McCulloch ROB R600 Review And Installation Guide

McCulloch ROB R600 Review And Installation Guide

The McCulloch Rob R600 a great value robot lawn mower that is suitable for lawns up to 600 m² in size. It does everything that I would expect a robot lawn mower to do, and there are only a few minor drawbacks.

The McCulloch Rob R600 balances features and pricing to present a very appealing package. Having looked at comparable robot lawn mowers for similar sized lawns, I think the McCullough ROB R600 is the pick of the bunch.

You can check the current price of the McCullough ROB R600 here. Read on to find out all about the McCulloch ROB R600 and my experience of using it.

Design And Main Features

The McCulloch Rob R600 is an automatic robot lawn mower which is designed to cut lawns that are up to 600 m² or 0.15 acres in size +/- 20%, depending on the complexity of your lawn. McCulloch also produce two other models which can cut lawns up to 800 m² and 1000 m² respectively.

It can handle slopes within your lawn of up to 14 degrees (25% gradient). Once it is installed, it will operate autonomously with minimal user input. It will alternate between charging and working depending on the schedule that the user sets for it.

The mower looks great, in a black and yellow colour scheme, which is more appealing to look at than some other robot lawn mowers. It doesn’t really blend in with your garden, but I think it looks very smart.

The McCulloch ROB 600 is installed with lift, tilt and collision sensors, as well as an array of safety and security features. It is also very quiet in operation, at only 58 dB. This is about the same volume as two people having a conversation. Personally, I found it to be barely audible from more than 10-15 feet away.

The controls of the ROB 600 are located under a protective cover on the top of the machine. It is accessed by pressing the emergency stop button, which prevents you from adjusting the settings while it is in operation. The LCD control panel is fairly basic, but easy to use and has a reasonable number of features, which met all of my expectations.

The McCulloch ROB 600 uses a 2.1 Ah lithium ion battery to power it’s cutting activities. A full charge takes approximately 50 minutes and this provides 65 minutes of cutting time.  

Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Autonomously cuts your lawn with minimal user input
  • Very quiet in operation
  • Excellent safety features
  • Comprehensive anti-theft features
  • Easy to use control panel
  • Great value compared to other similar robot lawn mowers

Cons

  • Does not cut the edge of your lawn very well
  • Not suitable for lawns larger than 600 square metres
  • Installation process takes a few hours 

Comparison To Similar Models

The following tables outlines the main alternatives to consider if you are looking for a robot lawn mower and your lawn is approximately 400 m² to 600 m².

MowerMcCulloch
ROB R600
Husqvarna 105Gardena R70LIWorx Landroid S
WR105SI
Max Cutting Area600m²600m²700m²500m²
Maximum Slope14°14°14°20°
Cutting Time65 minutes65 minutes65 minutes90 minutes
Charging Time50 minutes50 minutes50 minutes40 minutes
Noise Level57dB58dB58dB68dB
Weight7.1kg6.7 kg7.4kg7.4kg
Dimensions60x44x26 cm55x39x25 cm58x46x25.5 cm54.2x40.1x23.6 cm
Current PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Installation Of The McCulloch ROB R600

Installation of the McCulloch Rob R600 is very straightforward but does take a bit of time.  The McCulloch Rob R600 comes in a large cardboard box which provides a lot of key info and pictures on the outside.

It is well packaged and protected with plastic and additional cardboard to ensure your new machine arrives in perfect condition. Inside the box you will find the robot lawn mower, the charging station, the power supply and a low voltage cable to connect them.

You will find 150 m of perimeter wire and pegs to secure them to the ground inside the box. I think this is an adequate amount of perimeter wire for the vast majority of lawns, but if you plan on marking out a lot of obstacles inside the margins of your lawn, or if your lawn is a complicated shape, you may find yourself running short.

It may be worth doing a quick calculation of how much you would need for your garden before ordering. Spare wire can be bought online very easily, but better to plan ahead so you don’t run out at a crucial moment.

Also included in the box, are connectors to plug the wire into the charging station and couplers for connecting the perimeter wire and guide wire. There is also a measurement gauge to ensure that the perimeter wire is installed the correct distance from the edge of the lawn, three spare sets of blades, an operators manual and a quick start guide.

The quick start guide does a great job of showing you the basic points of how to install the robot lawn mower.  the first thing that you want to do is read the quick start guide and have a flick through the manual to get an overview of the installation process.  

McCulloch ROB R600 Box Contents

Tools Needed For Installation

You only need a few simple tools to install the McCulloch Rob R600. You need a hammer or mallet to insert pegs into the ground, combination pliers for cutting the boundary wire and pressing the wire connectors together and an edge cutter if you want to bury the boundary wire. 

Installing The Charging Station

It is important to consider the placement of the charging station next. This will need to be placed adjacent to an external power supply or close to an internal power source that you can run a cable from to connect up to the charging station.

The manufacturer recommends that you place the charging station at the edge of your lawn along a straight edge with at least 1.5 metres of boundary wire straight out to the right and left of the charging station.  It should be installed on a level surface, ideally protected from direct sunlight and placed in the lower part of your lawn if you have a major slope. You should also keep the charging station out of sight of people outside your garden.

The charging station is secured to your grass with a number of screws which are supplied. This is very easy to do and only takes a minute. The power supply should then be connected to the power source.

It is important to mount the power supply at a height where it is not at risk of being submerged in water, ideally at least 30 centimetres from the ground. I have mounted my power supply onto an external wall of my house next to the external power source. The low voltage power cable is then connected from the power supply into the back of the charging station.

Once your charging station is installed and connected to the power supply, I would recommend that you put the robot lawn mower in the charging station, so that it can charge while you’re installing the perimeter wire and guide wire.

Installing The Perimeter Wire

Next job is to peg the boundary wire down along the edge of your lawn. The manual explains how far from the edge of your lawn this should be installed. I would recommend following this advice very closely to ensure that your robot lawn mower functions without issues.

It can be laid within 5 cm of the edge of your lawn where the lawn is next to a path or patio. If the lawn finishes at a flower bed or wall, the boundary wire must be laid further from the edge of the lawn to prevent it getting stuck in your flower bed or bumping into walls unnecessarily.

In the case of the McCulloch Rob R600, this means that there will be a strip of uncut grass next to walls, flower beds or other solid obstacles. Most robot lawn mowers require some lawn edge maintenance, and the McCulloch Rob R600 is no different. I usually find that I have to go round the edges of my lawn with a strimmer every 4 weeks or so to make sure that they remain tidy.

The perimeter wire needs to be pegged down to the grass securely so that there are no loops of wire sticking up into the air, which could be cut by the blades of the robot lawn mower.

Once you have pegged the perimeter wire down all the way around your garden, you can connect the two ends to the charging station. You will need to attach one of the supplied connectors to each end of the wire. These then allow you to plug the wire into the charging station securely.

Should You Bury The Perimeter Wire Or Peg It Down

I would recommend pegging he perimeter wire to the ground first of all to make sure that your new robot lawn mower is functioning as intended. Once you are confident that the McCulloch ROB R600 is going about it’s business as expected, you could consider burying the perimeter wire. Although the grass will grow over the top of the perimeter wire after 1 to 2 months, there are several advantages of burying it. 

A buried wire allows you to perform lawn maintenance such as aerating and scarifying, without fear of damaging the perimeter wire. It also reduces the risk of the wire being pushed up by the growing grass in the first few months of operation, leading to damage from the blades of the robot lawn mower.

Once the perimeter wire has been installed, you need to install the guide wire now. This is simply another section of the same wire that is plugged into the back of the charging station, but it runs up the centre of the lawn to the opposite side of your lawn. The guide wire assists the robot lawnmower in locating and docking with charging station, and also in finding the far side of your lawn, ensuring that all areas of the grass get cut.

Once you have laid out the guide wire you will need to connect it to the perimeter wire. This is done by using a coupler which is supplied in the box. The couplers allow you to connect three pieces of wire together.

I found it very easy to use the couplers and it should only take a minute to connect the wires with nothing more than a pair of pliers or polygrip. You will need to cut the perimeter wire at the point that the guide wire will connect to it. Insert each end of the perimeter wire and the guide wire into the connector, press it together and you should be ready to go.

McCulloch ROB R600 Start Up

Once everything has been installed, all that is left is for you to perform the calibration process and the ROB R600 will be ready to go. To do this, you simply open the control panel hatch by pressing the stop button, set the main switch to position one, and follow the instructions in the start-up sequence. This will allow you to set options such as the language, country, current date, and a four digit pin code. The robot lawn mower will then go through a process of undocking, travelling to the far side of your garden and then returning to the charging station to ensure that it can dock without issue. The supplied manual explains this process in more detail, but is very easy to complete.

Operation

Once the installation process is complete, there really isn’t an awful lot left for you to do. You can use the control panel to adjust the days and times that the robot lawn mower will work. The manual contains some guidance for how often and how long you should set it to mow, depending on how large your lawn is.

Typically, robot lawn mowers work much more frequently than conventional lawn mowers, as they try to keep your grass looking freshly cut all the time.

After you set your robot lawn mower in action, you may not have to have any further intervention for a long time. I had a few teething problems, such as the robot lawn mower getting stuck where I had installed the perimeter wire the wrong distance from the edge of your lawn. I was able to fix this by adjusting the position of the perimeter wire to the correct distance from the edge of the lawn.

Since my McCulloch Rob R600 has been in operation, it has worked well in a range of weather conditions. It will cut for approximately 60 to 65 minutes on a full charge, before returning to the charging station. It takes about 50 minutes to complete a full charge.

I have found that the timings of cutting and charging that are stated in the manual are fairly accurate. There is no human intervention required in the charging process. The robot lawn mower will return to its docking station automatically, remain there until it is fully charged, before returning to its cutting duties.

It is very quiet in operation, causing no disturbance to the peace of my garden, even when I am relaxing on the patio and the robot lawn mower is working away. Normally, I try to schedule the robot lawn mower to work from Monday to Friday, as I spend more time in the garden at the weekend and it is less inconvenient if the robot lawn mower is not getting in the way.

My garden has some fairly tight corners in the lawn and a few moderate slopes. I haven’t noticed the McCulloch Rob R600 having any problems negotiating my lawn and I think all areas are being cut roughly equally.

In the first 12 weeks of operation, the weather was quite wet and I did notice that quite a lot of grass clippings were gathering around the wheels. This did seem to cause some loss of traction on the slopes from time to time, but this was minor and it still seemed to get the job done without issue. I have generally been turning the mower over to give it a quick clean every 2-3 weeks or so.

I have one slope that is quite steep and ends in a flower bed. I have noticed that if the ground is very wet, the robot lawn mower will lose some traction when it comes to the perimeter wire at this point and tries to turn.

There were one or two occasions where this caused the robot lawn mower to detect that it was outside of the perimeter wire and it stopped working until I rescued it.  I dealt with this problem by moving the perimeter wire a few centimetres further into the lawn and it seems to have solved the problem.

Mowing Features

The McCulloch Rob R600 uses a different cutting system than a conventional lawn mower. Most people are surprised when they see how small the cutting blades are. The blades are very thin and small like razor blades. They are screwed onto a rotating disc on the underside of the robot lawn mower.

This rotating disc is spun by the motor, which causes the blades to rotate and cut the grass. As the blades spin freely on their mountings, this means that if the blades hit something more substantial, the blade retracts backwards rather than cutting it. This minimises the damage to anything that is inadvertently left on the lawn and reduces the wear and tear on the blades.

The cutting height of the blades can be adjusted from between 2 cm to 5 cm in height. I like to keep my lawn nice and short, so I have it set to 2 cm and this produces a really tidy result. The cutting system is quite narrow at only 17 cm wide, so it takes the robot lawn mower a lot of passes across your lawn to get the whole job done.  

Power And Charging

Due to the lightweight blades and narrow cutting width, the power requirements of the robot lawnmower are very low, at approximately 20 Watts in operation.

This means that the total power use of the McCulloch ROB R600 is very low. With my machine operating 10 hours per day, 5 days per week, the monthly power requirements are about 4 kwh which costs me about 70p per month at my local electricity prices.

What Happens To The Clippings?

One of the major benefits of a robot lawnmower is that it doesn’t collect your grass clippings. You may be thinking that that sounds like a major downside, as surely there are lots of unsightly grass clippings on the lawn.

Thankfully this is not the case, as the robot lawn mower cuts frequently and mulches the clippings into very fine pieces which fall into the lawn rather than sitting on top of it. These clippings then provide nutrients for the growing grass, and as a consequence your lawn will have more nutrients available to it.

This will make the lawn healthier and look much greener than it would if it was being cut by a conventional lawn mower, where the clippings were being removed.

My Lawn Looks Much Better

Due to the frequency that the McCulloch ROB R600 cuts my lawn, it always looks freshly cut. The mulched clippings provide natural fertiliser for the lawn making it look more vibrant and healthy.

I originally wanted to get a robot lawn mower so I wouldn’t have to cut my lawn. The look of the lawn was definitely a secondary priority for me. I really have been surprised by how much better my lawn looks since I got the McCulloch ROB R600, compared to when I was cutting it every week with a conventional lawn mower.  

Limitations Of Mowing Features

The mowing capabilities of The McCulloch Rob R600 are excellent but they do have a few drawbacks.

As previously mentioned, the only lawns which will have the edges properly cut will be those which are completely surrounded by path or patio. This is because the robot lawn mower will be able to encroach on the path to ensure that the edges are cut properly. For all other lawns, you will have to trim the edges every so often.

Secondly, the cutting height is adjustable between 2 and 5 centimetres, but there are plenty of people, depending on the variety of grass in your lawn, that like to keep their grass longer than 5 centimetres. In these scenarios, the limit to five centimeters might be a disadvantage to some.

Movement And Navigation System

The McCulloch Rob R600 moves slowly around my lawn, much slower than walking pace, and doesn’t have a predictable movement pattern to cut your grass.

It cuts in a straight line until it meets the perimeter wire, which then triggers it to back up approximately 30 cm, before turning and moving in a different direction. It uses a number of mathematical algorithms to ensure that each area of your grass is cut at least once within a reasonable duration of cutting.

This is not an efficient way of cutting grass, but it requires minimal processing power and does an adequate job with minimal complication. More efficient processes would require increased computing power and more sensors, which would increase the cost and decrease the reliability of the machine.

Therefore, at present the current system is a good compromise and it is one that I am very happy with as my lawn looks perfectly cut every day of the year.  

The McCulloch Rob R600 doesn’t have integrated GPS. This is something that is present on more expensive and more advanced robot lawn mowers. It can be a useful feature to improve the navigation of a robot lawn mower around your garden. Some models use GPS to track the robot lawn mower around your garden and integrate this information into apps for smartphones and tablets.

GPS can also be a good security and recovery feature. However, robot lawn mower models with integrated GPS are more expensive, and it really is a peripheral feature which doesn’t add much to the core functionality.

Personally if I had the choice of having integrated GPS or having a robot lawn mower at a more aggressive price point, I would opt for the more aggressive price point. The core grass cutting ability and features of the McCulloch Rob R600 are excellent, and at least equal to that of more expensive models.

The holy grail of robot lawn mower navigation is a better lawn edge detection system. GPS does not have the accuracy to improve this to any great degree, as it can only pinpoint your location to within several feet at best. For now, if you are opting for a robot lawn mower for a smaller garden or at the more affordable end of the spectrum, I would give GPS features a miss.

Safety Features

Safety features are one of the main strengths of robot lawn mowers, compared to conventional lawn mowers. Conventional lawn mowers are consistently the most dangerous piece of garden equipment. Robot lawn mowers have an excellent safety record due to the extensive safety features which have been developed, and their autonomous operation.

The blades of the McCulloch Rob R600 are tucked well under the chassis of the machine and would be difficult to come into contact with while in operation.

The blades are also very small and freely rotate on a spinning disc. If they come into contact with anything more solid than a blade of grass, the blades are depressed backwards, rather than being forced to cut through whatever they hit.

In addition to this, the McCulloch Rob R600 has lift and tilt sensors which mean that if the robot lawn mower is lifted or tilted while in operation, the blades will stop in a fraction of a second. Any children or pets that try to turn a robot lawn mower over while it is in operation will simply deactivate the machine, avoiding any injury.

The McCullough Rob R600 also has a number of sensors which are used for collision detection, so that if it comes into contact with something solid it will stop. Regardless of whether it is a permanent or temporary obstacle on your loan, the robot lawn mower will stop, turn and move in a different direction without causing damage to whatever it has hit.

Personally, I feel that the McCulloch Rob R600 is very safe and I have not felt that I have been at risk of an injury at any time during my use of this machine.

Security Features

The McCulloch Rob R600 has a number of security features to reduce the risk of your machine being stolen. It has a PIN code which must be entered before the machine will work. The frequency that this PIN code is requested can be set in the options menu.

I have mine set to ask for the PIN code every time the robot lawn mower is stopped unexpectedly. If you live in a very safe neighborhood, you can adjust this so that the PIN code is only requested once every 30 days.

The McCulloch Rob R600 also has an alarm that can be set through the high security option in the control panel. When this is set, if the machine is stopped unexpectedly, you have a short period of time with which to input the PIN code before the alarm will sound. In the event that somebody lifts your robot lawn mower, to try to steal it, the alarm will sound, and this should hopefully deter the thief.

Smart Features

The McCulloch Rob R600 does not have any smart features. Some robot lawn mowers have integrated GPS and Wi-Fi and have accompanying apps for your smartphone or tablet.

These apps can be used to control the robot lawn mower remotely, or inspect the cutting statistics of your machine. Whilst this feature would be nice, it adds to the expense of an already expensive piece of technology.

Personally, I am more than happy to do without smart features and get a very capable robot lawn mower at a more attractive price. If you really can’t do without smart features, I would definitely recommend the Gardena smart Sileno City 500. Both the McCulloch and Gardena brands are both part of the Husqvarna group, so these two models share a lot in common.

The main differences between the McCulloch ROB R600 and the Gardena smart Sileno City 500 are that the Gardena has smart features, but costs a fair bit more and can only manage lawns of up to 500 m². 

If you really can’t do without GPS integration, you’ll need to pay a lot more and opt for a robot lawn mower that is designed to cut a much larger area, such as the Husqvarna 315X.

Conclusion

Overall, I am delighted with the McCulloch Rob R600. It does pretty much everything that I hoped a robot lawn mower would do. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how little input from me has been required after the initial installation. I’m absolutely delighted that my grass looks neater and greener than when I was cutting it manually.

My one minor disappointment is that I still have to trim the edges of my lawn, but as I only have to do this once every four weeks or so, it really isn’t too much trouble.

I think the McCulloch Rob R600 contains all of the features that I would want in a robot lawn mower and is great value compared to other similar robot lawn mowers. Click the link if you’d like to check the current price of the McCulloch Rob R600 and read real customer reviews.

I definitely wouldn’t go back to a conventional lawn mower, as using a robot lawn mower is just so effortless. If you have a garden that is somewhere between 400 and 600 square meters, and you’re looking for a good value robot lawn mower that does the core functionality very well, then I think this is a great option.

If you have a similar sized garden, but want to have a look at other options, please see the comparison table earlier in this review.  It highlights the most popular models that would be suitable for a similar sized garden of between 400 and 600 square metres.

Detailed Specifications

Productivity

  • Working area capacity 600 m² +/-20% / 0.15 acre +/-20%
  • Charging system Automatic
  • Maximum incline inside working area 25%

Product

  • Colour Black/Yellow
  • Keypad 15 buttons
  • Information panel LCD display with settings menu
  • Handle type Integrated
  • Wheel threads Medium

Power and charging

  • Battery type Li-ion
  • Typical charging time 50 min
  • Typical mow time on one charge 65 min

Motor and cutting system

  • Cutting height, min-max 20 – 50 mm / 0.79 – 1.97 inch
  • Cutting width 17 cm / 6.69 inch

Sound and noise data

  • Sound level measured: 57 dB(A), guaranteed: 59 dB(A)

Safety and security features

  • Alarm Yes
  • PIN code Yes
  • Installation lock Yes
  • Time lock Yes
  • Lift sensor Yes
  • Tilt sensor Yes

Installation accessories

  • Loop wire 150 m / 492.13 ft
  • Staples 200 pcs
  • Extra blades 3 pcs

Overall dimensions

  • Product size, LxWxH 590x440x260 mm / 23.23×17.32×10.24 inch
  • Weight 7 kg / 15.43 lbs

McCulloch ROB R600

8.8

Performance

9.0/10

Value

9.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Pros

  • Autonomously cuts your lawn without user input
  • Very quiet in operation
  • Excellent safety features
  • Easy to use control panel
  • Best value in it’s class

Cons

  • Does not cut the edge of your lawn very well
  • Not suitable for lawns larger than 600 square metres
  • Installation process takes a few hours

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