How To Buy A Robotic Lawn Mower

by Nate on August 17, 2011

How To Buy A Robotic Lawn Mower

First of all, you should evaluate your lawn. Your yard does not have to be a perfect “postage stamp” lawn in order to get good results from a robotic lawn mower. In fact, most robotic lawn mowers are designed to manage odd shaped lawns and all different grass types. Robot lawn mowers can maneuver around obstacles like pools, trees, flower beds, poles, mailboxes and even playground equipment.

Estimate your lawn size

Robotic lawn mowers can be used on lawns ranging from 100 square feet to 2+ acres. Some models will allow multiple units to be installed on the same lawn expanding coverage far beyond 2 acres. If your lawn is on the smaller side of the spectrum, a lower priced unit may be sufficient for your needs. Before you decide on a price range, keep in mind that special features, durability and quality also influence price.

Do you have a hilly lawn or is it relatively flat? Another big deciding factor for which robotic lawn mower to buy is how it can handle hills. If you have hills or slopes, learn how steep they are. Some robot lawn mowers are designed to mow relatively flat lawns while others can be upgraded to handle steep hills. For example, the LawnBott LB3500 robotic lawn mower (found at LawnBotts.com) can mow hills up to 30 degrees with add on spiked wheels. This particular model utilizes an on board compass to keep it on course as it navigates hilly terrains.

Determining the degree of your slope can be done in minutes. Email sales@lawnbotts.com for instructions.

Robotic lawn mower models differ in how long they take to recharge and how long they can mow before needing a charge. Charge times can vary from 2.5 hours to upward 24 hours depending on the model you choose. With recharge times in mind, remember that robotic lawn mowers will take longer to mow your yard than a human would. Therefore, if you have a large lawn, it could take a few consecutive runs to cover the whole area. Since the robot is doing all the work, consecutive runs are effortless on your part, but you want to choose a model that can keep your lawn looking its best without falling behind during peak growing seasons.

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Run times for robotic lawn mowers can vary from 90 minutes to 7 hours before needing to recharge. Some higher end models like the LawnBott LB3550 can mow up to 15 hours per day with a recharge period in between.

Many robotic lawn mowers completely automate lawn mowing by working on a time and day schedule. The lawn mower will automatically leave its charging station; mow the lawn, and then dock when it’s done. Lower end robotic mowers will require you to bring it indoors to charge.

Consider special features your may want:

• Higher end robot lawn mowers can detect how quickly your lawn is growing and will adjust its schedule to according to when the lawn needs to be mowed. This feature can be useful during droughts or fast growing seasons.

• Most fully automated robotic lawn mowers utilize a rain sensor to automatically pause mowing sessions until the lawn dries out

• Some robotic lawn mowers are big and heavy while others are small and light weight. It’s important to consider weight and size of the mower in case you need to ship it for repairs or servicing. Depending on which model you choose, weight can range from 21 pounds to 80 pounds. For example the LawnBott LB3210 weighs only 21 pounds while the Robomower RL1000 weighs about 80 pounds.

Consider how much maintenance will be required on the mower of your choice. Maintenance is very simple for robotic lawn mowers. There is no need to empty bags or clean up grass clippings because they mulch. Most manufactures recommend replacing the blade(s) once a year. Robotic lawn mowers are electric lawn mowers, which translate into no gas, oil or spark plugs to replace.

Another thing to keep in mind is replacement part cost. Some robotic lawn mowers (like LawnBott) claim to have a life expectancy of about 8 to 10 years before major repairs are needed. Higher end robot lawn mowers generally have better quality, longer lasting parts, which also means higher upfront and replacement part cost. On the flip side, lower cost robotic lawn mowers use cheaper parts, which may result in more frequent repair needs that could end up costing more to upkeep than higher end models. With that said, robotic lawn mower maintenance cost will almost always fall well below the cost to upkeep and maintain traditional lawn mowers or paying a lawn service.

Most robotic lawn mowers come with a 2-year warranty with varying warranties on the battery. Some warranties include pickup and return shipping cost depending on which model you choose.

Prepare your lawn.

• Although most robotic

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