What Type of Lawnmower is Best For Inclines and Small Hills
When confronted with a hill you need the right equipment. If you don’t have the correct lawn mower, what could be a simple task just gets more difficult, so selecting the right machine is important.
Working Out What You Need
Before looking at potential new machines, you need to consider what kind of machine will make your life easier. You therefore need to get to grips with the needs of your garden.
This will be one of the biggest indicators as to the type of lawnmower that you will require as you will need a machine that can handle the job without too much effort.
Unfortunately, to make things confusing, hill gradient can be measured in three different ways. There is no right or wrong way but each method has a different unit of measurement based on the horizontal distance (HD) and vertical distance (VD). This is therefore the angle based on the height gained over a horizontal distance.
To put this in other terms this is how gradient is measured.
Gradient is therefore measured as a calculation between horizontal and vertical distances. Certain lawnmowers are not conducive at high angles so you should be aware of what is recommended for your lawn.
-Size of the hillIt isn’t just the gradient that you need to be aware of. If it is a large garden you need to consider that it will be long and hard work so you may find a more powerful lawnmower will be able to tackle the job a lot easier. Pushing a mower up a steep hill or keeping it under control going downhill can be very tiring especially if your garden is large.
-Obstacles Rugged TerrainYou should also be aware of any obstacles or if the terrain is particularly rugged. If you do have terrain that is difficult to navigate around, larger machines will not be as efficient in comparison to their smaller counterparts.
Types of Mowers For the Job
There are no shortages of mowers that can take on hilly gardens. That doesn’t mean that all mowers were created equal, as they certainly weren’t. Not all lawnmowers were designed with steep gradients in mind.
-Walk-Behind MowersThese will be the cheapest compared with other varieties. They will also be among the safest. These mowers give you the freedom and flexibility to manoeuvre the machine exactly how you want. However they also will be the most tiresome as most of the time the power will come from you. If your hill is particularly steep this could present a few problems for you, as it will get tiring very quickly. If you do have your heart set on a walk behind mower you should make sure your machine is either real wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The additional power driving the wheels will make the job considerably easier.
-Robotic MowersIt is a misconception that robotic mowers can only work on flat lawns. In actual fact the Flymo robotic mower can work on gradients of up to 25% without any issue come rain or shine (something riding mowers cannot do). Robotic mowers will also mean you won’t even need to be present at all, as after you have set it up it will take care of this chore for you.
-Riding MowersThese machines are significantly more expensive than their walk-behind counterparts however they are usually drastically more powerful and make the grass cutting much easier. They are usually fairly impractical if the overall size of the garden is quite small, however they can take a significant chunk of the work out of cutting the grass if the size is worthwhile. It is very important to remember, however, that the riding mowers have a much higher risk of tipping over when mowing hills – which can be very dangerous. You also should look to only cut the grass when it is dry.
–Zero Turn MowersZero turn mowers come in both riding and walk-behind varieties and are characterised by the ability to turn 360 degrees on the spot. The front wheels can spin which mean they can turn within their own trajectory. This makes them incredibly maneuverable and can be very efficient on larger lawns as well as hills.
-Hover MowersThese machines are typically not as effective as other walk behind mowers when it comes to steep hills. Small banks are where hover mowers come into their own. They are incredibly maneuverable as they float above the grass so can be swept in a sideways motion to cut the grass on the bank with ease.
What To Look For?
Now you have sized up your own garden you now know what you need to get mowing. There are therefore a few things that you should look for.
-Size of the DeckThe width of the cutting deck is important, as this will determine how maneuverable it will be when on hilly terrain. A wider deck will never be as good at mowing around obstacles or a narrow ditch so you should pick the right mower for your lawn. Ideally with an open lawn you can look for a cutting deck between 42 and 54 inches.
-Ease of OperationNaturally some mowers will be more difficult to operate than others, as some are more complicated than others. If you are looking at a riding mower features such as cruise control will be a helpful. You will need to work harder on lawns with hills so you will need to do what you can to find a mower that is as easy to operate as possible.
-WeightBecause you are going to be working quite hard, pushing a heavy walk-behind lawnmower can be tiring. You should therefore consider a powerful machine within quite a light mower where possible. A riding mower may be the better option depending on how hilly your lawn is however you should be careful as if the machine tips over this can be dangerous.
Best Mower on Hills – Read this first!
So you’re cutting up to a half-acre of hilly lawns, then the Honda self-propelled is the right mower for you, its got lots of pulling power, it’s smooth and simple to use. The model featured here has an optional electric start – making mowing just effortless.
So what are the best mowers for hills? The best mower for hilly lawns should have:
If you’re cutting more than a half-acre, you’d be better to consider buying a lawn tractor, it’ll save you lots of time and effort over many years of service.
Check out Toro vs Honda where I compare Toro recycler against Honda HRX.
I tested the Honda HRR216vya its titanium color scheme looks confident and business-like. I like Honda’s no-nonsense approach to design and execution. Some modern mowers can look a little intimidating, with large control panels sporting lots of levers. I like that Honda kept it simple and lightweight. The mower is very approachable, looks simple, and is simple.
The Honda feels agile and sure-footed, it weighs eighty-eight pounds but feels lighter. The eight-inch wheels are fitted with bearings, ensuring a smooth ride. The tires look more like real road-going rubber.
The soft grip handlebars have two set positions and a fold-flat option for storage, all operated by a tool-less quick release knob. The controls all feel really well made and are easy to figure out – you won’t need to read the manual.
Controls are nice to use and the instruction stickers are easy to follow.
The self-drive console is fitted in the center of the handlebars. The speed is continuously adjusted by pushing down on either of the paddles with your thumb. You’ll find matching your stride is instinctive (0.4 mph) and very quickly you’ll forget your using it.
Self Drive – Variable self-drive is simple and intuitive.
The position of the console is adjustable, allowing for personal preference. Maneuvering around flower beds and traversing slopes (20 degrees max) is smooth and the rear-drive offers lots of grip. The drive system, it’s strong and well designed, it even has a tool-less adjustable toggle wheel, for DIY maintenance. I love that Honda thinks of the person maintaining the mower.
Transmissions are very durable, control cables and drive belts as you expect to wear out, but will last many years, and longer if winterized properly. I have replaced transmissions and they are not cheap, but the mowers were all 10 years plus old and had a rough life. If you do the maintenance, you won’t have a problem. Check out this post it covers the repair of Honda transmission.
The Honda is fitted with Roto-stop, a big yellow release button on the handlebars must be pressed before pulling and holding the bail lever, this spins the blade.
The beauty of Roto-stop is you can run your mower without spinning the blade, especially useful if like me you have to cross a graveled yard several times to cut smaller lawn areas. The 21″ deck is made from stamped sixteen gauge steel. The guards are made from tough durable rubber which does an excellent job at protecting the operator. The bag is as you expect, quality.
Honda’s exclusive secret weapon – Twin blade micro-cut. This is a stacked, offset pair of winged blades with four cutting surfaces. Each blade of grass gets cut twice on the first pass, the leading blade cuts higher up and then the offset trailing blade makes a smaller second cut, the winged blades recirculate the clippings and repeat the process many times.
A common complaint in my workshop is a mower that won’t bag very well, or leaves trailing’s when mulching. The problem is usually caused by the 2 in 1 hybrid blade. (Blade designed to mulch and collect) Very often the blade technology just isn’t up to the job.
Hondas twin-blade – This is as good as blade technology gets, you have the best of both worlds, great at collecting and mulching.
Honda features a tool-less three-in-one system, bagging, mulching, and discharging. To move from one to the other, just move the clip director knob from bag to mulch, that’s it.
Mulching or bagging the results really are first class. The twin blade design – Clever!
Deck Height Adjustment
The deck height has six positions from one to four inches, and requires adjustment at each wheel – Please Honda, can we have one lever, some lawns require a different cut height and so adjusting all four wheels can get old pretty quickly.
The deck is made from 16 gauge steel, so you need to clean it down at the end of the season really well. Grass eats metal for breakfast, I have replaced lots of decks over the years and it is because the mowers weren’t winterized. Check out “How to winterize your mower”.
Easy Simple directions make this foolproof.
The GCV160 overhead valve engine is a well-tried and trusted unit. Honda reliability is legendary, I see lots of Honda engines in my workshop and they’re a pleasure to work on, but more importantly, engine failures are rare.
Overhead valve engines are more powerful. Honda squeezes 6.9 ft. lbs. of torque out of 160cc, it’s super smooth, cleaner too, and complies with CA (CARB).
These units are pretty much bulletproof with exception of the crankshafts. The crankshafts are prone to bending if you hit a curb or tree stump – like really hard (Rare).
I’ve replaced a few, it’s not a difficult job thanks to Honda’s engine design and the availability of their parts is excellent.
I like this Honda, it’s reliable, durable, and user-friendly. It’s nicely balanced, has plenty of power for pulling and cutting a hilly lawn. The best bits – auto choke, set throttle, so it really pulls and goes. You can check out the price and availability of the Honda on Amazon, it arrives fully assembled, but don’t forget to put the oil in first before starting. I wrote this guide to help you check your oil level.
Check out Toro vs Honda where I compare Toro recycler against Honda HRX.
Features I love about this engine, the revised large gas filler neck, tethered gas cap, manual fuel shut-off tap, easy-to-use oil dipstick, and tool-less air filter cover. If you like to tune up your own lawn equipment, you’ll love this engine, I promise.
To dip the oil on a Honda, remove the dipstick clean it but don’t screw it back in to check. This is a four-stroke engine and Honda engines like 10W30 oil. I like to change the oil on a new mower engine after just 5 hours of use, and then every fifty hours of operation or once before the new season starts.
Check and clean the air filter every twenty-five hours. Replace the spark plug once per season or every one hundred hours. If you need to turn your mower over, turn off the fuel at the fuel tap and always with the carburetor side up.
Sharpen blades once per season or more often if dull, tighten blade bolt to 43 ft. lb. (59Nm).
Comes with a manufacturer 3-year warranty. You’ll hardly need it.
Cutting a Hill
I’m not going to tell you how to cut grass, I’m guessing you like me have lots of experience. This is what I have learned about cutting slopes in my garden – It’s easy to lose your footing, my garden has lots of hills, and so I cut across slopes.
I avoid cutting in the evening when the grass is damp. I make sure that my mower has the correct amount of oil.
A full gas tank is also important because when the tank gets low, often being on an angle will starve the engine of fuel.
The angle of slope is important to know because all lawnmower manufacturers will have a max operating angle for the engine, (upsets the lubrication system) ignoring this will void the guarantee. If you’re not sure, just print and use this simple guide to estimate what angle of the slope you’re working with. Most mowers are happy up to max 20°.
About the Reviewer
Hi, I’m John, I run my own repair workshop and I service a lot of lawn care equipment of all kinds – two-stroke, four-stroke, gas, diesel, and electric. I see a wide variety of makes and models, young and old. I think by now I’ve met them all – good and bad.
I like kit that lasts and kit you can get parts for easily is an important consideration before investing in equipment. I use my knowledge and experience to only review equipment that will go the distance, I promise I won’t waste your time or money reviewing a cheap throwaway kit.
Throughout this site, you’ll find links to products, I do earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links, but it doesn’t cost you an extra cent.
Hey, I’m John, and I’m a Red Seal Qualified Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience.
I’ve worked on all types of mechanical equipment, from cars to grass machinery, and this site is where I share fluff-free hacks, tips, and insider know-how.
And the best part. it’s free!
Best Robot Lawn Mower For Hills And Steep Slopes | 9 Amazing Picks With Guide
If you have a big and sloped lawn, you already know how unpleasant and tedious keeping it perfectly trimmed can be.
Lawn mowing is a necessary chore, but this doesn’t make it any less unpleasant and time-consuming. Thankfully, there are robotic lawn mowers to keep lawns trimmed and tidy, plus they improve lawn care and produce better results.
Robotic lawn mowers are steadily moving in to replace traditional gas-powered and electric walk-behind lawn mowers, and they really do an awesome job.
And what’s even better is that there are tons of options available to choose from, but this also means that finding the best robot mower is a tricky business.
Well, as someone who has some experience with robot mowers, I’m here to point you in the right direction. In this buyer’s guide, I’ve included the best robotic lawn mowers for hills and slopes, plus a comprehensive list of features to consider when choosing a robot mower, especially if you have a sloped lawn.
The product links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to you. Please see our disclosure page for more information.
What makes a Robot mower good for hills?
Every buyer has a set of features they want, however, there are certain features you’d want in a robotic lawn mower designed to automatically and successfully maintain a lawn. If you’re in the market for the best robotic lawn mower for you, here are some very important considerations to have in mind.
- Lawn size: every robot mower has a maximum lawn size it can handle, and this is usually the first thing you should look for when shopping for a lawn mower.
- Wheel design: robust wheels with thick treads that ensure good traction on steep slopes.
Best robot mowers for slight inclines
Husqvarna Automower® 115H
Husqvarna Automower 115H robotic lawn mower is a Smart home gadget that’s designed to manage medium-sized lawns of no more than 0.4 acre. It’s best suited for a flat and fenced-in lawn, but can manage slopes of up to 30% or 17 degrees within the working space and up to 15 degrees slope along the edges of the lawn.
Husqvarna 115H uses 3 small razor-like blades attached to a spinning blade disc to slice through different types of grasses, reducing them to tiny clippings which are transferred back to the lawn. It’s compact enough to easily navigate lawns with narrow passageways.
As you’ll learn in our Automower 115H robotic mower review it is controlled via a 12-button control panel and an LCD screen for customizing its settings, it’s also compatible with the Automower [email protected] app with Bluetooth connectivity.
Husqvarna Automower® 115h Connect, 4g Robotic Lawn Mower, Small, Medium Yards 0.4 Acres, Control Your Smart Lawn Mower Through the Automower Connect App Start, Stop, And Configure Your Mower in Just a Few Finger Taps, A Noise-Reducing Motor Design Creates a Quiet Mowing Experience.
Last update on 2023-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
WORX Landroid range
The Worx Landroid WR series is a range of Smart mowing robots designed to manage private lawns. The WR series has various models that are built for different lawn sizes, from ¼ acre to ½ acre. These robotic lawn mowers are fully automated with the patented AIA (Artificial Intelligence Algorithm) which ensures intelligent and seamless navigation.
High-efficiency brushless motors supply power to 3-razor sharp spinning blades, which reduce grass to tiny clippings. These robots also have the cut-to-edge function, which ensures that every part of the lawn (and edges) is evenly cut.
The Landroid robots are built to handle inclines and uneven terrains, with a 20o (or 35%) slope rating and a floating blade disc. Worx Landroid robots are compatible with the Landroid smartphone app, you can control your robot and set mowing schedules from the app.
- Professional help with installation is not readily available.
- Anti-Collision System, Digital fence and Landroid garage all come at extra cost.
Worx Landroid L 20v 6.0ah Robotic Lawn Mower 1, 2 Acre, 21,780 Sq Ft. Power Share, Wr155 Battery Charger Included, Control Landroid Remotely Via the Landroid App by Connecting Via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, runs 50% Longer, is 25% Powerful, And Offers 10% Longer Life Compared to Mowers with Brushed Motors.
Last update on 2023-07-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
GARDENA SILENO City, Minimo, Life range
Gardena SILENO Minimo is a fully automated robotic lawn mower programmed to manage lawns of up to 2700 sq ft. The Minimo is fitted with a suite of sensors for detecting and avoiding obstacles on the lawn to avoid accidents. It has a battery runtime of 65 minutes, and it automatically recharges itself, so your help is not needed.
This Smart mowing bot quietly trims the grass without leaving streaks, even when it’s raining. It also has a slope rating of 35% and has no problem with climbing inclines within that range. Controlling the Minimo is easy via the Gardena Bluetooth App; you can schedule mowing times and easily configure your robot. Gardena SILENO Minimo ships with a complete installation kit and user’s manual for easy setup.
Gardena 15201-41 Sileno Minimo Automatic Robotic Lawn Mower, With Bluetooth App and Boundary Wire, One of The Quietest in Its Class, For Lawns Up to 2700 Sq Ft, made in Europe, Grey, relax in Your Backyard While Sileno Minimo Expertly Navigates Narrow Spaces and Tight Corners While Quietly Cutting Your Grass with One of the Quietest in Class Noise Levels of 57 Dba.
Last update on 2023-07-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best robot lawn mowers for medium slopes
Husqvarna Automower 430XH
You should consider the Husqvarna 430XH if you have a medium-sized, complex lawn with up to 24o incline. Automower 430XH is a sleek and beautifully-designed robot for lawns of up to 0.8 acres. It’s compact and can detect and easily navigate narrow passages, and it beautifully mows lawns with a 3-blade cutting system.
Husqvarna 430XH has a battery runtime of 145 minutes on a single charge, and it automatically returns to the charging station when it’s low, thanks to the patented guidance system and GPS-assisted navigation. It can be controlled using your smartphone, Amazon Alexa, or Google Home devices. You can program your Automower 430XH to give a freshly-cut lawn every day, every other day, or as often as you want.
- Automower works silently and efficiently
- It’s compact with a waterproof design
- It has a built-in theft protection with a unique pin code and alarm system
Husqvarna Automower 430xh Robotic Lawn Mower, Medium, Large Yards 0.8 Acre, Small Passages Are No Problem for Automower, the 430xh Is Only 24.8 Inches Wide, It Automatically Senses Narrow Passages and Easily Navigates Through Them, With A Unique, Three-Blade Cutting System and Weatherproof Design.
Last update on 2023-07-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Honda Miimo robotic mower comes in two slightly different models of identical size and design, the major difference is that the HRM 310 is designed for lawns of 0.37 acres while the HRM 520 is for lawns of up to 0.75 acres. The Honda Miimo can easily handle complex lawns with obstacles and slopes of up to 25o, it’s able to smoothly navigate through narrow passages like flower beds.
These robot mowers use a 3-blade cutting mechanism with programmable cutting patterns; Random, Directional or Mixed, to optimize its performance on different lawn sizes and shapes. Miimo has an edge-cutting feature to keep the borders of your lawn perfectly cut, and a seasonal timer to automatically adapt to the season and grass growth rate. Miimo also has anti-theft features (a unique security code and an alarm system) to protect from theft.
Ambrogio Robot Mower – L85 Elite
Ambrogio L85 Elite is the premier robotic mower for a 21,000 sq ft with a maximum slope rating of 29o or 55%. It’s obviously a robotic lawn mower built for slopes and inclined terrains, with very robust wheels with thick treads to ensure good traction. The L85 robotic lawn mower has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a running time of an hour and 45 minutes – which lasts better than most competitors.
This robot mower is built with a Smart Cutting Algorithm and Encoder Inclinometer Gyroscope to enhance its navigation system and complete lawn coverage. The L85 will mow back and forth with razor-shape spinning blades. A suite of sensors detects obstacles to prevent collision, it also has rain-sensors to avoid bad weather.
- Has robust wheel for slopes
- Access pin code for security
- Long-lasting battery (1hr 45 mins)
Best lawn mowing robots for steep slopes and hills
Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 435X AWD
The Husqvarna Automower 435X is the high-end, all-wheel-drive robotic lawn mower designed for rough terrain and steep hills. This is one of the best robot lawn mower for hills with a slope rating of up to 70% (or 35o). The 435X can mow up to 0.9 acres lawns, and it uses a 3-blade rotating disc mechanism to cut grass.
It’s powered by two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, with a runtime of 100 minutes and recharge time of 30 minutes. This robotic lawn mower is ultra-quiet and uses an onboard GPS system to create a map of the garden to ensure optimized lawn coverage, it also has an alarm system and GPS theft tracking to track your mower’s location in case of theft.
Automower 435X can either be controlled manually or with the Husqvarna AutoConnect mobile app for Android and iOS devices. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, and IFTTT.
Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 535 AWD
Similar to Husqvarna 435X AWD, Husqvarna Automower 535X AWD is an advanced and highly-intelligent robotic lawn mower with an all-wheel-drive system. The Automower 535X is designed to manage lawns up to 0.9 acres or 3,500 m², with steep inclines of up to 70% (or 35o) slope rating. It uses sharp, razor-like blades made of strong carbon steel mounted on a robust cutting disc system to reduce grasses to tiny clippings.
The 535X smartly navigates lawns with built-in sensors using ultrasonic technology to detect objects and avoid hard collisions. Husqvarna Automower 535X AWD is protected by pin code, alarm system and GPS to minimize risk of theft. Lastly, you can control the 535X robot lawn mower from the AutoConnect app, and it’s easily programmable with a weekly timer.
Ambrogio QUAD Elite
Another great robot that was designed with slopes in mind is the Ambrogio QUAD Elite. Ambrogio QUAD Elite is a premium robotic lawn mower designed for lawns of up to 3,500 m2, it has a sturdy construction with a robust 4WD system. The QUAD Elite has electric-steering wheels with thick treads to provide excellent traction on slopes of up to 75%.
To ensure a seamless mowing experience, the QUAD Elite has integrated RADAR sensors for detecting and avoiding obstacles on the lawn. Also, this Smart robot uses GPS technology to ensure complete coverage of a lawn, using the SDM algorithm, it divides the lawn into tiles to increase mowing efficiency. As with most high-end robotic lawn mowers, the QUAD has a touchscreen display, voice assistants compatibility and remote control via the Ambrogio App.
Buyer Guide FAQs
The size of your lawn is the first factor to consider when choosing a robot lawn mower, since every robot mower has a maximum lawn size it can handle. A small lawn next to your house will require a lawn robot made specifically for it, meanwhile a much larger lawn will need a robot mower built to mow large lawns. The battery capacity, ability to manage slopes, and pricing of a robot mower are all determined by the maximum lawn size it can cover. Robotic lawn mowers built for small lawns typically manage small slopes and are the most affordable.
Unique lawn features
While choosing a robot mower, it’s also important to consider the landscape features of your lawn. Landscape features to think about include narrow pathways, multiple zones, obstacles like flowerbeds, etc. The unique features of your lawn will help you to determine the ideal robot lawn mower for it. For instance, if your lawn has narrow pathways with flowerbeds, then you need a robotic lawn mower that is compact and able to maneuver through the narrow passages while effectively avoiding the flowerbeds. Also, if you have a multi-zone lawn, then your lawn mower should be able to efficiently cover every part of the lawn during each cutting session.
Drive system/wheel design
Drive system and wheel design are two very important features of a good robotic lawnmower. A 4-wheel drive system and a robust wheel design with thick treads are essential for maintaining good traction when traversing steep and uneven terrain. Most robotic lawn mowers are driven by 2-wheel, but there are also 3-wheel mowers and 4-wheel mowers. Robot lawn mowers with an AWD system are usually higher-end models, like the Husqvarna 435 AWD, which can handle up to 70% slope.
Any robot with 2 tires can drive through a flat land, but what if your lawn is inclined? This is why most robot lawn mowers can tolerate some degree of slope. Generally, most robotic lawn mowers will comfortably drive through and mow a sloped lawn, but each model has a specific slope angle it can tolerate. Entry-level and mid-range robotic lawn mowers will usually handle slopes of 8.5° to 19° (14% to 34%), while higher-end models can manage slopes of 25° to 35° (46% to 70%), depending on specific design features.
Battery type and Auto-charging
Robotic lawn mowers have batteries that need to be recharged every now and again. The batteries in robot lawn mowers take about an hour to charge, and each charge allows them to operate for several hours. When the battery is running out, the robot will automatically stop operating and return to its charging station to recharge.
It’s also important that you pay attention to the battery type. Lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries are the two most frequent battery types found in robot lawn mowers. Lithium-ion batteries are clearly superior; they last longer, charge more quickly, are lighter, and have a higher energy density. While robot mowers powered by lead-acid batteries are less expensive, those powered by lithium-ion batteries are superior. Thes best robot lawn mowers have Lithium ion batteries.
Robotic lawn mowers work outside and should be suitable for all types of weather. However, this isn’t always the case. During inclement weather, such as heavy rain or snow, most manufacturers advise bringing your robot lawn mower indoors. However, some robot lawn mowers have built-in rain sensors and can react to bad weather on their own. When the sensors detect rain, the robot returns to its charging station to wait out the rain or snow.
Edge-cutting/Adjustable Cutting Height
Robot lawnmowers have a difficult time cutting the lawn’s edges. Some robot lawnmower types, however, are better at cutting edges than others. Worx and Robomow are the best robotic lawn mowers that have sophisticated edge-cutting capabilities. That isn’t to say that lawnmowers from these brands won’t have difficulties with edges; they do, especially if the grass is surrounded by fences.
The height adjustment options on robot lawnmowers allow you to select how low the grass will be when the robot cuts it. Cutting heights typically range from 20 mm to 60 mm, and you can choose your preferred height through the control panel or the bot’s mobile app.
Robotic lawnmowers have razor-sharp blades that would wreak havoc on anything they came into contact with. Consequently, these robots have a couple of safety precautions in place to prevent destructive accidents. There are collision sensors and tilt sensors, for example, which immediately stop the spinning blade if the robot is lifted or inclined to a specific degree. It’s important that you choose a robot with these safety features.
Because robot lawnmowers are used outside, anti-theft capabilities are essential. Pin codes and alarm systems are the most typical anti-features found in most robot mowers. Robotic lawn mower manufacturers include security pin codes that allow only the owner to program and control the machine. Some robot mowers have an alarm feature that goes off if the robot is carried outside its mowing area/perimeter wire, in addition to security pin codes. These features deter theft.
Sturdy Build With Replaceable Parts
When buying a lawn robot, it’s significantly important that you choose a robot with great build quality and easy-to-find replacement parts. You don’t want a crappy robot that will quickly fall apart because that’s a complete waste of money. Replaceable parts, like the blades, cutting disc, wheels, battery, etc. should be readily available and easy to replace.
For added convenience, almost every household device you can conceive of now has Wi-Fi connection with smartphones, and there are some high-end robot mowers with these features. These robots can be operated and monitored via your smartphone, so you can get real-time information on your Smart robotic lawnmower whether you’re next door or a thousand miles away.
Are robotic lawn mowers better for your lawn?
Robotic lawn mowers are certainly better for your lawn because they save you lots of time, while helping you to maintain a very beautiful lawn. Robot lawn mowers also improve lawn care and produce better results.
Are robotic mowers safe?
These robots are very safe despite that they have very sharp spinning blades beneath them. Their design feature includes many tilt sensors and other safety sensors that turn the blades off whenever you tilt or lift the robot. Robot lawn mowers are generally safer than the gas-powered mower.
Do robotic lawn mowers get stolen?
Yes, however, robot mower theft is still relatively low because of the wide range of security systems built into these devices.
Can robot lawn mowers cut long grass?
The average robotic mower for residential use is best suited for short grass. But, there are also robotic mowers that are specially designed for taller grass with a cutting height of up to 100 millimeters.
Can robotic lawn mowers do stripes?
No, robot lawnmowers cannot do stripes. Stripes are created by rollers behind traditional lawn mowers. Lawn robots do not have rollers, and they randomly mow a lawn.
How long do robotic lawn mowers last?
With proper maintenance and since all parts are replaceable, you can expect your robot lawn mower to last for up to 15 to 20 years. On average, it will last for 10 years.
Maintaining a neat and well-trimmed lawn is an ongoing investment of time, money and energy. But, you can be sure of your lawn always looking neat and freshly cut if you invest in a reliable robot lawn mower.
We just discussed the key features to consider when buying a new robot lawn mower for hills, as well as reviewed the best products on the market, especially for inclined lawns.
About the author
Emma Marie is a valued writer at the Little Robot Shop. She studied robotics and deeply understands technology, which shows in her writing. She consistently produces high-quality content, making her a perfect fit for the Little Robot Shop team.
While not writing, Emma works in a popular electronics retail chain. Emma also enjoys running and has two dogs with whom she loves spending time.
Mowing Slopes Safely – Let’s Get Real About Hills.
Updated March 2018. I read many reviews complaining about lawn tractors not being able to mow on a hill. “They don’t have enough traction.” “I have to use tire chains.” “I have some fairly steep hills on the property and the tractor stands so tall that it is not safe at all on hills over 15 degrees. So I couldn’t mow half of my lawn.”
It’s time to stop complaining and get real. You will not be able to mow all of your lawn with a lawn tractor or zero-turn if there are slopes.
Thank You Toro For This Photo
The truth: Residential Lawn Tractors and Zero-Turns are not designed to mow on slopes steeper than 15 degrees. They all tell you that in the manual. There are mowers designed to mow hills but the cheapest one on the market is over 10,000. The good ones are in the 20,000 to 50,000 range.
Making myself more comfortable on a slope is not my goal. Not rolling the tractor or zero-turn is my goal. Rolling the tractor is not worth cutting an extra bit of grass. It is just grass.
If it is too steep to mow, turn it into a landscape bed or wildlife area.
Can a tractor mow this hill? NO!
Zero-Turns are not weighted to mow up a hill. Especially older zero-turn mowers. They will tip over backward.
- If you cannot back up the slope or if you feel uneasy on it, do not mow it with a ride-on machine.
- Mow up and down slopes with a lawn tractor, not across.
- Watch for holes, ruts, bumps, rocks or other hidden objects. Uneven terrain could overturn the machine.
- Choose a low ground speed so you will not have to stop or shift while on a slope.
- Do not mow on wet or damp grass. Tires may lose traction.
- Do not mow on drought-dry grass. Tires will lose traction.
- Always keep the machine in gear when going down slopes. Do not shift to neutral and coast downhill.
- Avoid starting, stopping or turning on a slope.
- Keep all movement on slopes slow and gradual.
- Use extra care while operating the machine with grass catchers or other attachments; they affect the stability of the machine. Do not use them on steep slopes.
- Do not try to stabilize the machine by putting your foot on the ground.
- Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches or embankments.
46 inch 2 blade decks on lawn tractors do not have the clearance between the rear of the deck and the rear tires to install tire chains.
If you have a Walk Out Basement the angle is too steep to mow side to side or up the hill. Mow down the hill, drive around to the top of the slope and mow down. Yes, you may have to drive around the house a dozen times to do this, but it is the only way. Never attempt to mow or drive up the hill
Don’t even consider using a rear mounted bagger on hills. On both tractors and zero-turns that makes them too heavy in the rear.
Don’t even consider a leaf/lawn vac on slopes. The transmissions in lawn tractors are not heavy enough and you will destroy the trans. On garden tractor, there may be too much weight on the rear hitch. Blow the leaves to the bottom of the hill with a handheld blower or backpack blower, then pick them up with your vac.
Tip-over from water logged turf
Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches or embankments. Don’t mow near a pond. The first 6 to 10 feet of turf by the water’s edge is water-logged and your mower will sink in and tip over.
Follow the rules in your operator’s manual. But remember, an unseen hole on the down-slope or a bump or stick of wood on the uphill side can increase your slope quickly and cause an accident.
Seatbelts and ROPs won’t save you if there is water
What is available today For the Homeowner:
Notice the dual wheels on the ATV?
Mow on a Steep Slope/Hill using a Razorback Mower Safe & Easy
The ATV is out of the water logged turf
There are very few residential mowers specifically designed to mow slopes. Here are a few that work:
Acrease Wing and Rough-Cut Mowers: Acrease Mowers are able to mow slopes. They use full pressure engines on the commercial models that won’t blow up on slopes greater than 15 degrees. Be aware these mowers are heavy and you will need a heavy tractor to pull them. I actually used 2 in tandem to mow a 10-foot road ditch (Swisher T-60 Trailmower 14.5hp. is only designed for 15-degree slopes. The engines are splash lubricated and will blow up on slopes greater than 15 degrees.)
Craftsman 4WD walk-behind.
There are a few tractors with a rear differential lock from Craftsman Pro, Cub Cadet and Husqvarna that give you better traction going up and down slopes, but they are still only rated for 15 degrees.
Mowing On A Hill With Zero Turns
There are other mowers that will handle slopes but all of them are commercially rated. Standon Mowers, 60 inches and larger like the Wright Stander are capable of mowing greater than 15 degrees. Toro Walk-Behind commercial mowers with the T-Bar steering also work well. Of course, there are the dedicated slope mowers like the KutKwick and the new robotic mowers.
Many people don’t read the operator’s manual or feel these warning statements are “just guidelines.” Even staying under 15 degrees there are still ways to tip your lawn tractor or zero-turn mower over. Mowing commercially for many years I have had too many close calls and I still use my “Pucker-meter” all the time. The seat of your pants is the best gauge – really. It is a long, slow, careful learning experience. You have to get to know your machine and how to best approach various terrain. Going slow and low is always good.
If is feels wrong, if the hill feels too steep, if the tractor doesn’t feel right, I don’t mow it.
(This Last From Consumer Reports)
What we tested, what we found. We compared several zero-turn-radius riding mowers marketed to consumers with a lawn tractor on slopes ranging from roughly 5 to 20 degrees. We used a typical 4.5 mph mowing speed over both dry and wet grass, going up and down as you should with most ride-on machines. So far, so good.
The trouble began when we made a hard turn down 10- to 15-degree slopes. The zero-turn riders lost most of their steering control, skidding straight into our simulated hazards. All could stop in time when the brake was applied, though stopping entails manipulating two levers that also do the steering. That’s less intuitive than a tractor’s foot brake. And while the zero-turn models steered controllably at slower speeds, time savings is a major selling point for zero-turn machines.
The rollover risk
Rollovers are another concern with all ride-on mowers, contributing to the more than 15,000 injuries and 61 deaths associated with those machines for 2007, according to estimates based on CPSC data. Commercial tractors and riding mowers often include a roll bar, called a rollover protective structure (ROPS), and a safety belt. Both are supposed to work together to protect and confine the operator if there’s a rollover. But even that approach leaves lots of room for error.
- Choose a front-steering tractor over a zero-turn-radius rider if you’re mowing slopes 10 to 15 degrees or greater. (A 10-degree slope rises roughly 20 inches over every 10 feet.) If you already own a zero-turn-radius riding mower, be sure to mow slowly on hills. And mow only on dry grass to maximize traction.
- Give yourself time to learn the controls on any ride-on mower, especially a zero-turn mower’s levers for steering and speed.
- Mow straight up and down slopes with a tractor or rider unless the manual says otherwise. And mow side-to-side with walk-behind mowers, start at the bottom and work up-hill. Always turn uphill.