Drugstore Divas received a Husqvarna Automower robotic lawnmower, but was not required to write this Husqvarna Automower review.
If you found a genie in a lamp who granted you three wishes, what would you wish for?
Honestly, I think everyone would say “more time.”
More time at the end of your life is generally implied, but we’d all take more time during our life too. More time to spend with friends and family, to stop rushing, to spend doing anything but crossing things off of never ending to do lists.
The Husqvarna Automower robotic lawnmower isn’t a genie in a bottle, but it can grant you that wish of more time. Because the Automower will mow your lawn, and you can spend that free time with your friends and family, sitting on the porch, enjoying a drink as you watch the sunset.
Not feeling guilty that you should be mowing.
Husqvarna Automower Review
This Husqvarna Automower review is based on our experience with the Husqvarna Automower. We do not represent Husqvarna in any capacity.
Choosing a Husqvarna Automower
Because Husqvarna sent us an Automower, we didn’t go through the process of deciding which was best for us. Husqvarna decided the Automower 430XH was best for us … and my parents.
Yup, we have the Automower installed at both homes, so we had to get a mower that could handle both.
You can choose between three lines: the Bluetooth Connect, the X-Line series, and the Professional Models.
The Bluetooth Connect Automowers have a high cutting capacity and low noise levels. These mowers use Connect@HOME, so you can send commands to the mower from up to 100 feet away via Bluetooth. Which is cool, but it’s not as cool as us being able to be states away and still run our mower.
There are three models in the Bluetooth Connect line: the Automower 115H, the Automower 310, and the Automower 315. They vary on working area capacity, cutting height, and typical mow time on one charge. If you like your lawn short, either the Automower 310 or 315 is for you because it can cut as low as 0.8 of an inch.
This is what we have. This series has a lot of features the Bluetooth Connect line doesn’t, like GPS theft tracking, GPS assisted navigation, LED headlights, a front rubber bumper (which is great because it will bump into your flower beds, garden, edging, etc.), and the ability for them to be started from anywhere. Plus, the X-Line series is more heavy duty than the Bluetooth Connect line.
There are six options in the X-Line series. Three kick off the line (the Automower 315X, the Automower 430X, and ours, the Automower 430XH). Then, two have premium features (the Automower 450X and 450XH), and finally there’s the Automower 435X, which has all wheel drive.
These, like the Bluetooth Connect line, vary based on working area capacity, cutting height, and length of time it can mow on one charge. Some of these models can cut down to 0.8 inches, but for whatever reason, ours can only go as low as 2 inches. It can, however, cut the highest at 3.6 inches.
The Professional Models were created for landscapers and property managers to use. There are three in the line (the Automower 550, 550H, and 535 AWD). But since this review is focused on the Automower for home use, I’m not going to go into any details about those.
Installing the Husqvarna Automower boundary wire
You can order an Install Kit, which comes with loop wire and staples. The Install Kit comes in three sizes, so be sure to choose the installation kit that’s the right size for your lawn.
You’ll have to install the boundary wire around the perimeter of the lawn, but also install the wires within the lawn as well. So you might need more boundary wire than you anticipate.
You can set it up on your own, but we actually had an installer come and do ours. That was a lot easier for us because the installer knew exactly what he was doing. And when we wanted one of the wires to be moved (because my mom was building a path in her backyard and was heading right for the wire), the installer came back and moved it for us.
To install the wire, you cut into the grass — between 1 cm and 20 cm — and lay the boundary wire. You may initially see all the wires, but after a couple days, grass will grow over the wire and it will be completely unnoticeable.
You don’t want the wire to be too shallow because you run the risk of the mower snagging it. And you don’t want to cross the wires.
If you have grass on both sides of your driveway, you might be tempted to lay the wire across the driveway. You could do that, but then you risk breaking a wire when you are parking your car. If you park on top of the exposed wire, the weight of your car may break it.
Instead, make a continuous loop that circles one side of the lawn, goes to the backyard, then circles the other side of the lawn.
When you’re laying the wire, think about any heavy items you have in your backyard, like a wrought iron table. You don’t want to sit it on top of the wires.
You also want to circle it around things like flower beds. It can bump into them and move along, but setting the boundary wire so the Automower avoids obstacles is a better option.
Does the Husqvarna Automower work if you have a fence?
If you have a fence, you have two options for the Husqvarna Automower.
Cut a hole
If you’re really committed to your Automower, you can cut a hole in your fence, almost like a doggy door. Then, the boundary wire can be installed through that hole. When the Automower is running, it can go through that hole when it’s going from the front to back lawn.
Open the fence doors
My parents didn’t want to cut a hole in their fence and, honestly, I don’t blame them. So instead, the boundary wire was installed with the fence doors open. Then, when we run Moe, my parents just have to open the fence doors.
In this case, we don’t let Moe run overnight at their house. Having the fence doors open when they’re home is fine, but for safety, they close and lock the fence doors at night. So they only run the Automower during the day.
Setting up the Husqvarna Automower charging station
The Husqvarna Automower charging station is actually comprised of two parts. There’s the charging station, which is basically a dock for the Automower when it’s charging or not in use. Then, there’s the power supply, which is the battery and wires that connect the charging station to an outlet.
So, keep that in mind when you’re deciding where to place the charging station. It does need to be relatively close to an outlet because it will need to be plugged in to work.
Running the Husqvarna Automower
The Husqvarna Automower takes a few runs to map out your entire lawn. So, we were told to run the Automower for 24 hours, give it a one-day break, run it for 24 hours, give it another one-day break, then another 24 hour run. After that, it should have a good idea of your lawn. It can take up to two weeks for your Automower to completely learn your lawn, though.
How does the Husqvarna Automower work?
As its running, it is assigning “numbers” to sections of the lawn. It then starts to use this information to mow. So, if it goes out and doesn’t get “section 85” before it needs to recharge, it will head out and start at “section 85” on its next mow.
After those initial marathon days, you can set your Automower on a schedule and run it when its convenient for you.
Our lawn is a little less than half an acre, broken up over a front and back lawn, and it takes the Automower about 6.5 hours to complete the lawn.
That number actually sounds shocking compared to the amount of time it takes a person with a push mower to mow the lawn. Pete will usually take an hour or so to mow our lawn, so it takes the Automower about six times as long.
It does move a lot slower than Pete and cuts the entire lawn with three very tiny blades as opposed to the very large blades a push mower users.
The Husqvarna Automower relies on two pieces of technology to mow your lawn.
First is the boundary wire. That wire is placed around your lawn to set up a perimeter. Within that perimeter, there’s a return wire and that’s how it knows how to go home to its charging pad. When the battery is low or when you hit “Park” on the app, the Husqvarna Automower will find the return wire, cross it, and then follow it directly home without mowing along the way.
It also uses GPS technology to choose the path it mows. The Automower doesn’t follow the same path each time it mows, so you don’t end up with cut lines in your lawn like you get from a traditional lawnmower.
The Husqvarna Automower Connect app
The Husqvarna Automower Connect app is, quite possibly, my favorite part about the Automower.
The app works for both iPhone and Android, so Pete and I can both have the app on our phones (I have an iPhone and he has Android). The Husqvarna Automower Connect app controls everything about the Automower.
From the app, you can start, stop and pause the mowing session, change the cutting height, view a map to see the path your Automower has mowed, turn the headlights on and off, park the Automower, order new blades, change the name of your Automower, and more.
You can do the majority of these things manually on the mower’s keypad (except order blades), but it’s so much easier to do it from the comfort of your own home.
Or not your home.
We’re sitting at the farmers’ market right now and I just started Moe.
If the Automower has any trouble, the app will send a notification that pops up on your phone. If he gets stuck somewhere or tangled on something, you’ll get a notice. Both of those things happened when Moe was at my parents’ house. I got the notice on my phone and was able to run right over to see what the trouble was.
My parents don’t have the app (although they could get it if they wanted), but they saw Moe’s headlights flashing — another way Moe alerts you when there’s an error. So that’s a great feature if you’re home; the notifications from the app are great if you’re not home.
How to protect the Husqvarna Automower
The Husqvarna Automower has a charging pad that it stays on when he’s either charging or not mowing. That charging pad stays outdoors and must be placed near an outlet (you need to plug the transformer into an outlet at one end, then the charging pad in the other).
The Husqvarna Automower can stay outside in the elements, although I wouldn’t suggest leaving it outside all winter long if you live somewhere that gets a considerable amount of snow.
You can bring it into your garage during the winter, which is what our plan is.
But you don’t want to have to think about bringing the Automower inside during every rainstorm. You have a few options.
Option 1: You can buy or build an Automower “dog house.” It looks like a traditional dog house, but it’s actually to house your Automower. I saw one online that is a house for the Automower, but it’s a planter on top. So, when Pete gets a little free time, he’s going to build that for us.
Option 2: Get a tarp and throw it over the Automower when it rains. This isn’t the prettiest option, but it is the most economical. If you get a lot of rain, the tarp will puddle with water, so be careful when you’re taking the tarp off the Automower. You don’t want to spill heaps of water on it.
Option 3: This is my mom’s solution for now. She purchased a collapsible kiddie/pet pool. When we’re not using it as an Automower cover, it folds up for easy storage. And, when my nephews comes to visit and want to swim, we can use it as a pool.
Option 4: Husqvarna sells an Automower House. No. Seriously. It’s called a house. But it’s basically a roof that matches the look of the Automower and sits on top of it to protect it from rain and excess sun exposure. The house is retractable, so you’re still able to access the Automower’s keypad even with the house.
What about security for the Husqvarna Automower?
Like I said before, I’m typing this up at the farmers’ market while Moe mows our lawn. I can’t physically see the Automower with my eyes. I can, however, open the Husqvarna Automower Connect app and see exactly where the Automower is. The Automower’s location is marked by a circle with an image of the Automower in it. If you click that circle, you’ll get the GPS coordinates for exactly where the Automower is at that moment (okay, it’s more like where it was a minute ago because there is a slight delay).
If your Automower goes missing, you can open the app and locate exactly where it is.
The Automower has a built in alarm, though. When it passes the boundary wire, the alarm will sound. One of the members of our installation team said the alarm is so loud that as soon as a thief tries to take it to his (or her) car, he (or she) will bring it right back.
An additional security feature is the pin code. In order to start the Automower or access any of its settings, you need to enter the pin code. So, if someone does try to steal your mower, they won’t be able to use it without your code.
Can you set up the Automower for multiple homes?
Yes, yes, yes. Okay. This is so cool.
So, for those who don’t know, we live two doors down from my parents. We actually had the opportunity to buy the lot right next to them, but the lot was about half the size of the lot we did buy and it just wasn’t enough room. So there’s a house between us.
But we have the Automower installed on both lawns.
This was actually part of why we really wanted the Automower. See, my parents live in Florida, and then have a house in North Carolina where they stay part time. When they’re in Florida, Pete and I are in charge of their house. My part is easy. I just check the mail and bring it inside. Pete has to mow their lawn. After a long week of work, then working the local farmers’ market on the weekend, the last thing he wants to do is mow two lawns.
Now he doesn’t have to mow any.
We have one Automower and we can move him back between both houses.There is a charging station and transformer at each house, though.
When we want to move the Automower, we have to physically pick it up to move it. If we bought the house next door to my parents, the boundary wire could have been installed to connect both houses, but it was not (obviously).
The Automower weighs about 36 pounds. That’s not bad. I can actually lift and carry it myself, so if I can do it with my lack of upper arm strength, anyone can do it.
Once you move the Automower from house to house, you just use the keypad on the Automower to “change the loop signal.”
The loop signal, by the way, it the path set by the boundary wire.
The Automower will ask you to place it in the charging station, and once you push it in, it will change the loop signal and know which hose to move. You can hit start right away (from the keypad or from your phone app) and it will immediately start to mow.
Can you personalize the Automower?
You can name your Automower. We named ours Moe, which makes me laugh all the time. My dad will text me “Send Moe home” when he’s ready to close the fence doors and go to bed, and it’s the funniest thing.
You can also purchase replaceable covers for the Automower. They come in orange, white, or gray. There are covers for the center portion of the Automower and then there are covers for the entire top layer of the Automower.
Honestly, the white looks so sleek, we might have to change Moe’s outfit — for before Labor Day, anyway.
You can also upgrade the Automower’s wheels if you need all terrain wheels.
What are the negative things about the Husqvarna Automower?
We love our Husqvarna Automower. Like seriously, we can’t live without Moe anymore. He really has made a difference in the short three months we’ve been running him. The Husqvarna Automower is pretty close to perfect, but it’s not perfect.
So, what are the bad things? So far, we’ve only really found three. And one is not that bad.
One: The Husqvarna Automower doesn’t edge the lawn. It gets to the edge, but doesn’t actually do the edging. It takes Pete ten minutes, max, to edge our lawn so that’s a lot better than the hours he spent outside mowing.
Two: The Husqvarna Automower doesn’t have a rain sensor. Our sprinkler system has built in technology so if it senses water or that the lawn is saturated during its scheduled run time, it won’t run. The Husqvarna Automower doesn’t have that type of sensor. So, if it starts to rain suddenly (which happens quite often in North Carolina) while the Automower is running, you have to stop it via the app. It’s fine if we’re home. It’s not as easy to know the weather when we’re on an out of state vacation.
Three: The Husqvarna Automower won’t cut our weeds. We have two main types of weeds at our house, clovers and cylindric sedge. The Automower won’t cut the weeds, mostly because of the fibrous stem.
When Pete would mow the lawn, the push lawnmower would cut the clovers and grass, so the clovers didn’t bother me. I knew they were there, but they were green and didn’t stand out. Now, since the Automower won’t cut them, the clovers really stand out and make our grass look patchy. The regular grass is beautiful — healthier than before the Automower started running. But the patches look bad.
I’ve been pulling weeds by hand, one grocery store-sized bag a day, in hopes that I’ll be able to get rid of all of them (I know I can use chemicals and I can use vinegar, but I’m a little stubborn and anti-chemicals, so I’m doing it by hand). So I guess this complaint is really that the Automower does such a great job that it makes the imperfections in our lawn really stand out.
But I do wish it cut the weeds for me.
Purchase a Husqvarna Automower
You can head over to this link to purchase a Husqvarna Automower.
Do you have any other questions about that we didn’t cover in this Husqvarna Automower review? Leave them in the comments and we’ll be sure to answer them as best we can.