Honda Miimo 3000 Robotic Mower Review
Delivering excellent grass cutting over a large area, including some neat navigation around obstacles, the Honda Miimo 3000 Robotic Mower is one of the best robot lawnmowers we've tested. Not only did it leave our grass looking lush and well kept, but it's also one of the quietest and easiest to use. Our only minor complaints are the lack of a mobile connection, relying on Bluetooth app control, and that some deep rabbit holes proved a bit much for the robot to get over.
- Excellent cut performance
- 100% coverage of target area
- Obstacles aren't a problem
- Handles slopes well in dry weather
- Flexible scheduling
- Bluetooth-only connectivity
- Small front wheels
- Review Price: £2599.00
- Covers up to 4000m2
- 25-degree slope capacity
- 20-60mm cutting heights
- 45min charging time
- 90min mowing time
- Li-ion 22.2V battery
- Works with android/iOS
- 2-year guarantee
The largest models in the Miimo range, the 3000 didn’t disappoint with near-silent operation, outstanding obstacle handling and a crisp clean-cut, with zero missed patches even on our sizeable 2000m2 test area.
Bluetooth connectivity doesn’t offer the remote control and notification flexibility of a mobile-connected mower, and the Miimo’s small front wheels did struggle with sizeable rabbit holes in our field. Yet, bunny-based issues aside, this robot mower shows the level of quality and performance we’ve come to expect from Honda’s garden products.
Honda Miimo 3000 Robot Mower – What you need to know
- Grass cutting – Our large lawn area (half an acre) was left looking fresh, evenly cut and wonderfully green with zero tufts or missed spots
- Navigation – Random pattern navigation proved effective, delivering 100% coverage within a week and keeping the grass looking freshly shorn
- Obstacle handling – Boundary wire annexes and fixed obstacles (large trees) are handled well, but deeper rabbit holes did capture the Miimo’s small front wheels
- Slopes – We pushed the Miimo up a 30-degree slope with ease in the dry, but 20-25 degrees is its max on damp or wet grass
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Design – Ultra-quiet operation means you can mow your lawn at night without disturbing the neighbours
The Miimo 3000 is Honda’s largest and most powerful robot mower to date, featuring plenty of upgrades from the previous 310 and 520 models. Its sleek plastic shell protects the electronics from the elements, and a lift-up flap conceals the keypad and LCD control panel. You can dig your way through the menus using the navigation buttons, or hook it up to your smartphone via Bluetooth and use the Mii-monitor app.
The app is an attractive, intuitive and easy-to-use interface, yet Bluetooth connection means you’ll have to be pretty close to the mower to connect. While the mower can push warnings and notifications to your phone, the chances of you being within Bluetooth range given its 4000sqm operating area are slim. We much prefer the flexibility of GSM-based connectivity for robot mowers – but, granted, that isn’t usually a feature at the Miimo’s not-too -xtravagant price.
Turn the Miimo over and you’ll find two decent-sized drive wheels with spikey plastic “tyres” for grip on grass and two small trolley wheels. The trolley wheels are a bit too small to handle big lawn cracks or holes, and their axles can gather longer pieces of grass and wrap them around the hubs. That did mean the Miimo required a bit of a clean-out every few weeks to stop the wheels binding, but it did force an occasional inspection – something that’s easy to ignore when a robot mower is quietly doing its thing.
The 220mm diameter rotary disc has three swing-out razor-like blades for cutting. The cutter disc protects against scalping the tops of lawn bumps better than a traditional bar blade, and the blades spring-retract when the mower stops to improve handling safety. The blades can’t be sharpened, but they’re double-sided and the motor rotates clockwise and anti-clockwise alternate mowing sessions, so they’ll last a while and are cheap and easy replace.
Like most robot mowers, the Miimo 3000 uses micro-mulching technology, chopping up grass clippings into very small pieces. These drop through the upright grass blades to the turf floor, composting down and acting as a natural fertiliser. The blades produce a very clean cut and the mower handles even initially lengthy grass with ease. Three to four weeks on, and the constant daily mowing and mulching produces a crisp cut and velvety textured lawn with absolutely no taller grass areas or missed tufts. Excellent.
Navigation uses a perimeter wire that loops around the garden boundary from the docking station. The docking station itself needs a flat surface within 8m or so of a mains power supply and a nice clear run from the lawn, enabling the Miimo to find its way back for a charge-up. It charges up super-quickly – just 45-50 minutes – before emerging to mow again for up to an hour and half at a time.
Programming allows random, directional or mixed cutting modes, and zone setup allows you to mow different areas at different times of the week, if desired. The boundary wire offers the ability to annexe off no-go areas and, with bump steering with sensors all round, obstacles aren’t an issue. If the machine runs into a tree, flowerbed or the dog, it simply stops, spins around and heads off in a random direction.
That worked extremely well in testing across the upper half of our lawn complete with trees, a 30-degree slope and a pond. This Honda is also equipped with sensors that stop the blades instantly when it detects any lifting or tilting, making it safe to use even with kids and animals running around.
The Miimo 3000 is ridiculously quiet while it’s mowing with just the light whooshing sound of the grass being clipped down. You could easily have your Miimo running overnight without disturbing neighbours or wildlife.
Performance – The Honda Miimo 3000 Robotic Mower tackles large lawns with ease
Like all robot mowers we test, we opt for professional installation and would strongly advise buyers to do the same. Laying the boundary lines can be back-breaking work and an experienced installer will get them in the right place first time. One prominent mower brand still hasn’t forgiven us for dropping their test robot in the pond having moved the lines ourselves…. You have been warned.
We chose to annexe off 2000m2 or half an acre of our main field for the Miimo, representing a decent-sized garden. We included a 30-degree slope down to a pond, a couple of apple trees and a large oak. Our friendly Honda install team used a cable-laying machine to create the boundary and annexed off the oak tree with a loop. The Apple trees remained in the mowing area as physical obstacles. A trampoline, two dogs, wildlife and random fallen branches provided ad hoc navigational challenges through the season. The whole process took the team about two hours to install, although a garden with a more complex shape would likely take longer.
We had the docking station placed close to a shed with power and set up the Miimo using the Mii-monitor app. The app displays real flair, being pretty and easy to navigate – a rare combination. It offers a plethora of settings from simple cutting height to hour-by-hour scheduling throughout the year. There are test modes, garden layout setup for multiple zones and even a mowing history.
With the target area relatively uniform, we stuck to the all-over single zone random mowing approach and set the cutting height to 35mm. We programmed our Miimo to only mow in the daytime, with Sundays off for good behaviour. The app suggested that might not be enough cutting time for half an acre, but the hot summer and clay soil meant growth was unlikely to be prolific.
Within a week the Miimo had proved it was up there in the upper echelons of the robot lawn-mowing game. The lawn was looking neat, tidy and there were zero missed spots or raised tufts. That’s quite unusual in a week, since it often takes mowers a while to get ahead of existing growth. Top marks.
The mower neatly avoided the “rooty” area annexed off around the oak tree and handled the apple trees by gently bumping into them and heading away. While the install team didn’t get too close to the pond with the boundary wire, the Miimo was happily trimming the 30-degree sloping banks with ease. Over the summer it never stopped or became bogged down, and never put out a short Bluetooth-ranged cry for help.
By the fourth week, the real magic of robot lawnmowers was clearly visible in a properly verdant lawn, trimmed low without any cheeky weeds poking up. Blades of grass became greener lower down and a lot of perennial weeds were suppressed, too, reducing weeding requirements. The flip side is that some weeds such as clovers adapt pretty sharpish to robot mowing and begin to throw out very low buds and flowers.
As the summer season drew to a close and the weather became wetter, the Miimo did have a couple of minor issues. It handled the sloping bank to the pond well in the dry, but we did get a little bit of wheel-spin and mud collecting on the plastic tyres in the rain. When the ground was sodden, the local rabbit population decided to start digging for buried treasure. The Miimo had no problem with the surface scrapes and small dips; however, deep holes (100mm+) saw the front jockey wheels dip into the hole, becoming jammed and thus stopping the machine in its tracks. Your mileage and rabbit issues may vary.
While pulling the machine out of one such hazard, we noted the axles of both front jockey wheels had become clogged with longer grass and mud. It was a five-minute job to clear and required doing only once more until the end of the season. Yet more substantial wheels and enclosed axles would have helped here.
And, speaking of getting mucky, despite being undercover, the Miimo’s control panel becomes very mucky with the dirt and dust thrown up from underneath. Not exactly a deal-breaker, but other machines we’ve tested seal off the panel from the elements better, so stay cleaner.
Should you buy the Honda Miimo 3000 Robot Mower?
Honda’s Miimo 3000 is a top-flight robot mower, comfortably handling our half-acre test lawn area with quiet, consummate ease. It’s easy to set up, very low maintenance, good at navigating obstacles and slopes, and offers minuscule running costs compared to a big, self-powered mower or ride on. The lack of GSM ability and minor issues with the front wheels stop it achieving full marks, but it should certainly be very close to the top of your shortlist.