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Robot mowers are fairly new lawn care technology. They operate in much the same way as a robot vacuum or mop does: moving in randomized patterns, using sensors to avoiding obstacles, staying within boundaries set up by guidewires, and allowing scheduling and monitoring via Bluetooth companion apps. But instead of cleaning up spilled popcorn and pet hair, they cut your grass. Robot mowers are perfect for smaller suburban lawns because they have very small cutting decks, often just 8 or 9 inches wide. The included reels of guidewire also are often just big enough to mark off the edge of a quarter acre to half acre lot or the same size area of much larger lawns. The appeal of a robot lawn mower is that they are fully autonomous. Once you set up a schedule, you don't have to worry about being home to mow your lawn; the unit will leave the base station and start cutting the grass all on its own when it's time to start.
Another big selling point is that since they're battery-powered, they have zero emissions, which makes them a much more environmentally friendly solution to caring for your lawn. And not having a gas engine means very little maintenance other than charging batteries and cleaning out dried grass and dirt. To help you find the right fit for your lawn, I gathered five of the best robot mowers available to buy. I broke down their features and analyzed their maximum cutting areas to curate a list of robot mowers that will suit a variety of different needs. Keep reading below to see which is the best choice for both your yard and your budget.
Cutting width: 8 inches | Max cutting area: .5 acres | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Companion app: Yes | Anti-theft alarm: Yes
The Worx Landroid L is my top choice for the best robot lawn mower. With the 8-inch cutting deck, it can mow lawns up to a half acre, which is perfect for most suburban lots. The cutting disc sits on a floating pivot to automatically rise and drop to follow your lawn's terrain, reducing the chance of scalping or missing low spots. Built-in sensors help the Landroid L navigate around obstacles and through narrow paths, so you don't have to worry about it getting caught in your flower beds or stuck between your toolshed and the house. A companion app for your smartphone or tablet allows you to check on battery life, set a mowing schedule, and even specify your lawn's soil makeup and type of grass for more efficient mowing and overall care. A built-in alarm helps deter thieves, but if someone does manage to make off with your robot mower, the GPS-enabled companion app lets you track their whereabouts so you can recover your property.
Cutting width: 9.5 inches | Max cutting area: .25 acres | Connectivity: N/A | Companion app: No | Anti-theft alarm: No
Since robot mowers are such a new technology, they can be quite expensive. Fortunately, the Mowro RM24A is one of the more affordable options on the market, with a price tag that sits comfortably under $1,000. The 9.5-inch cutting deck and 28V battery allow the RM24A to mow yards up to a quarter acre, while the large rear, wheels help it tackle steeper hills and inclines. The brushless motor runs much more quietly than gas mowers and many other battery-powered mowers, which means you can enjoy your deck, patio, or backyard while the RM24A is mowing your lawn. And it won't annoy the neighbors as it follows its 48-hour mowing schedule; this robot mower automatically mows every two days to keep a consistent cut across your entire lawn. It even has rain sensors to let the mower know it's time to return to the docking station when storms roll in.
Cutting width: 8.5 inches | Max cutting area: .25 acres | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Companion app: Yes | Anti-theft alarm: Yes
Since robot mowers run on either interchangeable or integrated batteries, they'll need routine charging for optimal runtimes. Unfortunately, that also means you could get stuck waiting for your mower to charge before it can finish cutting the grass. The Husqvarna 115H has one of the fastest charging times, reaching full battery in just about an hour. You can tackle other outdoor chores like edge trimming and pulling weeds while you wait, and you won't have to schedule mowing over several days to allow for charging times.
The 8.5-inch cutting deck lets the 115H mow up to a quarter acre; and with its lift and tilt sensors, the blades automatically stop if the mower gets picked up. This protects pets, kids, and adults from getting hurt if the mower gets stuck on an object or if it gets flipped over. The integrated anti-theft alarm only can be shut off with a specified PIN number, meaning thieves can't disable the alarm before making off with your robot mower.
Cutting width: 9.5 inches | Max cutting area: .8 acres | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Companion app: Yes | Anti-theft alarm: Yes
Robot mowers are usually meant for much smaller lawns, but the Husqvarna 430X is capable of handling lots up to almost a full acre. The 9.5-inch cutting deck features three blades that mulch clippings into ultra-fine pieces to re-feed your lawn between fertilizer applications. The large rear wheels enable the mower to handle steep inclines. With Bluetooth connectivity and GPS navigation, the 430X lets you schedule mow times, set up remote start points, and even set up profiles for different sections of your yard. This lets you create a custom schedule for a consistent cut across your whole lawn, while remote start points mean that your robot mower isn't limited to where the base station is when you want it to tackle a particular section.
You can even choose between spot mowing and spiral mowing. The spot-mow mode lets you quickly tackle small areas the 430X may have missed or may be growing faster than other sections of your lawn, while the spiral-mow mode provides a consistent cutting pattern. Like its cousin, the Husqvarna 115H, it has a built-in alarm to alert you to would-be thieves and only can be disabled with a personalized PIN. It also offers GPS tracking in case someone does manage to make off with your new mower. Husqvarna also offers interchangeable top covers to either make it easier to see where your 430X is in your yard or to match the rest of your lawn and garden equipment. And if you want truly hands-off lawn care, you can connect the 430X to your Alexa or Hey Google smart speaker for voice-activated controls.
Cutting width: 9 inches | Max cutting area: .75 acres | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Companion app: Yes | Anti-theft alarm: No
Robot mowers tend to have very short runtimes, but the Greenworks Optimow 50H provides up to 2.5 hours of mowing on a full charge. It also has a fairly quick charge time of just 70 minutes, so you can tackle other outdoor chores or enjoy your patio or deck while it recharges; and you won't have to worry about scheduling mow times over several days if your lawn is on the higher end of the Optimow 50H's limits. It's rated for lawns up to .75 acres, and the 9-inch cutting deck is designed to have the blades fold inward if they connect with an object. This protects the blades from damage while also preventing the mower from getting hung up on things like rocks, roots, or outdoor toys. The body of the mower is IPX67 rated waterproof, which means that if you notice dirt and grass buildup, you can quickly clean it off with a typical garden hose without worrying about ruining the motor or charging connections. The Optimow 50H also includes a safety key that can be used on the underside of the unit to disable the cutting deck; this is perfect for keeping kids and pets from accidentally starting the mower and getting hurt. There's also an integrated carrying handle for easier maneuvering if you need to clean or perform maintenance like blade sharpening.
My pick for the best robot mower is the Worx Landroid L. It has a built-in anti-theft system to deter anyone with sticky fingers, and if the alarm doesn't stop the thief, you can track the mower's whereabouts with the GPS-enabled companion app. It's capable of mowing up to a half acre, and it's fitted with sensors to detect narrow paths and obstacles for enhanced maneuvering.
Max cutting area
Worx Landroid L
Greenworks Optimow 50H
When you've finalized a budget for a new robot mower, you should double-check the size of your lot to further narrow down your search. Different models have different runtimes, cutting deck widths, and varying amounts of included guidewires, so you'll have to thoroughly compare each model you're interested in to find the best match for your lawn.
Choose this robot mower…
If you want …
Worx Landroid L
A well-rounded robot mower for medium-size lawns
A more affordable robot mower option
A robot mower with a shorter charge time
A robot mower rated for lawns up to 0.8 acres
Greenworks Optimow 50H
A robot mower with a great battery life
Along with price, I analyzed charging and runtimes as well as maximum cutting areas to suit a variety of lawn sizes. I also chose models with integrated alarms and/or tracking systems to help deter thieves from making off with your new robot mower.
A robot mower is a device that operates in a way similar to a robot vacuum or mop. It uses guidewires to determine boundaries or mowing paths and a base station for charging and often will have a companion app for monitoring battery levels and scheduling mow sessions. Robot mowers work with GPS technology to map your yard to detect narrow paths and objects and to improve its algorithm for more efficient mowing. And just like robot vacuums and mops, a robot mower will run in randomized patterns, so you won't get that clean-line look that you would with a riding or push mower. However, they also will mow much more often, ensuring that every part of your lawn has a consistent cut.
If you're able, you can set up the base station in a secluded area of your lawn to reduce the chances of someone snatching it while it's charging; you also can carry the mower unit itself into your garage or toolshed at night and lock it up. Barring that, many robot mowers have built-in alarms that go off when they are lifted or tilted, deterring hopeful thieves. And if someone does manage to walk off with your robot mower, many also have GPS-assisted tracking so you can let law enforcement know exactly where they went and recover your property.
As with riding and push mowers, you can run them as often as you like. But many manufacturers recommend you set up a schedule to have your robot mower cut the grass every two or three days. This is because a robot mower has a much smaller cutting deck than a riding or push mower, and they move in randomized patterns. Running the robot mower every few days will ensure that every part of your lawn gets attention.
Robot lawn mowers can tackle slopes, thanks to their large wheels with deep treads and their small bodies. To ensure one works well with your lawn, check with the manufacturer about gradients, as newer models can handle inclines up to 35% or in some cases up to 45%.
Since robot mowers are such a new technology, there aren't as many available to buy as their riding or push counterparts. However, I was able to find a couple alternative models that are worth a look: