To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Yard Force EasyMow 260B review: Robot mowing for less money

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £400
inc VAT

For the money, the Yard Force EasyMow 260B is a thoroughly competent robot lawnmower with a surprisingly good app


  • Affordable
  • Programmable from smartphone app
  • Works autonomously


  • Bluetooth only
  • Mows in random patterns
  • Still need to manually trim edges

Robot lawnmowers come at a variety of prices but they all essentially do the same thing – mow your lawn without you having to get involved. If you don’t want to spend a small fortune, the Yard Force EasyMow 260B is a great balance between features and affordability.

It’s also widely available, including from High Street retailers and DIY stores such as Robert Dyas, B&Q and Wickes. On that basis it’s well worth shopping around, as it’s often to be found on sale for less than its £400 list price.

Yard Force EasyMow 260B review: What do you get for the money?

There are no surprises in the Yard Force EasyMow 260B’s box; it’s packed to the brim with the usual paraphernalia that accompanies a standard robot mower.

The device itself is hard to miss, with its bright orange and black livery, although it’s a relatively compact 370 x 450 x 220mm (WDH). It weighs a hefty 11.8kg but once you’ve got it out of the box and placed it on your lawn, you shouldn’t need to lift it much until you put it away at the end of the summer.

Also in the box is a charging station. This consists of a plastic parking plate the robot drives onto, and an arm that extends upwards and houses the two charging prongs. It’s an inline charger, so the perimeter wire extends out from the front of the unit and, after encircling your lawn, returns to hook up to the rear.

Also included are 80m of boundary wire and 100 pegs are, along with a 9m cable to hook the charging station up to a regular three-pin mains socket. You also get three spare blades and three fixing pins for repairing the wire if you accidentally cut through it.

The cutting mechanism on the base of the mower uses the same design as every robot mower we’ve seen to date: namely, a rotating disc with three razor-like blades attached to it. The cutter on this particular model measures 16cm across the diameter. Some robots have larger diameters, particularly if they’re designed to cover bigger gardens but it’s not as small as the 15cm diameter of the cutting mechanism on the tiny LawnMaster VBRM16.

These blades can be raised and lowered using a dial on the top of the device, which sits underneath a protective cover. You can choose grass lengths of between 20 and 55mm, though unlike most robots, there’s no height guide on the dial itself – you have to work out where you want it from the Min, Max and Mid guidelines moulded into the plastic.

What’s most surprising at this price is that there’s an app (called CloudHawk) that you can download to control the device from your smartphone. This isn’t as sophisticated as the apps you might find on more expensive mowers but it still means you can start and stop the mower, and send it back to its charging station, without getting up from your chair.

The downside is that communication between the app and the mower is performed using a Bluetooth connection rather than Wi-Fi. This means you have to be in the vicinity of the robot in order to control it. Wi-Fi robots can be controlled over the internet, so you don’t even need to be in the same country in order to change its schedule or set it off for a quick mow.

One last thing that’s worth noting is that the battery is sealed into the device, with no obvious way of getting in to remove or replace it.

READ NEXT: The best garden hoses

Yard Force EasyMow 260B review: Is it difficult to set up?

Setting up the Yard Force EasyMow 260B follows a relatively standard robot lawnmower pattern. It’s quite an involved process, so be prepared to spend a couple of hours crawling around your garden on your knees.

The only requirement is that you’ll need an external power socket located within 9m (the length of the lead) of where you want to locate the base station. As well as charging the battery, the base also sends an electrical signal around the perimeter wire, which you need to lay around the edge of your lawn, pinning it with the supplied pegs every 80cm or so.

You need to give the mower a run-in of at least 1m in a straight line before approaching any corners. When you get to a corner, the wire needs to be laid down in a smooth curve for the robot to steer around, as it can’t follow a tight bend.

The wire also needs to be around 30cm from the edge of the lawn. This wire and cable management is the bit of the job that takes the longest, particularly if you have a large lawn or need to snake the wire around obstacles. There’s a selection of rules you need to follow and measurements to make.

However, once it’s done, it’s done and you shouldn’t need to do it again. It’s worth taking your time over, as if properly pinned, the wire will soon sink into your lawn as it grows, which in turn protects it from you cutting through it by accident. If you don’t pin it right, the mower might cut through the wire, and you’ll have to do a patch job or lay it down again.

The controls on the mower itself are extremely basic. All you can do is set it off for a three hour or a six hour mowing session. There’s a large emergency stop button, a button for returning it to its charging station, and the dial for selecting the grass length.

However, there are more controls available in the app. From here you can set up a schedule for each day of the week, managing when the robot goes out and on which days. Each day can have up to two separate outings, so you can make sure it’s taking a break when your garden is in use, such as when you eat or when the kids come home from school.

Yard Force EasyMow 260B review: How well does it mow the lawn?

Although the Yard Force EasyMow 260B is relatively small and doesn’t have the largest cutting disc I’ve seen, it did a good job of tackling my lawn. With the mower happily trundling around for a few hours every day, I didn’t spot any areas it wasn’t able to reach, within the confines of the perimeter wire.

As with most other robot mowers, the EasyMow 260B employs a “little-and-often” approach to cutting that keeps your lawn consistently short. It shaves the top of each blade of grass as it passes, and its tiny clippings are simply dropped into the lawn to mulch down.

There are a few undulations on my lawn where the EasyMow ended up with its nose at the bottom of a dip and didn’t quite have the clearance to get up the other side. If it grounds itself like this it tends to reverse, turn and head off in a different direction.

It seemed slightly more prone to this than most other robots I’ve tested but it isn’t a deal-breaker. The area shouldn’t miss out on a mow because the robot will approach the area from a different angle at another time. If you have a lawn with more craters than the moon, however, it might struggle.

It’s also worth noting that the cutting disc below the mower doesn’t extend right to its edges, so you’re going to end up with a strip of uncut grass on the outside edge of your lawn. To be fair, this happens to some extent with all robot mowers, even those that claim to cut-to-edge.

And because the charging station sits perpendicular to the wire, there’s always going to be an area behind it that won’t get mowed and is going to need trimming, either by hand or with a strimmer (though you will need to watch those permiter wires).

READ NEXT: The best weed killers

Yard Force EasyMow 260B review: Should I buy it?

The Yard Force EasyMow 260B is in a relatively exclusive collection of robot lawn mowers that cost less than £500. Most that fall into this category don’t come with many on-mower features and the 260B follows suit.

If your budget can stretch another £100 or so, we’d recommend stepping up to the Worx Landroid S300. This can cope with slightly larger 300m² lawns and has a few more on-mower features, including a rain sensor and a removable battery. It also mounts its charging station from the side, which leaves less to trim around the back.

Anyone who doesn’t fancy the requirement to lay wire or doesn’t have a straightforward place to plug in a charging station should look to the LawnMaster VBRM16. This robot mower scans the grass ahead of itself to avoid driving off your lawn. The downside is that, without a charging station the LawnMaster VBRM16 can’t find its way home. It’s also priced at the affordable end of the scale, but can only mow lawns up to 100m² in size.

However, the EasyMove 260B carves a niche for itself with the CloudHawk app. This doesn’t have as many features as the apps on some of the more expensive robot lawn mowers but it expands the abilities of the unit significantly. Crucially, you can take total control of when the robot pops out and does its mowing, either by controlling it manually from your device, or by setting up a schedule.

This mower isn’t going to worry a top-of-the-range rival that costs twice as much, but if you’d rather put your feet up at the weekend than push a traditional mower about, and you don’t want to fork out, you can still have neatly manicured grass from this more affordable alternative.

Read more