Written by Terry Smith
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The best robot lawn mower Want maintenance free gardening? (Updated Review)
This article was last updated on September 25th, 2021 at 3:39 am
Best Robot Lawnmower
Just amazing aren’t they? A robot lawn mower has successfully replaced a human. That’s no small feat. As far as jobs at home go, it’s genuinely the first one a robot has successfully taken over and while many of us like to mow the lawn for a bit of exercise, or justify an afternoon Gin and Tonic on a sunny Saturday, there are many that hate it; that’s where the best robot lawn mower comes in.
A robotic lawn mower needs a decent start. You’ll have to give it a nice base to start from and install a wire line around the cuttable area which is supplied with all bots. Once you have, it will take over and make life a breeze. The feeling of the lawn staying in tip top condition with zero effort will feel surreal. Let’s be clear, it is zero effort too if you pick the right model that’s pretty polished in performance and software.
What is a robot lawnmower?
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.
The way most robot lawnmowers 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.
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.
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 analyse 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, automatic self-charging, and more, are making robot lawnmowers evermore enticing to people who hate cutting the grass.
Problems with robot lawnmowers
Having a machine do all that hard work for you sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? And, if I’m being completely honest, these machines aren’t exactly perfect, and still have their own drawbacks, which I’ll cover briefly here.
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 lawnmowers that have been designed with larger batteries, and even with solar cells on top of them to help with this problem, but it is still something you should look into before buying if you have a large lawn, and pick your product carefully.
Another 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.
The robot mowers cut quite slowly too, 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 one’s cutting the grass themselves!
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 400-800 pounds mark and some being higher than that. In the last couple of years though I have seen the odd lesser-known brand offering up robot mowers for between 300-400 quid, and it is inevitable that prices will drop on products from more famous brands in the future.
Example of using a robot lawnmower
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 we are 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. Eh 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 lawnmower 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 hue difference in how the machine will perform.
This review gets a bit long winded so I will fast forward you(if you don’t want an interesting read) I am including my findings now. I still highly recommend a long read though, it’s quite interesting believe it or not.
Best robotic lawn mower
The Best robotic lawn mower aka the McCulloch ROB 1000 Robotic Lawn Mower(when factoring price to performance for a larger garden) or the Flymo 1200R Lithium-Ion Robotic Lawn Mower for a smaller garden will shred and mulch grass fine enough for it to fall between shoots of grass and decompose, sending nutrients back into the soil as part of the process. Yeah, sounds too good to be true right? Actually, apart from installing the boundary wire, that’s it. You’re done! The little robot will even head back to charge himself 🙂 and these two cracking lawn mowers will head to the main page to form part of an overall review of the best lawn mower.
The review of the best robot lawn mowers is a bit long so I’ve included a table of contents and just beneath that, a price and performance comparison table.
Table of Contents
1. 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 2021 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 and that it looks, to me anyway, more stylish with a curvier aesthetic.
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.
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.
There are also no 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, 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.
3. 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 S300 Landriod from Worx is my first pick in this budget lawn mower category. It is available on Amazon for £498.00. It’s dimensions are 62 x 53 x 29cm and it weighs just 16kg, so hardly a bulky machine and it’s powered by a single Lithium-ion battery that comes with the lawn mower. 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. Great for people with ‘techno fear’ the S300 Landriod doesn’t need to be programmed. Simply set up the wire boundaries and the machine will do the rest.
WORX WR090S S300 Landroid Robotic Mower: Very tidy bit of kit, looks after itself and operates at up to 35 degree gradients
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.
The way the Landroid cuts, little and often, actually leaves tiny clippings back in the soil, fertilising your garden for you. 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 been 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, guide the WORX robot mower through narrow channels.
The all terrain wheels help this robot lawn mower to move over uneven ground and up gradients up to 35%.
Of course, the Landriod has it is niggles. Firstly, one of its drawbacks might be a preference, not 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. It will work it’s way around eventually, it’s just off to watch it bump itself at the wall what seems like on purpose!
WORX WR090S S300 Landroid Robotic Mower Review
Best WORX WR090S S300 Landroid Robotic Mower Features
What needs work on the WORX WR090S S300 Landroid Robotic Mower
|No need to program||Programming can’t be customised|
|Dual cutting action||Reports of AI problems|
|Easy to use|
Could they improve the WORX WR090S S300 Landroid Robotic Mower?
All in all, the Landroid is a decent budget robot lawn mower best suited to people who are looking to save time and aren’t too bothered about being able to customise their mowing schedule. Quite frankly, it’s a hard ask to buy this when the Flymo 1200R Lithium-Ion Robotic Lawn Mower and comes with so many positive reviews which is up next.
4. 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.
Flymo 1200R Lithium-Ion Robotic Lawn Mower: great robotic lawn mower, reliable, value, intelligent, and programmable.
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 insuring 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.
Flymo 1200R Lithium-Ion Robotic Lawn Mower Review
Best Flymo 1200R Lithium-Ion Robotic Lawn Mower Features
What needs work on the Flymo 1200R Lithium-Ion Robotic Lawn Mower
|Great price||Need to spend time setting up|
|Mulching feature||Can’t cut to the edges|
|Irregular cutting pattern|
|Moves around obstacles|
|60 minutes run time|
|Best robotic lawn mower|
Could they improve the Flymo 1200R Lithium-Ion Robotic Lawn Mower?
This little Flymo robot mower is a brilliant bit of kit and certainly choice for a small garden. OK, it has a few niggles but they have improved and also its easily the best value for money. Also, with the reports of broken wire, I’m unsure how the wire has been cut because ideally it is placed slightly beneath the soil. There’s a possibility the wire raised there too. Overall a great bit of kit that works for 99.9% of customers no problem.
5. Yard Force SA500ECO Robomower
Specification: Warranty: 2 years, Working Area: 500 m2, Slope Performance: 50%, Cutting Width: 18cm, Cutting Height: 20-60mm, Smartphone App: no
The first thing you notice when you compare the Yard Force SA500ECO Robomower to the two previous budget options, is that it has a much sturdier feel, mainly due to its great build quality. The Robomower gets its power via a 28V Samsung lithium-ion 2Ah battery and is good for gardens up to 500 square metres. It has a 60 minute running time and takes the same amount of time to charge, which, like most robot lawn mowers, it will do automatically when it runs low on charge.
Yard Force SA500ECO Robomower: Quality robot lawn mower, well built, irregular cut for even surface and overall not bad.
Although not fully programmable, you can select what mowing hours you would like the robot to work for you and then it will repeat the process every day.
Like the Flymo, Yard force’s robotic lawn mower cuts in an irregular pattern and also has sensors to help guide it around obstacles. The 28V Samsung battery gives the robomower enough punch to handle cutting inclines up to 27 degrees very well and the cutting height can be adjusted between 20mm and 60mm. This model also mulches the cuttings like the Landriod and Flymo 1200R.
Apart from the long set up time that is the problem with nearly all robotic lawn mowers, this Yard Force model also has another drawback: its docking station is comparatively quite large and could take up a fair bit of space.
Yard Force SA500ECO Robomower Review
Best Yard Force SA500ECO Robomower Features
What needs work on the Yard Force SA500ECO Robomower
|Good battery power||Large docking station|
|Mulching feature||Limited programming|
|Fast charging||Long set up time|
|60 minutes running time|
|Good build quality|
Could they improve the Yard Force SA500ECO Robomower?
I think all robot mowers, this is a work in progress. I don’t think it’s as polished as the Flymo robot mower but it shows plenty of promise and I think if they can reduce the docking station size and improve the software it will become a decent seller. It’s too tough to ignore the Flymo for me.
6. McCulloch ROB 1000 Robotic Lawn Mower
Specification: Warranty: 2 years, Working Area: 1,000 m2, Slope Performance: 25%, Cutting Width: 17 cm, Cutting Height: 20-50 mm, Smartphone App: no
The McCulloch ROB 1000 Robotic lawn mower is designed for gardens up to 1000 square metres. It comes with 3 cutting blades, the boundary wire and 400 staples for you to set up with. It runs very quiet, almost unnoticeable and will do so for around 65 minutes before it will return itself to its docking station and charge.
McCulloch ROB 1000 Robotic Lawn Mower: best robot mower[UK], most intelligent, best robot mower reviews, and all round performer
Charging time is fairly quick at 50 minutes. It is the best robot lawn mower for sure, the question is do you want to pay nearly double the price of a Flymo and is your garden big enough to justify it?
The ROB 1000 robotic lawn mower has a cutting width of 17cm and adjustable cutting heights of 20mm – 50mm. Like most robotic lawn mowers, it cuts the grass, mulches it and feeds it back as fertiliser. It can cut nicely on slopes up to 14 degrees.
Apart from the competitive price of £1,120.95, 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. It also follows an irregular cutting pattern that gives your grass a nice uniform cut.
McCulloch’s ROB 1000 robotic lawn mower has good security features. 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 1000 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. Otherwise the robot mower reviews are pretty much exceptional.
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.
McCulloch ROB 1000 Robotic Lawn Mower Review
Best McCulloch ROB 1000 Robotic Lawn Mower Features
What needs work on the McCulloch ROB 1000 Robotic Lawn Mower
|Fully programmable||Hard to set up for some people|
|Multiple security features||Needs to be kept away from water|
|65 minute running time||Charging station needs to be on flat ground|
|50 minute charging time|
|Comes with everything needed to set up|
|Best robot lawn mower|
Could they improve the McCulloch ROB 1000 Robotic Lawn Mower?
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.
Best robot mower
The best robot mower is the McCulloch ROB 1000 Robotic Lawn Mower if we are talking pound for pound.
I can get my lawn cut for me about 80 times. Now, I don’t know about you but I cut my lawn about once a week maximum maybe 30 times a year. You see where I’m going with this… so while it is the best robot mower I’m not convinced this mower is solving a problem just yet.
Best robot mower [UK]
The McCulloch by contrast, cuts 1000m2 and will pay itself back in no time at all. This is a mower that’s fixing a problem and definitely worthy of the best robot mower[UK] title. I really can’t wait for these little robots to continue to improve.
Robot lawn mower review
The robot lawn mower review winner by a mile is the Flymo 1200R Lithium-Ion Robotic Lawn Mower. With literally hundreds more robot mower reviews than the competition it is most definitely the safe best for any small garden. Also, there’s no way the competition, other than McCulloch are going to be able to keep pace with research and development of Flymo.
Robotic mower reviews
In terms of being unbiased, Flymo does have a couple of negative reviews. The most alarming is the mower cutting it’s way through the wire fencing. I am not convinced the wire has been installed correctly though and would love Flymo to step in and research and investigate this so that if it is not user installation error, they can make a fix rapid! Overall though, if you buy based on robot lawn mower reviews, you go Flymo, no hesitation.
It’s hard to trust low robotic mower reviews volume and so Flymo gives you the piece of mind and comfort that you would expect from a top mower brand.
WORX lawn mower robot
I’m genuinely quite surprised the WORX lawn mower robot is as good as it is. While that seems rude it’s not. They are not a company with unlimited development budget and with the limitations of their resources have produced a really cool piece of equipment in the shape of the WORX WR090S S300 Landroid Robotic Mower. I should be surprised though they are doing great things, take the WORX cordless lawn mower for example. An accomplished bit of kit! Where I think the problem lay, they have effectively positioned themselves right up against Flymo with this model.
If there’s anything history shows us about lawn mowers, the only people that won’t be beaten are Flymo. So you have to question the sensibility of battling them when your price point is nearly the same.
WORX robot mower
I think this shows though, the number of reviews of the WORX robot mower is around twenty times less. Whilst I think it’s a good product, it’s a hard think to beat off Flymo when they decide they want a market, invariably they take it. Whilst I don’t like monopoly, Flymo are winning here due to a superior product, not because of the brand. The WORX robot mower doesn’t need much to catch up though.
If they keep plugging away at this robot mower I can see great things, so I hope they so. It will benefit us all in the future which is almost certainly going to be full of weird and wonderful robots that help around the home, not just lawn mower robots.
Flymo robot mower
The Flymo is the best robotic lawn mower pound for pound in my mind. While it’s not the best robot. It is the best value. I expect them to continue to develop this product and we can expect amazing things from the Flymo robot mower. While it’s already worth buying, it’ll only continue to improve to the point of making all other options redundant. That is my prediction for the future.
You can always rely on Flymo to produce great results, you only have to look at their range of best hover mowers to see where this will end up for them.
Well, that review brings an end to this section on robotic lawn mowers. I hope that it has given you a better idea of the different models and features available at the moment.