Husqvarna 435X AWD Automower Review: Quiet and Effective
I hate cutting the lawn. First, a wide field of unproductive grass is a waste — why have grass when you can have a garden, or an orchard, or everything different from other useful plants? That I would have to push a device just to keep this green desert makes this a double insult.
Fortunately, this summer I released the Husqvarna 435X AWD automower on my lawn. Now I don’t have to think about cutting it again.
The Husqvarna 435X is the company’s high-end, all-wheel-drive version. line of robotic lawn mower; Husqvarna has less expensive models that can do the same thing. The 435X is more expensive because it is specifically designed to handle sloping yards and rough ground, which are both scenic parts of the house I rent.
The results of the 435X were more than I expected. Granted, my expectations were low: Just do it so I don’t have to mow the lawn anymore. The 435X can do more than that. I never encountered any problems, aside from hanging on fallen tree branches every now and then. In more than six months of testing, that was the same problem it encountered. It makes the healthiest, best healing lawn in our area. Every delivery person who comes to our house will ask about the lawn and the curious creature that roams it.
The secret of the 435X’s lawn care skills lies in the rotating razors. Yes, the 435X is an automated robot with spinning razor blades. (I always make a point to be polite and kind to it, in the hopes that it will save me from the inevitable robot uprising.) Since it’s more frequent mowing than you or a lawn service, the 435X cut small weeds at a time. This is the secret of a healthy lawn. When you lengthen the grass and and mow it back, you will leave large piles of cut grass behind — even if you use a catcher. These piles keep the grass from trying to grow, opening up the ecological playground in your yard to weeds.
There’s a secret to getting the perfect lawn out of your robot assistant: Always change the blades. Husqvarna’s official recommendation is to replace your blades every one to two months, with the caveat that it will vary depending on the type of grass and soil in your home. I find every two months to be right. For testing purposes, I left it on longer, and the cutting quality suffered. I also find it good to check regularly to make sure all the blades are still in place. Twice I lost blades on branches that fell and went under the automower.
Another thing you need to do is clear any debris on the lawn. In my house, the lawn is shaded by about 100-year-old pecan trees. They are great for shade, but they always drop branches in the wind. Those hanging on the 435X if I can’t be clear. However, picking the occasional tree branch is a small amount to pay.