Robotic Lawn Mower Reviews – The Best Robotic Lawn Mowers of 2017

If you’re looking for straight and to-the-point robot lawn mower reviews, you’ve landed in just the right place.  Below you’ll find detailed information about the “big 3” robot lawn mower brands as well as detailed comparisons of their very best robotic lawn mower products.

Only a year ago, robotic grass cutters were still too expensive, inefficient and difficult to install.  But now, prices have dropped.  Today, you can get a basic, good quality robot lawn mower for around $1000.  And if you don’t want to setup your robot on your own, Amazon’s new “Hire a Handyman” program gives you the option to hire someone else to setup your bot for you.

Now that robot lawn mowers are finally affordable, it won’t be long until traditional lawn mowers go the way of VHS tapes and rotary phones.

All 3 bots listed below are made by well-known manufacturers with good reputations.  Also, each robot has a reasonable price tag and a solid set of features.

I hope that these detailed reviews will help you pick out the perfect robot lawn mower for your yard.   If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line either in the comments section below or via my personal email address: munkachy [at] gmail.com.

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How Does a Robot Lawn Mower Work?

Robot lawn mowers are smart, agile, energy efficient and much safer than ordinary lawn mowers.  Here’s a quick overview of how they work.

They use shock sensors to navigate around obstacles

Robotic lawn mowers have advanced microcontroller brains and shock sensors.  These features allow them to navigate obstacles and avoid curbs, trees and other things that get in the way.

They run on electricity

Unlike ordinary gasoline lawn mowers, robotic grass cutters run on electricity.  That’s why they make less noise and consume less energy compared to traditional lawn mowers.  When power gets low, they return to their station automatically to get a recharge.  After they’re finished “resting,” they head back out and keep on cutting.

Totally safe

Robotic grass cutters are actually much safer than ordinary lawn mowers.  They won’t hurt you if they bump into you by accident.  Their blades are hidden deep within the chassis.

They only cut grass

Old-school lawn mowers shred everything in their path.  But all 3 robot lawn mowers covered below have “fold-away” blades.  When a lawnbot encounters a hard object, its blade simply retracts and the robot keeps on rolling.

They can handle very large lawns

All 3 robotic lawn cutters discussed below can handle 1/4 acre yards.  However, the Husqvarna Automower can handle lawns as big as 1.25 acres.

Wire boundaries prevent your robot from wandering off

Prior to running your robot, you have to lay down boundary wires.  The boundary prevents your bot from giving your neighbor’s lawn a free cut.  You can either leave the wires on the surface of the lawn, or bury them if you don’t like the way they look.  Lawn robots that can cut big lawns come equipped with GPS auto assist, which helps them keep track of where they’ve been and where they need to go.

They can climb hills

Some robotic lawn mowers are more powerful than others when it comes to climbing hills.  All 3 robots listed below can go up and down 12 degree slopes without getting stuck.  Unless you have a golf course in your front yard, you probably don’t have any slopes that are steeper than that.

The 15 degree slope depicted below is a little too steep for Worx’s Landroid and McColloch’s ROB 1000, but Husqvarna’s high-octane Automower could handle it with ease.

24/7 operation

You can set your robot lawn mower to run all day long if you want.  Or, you can program it to work only at night or only on certain days.  Some lawnbots can even operate in rainy weather conditions.

No bag required

You’ll never need to worry about getting rid of big bags of grass clippings if you get a robot mower.  Regular lawn mowers slice off long chunks of grass, which is why you usually need to use a bag to collect the clippings.  But lawn mower robots cut your lawn gradually, bit-by-bit.  As your robot mower works, its blades slowly get closer and closer to the ground.  Because the grass clippings that robot lawn mowers create are very small, you don’t need to collect them in a bag.  The small grass scraps that a robot mower makes actually help keep your soil healthy.

Built-in security

If someone picks up your lawnbot, it’ll prompt the individual to enter a PIN code.  If they fail to enter in the PIN, your robot’s siren will go off.  Another theft-deterrent feature that all robotic lawn mowers have is the fact that they will not accept a charge from a charging station that is not their own.

Hire Amazon to install your lawn robot

All robotic lawn mowers rely on wire boundary systems.  So before you can run your grass cutting robot, you have to lay down some boundary wire around your yard so that it won’t wander off.  Laying down the boundary wire is a fairly easy job, but if you do it the wrong way your bot might get confused.

If you would rather not lay down your robot’s wire yourself, you can hire a local handyman to do it for you via Amazon’s excellent “Hire a Handyman” program.  

Amazon rolled out the Hire a Handyman program in 2015, and over the last 2 years it has received lots of great reviews.  Like most Amazon services, Hire a Handyman is backed up with Amazon’s “Happiness Guarantee.”  What that means is that you can get a total refund on the installation fee if you aren’t completely happy with the way Amazon’s handyman chose to setup your robot.

To get Amazon’s Hire a Handyman package, just click the “expert setup” box when you order your robotic lawn mower. Last time I checked, Amazon was charging about $300 for robot lawn mower installations.  That fee is a bit pricey, but could be worth it if you have a complicated lawn area.

Expert setup vs DIY installation

Most lawns are easy to setup for robotic lawn mowers.  If you have an average sized yard, you’ll be able to lay down the wires yourself without any problems.  But if you have a huge yard or if there are lots of areas in your yard that you want to block off, you may want to hire a pro to come out and lay down the wires for you.

To find out if there is an Amazon qualified handyman near you that can install robotic lawn mowers, click here and type your zip code into the box.  If you see a green checkmark, that means that there’s a qualified Amazon handyman near you.  But if you get a red x, that means that you’ll have to either find your own handyman or install your lawn robot yourself.

The 3 Major Lawn Robot Brands

Worx, Husqvarna and McColloch are the 3 major manufacturers that produce robotic lawn mowers.  All 3 companies have been around for decades, and they all have a history of making good quality lawn tools.

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 4.00.57 PM

1. Worx

  • Basic features
  • $1000 price range
  • Established brand name
  • Chinese company
  • 3 year warranty
  • Best robotic mower: Worx Landroid

Check Amazon to get the latest price on the Worx Landroid.

Worx was founded in 1994, and the company got its start selling garden tools under the Black & Decker brand name.  But in the early 2000s, Worx decided to go its own way.  Now, Worx products are in every major American store.  If you’ve ever shopped for garden supplies at Walmart, Lowe’s or Home Depot you’re probably already familiar with the Worx label.  Along with robotic lawn mowers, the company also produces hedge trimmers, chainsaws and all kinds of other mechanical garden tools.

Recommended reading

Landroid review – Landroid Test Results and Analysis

2. Husqvarna

  • Deluxe features
  • $2000 price range
  • Established brand name
  • Swedish company
  • 1 year warranty
  • Best robotic mower: Husqvarna Automower

Check Amazon to get the latest price on the Husqvarna Automower.

The Swedish company Husqvarna got its start as a rifle manufacturer way back in 1689.  But today, Husqvarna produces a wide assortment of different products ranging from high-end garden tools to motorcycles.  Though Husqvarna is not quite as well-known in the US compared to Worx, its brand is very big in Europe.   You might have run into Husqvarna garden tools while shopping at Walmart, Lowe’s and other major American retailers.

3. McColloch

  • Good value
  • $1500 price range
  • Established brand name
  • American company
  • 2 year warranty
  • Best robotic mower: McColloch ROB 1000

Check Amazon to get the latest price on the McColloch ROB 1000.

McCulloch is an American power tools manufacturer that got its start during WWII back in 1943.  In 1968, McCulloch changed the chain saw industry when it came out with the world’s lightest chainsaw at the time– the Power Mac 6.  Now the company hopes that it can start yet another revolution with its new line of autonomous grass cutters.

3 robotic lawn mower reviews

Now that you know the 3 biggest brands, let’s take a look at their flagship robot lawn mowers.  Here are all the basic facts you should know about the Husqvarna Automower, the McColloch ROB 1000 and the Worx Landroid.

1. Worx Landroid

Detailed review:  Landroid Review – Landroid Test Results and Analysis

In a nutshell:  If you live in the suburbs and dread cutting your lawn, this robot lawn mower from Worx is the robotic lawn mower for you.  On small to medium sized yards that don’t have ditches or potholes, Landroid does a great job.  Plus, it’s very affordable.

WORX WG794 28-volt Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower
List Price: $999.99
Price: $923.71
You Save: $76.28
Price Disclaimer

Specs

  • Navigation method: Bump sensors & boundary wire
  • Max lawn size: 0.25 acres
  • Cutting height: 1.6 to 4 inches
  • Amazon expert setup: Yes
  • Maximum incline: 12 degrees
  • Smartphone app: Basic functionality
  • Anti-theft system: PIN code, siren
  • Cuts grass in the rain: No

Pros

  • Great for suburban lawns
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to setup
  • Safer than a conventional mower
  • Built-in security system
  • 3 year warranty

Cons

  • Doesn’t cut as low as the Husqvarna’s Automower.
  • Will not pull out of its charging station if it’s rainy.
  • Struggles on steep hills and potholes.
  • App does not send you “robot is stuck” alerts.

Worx’s Landroid mower could very well go on to become the Roomba of robotic lawn mowers.  The fact that the Worx brand is already established in the US gives it an advantage over the other two established but not-so-well-known manufacturers covered below.  Also, the price is right.  The Landroid only costs around $1000.  But just because the Landroid is inexpensive doesn’t mean that it’s poor quality.  Consumer Reports recently put its stamp of approval on Worx’s Landroid.  Also, Worx backs up all of its robotic lawn mowers with a 3-year warranty.

The Landroid is the perfect robotic lawn mower for the average suburban family.  It’s about the same price as a riding lawn mower, only it does all the work for you while you relax inside with the A/C on.  On the other hand, you’ll probably be disappointed in Landroid if your yard is bumpy or has steep inclines.  Also, if the climate is wet where you live you may want to go with a robotic lawn mower that can operate in the rain.  Husqvarna’s Automower and McColloch’s ROB 1000 can cut grass in wet weather, but the Landroid can’t.

Worx Landroid YouTube video

This demonstration of the Landroid shows how it can reach hard-to-mow areas, like under a trampoline.  When it encounters some wooden planks, Landroid doesn’t slice them up.  Instead its blades collapse, and the robot turns around to mow in another direction.

Check Amazon to get the latest price

2. Husqvarna Automower

In a nutshell: Husqvarna’s Automower is the ideal robot mower for people with really big lawns or lawns that have lots of tricky ditches and holes.  It’s the only consumer robot mower that comes with a GPS unit to keep track of where it has mowed.  If you have a small yard, Landroid is the better deal.  But if you live out in the countryside and you have a lot of property that you need to mow, this lawn bot is the one you want.

  • Navigation method: GPS assist + bump sensors & boundary wire
  • Max lawn size: Up to 1.25 acres (with the large installation kit)
  • Cutting height: 0.8 to 2.5 inches
  • Amazon Expert Setup: Yes
  • Maximum incline: 22 degrees
  • Smartphone app: Advanced functionality
  • Anti-theft system: PIN code, siren + GPS tracking via app
  • Cuts grass in the rain: Yes

Pros

  • Keeps large lawns trim and looking good
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to setup
  • Safer than a conventional mower
  • Blades can drop very low to the ground
  • Performs well in the rain
  • Handles steep inclines
  • Cuts extremely large lawns
  • Rarely gets stuck

Cons

  • Twice as expensive as Worx Landroid
  • 1 year warranty

Husqvarna’s flagship robotic grass cutter Automower is the only consumer robot mower that can handle very large lawns.  Its GPS features gives the Automower the ability to map out large spaces and keep track of where it has been.  Also, Automower cuts a bit lower than the competition.  The Automower will leave your lawn looking trimmer because its blades cut lower (0.8 inches) than most other robotic mowers.

When Consumer Reports put the Automower to the test it performed a little better than the Worx Landroid.  When Consumer Reports sent Husqvarna’s Automower into an lumpy yard, it managed to escape every ditch it encountered.

“Land navigation was the best, failing to get hung up during operation.” – Consumer Reports

When I reached out to Husqvarna to ask about their robotic lawn mower, the representative simply replied: “The quality of Husqvarna products is unlike anything you have ever seen.”  The Automower does look impressive.  But if it’s really built to last, what’s the deal with the 1 year warranty?

Husqvarna Automower YouTube video

This simple, to-the-point promotion video from Husqvarna does a good job of explaining how how grasscutting robots work.

Check Amazon to get the latest price

3. McColloch ROB 1000

In a nutshell: The ROB 1000 is very similar to the Worx Landroid, but it has a few extra features and it’s slightly more expensive.  The main difference is that ROB 1000 can cut grass in the rain and Landroid cannot.  Also, ROB 1000’s blades can drop a bit lower compared to Landroid.  ROB 1000 lacks a smartphone app, but instead it comes with a set of replacement blades.

Specs

  • Navigation method: Bump sensors & boundary wire
  • Max lawn size: 0.25 acres
  • Cutting height: 0.79 to 1.97 inches
  • Amazon expert setup: Yes
  • Maximum incline: 14 degrees
  • Smartphone app: No
  • Anti-theft system: PIN code, siren
  • Cuts grass when it’s raining: Yes

Pros

  • Solid mid-range robotic lawn mower
  • Affordable price
  • Shorter grass, closer cuts
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to setup
  • Safer than a conventional mower
  • Built-in security system
  • 2 year warranty
  • Replacement blades included

Cons

  • No smartphone app

If you want a an autonomous lawn cutter that can work in the rain but you don’t want to lay down two grand for a Husqvarna, McColloch’s ROB 1000 is a good compromise.  McCulloch brand robotic mowers offer a good balance of features and affordability compared to Worx and Husqvarna.

Like Husqvarna’s automated mowers, McCulloch’s ROB can cut grass when it’s raining outside.  Worx’s Landroid will not leave its base if it senses wet weather.  Also, unlike Automower and Landroid, ROB comes with a set of replacement blades.  The main downside of ROB 1000 is that you have to use his touch screen if you want to program him.  There’s no other way to communicate with ROB, because he lacks a smartphone app.

McColloch ROB 1000 YouTube video

The video embedded below does a good job of showing you how ROB reacts to boundaries and obstacles.  Additionally, it gives you a preview of the setup job that’s required before you can get your lawn robot up and running.

Check Amazon to get the latest price

Questions to ask about lawn robot features

1. How low can it go?  

The lower your lawnbot’s blades can go, the shorter your grass will be.  With Landroid you’ll get 1.6 inch grass blades, but with ROB 1000 and Automower you can go even lower.

2. Is it programmable?

All 3 robots listed above can be programmed, but ROB 1000 lacks a smartphone app so you have to program him manually using his touchscreen.

3. How long will the warranty last?  

With its 3 year guarantee, Worx’s Landroid has the longest warranty.  ROB 1000 has a 2 year warranty, and the most expensive bot of the 3– Automower– only has a 1 year warranty.

4. Do you have to purchase an additional setup kit?

Landroid and ROB 1000 both come with everything your bot needs to get rolling.  However, if you go with Automower you’ll have to purchase an installation kit.  Automower’s small yard setup kit costs around 100 bucks, and its large setup kit costs about 200.  The medium kit is somewhere in between.

Check the price on Amazon

5. How much lawn area will it cover?

If you have a huge lawn to worry about, you may want to go with Automower because it can cover 1.25 acres.  Landroid and ROB 1000 can only cover 0.25 acres of grass.

6. Does it have an anti-theft system?

Most robotic grass cutters will sound an alarm if you pick them up and fail to enter in the correct PIN code.  However, only Automower has a built-in GPS security tracker.

7. How safe is it?

All 3 of my favorite automatic lawn mowers are safer than manual ones because they shut off instantly the moment they bump into something or leave the ground.

Other factors to consider

Smartphone app.  Smartphone apps are useful for programming your lawn mower robot from afar.  All 3 bots mentioned above have an app except ROB 1000.

GPS assist.  Robotic lawnmowers for small yards don’t need GPS.  However, robotic lawnmowers that cut large areas need GPS because they need to map out your yard and keep track what they’ve cut.  Automower is the only affordable consumer robot out there that’s designed to handle large yards, and it does have a GPS assist feature.

The best robot lawn mower for the money

Unless you have a yard with steep hills or a yard that’s bigger than 0.25 acres, Landroid is the best choice.

My personal favorite robot lawn mower is Landroid.  Landroid can do just about everything the high end Husqvarna Automower can do, but it’s almost half the price.  The fact that the Landroid has received a recommendation from Consumer Reports proves that it’s the real deal.  Also, the Landroid’s 3 year warranty proves that Worx is committed to making robotic lawn mowers that are built to last.

Check to see if the Landroid is on sale.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about robotic lawn mowers, just let me know.  I’ll look up the best answer and get back to you as soon as I can.  Contact me via Facebook or email me at munkachy [at] gmail.

About Alex Munkachy

Hello and thanks for visiting Robot Fanatics! The aim of this site is to introduce people to the fun and interesting world of robotics. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RobotFanatics.