Robot Mowers, honestly, are they any good ??

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by aspley, 20 Jul 2021.

  1. aspley

    aspley

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    Hi guys, toying with treating myself to a robot mower now that the prices seem to have dropped.
    I’m always suspicious of review sites who seem to have a vested interest in pointing you towards amazon, so I would really appreciate some honest opinions on how these things work out in practice and which model you might have that does a good job.
    Thanks for any input
     
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  3. pidgeon1

    pidgeon1

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    Chap over the road has one cuts lawn three times a week its 4 x 6 yards,flat lawn, THIS IS SMALL, don't know if it would handle anything larger.
     
  4. pcaouolte

    pcaouolte

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    They will do large areas. They go back to base for a recharge when the battery gets low.

    They don't do stripes, if that happens to be your thing, because they cut in a random pattern.

    They don't collect the clippings, they just drop them back on the lawn "as fertiliser". This might be alright if it is cutting a little bit off every day but it isn't any good when the grass is long at the start of the season or when you have been on holiday and put the robot in the shed to stop the local scrotes from nicking or trashing it or when its been raining for days on end so that the robot can't go out.

    If your lawn has uneven edges (a trench next to the border) they can fall off, you can move the guide wires away from the edge to avoid this but then they miss a bit.
     
  5. aspley

    aspley

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    Thanks for that, what I am after is an honest opinion of what finished cut lawn looks like. I know it won’t have stripes but in general terms is it tidy
     
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  7. conny

    conny

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    As pcaouolte says, they will do large areas and go back to base to re-charge when they get low but you do have to be careful siting the return wire. It needs to be quite central through the lawn as it goes searching for it to find it's way home. It will normally run slightly to the left of the wire when returning home so make sure you site it as advised in the booklet.
    The boundary wire can be set into the soil rather than be pegged on top. This prevents any potential snags if the ground undulates or the pegs become loose if the ground dries out in hot weather. It's advisable to peg it out when first setting up so you can adjust how close/far from any flower beds or drop off points. Once you are happy with the set up it's simply a matter of using an edging spade to form a slit, drop the cable into it and press the soil back over the slit to hide the wire. I think you can bury it up to about 200mm but 20-25 is deep enough. The grass will grow back over the slit you made so it becomes invisible. They have sensors to stop them going too far over the boundary wire and if the bump into an obstacle they will simply reverse and go in another direction. They are quite weatherproof but do need to be put in a dry place over winter, preferably in somewhere that doesn't drop below about 4 degrees C to protect the battery. As stated, they cut clippings and drop them back on the lawn as a form of fertilizer. The blade height can be adjusted to cut more or less, depending on how quick it grows. You can programme the days and times when you want it to cut and they are usually pin coded which you need to input to programme or make changes to the settings. It also stops it being used on another base if it is stolen. New blades are fairly cheap and last quite a while. I think on average I change ours at the beginning and then mid way through the season. You can get 9 blades, (they usually take 3), and 9 screws for around a tenner. Always use new screws with new blades. Extra cable is quite cheap if you need it but the 100 metres you get with it is usually sufficient.
    We have a Flymo 300R, (about 3 years old now and still in fine fettle), but I think you can get them with Bluetooth or wireless remote these days. Our main lawn is about 18metres by 15metres and it copes quite well with it. It will even get up an area which has an incline of about 20-25 degrees if the grass is dry. I would recommend one but Google the instructions of the one you decide on to see how difficult/easy it may be to do in your particular situation. You may spend a fair bit of time on your knees installing the cables but once done you can set it up and leave it to get on with it while you relax.
     
  8. aspley

    aspley

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    The technical stuff I’m ok with. What I am trying to understand is what the finished cut is like. Is it just as if you’d gone over it with a rotary mower or does the lawn have a sort of robot mower finish.
     
  9. conny

    conny

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    It looks like it would if you used a rotatory hover mower. No stripes, as mentioned above, and a nice even cut.
    Depending on how big your lawn is it may cover the lot in a few hours or, like ours, 2 days. It can be a bit disconcerting at first when it seems to be going over ground it has already covered but it will cover it all and I think they 'learn' to change the angle of turning.
     
  10. aspley

    aspley

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    Thanks Conny, I’m looking at 300m2 so not massive. What you have posted gives me what I was after which was some confirmation that the cut that is left will eventually be even.
     
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