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Does a robotic lawn mower really cut it?

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Advantages of Robotic Lawn Mowers

  1. Convenience:
    • Automatic Operation: Once set up, they operate autonomously, reducing the need for manual mowing.
    • Scheduling: Many models allow you to set mowing schedules, so your lawn is always well-maintained without any intervention.
  2. Consistent Lawn Care:
    • Frequent Mowing: Regular, consistent mowing helps keep the grass healthier by cutting a small amount each time.
    • Even Cut: They can provide a more uniform cut compared to manual mowing, especially on flat surfaces.
  3. Eco-Friendly:
    • Electric Power: Most robotic mowers are electric, which is quieter and more environmentally friendly than gas-powered mowers.
  4. Safety Features:
    • Obstacle Detection: They come with sensors to avoid obstacles and prevent accidents.
    • Automatic Shutdown: Many models stop the blades when lifted or tilted to prevent injury.
  5. Time-Saving:
    • Free Up Time: Allows homeowners to spend their time on other activities instead of mowing the lawn.
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Considerations and Potential Drawbacks

  1. Initial Cost:
    • High Upfront Investment: Robotic mowers can be quite expensive initially, ranging from several hundred to a few thousand dollars.
  2. Setup and Installation:
    • Boundary Wires: Most models require the installation of boundary wires to define the mowing area, which can be time-consuming.
    • Learning Curve: Initial setup and programming may require some effort and understanding.
  3. Performance on Different Terrains:
    • Uneven Terrain: While they work well on flat and gently sloping lawns, they may struggle with very uneven or steep terrain.
    • Thick or Tall Grass: May have difficulty with very thick or tall grass and might require supplemental manual mowing occasionally.
  4. Maintenance:
    • Regular Cleaning: Blades and sensors need to be cleaned regularly to maintain performance.
    • Blade Replacement: Blades need to be replaced periodically to ensure a clean cut.
  5. Battery Life:
    • Recharge Time: They need to recharge periodically, which can take several hours depending on the model.
    • Coverage Area: Battery life limits the size of the lawn that can be mowed in one session, so large lawns may require multiple recharges.

Can you use a robot mower on wet grass?

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Potential Issues with Mowing Wet Grass

  1. Slippery Conditions:
    • Traction: Wet grass can make the mower lose traction, leading to uneven cutting or the mower getting stuck.
    • Slipping: The mower may slip on slopes or uneven terrain, potentially causing it to miss patches of grass.
  2. Clumping:
    • Grass Clippings: Wet grass tends to clump together, which can clog the mower’s cutting deck and affect its performance.
    • Mess: Clumped grass can leave a mess on your lawn, making it look untidy and potentially leading to fungal growth.
  3. Blade Efficiency:
    • Cut Quality: Wet grass is tougher to cut cleanly, and blades can become dull more quickly.
    • Strain on Motor: Cutting wet grass can put additional strain on the mower’s motor and battery, reducing its efficiency and lifespan.
  4. Maintenance:
    • Cleaning: Wet grass sticks to the mower’s underside and blades, requiring more frequent and thorough cleaning.
    • Corrosion: Prolonged exposure to moisture can increase the risk of corrosion on metal parts.
  5. Safety:
    • Electrical Components: Although most robotic mowers are designed to be weather-resistant, prolonged exposure to wet conditions might affect their electrical components over time.
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Situations Where It Might Be Acceptable

  1. Dew or Light Moisture:
    • Morning Dew: Mowing grass with light dew might be acceptable, especially if the mower has good traction and you clean it afterward.
  2. Rain Sensors:
    • Built-In Sensors: Some robotic mowers come with rain sensors that automatically return the mower to its charging station when it starts to rain, preventing operation in overly wet conditions.
  3. Short Grass:
    • Maintenance Cuts: If the grass is kept short and the ground is not saturated, occasional mowing in slightly wet conditions might not pose significant problems.
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Best Practices

  1. Wait for Dry Conditions: It’s best to wait until the grass is dry to mow. This ensures optimal performance and reduces maintenance.
  2. Check Weather Forecasts: Plan your mowing schedule around the weather forecast to avoid wet conditions.
  3. Regular Maintenance: Clean the mower regularly and inspect it for any signs of wear or damage, especially after mowing damp grass.
  4. Use Sharp Blades: Ensure the blades are sharp to handle any cutting conditions more efficiently.

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