For the maintenance of large gardens or demanding exteriors, the robot lawn mower is an ideal solution. Indeed, the principle of this device is that it takes care of mowing your lawn for you and in an intelligent way. This technological and programmable jewel is entirely autonomous and works for you in the space that you will have previously defined for it. Nevertheless, if the robot mower has many advantages, it is an expensive device whose purchase should not be left to chance. Let’s take a look at the essential criteria to take into account to help you choose the right model.
The surface of your land
The purchase of your robot mower will be largely conditioned by the surface of your land. If your garden is small, but you don’t have the time or inclination to maintain it, a small robot lawn mower will be sufficient. Beyond 1,000 m², however, you have to think about investing in a larger, more solid and more competent model.
In addition, be aware that the robot lawn mower is primarily intended for the regular maintenance of a relatively short lawn on flat and slightly uneven ground. However, if your plot is irregular, you will need to opt for a suitable model. The majority of robotic mowers can handle up to 20% slope, but by investing in a top-of-the-range model, you can reach 45% slope without any problem.
The way of cutting
These devices do not have mowing waste collection trays, unlike traditional mowers. As a result, these machines only offer mulching, which is a cutting method that involves cutting the grass and shredding it into small pieces which are then spread across the lawn. You will therefore have nothing to pick up after the passage of your robot mower and you should know that the redistribution of this freshly cut and crushed grass serves as a natural fertilizer for your lawn. This is the best way to enjoy beautiful green grass all year round. The only drawback of this technique is that it requires more frequent mowing since the grass grows back faster, but since it is not you who take care of it… Be careful, however, to make sure to only use the robot mower on a low grass, because the principle of mulching may otherwise suffocate your lawn.
Mulching is done with blades resting on a metal disc. We advise you to opt for strong and pivoting blades, which are easy to maintain, clean and replace.
In addition, for the best result, we advise you to invest in a model that offers a width and a cutting height that meet your needs. You should know that these robot mowers have a smaller cutting width than conventional mowers. About twenty centimeters of cutting width is enough for a plot whose area does not exceed 500 m². On the other hand, for large surfaces, a minimum of 24 cm is preferable. Admittedly, this criterion is not the most important at first glance. However, with a sufficient cutting width, you limit the return trips of the robot mower, therefore its working time, its recharging time, its wear and your energy expenditure.
In terms of height, be aware that the vast majority of models offer a scale between 2 and 6 cm. However, if some robot lawn mowers are difficult to adjust, others are easier thanks to a simple wheel, and still others choose the necessary height themselves according to the lawn thanks to their integrated sensor.
Unlike traditional mowers, which can be thermal or electric, robot mowers only have one possible mode of operation, by battery. On the other hand, there are several types of batteries for these devices and not all are created equal. Ideally, we advise you to invest in the purchase of a machine with a lithium-ion battery. These are quality models and offer a better lifespan.
These batteries have an autonomy duration of 30 minutes to 2 hours for a charging time of 1 hour to 4 hours, even if it tends to be reduced with the development of this technology. To maintain a small plot of up to 500 m², 30 minutes of autonomy is enough. On the other hand, go bigger for a larger surface, otherwise the use of your robot lawn mower will become more restrictive than comfortable!
Note that the most advanced models are able to return to their base on their own and recharge automatically. Admittedly, it is an additional investment, but which turns out to be much more comfortable in use.
Security and Protection
The robot lawn mower is an autonomous device, but it must not present any danger. Most models are equipped with a lift sensor which automatically detects when the mower is lifted and immediately blocks the operation of the blades. It is a significant security for children and animals that may be nearby.
Likewise, we recommend that you buy a robot lawn mower equipped with obstacle detectors. On the one hand, you will prevent your device from working for nothing, and on the other hand, you will be able to limit the risk of damage and injury through this.
In addition, be aware that the most expensive models are often equipped with anti-theft devices. Opt for the one that suits you best, it will be a practical way to deter thieves while prioritizing mowing comfort.