The best robot lawn mowers for lazy gardeners

For some, mowing the lawn is a leisurely pastime. For most of us, however, it absolutely sucks.

If you fall into the latter camp, a robot lawn mower may be the answer — a worthwhile investment that will make cutting the grass a wholly relaxing experience. Think of robot mowers like Roombas for the garden.

Deciding to invest in a robot lawn mower is easy. Choosing the right model for you is a job as arduous as pushing a petrol mower up an especially steep garden path. That’s why we’re here to help. Here’s some need-to-know info.

How do robot lawn mowers work?

Robot mowers are battery-powered and, for the most part, run automatically based on a pre-programmed schedule, which the user sets up using a companion app. When they’re not running, they sit safely docked in a charging port plugged into an outdoor outlet.

When it’s time to mow, they head out into the world, cutting the grass to a predetermined height and generating grass clippings so fine that they essentially become mulch. Whereas you’d take a traditional mower to the lawn when the grass gets a bit long, a robotic mower will usually run daily to cut just the top of your lawn and keep it at a set level. The range of cut heights a mower is capable of varies by product.

How do robot lawn mowers know where to cut?

Robot mowers learn where to mow based on a perimeter wire, which you’ll lay around the edges of your lawn to form a boundary. It’s like an invisible forcefield that the mower automatically detects.

Setting up your perimeter wire can be a bit of a headache. In fact, the majority of negative user reviews involve the perimeter wire in some way. The companies featured in this roundup offer fairly comprehensive installation guides on YouTube in addition to the instructions in the package.

Robot mowers are an example of fairly new technology in the grand scheme of things, so the category still has a few kinks to work out. It’s possible, for instance, that the mower will miss a spot or two and you’ll need to go back over it with some clippers.

What are the most important robot lawn mower features?

When selecting a robot mower, you’ll want to consider at least three basic categories: garden size, hills, and budget. The mowers on this list are generally better suited to gardens under one acre.

Each mower also lists the maximum incline it’s able to climb while still achieving a successful cut. In general, you’ll pay more if you want more ground covered and higher hills climbed, though there are exceptions. A few other things to keep in mind include integrated rain sensors, companion app quality, weather resistance, and GPS, which are addressed in the recommendations below.

You might also want to consider the ability to navigate narrow passages, adjust to weather conditions, or the ability to cut to the edges or around tricky areas.

What is the best robot lawn mower?

That will depend on your garden and gardening requirements. The decision has to be yours, but we recommend checking out this selection of impressive models from top brands like Flymo, Bosch, and Worx.

These are the best robot lawn mowers in 2022.

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