We know what you are thinking. (We are creepy that way.) You are thinking, “A Kress RTKn review? I can’t believe these guys would want to play around with a robotic mower for hours. They don’t normally geek out over robot lawn care like that!”
Well, we have decided to sacrifice. Just for you. We are giving like that.
Below, you can find our Kress RTKn review video. We don’t want to spoil it, so for now, we will just say this: the Kress RTKn is one of the most unique robotic mowers we have seen. It is full of new innovations. In fact, even the name of the robot mower reflects the innovation. It refers to the Real Time Kinematic Network, which is the proprietary technology that lets this Kress mower run without any wires at all.
However, we also recognize that Martin and Seth’s facial hair might make some people so jealous that they cannot watch the video. For them, we have included a TL;DW written summary version after the video.
Either way, enjoy our expert take on this brand new model!
A Few Important Notes Before the Kress RTKn Review
Before we begin, we think it’s important to be clear up front about a few things. The Kress RTKn is mostly intended for commercial properties, not for homeowners. That’s not to say that homeowners can’t use the Kress RTKn. However, the robotic mower is generally a better fit for businesses and government properties.
In our expert opinion, the 4½-acre and 9-acre models are especially great fits for sports fields because they can go all the way down to a 1.18” cut height.
If you do decide to pursue the Kress RTKn as a homeowner, you must see if there is an installer near you. This robotic mower needs a professional install. You cannot just pull the Kress RTKn out of the box and set it up yourself. We want to stress this essential point. We always want to give you the right solution for your needs. If you are someone hoping for a DIY setup, this Kress RTKn review is not right for you.
The Kress RTKn is also not right for properties with a lot of trees or other obstructions. Those obstacles will make it challenging for the robotic mower to communicate with the satellites (which is how this innovative machine stays wireless). Once again, we feel this Kress RTKn review is particularly well-suited for those who manage commercial properties with some open-field areas.
With those nuggets of knowledge in mind, let’s dive into our Kress RTKn review.
We will be honest and say that some people don’t really care how their robotic mower looks. However, some people do (us included). After all, for many people, their robot mower is something they showcase.
For those that want a robotic mower that looks slick, the Kress RTKn will not disappoint. We find the Kress RTKn to have a really bold look. The red, white, and black color scheme really pops. We also really like the fins over the wheels and the ribbed front bumper.
The Kress RTKn is a pretty massive machine. It would be pretty hard to hide it. Luckily, you won’t want to.
That said, if a robotic mower looks good but doesn’t do its job like it should, it’s basically the equivalent of, well, Jimmy Garappolo (sorry, Jimmy!)
Thankfully, the Kress RTKn is more Patrick Mahomes than Jimmy G. It rises above others as an elite model and includes several innovations that we haven’t seen before.
The Kress RTKn’s greatest innovation is the Real-Time Kinematic technology, which is controlled by a divide called the pilot. (The pilot is the white disc that sits atop the black tower in the back center of the mower.)
The pilot is what gives the Kress RTKn its most impressive superpower: the ability to navigate with no other equipment on your property. With most robotic mowers, you have to put up boundary wires. Even if you don’t need boundary wires, you need to install a reference station on your property so the robotic lawn mower can access GPS.
The Kress RTKn is different. Kress has their own proprietary network, which is why you need to be within range of an installer with an antenna. The good news is that there are lots of installers connected to the Kress network. And the coverage area across the US is only going to continue to grow.
Network connection strength
How does the Kress RTKn do with connecting to the network? Quite well. Four our Kress RTKn review, we tested the robotic mower at a local park with a lot of tree coverage, and we had no problems at all. The robotic mower did not have to stop once to check its position.
Even if the Kress RTKn ever does lose signal, the powerful machine uses “dead reckoning.” Dead reckoning is a proprietary system that uses past data plus isometry, odometry, and telemetrics to know its location and keep working.
And when a Kress robotic mower is connected to the network, the location accuracy is incredible, down to within 2 centimeters.
Honestly, there’s not too much to say here. With a machine as technologically advanced as the Kress RTKn, you expect connectivity capability through both 4G and wifi. You certainly get that. And in our tests, we had absolutely no problems connecting either way.
That connection to the internet is key. Why? Because then you can connect to the Kress RTKn through the app, which is full of advanced settings and functions crucial to operation.
The Kress RTKn also scores high marks for just being easy to use. Of course, this makes sense, as Kress mowers are made by Positec, the same company that makes Worx robotic mowers. Worx has always been known for having small innovations that make life easier for owners. The Kress RTKn has many of these same features.
For example, changing wheels on the Kress RTKn robot lawn mower is so much easier than doing so on most competitors’ models. With many other autonomous mowers, you have to disassemble the machine just to change a wheel. With the Kress RTKn, you just unclip the old wheel and clip in a new one. That’s it.
The Kress RTKn also has an automatic floating deck and height adjustment, as well as easy battery access. While not unique to Kress, we appreciate the inclusion of these time-saving, efficient innovations. No one wants to take forever to change a battery. No one wants to see their grass cut down to the dirt. Kress knows this and delivers a robotic mower that helps you avoid such hassles.
As you would imagine, one of the key elements we evaluate in a robotic lawn mower is its ability to cut grass. What we found while reviewing the Kress RTKn is that its cutting power surpasses almost any other model. Plus, it creates beautiful striped patterns because the RTK technology helps it establish a perfectly efficient pattern.
The key tool in the RTKn’s arsenal is the cutting disc system. Each comes with 3 blades, which really chew through grass, even when it’s fairly thick. And as you can imagine, as you move up to bigger models with bigger capacities, the blades get even more powerful. The models intended for smaller properties have one disc. The model with 1¼-acre capability has 2 stacked cutting discs, each with 3 blades. The 4½-acre and 9-acre models have 4 discs, for a total of 12 blades. That’s some serious cutting power!
The two highest-capacity mowers also have something called Teamwork Collaborative Technology. If you put two Kress RTKn robotic mowers together to work on one property, they tap into the incredible RTK geolocation technology, as well as their impressive robotic mower machine learning, to tag team. Other robotic mowers would typically run over what the other one cut, creating a really inefficient process. Multiple Kress RTKns will communicate and tackle the problem extremely efficiently. In fact, some of our female readers may point out that two Kress RTKn mowers communicate better than two men!
Two 12-blade mowers working together can certainly handle any type of grass on just about any size property. But even the lowest-capacity Kress RTKn creates a nice, even cut through the most common grass thicknesses it will ever face.
Above, we mentioned a lot of the most prominent (and most essential) features as we considered our Kress RTKn review. However, the Kress RTKn has a few other standard features that only add to our view of its quality. One of these features is something we have never seen before in a robotic mower, something that we would guess other companies are going to try to mimic because it’s so helpful. And of course, the robotic mower nerds that we are, we have to share our enthusiasm on that and more.
All of the features that we mention in this section come standard on all models of the Kress RTKn.
First, you get a small keypad on top of the machine. Some people may wish for something more extensive, like you find on other models. However, we like that the Kress RTKn takes a more minimalistic approach. After all, you can control everything through the app. Also, a smaller keypad discourages others from touching your machine. (Yes, we realize that the keypad on the Kress RTKn is PIN-protected, but still…)
Another standard feature is a stop button on top of the machine. This is a nice way to kill power to the robotic mower if needed.
The Kress RTKn joins a couple of other robotic mowers in offering in-hub drive motors. In other words, you get dedicated all-terrain independent drive wheels. This gives the Kress RTKn higher torque to power through just about any terrain. It also means that the Kress RTKn operates even more quietly than other robotic mowers.
Our favorite feature of the Kress rtkN Review
You might be thinking, “OK, but what’s the innovative feature you were so jazzed about?” It’s called the regenerative braking system (RBS). If the RTKn is going downhill, it actually takes some of the kinetic energy from the movement and the braking and distributes it back to the battery.
Why is that a big deal? Do you get an extra 4 hours of run time? No. But you do get just a tiny bit more, and every little bit counts. But even more importantly, you don’t lose energy from hills like you normally do with a robotic mower. You gain energy, even if it’s just incremental.
Overall, we find it brilliant. You get a tiny bit more capacity out of your mower. And you don’t have to do anything besides just let the Kress RTKn do its job.
Final Thoughts on the Kress RTKn
The bottom line is that we find the Kress’ build quality to be top-notch. (Kress itself has such faith in the product that buyers receive a 3-year warranty.) This isn’t too surprising given the brand’s sterling reputation in Europe. (Kress is headquartered in Germany.) However, the RTKn is Kress’ first wireless robotic mower, so we like to see that it lives up to the Kress name.
Does our positive Kress RTKn review mean that we think you should go out and buy it? Not necessarily. Again, we want to help you find the right robotic lawn care solution for your needs. If you live within range of a professional installer and maintain commercial properties, we would likely recommend the Kress RTKn to you. If not, this robotic mower might not be the right fit. Contact Autmow today, and we can help you decide.
If the RTKn isn’t the right fit for your needs, another potential solution is to wait for another Kress release. The RTKn is one of Kress’ first entries into the US market. We certainly hope it won’t be the last.
Just like you hope you haven’t seen the last of our epic facial hair in one of our videos. (Spoiler alert: Don’t worry. You haven’t.)