowers normally work in all weather, except the most extreme storms or snow. My mower will carry on regardless of what the the weather is doing, and I have never had any issues. Some models have rain sensors and will return to their dock if it is raining and wait for it to stop before resuming their work.
As robot mowers can be scheduled to work at any time, day or night, you don’t have to worry what the weather is doing. Your grass will get cut and your lawn will look immaculate all year round.
13. Safe And Secure
Conventional lawnmowers can sometimes be a target for thieves. Robot lawn mowers are no different. Thankfully, all models have numerous security features to prevent or deter theft and to improve the chances of recovery if your machine is stolen.
You would imagine that robot lawn mowers would be much more vulnerable to theft, due to being kept permanently in the garden. Thankfully, this is not the case, due to the formidable security features which are integrated into even the most basic models.
Almost all models will have a pin code feature, so that each time the model is disturbed, stopped unexpectedly or turned on, you must insert a pin code before being able to use it. Failure to insert the correct code, or attempting to steal the robot mower will result in a surprisingly loud alarm being sounded, which should deter most thieves. In addition, many models are uniquely paired to their charging station, so theft will result in the mower being inoperable.
Many more expensive models even have built in GPS, so the mower can be tracked. This information can be passed to the police, who can retrieve your mower.
14. Cost Saving
Conventional mowers are still cheaper than robot mowers. However, there are a number of situations where a robot mower can be better value for money. Firstly, if you currently pay a gardener to cut your lawn, the payback time for a robot lawn mower could be as little as one year. Secondly, if you have a smaller garden, and yet have a reasonably pricey conventional mower, you may be surprised to learn that robot mowers can often be cheaper. Robot lawn mowers start at about £400 at the minute. Particularly when you factor in the maintenance costs, you may well save money opting for a robot lawn mower.
Conventional lawnmowers have being doing a fine job for many years, but technology marches forward, and the advantages of robot lawn mowers are starting to stack up. I feel that we are now at a tipping point. The technology has developed and the prices have reduced sufficiently for most people to seriously consider the options before choosing their next mower. Hopefully this article gives you some useful information when weighing up the options.