For many of us, the time when robots take over the world can’t come soon enough – especially if it means that they’ll take over all of our most unenjoyable tasks, like robot lawn mowers!
Well, they are here and are becoming a very popular choice for people who want all the benefits of a neatly mown lawn as well as having their weekend back to enjoy it.
Here’s our buyer’s guide to the best robot lawn mowers of 2021.
What is a Robot Lawn Mower?
If you haven’t encountered one of them before, you’re probably wondering what they are and how they work. Essentially, these are battery-powered electric lawn mowers that trundle along your lawn clipping it down to your preferred height.
They are fully automatic, use sensors to avoid hazards like flowerbeds, trees, or even bad weather conditions, and work on a schedule that you set manually or via an app.
When their power runs low, they automatically make their way back to a charging station where they recharge and then head out again to complete the job.
They work within a perimeter that you set out yourself, either using a low-voltage wire that you install around the edges of your lawn or, in more advanced mowers, using an app and smart technology that sets different zones for lawns, flowerbeds, patios and so forth.
The Benefits of Having a Robot Lawn Mower
Still need a little more convincing before you buy? Here are more benefits why so many people prefer robot lawn mowers.
There’s no need to spend your weekend morning mowing your lawn yourself, so you can sit back and relax. You can also set your mower to work during the week while you’re at the office, so your lawn is looking pristine on the weekend.
Neat and tidy lawns
Because robot mowers can be set to work as often as you would like them to, it’s easier to keep your lawn trimmed to the perfect height.
Most people don’t manage to mow their lawns manually once a week, whether due to other commitments, the need to relax, or bad weather.
This means it gets long, leggy and overgrown, and then it gets cut back severely, causing lawn damage. This way, your lawn gets mowed every week, keeping it thick and healthy.
Simple and hassle free
Because they are electric and use rechargeable battery packs, there’s no maintenance, no need to fetch and store fuel and oil, and no need to service your mower.
Most of them are easy to set up and then they simply run in the background without you having to think about it. More advanced models even have apps, so you can control them regardless of where you are.
Robot lawn mowers are not very cheap to buy – yet. But in the long-term, they are very cost-effective because you don’t have to pay for fuel, servicing or maintenance. Not to mention the saving on your time and energy!
Environmentally-friendly, quiet technology
These mowers run very quietly, emit no fumes, and don’t use fossil fuels. Most are about as quiet as an air conditioner, which means they can run any time of day or night without bothering you or your neighbours.
Boosts lawn health – and no grass clippings
Because they work continuously, these mowers make very small clippings that simply fall through the lawn onto the soil. This helps to provide nutrition to your grass while saving you the hassle of dealing with full bags of grass clippings
Features to Look for in an Automatic Lawn Mower
As with more traditional lawn mowers, it’s important to get one that is properly suited to your garden and needs. Here are some features to look out for in the best automatic lawn mower.
The mower will keep running back to the charging station to recharge itself automatically until the job is done, so battery capacity isn’t as important as you might think.
However, if you have a larger lawn then it’s worth looking at something with larger capacity, as this reduces how much time the mower spends recharging and how quickly the lawn is trimmed as a result.
Not everyone has a perfectly flat lawn, and the steeper the gradient is, the more powerful the motor has to be to drive up and down the lawn.
Most good quality robot lawn mowers can handle a 20-degree gradient easily, and some can handle even steeper slopes. Not sure what your lawn gradient is?
Here’s a guide on how to calculate lawn gradient accurately.
Control panels allow you to adjust the cutting height and cutting schedule. Wi-Fi capability will allow you to control the mower through a smartphone app remotely and even set perimeters without the need for installing boundary wires.
This is a great feature that is becoming standard, preventing the mower from working if it is wet or rainy. Most models will even shift their schedule automatically to another time or day so that your lawn gets clipped when it’s dry again.
Since they work automatically in spaces where you potentially have delicate plants and belongings as well as pets and young children, safety features are a must!
The best robot lawn mowers have tilt and lift sensors that automatically shut down the cutting blades if it is toppled or lifted up, recessed blades to make sure curious fingers don’t get cut, and sensors to detect obstacles in front of them to prevent damage to the mower as well as plants and belongings.
Good security features will work with the safety features (for example, sounding an alarm if the mower is tipped over or picked up), and help prevent your mower from being stolen.
These features include PIN code locks, alarms and GPS trackers.
These are the Best Robot Lawn Mowers of 2021
WORX is well-known for its award-winning robot mowers, and this is a great example. This is a trimmed-down version of the more advanced options from WORX, but it still has some very advanced features, including auto-scheduling, Cut-to-Edge technology for neat lawn edges, speedier mowing and advanced motor technology to handle slopes and uneven bumps more easily.
It’s very quiet while running and the charging station is unobtrusive. This small model is ideal for small gardens with 500 square meters of lawn, and although it comes with perimeter wiring, it can pair with a virtual fence so there’s no need to install wire boundaries.
One of the most affordable options is this MoeBot, a robust and well-built robot lawn mower that has all the essentials. It has great mulching capabilities, is self-charging, waterproof, lightweight and has a great, user-friendly app.
It uses a boundary wire that is easy to install, the battery can last up to 3 years (offering 45 minutes of cutting time per charge), and the blades can even handle thicker, longer grass automatically without a problem.
This tough and affordable little mower is suited to gardens with up to 800 square meters of lawn and slopes of up to 24 degrees.
This mower is a great mix of useful features without being too complicated or fussy. It has an adjustable cutting height of 2-5cm that you set with a rotary knob, operates quietly, is self-charging, has anti-theft features and is easy to install and customise.
It will even work in the rain! It weighs 7.48kgs and is ideal for lawns that are up to 800 square meters in size with an impressive 25-degree slope.
The only downside for some is that there is no app or remote programmability, and it uses a traditional perimeter wire to mark off the lawn space. It's also one of the more expensive options.
This bigger cousin of the WR139E is designed for large lawns of up to 1000 square meters. With patented mowing technology, Cut-to-Edge technology for neat edging, smart auto scheduling and multi-zone management, and a great app.
It’s an impressive mower that can be completely customised to your lawn, has great anti-theft and safety features, and can even navigate narrow paths easily.
In terms of gradient, it can handle slopes of up to 20 degrees. Another great feature is its wildlife safety technology, working only while marsupials are sleeping and automatically adapting its schedule according to latitude and season.
Another affordable, good quality robot lawn mower is this Swift model. It has a straightforward, intuitive interface where you can program cutting schedule and other features, a PIN code for anti-theft protection, good safety features and a manual adjustment knob for different cutting heights.
It uses perimeter wire fencing to guide the robot, and it’s both quiet and slow for a steady, safe and neighbourhood-friendly performance. It’s affordable and can cut lawns of up to 600 square meters of grass with a 20-degree slope.
If you are looking for hassle-free installation and operation, this is a great robotic lawn mower. It comes pre-installed and doesn’t need a perimeter wire, so it can get to work right out of the box.
Although the lack of automation is something that a lot of people enjoy, the one downside is that you do have to recharge the mower manually – there’s no charging station it can use to self-charge.
It does have bumpers to sense obstacles, it can tell the difference between grass and anything that isn’t grass, and it has 4-wheel drive to maneuverer as easily as possible on tougher slopes.
This is a premium, upscale robot lawn mower from Gardena that’s great for anyone who wants plenty of features to choose from and customise.
It can operate in all types of weather conditions, is quiet enough to run at night, has PIN code anti-theft protection, and it has powerful sensor technology for navigating and avoiding obstacles.
It comes with a 3-year warranty for peace of mind, and is good at navigating tight corners and pathways.
Designed for use on lawns of up to 750 square meters with an incline of 35% or less, the cutting sensor technology is designed to prevent striping in lawns, and it will mow for up to 65 minutes before returning to the charging station to recharge.
If you have a smaller garden but like the Gardena range and all the great features of the SILENO, the 15002-38 is a scaled down version of the 15101-38 for lawns of up to 500 square meters.
It has the same sensor technology, performance, safety and security features as it’s bigger cousin, is easy to set up and install, and weighs just 7kgs.
It operates in all weather conditions, but has a useful safety feature where it won’t cut your grass if it’s 5 degrees or lower to prevent damage to your lawn.
A great option for medium to larger lawns is this robotic mower from Husqvarna. It will mow up to 3200 square meters of grass, handling narrow passages and obstacles easily thanks to advanced sensor technology, and can operate on slopes of up to 24 degrees.
It’s a well-designed and sleek machine that has great smart tech features, including its ability to synch up with Alexa or Google Assistant.
Weather resistant and quiet, it can be scheduled to run at night, mowing for up to 145 minutes before returning to self-charge for 50 minutes.
Able to cut lawns of up to 1000 square meters, this is an affordable and powerful robotic lawn mower with some great technology. It cuts quickly, quietly and efficiently, and can handle slopes of up to 20 degrees easily.
It doesn’t have a rain sensor, so if you only want it to cut your lawn when the grass is dry, you’ll have to fetch it in. With a mow time of 50 minutes before needing a recharge, this unit has slightly less capacity than other models, and there’s no app for remote control.
It does have powerful blades, however, and uses an intuitive Logicut navigation technology to save power, maximise efficiency and even learn routes through your garden.
Our Top Choice – The Best Robot Lawn Mower of 2021
Our pick as the best robot lawn mower of 2021 is the WORX WR139E 20V Landroid Robot Lawn Mower!
It has the perfect balance of technology, cost and performance, with the Smart Auto scheduling, 180mm cutting width and intelligent navigation ensuring a fast and efficient cut, and the Cut-to-Edge technology making sure that your edges need minimal trimming.
Exceptionally quiet to run, customisable to your lawn and garden, and a high-quality brushless motor, it’s built for performance and durability.
The app is easy to use and lets you control your mower remotely with ease, and the self-charging technology means that it just keeps on going until the job is done.
It also has great safety and security features, including the Find My Landroid feature that lets you track your mower wherever it goes.
As a gardening team passionate about the Aussie ecosystem, we also love the wildlife friendly features that keep our critters safe from injury!
Get Your Weekends Back and Enjoy the Perfect Lawn with a Robotic Lawn Mower
After learning so much about robotic lawn mowers, it’s easy to see why this technology is here to stay. When you’re making your purchasing decision, remember to consider the size of your lawn, its gradient, the installation process and the smart technology each robot mower offers to find one that offers great value and performance.
Safety and security features are important too, whether it’s because you have pets, kids, wildlife or simply want to make sure no one gets hurt – or walks off with your new robot!
We hope you enjoyed this article on the best robot lawn mowers of 2021!