What to Consider Before Buying a Robotic Lawn Mower

What to Consider Before Buying a Robotic Lawn Mower

The best robotic lawn mower is one chosen with the user's needs in mind. A well-manicured lawn can be time-consuming, costly and physically demanding. Robotic mowers automate the task of keeping property cared for without effort, contributing to their popularity.

Their increasing popularity has seen growth in the industry, the range of mowers available makes the choice daunting for consumers, to the point it’s impossible to decide which mower is best suited for New Zealand lawn types and best suited for their lawn conditions. The information can be contradicting, confusing and it can be overwhelming to scan and compare the various models. Models best suited for lawns in America, the US, Australia and other parts may not be the best models for New Zealand lawn types. Below, we explain what to consider before buying a robot lawn mower for New Zealand lawns. 

How often will you require the robot mower to operate?

When choosing a robotic mower it’s important to consider intended use. Are you looking for a mower to handle small residential lawns with minimal obstacles? Do you have a large lawn with a complex terrain? Understanding your specific needs will help select which size mower and accessories are necessary to accommodate your specific lawn and whether the mower can withstand the terrain. 

What is your lawn type and terrain?

Lawn type and terrain must be considered before purchasing a robotic lawn mower. Different models have varying capabilities in terms of coverage area and ability to navigate specific terrain. For example, if there was a consumer with a smaller lawn but it had varying and undulating surfaces, they might opt for a mower that can handle a larger area capacity to ensure it will have the required power to tackle the terrain. It’s important to note, certain models are better suited for specific lawn types and grass species, in New Zealand you may encounter different lawn types: 

Rye-Fescue Blend: 

This lawn type is hard-wearing and quick to establish, it suits a wide range of environments 

Fine Fescue: 

Hardy and shade-tolerant grass, it has the ability to regenerate itself after harsh summers, doesn’t like regular foot traffic

Tall Fescue: 

Hard-wearing, drought tolerant and copes well in high-traffic areas

Depending on the lawn type, the type of grass can wear down the blades quicker. The Worx robotic mower features 3 forward and reverse rotation blades ensuring a clean and precise cut on New Zealand lawn types and reducing the replacement time by half. Compared to the Ambrogio mower which has a single operating blade making it less versatile to New Zealand lawns and may incur a higher replacement cost. The Worx mower’s three blades are better suited to handle the demands of New Zealand lawn conditions. 

While lawn type is important, it is equally important to consider the complexity of the terrain, including factors such as lawn size, uneven surfaces, and obstacles.

Can Robot mowers cut around trees? 

Narrow path

Robotic mowers come equipped with advanced sensors that enable them to detect obstacles. The more features a robotic mower boasts, the more expensive the model is going to cost. If your property has no obstacles or trees, there is no need to invest in a fully equipped robotic mower; however, robotic mowers tend to be all or nothing, coming with all the features or none of them. 

Husqvarna and Ambrogio come with features and sensors on their range of mowers making it important to be sure of which model you select for your lawn. Worx differs as you have the advantage of purchasing additional features and accessories that allow you to customise your purchase according to your specific needs. You only pay for the additional features your lawn requires, avoiding unnecessary expenses, and allowing you to upgrade at any time. 

One of the additional features Worx Landroid offers is its anti-collision system which uses ultrasonic detection to navigate around trees and obstacles. 

Avoid overpaying for features you don’t need, or buying another model robotic mower later down the line.

What is the size of your lawn? 

Size is important to consider when purchasing a robotic mower, you want to select a model that has capacity and will operate efficiently. It’s recommended you don’t exceed 70% of the robot’s maximum capacity, this is to get the best cutting results. If you have 700m2 of lawn, we recommend you choose a robot mower with a capacity of 1000m2

How to measure your lawn: 

Your lawn can be easily measured through Google Maps. 

  1. Google Maps -satellite 
  2. Right-click “measure distance” 
  3. Click on the map to trace your path. 

Alternatively, this can be measured manually:

  1. Walk the length of your lawn, estimating one pace measures 0.9 metres. 
  2. Pace the width of the lawn 
  3. Multiply the length by the width to arrive at the total metres squared m2. 
  4. Subtract the square footage of the house and driveway 

Incline and Slope:

incline 35%

Slope and incline must be considered when purchasing a robotic lawn mower. Different mowers have varying capabilities when it comes to handling slopes and inclines. Steeper slopes require more power and traction to navigate. Mowers with inefficient traction or inadequate slope abilities may struggle to maintain stability, leading to potential accidents such as tipping or sliding down. 

Operating a mower beyond its capability can result in excessive strain on its motors, wheels and other components. The strain can lead to premature wear and tear affecting the overall lifespan and performance. Choosing a robotic mower suitable to your lawn ensures it operates within its limits, promoting longevity and minimising the need for frequent repair and replacements. 

Robot Mowers have three different slope ratings: 

Maximum permissible slope

This determines the highest gradient value that the robot can manage. The highest slope should only be a small part of the lawn and it should be inside the perimeter wire. 

Maximum consistent slope- 

If most of the lawn is sloped, this should be the property’s maximum slope gradient value 

Maximum edge slope - 

This is the most important rating, the maximum slope allowed within 1 metre of the boundary wire. 

Lawns with rough or uneven surfaces, and thick or deep grass (>30mm when cut) need to be factored into the maximum slope ratings. 

Measuring the slope: 

Measuring the slope of the lawn is important as robotic mowers have a measurement called their slope rating. The slope rating is displayed as a % gradient, the % gradient is not the same as degrees. 

To measure the % gradient of the lawn:

  1. Use a level that is at least 100 cm long or a straight stick to rest your level on top 
  2. Measure one metre from one end and make a mark on the level 
  3. Place one end of the level on the ground and position the other end so the bubble shows it is level
  4. Measure from your mark on the level to the ground 
  5. The measurement will be equal to the gradient in centimetres (cm). 
  6. Xcm is equal to X% gradient. 

Robotic mower repairs and maintenance cost?

Under robot mower

Repairs and maintenance are crucial to consider when purchasing a robot lawn mower. It’s important to consider not only the upfront cost but also the long-term costs associated with operating and maintaining a robotic mower. 

Robotic Lawn Mowers typically require battery replacements every 3-4 years. If the battery is in a difficult place or encased in the models which requires being taken apart, it can be very costly. Models such as the Worx Robotic mowers offer interchangeable batteries that can be replaced conveniently, easily and affordably. 

Servicing and after-sales support is crucial as some models may require regular servicing by an approved dealer to maintain their warranty. This can significantly increase long-term ownership costs. It’s essential to be aware of these requirements. 

Evaluate the cost and frequency of cutting blade replacements. Different models have varying blade sizes and replacement requirements.

Do I need professional installation compared to DIY?

A key consideration when purchasing a robotic mower as mentioned previously is the ongoing costs associated and whether to opt for professional installation or take the DIY route. Worx robotic mowers are the choice for New Zealand lawns, designed for Kiwi lawns and for our DIY nature. They are easy to install, with the option to lay the ground wire on the surface of the lawn or to trench it 5 cm below the surface. With easy set up and use manuals Worx makes for an ideal choice 

What should I consider before buying from Robot Lawn Mower? 

Purchasing a robot lawn mower requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure that you make the right choice for your specific needs. Understanding your intended use, considering the type and terrain of your lawn, size of your lawn, accounting for inclines and obstacles, and assessing the ongoing maintenance costs are all important factors.

Robot Lawn Mower makes the process simple and easy with hassle-free robotic mowers that cater to the DIY nature of Kiwi homeowners. By carefully considering these factors, you can select the right robot lawn mower that will effortlessly maintain your lawn and provide you with a well-manicured, hassle-free outdoor space.

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