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The 5 best robot mowers: Smart hands-free lawn care

What is the best robot mower? Our pick is the Worx Landroid L with its multi-tool battery system, rain delay sensor, and built-in anti-theft system. Robot mowers are some of the newest lawn care tech, allowing you to cut grass without lifting a finger. Here's how the Worx Landroid L compares in terms of price as well as features like cutting width to the top robot mowers available.
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Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer on
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

Robot mowers are fairly new lawn care technology. They operate in much the same way as a robot vacuum or mop does: moving in randomized patterns, avoiding obstacles with sensors, staying within boundaries set up by guidewires, and allowing scheduling and monitoring via Bluetooth companion apps. But instead of cleaning up spilled popcorn and pet hair, they cut your grass. Robot mowers are perfect for smaller suburban lawns because they have very small cutting decks, often just 8 or 9 inches wide. The included reels of guidewire also are often just big enough to mark off the edge of a quarter acre to half acre lot or the same size area of much larger lawns. The appeal of a robot lawn mower is that they are fully autonomous. Once you set up a schedule, you don't have to worry about being home to mow your lawn; the unit will leave the base station and start cutting the grass all on its own once it is time to start. 

Another big selling point is that since they're battery-powered, they have zero emissions, which makes them a much more environmentally friendly solution to caring for your lawn. And not having a gas engine means very little maintenance other than charging batteries and cleaning out dried grass and dirt. To help you find the right fit for your lawn, I gathered up five of the best robot mowers available to buy. I broke down their features and analyzed their maximum cutting areas to curate a list of robot mowers that will suit a variety of different needs. Keep reading below to see which is the best choice for both your yard and your budget.

Must read:

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Worx

Cutting width: 8 inches | Max cutting area: .5 acres | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Companion app: Yes | Anti-theft alarm: Yes 

The Worx Landroid L is my top choice for the best robot lawn mower. With the 8-inch cutting deck, it can mow lawns up to a half acre, which is perfect for most suburban lots. The cutting disc sits on a floating pivot to automatically rise and drop to follow your lawn's terrain, reducing the chance of scalping or missing low spots. Built-in sensors help the Landroid L navigate around obstacles and through narrow paths so you don't have to worry about it getting caught in your flower beds or stuck between your tool shed and the house. A companion app for your smartphone or tablet allows you to check on battery life, set a mow schedule, and even specify the soil and grass type your lawn has for more efficient mowing and overall care. A built-in alarm helps deter would-be thieves, but if someone does manage to make off with your robot mower, the GPS-enabled companion app lets you track their whereabouts so you can recover your property.

Pros:

  • Anti-theft alarm
  • GPS tracking
  • App for scheduling and maintenance

Cons:

  • Somewhat short runtime
A MowRo RM24A on a patch of grass.
MowRo

Cutting width: 9.5 inches | Max cutting area: .25 acres | Connectivity: N/A | Companion app: No | Anti-theft alarm:  No

Since robot mowers are such a new technology, they can be quite expensive. Fortunately, the Mowro RM24A is one of the more affordable options on the market with a price tag that sits comfortably under $1,000. The 9.5-inch cutting deck and 28V battery allow the RM24A to mow yards up to a quarter acre while the large rear, wheels help it tackle steeper hills and inclines. The brushless motor runs much more quietly than gas and many other battery-powered mowers, which means you can enjoy your deck, patio, or backyard while the RM24A is mowing your lawn. And it won't annoy the neighbors while it follows its 48-hour mowing schedule; this robot mower automatically mows every two days to keep a consistent cut across your entire lawn. It even has rain sensors to let the mower know it's time to return to the docking station when storms roll in.

Pros:

  • Rain sensors
  • Quieter operation
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • No companion app for scheduling
  • No anti-theft system
A dynamic shot of a Husqvarna 115H robot mower on a background of short grass
Husqvarna

Cutting width: 8.5 inches | Max cutting area: .25 acres | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Companion app: Yes | Anti-theft alarm: Yes 

Since robot mowers run on either interchangeable or integrated batteries, that means they'll need routine charging for optimal runtimes. Unfortunately, that also means you might get stuck waiting around for your mower to charge before it can finish cutting the grass. The Husqvarna 115H has one of the fastest charging times, reaching full battery in just about an hour. This means that you can tackle other outdoor chores like edge trimming and pulling weeds while you wait, and you won't have to schedule mowing over several days to account for charging times. 

The 8.5-inch cutting deck lets the 115H mow up to a quarter acre; and with its lift and tilt sensors, the blades automatically stop if the mower gets picked up. This protects pets, kids, and adults from getting hurt if the mower gets stuck on an object or if it gets flipped over. The integrated anti-theft alarm only can be shut off with a specified PIN number, meaning would-be thieves can't disable the alarm before making off with your robot mower.

Pros:

  • Anti-theft alarm
  • 60-minute charge time
  • Lift and tilt sensors stop blades

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No GPS theft tracking
A Husqvarna 430X in its charging dock, which is by a stone patio.
Husqvarna

Cutting width: 9.5 inches | Max cutting area: .8 acres | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Companion app: Yes | Anti-theft alarm: Yes

Robot mowers are usually meant for much smaller lawns, but the Husqvarna 430X is capable of handling lots up to almost a full acre. The 9.5-inch cutting deck features three blades that mulch clippings into ultra-fine pieces to re-feed your lawn between fertilizer applications. The large rear wheels allow the mower to handle steep inclines. With Bluetooth connectivity and GPS navigation, the 430X lets you schedule mow times, set up remote start points, and even set up profiles for different sections of your yard. This lets you create a custom schedule for a consistent cut across your whole lawn, while remote start points mean that your robot mower isn't limited to where the base station is when you want it to tackle a particular section. 

You can even choose between spot mowing and spiral mowing. The spot-mow mode lets you quickly tackle small areas the 430X may have missed or may be growing faster than other sections of your lawn, while the spiral-mow mode provides a consistent cutting pattern. Like its cousin, the Husqvarna 115H, it has a built-in alarm to alert you to would-be thieves and  only can be disabled with a personalized PIN. It also offers GPS tracking in case someone does manage to make off with your new mower. Husqvarna also offers interchangeable top covers to either make it easier to see where your 430X is in your yard or to match the rest of your lawn and garden equipment. And if you want truly hands-off lawn care, you can connect the 430X to your Alexa or Hey Google-enabled smart speaker for voice-activated controls.

Pros:

  • GPS theft tracking
  • Mows up to .8 acres
  • Spiral and Spot-mow modes
  • Alexa and Hey Google compatibility

Cons:

  • Expensive
A Greenworks Optimow 50H being cleaned off with a spray hose.
Greenworks

Cutting width: 9 inches | Max cutting area: .75 acres | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Companion app: Yes | Anti-theft alarm: No

Robot mowers tend to have very short runtimes, but the Greenworks Optimow 50H provides up to 2.5 hours of mowing on a full charge. It also has a fairly quick charge time of just 70 minutes, so you can tackle other outdoor chores or enjoy your patio or deck while it recharges; and you won't have to worry about scheduling mow times over several days if your lawn is on the higher end of the Optimow 50H's limits. It's rated for lawns up to .75 acres, and the 9-inch cutting deck is designed to have the blades fold inward if they connect with an object. This protects the blades from damage while also preventing the mower from getting hung up on things like rocks, roots, or outdoor toys. The body of the mower is IPX67 rated waterproof, which means that if you notice dirt and grass buildup, you can quickly clean it off with a typical garden hose without worrying about ruining the motor or charging connections. The Optimow 50H also includes a safety key that can be used on the underside of the unit to disable the cutting deck; this is perfect for keeping kids and pets from accidentally starting the mower and getting hurt. There's also an integrated carrying handle for easier movement if you need to clean or perform maintenance like blade sharpening. 

Pros:

  • 2.5 hour runtime
  • Quick charging
  • Water resistant
  • Integrated carrying handle

Cons:

  • No anti-theft alarm

What is the best robot mower?

My pick for the best robot mower is the Worx Landroid L. It has a built-in anti-theft system to deter anyone with sticky fingers, and if the alarm doesn't stop them, you can track their whereabouts with the GPS-enabled companion app. It's capable of mowing up to a half acre, and it's fitted with sensors to detect narrow paths and obstacles for enhanced maneuvering.

Robot mower

Price

Cutting width

Max cutting area

Worx Landroid L

$2381

8 inches

0.5 acres

MowRo RM24A

$899

9.5 inches

0.25 acres

Husqvarna 115H

$1400

8.5 inches

0.25 acres

Husqvarna 430X

$2500

9.5 inches

0.8 acres

Greenworks Optimow 50H

$1400

9 inches

0.75 acres

Which is the right robot mower for you?

When you've finalized a budget for a new robot mower, you should double-check the size of your lot  to further narrow down your search. Different models have different runtimes, cutting deck widths, and varying amounts of included guidewires, so you'll have to thoroughly compare each model you're interested in to find the best match for your lawn.

Choose this robot mower…

If you want …

Worx Landroid L

A well-rounded robot mower for medium-sized lawns

MowRo RM24A

A more affordable robot mower option

Husqvarna 115H

A robot mower with a shorter charge time

Husqvarna 430X

A robot mower rated for lawns up to 0.8 acres

Greenworks Optimow 50H

A robot mower with a great battery life

How did we choose these robot mowers?

Along with price, I analyzed charging and runtimes as well as maximum cutting areas to suit a variety of lawn sizes. I also chose models with integrated alarms and/or tracking systems to help keep thieves from making off with your new robot mower.

What is a robot mower?

A robot mower is a device that operates in a similar way to a robot vacuum or mop. It uses guidewires to determine boundaries or mowing paths and a base station for charging and often will have a companion app for monitoring battery levels and scheduling mow sessions. Robot mowers work with GPS technology to map your yard to detect narrow paths and objects and to improve its algorithm for more efficient mowing. And just like robot vacuums and mops, a robot mower will run in randomized patterns, so you won't get that clean-line look that you would with a riding or push mower. However, they will also mow much more often, ensuring that every part of your lawn has a consistent cut.

How do you keep a robot mower from being stolen?

If you're able to, you can set up the base station in a secluded area of your lawn to reduce the chances of someone snatching it while it's charging; you also can carry the mower unit itself into your garage or tool shed at night and lock it up. Barring that, many robot mowers have built-in alarms that go off when they are lifted or tilted, deterring hopeful thieves. And if someone does manage to walk off with your robot mower, many also have GPS-assisted tracking so you can let law enforcement know exactly where they went and recover your property.

How often should I run my robot mower?

As with riding and push mowers, you can run them as often as you like. But many manufacturers recommend you set up a schedule to have your robot mower cut the grass every two or three days. This is because a robot mower has a much smaller cutting deck than a riding or push mower, and they move in randomized patterns. Running the robot mower every few days will ensure that every part of your lawn gets attention.

Are there alternative robot lawn mowers worth considering?

Since robot mowers are such a new technology, there aren't as many available to buy as their riding or push counterparts. However, I was able to find a couple alternative models that were worth a look:

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