Get to grips with the best robot lawn mower under £500

These budget buys are still sure to make your neighbours green with envy…

Robot lawn mower under £500

by Piper Huxley |
Updated

A robot lawn mower under £500 may be hard to come by, but cheap lawn mowers are out there. They’re perfect for maintaining small to medium gardens, providing adequate cutting and shaping of your lawn. After all, there are plenty of lawn mowers designed for smaller budgets, bringing all the advantages of this clever robot tech to us part-time outdoor enthusiasts. We’ve found the best that £500 (or thereabouts) has to offer.

Though still a major purchase, it’s worth considering all the options when buying a robot lawnmower. After all, how your lawn looks is an important aspect of garden maintenance. However, many of us dread pushing a heavy mower around the garden and struggling with a cable. Fortunately, mower tech has propelled both robot and cordless lawn mowers into the spotlight.

Best robot lawn mower under £500 at a glance:

Best overall robot lawn mower under £500: LawnMaster L10 – View on Amazon UK
Best affordable robot mower: Yard Force EasyMow 260B – View on Amazon UK
Best for large lawns: LawnMaster L12 – View on Amazon UK

Of all the technological advances of the modern age, this is undoubtedly our favourite – aside from the ride-on lawn mower. Revolutionary, this hassle-free device will free you from cutting grass and for those of us who are greeted with hay fever in the high-pollen months, we are surely thankful that we have to chance to avoid any more sniffles and sore eyes. Like many high-tech devices, the robot mower tends to be quite pricey, so finding budget mowers – specifically under £500 – was a big task.

At Modern Gardens Magazine, we’ve recruited the help of contributors Geoff Hodge and Jill Morgan to help us find you the most cutting-edge models at a bargain price, of course. Plus, their expertise has helped us debunk some robot mower myths, which are all in the FAQs below. If you don’t fancy an electric lawn mower, below, is an extensive guide to the best robot lawn mower under £500.

Best robot lawn mower under £500

Best overall robot lawn mower under £500

LawnMaster L10 Robotic Lawnmower - Fully Automatic Robot Mower with Auto Charging Docking Station - 20V MAX 2.0Ah Lithium-Ion Battery - For Lawns up to 400m², 18cm Cut Width & 20-60mm Cutting Heights…LawnMaster/Amazon

The L10 from LawnMaster requires a little initial set-up time with the need to establish the boundary wire and choose the right spot for the charging station, but once you've aced that, thanks to the timer functionality, this mini mower will regularly and reliably keep your lawn in order.

This has three cutting blades that can be set to heights between 20mm and 60mm and with its mulching ability, will leave cuttings on your lawn to act as a nutrient-rich, natural fertiliser. The L10 is IPX5-rated so can be trusted to operate in wet conditions.

This little mower is robust when it comes to safety - there's a large "Stop" button on its back, it has lift sensors that automatically stop the blades, and it boasts PIN code protection to ensure it doesn't get activated by accident.

Currently enjoying a 4.4-star rating on Amazon, reviewers are pleased with how quiet this mower is, and impressed by the battery life, as it works for up to 40 minutes before needing to return to its charging station.

Pros

  • PIN-code protected to avoid unauthorised use
  • Tough, durable, and waterproof to an IPX5 standard
  • Complete with safety sensors to stop the blades

Cons

  • Some customers found the initial set-up tricky

Best robot lawn mower for smaller gardens

Flymo EasiLife 150 GO Robotic Lawn Mower - Cuts Up to 150 sq m, Ultra Quiet Mowing, Manicured Lawn, Bluetooth Application Control, Safety Sensors, Hose...Flymo/Amazon
Price: £550

Designed for smaller gardens, Flymo's EasiLife 150 GO is a compact robotic lawn mower that can automatically cut up to a 150 square metre area of grass. Once set up, you can use the companion smart phone app to control this mower, giving you a completely hands-free way to manage your lawn.

Flymo promises this mower offers "Push & GO" functionality. If you don't want to control this with the app, the simple push button controls and LED indicators on the machine mean you can quickly and simply set it off to get mowing.

This machine automatically returns to its charging base when it needs a refresh and boasts Flymo's "LawnSense" and "FrostSense" technologies, the first of which tells the mower when grass growth levels mean it's time to cut the grass, the second avoids the mower working when it's too cold.

Multiple sensors avoid this mower damaging itself, or anything else in your garden, and its three pivoting blades will stop working if the mower is tilted. Reviewers advise experimenting with the grass cutting height as you may want to begin at a taller height and work down to something more neat.

Pros

  • Compact, unobtrusive, and quiet lawn mower at just 58dB
  • Can tackle a second lawn if correctly programmed
  • Simple to programme and use via the on-board controls or the smartphone app

Cons

  • Some customers found the initial set-up instructions tricky
  • The app lacks a few user-friendly features

Best affordable robot mower

Yard Force EasyMow 260B Robotic Lawnmower with Additional Protection & Built-In SensorsYard Force/Amazon

This Yard Force option is a great budget-friendly choice that's ideal for people with uncomplicated gardens that can just let this mower roam around keeping the grass at a respectable level. While this does offer more basic functionality compared to other choices, it should be noted that it can tackle slopes up to a 30% incline.

This can be completely controlled by the Yard Force companion app, although reviews are varied on how well this works. In theory you can control the variable cutting heights ranging from 20mm to 55mm.

Safety features include built-in sensors to stop the blades working for lift risks, any garden obstacles, just in case it turns over, and in case it gets tilted for any reason. Reviewers suggest this is a reliable robo-mower that even works well in the rain.

Pros

  • Affordable robot mower that's budget-friendly
  • Smartphone compatible with app control
  • Equipped with multiple sensors for tilt dangers

Cons

  • Mows in random patterns
  • You may still need to manually trim the edges of your lawn

Best for complex gardens

Best robot lawn mower for complex gardens

Perfect for complex and irregularly shaped gardens, this multi-area mowing Einhell Power X-Change FREELEXO 500 BT is one-of-a-kind. Control via the app and set your requirements easily. You can even PIN-code protect and activate a warning signal to this model. This robot lawn mower is packed with everything you need to keep your lawn trim.

Customer Review: "We really couldn’t recommend enough this auto mower. Surprisingly within just 2 weeks, we can already see a marked improvement; developing our grass into a lawn. The app is straightforward and easy to use. Although we had a few issues with surface perimeter wire, after burying it we’ve had none since."

Pros

  • The control app is user-friendly
  • Multi-area mowing, complex gardens
  • Automatic return to charging unit

Cons

  • Some customers mentioned issues with the wire

Best for large lawns

Best for large lawns

Easy to install, the LawnMaster L12 makes a great piece of kit for your garden's needs. The L12 is tough, durable, IPX5 rated to be fully waterproof and comes with a 2-year manufacturer's warranty. With PIN-code protection to prevent unauthorised use and sensors to keep it sound, you're assured that this model does the job and stays in one piece, too.

Customer Review: "I’m totally in love with this mower!! It’s easy to follow instructions to put the cable around the garden. Very easy to set the mower (he’s called Dennis)."

Pros

  • Simple keypad to programme mower
  • Tough, durable and waterproof
  • Auto charging when the battery is slow

Cons

  • No smartphone connect

Best with handy sensors

Best with handy sensors

Maintaining a healthy, well-groomed lawn has become very easy with the Yard Force Compact 300RBS. Simply, set a programme and it will depart its base station - to wow your neighbours. It's fitted with three super-sharp steel mulching blades and has a series of ultra-sonic sensors to keep your new piece of kit safe, secure and performing well.

Pros

  • Packed with six different sensors for safety
  • Powerful, long-lasting and fast-charging
  • Super-sharp blades produce a fine mulch

Cons

  • Suitable for smaller gardens

Best for lawns with hard borders

Best for lawns with hard borders

Lawnmaster robot mower Lawnmaster

This is another choice suited to smaller gardens. This convenient option needs no boundary wire as it uses a grass recognition camera and ultrasonic sensors to mow your lawn, but it will only work successfully on lawns with hard borders such as gravel, paving, decking, or raised edges such as sleepers and fences. This comes with a fast, one-hour charger. On full charge this will mow a lawn of up to 100 square metres in a random pattern for up to four hours. As it mows, this drops the grass clippings on the lawn to help feed the grass. You can choose from cutting heights of between 20mm and 60mm.

Customer review: "My wife and I are in our seventies and our 100sqm lawn was becoming difficult to manage. This product is a godsend, so light, easy to use and does a fantastic job. It literally is a drop and go mower. A quick strim around the edges beforehand and the result is amazing. After two cuts our lawn has never looked better with no grass cuttings to dispose of. It only takes an hour to recharge. We call ours 'Merlin' as it does such a magical job!"

Pros

  • Fast charge functionality
  • Only 6.6 kilograms
  • Five different cutting heights

Cons

  • Needs a hard border to work

How we chose the best robot lawn mowers under £500

All of these budget robot lawn mowers have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered size, power, and functionality in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching robot lawn mowers to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.

Verdict: Which budget robot lawn mower is best?

Our top pick is the LawnMaster L10. It’s solid, reliable and has plenty of additional features that’ll help your garden look fabulously lush and trim. It’s waterproof, PIN-code protected and will mulch your grass, meaning a healthy lawn – and an envious neighbour. What’s not to love? If you love the L10 but have a larger lawn to mow, grab the LawnMaster L12, instead.

FAQs

What do I look for when choosing a robot lawn mower?

When you’re making a purchase of this size, it’s great to weigh up your options and reflect on your needs. Luckily, Geoff and Jill have thought this through and given us some help on what you need to consider when choosing a budget robot lawn mower to care for your lawn.

Lawn size

As you may have realised, robot mowers have a “maximum lawn size that they can cut without having to continually recharge,” says Geoff and Jill. What is our advice? Well, that’s easy: measure your lawn and ensure that you order the correct mower with enough supplied perimeter wire.

Lawn finish

Different blades will garner different results. A speedy blade with cut finely, whereas a double-bladed model will chop the grass into a finer, mulch-like cut. Our experts recommend checking “to see what grass-cutting height options are available.” Most models will offer heights of 3 to 6 cm.

Lawn shape and style

This may differ depending on which budget robot lawn mower you finally opt for. After all, some mowers can handle “sharp angels and oddly shaped nooks and crannies,” and others will not. For this, read customer reviews and expect a near-perfect result with a budget buy.

Slopes

Luckily, most models will be able to cope with a gentle incline, says Jill and Geoff. However, if your lawn “steeply slopes, some models will happily tackle angles of up to 45°.” To ensure you’re picking the correct robot lawnmower for the incline of your space, we’ve included slope capabilities.

Obstacles

You’ll be required to move things around for your new piece of kit. After all, you don’t want your precious new mower to face any problems along the way. For hard-to-move obstacles like statues, we recommend a model that uses a virtual boundary or sensors instead of a perimeter wire.

Run time

Generally, most lithium-ion battery-powered models will “give 45-60 mins of cutting time from each full charge, in as little as 30 mins.” Handy, right? Run-time can be determined by the output and power of the battery, also. Some robot mowers even remember where they left off before charging.

Rainy days

Budget options tend not to be able to cut grass in wet conditions. On the other hand, the higher-grade models are more likely to have this capability. Plus, some models have “a rain sensor and return to their dock when the rain starts falling, and resume when it stops,” says Geoff and Jill.

Lawn use

This goes without saying: keep your pets away from the garden when in use. Or, on the other hand, consider a model with an “obstacle sensor” if the pets and wildlife are free to roam your space.

Noise level

Importantly, we don’t want to annoy the neighbours. There’s nothing worse than waking up early on a Sunday morning to a lawn mower blaring outside your window. Luckily, some of the newer models “are incredibly quiet, emitting nothing more than a satisfying hum,” says Geoff and Jill.

Security

Gone are the days of mower theft. Some higher-tech models come with built-in anti-theft measures, says Geoff and Jill. Handy, right? They add: “These include alarms if the mower is moved outside of its perimeter boundary, security sensors, PIN codes and GPS tracking to monitor its location.”

How do robot lawn mowers work?

Thanks to Jill and Geoff, we can answer this question in detail:

According to the pair, robot lawn mowers are powered by rechargeable batteries, usually lithium-ion), and “use a charging station, dock or home that it returns to once it’s finished cutting or the battery is depleted and needs recharging.” However, the charging port requires mains power. They add that you need to set up this mower “within reach of a weatherproof power outlet.”

Despite this, Geoff and Jill agree that the robot lawn mower is an easy piece of kit to set up. This will be influenced by “the size and shape of your lawn and whether there are any obstacles to manoeuvre around”, though. Luckily, most mowers work within an electronic perimeter wire, which will orientate and guide the mower, laid “around the lawn edge just under the surface of the turf.”

Often, when approaching set-up, you may be greeted with something user-friendly – and some models have smartphone connectivity capabilities, working with an app or Alexa. These features may come in handy, coming in the form of “status updates, such as whether the mower is charging or cutting, even when you’re away from home”. These features are less likely with budget models.

Are robot lawn mowers any good?

Well, for a fantastic piece of technology, we can’t deny that there are a few drawbacks. Nothing is perfect, after all. So, to give you a better insight into robot lawn mowers, we’ve enlisted the help of My Robot Mower to speak about the pros and cons of these high-tech garden maintenance devices.

Pros:

You’ll never have to cut your lawn again. Just imagine your free time. When we have busy lifestyles, it’s hard to fit in tasks that’ll take a decent chunk of your afternoon. Well, no more.

Your lawn will look better. With a robot mower, you can regularly cut the grass and some models mulch the clippings, returning them to the lawn, which provides “nutrients to the growing grass.”

They are much safer. My Robot Mower claims: “Safety features of robot lawn mowers far surpass conventional mowers.” After all, there is no user interaction and sensors will prevent any accidents.

They can work out cheaper. Though a teeth-gritting investment, robot mowers can work out cheaper in the long run, due to “decreased maintenance requirements and lower operating costs.”

They’re great fun. Though not a practical element to consider, My Robot Mower explains that it provides a great conversation topic and the free time provides “a continued sense of satisfaction.”

Cons:

You need to install a perimeter wire. Most models use these to mark the edge of your lawn. Unfortunately, this is an unavoidable, manual task. So, installation can take a little while.

The edges of your lawn won’t be perfect. Yes- it’s true. Most models may leave some grass at the edge of your lawn, says My Robot Mower. So, we recommend tidying up with an electric strimmer.

The upfront cost is higher. As mentioned above, the robot mower is an investment. They can range from £300 and climb all the way up to an eye-watering £3000. However, it can work out cheaper.

Limited battery life. This is another gripe we have with these mowers. As they are powered by batteries, they need charging, so a sweep of a larger lawn may take a little longer than expected.

Best edging tools to sharpen up your lawn

Best electric lawn mower under £500

Petrol lawnmowers to make trimming larger gardens easy

Subscribe to Modern Gardens magazine and get the most out of your outdoor space. Discover everything you need to know to make your outside space look fantastic, quickly and easily, with hundreds of simple ideas, designer tricks, affordable products and expert advice in every issue of Modern Gardens. View our latest subscription offers to save on shop prices.

Piper Huxley is a Homes, Garden and Wellness Product Writer for Modern Gardens Magazine, an all-rounder. When she’s not writing about houseplants, she’s tending to her own growing collection…

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us