Update March 2020
Please note that the review below is now a few years old. Since then there are now better alternatives for you to consider. Gardena now have a new range of robotic mowers that have more advanced features, are more efficient and require less manual intervention. I will be reviewing these mowers shortly, in the meantime if you would like to learn more about this Gardena Sileno range please click on the link below.
In order to cope with the more complex and big gardens, Gardena have introduced their Sileno model to the market. It is built to withstand areas reaching 1000m² in size and its features like the EasyPassage function, front & back sensors and random mowing style allow it to handle the sharp angles seen within lawns.
To help you understand how good it is, I’ll be making comparison throughout this review to its closest competition – the Bosch Indego 1000 Connect and the Ambrogio L85 Evolution. They are all similar models in that they cover around about the same size of area.
By the end of this review you’ll know which mower is best for your garden so make sure you stick around!
Sileno Main Features
- Rating: 8/10
- Covers areas reaching 1000m²
- EasyPassage function
- Weather Proof and Robust design
- Sensor Control
Gardena Sileno Video
Like all Gardena robotic lawn mowers, the Sileno is equipped with 3 pivoting razor blades which have a cutting width of 22cm.
These are very thin and agile so produce a nice slice of the grass, unlike what you would get with one large single blade seen on most mowers. Those blades are very heavy and even though they will last a long time, aren’t as effective as the small blades at cutting the grass.
To help the mower adapt to the changing growth rates of the grass throughout the year, you can adjust the Sileno’s blades to cut at a height from anywhere between 20mm and 60mm.
To do so all you need to do is open up the height adjustment hatch on top of the mower and turn the dial to the desired height – clockwise to increase and anti-clockwise to decrease.
Just remember to keep the height to max during its first week of use and whenever the grass has grown pretty long (at the beginning of spring). This prevents any damage caused to the perimeter wire and will ensure a much more even cut.
After about a week of cutting you can then feel free to change the setting height to whichever you desire.
Just make sure you go down a step each week, instead of jumping from the highest to lowest, so that the clippings stay nice and small.
The reason behind having small grass clippings and not long ones (like what you would get from mowing once a week with push mower) is to allow the Sileno to mulch your lawn.
As the clippings are so small, to the point where you won’t be able to see them, they can drop in-between the grass blades and fall all the way to the bottom soil. Here they decompose and pass on nutrients that are essential to the health and growth of your grass.
Even though this is common amongst all robotic mowers in the market right now, it is just another reason why they are that much better than the standard push mower most people are using.
Not only are they much easier to use but they will regularly improve the look and health of your lawn without the need for any store bought fertilisers.
|Mowers||Ambrogio L85||Bosch Indego 1000||Gardena Sileno|
|Lawn Coverage||1200 m²||1000 m²||1000 m²|
|Noise Level||72-63 dB||75 dB||58 dB|
|Mowing Time||1.45 hours||50 minutes||65 minutes|
|Charging Time||2 hours||50 minutes||60 minutes|
|Dimensions||79x59x28cm||58x46x25.5 cm||63x51x25 cm|
|Weight||10.1 kg||11.1 kg||8.5 kg|
In order to mow efficiently the Sileno operates in a random fashion, its route is calculated solely by the mower and will never be repeated in order to adapt to changing weather conditions and grass growth rates.
Now even though you won’t see any mowing pattern, a desire from most gardeners, this style of mowing ensures that the lawn will stay completely flat throughout the entire season.
If your lawn is irregularly and complex then you’ll love this feature.
The EasyPassage function allows the Sileno to mow through tight spaces which most others would just bypass, ensuring a full cut and less work required by you. As long as the installation of the wires has been done correctly the mower won’t leave any tracks behind and you’ll have beautifully cut grass all over your lawn.
The Sileno mower is made with a ‘highly impact-resistant plastic housing’ so it’s able to withstand tough weather conditions, as well as the wear and tear of everyday mowing, very effectively.
Now Gardena have made it especially clear that their mowers are tough and robust which is all well and good but to me this sounds like they expect it to get into quite a bit of bother when mowing.
I may be being a little too harsh. I guess it’s unreasonable to expect the mower to work on a new garden without getting a few bumps here & there – but this is something to keep in mind.
This mower is also Weather Proof so it’ll have no problem mowing in the wind and rain (although I wouldn’t recommend it).
This mower can mow on areas which reach 35% within the main working area and up to 15% along the boundary wire. With these requirements the Sileno shouldn’t have a problem handling the most complex of gardens.
But if an area is outwith its capabilities then it must be isolated within the boundary wire. The Sileno can have difficulty turning in these areas, especially in wet conditions, at which point it will stop and a fault message will appear on the control screen.
But if there are any obstacles that the mower is allowed to bump into, like a bush or fence, at the bottom of the slope then the mower will be fine.
If your garden has 2 or 3 lawns which aren’t connected by a passageway that the mower can travel through (narrower than 1.5 to 2 m) then you’ll need to set up a secondary area, e.g. areas of slope that are steeper than 35%.
When operating in this area, the “secondary area mode” must be activated so that the mower works properly and doesn’t attempt to leave it when needing charged.
In this mode the Sileno will never look for the charging station and will work continuously until its battery runs out. When that happens a “needs manual charge” message will appear on its screen and you’ll then need to place the mower back in charge manually.
Gardena Smart System
Now this feature is completely unique to the autonomous lawn care market and is only available from Gardena (as far as I know anyway). Their smart system allows you to completely remove yourself from the lawn maintenance routine all the while keeping your lawn in pristine condition just from the palm of your hand.
With a wireless connection between all components, you can take complete control of your lawn using the Gardena Smart app. For more information on the Gardena Smart Systems features and functions make sure you check out one of its reviews on the Lawnaholic.
The Sileno robotic lawn mower is powered by a Lithium-ion battery and electrical motor and produces a working time of 65 minutes and a charging time of 60 minutes. Seeing as it’s designed for lawns no bigger than 1000m² this ratio isn’t too bad and it shouldn’t take too long for it to complete the entire mow.
Because of the electrical power system, this mower will cause no harm to environment. No emissions will be released unlike the typical petrol mower. So if you want to do Mother Nature a big favour then I’d opt for one of these.
As it only operates at 60 dB, the Sileno mower is very quiet just like all other robot mowers. So you can program it to work whenever you want without any complaints from your neighbours, I doubt they’ll even know its on!
Whether it be in the middle of the day, after you get home from work or even during the night, you don’t need to worry this mower won’t be disturbing anyone.
In order to keep this system as energy efficient as possible, you have the option of using the Silenos “Eco Mode”.
This turns off the signal sent from the boundary wires, guide wires and docking station whenever the mower shouldn’t be working (according to timer settings) and is charging.
This is a great little feature and save you quite a bit on energy costs each month, seeing as iPhone’s, iPad’s and other new technology are being used more than ever now-a-days I think this could be very helpful, and maybe even necessary, for most families.
As with all robot mowers, the Sileno will work continuously – and alternating between charging and mowing – until the mow is complete or until a time when it’s not allowed to mow. When the mower does need charge it will begin searching for the guide wire in order to follow it back to the docking station, so there’s no for any manual lifting on your part.
Now you can imagine that the mower will need to charge several times per day and therefore run along the same line everyday, so you could assume that this area will be mowed more often the any other, making the lawn uneven.
Well you don’t need to worry about this as the mower will turn off its blade whenever it looks for the docking station, saving even more energy and ensuring your grass is completely level.
To prevent any damage to the mower it has been fitted with sensors in its front and back. So when it does bump into something (like your fence for example) then it will stop, retreat a few paces, turn at a slight angle and begin mowing in a different direction. Preventing any harm to you, its blades and just about everything else in your garden.
Lift & Tilt Sensors
The R70Li has built-in lift and tilt sensors which when activated immediately turn off the mowers blades. So at any point when you want to change or check on the blades, then don’t worry you’ll be completely safe. Also, the blades are placed right in the centre of the mower so your hand wouldn’t be near them anyway.
If the mower gets into trouble and thrown off course. You can easily turn it off by pressing the large, red STOP button on top of it. You can then lift and place it back onto the charging station where it will restart.
PIN & Alarm System
It also comes with an alarm and PIN system. This does mean that you have to enter the PIN whenever you want to reprogram it but it will scare off burglars. And if someone does try to use it without the PIN, the alarm will sound alerting you of the situation.
To prevent any unauthorised user from starting the mower, it has an installation and time lock. So the mower cannot be started without using the PIN code for an allotted time, e.g. 30 days.
This will mean you have to set it out every mow but it does stop anyone from using it. So I guess that is worth it.
- The Silenos tough exterior could indicate that it’s navigation system isn’t the best and therefore might be prone to bumping into obstacles. Of course I could be overcritical here but just keep this in mind just in case.
- The mower will struggle with passages smaller than 1.5 to 2m in width, because of its navigation system the mower could long periods of time mowing here which is why it should be avoided. Just means more work for you to keep it in shape and a definite flaw in its technology.
- Because of the size and shape of the mower and its blades, there will always been little bits of grass left uncut beside fences, house walls, trees etc. So you’ll have to get the trimmers out very now and again.
Update March 2020 – please note that the review below is now a few years old. Since then there are now better alternatives for you to consider. Gardena now have a new range of robotic mowers that have more advanced features, are more efficient and require less manual intervention. I will be reviewing these mowers shortly, in the meantime if you would like to learn more about this Gardena Sileno range please click on the link below.
Overall I think the Sileno mower is a great mower, even though it does have a few flaws I think its benefits like the EasyPassage function, Smart System and Eco Mode definitely out shine them.
In comparison with its competition, I think the Sileno is the best choice for those with lawns 1000m² in size – its a much better model the Bosch Indego 1000 and the Ambrogio L85 is more suited to those with lawns a little bit bigger than that (1200m²).
The Sileno is easy to use, has simple programming and makes use of several features that cannot be matched by any conventional push mower right now. It’s a great product and I’m sure you’ll love it’s results!
Should You Buy This Model?
Well there are a few factors to consider first, whether or not you purchase this model really depends on your garden and situation. To give you some guidance on which type of customer would suit this model best, below I’ve got a list of the categories they would fall under:
- Their lawn is 1000m² in size
- Their garden has 2 – 3 lawn areas
- They don’t have time to maintain their lawn properly
- They will make use of the Smart System
- They don’t mind trimming their lawn edges every now and then
- Their is quite complex in shape and doesn’t slope anymore than 35%
Hopefully this has made it easier for you understand whether or not the Sileno model is compatible with your garden. Of course this up to interpretation and you don’t need to fall every single one to love this mower.
Amazon have the best prices that are difficult to match and probably the most reliable delivery system on the web. Considering how valuable this piece of equipment is you want the most for your money and the best service possible making Amazon the best place to go.
If you want to ask any questions about this model or any others then please leave a comment below. All I want to do is help you out as much as I can so I will reply as soon as possible.
|Typical Charging Time||60 minutes|
|Typical Mowing Time||65 Minutes|
|Cutting System||3 Rotating Blades|
|Cutting Height (min-max)||20 – 60 mm|
|Sound Level||measured: 56 dB (A) guaranteed: 60 dB (A)|
|Loop Wire||200 m|
|Product Size LxWxH||63x51x25 cm|