Written by Terry Smith
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UK’s best robot lawn mower brands: Mculloch, Flymo, Landmaster, Worx, LANDXCAPE
This article was last updated on April 23rd, 2022 at 6:37 am
Although the possibility of robots replacing us in many of our jobs is a scary prospect, I think we can all agree that having one of our future mechanical overlords trimming the lawn for us while we sit back on our comfy garden furniture, or relax in a hammock, isn’t too bad a thing at all. Although the idea of a robot cutting your grass for you sounds very futuristic, it is actually one that has been around for a very long time. In fact, the first patented robot lawnmower was named the Mowbot and was introduced to the world all the way back in 1969.
Of course, technology has advanced a lot since the end of the 60s, but you’d probably be surprised at how many of the original concepts have survived and are still incorporated into the modern robot mowers we see on sale today. Speaking of which, in this article you will find a ton of information regarding the robot lawnmowers on the market in the modern age, a handy buyer’s guide, and reviews of the best of the best. Which ones did we pick out as the cream of the crop? Take a look below:
Best robot lawn mowers – editor picks:
Best robot lawnmower: Mculloch ROB S600– Best robot lawnmower overall for its outstanding array of features paired with excellent cutting performance
Landmaster L10 – Best robot lawnmower for slopes and uneven ground. Will traverse gradients of 35%.
WORX WR090S S300 Landroid Robotic Mower. Best robot lawnmower for large gardens. The larger versions can easy handle 2000 square metres
Flymo Easilife 500 -Best robot lawnmower for a small garden. Compact, Lightweight, and highly programable make it perfect for small gardens.
LANDXCAPE LX799 -Best budget robot lawnmower. Offering very good value for money and simple operation.
Flymo 1200R Lithium-Ion Robotic Lawnmower– an excellent all rounder with a good selection of features
Robot lawnmower buyers guide
A big part of buying a product that you’re happy with, is to have the best possible idea of what you are actually looking for in the first place, and this informative buyer’s guide has been designed to help you with that. We’re sure that after reading through this, and then our reviews, you’ll feel confident in your buying decision.
Understand how the guide wire works and set it up properly
While I don’t use a robot lawnmower personally, a couple of years ago, both my brother-in-law and my neighbour bought one around the same time.
Being gardening obsessed, and naturally a bit of a nosey old so-and-so, I naturally spent more than a little time talking to them about their machines, the specs, and how they were getting along with them.
It turned out that they had both bought the same machine (a Flymo 1200R, which you can see our review of further down this page) but were getting different results. While my brother-in-law was loving his new mechanical helper, my neighbour wasn’t so pleased.
After giving it some thought, and visiting each of their homes, I figured out the problem. It was all to do with the shape of their lawns, and how they had set up their guide wire perimeter.
My brother-in-law had a lawn that was almost rectangular in shape but with curved corners, and he had pretty much just followed the shape of the lawn, whereas my neighbour had a very decorative and oddly shaped lawn with lots of curves and small areas that were quite narrow. He too had just followed the shape of his lawn, and this is where he had made his mistake.
You see, in order for your robot mower to work optimally, the perimeter you set up should be as connected as possible, and what I mean by that is to have the wire curve around corners instead of being sharp right angles. My neighbour had tons of these sharp angles set up with his wire and it was causing problems.
Anyway, with my help, he reinstalled the wire from scratch, only this time keeping the wire uninterrupted. Keeping in mind how the robot moves, we made sure that it would have space to turn around and manoeuvre too. The results were night and day.
So, if you are going to buy a robot lawn mower that uses a guide line, do a bit of research into how best to set up that perimeter. There are a few tricks that might not be immediately obvious to you, but they make a huge difference in how the machine will perform.
How to set up a robot lawnmower
The way most robot lawn mowers function is actually quite simple. You, the gardener, need to spend a bit of time setting up a guide wire to mark off the perimeter of your lawn, or the area you want mowing.
Next, you need to ‘program’ the robot to do what you want it to, but these days this is usually nothing more than pressing a button or two and certainly not anything complicated. In fact, the latest models usually have an app and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to do it all from your phone, but some budget models like the Landmaster L10 don’t use one and prefer simple push button controls on the machine itself
Once everything is set up, the sensors onboard the robot mower will keep it within the boundaries you have set up with the wire, and the built-in computer will guide it through a cutting program, leaving you nothing else to do apart from sit back with a cold one and watch your robot worker do its job.
Wireless robot lawnmowers and other modern features
In the last few years there have been some innovations in robot mowers, and there are now products available that don’t require you to set up the guide wire first. These machines either use vision-based navigation, where the robot will analyze what it can see and make decisions, or they are guided by satellite navigation and are very accurate.
These machines are evolving all the time, and features such as solar panels to help with battery life, rain sensors that trigger the robot to return to its sheltered docking station as can be seen on the Flymo Easilife 500; automatic self-charging, and more, are making robot lawnmowers evermore enticing to people who hate cutting the grass.
Battery size and life
The first thing you need to be aware of is battery life. These machines are cordless and run off lithium-ion batteries, just like a cordless strimmer or cordless chainsaw. Even with battery running times improving all the time, there will still be a moment when it runs out and will need charging. Obviously, if you have a large yard, there is a good chance that your robot mower will have to go back to its docking station to recharge before the job is complete.
Now, there are some robot lawn mowers that have been designed with larger batteries, and the Flymo 1200R is a good example of this, but even with solar cells on top of them to help with charging you will still only get a maximum of 1 hour running time. So, this is something you should look into before buying if you have a large lawn, and pick your product carefully.
Robot lawn mower prices
Probably the most off-putting thing about robot mowers at the present time is the price. As this is all new technology, the price of a robot mower is still quite high, with most being around the 500-1000 pounds mark and some being quite a bit higher than that. In the last couple of years though I have seen the odd lesser-known brand offering up robot mowers for between 400-500 quid such as the LANDXCAPE LX799, Landmaster L10 and smaller versions of the Worx Landriod, and I think it is inevitable that prices will drop on products from more famous brands in the future.
One thing that puts some people off is that it is very time consuming to set up the guide wire around your lawn, and then you usually have to make some adjustments to it and to the programming of the robot before you get the results you want.
When compared to a traditional electric, cordless, or petrol lawnmower, a lot of robot mowers cut quite slowly, so don’t expect instant results. Instead of cutting down to the desired length in one pass, they make multiple passes, trimming the grass bit by bit, and this can actually annoy people who don’t have much patience, even if they aren’t the ones doing all the work!
Cutting width and height
The speed at which your robot mower will complete its task is affected by a few factors, but one of the most important is the cutting width. Basically, the wider this is, the larger the area that can be cut at the same time.
This width varies from product to product too. For example, the Mculloch ROB has a cutting width of 16cm, the Worx robot can cut 18cm, and some of the larger products out there can be over 30cm. For small to medium sized gardens, you will be fine with anything that has a cutting width over 15cm.
Variable cutting height is pretty much standard with robot lawnmowers and although there are some models out there that deviate from the norm, most popular products will have a range of 20mm – 50mm.
Every robot lawnmower will have a maximum angle that it can handle when it comes to slopes. This angle is usually shown in degrees but some products have this displayed in a percentage in their advertising.
Please be aware that the percentage is not necessarily the same as the angle, and will actually be a higher number. For example, the Landscape robot has its max slope angle shown as 25% but the actual angle is 15 degrees.
Obviously, if you have a sloped or uneven lawn, you’re going to want to shop for a robot lawn mower that can handle that terrain, and so this particular statistic should be very important to you.
Best robot lawnmower reviews
This is the part of the article where we go in depth with the robot lawnmowers that we selected as the best out of all the ones we tested. They are all great products in their own right, but each offers their own benefits and also has the odd flaw that we’ve also pointed out for you, just to be fair. That being said, we’re sure you’ll be happy with any of these quality robot lawnmowers.
1. Mcculloch ROB S600 Robotic Lawn Mower 18 V
The McCulloch ROB S600 Robotic lawn mower is designed for gardens up to 600 square metres. It comes with 3 cutting blades, the boundary wire and 400 staples for you to set up with. It runs very quiet, I’d say more quietly than any of the other robots we tested, and will do so for around 65 minutes before it will return itself to its docking station and charge. Before we get going on the nitty gritty I have included their sales video – it is a sell, and normally I’d overt but it’s in good taste:
The ROB S600 robotic lawn mower has a cutting width of 16cm and adjustable cutting heights of 20mm – 50mm, which is on par with most products of this size. Like most robotic lawn mowers, it cuts the grass, mulches it, and feeds it back as fertiliser and can cut nicely on slopes up to 14 degrees.
Apart from the competitive price, another thing I like about this lawn mower is it’s fully programmable. You can set the days, times, frequency and even the cutting length, something that is missing from some budget machines like the Landmaster. It also follows an irregular cutting pattern that gives your grass a nice uniform cut.
McCulloch’s ROB S600 robotic lawn mower has good security features, some of which you won’t find on any of our other featured products. Firstly, it has a PIN code feature that needs to be entered to change the machine’s settings. Secondly, each machine is paired with a specific charging station and won’t work with any other. Thirdly, it is fitted with an alarm that sounds if any would be thief decides to take it for a walk. Once the alarm sounds it can only be turned off with the correct PIN code. Although it has to be said, the alarm could have been made to be louder in my opinion.
Apart from the quiet alarm, other complaints that have been made about the ROB S600 is that it’s susceptible to water damage and also that it is complicated to set up, but this is a complaint made about nearly all robotic lawn mowers, and I didn’t find it any harder to set up than the Flymo models. Other than these small gripes, this robot mower’s reviews are pretty much exceptional, and from my time with the machine I would have to agree with them.
There are also little details that need to be known before purchasing, like the charging station needing to be on very flat ground (no more than 3cm height difference from one end to the other) and the fact that flower beds and such need to be protected by a 6-inch barrier so that the robot will not bump into it and turn around. They are small details, but very important to get the machine to work optimally.
All robot lawn mowers need improvement. They are in the early stages of the product life cycle. That said, this one needs the least improvement and is the best robot lawn mower at sensible money you can buy. Apart from rain issues it doesn’t have any design faults and the quiet alarm is an easy fix.
2. Lawnmaster L10 Robot Lawnmower 20V Max
The first new addition to this 2022 update is the Landmaster L10 20V Max, another great choice for small to medium sized gardens and tighter budgets, and a product Amazon have decided earns their “Amazon’s Choice” moniker. Here’s an overview of how you use it properly:
Do I think it deserves it? I would have to say I do, as it does offer good value for money and performs well once set up right, but there are a few ‘low-budget niggles’ as I call them that tell you about in a moment.
First though, the positives. The Landmaster L10 performs really well, leaving you with a lovely looking lawn and even did well with some longer grass that we tested it on, so no complaints from me there. Like most robot mowers, it runs fairly quietly too, and won’t disturb you or the neighbours as much as a standard lawn mower.
It also handles bumpy ground without stopping, as long as the terrain isn’t ridiculously uneven and lumpy, and will go up and down slopes up to a 35% gradient which is actually very decent for this rice range, and is 10% more than the Flymo Easilife 500.
The plastic casing and wheels all feel robust and solid, and I was happy to see that the Landmaster has an IPX5 waterproof rating so you don’t have to get too worried about a little rain splashing on the little guy.
There isn’t any app that works with the Landmaster, and the controls are all located on the machine itself. These controls are fairly basic, and this is both a blessing and a bit of curse in certain situations. On the plus side it makes it very easy to operate, but the lack of options can create a few issues.
The main one is that the Landmaster can’t be programmed to skip days, and only give you the options of either 4,8, or 16 hours of work per day. Now, if you have a medium sized garden, the lowest setting is fine, but most smaller lawns don’t need this much mowing and it can end up getting damaged from the robot doing too much, too often.
There is an easy way around this, and you just need to switch the machine off when you want to give the lawn a rest for a few days, but then the robot automatically reverts back to the 8-hour presetting and you’ll have to change it back to your preferences. It’s a bit annoying, but probably not a deal breaker for a lot of people.
I found that setting up wasn’t too hard, but I did have to make some adjustments after my first initial run. It could have been avoided if the instructions were a bit more detailed, but after a bit of trial and error and some searching on the internet, I figured out the quirks and kinks.
So, would I recommend the Landmaster? I’d say so. It is solidly built with good waterproofing, is cheaper than a lot of other robot lawn mowers and actually does a good job of cutting the grass. It would be nice if you could tailor the settings to your needs better, but there is an easy work around, as we mentioned.
3. Flymo EasiLife 500 GO Robotic Lawn Mower
Specification: Warranty: 2 years, Working Area: 150-500m2, Slope Performance: 25%, Cutting Width: 16cm, Cutting Height: 20-50mm, Smartphone App: yes
Although we already have a Flymo robot mower featured, this product is a new addition to this page and part of our 2022 summer update. It also has a host of features not found on the Flymo 1200R, so let’s take a closer look, shall we?
The first thing I noticed about the EasiLife 500 GO is that its overall dimensions are more compact than that of the 1200R making it a good pick for smaller lawns, and that it looks, to me anyway, more stylish with a curvier aesthetic. However don’t let the small bother you, this thing can cut grass off the bat that is well out of control – here’s a look at that, obviously you want your lawn under control but it proves the point that it’s durable:
Don’t be fooled by the smaller size into thinking this is a robot mower for a smaller garden, because, in fact, it can actually cover a larger area than the 1200R. While it is sibling has a maximum working area of 400 square metres, the EasiLife can cover 500, hence the name.
However, if you have a smaller garden, you can save a few quid by opting for a smaller version of the EasiLife robot mower, and is even one designed for gardens up to 150 square metres that is around 200 pounds cheaper.
What the EasiLife model does share with the 1200R is that it still requires you to set up a guide wire perimeter to help steer the robot in the right direction. With this product though, you can program different start points for different parts of the lawn, and there is much more flexibility when it comes to placing the charge station than with the Worx or Landxcape robots..
This machine is really user friendly, and all the programming you need to do can be done via the Bluetooth app, using your smartphone or tablet. There is also a ‘push & go’ interface on the machine that will allow beginners to set up scheduling easily, but for the more advanced options and settings, the app is the tool to use.
Two other great features are ‘lawn sense’ and ‘frost sense’. These sensor systems detect the condition and length of the grass, work out how it is growing, and then the robot adjusts the cutting schedule accordingly. This is all done automatically, and are really handy features that protect your lawn from being accidentally damaged.
Producing only 58 decibels while working, this is a very quiet little machine, and won’t disturb your neighbours if you set it to mow early in the morning. For a point of reference, a reading of 58 decibels is roughly the same loudness as a normal conversation between two adults, so you won’t be reaching for the ear defenders.
Like most robot mowers, this isn’t the fastest way to cut your grass, but the three sharp blades on the bottom leave you with good results in the end. If you have pets or young children, you don’t have to worry about them picking up the machine either, as built-in sensors will automatically switch off the blades if the mower is tipped or lifted.
To sum up, this is a great little robot mower that comes with some very helpful features. I liked the fact that beginners can program it quickly and easily, but more experienced users can use the app to really get things how they want too.
Specification: Warranty: 2 years, Working Area: 300 m2 , Slope Performance: 25%, Cutting Width: 16cm, Cutting Height: 20-50mm, Smartphone App: no
I’ve already said earlier that the high price tag on these robot lawnmowers is something that puts off more than a few people from trying them out. So, if you are sitting on the fence, and would like a cheaper model for your first robot mower, this one might be for you.
Now, you have to understand that for the lower price you will have to accept some concessions, and you won’t be getting a product with all the bells, whistles, and features of a robot mower like the Flymo Easilife.
For example, there is no Bluetooth app that goes with the Landxcape LX799 and instead, you can only program the machine through the keyboard found on the device itself. This is no big deal, and to set it off manually works just fine, but I did find a few issues when I tried to set it up to run on an automatic schedule, and it sometimes wouldn’t go out as planned. This wasn’t an issue I had with the McCulloch or Flymo models, but then again they are pricier products.
Another thing you have to do without are sensors for the weather or for the grass length, so you have to remember to turn off the machine when it looks like bad weather or your robot mower will be driving around in the mud. Both the machine and the charging station are rain proof, but I still wouldn’t want to leave them out in a downpour.
The options for setting up your cutting schedule are a little limited, and you can’t set a running time for this machine. Instead, you set it as an area to be covered so that’s something you need to work out. It is quite easy to be fair, and not really a big issue.
Apart from the absence of these features, this is actually a decent product and performs well, cutting the grass in small increments so that the tiny clippings can fall to the soil and be used as fertiliser, further improving your lawn. This is a common feature on robot mowers and I was glad that they didn’t cut corners regarding this (sorry for the pun).
This machine is self-charging, and will return to its charging dock once the battery starts to get low. The charging dock has to be set up on the grass and part of the overall wire system to work properly just like with the Landmaster robot, but we had no problems with it in our tests, and it worked as it should.
To reduce wear and tear of the three cutting blades, the LX799 uses both forward and reverse cutting actions. We didn’t spend enough time with the product to test if that is true, but if it isn’t it wouldn’t be too much of a bother as the blades looked fairly standard and replacements shouldn’t be too hard to find.
I’ll finish up by saying that you get what you pay for with this robot lawnmower. It doesn’t have a lot of the new features that better known brands have incorporated into their machines, it isn’t the best looker out there either, but as a basic robot lawnmower to test the waters with, it’s not too bad at all.
5. WORX WR090S S300 Landroid Robotic Mower
Specification: Warranty: 2 years, Working Area: 300-500 m2, Slope Performance: 35%, Cutting Width: 18cm, Cutting Height: 20-50mm, Smartphone App: yes
The Landriod from Worx is a robot mower that comes in a range of sizes so you should easily be able to find one to suit your needs. The WR130E S300 version that we tested has dimensions are 62 x 53 x 29cm and it weighs 15kg, that’s heavier than some robot mowers but hardly a bulky machine.
In operation, this WORX lawn mower robot runs very quiet at about 68 decibels and should be able to manage gardens up to 350 square metres, although the larger versions of this robot will handle lawns up to a gigantic 2000 sqm!
Great for people with ‘techno fear’ the Landriod doesn’t need to be programmed. Simply set up the wire boundaries and the machine will do the rest. Now, I have to admit that I personally prefer to have more control over things, even if it does mean more setting up being required, but I know that there are many that will appreciate how simple and easy to use this machine is.
It has a dual blade cutting action where the blades spin in both directions. This makes the blades last longer and lengthens the time before you need to change them, and this gives them greater durability than some other robot mowers. It also cuts close to edges, leaving an uncut area of just 2.5 cm.
Like most modern robot lawn mowers, the Landroid is fitted with sensors to let the machine know important things. For instance, it can sense rain and won’t come out to cut until it’s stopped for a while. It can also sense when the battery is running low and will return itself to it is docking station to be charged. Other sensors, plus the lawn mowers AI, can also guide the WORX robot mower through narrow channels.
One of the common questions I get asked about robot lawnmowers is can they handle slopes and bumpy lawns? Well, the sizeable all-terrain wheels help the Worx WR130E Landroid mower to move over uneven ground with ease and to tackle gradients up to 35% without issue.
Of course, the Landriod has its niggles. Firstly, one of its drawbacks might be a preference, and not actually a drawback, depending on your preference- it can’t be programmed. This might be great for some, but for others who like more versatility and control over their robot lawn mower, it could be an issue. Also, there seems to be a lack of documentation or online support in the way of an instruction manual.
There’s been complaints of the AI not recognising certain obstacles too, and instead of going around them, it bumps into them. We did notice this although it didn’t happen often and it will work its way around eventually. it’s just off-putting to watch it bump itself at the wall on what seems like purpose!
6. Flymo 1200R Lithium-Ion Robotic Lawnmower
Specification: Warranty: 2 years, Working Area: 400 m2, Slope Performance: 25%, Cutting Width: 17 cm, Cutting Height: 20-50mm, Smartphone App: no
This offering from Flymo is currently available on amazon at a price of £545.81. It’s powered by 18 v 1.6 Ah Lithium-ion battery that will give you about 60 minutes worth of action before it needs to be recharged. When the battery runs low the robot lawn mower will return to its docking station automatically and charge itself. The Flymo 1200R robotic lawn mower measures 69 x 52 x 39cm and weighs only 7.4 kg when unpacked which is a lot smaller than the WORX WR090S S300 Landroid Robotic Mower.
The Flymo 1200R Lithium-Ion Robotic Lawn Mower is suitable for gardens up to 400 square metres. It is even quieter then the Landroid, producing only 58 decibels, the same as a normal spoken conversation.The 1200R cuts with razor sharp swing back blades with a cutting width of 17 cm and can be adjusted to cut from 20mm to 50mm. Like the Landriod, the cuttings are mulched as the machine mows, helping to fertilise your garden and eliminating the need for raking making this easily a contender for the best robot lawn mower. This is extremely good value for money, just like the best cheap electric lawn mower, the Flymo Turbo Lite 250 Electric Hover Lawnmower.
A great feature of this robotic lawn mower is that it cuts in an irregular pattern ensuring that all areas of the lawn get cut so you won’t be left with a patchy garden. When it bumps into an obstacle, it changes direction and continues mowing.
This Flymo is easy to set up and comes with a manual and quick-guide to help you along so you should be up and running in no time.
Unlike the Landriod, the Flymo 1200R can be programmed to cut on a schedule to your suiting. Just tell it what times and how often you want it to cut and leave it to do the rest.
The negatives to the Flymo 1200R Lithium-Ion Robotic Lawn Mower are the same as most robot lawn mowers, you have to spend time setting the guide wire up and it won’t cut all the way to the edges of your lawn. This model has also been known to cut through its own guide wire on occasion and to run out of charge before making it back to its charging station but it does seem improved since those reports came to me.
Because of the way it cuts, this robotic lawn mower doesn’t leave stripes on your grass. So, although the Flymo 1200R is not without its faults, the vast majority of the robot lawn mower reviews have been very positive and is definitely the safe bet for a garden.