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Do I Really Need an AWD Robotic Mower?

All-wheel drive robotic lawn mowers are perfect for yards with hills or uneven terrain.

August 24, 2023

“Do you think I need an AWD robotic mower?”

That is a question we get all the time. After all, AWD (All-Wheel Drive, if you don’t speak robot mower geek) has become the latest craze to hit the robotic lawn care industry.  

And the truth is that the word need is a strong one. Do we really need to buy the cable TV package that includes the Polish version of Wheel of Fortune?  For most of us the answer is just that it would be awesome to have, but it’s not a necessity. However, if you happen to write blog posts about the latest episode of Koło Fortuny, you really do need it.  And if you would never, ever watch it, it really is an unnecessary expense.

For many people, an AWD robotic lawn mower would be nice to have, but it’s not necessary. For others, though, it really is essential. And for a small percentage of people, it’s not needed at all.

Which category do you fit in? Read on, and we will help you determine.

What Is an All-Wheel Drive Robotic Mower?

Just like cars, you can find robotic mowers that are 2-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Many robotic mowers, especially those made more than a few years ago, only offer power to 2 of the 4 wheels. Some offer front-wheel drive, which helps them turn better. Some offer rear-wheel drive, which leads to better power.

But now, you can find many all-wheel drive robotic lawn mowers. This feature is becoming the secret weapon of robotic mowers around the world. It’s like giving your mower steroids, but without the risk of it getting blacklisted from the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame. AWD gives robotic mowers the best of both worlds: maneuverability and power. It allows a robotic mower to handle uneven landscapes and steep slopes like a pro. It really is just the ticket for lawns that love to throw curveballs!

AWD comes in different flavors. It’s like choosing between mint chip and butter pecan; there is no wrong choice. Some all-wheel drive robotic mowers use a differential to distribute power to the wheels. Other AWD robotic lawn mowers use individual motors on each wheel. It’s like choosing your character in a video game, each with its own superpowers.

The Benefits of AWD Robotic Lawn Mowers

So…what are these superpowers of which we speak? Here are a few:

  • Able to handle tall slopes in a single pass: OK, it’s not quite the phrase we associate with Superman, but in terms of autonomous lawn care, AWD mowers are quite impressive.  They can handle slopes much, much more easily than a 2-wheel drive robot mower. In fact, Husqvarna has some models that handle 70% slopes.
  • The agility of Spider-man: Many 2-wheel drive models struggle with uneven terrain. Again, they may not make it up and down slopes without slipping, causing uneven cutting and possibly even wheel damage on your lawn. But 2-wheel drive models also do not handle a lawn with roots, rocks, or dips as well as an AWD robot mower.
  • Handling water like Aquaman:  If you have ever cut your grass after some recent rain or during the early-morning dew, you know what happens.  It clumps up. An all-wheel drive robot mower will have a much easier time navigating a little bit of soup than a 2-wheel drive model. Similarly, an AWD robotic lawn mower can handle mud like a boss and does not get bogged down nearly as easily. 
  • Controlling long grass like Groot: Grass also tends to clump more when it is longer.  So again, an AWD robotic lawn mower is a better choice if you can’t always keep your grass short. Unfortunately, though, as of now, you cannot program the robot mower to say, “I am Groot.”  We are advocating for this in future releases, however.

Why You Might Need an AWD Robotic Mower

Based on all of this, here are some reasons why you might opt for a robotic mower with all-wheel drive:

You have some steep hills on your property. Pretty much any autonomous mower can handle slopes of 20% or less. More than that, though, and an AWD robot mower might be best for you. Check what kind of slope a robotic mower can handle before you make a purchase.

Your property has a lot of uneven terrain. An all-wheel drive robotic mower has a much lesser chance of getting stuck. 

You live in an area with a lot of rain. AWD robotic mowers do better in areas with a lot of precipitation for two reasons.  First, AWD machines are better able to handle wet and muddy conditions.  Second, if you have to wait on mowing for a few days as some torrential downpours come through, an AWD robot mower will better cut longer grass.

You want more peace of mind. Again, 2-wheel drive robotic lawn mowers are not bad machines. Not at all.  However, AWD models do offer a more consistent cut across a wider variety of terrains and conditions. As a result, you are more likely to have a worry-free lawn mowing experience with an AWD robot mower.

The Potential Downside to AWD Robotic Lawn Mowers

If all this is true, you might be asking, “Why doesn’t every robotic mower come with AWD?” Or, “Why wouldn’t I buy an all-wheel drive robotic lawn mower?” 

Well, as we have said, AWD robotic mowers have some extra superpowers over a 2-wheel drive model. But hey, superpowers don’t come cheap! AWD robotic mowers generally cost a bit more than non-AWD models. That’s really the only drawback you have to balance against the positives. But it’s a potentially big drawback, so it’s important.

In our opinion, an AWD robotic lawn mower is worth every penny if you’ve got a lawn that’s less of a landscape and more of a hellscape. These powerful machines offer a smooth, even cut, and they are less likely to find themselves stuck in a game of hide and seek in the long grass. 

On the other hand, if you have a relatively small, flat space, you may not need an all-wheel drive robotic lawn mower.

Best All-Wheel Drive Robotic Lawn Mowers

The truth is that your lawn doesn’t have to make you sing “Welcome to the Jungle!” when you look at it to justify getting an all-wheel drive robotic mower. You might choose to buy an AWD robotic mower for all sorts of reasons.  If you are in the market, here are some of the best AWD robotic mowers that we recommend:

  • The Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD – We consider this one the seasoned explorer of mowers!
  • The Husqvarna Automower 535 AWD – This all-wheel drive robotic mower is professional grade, for the lawn moguls.
  • The LUBA AWD 5000 – This beast of a machine is the heavy hitter, always up for any challenge. Even better, it does it all without the need for a boundary wire.
  • The LUBA AWD 3000 – Another wireless gem from Luba, this AWD robotic mower is perfect for midsize lawns.
  • The LUBA AWD 1000 – We lovingly call this one the “Mighty Mouse” of the Luba AWD line. It has many of the same features as the other two (including being wireless), but it is designed for smaller yards. 

Interested in Purchasing an AWD Robotic Mower?

If you are interested in purchasing an all-wheel drive robotic mower, contact Autmow. We have all of the robot lawn mowers listed above in stock.

If you aren’t sure if you really need an AWD robotic lawn mower, contact Autmow. We can answer any questions you might have, and we can help you determine if an all-wheel drive robot mower or a 2-wheel drive model is best for your property.
And if you ask us nicely, we just might tell you the solution to the final puzzle on Koło Fortuny. Because yes, you really do need that.

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