If you have spent time reading some of my robotic reviews, then you may have seen that they are many advantages of owning a robotic mower, however there are some minor problems that you should be aware of prior to purchasing one. The majority of robotic mowers are affected by these small issues, and even though many manufacturers have tried to resolve them, most have not done so successfully.
Now I may have made this sound as if it is a disaster. That it is going to be a big burden on your shoulders, putting you off robotic mowers for life and that your garden will never be the same again! (OK I might have gone over the top there).
But have no worries this really isn’t a big problem and doesn’t take away from the convenience and time saving benefits of a robotic mower. In fact it is small and will only take little time to remedy. So don’t feel the need to get all worked up about this, it really isn’t worth the time or energy.
Small Problems With Robotic Mowers
So what are these issues? I’m glad you asked. As you may know by now, all robotic mowers require you to lay out a perimeter wire around your garden. This tells them exactly where they can and cannot go. Which sounds all good, but leads us to our first problem.
Cutting To The Edge
For all models, you will be given exact measurements for where you should be laying the wire. This is because the robotic mower needs space to turn round once it reaches the boundary wire. So in areas along the side of your house, for example, the mower won’t be able to reach every single piece of grass.
So no matter what retailers tell you, there will always be just a tiny bit of grass left uncut. Now to be fair, if your lawn is surrounded by patio or something else on a level surface, this won’t be problem. You can carry on without a worry.
But for the rest of us, we need to get the trimmers out.
Having said that as of 2020 WORX have released a range of robotic mowers that claim to cut right to the edge. They have achieved this by offsetting the rotating blade to one side of the mower. Whilst this has helped significantly in reducing the amount of grass left to be cut around the edge, it is still not 100% perfect.
Setting Up Your Robotic Mower
With all robotic mowers there will be some installation and setting up required regardless the make and model you purchase. Naturally you can have your robotic mower installed professionally by a company, however it is not difficult to do successfully yourself. The added advantage of setting up the mower yourself puts you in a better position to resolve any configuration issues you may have later down the line. Most manufacturers will provide videos to help with the installation and even provide measurement rulers to assist in making the process as easy as possible.
Many people are put off purchasing a robotic mower, because they believe that the installation process is too complicated. Trust me, this is not the case and should not be a reason to prevent you from purchasing one. If you have even the most basic DIY skills, you will be able to install and configure a robotic mower.
Even the configuration can now be done via an intuitive smart phone apps, so you are not fumbling around trying to configure the robotic mower on a small panel.
You Will Become A Robotic Mower Geek
This might not be a negative with the robotic mower itself, but more with the way you start behaving with your new pride and joy. Once you have your robotic mower up and running, you will no doubt want to tell the world how wonderful it is and going on about its benefits, performance and why you haven’t purchased one years before. Don’t worry the whole family will no doubt join in and your robotic mower and your beautify cut and healthy lawn will be the talk of the neighbourhood.
You may even go as far as designing and building a garage for your robotic mower. A true robotic mower geek.
A key feature to look out for when purchasing a robotic mower is the gradient of slope that the robotic mower is able to navigate. Of course this slope ability has to be equal to or more than what you have in your garden. Remember that all robotic models have varying degrees of ability to deal with slopes, some are even 4 wheeled drive for larger slopes.
If your lawn is flat then you do not need to take this into consideration.
Whilst most modern robotic mowers have the ability to deal with multiple zones, you need to remember that your robotic mower needs to travel from one zone to the other. If there are obstacles such as steps, fences, gates, uneven passages, then your robotic mower will not be able to make its own way from one zone to another. If the passage between zones cann’t be made accessible and level, then you will need to close the passage loop and manually lift the robotic mower from one zone to the other i.e. from the rear to the front lawn. Bear in mind that only one zone will have the charging station, and therefore the mower will need to be manually returned to the zone with the base to re-charge.
There are two types of blades fitted to modern robotic mowers. A single steel blade or multiple rotating razor blades. The latter option is very efficient, gives a precise and sharp cut, but has a small issue that you need to be aware of. These razor blades are very share, and therefore very thin and can become blunt relatively quickly, therefore will need to be replaced on a regular basis. When I say quickly, I am talking about every 3 to 4 months. The good news is that these blades can be replaced very quickly and easily at a minimal cost i.e. a couple of pounds.
Are These Problems Really That Big a Deal
Even though these small problems somewhat defeat the purpose of a robotic mower (you know being all independent and that), they shouldn’t put you off. If you consider all the mowing time you’re replacing with activities you enjoy, overcoming these minor problems shouldn’t be such a big deal.
I most definitely don’t think so. Before I had to drag out the push mower from the shed, plug it in, push it back and forth for what seemed like ages. And to make matters worse, I always had to do this in summer when it’s hot and sunny. I’d much rather be relaxing instead of working up a good sweat – OK maybe not a good sweat but still it wasn’t enjoyable.
That’s not fun and I bet you think so too!
So please don’t think of these minor problems as a big deal. Robotic mowers give you so much in return, that accepting a few tiny little flaws is more than reasonable. It only takes a couple of minutes to trim your edges, change the blades, convincing your neighbours they should have one and ensuring you pick a robotic mower that is suitable for your requirements.
If you need any help or have any questions, then please leave a comment below. I am always here to help!