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Robotic Lawnmowers Buyers Guide

Robotic Lawn Mowers

Robotic lawn mowers (also known as automatic mowers) will cut your grass, usually without any human intervention at all.

A robotic lawnmower will cut almost any lawn that a standard electric or petrol lawnmower would, without you having to push it around your lawn, or even being there at the time!

How does a Robotic Lawn Mower work?

Almost all robotic mowers work using a system of wires that mark the boundaries of the area that you wish to have cut. Obviously you need to install these wires prior to the first use of the mower.

Don't worry that you will have ugly wires spoiling the look of your garden - they are installed by pegging them well down into the grass and within a few weeks you won't even know they are there.

A robotic lawn mower won't collect the grass, instead they are "mulching lawn mowers" - this can have a positive effect on the health of the lawn. An automated lawnmower could not really be expected to collect the grass as it would need to stop to be emptied which defeats it's purpose.

Automation

This type of mower will usually have either a manual start button, or the ability to be programmed to cut at regular intervals for truly automated lawn cutting.

Fully programmable mowers with base station charging will need very little intervention at all, as they will start and stop at the times you specify, and of course recharge automatically as well.

Some even have rain sensors to ensure that they are not trying to cut the lawn when the conditions are too bad.

Suitability

You will need to buy a model specific to the size of the area you need to cut - the limitations are usually battery life and cutting width - obviously a larger mower with a longer life can handle a larger area.

Some models will remember where they left off so if they can only cope with cutting half of your lawn, they will go back and recharge and then do the rest later.

This type of mower is probably not suited to very rough terrain, or very long grass as they have limited ground clearance - however there will be no need for the grass to get long if it's being cut automatically.

Charging

The mower will run on batteries, and so of course it will need to recharge between cuts. There are generally 2 types of charging system.

Base Station

Robotic mowers that come complete with a base station will return to the base station when they detect that they are low on charge or have finished a cut, and when there they will automatically recharge themselves, before carrying on with the cut, or waiting for the next scheduled cut.

Manual Charge

Some mowers will need to be taken to a power outlet, in a garage or shed for example and plugged in to recharge.

User Control

Most models will allow user control (remote) to let you move the mower around manually.

Security

You may be worried about leaving an expensive lawn mower out in your garden in case of theft. A lot of models of robotic lawnmower have built in theft protection, some even including alarms.

Cleaning

As with all mowers they should have any grass or debris that is stuck to the blades or underside of the chassis cleaned off after periodically, especially if the grass is damp or wet.

Winter Storage

Robotic mowers should be packed away in winter, and stored in as dry conditions as possible to avoid corrosion.