LawnBott Evolution LB3210 and LawnBott LB3250 Review
A robotic lawn mower review
his LawnBott review can also be used as a LawnBott product guide for the LawnBott LB3210 and LawnBott LB3250. UPDATED on January 30, 2012.
Today's LawnBott Evolution are the LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250. The LB3210 and LB3250 serve to replace the discontinued model... new name, more features - a better robot mower! As technology improves, so does the LawnBott.
You may have heard about the discontinued LawnBott Evolution or LB3200 robotic lawn mower. This automatic lawn mower has been on the market for over 10 years in Europe and over 7 years in the US.
The LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250 are exactly the same lawn mower except that the LawnBott LB3250 has an extra lithium battery pre-installed. The LawnBott LB3210 comes pre-wired for the extra battery.
The LawnBott LB3210 can cut up to 33,000 sq. ft. of grass which is about an one acre lot, while the LawnBott LB3250 can mow up to 40,000 sq. ft. of lawn which is about a 1.25 acres lot. As you probably know, these coverage amounts overlap into the LawnBott LB3510's territory.
A bit of History – The LawnBott Evolution (LB3200) was the flagship robotic lawn mower before the LB3510 came around. Today’s LB3210 has even more features than the LawnBott Evolution of the past.
The dimensions of the LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250 box are 29 x 24 x 14 inches. The packaging of the mower has greatly improved over the years. The LawnBott is now protected in pre-molded foam with accessories neatly packed along the outside. Kudos to Zucchetti for continuing to improve their mowers...including how they are packaged.
LawnBott Parts and Accessories
- Covered charging base
- Wireless Remote Control
- 500 ft. of LawnBott perimeter wire
- 200 pegs
- Ruler (to help with wire placement)
- Perimeter signal transmitter
- Power supply
- Printed manual (multi-lingual)
- LawnBott DVD installation video
- Disturbance filter
- Our exclusive USB upgrade cable*
- Exclusive tips and advice guide*
*This guide and USB cable are included only when you order from LawnBotts.com.
Please visit the LawnBott LB3510 Review to see our review on the LawnBott Transmitter, LawnBott Perimeter Wire, LawnBott Pegs, LawnBott and Disturbance Filter.
The covered charging base will ship in either green or red. Many robotic lawn mower users see the covered garage as a bonus. My complaint about the covered charging garage is that it also covers the rain sensor. Therefore, the LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250 will have to leave the docking station to discover that it is raining. This is a minor complaint because the lawn mower switches off the blade and quickly finds its way back to the base with no harm done, but it is worth mentioning nonetheless. Also the quick trip in the rain helps keep the mower looking clean.
Design & Appearance Review
The LawnBott LB3210's shiny red shell looks wonderful on any lawn. In my opinion the LB3210 looks just as good as the LB3510. The smaller size and lighter weight are pluses for this mower and do not let the small size fool you. This mower really kicks grass!
The LawnBott LB3210 weighs about 28 pounds. (LB3250 weighs about 31 pounds). The LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250 are 22 inches long, 16.5 wide and 10 inches high. The low profile ensures it can mow under hedges. The 16.5” width allows the LB3210 to squeeze in the tightest spaces.
As with the other LawnBott models, the shell of the LB3210 and LB3250 does an excellent job of keeping water from entering the mower while withstanding a lifetime of bumps. The shell also resists UV rays to prevent the color from fading over time.
These dome nuts serve as charging contacts. When the mower rolls into the garage, they make contact with the charging plates.
The rain sensor on the LB3210 and LB3250 can be adjusted by turning one of the probes. The closer the contacts, the more sensitive it is to rain. As with the other LawnBott lawn mowers, you have three options in regards to the rain sensor:
- turn off the rain sensor, thus ignore rain
- automatically resume cutting grass after rain or
- wait for instruction from the owner after a rain.
In our test, the rain sensor works perfect right out of the box without any adjustments. After it starts raining the mower will turn off the blade and go back to the charging garage. There is a delay before the mower actually returns to mowing the grass which in most cases is just enough time for the lawn to dry.
The interface on the LB3210 and LB3250 is very similar to the other LawnBotts. It sports a 2 line LCD screen with the following buttons:
ON – Power Button
OFF / STOP – Turns off the LawnBott
START / PAUSE – Pause is standby mode. Start is for manually starting the mower.
CHARGE – If you press the charge button while the LawnBott is operating, it will find the charging station. If you press the charge button while the mower is in the base, it will force a mowing session.
- ARROW DOWN: Scrolls through options
+ ARROW UP: Scrolls through options
( ENTER ): make selection and advance to next menu
Remote Control Functions:
Though it is not designed to be a remote control lawn mower, the LawnBott LB3210 and LawnBott LB3250 is the only LawnBott that comes with a remote as a pack in. The radio frequency remote will work up to 20 feet away the lawn mower. The remote can be very useful if you place the charging base near a window because you can instruct the LawnBott to ignore the schedule and stop mowing. Or you can manually command the robotic lawn mower to cut grass without going outside.
START / PAUSE - Pause tells the mower to ignore the schedule and stay put. If you press the pause key while the mower is operating, it will stop immediately. The Pause button functions similar to how the Pause/Start key works on the mower's keypad.
CHARGE - If you press the charge button while the mower is operating, it will find the charging base. If you press the charge button while the mower is in the base, it will force a mowing session.
LEFT ARROW - Steers the mower towards the left while mowing like a remote control lawn mower.
RIGHT ARROW - Steers the mower towards the right while mowing like a remote control lawn mower.
For safety reasons, the remote control will not allow you to send the mower outside the boundaries of the perimeter wire.
The wheels have been upgraded to the same material and pattern on the LawnBott LB3510. Powering the new wheels are bigger IMS motors than were in the old generation Evolution. In order to accommodate the larger wheel motors the chassis also had to be redesigned. Therefore, the new motors will not work in the old LawnBott Evolution... sorry folks.
Zucchetti, the makers of the LawnBott, claim the new wheel motors will outlast the old wheel motors but only time will tell for sure.
The wheels from the old LawnBott Evolution were rubber based and had to be replaced after some years of use. The new, notched wheel design not only improves traction on some terrains but will not wear down over time.
In our test we liked the new wheels but the light weight of the mower can be a problem for very thick St Augustine lawns. If your lawn is consist of healthy, thick St Augustine grass, the LawnBott LB3210 can "float" on the grass surface and get stuck. For that reason, on very thick lawns like healthy St Augustine grass, we recommend the LawnBott LB3510 or at least an added battery in the LB3210, making it the LawnBott LB3250 (30 lbs) can add just enough weight to do the trick.
Spiked wheels not only add beauty to the LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250, but they improve traction. The notched wheels are great for maneuvering around many lawns, but if you have many dips, small holes and slopes, the spiked wheels are a must have for this lightweight lawn mower. The spiked wheels are a quick and easy install with 8 screws holding each plate onto the wheel.
The all electric LawnBott LB3210 lawn mower was designed with simplicity in mind. The insides of the LawnBott can be accessed by removing the two dome nuts and unscrewing plastic transparent covering. The mainboard is concealed in a separate compartment which is held by 6 additional screws.
LawnBott LB3210 Components:
A - Lithium battery
B - Brace and wiring for additional battery (LB3250)
C - Wheel motors
D - Perimeter Wire sensor
E - Bump sensor micro switches
F - Blade motor
G - Main board (enclosed)
Installing the LB3210 and LB3250, like all robotic lawn mowers that require perimeter wire, require some minor planning upfront. You’d want to plan the placement of the wire and the charging station beforehand. When you buy from LawnBotts.com, we will give you expert, professionally drawn installation plans free of charge which eliminates most of the brain work. In addition, you can email or call us anytime for expert advice from experienced people who use these mowers every day.
What is remaining is the task of staking down perimeter wire with the included stakes and wire. For some yards, perimeter wire installation can be completed in 3 hours while larger yards can take a full day. To help things go smoothly, we include an exclusive Tips and Advice guide that is written in plain English. The manual that ships with the mower was translated from Italian to English and was improved in 2009, but still falls short of what we call "clear English."
Much like the LB3510, the LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250 has two windows of operation. You can read more about setting the mowing schedule in our LawnBott LB3510 review.
- Is it better than the LB3510?
Auto programming was first introduced on the LawnBott Evolution several years ago. This feature continues to be unique for high end LawnBott robotic lawn mowers. Here is how it works: While the LawnBott is cutting your grass, the on board computer "takes note" of how much resistance the blade motor is experiencing - along with some other factors. Based on the calculation, it predicts when the lawn will need to be mowed next time. If your lawn is under control, it will reduce how much time it mows. However, if needed, the robotic lawn mower will spend more time cutting grass – all within the work schedule you defined.
As an added bonus, the LB3210/50’s auto-programming mode is adjustable, which in my opinion gives in an edge over LB3510's auto-programming feature. With this adjustment, you can “grade” the mower on its progress and allow it to learn the yard based on your observation rather than the computer’s calculation. Adjustments can be useful for a seasoned owner but for most yards the mower tends to do a great job without correction.
You can turn off the auto-programming feature and the will follow your schedule.
For the best lawn mower comparison of all LawnBott lawn mowers including the LawnBott LB3210 vs. LawnBott LB3510 please visit www.lawnbott.info.
Once the wire is down and the schedule is set, the mower will reverse out of its charging base. It syncs with the perimeter wire signal, fires the blade up and heads out to cut grass. The LB3210 and LB3250 seem slightly quieter than the LawnBott LB3510 perhaps because the blade motor is smaller.
The mow pattern of the LB3210 and LB3250 is identical to that of the LB3510. The LawnBott gracefully mows the yard in a random fashion. After some time of mowing, you can see the lawn clearly taking shape.
The blade of the LawnBott is thinner than traditional lawn mowers which results in a cut quality better than gas powered push lawn mowers and riding lawn mowers. A dull LawnBott blade is sharper than a sharp push lawn mower or riding lawn mower blade.
Field Test and Challenges
As with my other reviews, we think it is helpful to push the lawn mowers to their limits then report the results.
The LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250 has a smaller blade motor than the LB3510. Therefore I would not expect it to handle tall grass as well as the LB3510. In 2008, to comply with new robotic lawn mower safety standards set by the CPSC, a blade guard was added around the blade. Nonetheless please see our test results below.
4 inch and below grass: The LawnBott LB3210 was not designed to mow grass over 4 inches tall. In our test it mowed 4 inches of grass with absolutely no problems at all.
High grass: In our test the LB3210 and LB3250 was able to cut grass nearly twice the height of the maximum recommendation. (Your results may vary depending on the thickness of your lawn.) When the lawnmower cuts high grass, it will slow the drive speed and send more power to the blade motor. The LB3250 gets an extra boost of power due to the extra battery.
Overall the LB3210 and LB3250 handled high grass extraordinarily well. When compared to the LB3510, the LB3210 and LB3250 are likely to enter spiral mode more frequently than the LB3510.
Twigs and small branches:
Because most yards with trees will have twigs on the lawn, this test is a must pass for any lawn mower. As expected the LB3210 and LB3250 had no problems mulching twigs and small branches. When the mower hits a twig, it revs the blade to high speed. Sometimes it will go into spiral mode to make fun of the situation which is very entertaining to watch.
In a battle between rock vs LawnBott, the Lawnbott wins. The flexible blade of the LawnBott allows the blade to flex upon impact of rocks which turns out to be a very effect way to avoid blade damage. The mower literately destroys the rock upon impact. Also because the blade is only 12 inches wide, the mower will not throw rocks as far and as violently as a gas powered lawn mower.
DO NOT try this test at home:
12 inch+ high grass: Simply put, the LawnBott or any robotic lawn mower is not designed to plow through a field of high grass. But for the fun of it, I could not resist trying so anyway. The LawnBott is smart enough to know when it is being challenged beyond its means. First the blade will rev up to full power. If that does not satisfy the mower, it will slow wheel speed of the mower much like you would if you were pushing a push lawn mower through high grass. If the lawn is just too high, rather than burn up the motors, the LB3210 will momentarily turn the blade off and move to another section of the yard to mow. If this happens frequently enough, it will display a message on the LCD while it is charging... TOO HIGH GRASS.
One thing I have learnt to expect from new customers is for them to compliment how much better their lawn looks since using the LawnBott. The scientific reason the lawn looks better is because the blade is thinner. A dull LawnBott blade is sharper than a sharp push lawn mower or riding lawn mower blade.
Another reason the cut quality is better is the mowing frequency. If you have a neighbor who mows his/her lawn almost every other day, it is probably because they are aware of the rule of thirds. It is recommended to not mow more than one third the height of the lawn. Though this is this healthier for the lawn, it can require mowing twice or maybe 3 times a week.
From many years of hands on experience combined with the experience of over 100,000 customers around the world, the LawnBott LB3210 can manage lawns on lots up to 1 acre with no noticeable missed spots. The LawnBott LB3250 can manage lawns on lots up to 1.25 acres with no missed spots. Please understand that the LB3250 cannot cover 1.25 acres of lawn on a single charge. It covers every inch of the lawn by:
- mowing frequently
- by mowing up to 5 hours on a single charge and
- randomness; yes randomness.
Because of the random nature of mowing, the robot rarely misses spots... I know it sounds contradictory but here is why: when robotic lawn mowers attempt to calculate a mowing pattern (like a human), robots can have a tendency to miss the same spots over and over again. By allowing the "law of randomness" to take over, missed spots are eliminated given you allow the robot to spend enough time in the yard.
Smart Spiral mode activates in when the LawnBott detects a high section or patch of grass. Rather than continue with the random mowing pattern, spiral mode allows the mower to focus on that area. It starts with a small spiral then works its way outward until the resistance is no longer strong. In our test, the LB3210 and LB3250 spiral mode works at least as good as advertised. The LB3210 and LB3250 tend to activate spiral mode more frequently than the LawnBott LB3510.
The LawnBott LB3210 and LawnBott LB3250 can handle up to 27 degree slopes. In our test, it can handle steeper slopes than what is advertised. The LawnBott LB3210 and LawnBott LB3250 have a tendency to pop wheelies on slopes that are too steep while traveling uphill. The wheelie bar extensions help solve that problem.
The LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250 can handle up to 4 areas automatically. Prior to 2009, the LawnBott Evolution could only handle 3 zones. Zones simply divide the mowing area up so the LawnBott can concentrate on one part of the lawn at a time. For example, your front yard can be a zone, back yard a zone and so on.
At first glance it seems as though adding the extra zone places the LB3210 and LB3250 on the same level as the LB3510, but the LB3210 and LB3250 has limitations that does not apply for the LB3510.
First of all, setting up zones on the LB3210 and LB3250 is somewhat primitive when compared to the LawnBott LB3510. Rather than allow you to input each zone's size based upon the percentage of the total yard; the LB3210 and LB3250 determines how often to mow smaller zones based off the number of times it mows the docking zone. As a result, it is recommended to locate the docking station in the largest zone (usually the backyard) because it will spend more time in the docking zone than the other parts of the yard.
For most people this is not a big deal or a deal breaker, but if you plan to park the mower under a deck or in a small area, this limitation could potentially pose an issue.
In our test the LB3210 and LB3250 handled multiple areas just as well as the LB3510. Even though the programming is not as sophisticated as the LB3510's when it comes to zone handling, having the 4th zone option makes it a winner in my book.
Since 2008, the LawnBott line is still the only robotic lawn mower brand to be accepted by the CPSC. The guard around the blade can help prevent toes and/or fingers from getting easy access to the blade.
In addition, the LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250 can detect when the mower has been lifted.
In our test the LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250 safety features worked as advertised. But despite the safety aspects of the LawnBott, it is simply not good practice to run any lawn mowers while children are on the lawn. You'd still want to use common sense.
Many LawnBott owners are also pet owners. Pets generally do not care to touch the mower and do not pose a problem. Dogs sometimes bark initially but soon ignore the mower and stay out of the way. Cats stay away from the mower as well... without the initial barking.
The LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250 comes with an alarm. The alarm will sound when the LawnBott is lifted off the ground. It requires a 4 digit PIN code to turn off. Overall the alarm works well.
In addition to the alarm, you can set a PIN code before the lawn mower can be operated. Of course the day to day operations of the mower will not be effected, but any human interaction will require the PIN code.
The LB3210 and LB3250 seems slightly quieter than the LawnBott LB3510. The motors are slightly smaller which could explain the difference. When the blade revs up to top speed, it produces the most noise, but still quiet enough to run at night. In our test, the LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250 can barely be heard when standing 15 feet directly from it.
Summary and Final Thoughts
- Small size & Lightweight
- Can accurately cover up to 1.25 acre lawns (gives the LB3510 stiff competition)
- Proven reliability - been on the market internationally for over 10 years
- Comes with a remote control
- Lithium battery technology
- The most advanced robotic lawn mower available next to the LB3510
- Cost less than the LB3510 but has same cut quality and share many features
- Can handle 4 mowing zones automatically
- CPSC accepted
- Docking station must be placed in the largest mowing area
- Thick St Augustine lawns can be a problem for the LB3210, but not the LB3250
- Remote control has a limited range of 20 feet
- One-time installation can take several hours to complete
To sum it up, the LawnBott LB3210 and LB3250 are very strong winners in my book. It is a feature packed, sophisticated robotic lawn mower with almost all the bells and whistles found in the flagship LawnBott LB3510.
The LB3210 and LB3250 has a strong history (over 10 years) of being one of the most reliable, cost effective alternatives to riding lawn mowers, lawn services, push lawn mowers and other robotic lawn mowers.
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