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Robotic mowers continue to become more and more popular. If you’re looking into buying one to help you with your lawn work, you are probably wondering if they are in your price range. Robot lawn mowers are fairly small devices when compared to traditional push or riding mowers and are easily mistaken as cheap alternatives. However, robotic lawnmowers are quite costly, which is the main factor why people get discouraged from purchasing.
When determining price, it is often best to think of these mowers as closer to a riding lawn mower than a push version. They are technically advanced and do an excellent job at reducing the normal work in maintaining a lawn. Although they come in different variations, the pricing ranges from $600 to $3500 depending on the brand and design (see How Long do Robotic Mowers Last for more). Read below to find out what to expect when looking at different models. These factors often come into play as far as price is concerned and how much one would expect to pay.
Just like any other gadget that uses electricity, the time required for charging its battery varies widely. Robotic lawnmowers come in many unique designs, and each has specific characteristics that can improve or reduce battery life. The primary determinant is the model and size of the battery it has. If it is a high-capacity model, then it will require additional time to fully charge, whereas a smaller battery can take less than an hour. However, powerful batteries take time but ensures it can run for longer periods of time. Such batteries come in different forms like lead-acid and lithium-ion depending on your preference.
There are two central cutting systems associated with robotic lawnmowers. The first model is the design that has a single cutting blade almost the same as the type found in ordinary kinds of mowers. The blade is made of durable material and resistant to damage. Also, it requires less maintenance but can work in a vast area while making perfect edges. The main disadvantage of this design is that they tend to produce a lot of noise while operating and also electricity consumption is quite high.
The second model of cutting system is a combination of several razor blades on a disc that moves in a circular motion when the robotic lawn mower is functioning. Such designs are energy efficient and work within a short period. One major limitation with this type is that the positioning of the blades does not allow for proper trimming of the edges on your lawn; hence you may need to get out the edger at times. Furthermore, the cutting blades can become dull or damaged easier than the single blade. These blades are replaced much more frequently during normal maintenance (see How do Robot Lawn Mowers Work).
Since robotic lawnmowers work automatically, they are manufactured with sensors to help in detecting when they should stop working or when they have reached a boundary line and its time to turn. However, the sensors have different capabilities depending on your choice. The advanced designs have superior proximity sensors that can detect the presence of any obstacle before the machine hits it. The robot will slow down and find an alternate route.
The typical models, however, have to contact an object before it can redirect its movements. Other types of sensors include lift and tilt sensors. Depending on the type you choose, you will find such sensors that stop the blades from turning for safety purposes once it gets lifted off the ground. This is a common feature that comes on almost all modes. Ensure any robot mower you buy has a similar feature as a safety precaution.
Robotic lawn mowers mostly utilize two types of batteries. Models with lead-acid batteries are cheaper compared to the ones that use lithium-ion batteries. However, lead-acid batteries are inefficient since they cannot hold the charge as long as a lithium-ion battery. The power provided by lead-acid batteries is sometimes lacking to run a robot mower to its full potential. They are inconvenient as you have to recharge them before you can complete one mowing cycle. Lithium-ion lawn mowers, on the other hand, are pricey but work well in conjunction with automatic mower technology. Overall, they outperform lead-acid batteries to a significant degree and better lend the robot to a “hands-off” approach.
Grass grows in different lengths; therefore, you have to ensure the type of lawnmower you choose works cuts to the desired height. Similar to traditional models, robotic mowers offer different heights that they are able to cut. Ensure you note the minimum and maximum cutting height to ensure the mower works well for your lawn. You may find that those that exceed the normal cutting heights found in other mowers could impact the price.
When purchasing a robot mower, ensure that it has the features you need to cut your lawn to the best of its abilities. While not all mowers are equal, you can expect the price to increase as the features and convenience improves. While the most expensive models are always necessary, be aware that you often “get what you pay for”. Less expensive models will often work, but finding the absolute cheapest model is often more trouble than it’s worth due to quality issues (see Best Self-Automated Robot Lawn Mowers). Those in the $900 – $1500 range often offer the best trade-off of features and cost.