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Worx Landroid M500 Plus WR165E review: A robot lawnmower that cuts grass to perfection

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
800
inc VAT

The Worx Landroid M500 Plus is a highly capable robot mower with a self-levelling deck that leaves lawns neatly trimmed

Pros 
Modular design
Cuts close to the edge
Self-levelling cutting deck
Cons 
Random navigation
Basic features as standard
Still requires some manual mowing around edge
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Worx has five robot lawnmowers in its Landroid range, capable of managing lawns from 300 to 2,000 square metres. The M500 Plus WR165E is the second model in the series, a step up from the Landroid S300, designed to cater for lawns up to 500 square metres.

It’s not just about lawn size, though. The Landroid M500 Plus also improves on the S300 design with an offset cutting disc, which instead of being in the centre is on the right-hand side of the base, allowing the mower to cut closer to the edge of your lawn. This latest version also has a selection of new features over the older M500 WR1451E, including a self-levelling cutting deck that’s better at coping with undulating lawns, and a waterproof base that can be hosed down to remove grass clippings.

As with all the Landroid series, the M500 Plus doesn’t come resplendent with additional features, but it’s a modular system you can add to later, should you decide your mower needs more.

Worx Landroid M500 Plus WR165E review: What do you get for the money?

The Worx Landroid M500 Plus is slightly larger than the Landroid S300, measuring 580 x 403 x 208mm, and is a chunkier 9.5kg. It otherwise looks very similar, with an orange and black body, two large wheels at the back and a control deck on the top.

The other difference is the grating on the front, which has been relocated over to the left-hand side as you look at the M500 from the front. Behind this is the 18cm rotary cutting tool. This is essentially a spinning disc with three small blades attached, that look a little like razor blades. As the disc spins, the blades slice the top off the grass.

In the box you also get a charging station. This is a two-part construction that clips together and consists of a plastic base plate and a charging arm. The base plate has a grille design, which protects the lawn from the parking mower, while still letting grass grow through the gaps.

The charging arm stands upright at a right angle to the base. As with all the Landroids, the M500 Plus approaches this from the side, connecting its side-mounted charging contacts to the station as it parks.

Also in the box are 150m of boundary wire and 210 pegs for pinning it to your lawn. You also get a small bag of useful accessories, including nine spare blades and a couple of connectors you can use to fix any accidental breakages in your boundary wire.

The M500 Plus is powered by the same easily swappable battery used across many of Worx’s cordless power tools, including the other Landroids. Because it charges at its base station you don’t need to keep removing it to charge, but if you need to switch it after a few years of service, it’s very easy to access and remove.

What you don’t get are any special features, since Worx would like you to purchase these as extras and install them if you want them. These include a collision detection add-on (£199) that prevents the mower from bumping into obstacles.

READ NEXT: The best cordless, electric and manual lawnmowers

Worx Landroid M500 Plus WR165E review: Is it difficult to set up?

All robot lawnmowers use a boundary wire to stop them rampaging through your flower beds, and the Landroid M500 Plus is no exception. This means there is a fair amount of setup to perform before the robot can start mowing. However, once the wire is properly laid you shouldn’t have to bother with it again, unless you want to change the configuration of your lawn.

You have to lay the boundary wire around the edge of your garden, keeping it at least 26cm inboard from raised or lowered borders. The only exception to this is if the edge of the lawn buts up against paving slabs or something similar, which are sunk to the same level as the lawn. In this instance, presuming the mower remains flat when it is straddling both path and lawn, you can reduce the gap to 10cm.

Although the mower is billed as “Cut to Edge”, this means you’re still left with trimming to do on the borders. Here, I found that the mower leaves a strip of a few centimetres, which you’ll need to tackle with your regular mower or a strimmer every now and again. It’s tricky to get the robot right to the edge because of the risk of it falling, crashing or skipping the wire, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.

The next step is to set up the base station, which needs both connecting to the boundary wire and plugging into an external mains outlet so it can charge when it returns to base after finishing a mow. The Worx comes with a generous cord length of 11m, which gives some flexibility, but you’ll need an external power socket to plug it into.

There are two ways to control the M500 Plus, either using the control panel on the mower’s top surface or the mobile app. The control panel lets you set up a basic schedule, choosing on which days it should mow and for how long. You can also start and stop the mower from here and adjust the grass length using a dial that can be set between 30mm and 60mm, in 10mm increments.

The app is available for Android and Apple devices and connects to the mower using either Bluetooth or 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. It opens up a whole lot of extra options. At its most basic it does the same job as the control panel, letting you start and stop the mower manually and set up a schedule.

You can also use the app to enable automated mode, which lets Worx use its lawn expertise to decide the cutting frequency. It works this out based on information you can enter into the app, including lawn size, grass species, soil type and what type of lawn nutrients you use. Even this doesn’t relinquish total control, though – you can still adjust the frequency up or down should you want your lawn trimmed a little more or less often.

Worx Landroid M500 Plus WR165E review: How well does it mow the lawn?

The Worx Landroid M500 Plus uses a random pattern of movement to steer itself around the area enclosed by the boundary wire. This isn’t the most efficient way of covering every corner of a lawn, but it did a decent job in my tests. If you find that it isn’t getting to a particular patch after a few days you just have to ramp up the cutting frequency and hope for the best.

If you’re used to the calculating efficiency of a robot vacuum cleaner, most of which now map and conquer spaces with mathematical ruthlessness, this might come as a surprise. However, Worx seems to have got it down to a fine art, with most of my 100m² test zone trimmed in a couple of outings. If you want something more efficient, the Bosch Indego S+ 500 will cover your lawn quicker, using efficient straight lines.

The M500 Plus has been upgraded with a self-levelling cutting deck, bringing it in line with the Landroid S300. This works well. Where other mowers can struggle with undulating lawn, which can cause the blades to scrape away all the grass from bumpy patches rather than just trimming it, I didn’t notice that happening at all with the M500 Plus.

I also like the fact that the blades are mounted to one side. This reduces the amount of extra cutting needed around the edges compared with cheaper models that have the blade mounted in the middle. It won’t eradicate the problem of edge growth completely, however, as you still need to leave a bit of a safe zone when laying out the wire.

Don’t let this put you off, though. I’ve found that this edge management involves getting a regular mower out for five minutes every couple of weeks, which is still a vast amount of time saved compared to how long it took to mow the entire lawn once a week. You might even be able to stretch this out a bit between tidies with the M500 Plus because the extra cutting it does leaves the lawn that bit neater.

Worx Landroid M500 Plus WR165E review: Should I buy it?

The Worx Landroid M500 Plus is a great robot lawnmower, ideal for medium-sized lawns that fall into its 500m² range. During my tests, it left my lawn neatly trimmed, covering all areas of my garden.

The offset cutting disc gets closer to the edge of your lawn than the Worx Landroid S300 can manage. This cuts down the amount of additional lawn maintenance you have to do and is a welcome upgrade. It’s also a good step up from the previous M500 model, with the floating deck being kinder to undulating lawns and the waterproof underside making it easier to clean.

If there’s one small fly in the ointment, it’s that the mower still uses a random pattern to move around and cut the entire lawn. This isn’t particularly efficient and, if it bothers you, you might want to opt for the Bosch Indego S+ 500 instead. This mows the lawn in stripes, only going over each area once. It’s more finicky to set up, however, and it doesn’t have an offset cutter.

The other option you might be looking for is collision detection. That can be purchased as a £199 add-on for the Worx M500 Plus but, if you want the feature straight out of the box because your lawn is often littered with obstacles, the Yard Force Compact 400Ri is worth a look.

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