Beyond the Health and Appearance of Your Lawn

Best Cheap Robot Lawn Mowers (2022)

Best Robot Lawn Mowers on the Cheap (2022)

 

There aren’t a ton of cheap robot lawn mowers out there… yet.

The main reason why these robot lawn mowers are cheaper is that they are specifically designed for smaller lawns (+-300 m²). And that means, as you can imagine, in contrast to a large lawn, it takes less effort for these little gardeners with wheels to handle a smaller and usually less complex of a lawn in terms of their requirements for performance, computing and battery power.

Regardless, there are quite a few gems out there on the cheap even for the bigger lawns.
They just needed to be found.

Along with this Robot Lawn Mower Buying Guide (which I really suggest you quickly skim through), let’s have a closer look at those cheaper ones I’ve come across. See which you fancy more and check out the corresponding review.

 

Top 9 Actually Cheap Robot Lawn Mowers

Before you go any further, let’s be clear about a couple of things when it comes to cheap robot lawn mowers in general. Wouldn’t want you to make a bad decision.

The robot lawn mower market is very much still in its infancy and so the selection is somewhat limited (and prices somewhat high) as of 2022.

The so-called “cheap” robot lawn mowers are essentially just lesser versions of the more expensive models. Often times the only real difference between them is how big of a lawn they’re wired to handle. That means buying an expensive robot lawn mower might be counterproductive in case of a smaller lawn where you can (and should) get away with buying a low cost robot lawn mower instead! But hey, I’m not your mom…

TLDR: cheap is not bad, rather cheaper ones are meant for smaller lawn sizes (+-300 m²) and usually don’t have all the bells and whistles, is all.

 

#0 Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD

Just to make sure we’re talking CHEAP… Of course you can get yourself one of the most expensive robot mowers like the Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD or an equivalent that pack powerful features such as the ability to traverse around obstacles with no contact, climb steep (35°) inclines with all-wheel driving (AWD) along with a beast of a battery pack, GPS navigation system mapping out the entire lawn so it doesn’t mow randomly, and so much more, but the initial cost would be too much for my monthly salary to handle. And what if it got stolen, or something like that, with no way for me to prove it afterwards…

Something more affordable would be one of the iMOW robot mowers, my personal pick in 2022, or equivalent, but which can still be rather on the heavy side for the wallet compared to these cheap ones here…

My experience tells me it’s much nicer to get into the robot lawn mower game without spending a fortune!

 

#1 Landxcape LX799

Recommended lawn size: 300 m² (or 0.074 ac). Max incline: 14° (or 25%). Battery: rechargeable 20 V 2.0 Ah lithium-ion. Operating time: 60 minutes (avg). Charging time: 240 minutes (avg). Cutting height: 20-50 mm (or 0.79″ to 1.97″). Cutting blades: 3 pivoting razor-like blades attached to a rotating disc. Cutting width: 16 cm (or 6.3″). Noise level: up to 65 dB. Remote control: no (manual control panel only). The package includes everything you need to set it up and the mower has all the essential mowing, safety, and security features (be ware: additional perimeter wire needed in case of a more complex yard layout).

Check its price here

#1 Best Cheap Landxcape LX799 Robot Lawn Mower

 

#2 Lawnmaster L10

Recommended lawn size: 400 m² (or 0.01 ac). Max incline: 19° (or 35%). Battery: rechargeable 20 V 2.0 Ah lithium-ion. Operating time: 40 minutes (avg). Charging time: 45 minutes (avg). Cutting height: 20-60 mm (or 0.79″ to 2.36″). Cutting blades: 3 razor-like blades attached to a rotating disc. Cutting width: 18 cm (or 7.08″). Noise level: up to 62 dB. Remote control: no (manual control panel only). The package includes everything you need to set it up and the mower has all the essential mowing, safety, and security features (be ware: additional perimeter wire needed in case of a more complex yard layout).

Check its price here

#2 Best Cheap Lawnmaster L10 Robot Lawn Mower

 

#3 Worx WR130E S300 Landroid

Recommended lawn size: 300 m² (or 0.074 ac). Max incline: 15° (or 27%). Battery: rechargeable 20 V 2.0 Ah lithium-ion. Operating time: 60 minutes (avg). Charging time: 240 minutes (avg). Cutting height: 30-50 mm (or 1.18″ to 1.97″). Cutting blades: 3 fixed razor-like blades attached to a rotating disc. Cutting width: 18 cm (or 7.08″). Noise level: up to 67 dB. Remote control: yes (if the mower is within wi-fi range, there is no Bluetooth). The package includes everything you need to set it up and the mower has all the essential mowing, safety, and security features (be ware: additional perimeter wire needed in case of a more complex yard layout).

Check its price here

 

#4 Flymo EasyLife 200

Recommended lawn size: 200 m² (or 0.049 ac). Max incline: 19° (or 35%). Battery: rechargeable 18 V 2.0 Ah lithium-ion. Mowing time: 65 minutes (avg). Charging time: 60 minutes (avg). Cutting height: 20-50 mm (or 0.79″ to 1.97″). Cutting blades: 3 pivoting razor-like blades attached to a rotating disc. Cutting width: 16 cm (or 6.3″). Noise level: up to 58 dB. Remote control: yes (Bluetooth app). The package includes everything you need to set it up and the mower has all the essential mowing, safety, and security features (be ware: additional perimeter wire needed in case of a more complex yard layout).

Check its price here

#4 Best Cheap Flymo EasyLife 200 Robot Lawn Mower

 

#5 Gardena Sileno City 300

Recommended lawn size: 300 m² (or 0.074 ac). Max incline: 19° (or 35%). Battery: rechargeable 18 V 2.1 Ah lithium-ion. Operating time: 65 minutes (avg). Charging time: 60 minutes (avg). Cutting height: 20-50 mm (or 0.79″ to 1.97″). Cutting blades: 3 razor-like blades attached to a rotating disc. Cutting width: 16 cm (or 6.3″). Noise level: up to 58 dB. Remote control: no (manual control panel only). The package includes everything you need to set it up and the mower has all the essential mowing, safety, and security features (be ware: additional perimeter wire needed in case of a more complex yard layout).

Check its price here

#5 Best Cheap Gardena Sileno City 300 Robot Lawn Mower

 

#6 McCulloch ROB S400

Recommended lawn size: 400 m² (or 0.1 ac). Max incline: 19° (or 35%). Battery: rechargeable 18 V 2.0 Ah lithium-ion. Operating time: 60 minutes (avg). Charging time: 60 minutes (avg). Cutting height: 20-50 mm (or 0.79″ to 1.97″). Cutting blades: 3 pivoting razor-like blades attached to a rotating disc. Cutting width: 16 cm (or 6.3″). Noise level: up to 57 dB. Remote control: yes (Bluetooth app). The package includes everything you need to set it up and the mower has all the essential mowing, safety, and security features (be ware: additional perimeter wire needed in case of a more complex yard layout).

Check its price here

#6 Best Cheap McCulloch ROB S400 Robot Lawn Mower

 

#7 McCulloch ROB R1000

Recommended lawn size: 1000 m² (or 0.247 ac). Max incline: 14° (or 25%). Battery: rechargeable 18 V 2.1 Ah lithium-ion. Operating time: 65 minutes (avg). Charging time: 50 minutes (avg). Cutting height: 20-50 mm (or 0.79″ to 1.97″). Cutting blades: 3 pivoting razor-like blades attached to a rotating disc. Cutting width: 17 cm (or 6.9″). Noise level: up to 59 dB. Remote control: no (manual control panel only). The package includes everything you need to set it up and the mower has all the essential mowing, safety, and security features (be ware: additional perimeter wire needed in case of a more complex yard layout).

Check its price here

#7 Best Cheap McCulloch ROB R1000 Robot Lawn Mower

 

#8 Yard Force EasyMow 260

Recommended lawn size: 260 m² (or 0.064 ac). Max incline: 16.7° (or 30%). Battery: rechargeable 20 V 2.0 Ah lithium-ion. Operating time: 60 minutes (avg). Charging time: 60 minutes (avg). Cutting height: 20-55 mm (or 0.79″ to 2.165″). Cutting blades: 3 razor-like blades attached to a rotating disc. Cutting width: 16 cm (or 6.3″). Noise level: up to 60 dB. Remote control: no (manual control panel only). The package includes everything you need to set it up and the mower has all the essential mowing, safety, and security features (be ware: additional perimeter wire needed in case of a more complex yard layout).

Check its price here

#8 Best Cheap Yard Force EasyMow 260 Robot Lawn Mower

 

#9 Swift RM18

Recommended lawn size: 600 m² (or 0.148 ac). Max incline: 19° (or 35%). Battery: rechargeable 28 V 2.0 Ah lithium-ion. Operating time: 45 minutes (avg). Charging time: 45 minutes (avg). Cutting height: 20-60 mm (or 0.79″ to 2.36″). Cutting blades: 3 pivoting razor-like blades attached to a rotating disc. Cutting width: 18 cm (or 7.08″). Noise level: up to 65 dB. Remote control: no (manual control panel only). The package includes everything you need to set it up and the mower has all the essential mowing, safety, and security features (be ware: additional perimeter wire needed in case of a more complex yard layout).

Check its price here

#9 Best Cheap Swift RM18 Robot Lawn Mower

 

Going Cheap – FAQ

What’s the Difference Between a Low-Cost and an Expensive Robot Lawn Mower?

Assuming we’re talking about at least normal quality robot mowers from reputable brands, in my research I’ve determined that the low-cost robot lawn mowers aren’t all that much different from the more expensive models in how and what they do.

The main difference between them is how large of a lawn they’re designed to cover, which means the requirements for performance, computing and battery power are lower and thus ones come out cheaper. However, the really really cheap ones that are not just lesser versions of the more expensive models do cut corners in how complex of a lawn they can handle in comparison (depth of slopes, narrowness of paths, etc). Additionally and naturally, those really cheap ones might have less options to configure because of that. As such, there might only be a few buttons which would allow you to, for example, stop the mower, send it to recharge, set a password and/or the amount of time it should mow per day. I’d argue that there’s actually beauty in simplicity as they end up being more robust and practical with no gimmicks driving up the price unnecessarily.

They are otherwise, both the cheap and more expensive robot lawn mowers, all very similar in that they mow autonomously by mulching grass in the designated area.

 

How Do Budget Robot Lawn Mowers Work?

they cut, ahem, mulch grass (there’s a difference between cutting and mulching) autonomously and the cheap ones usually in a random pattern…  “Yeah, no shit,” you’d no doubt say to that. You probably already get the gist of how they work (and if not, check with this article on How Robot Mowers Work), and no, they won’t do your dishes.

The dishes in this analogy would be some of the edges of your lawn, the odd hard to reach patches of grass due to narrow paths, the other side of your fence unless you’ve dragged a perimeter wire there as well and manually brought the mower there for the time being, the weed among your flowerbeds, though it might do a number on your kids’ toys (“learning the hard way”), and so forth. Even the most sophisticated breeds of robot lawn mower wouldn’t do all the work for you in this day and age. And I wouldn’t really want them to do it all anyway, come to think of it (AI takeover).

IMPORTANT:
Robot lawn mowers they are designed to work often. They are not like your manual mowers that you push around for an hour and call it a day. These things operate all day long in a cycle of mowing and charging, e.g mowing for 50 minutes, charging for 60 minutes (varies per model). The number of times a lot of people have returned their brand new robot mower saying it left patches of grass uncut after finishing that first cycle is baffling. Here’s to hoping you’re now informed enough to not become that person. ^^

 

How Should I Choose a Robot Lawn Mower?

Here I can only really give you very generic sounding advice even after leaving out the super obvious like your lawn size or slope angles which tend to directly reflect in a higher price. You can get more insights from this article: Robot Lawn Mower Buying Guide (link opens in a new tab).

Anyhow, here goes:

  • Anti-theft features – if you don’t have a fence and fear your new robot lawn mower getting stolen, look for one with configurable password, alarm, and maybe even a GPS system. Here’s an insightful story: “Had someone try to steal my auto mower(link opens in a new tab, source: Reddit).
  • Compatible spare parts – try to make sure those aren’t available to you only on the other side of the ocean in advance (spare blades, extra perimeter wire, battery pack, etc).
  • Weatherproofness – if it’s constantly raining in your area throughout the year then you might want to double check how it’s designed against humidity feature-wise.
  • Ease of use – for example, where is the cutting height dial located (with some mowers you ought to bring out your screwdriver and flip the thing to even just raise or lower the blades… others have a dial right next to the control panel as a simple knob), does the control panel have a screen or just buttons, is there maybe remote control option, etc.

 

What if My Lawn Size Is Bigger Than What’s Recommended for a Given Unit?

It won’t be the end of the world, but you might end up with patches of uncut grass, especially in times of faster growing grass.

It’ll still be cut for the most part with a patch of uncut grass being an exception if your lawn didn’t exceed the recommended lawn size by too much. I know in this example the lawn size is way bigger than what the cheap ones can handle, but let’s say your lawn was roughly 5000 m² and the mower was designed for 4000 m², it’ll still be mostly cut (source). Again, and in my case at least, it wouldn’t equate to the end of the world.

 

Are the Cheaper Robot Lawn Mowers Safe?

Here’s the short version: NOT SAFE FOR PETS AND CHILDREN!

Here are some typical safety features (even the cheap ones tend have these):

  • STOP button – it’s a manual highly visible red button which makes the mower stop in it’s tracks the moment it’s pushed
  • collision detection – the mower comes to a full stop upon hitting something (though it might take a second for it to register the bump);
  • lift and tilt sensors – the mower comes to a full stop when tilted or lifted (though, again, it might take a second for it to register the event);
  • less powerful motor – they’re mainly designed to cut grass along with some odd branches at most (though this may wary across brands);
  • low ground clearance – the space between the mower and the ground is narrow (say it did drive up your foot, it would likely trigger a tilt stop);
  • clearance between chassis and blades – coupled with the latter, there’s also extra space between the edge of the mower and the blades;
  • blades slice rather than cut through – when the pivoting razor-like blades come in contact with something hard, they slice rather than cut;
  • blade exposure preventative plastic shield – a plastic shield around the blades that only let grass get in blades’ way (not all mowers have it).

For more info: Robot Lawn Mower Safety (link open in a new tab).

 

Is a Cheap Robot Lawn Mower Worth It?

It would feel very cliché for me to answer “yes” to this question for you. So instead I’ll say: “Probably.”

I mean, in my experience: money saved, timed saved.

The whole idea of a robot mower is that it would save you from the manual labor, right? Of course the downside would be the initial cost of buying one, which is slightly lessened by buying a cheap one, but then again the running costs would be pleasantly low afterwards. And then we’d only be left with the hassle of setting it up plus the maintenance (…and the worrying thought of it getting stolen, breaking down, or it running over your neighbor’s old and blind Tigger). Clearly there are pros and cons to everything.

And who knows, maybe you’re one of those people who love manually mowing their lawn, perhaps you’re simply just not aware of it yet.

 

What About the Running Costs?

As was mentioned earlier, the running costs are low, averaging out to about $50 per year overall (rough overestimate).

  • Electricity – varies from mower to mower from 2.5 kWh to 34 kWh per month, costing roughly 2.
  • Replacement battery pack – every 2 to 6 years the battery might wear out too much, replacement costing around 100.
  • Replacement blades – it’s generally recommended to replace the blades twice per mowing season and 1 set of blades costs around 8.
  • Extra boundary wire + connectors – whatever comes with the package is usually never enough and a pet or what have you might chew on the wire that’s already there on top of that, so another payment of around 50 per 100 meters of wire whilst the connectors are sold similarly to the blades, in bulk, and priced about the same as the blade set.

PS! As is always the case, the numbers vary wildly depending on many things. In my case, the mowing season generally lasts for roughly 4 months only. The robot lawn mower usually mows for around 10 hours per day, half of the time charging at roughly 80 Wh (1000 W = 1 kW). That way it uses 12 kWh per month whilst electricity costs $0.13 kWh. That’s just $1.56 per month on electricity in my case. 4 months of mowing amounts to $6 on electricity fees in total. If that’s not low cost then I don’t know what is…

For more insights on costs, check this article (link opens in a new tab).

 

How Long Does a Cheap Robot Lawn Mower Last?

Given the initial cost, the low running cost means nothing if the mower went wheels up after just a couple of months. That’s how I’d think.

In my experience, these little gardeners tend to last a very long time if properly taken care of. I’m talking 10 years or more. Though, obviously, anything can happen in the meantime (flood, lightning, electrical malfunction, software bug, theft, tree falling accident, tornado, quick swim in the pond, severe case of overheating, shark attack, wait, what, and so on) and all of a sudden what would have been a decade becomes just a few years or even just months instead. Mine’s been going for 3 so far. My neighbors have had theirs for much longer.

Here’s a longer take on this topic: How Long Do Robot Mowers Last (link opens in a new tab).

 

Is It Hard to Install a Robot Lawn Mower?

It’s not hard, but it can be tedious.

You’re looking at installing the charging station, which is the easier part, where the only thing you ought to check beforehand is if you’ve got an outdoor power socket for it. the next thing is the installation of boundary (a.k.a perimeter) wire all around the area you want cut. The more complex the yard layout, as in flowerbeds and the like, the more time it will take to lay the wire around these things so that the mower wouldn’t go where it shouldn’t. There will be a lot of trial and error in the process when it comes to the perimeter wire unless things are well documented and the instructions clear enough (installation instructions manual is usually included in the package).

PS! Usually the package never includes enough perimeter wire to cover the entire lawn, especially if you had to take a little detour to exclude flowerbeds or the like from the mowing area [Psst! Essentially you could DIY the wire for much cheaper by buying a copper wire (only make sure it’s singular line and about the same in diameter as the original wire from the package) and using that. You could also just connect the DIY wire with the original and make it longer that way …But you didn’t hear that from me].

There are 2 ways to install the wire:

  1. using pegs – you’d lay the wire tightly against the ground and lock it down with pegs (over time the grass will grow over it making it all invisible);
  2. burying the wire – you’d cut a V-shaped mini ditch and place the wire in it (the robot mower will still sense it through the ground).

PS! Ideally you’d use the pegs first so as to see if everything works out over a few days or weeks. It’s easier to make adjustments to the installation this way, though you do run the risk of the mower cutting through the wire. Assuming the wire was not broken during that trial period and you’re happy with the results with no more adjustments needed for the layout, only then you might want to bury the wire (note that it’s not mandatory to bury the wire).

 

Is a Cheap Robot Lawn Mower Weatherproof?

All commercial robot lawn mowers along with their charging station and perimeter wire tend to be weatherproof by design (to a reasonable extent).

Robot lawn mower – given that these things work autonomously outdoors, they have to be weatherproof to some extent. They all have a shell that protects the more sensitive inner parts from weather elements, such as rain. The underside of the robot lawn mower is also fairly well covered leaving just the blades exposed. However, and obviously, the robot mower is not protected against extreme weather conditions, such as, in some cases, severe case of humidity, flat out flooding, overheating (plastic melting levels of heat), lightning, etc. Submerge your car in a pond and see if it comes out brand new with no negative effects down the line… You lucky bastard, you’ve found yourself beyond holy of a water (would it even be “water” anymore?). Just a reminder to practise some common sense.

Charging station – this one’s exposed to those same weather elements. I’d say flooding and severe case of overheating can do a number on it. I’ve left mine out for several snowy winters and it’s working fine (the waterline would have to reach the top of the charging station where the wires connect while electricity was running for it to break down).

Perimeter wire – boundary wire is exposed to corrosion much in the same way pipes are. That’s to say that the wire might actually outlive you unless you cut through it by accident, a rodent had a feast on it, or stuff like that. It’s safe to leave the wire out there even for winter.

PS! This all assumes you’re doing some maintenance from time to time and have set things up correctly to begin with (the instructions manual that comes with buying a robot mower tends to have ample information on that stuff).

 

How to Take Care of a Cheaper Robot Lawn Mower?

Relatively low maintenance:

  • clean regularly;
  • replace cutting blades when need be;
  • replace rechargeable battery when it seems almost dead;
  • install charging station in shaded area to protect the mower from the elements;
  • don’t forget to unplug the power supply connected to the charging station you left outside for winter;
  • when storing the robot mower, charge fully, turn off, clean, and place in dry indoor conditions, and avoid leaving in freezing temperature.

For deeper insights: Robot Lawn Mower Care & Maintenance (link opens in a new tab).

 

How Much Noise Do Cheap Robot Lawn Mowers Make?

Most robot lawn mowers are said to operate at around 60dB or lower range (example).

60dB is most often referred to sound level a normal conversation would generate from a meter length which may sound loud depending on who you imagine is speaking. Like one of those toy cars that make a sound when you move their wheels. Something like that. Plus the whirling sound from blades slicing grass as they rotate.

Mine’s and my neighbors’ mowers you won’t hear them from further than few meters were you to walk by them. You really need to see them in order to connect the faint sound they make (the whirling and slicing of grass). If there was a hedge and the mower right next to you on the other side of it, you’d think you hear something coming from far away when in fact the mower making the sound is right next to you. That’s how “loud” they are.

 

Other Cheap Robot Lawn Mowers

  • Bosch
  • Robomow
  • MoeBot
  • Mamibot
  • Lawnba
  • Kangton
  • Anon
  • Alpina
  • Yomband
  • Hantechn
  • Seamagic
  • Brast
  • Devvis
  • Jiudu
  • QFG

 

 

EXTRA READING

Robot lawn mower care & maintenance | post | Lawn Story
How much do robot mowers cost? | post | Lawn Story
How long do robot mowers last? | post | Lawn Story
Robot lawn mower buying guide | post | Lawn Story
How do robot mowers work? | post | Lawn Story
Robot lawn mower safety | post | Lawn Story

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