Android Central Verdict
The Husqvarna Automower 430XH isn't for everyone but can benefit everyone with a lawn. It offers consistent mowing with little to no assistance for the user once it is set up. Unless you have loose dirt, tree roots, or other debris in your yard, then you'll be helping the mower get unstuck.
Consistent mowing performance
Inexpensive replacement blades
Able to manage large areas
The companion app is quite helpful
The boundary wire is a pain to install
Requires boundary wire to operate
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Robot vacuums have become commonplace over the past few years, with devices ranging from basic floor cleaners to ones packed with AI-powered cameras. A handful of companies hope a similar trend holds true for robotic lawnmowers. A brand that has been at the forefront of these products is Husqvarna.
Well known for making power tools for outdoor projects, the company is familiar with what it takes to withstand the beating nature can put out. I put the Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH to the test on my rural farm stead for a few months, and I can say that I'm ready for these devices to become more common.
Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH review: Price and availability
The Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH launched in 2019 for $3299.95 through multiple retailers including Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot, and Husqvarna. Since its release the lawnmower has seen multiple price changes, but is currently retailing for $2499.99 at many of the same launch retailers.
Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH review: What's good
When I was first presented with the opportunity to review a robotic lawnmower, I was both excited and skeptical. Just as I was when I got my first robot vacuum cleaner, but now I don't want to know what my life would be like without using one of the best robot vacuum cleaners. This is because of the time it has given my family back, and it takes care of a task I'd just as soon not do.
My hope for a robot lawnmower was much the same as the vacuum situation. While I don't necessarily dislike mowing my yard, I actually quite enjoy it the first few times in the spring, but as the summer rolls on, it very much becomes a chore. So getting something to take the task off my list is very much welcomed. But I live on five acres in rural Kansas, and though I didn't expect a robot mower to take on my entire property, anything would be welcomed.
I'm very familiar with the company Husqvarna as I've used many of its outdoor power tools. While most people will know of the brand for those tools, Husqvarna isn't new to robots. It's been making these devices for 25 years. There was even a celebration this summer to mark the time spent, but it was also the 10th anniversary of the Mars robot, Curiosity. Some models of Automowers beeped out Happy Birthday and flashed their lights on August 5th, 2022. Husqvarna sent me a compatible model, the 415XH, to test the event. Here's a link for a video of it.
The AUTOMOWER 430XH is one of the larger consumer models offered by Husqvarna. It features many of the same conveniences found on basic robot vacuums, like compatibility with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, mapping, a charging dock, spot mowing, and others. But instead of spinning brushes, you get three spinning razor blades for a 9.45-inch cutting path in your yard.
The unit also features sensors that help it to maintain balance and stop the mower if it gets lifted or tilted. However, unlike your vacuum that will start vacuuming once charged, the Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH needs you to set boundaries and guide it some.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH|
|Dimensions||29.5 x 24.8 x 13 inches|
|Battery||5 Ah, 50 min charge time, 145 min run time|
|Cutting width||9.45 inches|
|Cutting system||3 pivoting razor blades|
|Cutting height||2 - 3.6 inches|
|Lawn size||.8 acre, 1,432 sqft/hr|
|Safety||GPS Theft tracking, PIN code, Alarm|
|Sensors||Lift, Tilt, Ultrasonic|
|Boundary wire required||✔️|
|Smart features||Weather timer, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Map locator|
When purchasing an AUTOMOWER, there are two options, professional installation, and self-installation. Being a person that likes to do things himself, I wanted the task of installing it myself. Inside the box for the 430XH is 2461-feet of loop wire, extra blades, low-voltage wire, loop wire couplers and connectors, wire stakes, labels, charging station, ground anchors, and the mower.
A word of advice before you begin installing the loop wire, walk your property and get a clear game plan for where you want the Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH to cut. It will save you a lot of time and frustration laying the wire.
The loop wire is used for two purposes — be the boundary and guide for the mower. My wife and I used every inch of the provided wire to cover as much of our yard as possible. Using the ground stakes, we secured the wire on top of the ground, which can be buried up to eight inches, as the mower's boundary. Then we ran a wire to the furthest corner from the charging station for the guide wire.
This wire has a stronger current to help the mower find it and get the 430XH back to the charging station as fast as possible. The loop wire is also used to create what Husqvarna calls islands, around areas you don't want the mower to go, like trees, brush piles, gardens, etc.
With the boundary and guide wires installed, it was time to connect them to the charging station and power everything up. I switched on the primary power of the Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH and put it on the charger. While charging, it booted up and was ready to pair with the Husqvarna AUTOMOWER Connect app on my Google Pixel 7 Pro.
The app allows you to monitor the mower's power status and location on your property, schedule mowing, change cutting height, set the weather timer, and more. Using the app, you also get all sorts of different insights as to what your mower has accomplished. You can see stats like how far your AUTOMOWER 430XH has traveled, how much time has been spent charging, cutting, and searching for the base station, and more.
When the mower gets stuck or lost, because it does, you'll get a notification from the app telling you of the issue. I like that I can pull up the map to see where the bot got into trouble on the property. The map can also show the radius for the AUTOMOWER 430XH's geofence and mowing path.
The geofence acts as an invisible bubble over your property. You can adjust the size of the area included and where it covers. But, should the robot happen to be taken from your yard, you'll get an alert and be able to track it down. The mower will continue reporting its location and reduce its GPS pings if the battery gets low.
So, the big question is, how good is it as a lawn mower? Well, pretty darn good. Firstly, it is very quiet. Like spooky quiet. Even when it is quiet outside, you have to really listen to hear the motor spinning the blades. My brother and I were sitting outside one evening chatting after watching a football game, and the mower snuck up and scared us.
When I first started the mower, both my wife and I watched it for a bit to see if it was doing anything. Because it isn't shooting grass clippings out of a chute like most mowers, it is hard to see if grass is getting cut. That is unless it's in a very tall patch of grass. However, when the mower does encounter an area that is particularly overgrown, it will stop and begin cutting in a spiral pattern to ensure it is fully and evenly cut.
As the mower reaches a boundary wire, it will continue cutting until it crosses the wire a specific distance. You can choose in the app how far past the wire your mower will go. If the mower comes in contact with a solid object, it will bump into it and turn around. Using the included wire is recommended to create "islands" around objects and areas you don't want the mower going or hitting. This is done using the included wire and is really helpful for things like trees, bushes, or gardens.
Unlike robot vacuums that tend to clean in an orderly pattern, the Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH doesn't — at all. The mowing path is completely random and makes no sense. But the mower knows where it has and hasn't been. So it will eventually cover your entire yard. I didn't have to mow manually, but a few patches of my yard from mid-July until the end of the mowing season in October.
Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH review: What's not good
For a device that is designed to automate cutting your lawn, the Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH does a really good job. The unit works great, and the app compliments it well. But, there are some hiccups reaching that point right from the start.
That is the boundary wire installation. Laying out the wire is very tedious and, depending on when you install it, very labor intensive. If you live in an area that doesn't get too hot and receives plenty of rain, or you set up your mower in the springtime, installing the wire isn't too bad. But if you install it when I did, in July in Kansas, then it is both difficult with the hard and dry ground and exhausting.
The other part of wire installation that affects how tiring the process is would how much wire you run. If you have a smaller lawn with only a few obstacles, you could have the wire installed in a couple of hours if the ground is soft. But if you are dealing with adverse conditions and using all of the wire, it took my wife and me ten hours to do the job.
But if you don't want to do the work yourself, look into having it installed for you. It is necessary for the wire to be installed, so you can't get around it. So, keep this in mind because the mower will not operate unless the wire is installed with a complete loop. Meaning if there is a break in the boundary wire, your AUTOMOWER 430XH will stop.
The mower's display will tell you "No Loop Found," so you at least know why it isn't cutting the grass. Also, the charging station has an LED light to display its status, including if the boundary wire loop is broken. But where that break is located is a mystery. If you're lucky, the break happens by the mower, and you can more easily find it. Otherwise, it is a bunch of walking and trying to find the break, or you can purchase a piece of equipment to tone the wire to find the issue.
Lastly, even with the grippy wheels, the AUTOMOWER 430XH gets stuck and caught on things easily. Now, I admit, my yard isn't pristine and has more than a few dips in the grass, sticks, and roots to contend with. But I also don't think it's bad either. The mower does fine going over small twigs and can handle a pretty good incline. However, if the mower manages to get a larger stick between its wheels or get into loose dirt, it's going to need help.
Considering that the mower can handle wet grass on an incline, a wide, shallow hole with loose dirt would capture it nearly every time. When I'd go to rescue the 430XH, I'd see the signs of a struggle with ruts and spirals carved into the dirt where it tried escaping, but to no avail. So, if your yard has exposed tree roots or areas of loose dirt, you'll want to put an island around those obstacles for the mower.
Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH review: Competition
Even though Husqvarna has been in the robot lawn mower game for some time now, it's only just now starting to get some new contenders. Worx is a brand that's been making affordable outdoor power tools for a while and is also making lawnmowers. Its Landroid L is the closest in terms of cutting area to the AUTOMOWER 430XH.
The Landroid L is rated for up to a .5 acre, the Husqvarna model is .8, and it uses a brushless motor to power the floating cutting disc and wheels. You'll need to install the boundary wire for the Worx mower, but there are some accessories that can help out too. Such as the ACS antic-collision system, which attaches to the mower to give it ultrasonic detection powers. This means it will sense objects and avoid them rather than just bumping into them. But if you don't purchase the ACS, it'll simply respond like the AUTOMOWER 430XH.
The Worx Landroid L offers an 8-inch cutting path and up to 3.5 inches of cutting height. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity allows you to control the mower from anywhere with your smartphone. It does lack GPS, though, so you won't be able to see it on a map or track it if stolen. However, Worx does offer add-on accessories to solve that issue. The Landroid L comes in quite a bit lower on the price scale at about $1300 at Amazon (opens in new tab) but won't cut as large of an area as the 430XH.
Another popular option is from Gardena. This company is part of Husqvarna, so it has some solid backing. Gardena mowers offer similar productivity as Husqvarna but with slightly fewer features and smaller mowing capacity. You'll find them at a much lower cost compared to the AUTOMOWER 430XH, though. The SILENO Life, model 15108-41, is rated for just under a half acre with an 8.7-inch cutting path. There's no Wi-Fi or GPS onboard, but you can manage the mower with the companion app if you're in Bluetooth range.
The mower offers PIN code protection and lifts and tilt sensors. You'll need to install the boundary wire to define Gardena's mowing area. Weighing only 18.3 pounds, the SILENO Life is easy to carry and store. Just keep in mind that you won't be able to cut very large lawns with it, but if you have a smaller yard, this is an option worth considering.
Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH review: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You don't want to manually mow your yard.
- You don't have a yard over one acre.
- You have a yard that stays most debris free and doesn't have areas of loose dirt.
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You don't want to run a boundary wire.
- You have exposed tree roots.
- You have a yard larger than one acre.
The portion of my yard that I tested the Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH on was all the space it could handle. But the mower did a great job keeping the grass maintained. However, there was little downtime for the robot. In order to keep up, it had to run nearly non-stop. So if you have a yard under one acre, it will do a great job for you. Assuming you have an already tidy yard without patches of loose dirt.
I've really enjoyed using this mower. It saved me tons of time, even if I did have to rescue it many times from getting stuck on a stick or in a hole. Remember that you'll need to run a boundary wire to use the mower. While not overly complicated, it's not a simple task. So, if that's not something you're willing to do, you'll need to add the installation cost to your purchase. Depending on your needs or yard size, Husqvarna offers a helpful tool to assist you in finding the right robot lawnmower for your yard.
Robot lawnmowers are not inexpensive devices, but hopefully, they will begin to come down in price. Does that mean the Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH isn't worth it? No. I think it is wonderful. But, considering the price, I do wish I could forgo the wire and define the mowing area with GPS. In the end, if you have it in your budget and a suitable yard for the robot lawn mower, it is a great way to get some of your time back since it won't be spent mowing.
Big or small, mowing the lawn can be time consuming and potentially exhausting. The Husqvarna AUTOMOWER 430XH can handle medium sized yards very well and help get your time back to you. But it takes a fair bit of work and money to get started.
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