X

Husqvarna Automower 305 hands on

Lawns are great, but mowing them is a bane of modern life. Husqvarna's range of Automowers hopes to relieve us of some of that drudgery.

eb9bd7634bba9eb948x48.jpg
eb9bd7634bba9eb948x48.jpg

Derek Fung

See full bio
husqvarna-automower_1.jpg
1 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Hello, goodbye

Lawns are great, but mowing them is a bane of modern life. Husqvarna's range of Automowers hopes to relieve us of some of that drudgery.

For AU$1999, the new entry-level Automower 305 can eliminate those boring, wasted hours.

husqvarna-automower_2.jpg
2 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Knowing one's limits

Some 150m of guide wire is supplied with the Automower, which is laid down by the owner to mark the limits of the mowing area.

husqvarna-automower_3.jpg
3 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Dodge 'em car

The body shell can move independently of the rest of the unit, allowing it to absorb impacts. Once it runs into an object or one of its boundary markers, the Automower will back up a tad, turn at a random angle and then move forward. This, according to Husqvarna, eliminates visible mowing rows, and allows for full coverage of a lawn over time.

The 305 can handle up to 500 square metres of lawn, and handles inclines of around 25 per cent.

husqvarna-automower_4.jpg
4 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Cute and inspirational

The inspiration for the Husqvarna's automated mowers was apparently this little guy. Sheep, we're told, act as nature's lawn mowers, eating the top of grass blades. Cows, on the other hand, tend to yank clumps of grass out of the ground entirely.

husqvarna-automower_5.jpg
5 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Clippy

There's no bag or other storage device for grass clippings. The idea is that after your lawn has been cut down to your desired height and the Automower begins maintaining the grass at that level, the clippings will be small in size, less obvious to the eye and act as a natural fertiliser for the rest of the lawn.

husqvarna-automower_6.jpg
6 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Bummer

Sorry, kids; you can't ride the Automower.

husqvarna-automower_7.jpg
7 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Stop!

If the mower's getting in the way of your time with the kids or dog, just hit the big red button.

husqvarna-automower_8.jpg
8 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Early morning wake up call

The Automower can be programmed to run whenever you want.

husqvarna-automower_9.jpg
9 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Cut it out

A simple knob allows the owner to set his or her preferred cutting height of between 2cm and 5cm.

husqvarna-automower_10.jpg
10 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Cut, cut, cut!

The mower's cutting blades can be flipped over when one side becomes blunt and, according to Husqvarna, are easily replaceable.

husqvarna-automower_11.jpg
11 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Roller derby

Depending on usage, the rear guiding wheel may need to be replaced every few years.

husqvarna-automower_12.jpg
12 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

ET, phone home

Once the battery level is running low, the Automower 305 will find a way back to its base station. Recharging takes between 30 and 45 minutes, and the Lithium-ion battery pack lasts, depending on usage, between one and three years.

husqvarna-automower_13.jpg
13 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Dirty thing

If the grass is long, the underside of the Automower can get a little dirty. They can, apparently, be cleaned by hand or water.

husqvarna-automower_14.jpg
14 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Nicked

If you're fearful that your Automower will be taken by someone looking for a five fingered discount, fear not. The mower has a PIN code alarm system that emits an ear-piercing note if the unit is lifted off terra firma. According to Husqvarna, the alarm can run for over a day.

husqvarna-automower_15.jpg
15 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

The others

There are two other Automowers on sale in Australia. This is the mid-range 220AC that can manage lawns up to 1800m².

husqvarna-automower_16.jpg
16 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

More lawn

The 230ACX is the range-topping model in Australia, and can mow up to 3000m². Buyers overseas can not only choose from a greater variety of models, but also have an Automower that's (partially) solar powered.

husqvarna-automower_17.jpg
17 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Colour my world

Higher-end models, such as this 230 ACX, can be had with colourful body shells. They can also be controlled and monitored via smartphone apps and SMS.

husqvarna-automower_18.jpg
18 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

In the doghouse

Despite all Automowers being waterproof, higher-end units have covered docking stations.

husqvarna-automower_19.jpg
19 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

After

In the days before Husqvarna's press event, the Automower 305 was given this patch of Sydney's Centennial Park to mow. For the most part, it's cut to an even height.

husqvarna-automower_20.jpg
20 of 20 Derek Fung/CNET

Before-ish

This area was patrolled by the more expensive 230ACX. It looks more unkempt as it was only being worked on during the day of our visit.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

84 Photos
2024 Chevy Silverado HD Debuts New Look, New Towing Tech

More Galleries

2024 Chevy Silverado HD Debuts New Look, New Towing Tech

28 Photos
The Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

36 Photos
DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

More Galleries

DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

10 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games

More Galleries

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos
2023 BMW XM PHEV SUV Has Brash and Crazy Style

More Galleries

2023 BMW XM PHEV SUV Has Brash and Crazy Style

11 Photos