How to Fix a Pull Start that Won’t Retract- 4 Effective Ways
A lawn mower has a pull cord that you use to start the engine. Most lawn mowers in the market usually come with the pull cord – where a few come with a switch or key.
When you want to start your mower, you pull the T-shaped handle outside the pull cord hub. The pull cord comes out when you pull, and it retracts after releasing it – in normal conditions. That is possible because springs are used to pull back the pull start.
However, the pull start may fail to retract, thus preventing you from starting your lawn mower. Therefore, we have created this guide on how to fix a pull start that won’t retract for you.
How to Fix a Pull Start That Won’t Retract
There are various reasons why your pull start will not retract. The problem is caused by different problems that you need to fix.
A damaged pulley is one of the reasons why your pull start in the lawn mower will not retract. The pull cord and its recoil spring are found on the side of your lawn mower engine.
When starting the engine, you have to pull the cord, and it unwinds the recoil spring and pulley. In the end, the recoil spring will rewind itself, pulling the pull start cord back.
A cracked or broken pulley will not be effective because the recoil spring won’t maintain its tension. Therefore, the pull start will not retract. Sometimes, the pull start gets stuck in those crevices from the broken parts, even cutting the pull cord.
The solution to the problem is inspecting the integrity of your pulley. Remove the starter to check for damaged parts. Those you find damaged or cracked require replacing with new and high-quality parts.
Pull Cord Problems
The other reason why pull start will not retract is a problem with the pull cord. A pull cord should be made of high-quality material, but they get old, wear and tear with time.
The rope is attached to the pulley in the starter house. With many repeated engines starts, the rope wears out due to friction against the pulley. Sometimes, the rope is tangled, forming a knot that prevents it from retracting.
The chance of forming a knot inside is low. The space is enough for the rope to get inside or outside. In most cases, it occurs outside after you have pulled the rope out and knot larger than entry.
If a pull start won’t retract because of tangled rope, pull it out and undo the knot to solve the problem. But for an old and frayed rope, you must replace the rope with a new one.
Malfunctioned Recoil Spring
A recoil spring in the lawn mower is responsible for retracting the pull cord back after pulling during the starting phase of the mower. It is also responsible for enabling you to use over and over the recoil starter.
Sometimes, the spring will fail when worn out, lose tension, is broken, or get stuck won’t retract the pull cord into the starter. If you have experienced a sudden problem, most cases are where the recoil spring is stuck and sometimes comes off the pulley.
On the other hand, when it is a problem you have noticed for some time, such that the rope remains outside the pulley hub, the recoil spring has lost its tension.
Before taking any measures, examine the recoil spring and establish the cause of the problem. When you realize it’s a problem with the recoil spring, replace it with a new, high-quality spring that will not lose its tension fast.
Worn-out or Broken Friction Plate
There is a friction plate in the starter, one of the interlinked parts available. The plate undergoes a lot of friction, making it wear out and break.
Some of these plates are made of plastic, making them not long-lasting. When worn out or broken, the pull cord will not move freely, thus stuck inside or outside after pulling out.
If you want to check the part of the starter, then you need to remove the starter. When you find it broken, you can see that straight away.
When not, pull the cord and see how the parts will behave, and when you hear a funny grinding noise, that means the plate is worn out. Replace with a new one and test the pull cord for a smooth flow before you can reinstall the other parts.
In addition, check any dirt and debris in the pulley system causing the pull cord to get stuck. Clean the area with blow air and a soft brush to remove dirt.
FAQ: How to Fix a Pull Start that Won’t Retract
Why does the pull start get stuck?
After pulling the starter rope, a pull starter has a spring to spin the engine crankshaft and lawn mower blade.
The rope will not cross over itself with a broken spring when rewinding.
Why does my pull cord not recoil?
After the pull rope or starter cord fails to recoil after pulling while starting the lawn mower engine, there is a problem with the mechanism inside. The rope may develop kinks or twists, preventing it from rewinding back.
Why is my lawn mower’s pull cord stuck?
When the starter rope doesn’t budge while pulling it, the recoil starter has problems. You have to fix the problems to avoid pull cord sticking.
All machines experience different problems in one way or the other. With your lawn mower, you may want to mow your lawn, but after giving it a hard pull of the cord, it fails to retract as it is supposed.
Subsequent pulls, but the pull starter won’t retract. Now what? This is among the common problems most lawn mowers experience.
We have provided you with tips on how to fix a pull start that won’t retract. You can quickly check the cause of the problem and fix it. If the problem does not end, call a technician.
Hi, I’m Ricky. I’ve been involved in lawn care and landscaping from when I was 15. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of pushing mowers, collecting grass clippings, and maintaining flowerbeds at the time. But having seem the passion my parents had for gardening and outdoors and the effort they put in maintaining the health and beauty of our landscape, I couldn’t help but not only admire their hard work but also I became a part of it. As someone who loves to spend time with nature’s best, I find myself learning a lot more about gardening and outdoors on a daily basis. Not to mention I love to share the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years with my readers at We Mow Dallas. To be clear, I don’t have a Master’s degree in gardening or anything like that. Everything I’ve learned about gardening, landscaping, and lawn care spring from passion and engagement with my parents. And with a ton of free information out there, plus the ability to run tests and determine what works best for lawn care and landscaping, every day is an opportunity to learn and implement something new. My goal with We Mow Dallas is to teach you exactly how to maintain your lawn and landscape. And since I walk the talk in reality, you shouldn’t hesitate to join me in this wonderful world of landscaping and lawn care. View all posts
There are a number of reasons, mechanical and otherwise, why a mower won’t run. The good news is that fixing most all of the issues is easy enough for a DIYer to handle.
By Tony Carrick and Manasa Reddigari | Updated Aug 8, 2022 4:03 PM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
Lawn care can be tedious, but once the grass starts growing in the spring, mowing becomes a fact of life in most neighborhoods. When you finally muster the strength to tackle that first cut of the season, there are few sounds as disheartening as that of a lawn mower engine that turns over but doesn’t start.
Before you drag the mower in for repairs or invest in costly replacement parts, first make sure that a clogged air filter, soiled spark plug, damaged safety cable, clogged mowing deck, or contaminated gas isn’t to blame. Work through the following steps, and you may be able to get your puttering grass guzzler up and running again in no time.
A lawn mower repair professional can help. Get free, no-commitment repair estimates from pros near you.
Change the lawn mower carburetor filter.
Your lawn mower’s air filter guards the carburetor and engine from debris like grass clippings and dirt. When the air filter becomes clogged or too dirty, it can prevent the engine from starting. To keep this from happening, replace paper filters—or clean or replace foam filters—after every 25 hours of engine use.
The process for removing the filter depends on whether you are operating a riding or walk-behind lawn mower. For a riding mower, turn off the engine and engage the parking brake; for a walk-behind mower, pull the spark plug wire from the plug. Then, lift the filter from its housing.
The only choice for paper filters is replacement. If you’re cleaning a foam filter, wash it in a solution of hot water and detergent to loosen grime. Allow it to dry completely, and then wipe fresh motor oil over the filter, replace it in its housing, and power up the mower—this time to the pleasant whirring of an engine in tip-top condition.
Check the spark plug.
Is your lawn mower still being stubborn? The culprit may be the spark plug, which is responsible for creating the spark that ignites the fuel in the engine. If it’s loosened, disconnected, or coated in water or carbon residue, the spark plug may be the cause of your machine’s malfunction.
Locate the spark plug, often found on the front of the mower, and disconnect the spark plug wire, revealing the plug beneath. Use a socket wrench to unscrew the spark plug and remove it.
Check the electrode and insulator. If you see buildup, spray brake cleaner onto the plug, and let it soak for several minutes before wiping it with a clean cloth. Reinstall the spark plug, first by hand, and then with a socket wrench for a final tightening. If the problem persists, consider changing the spark plug.
Clear the mower deck of debris.
The mower’s deck prevents grass clippings from showering into the air like confetti, but it also creates a place for them to collect. Grass clippings can clog the mower deck, especially while mowing a wet lawn, preventing the blade from turning.
If the starter rope seems stuck or is difficult to pull, then it’s probably due to a clogged deck. With the mower safely turned off, tip it over onto its side and examine the underbelly. If there are large clumps of cut grass caught between the blade and deck, use a trowel to scrape these clippings free. When the deck is clean again, set the mower back on its feet and start it up.
Clear the vent in the lawn mower fuel cap.
The mower started just fine, you’ve made the first few passes, then all of a sudden the mower quits. You pull the cord a few times, but the engine just sputters and dies. What’s happening? It could have something to do with the fuel cap. Most mowers have a vented fuel cap. This vent is intended to release pressure, allowing fuel to flow from the tank to the carburetor. Without the vent, the gas fumes inside the tank begin to build up, creating a vacuum that eventually becomes so strong that it stops the flow of fuel.
To find out if this is the problem, remove the gas cap to break the vacuum, then reattach it. The mower should start right up. But if the lawn mower won’t stay running and cuts off again after 10 minutes or so, you’ll need to get a new gas cap.
Clean and refill the lawn mower fuel tank.
An obvious—and often overlooked—reason your mower may not be starting is that the tank is empty or contains gas that is either old or contaminated with excess moisture and dirt. If your gas is more than a month old, use an oil siphon pump to drain it from the tank.
(It’s important to be careful as spilled oil can cause smoking, but there are other reasons this might happen. Read more about what to do when your lawn mower is smoking.)
Add fuel stabilizer to the tank.
Fill the tank with fresh fuel and a fuel stabilizer to extend the life of the gas and prevent future buildup. A clogged fuel filter is another possible reason for a lawn mower not to start. When the filter is clogged, the engine can’t access the gas that makes the system go. If your mower has a fuel filter (not all do), check to make sure it’s functioning properly.
First, remove the fuel line at the carburetor. Gas should flow out. If it doesn’t, confirm that the fuel shutoff valve isn’t accidentally closed. Then remove the fuel line that’s ahead of the fuel filter inlet. If gas runs out freely, there’s a problem with the fuel filter. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on replacing the filter and reassembling the mower.
Inspect the safety release mechanism cable.
Your lawn mower’s reluctance to start may have nothing to do with the engine at all but rather with one of the mower’s safety features: the dead man’s control. This colorfully named safety bar must be held in place by the operator for the engine to start or run. When the bar is released, the engine stops. While this mechanism cuts down on the likelihood of horrific lawn mower accidents, it also can be the reason the mower won’t start.
The safety bar of a dead man’s control is attached to a metal cable that connects to the engine’s ignition coil, which is responsible for sending current to the spark plug. If your lawn mower’s engine won’t start, check to see if that cable is damaged or broken. If it is, you’ll need to replace it before the mower will start.
Fortunately, replacing a broken control cable is an easy job. You may, however, have to wait a few days to get the part. Jot down the serial number of your lawn mower, then head to the manufacturer’s website to order a new cable.
Check to see if the flywheel brake is fully engaged.
The flywheel helps to make the engine work smoothly through inertia. When it isn’t working properly, it will prevent the mower’s engine from working.
If it is fully engaged, it can make a mower’s pull cord hard to pull. Check the brake pad to see if it makes full contact with the flywheel and that there isn’t anything jamming the blade so the control lever can move freely.
If the flywheel brake’s key sheared, the mower may have run over something that got tangled in the blade. It is possible to replace a flywheel key, but it does require taking apart the mower.
Look out for signs that the mower needs professional repairs.
While repairing lawn mowers can be a DIY job, there are times when it can be best to ask a professional to help repair a lawn mower. If you’ve done all of the proper mower maintenance that is recommended by the manufacturer, and gone through all of the possible ways to fix the mower from the steps above, then it may be best to call a pro. Here are a few signs that indicate when a pro’s help is a good idea.
- You see black smoke. The engine will benefit from a technician’s evaluation, as it could be cracked or something else might be worn out.
- Excessive oil or gas usage. If you’ve changed the spark plugs, and done all of the other maintenance tasks, and the mower is consuming more than its usual amount of oil or gas, consult a professional for an evaluation.
- The lawn mower is making a knocking sound. When a lawn mower starts making a knocking sound, something could be bent or out of alignment. It may be tough to figure this out on your own, so a pro could help.
- A vibrating or shaking lawn mower can be a sign of a problem beyond a DIY fix. Usually something is loose or not aligning properly.
How to Fix John Deere Mower Deck Stuck In Up Position
Occasionally, your John Deere mower deck might get stuck in the up position in the middle of the job.
But do you know why the mower deck gets stuck and how to fix it?
The most common reasons are:
- Internally jammed mower deck.
- Damaged, broken, or worn-out Lift Cable.
- Corrosion or wear on Deck.
- Faulty deck Lift or released Pedal.
Besides that, there are various other potential causes behind John Deere’s mower deck getting stuck up position. Continue reading to find out more about the many reasons for this problem and how to solve them_
Why Is My John Deere Mower Deck Stuck In Up Position?
Check out the 6 other common causes that will likely stick your John Deere mower deck in the up position_
- Seized-up Lifting Pistons.
- The latch is not engaged.
- Damaged or dull mower Blades.
- Worn-out Hydraulic system.
- Faulty deck Height Adjustment Lever.
- External objects tend to block the deck’s internal movement.
Fix Your John Deere Mower Deck Stuck In Up Position with 9 Steps:
The best approach is to inspect each potential area first and perform the required service_
Internally Jammed Mower Deck
This problem commonly occurs when the deck gets internally jammed up.
But to confirm it, inspect the underneath of your mower and the above area of the mower deck first.
If you find no internal component is damaged, loose, or bent, your John Deere mower deck is jammed.
What to Do:
The only way out is to clear the deck, which can be done in two ways:
- You can apply additional weight by putting one foot on your mower deck and see if it drops. Repeat the process several times when moving from one half of the deck to another.Make sure to put pressure downward repeatedly to force the deck to drop down.
- Locate the exact area where the deck internally got jammed. Use a pry tool to untangle the pinch until the jam is clear.
Damaged, broken, or worn-out Lift Cable
The lift cable on a John Deere mower deck connects the deck to the mower engine.
Mower Cord won’t pull
But a broken or damaged cable drives the deck stuck in an up position and prevents it from going down.
What to Do:
Remove your mower’s seat and under seat bolts first.
Take off the shackle to check the current state of the lift cable to verify whether the cable is damaged or in good shape.
If the lift cable looks bad, replace the lift cable with a new one.
Then, put everything back together securely.
Corrosion or wear on the Deck
Corrosion or wear issues on any mower deck can prevent proper alignment and movement.
The deck may someday get stuck while operating because it’s rusted or worn out.
What to Do
The easiest solution is to check the state of your mower deck and if it has really worn out, replace the deck.
If you do not wish to replace the deck, this detailed step-by-step repairing tutorial might be resourceful for you:
Maintaining a beautiful lawn can be a daunting task, especially if you lack the appropriate know-how and tools to handle the challenges that may crop up. Fortunately, LawnAsk is here to offer you an all-encompassing resource that covers everything you need to know about lawn care.
LUBA AWD 5000 : Perimeter Wire Free Robot Lawn Mower
Using the RTK-GNSS and Multi-sensor integrated Navigation System, LUBA AWD can map out your lawn and set up various mowing zones without you having to dig or bury wires. LUBA AWD makes the lawn maintenance a breeze for you.
RTK-GNSS and Multi-Sensor Navigation System
With the advanced four Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and RTK Technology and IMU sensors, LUBA can map and navigate in cm-level accuracy.
Powerful RTK Signal Coverage
LUBA RTK signal range can cover a radius of 120m, so LUBA can take care of even large and challenging lawns. The LUBA AWD series maintain perfect route stability even when satellite signals are poor thanks to the integration of interial navigation, odometry, and patented algorithms.
Powerful All-wheel Drive System
Featuring four powerful in-hub motors and exclusive off-road tires and suspensions, LUBA AWD Series boasts best-in-class traction and zero-turning agility. Unlike small-diameter wheel mowers, the LUBA can effortlessly handle 75% slope and traverse the most demanding terrain without getting stuck.
Take good and soft care of your lawn
Four Powerful In-hub Motors
Manage 37° steep slope and obstacle of 50mm height
Make the best off-road capability in rough terrain
Dual Cutting Plates of 400mm
In-app adjustable cutting height of 30-70mm. Never miss a cut.
Impressive Slope Mowing
LUBA AWD 5000 can mow the steep slope up to 75% (37°), and handle the complex lawns and thick tall grass.
In-APP Adjustable Blade Height
LUBA AWD’s double cutting plate with a 400mm(16 inch) cutting width allows it to cut your grass without missing any areas.
LUBA AWD 5000 is ideal for all types of lawns up to 5000㎡(1.25acres). It has a super high efficiency of mowing up to 500㎡(0.13acre) each hour, allowing your family to spend more time enjoying the picture-perfect grass.
Smart App Control Anywhere
With the Mammotion App, lawn care has never been easier.You can customize mowing tasks, and track real-time mowing status anywhere, anytime. Enjoy your vacation and Luba will take good care of your lawn.
Efficient Multi-Zone Management
With the Mammotion App, You can easily set up mowing tasks for multiple working areas, and create channels between them. Set different schedules, cutting modes and cutting heights for each mowing zone.
Planned Route Modes
Compared to the random mowing pattern of conventional robotic mowers, the planned route algorithm significantly improves Luba’s mowing efficiency. You can have it mow one direction then the other, or define angles to mow.
Smart Obstacle Avoidance
Four ultrasonic radar sensors allow the LUBA to automatically detect and avoid obstacles as small as 5cm (2 inches) with a Field of view (FOV) of 220 degrees.
Powerful Battery Auto-recharge
Luba lithium-ion battery has enough capacity to enable Luba to run 180 minutes and to mow up to 500㎡ (0.13 acre) per hour in a session. When the battery is low, it automatically returns to the charging dock, then continues the interrupted mowing session.
Easily Create No-go Zones
You can create no-go zones for plant beds or children’s playgrounds or pools in App, Luba AWD will automatically avoid them.
Automatic Rain Detection
Tiny sensors atop the Luba robot can detect when rain begins and will automatically send the mower back to the charging station.
The app will sound an alarm to notify users when there is unusual movement. Luba supports the lost feature. The original user will be informed of the current position of the lost LUBA when it reconnects to the network. LUBA cannot be used by others if the original user has not granted permission.
TüV Rheinland-certified Quality
The LUBA AWD Series robot lawn mower is committed to providing high-quality performance with TüV Rheinland-certified quality. LUBA provides a quiet mowing experience (60dB) and emissions-free lifestyle.
What Our Users Say
Luba does incredibly well on what is quite a difficult terrain. It is amazingly well built and as you can see, even manages to produce stripes.
I was really amazed at how he can mow really tall grass. Tried with a 700 m2 map, the result was outstanding.
I am super impressed so far! My rideon mower would have gotten stuck! Hats off to the Mammotion team! Great product.
Here LUBA is running on a hill where the slope varies between 15 and 35 degree.
It is doing a surprisingly great job. It cut the whole front lawn today with no interventions. It has every potential to be the leading fully automated lawnmower.
The 4 motors on every wheel have proven super useful. In my first trial, the machine hasn’t had any failures and the GPS position seems to be very accurate, even near the house.
Tech-art Aesthetics and Robust Safety
Mowing in another direction when encountering hard objects.
Stop spinning blades when Luba is lifted or unbalanced.
Smart obstacle avoidance with 220°FOV
Ensure Luba AWD easy clean with sprinklers and has absolute durability in all-weather
- Charging Station
- LUBA AWD 5000
- Power Supply
- RTK Reference Station
- RTK Reference Station Extension Cable(10m)
- RTK Reference Station Power Supply
- Extra One Set Of Blade
- Installation Kits
- Mounting Pole
- Quick Start Guide
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If the product does not work as guaranteed during the warranty period, you can request after-sales service by contacting the upcoming local MAMMOTION distributor or email us at email@example.com. The main parts of the lawn mower and battery are covered under a 2-year warranty. Please note that the accessories (Charging Station and RTK Antenna) are under a 1-year warranty while blades and tires do no have warranty. The warranty period for a product is valid on the day when product(s) are delivered from local warehouse for Kickstarter backers’ orders and pre-orders, while the other orders is valid on the purchase date.
- With a perimeter wire, firstly, someone has to install it – this means extra time if you do it yourself, or extra cost if someone else does it. Secondly, the perimeter wire can be damaged by animals or someone putting a spade through it. a break in the perimeter wire can be frustrating.Thirdly, if you want to change the area to be mowed, it means re-laying the wire. Finally, if you decide to move, you need to re-laying again the wire in your new lawn.
- With Luba, forget all the above worries. You just walk with Luba along to draw vitrual bounderies, you can program your multi-cutting zones without the hassle of digging or burying the wires.
- With Mammotion APP, you can remotely preset and update the mowing parameters for each zone, as well as check Luba’s status in real-time. The APP can be used remotely to manage your lawn when you are on a vacation or business trip.
- Luba robotic lawn mower keeps your lawn carpet-like all the time. Luba cuts more frequently in 1-2cm to ensure your grass stay healthy.
- It is quiet, you can run it at any time without worrying about disturbing your daily activity or your neighbours.
Thanks to the RTK-GNSS System, users can easily create and set mowing tasks for separated mowing areas in the Smart app. as well as set channels to connect them for multi-zone management. By setting up the operation parameters of different tasks, the equipment can automatically operate in multiple areas in sequence. Luba can pass the sidewalk when the width is more than 1 meter and surroundings are not severely blocked.
Easiest Things To Check On A Lawn Mower If The Starter Rope Is Stuck
RTK base station does not need to be connected to the charging station. You can put the charging station anywhere you want! If you want to install RTK station on the roof, you will need to have a separate power adapter and extension cord to power RTK reference station.
Does the entire area needs to require Wi-Fi signal or once it gets its command near its charging base it can go complete work and then come back to charge ?
Once the mission is set it get do the whole workflow itself even without Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi is to help you check the status of LUBA and receive messages remotely on your cell phone.
You can easily perform the installation yourself. A quick start guide will be included in the box. installation course video will comes.
Luba can manage multiple zones,if there is a path between these two yards, Luba can travel to the second yard and do the work automatically.
With Mammotion App, you can remotely preset and update the mowing parameters for each zone, as well as check Luba’s status in real-time.
The Complete Guide to Robotic Lawn Mowers
Are you sick of pushing a mower around your lawn every weekend? If so, it might be time to consider investing in a robotic lawnmower and let the machine do the manual labor!
Robotic mowers have become increasingly popular over the past few years as technology advances. They’re efficient and low-maintenance — ideal for busy homeowners who want to keep their yards looking great without spending time mowing or money on maintenance.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about robot lawnmowers: what they are, how they work, different types, cost, and tips for choosing the right one for your yard.
What is a Robotic Lawn Mower?
A robotic lawn mower is an autonomous machine that can mow your lawn without you. Thanks to advancements in sensor technology — like LiDAR — and artificial intelligence (AI), a robot can mow your entire yard. Automated mowers trim the grass within designated boundaries and avoid areas — such as gardens and flowerbeds — you want to leave undisturbed.
Most robot lawn mowers rely on a perimeter wire to keep them within appropriate bounds. But more advanced mowers don’t require this barrier. Using sensors and GPS, mowers like the EcoFlow BLADE can operate within an area that you designate without a perimeter wire.
Robot lawn mowers are ideal for anyone who doesn’t have the time to mow themselves or would prefer to spend their time doing something more rewarding. It’s more affordable (and reliable) than hiring landscapers. After you’ve recouped your initial investment, there are no ongoing costs. BLADE requires only minor maintenance to keep the robot in tip-top shape.
Because BLADE requires no manual labor, it’s particularly well-suited to people with limited mobility, elderly homeowners, people with disabilities, and more.
You might ask, “Since it’s autonomous, how can I program, manage, or track it?”
Most robot mowers are controlled with smartphone apps where you can customize mowing schedules, speed settings, operating areas, and more.
You have complete control with the app. The beauty of robotic mowers is that you don’t have to be behind the wheel — or even at home — for the mower to do its work.
How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work?
Robotic lawn mowers run on rechargeable batteries and use sensors, wires, beacons, or GPS technology to detect and avoid obstacles. Their hardware includes blades or mulching systems to cut grass and disperse it on the ground — helping your lawn stay healthy with a process known as grasscycling.
A robotic lawnmower travels around your yard in a predetermined pattern, usually in straight lines. When it reaches the edge of your lawn, sensors will detect an invisible boundary wire you’ve installed and turn the mower around to continue its work. With Smart mowers, the machine’s system will learn where to turn around to start the next pass-through.
A standard robot lawnmower uses perimeter wires that you can install underground or lay just above the surface. The wire boundary allows you to customize the mowing areas and cordon off areas like flower beds, landscaped mulch areas, ponds, and more.
Though this is the standard, innovation is changing how robot lawn mowers work. While most still rely on a physical boundary, new tech lets robot mowers like BLADE work within a virtual border.
Eliminating wires makes setup virtually effortless and enables you to set a more efficient mowing path.
Types of Robotic Lawnmowers
Robotic lawn mowers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and capabilities, but the primary distinction between them is the type of boundaries they use.
Physical Boundary Mowers
Physical boundary mowers rely on invisible wires for navigation that you must install before use. You can customize the area you want your mower to cut and help it avoid obstacles and designated areas, like gardens and flowers.
The perimeter boundary is typically a thin strand of wire encased in a PVC sheath. It starts and ends at the mower charging station. You can wrap it in your desired configuration to cover your entire lawn.
The charger sends a weak electrical current through the perimeter wire, creating a magnetic field around your lawn area where you’ve designated the mower to work.
A physical boundary mower’s built-in sensors detect when it nears the barrier. As the mower approaches the wire, the magnetic field sends the message to the mower that it needs to turn around for another pass.
Beyond the wire on the outside of your lawn, the wire creates a reverse magnetic field. If, for some reason, your mower ends up outside of its designated area, the mower system should immediately detect it and report it to you via the management app.
Some instances where the risk of the mower moving outside the boundary line is higher include steep slopes in the lawn, a power failure, defected perimeter wire, or a mower sensor failure.
Virtual Boundary Mowers
Virtual boundary mowers don’t have a physical perimeter wire restricting their movement. Instead, virtual boundary mowers use sensors and machine learning to determine where the boundaries are. The robot mower learns how to maneuver without needing a physical boundary.
The technology used to create virtual boundaries varies by manufacturer, but many use GPS, Bluetooth beacons, and machine learning algorithms to aid navigation. All virtual boundary mowers use sensors to detect physical landmarks, obstacles, and changes in terrain.
Virtual boundary mowers can learn their physical boundaries without any additional work from you. If your property’s landscaping layout changes, so will the boundary of your robot mower. The mower continues to “learn” and adjust to its surroundings thanks to AI and machine learning.
Perimeter wire mowers require a much more “hands-on” approach.
How Much Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Cost?
Robot lawn mowers are considerably more expensive than riding or push mowers due to their added value and advanced technology, but their range widely.
You can spend as little as 600 on a bare-bones model. A top-of-the-line robotic mower from some manufacturers can run you as much as 6k.
Most fall somewhere between the 2,000-5000 range.
At the time of writing, EcoFlow BLADE costs 2,599 for the mower or 3,199 for the mower and lawn sweeper add-on (say goodbye to that rake!). Its award-winning design combines LiDAR, visual sensors, and proprietary X-Vision technology to recognize and avoid obstacles and operate within virtual boundaries you determine — perimeter wire-free.
How to Choose the Right Robotic Mower for Your Lawn
Consider the following factors to determine which robot lawn mower is right for you.
If your grass grows quickly, you’ll want a mower that can cut it effectively. Most robot mowers can only trim as low as 30-50 mm.
The EcoFlow blade offers an industry-low cutting height of 20 mm but gives you the flexibility to cut as high as 2.9 inches if you prefer a lush green landscape.
Most mowers have small wheels in the front, less than 80mm in diameter. Minimal clearance helps cut your grass shorter but can also create problems when the mower gets stuck into debris.
For BLADE, EcoFlow has literally reinvented the wheel. It features innovative omnidirectional front wheels at a 200mm diameter, reducing resistance by 40%. The result is more control over grass length and better obstacle avoidance.
No more getting stuck on a rock.
Robot mowers with Smart technology provide real-time tracking and reporting, app-controlled scheduling, as well as obstacle and rain detection.
Next-gen robotic mowers provide all this and more, including LiDAR and visual sensors to recognize obstacles and navigate steep terrains. It also includes editable boundaries you can customize via the app and automatically re-routes if it encounters debris.
Robust anti-theft features also help ensure the security of your investment.
The main reason people buy a robotic mower is to eliminate a time-consuming task. All robotic lawn mowers can cut the grass, but only BLADE can sweep it too.
The optional lawn sweeper attachment detects and collects leaves, sticks, animal waste, and other detritus.
No other robotic lawnmower offers this function. BLADE is the first of its kind.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Robot Mowers Worth It?
How much is your time worth to you? A robot mower is a worthy investment if you’re tired of wasting time cutting the grass, paying for landscaping, or if you have limited mobility. Robotic lawn mowers let you manage your lawn care and save you time, physical strain, and money over the long term.
How Much Does It Cost to Run a Robot Mower?
Once you’ve made the upfront investment in a robot mower like EcoFlow BLADE, it costs nearly nothing to run. Robot lawn mowers typically consume about 15 kWh of electricity per month. Depending on your local utility, that’s about 1- 5 per month — or between 12 and 60 annually.
Robot mowers take the hassle and physical labor out of lawn care.
Automated landscaping devices come in many shapes and sizes and offer different functionality.
If you’re looking for an intelligent robotic lawn mower with cutting-edge features to guarantee a beautiful, clean lawn, the wire-free EcoFlow BLADE is the ultimate solution for you.
EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.