Here is the short version... it depends on your situation. If you have a small yard, enclosed, and no pets - this could be life-changing for you.. If you have pets, a larger yard, and vehicles that park in the driveway, you may not be happy with the automower - at least not this one. I believe the BEST CASE scenario for this automower is if you want to keep your fenced-in backyard mowed perfectly all the time. It is PERFECT for that scenario. But here's my story...
We got the Husqvarna Automower 115H Robotic Lawn Mower with FREE INSTALLATION. Knowing what I know now, I think you _could_ save four hundred dollars and install it yourself. The installation is definitely not too difficult, but there are lots of little tricks and tips that an installer who has done a ton of these is going to know, that you won't. I would recommend getting the FREE INSTALLATION version if you have never done anything like this before.
We had to call the utilities 811 phone line to mark our property before installation. Our installer buried the wires in our yard so they needed to know where our utilities came into our house and on our property. If you use the plastic stakes to guide your wires, you may not need to do that.
The installer places a super long aluminum (covered in green insulation to blend with your grass) wire around the perimeter of your property - much like an invisible fence for a dog. In fact, I wondered what would happen if you already had an invisible fence. They also install a guide wire that is supposed to lead the Automower (we named ours "Stu - the stupid automower" because even when he works right, he doesn't use any common sense mowing your lawn - much like a Roomba vacuum cleaner in your home.) back to the charging base.
The charging base sits somewhere in your yard, close to an electrical outlet that it has to be plugged into at all times. We chose a spot around the side of our house, but in the back yard - to lessen the chance of theft. This is something that is going to be a BIG DEAL depending on where you live. We live in a VERY LOW CRIME area and so far theft hasn't been a big concern. There are different levels of security, the highest being that you have to put in a four digit PIN CODE to operate or use the mower. It also has an alarm that goes off if the mower is picked up or if someone tries to steal it. I don't know how effective that is. We've been fortunate so far, even when Stu (the automower) has run out of battery in the front yard and just "conked out" in our front yard.
The Husqvarna Automower 115H Robotic Lawn Mower uses three razor blades to cut your grass, and he's SUPER QUIET. He can mow at night, he is so quiet and he can mow in the rain. One thing you DON'T want him/her/it to do is mow when your sprinklers are running. Cause he will knock the head off your sprinkler system. Fortunately, it is easy to program his cutting times and if you can program your sprinklers, you can make sure that they never run at the same time.
That leads to some other not-so-obvious POTENTIAL PROBLEMS with Husqvarna Automower 115H Robotic Lawn Mower. If you have several large dogs that use your yard as their toilet, that can turn into a messy situation. The good thing is that the automower can be hosed off, so if your mower gets too messy, it is easy to clean, but it isn't something you want to happen every time you mow, unless you like the idea of slinging fertilizer all over your lawn.
Another POTENTIAL PROBLEM is if you have a fenced in back yard, your automower CANNOT GET TO THE FRONT YARD unless you open the gate. There are solutions.
1. Leave the gate open. (Not good if you have a dog.)
2. Cut a round hole in the bottom of the gate so the automower can sneak under. Clever, but not good if you have a dog.
3. Open the gate WHEN YOU WANT TO MOW the front yard. (Tedious.)
4. Pick the automower up and carry it to the front yard and start it. (No longer fully automatic.)
ANOTHER POTENTIAL PROBLEM is that your front yard is a whole different world than your back yard and you have AUTOMOBILES to deal with. We actually put our cars in the garage, but MANY PEOPLE park their cars in their driveway. You can't do that with an automower. It will bang into them over and over again as it finds its way around them. Another problem with cars/trucks (say the cable guy, or the bug sprayer guy) is that if they park in your driveway and your automower starts up, it may get under their car or behind it and they might drive over it when they leave. We almost had this happen once already.
This is why I say the automower is BEST CASE to do your fenced-in backyard only, then you have none of these issues.
There are a lot of clever things that Husqvarna has come up with to try and work around some of these things. But basically, the front yard becomes a much less automatic, and much more risky proposition than the back yard.
SO - DOES IT WORK?
YES - AND NO! Mostly our automower does a good job of mowing. We are having a weird thing where our Bermudagrass is being cut, but long strands of the RUNNERS are being spread out all over the yard. I haven't figured that out yet - why it is doing that.
It can only get so close to a fence, so you will do some trimming, no big deal.
Another annoyance is that the 115H is STUPID. Or DUMB. It is a DUMB MOWER - I don't mean that in a smart-alec way - I mean that is what it is technically considered. There are SMART MOWERS and there are GPS mowers. The Husqvarna Automower 115H Robotic Lawn Mower is neither of those. It is like the early versions of the Roomba robot vacuum cleaners in that it just wanders aimlessly until it HOPEFULLY gets ALL of your grass mowed. Sometimes it doesn't and you have a tall spot.
If you have the times programmed in properly, this won't happen - but AGAIN, the FRONT YARD isn't as easy as the back yard. My back yard (the video) is usually perfect with this mower. My front yard looks a little patchy in places.
ANOTHER ANNOYANCE (a PROBLEM is a problem that could make your experience really bad, an annoyance is an irritation that doesn't ruin the experience, but makes it a little less perfect.) for me is that we have had lots of trouble with our automower not finding the home base charging station and we come home and find him conked out in the yard somewhere with the "EMPTY BATTERY" message on the screen. That means that you have to pick him up and put him on the charger and enter the PIN CODE and wait for him to recharge before he can run again. This can get REALLY ANNOYING when it happens a lot.
Our installer told us that they have installed nearly FIFTY automowers, BUT only ONE other 115H. So here's the deal on that:
The 115H is the ENTRY LEVEL mower and it has been stripped down to make it more affordable. That means,
NO GPS, you can't see your mower on the cool app and tell where it has mowed or what it is doing.
THE 115H is NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET, so you can't control it from the app away from home.
MANUAL BLADE HEIGHT, you cannot adjust the blade height from the app, you have to twist a knob. (No big deal to me.)
IT IS BLUETOOTH which means you can only control it from about 30 feet away, and even then - no nifty tracking. You CAN (currently) start the mower from the app and I think you can tell it to go back to the docking station, but that varies when they update the app from time to time.
IT IS BACKWARDS! Our installer tells us that this mower runs completely backwards (rear wheel drive I think, I think all the others are front wheel drive?) from ALL OF THE OTHER HUSQVARNA automowers, which apparently creates various challenges with hills and such. Our mower had a hard time docking at first because it was popping wheelies and not lining up with the charging slot.
The mower's wheels sometimes dig up the wire, then it runs over the wire and slices it. Then it quits. The GOOD THING is that they give you a ton of splicing joints and they are easy to use. But it is annoying.
We have had our installer out THREE TIMES now and we still aren't getting it perfect yet. Or even really great in the front yard. The back yard is almost perfect though.
The concept is great. The three razor blades cut well, and some of the positives are as follows:
Your lawn is (in theory, at least) ALWAYS MOWED. No waiting and letting it get tall and then cutting it down. It is just ALWAYS PERFECT.
On 90+ degree days, it is a sweet, sweet thing to watch your lawn being mowed by a robot.
The 115H feels like an attempt to make an affordable automower and it has been aggressively stripped down of features to do this. Many of those features are not necessary and are really more bragging rights than necessary functions - but it is kind of a bummer to get a cool robotic lawn mower and then have all the goodies stripped out of it. On the other hand, that is what makes this unit affordable. However, I also feel like that Husqvarna may have stripped it TOO FAR and there are some aspects of the automower that aren't working like they should as a result.
ULTIMATELY, it will depend on your EXPECTATIONS and your SITUATION and YOUR INSTALLER. If you have a setup like my backyard, with fences, and easy to mark borders, you are going to LOVE YOUR AUTOMOWER. If you want your front lawn to be perfect and you have pets, automobiles that have to park in your driveway, then the 115H may be too basic to get the job done.
I'm giving it four stars, because if you have an ideal setup for this mower, then it truly is amazing. But if you are looking to have an automower cut your lawn perfectly even though you have pets and fences and cars and so on, you are going to be frustrated. I have included a video of the mower cutting my back yard. You can see how it operates and get an idea of what it does. I hope this is a helpful review. I waited until over a month of owning this product before writing this review to make sure that I had truly experienced it and tried to work out the bugs before trying to tell you how it works. I really wanted to post a fair review.
If you have ANY QUESTIONS, please feel to write me at the email address on my profile. Or you can post here and I will try to check back from time to time as well. I would like to help anyone who is interested in this automower understand what they are getting into and how to solve any problems that I have had to deal with so far. Thank you for reading this review and have a great day!