It’s that time of year, when you’ve probably had to start cutting your lawn and you’re beginning to get fed up with it already…only about 4 months to go! Have you ever considered purchasing a robotic mower? One that you can set up and let loose, cutting your lawn as per a predetermined schedule, leaving your lawn freshly cut and neat? Neither had we, until we tried the Robomow RC308u!
Robomow offer a range of robotic mowers, suitable for the very smallest of gardens, to grand estates but at the core of it, they all do the same thing. Below you will see the range of mowers they offer, the RS Royal, RC Stylish & RX Clever, and within each range, there are several models. We got sent the RC308u, from the RC Stylish range, capable of cutting an area of up to 1500m² (800m² recommended), a 28cm cut and an RRP £1499.
Key Features & Spec:
– 800 m² recommended coverage
– Mowing time 60-70mins / charging time 70-90mins (24hr initial charge)
– Size : 64 x 46 x 21 cm / Weight: 11.4kg
– App integration for control/settings
– Rain sensor
– Child lock & Anti-theft
– Blade height adjustment, turbo mode, eco mode
In The Box
First thing, the box is rather large and heavy, it may require two people to move it around. Within the box is the mower itself (fully assembled), power supply, base station with hard wired extension cable (15m), 200m perimeter wire, blade removal tool, cutting height adjuster, wire connectors, ruler, metal stakes for the base station, plastic perimeter wire pegs and several user manuals (different languages).
Setting up the mower is relatively straight forward, once you know how, so reading the user manual is a must, to get the most out of the mower. Before setting the mower up, you need to determine how you’d like to zone your garden i.e. just one large rectangular zone, or that initial zone plus a sub zone (front or side garden) and identify any separate zones. Next, it’s time to select a location for your base station, either inside the lawn itself or on a patio, within 15m over a power outlet, and giving the mower enough space to get in & out (suggested positions given in manual). Once you’ve decided, it’s time to install the perimeter wire. This is just a single copper core wire, that you need to lay onto your lawn and secure into place with the plastic pegs. Use a lot of pegs, I’ll explain why later!
Things to know when running the wire:
– Leave about a foot worth of wire at the base station, you’ll need to terminate the wire into a connector, that plugs into the base station.
– Hard obstacles such as trees, or anything higher than 6inches, the mower will bump into them and turn away.
– Soft obstacles, such as flower beds, shrubs, ponds etc, you need to run the wire around them, so the mower avoids them.
– If you have slopes in your garden, refer to the manual as there is a specific height rise the mower can work with.
– Use the ruler provided, it shows you how far away from the lawn edge (bedding/patio) and the wall edge (fence line), you need to position the wire to get the best cut.
Once the wire is installed, you need to terminate it into the connector block, which then gets inserted into the base station. After that, plug the base station into your local power setting, and leave the mower to charge for at least 24hours. Once complete, it’s time to initialise the mower. When you turn the mower on for the first time, you need to input a few things, such as EU or US units, time & day and the size of your lawn. Next, the mower will test the base station, where it will reverse out & drive back in. Once that’s complete, it will do a wire test, driving over the wire, around your garden, slowly, without cutting, until it returns to the base station, learning about your garden the entire time.
There are several settings & options, all controlled via the mower buttons or the app provided. Refer to the manual at all times, it’s quite handy!
The mower cuts exceptionally well! It offers a very fine cut to the grass, so much so that if you picked any up, it would just fly away in the wind. Thanks to this fine cut, the grass cuttings are not noticeable at all, on your lawn. With some traditional mowers, you get dumping of grass cuttings, but not with this mower. Note the grass is cut and left on the lawn, it doesn’t get collected. On both automatic and scheduled settings, the mower runs in a random zig-zag pattern. Cutting up to the edge is ok, but it did leave a few rogue lengths of grass up against the fence line.
I came across two problems when using the mower, both of which resulted in error codes being displayed, which are listed in the manual. The first problem was the mower ran over the perimeter wire, because I didn’t used enough pegs and the wire was elevated slightly. This resulted in the mower stopping completely, and a repair had to be made. The other error was due to a button being stuck on the mower, which wasn’t clear to the eye but once I pressed all the buttons in, it was fine again.
The Robomow RC308u offers an exceptional cut, coupled with the ability to set it up and leave it, allows you to claw back a couple of precious hours every other weekend during the summer months. At just under £1500, it isn’t cheap but you’re paying for the quality and performance, that cheaper brands just cannot provide. For more information, visit the official Robomow website.