Learn about the Husqvarna Automower, a robotic lawn mower that can take care of your lawn for you.
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This mower was provided to me by Husqvarna as part of a sponsored series of Facebook posts.
Lawn care has been around for a long time, likely since 1540. Early lawns were mowed with shears or scythes. The original “mowing machines” were invented in 1830. Since then we’ve developed better and better technology around mowing our yards.
While mowing is cosmetic, it is also important for our health. For example, good lawn care may reduce the number of ticks in your yard. I’ve had Lyme disease and while we try to use bug repellent when we’re in the woods, it’s nice to have a consistently trimmed backyard so the kids can run outside to play without needing to “suit up” with bug repellents.
When I had the opportunity to test out the Husqvarna Automower 430XH, I jumped. We love smart home products so this was right up our alley.
You’ll want to choose the Automower that’s the right size for your lawn. In this case, the Automower was for our fenced backyard. We have 8 acres and if we wanted full coverage, we’d need to by multiple machines. This isn’t something we’ll invest in as we have farm animals in some of those areas. Once we have horses on a lot of the property, we may purchase one or two more mowers for the front lawn.
Our fenced backyard is pretty big by itself- bigger than the lot at our old house which was 10,000 sq ft. The Husqvarna Automower 430XH has an area capacity of 0.8 acres which works for that space. The largest mower cuts 1.25 acres.
While the 430XH is pretty expensive, the Automowers that mow smaller lawns, such as the Automower 315, are half the price. Some people choose to use multiple smaller zone Automowers to save money instead of buying one that can cut a large lawn. This is the list of the mowers and the breakdown of how big a lawn they can cut!
This post will be long… bear with me!
Table of contents
- Automower Installation
- Do Robotic Lawn Mowers work?
- How do they work?
- Is the Automower safe?
- Does the mower collect grass?
- Can the Automower be stolen?
- How big is the mower?
- How do you store the Automower?
- How long does a charge last?
- Does our yard need to be fenced??
- Can cutting height be adjusted?
- Does the mower get stuck?
- What happens to kids toys?
- What happens to dog poop?
- Is it ecofriendly?
- Using the AMC Automower Phone App
- Video Review
Installation of the Automower
Husqvarna scheduled for a local company, Eastern Truck, to come out to install the Automower. I was home for the installation which took less than 30 minutes total, including the time we chatted and setup the app.
The installers started by marking where the wire would go.
Then their machine dug and buried the wire as it moved along the boundary. It was super easy with the right equipment.
After watching the install, I would say that you would spend a lot of time trying to install the wire for a large yard yourself.
I cannot imagine how long this would take by hand but the wire is buried 1-3″. If you’re considering self install, go start digging the trench for the wire and then decide if you’re keen on doing the whole yard.
My suggestion is to either rent the right equipment or pay for the installation.
Apparently it can be installed on top of the lawn, but the installers mentioned that a lot of people end up burying the wire after trying it.
Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work?
Yes, but they work better on certain types of terrain and they have a maximum capacity (for example, ours can’t mow our complete 8.5 acres).
They can function as a way to manicure your lawn and keep it cut low all of the time.
How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work?
The Husqvarna Automower has a special wire that gets buried around the perimeter of the area it will be mowing. This tells the mower where to go. The mower will stay within this area and if you need it to avoid anything inside that zone, you can place wire around those areas.
The mower has a control panel that you can use to change the settings, but you can also control it using the AMC app. Personally, I prefer the app to leaning over the mower.
While the mower is cutting, it goes in random directions which means you won’t see clear cut lines. If it bumps into something, it will move around it. If the item is low enough, the mower may go over the object or get stuck on top of it.
Are Robotic Mowers Safe?
According to the owner’s manual, you should turn your mower off when kids or pets are outside playing.
While I don’t see it being likely that it would hurt a child or animal oh, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The good news is that it’s easy to turn the mower on to run overnight, instead of having it run during the day.
You can also run it while the kids are at school or at daycare, or just put it in park or pause mode when they go outside to play.
This is probably safer than other types of mowers, but anything with a blade can be dangerous.
Does the Automower Collect Grass?
The Automower does not collect grass. This is a good thing for your lawn because it returns moisture and nutrients to the ground.
The good news is that the Automower doesn’t leave noticeable grass clippings, assuming you run it consistently.
If you run it every two weeks, then it will likely leave clippings.
The nice thing about it not collecting clippings is that you don’t need to empty any bins like you would with a robot vacuum.
Can an Automower Be Stolen?
Technically the Automower could be stolen, but as it has GPS, it can also be tracked to the thief.
A thief would also be unable to use it without the wiring or the code for the device. Don’t leave the code on the device, haha. I had mine on there and realized pretty quickly that I should take it off. By now we all know the code and I can store it with the manual.
How Big is a Robot Lawn Mower?
Not huge! Easy enough to store over the winter. I would say that it’s about the same size, perhaps smaller, than the base of a push mower (not including the handle). It’s compact.
How to Store the Automower
During most of the year, your Automower will be stored on the charging station when it’s not in use.
When winter comes, you can wipe your mower clean, make sure it has a full charge per the manual, then store it.
Its small size means it won’t take up tons of room!
How Long Does the Charge Last?
I’m not entirely certain… I was reading that they last from 30 min+ depending on the model, but I’m pretty sure this model has been running longer than an hour at a time.
Honestly it’s hard to tell because when the mower runs out of battery, it returns to its charging station. It recharges and heads back out. Because this system is so hands off, you don’t need to worry about any of this.
Does the Yard Need to Be Fenced to Use this?
Your yard does not need fencing to use this mower. You need to install wiring, somewhat like the wiring you’d install for invisible dog fencing.
Can Cutting Height be Adjusted?
Cutting height can easily be adjusted by using the phone app or the console on the mower.
Does the Automower Get Stuck?
Yes, the mower does occasionally get stuck, but not to the same degree as an indoor robot vacuum (this was a huge relief).
When it gets stuck, you can troubleshoot the problem and adjust accordingly. You’ll get a notification to your phone…
And you’ll be able to see more information about what’s going on. But the best option is to just go check on the mower.
We have a weird hill that we need to level out. Either we dig to remove the hill or add soil around it to create a gentle slope.
We will likely remove the hill.
As an alternative, we could always add wiring around this area to tell the mower to leave it alone. This would make sense for something like a garden bed.
Honestly, it doesn’t get stuck frequently so it hasn’t been a huge issue… otherwise we would have removed that hill by now, haha.
What Happens to Kids Toys?
I’ve been telling my kids to pick up toys in order to prevent them from getting destroyed by the mower, and they’ve been mostly keeping the small items off the lawn.
I found that our large tractor with mower deck is more destructive that the Automower, but you do need to be careful because it’s a mower and well… blade….
This doesn’t seem to hit the small toys like Nerf bullets.
It will bump large items like ride on cars, then turn around and avoid the toy. I try to move the ride on cars occasionally so they’re not sitting in the same spot. This way, if the mower runs 2-3x a week, there won’t be any long unmowed areas.
The nice thing is that it will mow under the swings without us needing to move anything.
It does goes pretty slow so when it bumps things, it isn’t hitting hard.
What Happens to Dog Poop?
This was my #1 question! I was too embarrassed to ask the installer. The mower has big tires and mostly it seems to just squash the poop.
No promises. But if you ever read the Roomba dog poop story, it’s not like that… At least in my experience.
Is it Ecofriendly?
The mower doesn’t use gasoline or have related emissions. It runs off electricity. If you want to be more ecofriendly, hook your home up for solar power!
I particularly like that the mower leaves the clippings which helps support a healthy lawn by returning nutrients to the soil.
The AMC Automower App
The app is really helpful and fun to follow. You can check the status of your machine and the battery, as well as the cut height.
You can see a map of where it has been…
And here it is charging…
Here’s my video review with some clips of the mower in action!
Here’s the official FAQ from Husqvarna about their mowers!
Maintenance for the Husqvarna Automower
You have a few minor maintenance tasks that you’ll need to do for the mower regularly.
How to Clean the Automower
The mower is out in the rain so obviously it can handle some wet, but you can’t exactly give it a bath either. It’s not meant to sit in deep water. Per the manufacturer recommendations, you can wipe the machine clean with a wet rag.
How to Change the Blades for the Husqvarna Automower
This is the most frequent task you need to take care of… and I was worried it would be more complicated. It was SO easy. When you purchase your machine, you get extra blades to change out. You can also buy knockoff blades on Amazon (set of 30 was $14 when I purchased them) or the official Autmower blades (set of 45 for $62).
The video below shows the whole process, but you’ll need a screwdriver and preferably gloves or a tool to grasp the blades with.
The metal disk that you see on the underneath of your Automower is NOT the blade of the machine. The blades are tiny comparatively, and as underneath this.
You turn the disk to line up the holes with the screw heads. Unscrew the screws and grasp the blade to remove it. Replace with the new blade and make sure to tighten your screw thoroughly. These wiggle around which is fine- but the screw needs to be tight.
We had a lot of wear and tear on our blades as you can see in the video above. Whoops! Guess we should have changed them out earlier. We have some stones surrounding a few saplings and the blades are hitting those, I believe, which is dulling them more quickly. I need to setup a better barrier for the machine soon.
I’m really excited to see how affordable it is and easy it is to replace the blades.
Putting the Automower away with the winter
Assuming you have a winter season, you want to pack your mower up each winter to store. It’s small footprint makes this a fairly easy task. You do a full charge, turn off the machine, and simply store it in a safe place.
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