Is it worth buying a robotic lawn mower in 2022

Robotic lawn mowers in the UK

Over the past few years, robotic lawn mowers have become increasingly popular in the UK.

These gadgets supposedly enable you to keep your lawn looking neat, without having to lift a finger. Once programmed, the mower knows when and where to mow, automating the process of keeping your lawn neat.

However, there are downsides to robotic lawn mowers. Even if you hate the process of mowing your lawn, robotic lawn mowers aren’t always a perfect solution.

In this guide, we’ve evaluated the state of robotic lawn mower technology in 2022, and looked at whether or not these devices are worth buying.

Advantages of robotic lawn mowers

There are a number of reasons why so many people are buying automatic lawn mowers.

The main benefit of robotic mowers is their convenience. All you have to do is set up the mower’s charging station, and install a boundary wire around your garden, to tell the mower where to mow. 

Then, using an app on your phone, you can tell the mower when and how to mow your lawn. You don’t have to mark every obstacle on your lawn – good robotic mowers will know how to avoid trees and bushes, as well as pets and kids.

Surprisingly, these types of mowers are normally waterproof, and can mow during the rain. You can even wash them with a hose if necessary, making robotic mowers quite low-maintenance when compared with most types of petrol lawn mowers. 

Since robotic mowers are battery-powered, you don’t have to worry about buying the right fuel, or other common maintenance items, such as changing engine oil, or cleaning the spark plug. You don’t even have to worry about charging the battery, since this occurs automatically, when the mower returns to its charging station.

The other benefit of this power system is robotic mowers are typically very quiet, partly because they’re quite small, and have a small motor. This is also why robotic mowers are also very quiet when compared to rotary electric mowers.

Also, robotic mowers generally do a very good job at mowing your lawn, provided you buy a quality product. They won’t tend to leave patches of grass un-mown, provided there are no obstacles on your lawn that will confuse the mower about where it can and can’t cut the grass.

Disadvantages of robotic lawn mowers

One of the main disadvantages of robotic mowers is their price. You can expect to pay about £500-£600 for a good one, and there are even more expensive models. This is more than most large petrol mowers cost, so you need to be sure that you really want a robotic lawn mower before you hand over this much money.

The other main disadvantage of robotic mowers is the lack of control you have. You won’t be able to mow stripes on your lawn, for example. If you want to use your lawn when the mower is scheduled to come out, you’ll need to tell it to wait at its charging station. And if you’re already on the lawn, the mower will still come out, unless you’ve already set it to wait until tomorrow.

Robotic mowers typically won’t collect your grass clippings, meaning they can leave a mess on your lawn.

Also, robotic mowers will take a bit of effort to set up. They often come with quite technical manuals, which can be a bit difficult to understand. 

Before beginning to mow, you will need to install the boundary wire, which is often recommended to be put in the ground, rather than on your lawn. This process can take a few hours, depending on the size of your garden.

Then, you will need to set up the base station. This needs to be in a location where you can provide mains power, which is also accessible from the lawn. At this stage, you will need to program the mower, and ensure that it’s set up correctly. This entire process can be a bit tedious if you’re used to assembling a mower and beginning to use it right away.

If your robotic mower ever breaks, getting it repaired may be more challenging than with a rotary mower. While these automated mowers often come with three or four-year warranties, once this warranty has expired, fixing a robotic mower can be difficult, simply because these devices are so much more complicated than typical lawn mowers.

Finally, robotic mowers are not suitable for large gardens. Since they have a small cutting width, most of these products are only meant for lawns up to 500 square metres or so, unless you’re prepared to pay for a larger model, which will cost £750 or more.

Should you buy a robotic lawn mower?

Whether or not you should buy a robotic lawn mower really depends on your gardening style.

These gadgets have improved significantly over the past five or so years. They can now mow your lawn almost completely automatically, once you’ve set them up, and they do a good job at it. Therefore, if you’re time-poor, or just want the most convenient method of keeping your lawn neat and tidy, then robotic mowers are a good choice.

However, if you have a large garden, and like to keep it manicured, robotic lawn mowers might not be the best option. They don’t allow you to mow stripes, and aren’t the best if you’ve got lots of obstacles, or your garden is an odd shape.

The other thing to consider is how much you’re willing to pay. Robotic lawn mowers are not cheap, but they can be worth the investment if you’re looking to save time on mowing your lawn. For those on a budget, there are electric rotary mowers that can be had for about half the price of a typical robotic lawn mower.