Beyond the Health and Appearance of Your Lawn

McCulloch ROB R600 Review

McCulloch ROB R600 Robotic Lawn Mower Review (2020)

 

McCulloch ROB R600 is designed for lawns up to 600 m² (or 0.148 ac.) that has up to 14° (or 25 percent) slopes. It’s otherwise an autonomous robotic lawnmower using a 18 V 2.1 Ah lithium-ion rechargeable battery running on electric power. Mulching grass at a random pattern, it’s got 3 pivoting razor-like blades for a cutting system. The robot mower operates quietly (up to 59 dB) and maintains your lawn at a cutting height of 20-50 mm (or 0.8″ to 1.97″).

Check its price here: McCulloch ROB R600 Robot Mower.

McCulloch ROB R600 Package Illustration

Apart from all that, the R600 is the simplest robot mowers in McCulloch’s lineup. From the advanced features it only has remote start, inaccessible zone coverage, and energy saving mode, but also a few more things. Even without a lot of extra features, it still has all the essential mowing, safety, and security features. There are only a few things it lacks: there is no rain sensor nor a decent ability to remote control it from further than Bluetooth connectivity range (not Wi-Fi).

For most people, mowing the lawn manually every weekend can be pretty frustrating. I sure know how that feels like. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t! Ever since setting up one of these mowers I haven’t had to deal with that nuisance for a long time now.

 

Quick Overview for the Hasty

McCulloch ROB R600 robot lawn mower measures 60 cm x 44 cm x 26 cm / 23.6″ x 17.3″ x 10.2″ (length x width x height) and weighs 7 kg (or 15.4 lbs).

McCulloch ROB R600 Robot Lawn Mower

Here’s a useful overview of robot mowers in general: “Robot Lawnmower Buying Guide”.

At base value, for no extra cost, McCulloch ROB R600 features tilt, lift, and collision sensors, but no rain sensor. If you looked past some advanced features like the remote start, inaccessible zone coverage, and energy saving mode, it’s otherwise similar to a typical robot mower. It also features remote control, but it’s limited to Bluetooth connection only.

For extra cost you could get a wall hangar or a mini garage, but these are something you could build yourself or simply just skip entirely with the right placement of the docking station on your lawn.

Pros:

  • simple, practical – gets most of it done
  • more for less – affordable

Cons:

  • remote control limited to Bluetooth only
  • doesn’t do your dishes

 

Who’s Behind McCulloch ROB R600 Robotic Lawnmower?

McCulloch UK Ltd is a brand within the Husqvarna Group.

This Swedish company, currently the global leader in robotic lawn mowers by the way, acquired the rights to the American based McCulloch brand first in Europe and then on the North American markets in 1999 and 2009 respectively.

McCulloch has these robot mower models available: McCulloch ROB S400S600R600, and R1000. And the only real difference between them all is how they’re wired to handle the corresponding size of mowing area. They share very similar features with R600 being the most restricted. The R-series are older than S-series.

Also, Gardena, another brand dealing with robotic lawn mowers, is also part of Husqvarna Group. Just saying.

 

What Are the Specifications of McCulloch ROB R600?

  • Dimensions – 60 cm x 44 cm x 26 cm / 23.6″ x 17.3″ x 10.2″ (length x width x height)
  • Weight – 7 kg (15.4 lbs)
  • No load speed – 2900/min (rounds per minute)

McCulloch ROB R600 Specifications

  • Max cutting area – 600 m² (0.148 ac.)
  • Maximum slope for cutting area – 14° (25 percent)
  • Max incline for perimeter wire – 8.5° (15 percent)
  • Battery pack – 18 V 2.1 Ah lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • Mowing time – 65 min (avg.)
  • Charging time – 50 min (avg.)
  • Cutting width – 17 cm (6.7″)
  • Cutting height – 20-50 mm (0.8″ to 1.97″)
  • Cut height positions – 4
  • Volume level – up to 59 dB

 

What Are the Features of McCulloch ROB R600 Robot Mower?

McCulloch ROB R600 robot lawn mower has the least amount of features when compared to S400, S600, and R1000.

I’m not going to touch on the more basic features one would expect to find in every single robot mower, rather the ones that are more unique.

1) General:

  • autonomous charging and mowing
  • silent operation (up to 59 dB)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • low running costs

2) Control System:

  • manual control panel keypad
  • remote control with app
  • alert messages

3) Navigation system:

  • random mowing pattern
  • relies on a perimeter wire
  • Remote start function
  • Scheduling options (2)
  • built-in standby period
  • operating mode (3)
  • collision sensor

4) Charging system:

  • ECO mode

5) Cutting system:

  • mulching system
  • cutting height adjustment dial
  • 3 pivoting small blades

6) Safety features:

  • emergency STOP button
  • collision sensor
  • tilt sensor
  • lift sensor

7) Security features:

  • Time Lock function
  • pin code
  • alarm

 

1) General Features

Automatic charging and mowing cycle 
Much like any robot mower out there, the McCulloch ROB R600 is also autonomous. That means it will mow and recharge on its own as per the schedule.

Silent operation (up to 59 dB) 
Most robot mowers are somewhat quiet, sound level being around 60 dB. The one under review here can reach up to around 59 dB, but usually lower, which is fairly quiet on the market of robot lawn mowers. This can be compared to normal conversation’s sound levels. For reference, compare that to your regular motorized push mower that roars at around 90 dB and even up to 110 dB. You can learn more from here: “How Loud Are Robot Mowers?

McCulloch ROB R600 Is Quiet

Bluetooth connectivity
McCulloch ROB R600 robotic lawnmower can be paired with a smartphone or a tablet via Bluetooth connection using an app. This would effectively allow you to control things remotely. There’s no Wi-Fi connection or the like however.

Low running costs 
Apart from the initial purchase, there are also the running costs involved. Electricity and certain replacement parts factor into it. The battery will last anywhere from 2 to 6 years while the blades need changing roughly twice per mowing season (3 at a time). When it comes to electricity, a 18 volt 2.1 Ah battery uses roughly 0.0378 kWh (calculated here). It would cost a couple of cents to keep it running for the whole day. It wouldn’t be much more than a few tens of bucks per mowing season like that.

 

2) Control System

Control panel keypad 
McCulloch ROB R600 has quite a few buttons on control panel with a screen at the top for feedback, and it’s all under a protective cover for added protection against the atmospheric elements. You’ve got arrow keys and a few more intuitive buttons to play with. Overall, you can configure scheduling options, mess with mowing modes, security settings, and more.

McCulloch ROB R600 Control Panel Keypad

Remote control 
This robot mower features over-air connectivity via Bluetooth which allows you to pair the mower with a smartphone or a tablet using an app. With it you can control its settings and give the robot mower some mowing commands and the like remotely as long as it’s in Bluetooth connectivity range.

Alerts 
The screen gives feedback in a simple manner so as to confirm your actions while configuring settings or when there’s something wrong with the system and whatnot. The app gives a better overview of things as the manual control panel screen is a little more limited in that regard.

 

3) Navigation System

Mowing pattern: random 
There are only a couple of robot mowers on the market that don’t mow in a random pattern, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the random mowing pattern – it’s a reliable, efficient, and practical low-effort solution.

Relies on a perimeter wire
Again, there’s only a few robot mowers that can do without a perimeter wire, and those without it cost a lot! It might seem bothersome to install, but honestly it poses less hassle in its simplicity – also a practical low-effort solution. The wire itself is electrified (not harmful) making a loop around the cutting area and thus defining the mowing area for the robot mower. It connects again at the recharging station. It partly helps the mower find its way back to the recharging station, too. The wire can be installed tightly against the ground or a few centimeters underneath.

Remote start function
This function allows the McCulloch ROB R600 robot mower to reach certain mowing areas where it otherwise might hardly ever reach. By following a guide wire out of the recharging station that eventually meets with a perimeter wire at some point somewhere. That “somewhere” is where it starts mowing from. You can also set a % of times it should go to that aforementioned point instead of just starting to mow from the charging station 100% of the time. (this guide wire also helps the mower get back to the charging station)

McCulloch ROB R600 Remote start function

Scheduling options
You get basically 2 options: a factory setting and a custom setting. The 1st option, that is if you do nothing and it runs on the factory settings, the mower will operate at its max capacity which is 14 hours per day from 08:00 to 22:00. That is assuming your lawn is around 600 m² (or 0.148 ac.) in size. The 2nd option, the custom timer setting is for when your lawn is smaller than 600 m² (or 0.148 ac.) wherein you can set the working hours manually. To figure out how many operating hours are needed for a smaller lawn, refer to the manual that comes with the purchase of this robot mower.

Built-in standby period
This one is simple, but it’s hard to convey its purpose. So the standby period is when the mower just sits at the charging station doing much of nothing. Since this robot mower max capacity is 600 m² (0.148 ac.), the standby period has to be 10 hours a day at the minimum. That means 14 hours of operating hours per day (within 24h) at the maximum (can be less). So if you haven’t set a custom scheduling option, the factory one is in effect with operation hours from 08:00 to 22:00 (14 hours), and standby would go into effect from 22:00 to 08:00 (10 hours). More info in the manual.

Operating mode (3)
McCulloch ROB R600 has 3 operating modes which you can access by pressing the home button on the keypad: 1) home mode, 2) auto mode, and 3) manual mode. The 1st one, Home, essentially sends the mower back to the docking station where it’ll remain until you change the operating mode. Another use for it would be for testing whether the mower can find it’s way back to the charging station if it’s the first time you’ve set things up. The 2nd operating mode, Auto, is the default (standard operating) mode where the mower mows and charges automatically as per the schedule. The 3rd one, Man, is the manual mode wherein you can carry the mower to some secondary mowing area, hit start, and the mower will mow that area until it runs out of battery and waits for you to bring it back to the charging station.

Collision sensor 
A simple but practical bump sensor and not the more sophisticated ultrasonic sensor that can detect the obstacle from afar. With this bump sensor, the robot mower will first bump into an obstacle upon which it registers the obstacle as such and thus alters its mowing direction based on the information acquired that way.

 

4) Charging System

As with all robot lawn mowers today, McCulloch ROB R600 charging and mowing cycle is automatic, too. That means it will mow and recharge all on its own as per the schedule.

McCulloch ROB R600 Charging Station

ECO mode
The ECO mode for McCulloch ROB R600 is not an ideal energy saving feature requiring babysitting as it’s only a temporary thing, but it’s something. When the mower is not mowing and is charging or doing nothing, you can activate this ECO mode upon which a green led light starts flashing on the charging station. Electricity to the wire and so forth is shut. It won’t start mowing or doing anything until you press the STOP button and deactivate this ECO mode. Not so much of an active automatic energy saving feature unfortunately, but the running costs even without you manually enabling every now and then are super low regardless.

 

5) Cutting System

Mulching system 
Mulching is where the grass is cut, but not collected, rather dropped back down onto the soil as a fertilizer. It works because robot mowers are designed to cut more often and nibble the grass tips rather than cut off a huge chunk once a week as it is for regular mowers. Mulching keeps the grass fairly healthy. If you wanted a truly healthy looking lawn like in those commercials, all that’s left for you to do is aeration.

McCulloch ROB R600 Cutting System

Cutting height adjustment feature 
The cutting height can be adjusted between 4 options: 20, 30, 40 or 50 mm (0.8″ to 1.97″).

3 pivoting small blades 
McCulloch ROB R600 robotic lawnmower has 3 pivoting razor-like blades that are attached to a rotating disc that make up the cutting system. There’s also the solid type of cutting system, but this pivoting blade type of a cutting system here is quietersafer, and more energy efficient in comparison. As for the negatives, the pivoting small blades attached to a rotating disc are a little less efficient at cutting things. There’s also the higher risk of the small blades just breaking off, but the chance of it actually happening is fairly low.

 

6) Safety Features

Emergency STOP button 
Apart from McCulloch ROB R600 robot lawn mower having a big emergency STOP button, being fairly quiet (up to 59 dB)moving slowly, and having a considerably weaker motor when compared to your regular lawn mower, meaning it will have a hard time with anything other than grass, along with blades being small and tucked deep under the chassis, there are a few more tricks under its belly (learn more: “Robotic Lawnmower Safety”).

McCulloch ROB R600 Emergency STOP Button

Collision, tilt, and lift sensors 
Collision sensor the McCulloch ROB R600 has is essentially just a bump sensor and NOT the ultrasonic sensor that detects and avoids collision with obstacles entirely helping it navigate. The bump sensor also acts a safety measure because instead of pushing on forever, it will change direction upon somewhat light bump into things. Tilt and lift sensors will stop the blades almost instantly when the mower is tilted or lifted.

 

7) Security Features

Security levels
There are 3 security levels: low, medium, and high. The picture is self-explanatory, but I’ll still go over it in words. At the “Low” only Time Lock function is active. At “Medium” it’s PIN-code and Time Lock function that are active. And, you might have guessed it, at “High” security level there’s also the alarm function on top of the PIN-code and Time Lock function. A little more info on those 3 functions down below.

McCulloch ROB R600 Security Levels

Time Lock function
When the PIN-code is not entered for 30 days, the mower gets locked and a PIN code has to be entered in order to unlock it. So that means you can’t get away from having to remember or write down the PIN code. This function is present even at the lowest security level and the aim is to prevent unauthorized access in the long run.

Pin code 
At the medium or high security level the PIN code prompt comes up more often. E.g when you press the STOP button while it’s working or when you start up the mower, you ought to inset the correct PIN code to proceed. At first there likely is no PIN code, so you have to create one from scratch (you can change it later on). Try not to forget the PIN code once you’ve created it! (it is not possible to use 0000 as the PIN code)

Alarm
At the highest security level, that is at “High”, the alarm becomes active. It goes off when the mower is lifted while it’s working or when the correct PIN code is not entered within 10 seconds after pressing the STOP button. You can stop the alarm by entering the correct PIN code once it has gone off for one reason or another.

 

Additionally, you could:

Hide from bypassers
Try installing the charging station somewhere hidden from bypassers for added protection.

Use a sticker
You can custom make a sticker with fake information about its security features and put it on the mower for the potential thief to kindly return the mower once they notice it – once they realize that they can’t do anything with it without knowing the PIN code, instead of just leaving it somewhere, they might return it knowing they could still get off easy. They might…

Fake surveillance system
Putting a camera, even if fake, in an obvious easy to spot location overlooking the area will at least make the potential thief think twice.

 

What’s Included In the McCulloch ROB R600 Package?

Robotic Mower
Charging Station
Installation Manual
150 m Boundary Wire
Additional Guide Wire
Extra Cutting Blades (3)

Boundary Wire Staples (200)

Nails, screws, hex key, power supply & cable, wire connectors, and the like.

Additionally, for extra cost:
Mower house, etc

 

Should You Buy the McCulloch ROB R600 Robot Lawn Mower?

Not to forget that are many more robot mowers out there nowadays. McCulloch ROB R600 is not exactly cheap, but it is very affordable for a 600 m² (0.148 ac.) lawn size given its quality.

It’s got all the essential mowing, safety, and security features with additional more advanced ones, which there aren’t many, such as remote start, energy saving mode, etc. In my opinion it’s just perfectly robust and simple, but not too simple, just lacks a few unnecessary gimmicky too advanced features. What it does have is high quality as it comes from one of the very top brands in robotic lawnmowers.

But still, when it comes to downsides, it doesn’t have a rain sensor (PS! it can still mow when it’s raining, it’s just that some people are hell-bent on having a PERFECT lawn and it just so happens that wet grass is a little slippery and might not get perfectly cut here and there which could be problematic for some) and there’s no obstacle detection ultrasonic sensor for navigating the lawn without contact. It also requires perimeter wire to be installed and remote control is limited to Bluetooth connectivity. Oh, and it’s got your typical random mowing pattern rather than a full-fledged GPS mapping system.

It might not be for you if your garden layout was very complex and/or the slopes were large and steeper than 15% (or 8.53°) where you wanted to install the perimeter wire, but also when you wanted the cut height to be less than 20 mm (0.8″) or more than 50 mm (1.97″). Or when you wanted remote control to be via Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth which kind of requires you to be closer to the mower with your smart device to create the over-air connection. All in all, it just doesn’t do your dishes is all…

You can check its price here: McCulloch ROB R600 Robot Mower.

Should You Buy the McCulloch ROB R600 Robot Lawn Mower?

 

How To Install McCulloch ROB R600?

When it comes to the setup, you’re looking at the installation of the perimeter wire and the charging station. The whole process can take a few hours (check with installation manual). It is all very well documented.

For perimeter wire, there are a few requirements on how far it should be from the edge and so forth. You can get good info on everything from the installation guide. But for the sake of the review, make sure your lawn doesn’t have steeper than 15% (8.53°) slopes where you’d place the perimeter wire. The robot mower itself can handle steeper slopes (25%). Additionally, you can either bury the wire or lay it tightly against the grass instead using the staples. Ultimately it is better to bury it though.

Another thing is the charging station. Setting this up is fairly straight forward (check with installation guide), but I’d like to point out a few key things still. They’re mainly to do with the charging station placement requirements:

  • It must be close to a wall socket;
  • preferably under shade & cover;
  • install on a relatively flat surface outdoors;
  • install it somewhere out of sight from bypassers;
  • leave at least 2 m (6.6 ft) of free space in front of the charging station;
  • if you installed the charging station to an island, make sure the guide wire runs into the island also.

McCulloch ROB R600 Guide Wire Island Installation

 

How To Take Care of the McCulloch ROB R600 Robot Mower?

As is with all robot lawn mowers, McCulloch ROB R600 robotic lawnmower, too, requires very 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 itself, charge fully, turn off, clean, and place in dry indoor conditions, and avoid leaving in freezing temperature.

 

Conclusion

McCulloch ROB R600 is designed for lawns up to 600 m² (or 0.148 ac.) that has up to 14° (or 25 percent) slopes. It’s otherwise an autonomous robotic lawnmower using a 18 V 2.1 Ah lithium-ion rechargeable battery running on electric power. Mulching grass at a random pattern, it’s got 3 pivoting razor-like blades for a cutting system. The robot mower operates quietly (up to 59 dB) and maintains your lawn at a cutting height of 20-50 mm (or 0.8″ to 1.97″).

Apart from all that, the R600 is the simplest robot mowers in McCulloch’s lineup. From the advanced features it only has remote start, inaccessible zone coverage, and energy saving mode, but also a few more things. Even without a lot of extra features, it still has all the essential mowing, safety, and security features. There are only a few things it lacks: there is no rain sensor nor a decent ability to remote control it from further than Bluetooth connectivity range (not Wi-Fi).

McCulloch brand
McCulloch UK Ltd is a brand within the Husqvarna Group. And the latter is the global leader in robotic lawn mowers. McCulloch robot mowers are competitively priced and, similarly, of good quality, not overly advanced nor complex.

What’s in the package
McCulloch ROB R600 package includes the robot lawn mower itself, a charging station, 150 meters (approx. 492′) of perimeter wire, 200 boundary wire pegs, and some manuals, but also the power supply & cable, screws, nails, wire connectors, and the like, everything you need, essentially.

Where to buy
It’s simple, buy here: McCulloch ROB R600 Robot Mower.

 

EXTRA READING

Best Cheap Robot Lawn Mowers in 2022 | post | Lawn Story
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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