Mowing the lawn can be an arduous task, but fortunately there is now an alternative. Robot lawn mowers makes life easier for homeowners who want to enjoy a well maintained lawn without the effort required to achieve this. There are so many models on the market now, that it can be difficult to compare them all and make a choice about which is best for you.
This article will discuss five of the most popular models available today, and discuss the positives and negatives of each. Regardless of whether you’re looking for a budget option or for the best of the best, this article serves as a brief introduction to the top robot lawn mowers available. I have also written a comprehensive guide to robot lawn mowers, which you can read here.
Flymo 1200R Robotic Lawnmower
The Flymo 1200R is a model which has a great feature set at a very reasonable price. The Flymo brand is owned by Husqvarna, a giant in the robot lawn mower market. For people who have lawn area of less than 400 square metres, I think this mower is a great option. It doesn’t have some of the premium features that more expensive models have. However the core abilities it has allow it to cut your lawn as well as a model twice the price. It’s a model that I have happily recommended to friends of mine who are looking for a cost effective way to purchase a robot lawn mower.
As with all robot lawn mowers, there are a number of downsides, but many of the negative points are shared with robot lawn mowers generally, and are not unique to the Flymo 1200R. The Flymo 1200R can manage slope angles of up to 14° and will cut your lawn to a height of between 20 to 50mm. It is able to function in wet and dry weather, but has no in-built rain sensor, which some of the more expensive models have included. If your lawn borders a path, it will do a very good job of cutting right to the edge, but where the lawn meets a flower bed or solid obstacle, such as a wall, it will leave a narrow strip of grass uncut. You will have to manually cut this strip as required.
The Flymo 1200R is set up by placing the charging station in a suitable location and then laying a boundary wire around your lawn. Adjustment of the settings and cutting height of the lawnmower is done by the control panel on the top of the unit and is very simple to use. You can customise the cutting schedule and cutting height, among other things. Once you are ready to go, you simple press start, close the hatch and your Flymo 1200R will work away without any intervention.
The security features of this model match most of the other models at the same price band, with pin code and alarm, deterring thieves and rendering it useless if stolen. The Flymo has multiple safety features, including collision and tilt sensors, so that it is impossible to access the blades under the machine, without causing it to stop. The blades themselves operate at low speed and are very small, meaning that even if the Flymo 1200R were to run over a small object left on the grass, it will cause minimal damage. I have an in depth review of my experience with the Flymo 1200R available here.
Worx WG794 Landroid
Next on my list is the Worx WG794. It is a bit more expensive than the Flymo 1200R, but has a number of additional features and can manage lawns up to 1000 m², which goes some way to justifying the increased price. While you could certainly buy a good conventional lawn mower for that price, the Worx WG794 handles the entire chore for you, without any human intervention.
It has several features which make it a more premium robot lawn mower. It has a patented AIA artificial intelligence algorithm, which reduces the time it takes to cut your lawn by 30%. This increases the efficiency of its work, reducing unnecessary overlap and reducing delays when it reaches the perimeter wire. It also helps it to maneuver through narrow areas, which allows it to access more difficult to reach areas of your lawn.
The Worx Landroid series of robot lawn mowers have taken good steps to improving the edge cutting performance of their machines. Rather than leaving an uncut strip of up to 20cm at the side of your lawn, the Worx WG794 can get to within 2.5cm of even the most challenging border.
A series of sensors enables the machine to avoid and mow around obstacles, so things such as fences, garden furniture or trees will be avoided with ease. If the Landroid detects rain, the unit will automatically disengage and return to its docking station to recharge until the weather has cleared. This robotic lawnmower requires a security pin number and there’s also a smartphone alert if the Landroid has left the designated perimeter, just in case the unit decides to make an escape or someone attempts to snatch your lawn mower.
On the downside, the Worx WG794 Landroid can only handle up to a 1000 m², meaning those looking to mow larger lawns will need to consider another option.
Mcculloch ROB R1000
The McCulloch ROB R1000 is a great robot lawn mower at the lower end of the price spectrum. It can handle approximately twice the lawn area of some models at the same price range and the features of this model are fairly good too. Like with all other robot lawn mowers, you have to mark the area to be cut with a perimeter wire. You can also use the wire to keep the robot away from certain parts of your garden. While it has an obstacle sensor, it is not as advanced as some of the more expensive models. Some more advanced models use RADAR or LIDAR to avoid obstacles before impact. The McCulloch ROB R1000 relies on physical contact with obstacles to prompt it to stop and change direction.
The biggest issue with this model, is that the retail package does not come with sufficient perimeter wire for many gardens. Don’t forget that you will have to mark out many obstacles such as flower beds and ponds with the perimeter wire also. Irregular shaped gardens will have a longer circumference, despite being well within the 1000 m² rated cutting area. I would strongly recommend calculating how much perimeter wire you are likely to need before purchasing, or ordering more perimeter wire at the time of purchase.
The McCulloch ROB R1000 will work completely autonomously once you have installed the wire. You can set a mowing schedule using the buttons on the device. At 57-59 dB, it is one of the quietest models on the market and it’s quiet enough to be used at night without it disturbing you or your neighbours. The McCulloch ROB R1000 will automatically return to the charging station once the work is done or the battery starts running low. The battery charges very fast at less than 60 minutes for a full charge, and it will run for approximately 1 hour on a full charge.
The McCulloch ROB R1000 has no remote control or mobile application, so all adjustment of settings and scheduling must be done from the control panel on the unit. While smart features would be nice, they are far from essential, and I do not think that the majority of users would mind having to adjust settings from the control panel.
The ROB 1000 has most of the standard features which can be found on all entry level robotic lawnmowers, including safety and security controls. The cutting blades will stop if the wheels lose contact with the ground for any reason, and it has collision and tilt sensors to ensure that the unit switches off immediately when it is disturbed. ROB is protected with a PIN code you need to insert to change any setting. An alarm will trigger, if it’s lifted without entering the PIN code.
The McCulloch ROB R1000 is permanently paired to the charging station it came with. A stolen robot is rendered useless without the station and charging stations are much harder to get away with. The ROB 1000 has no GPS function, so there is no ability to track the unit if it is stolen, but this is a necessary sacrifice to keep the cost of the unit at a reasonable level.
Husqvarna robotic lawnmowers are among the most advanced and most reliable models on the market. They have a range of models at different price points to cater for all sizes of gardens and the varying needs of their customers. If your garden is relatively small, it would be a huge waste of money to go for the Husqvarna 450X. However, if you have a larger gardens, I think the Husqvarna 450 X is a great robot lawn mower and I think most people would be delighted with it. It can mow lawns up to 5000m² (1.25 acres) and can manage uneven gardens, with slopes up to 24° being handled with ease.
The 450X has no problems managing very tricky shaped lawns, navigating around trees, flower beds and other obstructions with no issues. It is suitable for use in almost all weathers, so you can maintain a well kept lawn throughout the growing season. The Husqvarna 450 X has a sleek, modern look, with a dark grey, glossy finish and avoids the bright colours of some of it’s rivals.
You’ll still need to lay a perimeter wire to mark out the desired cutting area, much the same as other models. You can also adjust the map of your garden with the included smartphone app, to mark additional zones to avoid. This is necessary for ditches or more rugged areas where the mower might struggle for adequate traction. You can schedule the mow times, allowing the model to trim as regularly or minimally as desired.
More regular mowing will minimize clippings for a cleaner looking lawn. It powers through your lawn even in the rain without any problems, so for people who live in rainy areas with rapid grass growth rates and have a lot of slopes, you’ll finally have the auto mower that can handle your lawn with ease. This model is also very quiet, rated at just 58 decibels when in use.
The Honda Miimo
While many robotic lawn mowers are limited to smaller lawns, like the Husqvarna 450X, this model can mow larger gardens with ease. It can mow a lawn of up to 4000 m² and can also handle slopes of up to 25 degrees making this device ideal for yards with steep slopes. It can do the job entirely on its own within a defined area, which is set by installing a boundary wire either underground or pegged to the grass. The MIMO detects the wire’s electrical field, which can also be used to cordon off trees, ponds or other garden obstacles.
One of the real standout features with the MIMO series is the paired app. This allows you to adjust cutting height, start or stop the unit and also manage a calendar, all from your smartphone. MIMO uses a continuous cutting system, meaning the machine trims your lawn by a small amount multiple times per week. A fan on the underbelly sucks the grass towards the blades for consistency and efficiency.
This robotic lawnmower is also one of the more intuitive models out there. MIMO will adjust cuts as grass growth increases or decreases seasonally, and also detects denser patches of grass which may require more cutting. Three panoramic sensors allows the unit to detect and avoid obstacles around the yard. If any of these sensors pinpoints a hindrance, the MIMO will immediately stop and then pivot in a different direction.