Husqvarna Automower 430XH Review – Why I wouldn’t buy one

Husqvarna Automower 430XH

Automowers have been out for a while and we have had the chance to review these in the past, but it has never been something I jumped at as I know it’s not for me.  So why is it not for me but yet I am writing this Husqvarna Automower 430XH Review?  Simple but complex answer but I will try and make it quick before we jump in.

Like it or not, we live in a world of technology.  No matter where you look, technology is there, we can not escape this new way of living.  As great as technology can be, it can also be extremely frustrating.  Sometimes when I press my garage door to open, it resets and doesn’t open. I turn on my tv and sometimes the sound doesn’t work.  I try to turn up the volume on my iPhone and I take a screenshot and the list goes on.  Speaking of phones, why do people insist on having a long conversation through text?

Two reasons I would never own an Automower.  First, I don’t want to deal with more technology in my life as the automowers seem complicated.  Second, I like mowing my lawn.  I put on my earbuds, pop on some music, and get lost, it’s my time.  My time to relax and get away from the world.  So why would I want to give up something that allows me to escape, reset and get away from the daily grind?

So again, why am I doing this Husqvarna Automower 430XH Review?  A while back we went down to visit Husquvara and see their new Excite riding mower.  While I was down there, I really realized the quality of Husquvarna products.  The mower was awesome, the blower was one of the most powerful we have seen and the list goes on.  Another thing I saw was the Automowers running in an open field.  It was cool, but still not for me.  However being in this business, I know there are a lot of people who would want to know more about these mowers and how they stack up.  So considering Husqvarna is one of the best in regards to quality, I wanted to give this mower a shot.  I knew I would set it up and then when I was done, give it to my neighbor and have him deal with the headaches. Then I could get back to my escape and mow the grass myself.

Sidenote – I learned that you should not be cutting off more than 1/3 of the height of your grass each time you mow.  I used to cut my grass short all the time, hoping to extend the time between mowings.  Since I listened to Husqvarna and cut more often instead of shorter, my grass doesn’t stress out and go brown like it used to.

What is an Automower?

An automower is the lazy man’s dream.  You set it up and it cuts the grass for you so you can sit on the beach and drink fruity drinks all day long.  OK, maybe the beach part is stretching it but you get the point, an Automower automatically cuts your grass for you.

The automower consists of the mower, which cuts the grass, the docking station where the automower goes for charging, and then a couple of different wires.  The first set of wires is laid to set the boundaries so the mower only cuts inside of that boundary.  The second wire set-up is the guide wire.  This is the way the automower finds not only its charging station but also navigates to harder-to-find places.  So if you have a small area in the back and a small path to get there, you’re showing the mower how to access this part of the lawn.

On top of the mower, you have an access panel to program the mower.  In all honesty, I played around with it a little bit but the app is so great, I pretty much did everything from the app.  But if you need to make fine adjustments or other more in-depth things, you always have access to them through an onboard system.

So How Does this Cut?

So how does an automower cut?  I know this sounds funny but I actually thought it had a lawnmower blade, just like my lawnmower and it would cut the same way, but it doesn’t.

Get this, it pretty much uses razor blades.  Yes, when I first learned that, I was thinking that’s crazy, but they are a lot tougher than standard razor blades.  How do you cut a lawn with three razor blades?  I am so used to a 21″ blade.  With a razor blade, it would take forever to cut a lawn.  It would be like using tweezers to move hay while you’re looking through a haystack. It just didn’t make sense to me.

Well, I was wrong.  These three razor blades not only make short work out of cutting the lawn but they last a long time before they need to be replaced.

Set Up

Husqvarna Automower 430XH

While I was excited to test this out, I was not excited about the installation.  I really thought it would be a pain.  First, I thought ok, I will be short on supplies, or burying the wire would be a pain, or programming the unit would take forever.  Bottom line, I made every excuse in the book to push it off and find other projects to do instead.  While I am not going to get into every aspect of installation, I can tell you it was much easier than I expected.  In fact, I bought a grill, and putting together the grill was much harder than installing this automower.

First, the unit comes with everything you need and I wasn’t even close to using half of the supplies it comes with.  So don’t worry about running out of supplies.

Installing the wire was a piece of cake.  While you can stake the wire on the ground, I did want it buried.  I didn’t want to rent a cable installer so I just used my cordless edger and made a trench with that and installed the wire, then covered it up.

The mower comes with a cardboard ruler so you can make sure as it travels it isn’t hitting structures or going into flower beds, etc.  You can always adjust the travel distance over the wire through the app, so the wire placement doesn’t have to be overly precise.  Since I was burying the wire, and my yard doesn’t have any areas of concern like flower beds, I just eyeballed everything.  I knew I was still going to have to use my trimmer since my grass goes up against the house and fence.  So my idea was to place the wire far enough away so the mower isn’t bouncing off the wall and house.  This way I could just take the push mower and make one single pass.  If you want to get more precise, you can easily do this so you don’t have to make a pass with a push mower.

Husqvarna Automower 430XH

You first have to start and find a place to keep the charging station (Dock, Home Base).

I put mine behind my shed.  I did this for a couple of different reasons.  First, it’s out of sight.  Second, there is more than enough room for set up and this is an area I never really use, so I am not losing any space.  Third, it’s out of the sun for most of the day.  Not that it matters much if it’s in the sun, but the unit is plastic so I am sure after a while, the sun might fade the color.

Husqvarna Automower 430XH

I used an edger to trench the boundary wires and the guide wire.  I first started with a shovel but quickly realized that would be a pain and take all day.  Once I moved to the edger, it was simple.  I am not saying do this for your install, I am just telling you how I installed it.

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This gives you a better view of how I laid the wire.  Yes, I would have laid it closer to the fence but my thought was I was just going to use the push mower on the perimeter anyways, so I really do not need to be too exact and try to get every square inch with the automower.

Husqvarna Automower 430XH

I have a small area between the back of the garage and the shed.  According to Husquvarna and the manual, I had enough room to run the wires and allow the mower to fully work, but I didn’t.  The area is a little narrow and I knew I was going to use a push mower on some spots, it would be easy to cut myself.

Husqvarna Automower 430XH

The line on the left is a guide wire.  The unit comes with two guide wires so I ran one towards the house and the other I ran to a hard-to-reach area of the lawn.

Husqvarna Automower 430XH

I did have one area of concern which is to the right side of that retaining wall.  It is a little hard to see but I think the slope might be a little more than the 45 degrees.  I figure I am testing it so why not try?  I have been using the automower for over a month and the automower has tackled the slope with ease.  However, I did have one hiccup.

The mower was mowing in the rain.  I am not sure what happened but I received an alert on my phone that the automower tipped over.  When I went outside to see what happened, I found out the mower didn’t tip over.  What I think happened was it was hitting an area that is over 45 degrees and the mower slide back and then it triggered some type of alert.  I just moved the mower back and it went on its way.

So this is a tricky area as it’s narrow.  If the area wasn’t long, I might have bypassed this.  However, the area needs to be mowed and it also goes back to a little larger area to be mowed.  I ran both a boundary wire and the guide wire and gave it a shot.  My concern was the automower would be bouncing around and then ripping up the lawn as it would make a bunch of turns.

Again, I have been using this for over a month and it has been awesome.  The mower does mow this part and does bounce around a little bit, but it never rips up any grass and I never see any tracks.

Here’s a great article on How do Automower® Robotic Lawn Mowers work?

After Set Up

After I set up the unit and had the boundary wires and guide wires in place, I figured this is where things would be difficult.  I was wrong.  The app is extremely easy to work with.  I am not going into everything as you can watch other videos from Husqvuara about the app but there are three things I want to touch on.

With the app, you can adjust the blade height which is a great feature.  If you need to adjust the travel distance over the boundary wire, you can do that also.  For me, the best part is how simple setting the scheduling time for mowing.  Whoever designed this app did a great job.  It’s so easy to create or change the mowing schedule.

Impressions before having the mower do its job

The unit seemed to be extremely tough.  Again, Husqvarna makes quality products so it’s not something that came as a surprise to me.

What I really liked best was how easy and hands-off this unit is.  Once it’s set up, there is no messing around.  Even when you do have to change blades, they make that process extremely easy.

In Action

Husqvarna Automower 430XH

OK, not going to lie.  Husqvarna makes great products but for me, I really wasn’t expecting too much with the finish cut of the mower.  Yes, I thought it would look good but with razor blades, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I was blown away.  This machine does an awesome job.  My lawn always looks incredible.  I have a new lawn so I do have some dirt spots.  I thought for sure I would see mud trails all over but to my surprise, it didn’t leave mud trails at all.  Second, I have been using it for over a month and there are no areas where it has ripped up my lawn.

Husqvarna Automower 430XH

As I noted above, I have a new yard that not all the grass seed has taken.  So it has a lot of bare spots.  I found out a couple of things.  The wheels are great.  When it goes over the wet dirt, it’s not heavy enough that it puts tracks in there or it doesn’t pull up dirt as it travels.  It can make it through those areas without any issues.

Husqvarna Automower 430XH

Here is an example of a bare spot.  This is a little hard to tell from the picture but this is one of the areas with mostly dirt.  It rained the night before and the mower already did its job.  As you can see it doesn’t dig into the dirt and leave trails.

Husqvarna Automower 430XH

Once the mowing is complete, it will auto-park itself in the docking station and begin recharging.

It’s tough.  I tried to not make it hit anything but as you can see it still hits the walls sometimes, but that’s on me as I just eyeballed everything during install.  The rubber bumper and plastic shield do a great job holding up.  I have a couple of areas where I laid the wire close to the garage so that is where I am guessing it’s hitting the concrete side.

This is what my yard looks like with the automower.  The front of my yard where I do not use the automower is brown and not looking as good.  We have not had a lot of rain so I am guessing that my chopping up and taking off a lot of grass during a drought is stressing the grass out.  Where in the back it is only taking a small amount off, it’s not stressing out the grass.


So what issues have I had?  As I said, the one time it showed it said it tipped over.  That is really not the fault of the mower, that is just how I laid the wire and let it try and tackle more than a 45-degree slope.

Another issue I had was I cut the boundary wire and didn’t know I did.  After I laid the wire, I came back about a month later and was trying to repair some bare spots.  The area I was fixing has compacted dirt so I used a shovel to try and break up the dirt.  I noticed the mower didn’t cut the next morning and when I looked at the app, it showed an error.  So I had to try and find the area I cut through the wire.  I ended up finding it and it was extremely easy to repair.  Again, not the fault of the mower, it was my fault.

I would like to see some type of fault finder.  Not sure if it is possible to create a fault finder for this.  Not sure what happens over the years if animals, kids or something else cuts the wire, would be nice to have an easy way to find the cut.  For me, it was easy since I knew where I was digging.

Final Thought

Talk about a 180-degree attitude change, this mower changed my thinking.  At first, I really did not want this mower.  Now, I will not give it up.  I love this mower.  The mower is tough, easy to use and does an awesome job, and leaves a great-looking lawn.  I thought I would miss my “escape time” but instead this automower has allowed me more time to do other things, meaning I get more done around the house and my wife is happier.

This is a must-have system.  I understand that this is a big upfront cost but in the long run, it pays for itself.  Again, it’s easy to use and leaves a great-looking lawn, this is a no-brainer.

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