Welcome to the RM Alliance – Your guide to robotic lawn mowers!
If you’re new to automatic mowing, you might be surprised to learn that these little machines can handle virtually any garden, (not so) quietly going about their business to keep the grass in tip top condition. They even (mostly) charge themselves too, so they’re a completely hands off technology, once you’ve set them up.
While they’re still not cheap, the prices are falling. You can expect to pay around £700 for a good home auto-mower, and that should last for many years, with a regular mow schedule to keep the grass short and even. It may sound like a serious investment, but how much is your time worth? Most people mow at least fortnightly, for at least half of the year through the warmer months. That means there will be a minimum of 13 mows, and probably more like twenty as the grass grows like crazy in the hotter weather, especially if there’s plenty of rain (ie a typical British summer)!
Over the next five years, you’re going to save yourself the hassle and time to mow the lawn at least 65 times. Also, there’s no need to take the grass clippings to the tip each time – the frequent mowing means the waste just mulches down into the ground each time. That’s also better for the lawn too as it regains the nutrients that would otherwise be lost.
If that’s not worth an investment in buying the mower, I don’t know what is!
One of the great things about robotic mowers is that it allows you to sit down and relax during the time that you’d otherwise have to be slaving away walking up and down the lawn. We’ve talked previously about some great products, like the Indego robot lawn mower review, but today we’re going to talk about something else – a great way to enjoy a little entertainment outside whilst the robotic lawnmower is humming away across the garden.
Back in the day, it was common for homes to have a portable stereo, or at least a handheld radio. Since mobile phones have become smartphones, and before that the MP3 players such as iPods gained popularity, it’s less common to have access to a device that can pump out music, as they’re all designed to be used with headphones, or the in built speakers that don’t offer very good quality. Some people solve this conundrum with a bluetooth speaker, but there’s also another option aside from bringing out a device that’s designed for indoor use only. That solution comes from building sites – you can see a wide variety in these jobsite radio reviews. They’re more common that you think, particularly the popular DMR104 from Makita:
It’s not a case of being limited to listening to the radio either, many of them will allow you to plug in as MP3 player or smartphone too, some have an integrated CD player, and if you are a radio fan, some of the best models even include DAB radio as standard. All in all, there’s a full range of features available, and best of all they’re portable and designed for outdoor use. That means it’s not just a good accompaniment for a few drinks on the patio, it’s also fine to use for barbecues, parties, or even just washing the car (although we wouldn’t recommend placing it too close to water).
Buying an automatic mower is a considerable expense, even though it will prove to save you a lot of time over the coming years. The average robot lawn mower still costs over £1000, so how much do you need to spend to get one that meets your needs?
Strangely, the question seems to come up time and time again, as if there’s a one answer fits all response that people are expecting. One of the most versatile on the market at the moment is the Bosch Indego, which comes backed by a big name in tools and machinery. The advantage of buying a well known brand is that they’re very protective of their name, which means if things go wrong, they’re usually going to be quick to sort them out. You can read a Bosch Indego review to find out all about the mower, and more importantly what the customers think. There’s a lot of sites like that scattered around the web – have a search for robot mower reviews and see what comes back.
Don’t forget that whether you’re doing your research here, there or anywhere else, you’re buying for your own needs, not other people’s. It’s easy to look at reviews on Amazon, for example, and decide that you don’t want to buy a particular model based on someone saying it’s slow. That’s fine, but what if they’ve got a huge garden, ten times the size of yours? It may be fine for your needs! The point is to think about the context of the comments people make online, as well as keeping in mind that some may be biased. While Amazon are investing a lot of time and money into tackling the problem, there will always be an incentive for one seller to negatively review another, in the hope that it will drive the sale to their own company instead. There are a number of similar scenarios too – you don’t need to worry about it too much, just keep in mind that a very extreme review may not be all it seems.
Finally, you’ll probably find that things like robot mowers are best bought online – prices in the shops tend to be higher as they’re bulky and still so new that they’ve not caught on yet, so they’re taking up valuable space on the shelves – that is if you can find them in stores at all!