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Last year we got a Looj “robot” for cleaning gutters. Sadly, the gutters we had were not even close to being big enough for the Looj. But, after a gutter replacement I am finally able to give it a try. Kind of. Read on for my quick review.

Cleaning the gutters is a pain. The previous gutters needed replacing because we just really didn't clean them before. So, the Looj seems like a great idea. We had been waffling back and forth for a while, but last year we found them cheap on woot and we couldn't resist. I think we paid $40 or $50 via woot. iRobot has since reduced the price on them from $100 to $70.

The good news is that it works fairly well. In the end the gutters were cleaned to my satisfaction. The bad news is that it requires quite a bit of fiddling – going forward and backward, trying and trying again to get it to eject this or that twig.

It really needs an automatic mode, even if it were fairly stupid, where it would go forward a bit, back a bit, forward a bit more, back, etc… This is what I ended up doing manually, and it worked fairly well.

Even with the right size gutters, it was still problematic though. I only did along our garage so far, and I had 3 of the gutter hangers that were just low enough to get in the way. I was able to pull them off and re-mount them after bending the hangers so that I now have clearance for the Looj. So next time it should be easier.

One significant problem with the Looj is that you have to take it apart to charge the battery. There's a screwed-in waterproof cover that has to be removed, the battery pulled out, and then you can connect it to the charger.

Worse, the charger is not at all smart. If you leave it charging for more than 15 hours it warns you that you will damage the battery. I can understand doing that to keep costs down, but there isn't even an optional smart charger, and the top-of-the-line $170 model doesn't seem to have one either…

And the augers – they seem to be quite disposable. Just doing the 30-ish feet I did, it seems like I need a new one. The rubber part is fine, but the brushes on it are pretty much history. And the antenna on it needs some love as well, it got all bent up.

The bottom line though is that it's more fun to clean the gutters using the Looj than without. It's kind of like playing with a remote control car, but actually getting work done. And for that, I'd say I'd recommend it. Making me want to clean the gutters, even if just a little, is a good thing.

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