As robotic lawn mowers are gradually becoming more and more popular here in the UK, I can imagine there are still quite a few people who are unsure and on the fence about whether or not they’re a worthwhile investment.
In terms of home automation the Scandinavian countries are ahead of us, as they now widely use and fully understand the benefits of robotic mowers.
The benefits of robotic lawn mowers in terms of convenience are clear, but what about the cut performance and the grass quality?
Of course there are many differences between the traditional push mower (petrol, electric or cordless) and a robotic mower. Before you make a decision that a robotic mower is the right solution for your garden you need to fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of both. In terms of robotic mowers the advantages mainly relate to grass quality, mulching, cutting system, convenience, cost and set up.
Quality of the Cut Grass
The ultimate end goal with any lawn mower is to achieve a clean cut, a good quality and healthy lawn with as little work as possible. The key to a quality lawn with a robotic lawn mower is the fact that it is continuously removing very small ends of the grass, known as the mulching process.
As robotic mowers cut your lawn continuously, they cut very small lengths of your grass that through the mulching process fall down towards the soil and as they are so small they quickly decompose, providing nutrients and moisture to your lawn (natural fertiliser). This natural fertiliser (not costing you any money) will ensure that your grass roots have essential nutrients resulting in a healthy, dense and greener lawn. It is completely true that you can purchase traditional push mowers with a mulching plug and functionality too.
Don’t think for a minute that your lawn will be covered in grass clippings and therefore picked up on shoes and bare feet, this is not the case and is a common misconception.
Another advantage of modern robotic mowers is that they come fitted with a rain sensor, meaning that they will not cut when the grass is wet and therefore not leaving clumps of wet grass all over your lawn. Who says that robots with intelligence like this will not take over the world!
One of the most important factors of achieving a good quality grass cut is the mowers blade. This is no exception on a robotic mower and you need to be aware that there are a couple of options in relation to the blade you choose on your robotic lawn mower. Most robotic mowers now come with a set of small rotating razor blades, this system works extremely well as it gives a very sharp and precise cut and contributes well to the mulching process. However, these razor blades are very fine and become blunt relatively quickly when compared to their single blade counterparts. What this means is that in order to achieve a good grass quality and cut, you need to ensure that you change the blades on your robotic mower on a regular basis i.e. every 3 months. Don’t worry though, the process is extremely simple and the cost of a set of blades is only a few pounds.
The alternative is a single steel blade that will need to be kept sharp and normally requires sharpening once per year. Just remember that the quality of your grass depends on a clean cut during the mulching process and this can only be achieved with a sharp blade.
How do you identify when the blades need changing or sharpening? Well this is the same as with any traditional lawn mower. Closer inspection of the grass blade will reveal a uneven cut and even strands of missed blades of grass.
Grass Quality Comparison Between Robotic and Traditional Mowers Video
Below is a video that compares the mowing results of a robotic lawn mower to that of a push mower. You will for sure see the difference in results between both sets of models. The grass quality of the robotic mower looks much fuller and healthier than that mowed by the push mower.
This is most probably one of the biggest advantages. A robotic mower will do all the hard work of maintaining an outstanding and healthy lawn, with no effort from your side (or very minimal as you will have to set it up initially). Not mentioning all the extra time you will have to relax and focus on garden parties whilst having full control over your robotic mower. Reaching your robotic mower virtually you will be able to change and adjust the cutting height (depending on your preference and season), schedule the mowers mowing times as you may want to exclude some periods of time when you want to use the garden (some want the mower to mow at night time only), monitor the performance, coverage and any issues. Most modern robotic mowers can be controlled from an app on your smart phone. In summary, you will never look out of your window and see that the grass needs cutting.
Value for Money
It is true that robotic mowers will in general cost you more money initially, however if you consider the time you spend on cutting your lawn weekly, the regular maintenance that is required with for example petrol mowers, drained battery you may have with a cordless mower, over a long run they actually become very attractive, if not cheaper, in terms of cost.
Many people do not want to consider a robotic mower because they are concerned with the initial set up and getting it programmed correctly. Years ago, I would have agreed with them, however now the manufacturers of modern robotic lawn mowers have made this really easy and simple.
Most robotic mowers can now be updated and configured from an app on your smart mobile phone. The perimeter wire can be run around your lawn by anyone with basic DIY skills.
Most robotic mowers like the WORX range offer additional optional features that you can purchase at a future date, if required.
As you can see from above, these are fantastic machines, they do a great job on your lawn and they’re so much easier to use, so why don’t you save yourself all the bother of manual mowing and pick one up for yourself?
I know you won’t regret the decision so for more information below I have included my best robotic lawn mowers for varying sized lawns with all their features, function, capabilities and pros/cons.