RYOBI Lawn Mower: 5 Reasons to Get an Electric Lawn Mower For Your Yard!
I’ve been a die-hard RYOBI outdoor tools fan since I started teaming up with them several years ago. One of my favorite products has always been the RYOBI lawn mower (the electric lawn mower, might I add), and for a good reason: when we moved into this old 1970’s home back in 2010, my husband bought a clunker of a gas-powered lawn mower that I could never use.
I couldn’t quite muster up enough strength to pull the doggone cord and push the required buttons (that little bulb-thingy). I don’t know what all the parts are called. You know, that cord thingy. Is that a throttle…? Okay–tangent. Back to the story.
What I can tell you is that after that first awkward attempt, I left grass cutting my husband.
And I’ll be honest with you, I’m not the type of woman that is known to “leave” anything to a man.
Thankfully, I got my hands on the last three models of RYOBI 40V electric lawn mowers, which have been a game-changer for being able to take care of my grass (or, in my case, my weeds, since we have very little grass).
Let’s talk about the 5 reasons why, if you’re a homeowner, you definitely need to dump your gas-powered and get an RYOBI electric lawn mower, too!
Reasons You Should Buy a RYOBI Electric Lawn Mower
Okay, I’m being facetious here (and I do include myself in this population!). But the truth is that gas-powered lawn mowers require pulling a starter cord. If you’ve ever tried it, you know how it feels like you’re about to pull your arm off. It’s like a comedy show for the neighbors to witness, am I right?
If you’re lacking upper arm and body, or you’ve got a shoulder problem or gripping issues, this could be really difficult.
Because RYOBI’s lawn mowers are 40V battery-powered, starting their lawn mowers are only a 2-step process (like their newest mower): pull the lime green handle and then push the “BLADE” button. BOOM, you’re up and running in literally 3 seconds. No struggling. No ripping your arm out of your socket. It’s that easy. And makes me look like less of a clown in front of unsuspecting neighbors.
Reason #2: It’s Self-Propelled
The latest thing in electric lawn mowers is something called “self-propelled.” This basically means that instead of you “heaving and ho’ing” your lawn mower around your yard, you’re letting it do the grunt work for you. You’re simply guiding it.
The previous model of RYOBI electric lawn mowers (which you can still buy from The Home Depot), had this helpful dial that allowed you to tell the lawn mower how quickly to go. It took some getting used to because if you weren’t expecting it, you might be dragged across the yard (don’t ask me how I know this….HA!).
But what I liked about it is that the uphill slope of my yard was the easiest thing to mow! Set that baby in the middle of MIN and MAX and I simply babysat it while it did its job.
The newest self-propelled RYOBI lawn mowers have something called Smart-TREK technology which makes it more intuitive. As you walk faster, it moves faster. As you slow down, the mower slows down. It’s like taking your trained lawn mower pet out for a walk around your yard!
Reason #3: It’s Super Quiet!
When hubby would run the old gas-powered lawn mower, you’d hear it from inside the house. Heck–when the guy across the street mows his grass, you hear it from inside the house! I’ll admit that the sound of a loud, gas-powered lawn mower is one of the sounds of summer that instantly makes me want to open the Windows and let in a little sunlight (and noise pollution in the afternoon).
But the sound of a gas-powered lawn mower at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning when you’re stirring from a lazy sleep is not quite as inviting!
The RYOBI electric lawn mower is so quiet that not only do you not disturb your neighbors, but it’s so quiet that it doesn’t rattle you to the core while mowing. There are no uncomfortable vibrations in the handle. And I don’t even need hearing protection because it’s not ear-splitting!
Reason #4: It’s Better For the Environment
Let’s be honest about something, shall we? Global warming is definitely real. Emissions from many sources, including gasoline, are killing this planet. We have the technology to dump gas. I won’t get all political on you, but those are the facts. You can’t argue with fact. If we can run cars on electric, we can certainly run all of our lawn tools on electric, as well. Zero emissions mean we’re protecting the environment. You don’t have to feel guilty about harming the environment every time you mow your lawn (or when you’re doing any other type of lawn maintenance!)
Gas-powered lawn mowers require replacing the oil, spark plugs, air filters, removing the excess gas, adding fuel stabilizer…Who knows how to do all of that?! Surely not me. Without that maintenance, you might risk not being able to start your lawn mower the following season. But with RYOBI electric lawn mowers, simply remove the 40V battery, fold it up, and store it out of the way until spring comes again.
The Most Annoying Thing About Electric Lawn Mowers
Now that I’ve told you all the reasons you need to get an electric lawn mower, now I’ve got to tell you the single biggest annoyance about electric lawn mowers (or, rather, about all electric lawn tools). Because you know life isn’t perfect and negatives do exist. So here is my biggest complaint about electric lawn tools:
It’s annoying when the batteries die on you!
This has happened to me on more than one occasion, and it really has nothing to do with a brand. Let’s just call this what it is–ahem–user error.
When you transition from gas to electric, you’ve got to have enough battery power to keep things going until you’ve finished the entire job. Battery-powered lawn mowers and lawn tools are just as powerful as gas-powered, but if you’re not running on a full charge, you’ll run out of power before you even work up a sweat from the sun beating down on you.
Therefore, here are some solutions to combat batteries dying on you in the middle of yard clean up with your electric lawn tools:
Kobalt 40V Mower vs. Ryobi 40V Mower: What’s the Difference?
Kobalt and Ryobi are two popular brands in the world of electric lawn mowers, and both offer 40V models that have gained a lot of attention. While both brands boast powerful motors, long battery life, and easy-to-use designs, some key differences between the two models are worth considering before making a purchase.
To assist you in making an informed decision regarding your lawn care requirements, we will be discussing the differences between the Kobalt 40V mower and the Ryobi 40V mower. Let’s explore.
The Kobalt 40V mower has a 19-1/4″ blade that spins at 2780 RPM under light loads, which is slower than other models tested. However, under heavier loads, the blade tip accelerates by 22.6 MPH, ramping up to 3174 RPM or 181.7 MPH. For cordless mowers, the cutting power is fairly standard. It can handle weekly cuts and wade through a few extra days of growth.
The kitted 40V battery can mow around 1/4 acre on a single charge, with a runtime of about 30 minutes for maintenance mowing. The Kobalt 40V cordless mower is quiet, producing 79 dB(A), and has an adjustable lever throttle for an easy-to-use self-propelled drive. The steel deck is preferred over plastic decks for its durability, and the single-point cutting height adjustment means the user only has to bend over once.
The mower is compatible with all Ryobi 40V lithium-ion batteries, including the high-capacity 6.0Ah battery that provides extended runtime. Its adjustable cutting height ranges from 1.5 to 4 inches, and the deck is made of lightweight materials for easy maneuverability. The Ryobi 40V mower features a push-button start and 3-in-1 mulching, bagging, and side discharge capabilities.
The Kobalt 40V mower is simple to assemble with an easy-to-follow manual that takes only a few minutes. After unpacking, users only have to attach the handlebar and grass catcher. The mower is easy to adjust and operate, and users can easily switch between mowing and bagging modes.
The Ryobi 40V mower is also easy to assemble and comes with a detailed manual. Users only have to attach the handle and the grass catcher, and it takes about 5-10 minutes to set up. The mower’s dual battery system is easy to switch between, and the cutting height adjustment is effortless to use.
Due to its durability, the steel deck of the Kobalt 40V mower is preferred over plastic decks. The single-point cutting height adjustment is convenient for users as they only have to set it once. The adjustable lever throttle is easy to use, and the self-propelled drive is efficient. The Kobalt 40V cordless mower is quiet, producing 79 dB, and has a compact design that is easy to maneuver around obstacles.
The Ryobi 40V mower is lightweight and easy to maneuver around obstacles. Its 20″ deck is made of lightweight materials, making it easy to move the mower around the yard. The mower has a push-button start and 3-in-1 mulching, bagging, and side discharge capabilities. The dual battery system provides extended runtime, and the mower is compatible with all Ryobi 40V lithium-ion batteries. The cutting height adjustment ranges from 1.5 to 4 inches, and the mower has a durable design.
The Kobalt 40V mower has an included 40V battery, which lasts 32 minutes for maintenance mowing. While this time will decrease if the user is dealing with a lawn that has gotten overgrown, the drive set at 2.5 MPH enables 11,293 square feet of cutting or 0.26 acres. A 1/4-acre or smaller lawn is just the right size for using just the battery in the kit. However, additional batteries can be purchased to extend the runtime.
Depending on the thickness and height of the grass, the Ryobi 40V mower can offer a running time of approximately 35 minutes by using its 5.0Ah lithium-ion battery. This battery life can mow up to 1/4 acre with a single charge. Additionally, Ryobi offers a variety of batteries with different capacities to extend the runtime as needed.
Care and Storage
Maintaining the Kobalt 40V mower is effortless and comparable to maintaining any other cordless electric lawn mower. Users should avoid getting the motor and battery wet and always store the mower indoors in a dry place. After use, the battery should be removed from the mower and charged fully before storage. The blade should be sharpened once a year, and the underside of the mower should be cleaned after every use.
The Ryobi 40V mower is easy to maintain and store, and its care is similar to that of the Kobalt 40V mower. Keeping the mower and battery dry and storing the mower indoors is recommended. After use, the battery should be removed and charged fully before storage. It is recommended to sharpen the blade annually, and the underside of the mower should be cleaned following each use.
The Kobalt 40V mower can mow right around 1/4 acre on a single battery charge. With a 19-1/4″ blade, the mower easily cuts through a maintenance load at 2780 RPM or 159.1 MPH blade tip speed. Under heavier workloads, the speed can increase by up to 22.6 MPH, with a top speed of 3174 RPM or 181.7 MPH.
The Ryobi 40V mower can mow up to 1/4 acre with a single charge of the 5.0Ah lithium-ion battery. The mower is equipped with a 20-inch deck that makes cutting large grass areas easier and faster. It also features a 2-in-1 mowing system that offers bagging and mulching capabilities, making it easy to switch between the two without the need for additional tools. Additionally, the mower has a single-lever height adjustment that allows the user to quickly adjust the cutting height.
Kobalt 40V Mower vs. Ryobi 40V Mower: 9 Must-Know Facts
|Good cutting power, handling weekly cuts, and able to push through extra days of growth.||Slower than other models when tested under a light load.|
|The self-propelled drive system is easy to use with an adjustable lever throttle.||Shorter runtime of 32 minutes may not be enough for large lawns, but additional batteries can be purchased.|
|Steel deck construction provides durability and is able to withstand wear and tear.||Blade tip speed is mid-pack when tested under a heavy load.|
|Quiet operation at 79 dB makes it safe to use without ear protection and won’t disturb neighbors.||Some mowers with single-point cutting height adjustments can become loose over time.|
|Cutting power is strong enough to handle thick grass and larger lawns.||The battery life may not be sufficient for larger lawns or if there is excessive overgrowth.|
|The battery life can last up to 35 minutes, depending on usage.||The blade speed may not be as fast as other cordless mowers.|
|It has a single-point height adjustment system for easy maneuvering.||The self-propulsion feature may not be as strong as other models.|
|It has a large cutting deck size, which can cut more grass at once.|
Kobalt 40V Mower vs. Ryobi 40V Mower: Which One Is Better?
The Kobalt 40V mower and Ryobi 40V mower have their own strengths and weaknesses; ultimately, which one is better for you will depend on your specific needs. The Kobalt 40V mower has decent cutting power and can handle weekly maintenance cuts and mid-length grass. Its quiet operation makes it a good option for those who want to mow early in the morning or late at night without disturbing their neighbors. It also has a solid feature set, including an adjustable self-propelled drive and a steel deck. However, it has a relatively short runtime, making it more suitable for those with smaller lawns.
Conversely, the Ryobi 40V mower exhibits a marginally superior cutting performance, boasting a swifter blade speed compared to the Kobalt 40V mower. Additionally, its cutting range is slightly more expansive, rendering it a more suitable alternative for individuals with medium-sized lawns. over, its runtime is longer, making it an optimal choice for those with larger lawns. Nevertheless, some users may find the mower’s noise level to be a disadvantage. Furthermore, the Ryobi 40V mower’s deck is less durable than that of the Kobalt 40V mower.
Ultimately, both mowers are good options for those looking for a battery-powered mower, and the choice between the two will come down to individual preferences. The Kobalt 40V mower may be the better option if you prioritize quiet operation and sturdy construction. If you need a mower with a longer runtime and a larger cutting area, the Ryobi 40V mower may be the better choice. It’s important to consider what features are most important to you before making a decision.
Ryobi HP Brushless 54-Inch Electric Zero Turn Mower Performance
On the surface, there are some similarities to Ryobi’s 42-inch zero turn mowers. However, this model gets the HP Brushless designation, promising a whole new level of performance.
We had several areas we wanted to FOCUS on going into this review, starting with how much power the mower has. In our first round of testing, we did a maintenance cut, taking 2 inches off a field of dry bahiagrass and bringing it down to 2 1/2 inches. The power was excellent, cutting confidently and throwing the clippings as far out to the side as our gas mower.
Heading into the weekend, we were hampered by rain and were more than a week overdue for cutting another lawn. With Florida’s heat, the grass was more than a foot tall in some areas. We ran our Ryobi zero turn side-by-side with our residential gas ZT and were pleasantly surprised to find that it was cutting more confidently.
The big difference was when we got to grass high and thick enough to bog the blades down. It was about the same level of height and thickness for both mowers to start bogging, but Ryobi’s lower mass blades slowed more quickly.
As we expected, we were able to slow down our drive speed to allow the blades to keep their RPMs higher and still cut effectively. However, we had to cut a few of the toughest areas twice to get it all and it wasn’t able to distribute the clippings as far.
Even with that caveat, we were impressed with how much cutting power Ryobi’s three brushless motors put into the blades. It clearly exceeds walk-behind models by a wide margin and is on par with our Toro Timecutter and its 24.5 horsepower engine.
With the power question answered, we turned our attention to cut quality. In its stock configuration, side discharge is your only choice. There’s an optional mulching plug you can add, but there’s no bagging option.
Looking across the lawn, the cut from side to side was nice and even, indicating the deck is level. We ran into a few areas where we got some uneven cutting down into drainage areas, but that’s going to be the case with any size ZT you use.
If the deck manages to become uneven, check your tire pressures first. If they’re level, the deck is adjustable to even it out. Overall, we don’t have any complaints when it comes to the evenness of the cut.
With the 115Ah of battery power you have onboard, Ryobi tells us you can expect up to 3 1/2 acres of cutting.
We finally had a good day to set up our runtime test and made the most of it. We started by using our gas ZT to take a field of bahiagrass down to 4 1/2 inches. Then we took 2 inches off the top with our Ryobi ZT. But there’s a caveat—it also had to move the grass we had just cut. This was not an easy cut. In fact, it kept the mower working pretty hard the entire time.
The mower ran for 1 hour, 38 minutes with both the drive and blade speeds set to high. Time for a little math. Averaging 4 MPH (you can go faster, but that includes turns), with 54 inches of cutting nets you 154,915 square feet of cutting—or 3.56 acres. Yeah, you really can mow that much.
When we test noise levels, we test from our operator’s ear so you know whether or not you need hearing protection when you’re mowing. Sitting still, the mower is dead silent even though it’s active. Kicking the blades into low speed, they produce 83 decibels. At high speed, it increases to 87 decibels.
Driving and cutting, the total noise level with the blades at high speed is 89 decibels.
Ryobi HP Brushless 54-Inch Electric Zero Turn Mower Design Notes
54-Inch Fabricated Steel Deck
One of the things that set Ryobi’s ZT apart from the competition is its 54-inch deck. With the decks on EGO and Greenworks’ models stopping at 42 inches, the extra 12 inches is helpful when you have a larger property that you want to finish mowing more efficiently.
The other part of the equation is that it’s a fabricated 10-gauge steel deck that strikes us as a more durable way to go.
Both the drive and blades have high and low speeds to choose from with the simple press of a button. The mower’s top speed is 7 MPH and all of us on the testing team run it at high speed using the lap bars to manage it. Dropping to low speed is helpful if you’re getting used to the controls, but we think most folks will default to high once they’re comfortable.
Dropping the blade speed is helpful for extending runtime when you have to take a little off the top and the grass is dry. However, you get the most confident cutting and best cut quality at high blade speeds.
As long as you have the runtime to complete your lawn, we recommend keeping both the drive and cut levels at high speed.
Ryobi sticks with four sealed lead acid batteries to power this ZT. With other brands turning to lithium-ion, it’s natural to wonder how relevant this older technology is.
For one thing, today’s lead acid batteries aren’t the ones we dealt with a decade ago. They’re more stable and don’t require filling thanks to their sealed designs.
There’s also the cost to keep in mind. The 10Ah batteries in the EGO ZT are 450 each—and you’ll need to buy two extras out of the gate to get the best runtime. When it comes time to replace them, you’re in it for 2700.
On the other hand, you can get quality 115Ah replacements for this mower for less than half that price each and you only need four of them. That’s a lot less out of your when the time comes.
One downside is the charge time. If you run the batteries completely down, the mower needs to charge overnight and there’s no possibility of swapping out another set if you run short of finishing the job. On the plus side, you only need a standard 120V outlet for charging.
Another thing to note is that lead-acid batteries don’t have the same fade-free power lithium-ion ones do. We noticed the power level tapering off as we got to the last 20% of our battery life.
There’s plenty of front-to-back seat adjustment on this mower. All the way back, it’s a little too far for my 6-foot, 2-inch self, so if you’re taller than me, you can still get a comfortable fit.
At 205 pounds, I bottom out the seat springs when I’m on bouncy terrain, though. A tensioning seat would be a nice upgrade down the road.
Then there are the armrests. It doesn’t matter which mower I use, they’re never quite right. I’d love to have height adjustments similar to what an office chair has.
While you should know about those caveats, the seat itself has plenty of padding and is reasonably comfortable even after an hour of straight mowing.
The tow hitch comes in the kit and it just takes two bolts to install it. What’s really impressive is the towing capacity—500 pounds! That’s double what EGO rates their ZT for.
The Bottom Line
As the next step in battery-powered riding mower technology, Ryobi made some significant steps forward from their previous models. The cutting is more confident, the runtime is longer, and the build is more durable. If you’re looking to leave the noise, emissions, and maintenance of gas engines behind, the Ryobi HP Brushless 54-Inch Electric Zero Turn Mower is a great option for 1 to 3 1/2-acre lawns.
Ryobi HP Brushless 54-Inch Electric Zero Turn Mower Specifications
Ego LM2150SP Cordless Lawn Mower
Several features allowed the Ego to clinch Best Overall, no small achievement in our mower tests. First is its outstanding cut quality. Healthy grass looks like velvet after it has been mowed with the EGO. Even when the mower is used in mulching mode, we did not find clumps of accumulated clippings after the mower was finished (it’s important to specify here that these tests were performed on dry grass). We attribute that cut quality to the X-shaped blade (a design developed decades ago on Honda’s gas engine mowers) and to the smooth and unobstructed deck surface surrounding the blade.
This mower is also an excellent bagger, gathering pounds more grass per square foot of test area than most mowers. You have to be aware of that when operating this mower. Its bag will fill more quickly than you might think. Although we spend most of our time testing mowers in mulch mode, we recognize that bagging is particularly important to people who have a lot of foot traffic in parts of the yard and want to prevent grass clippings from getting dragged into the house, garage or onto patios. If that’s you, the Ego is probably a good fit for you.
Like many battery mowers today, the Ego is equipped with an all-plastic deck that will never rust, and a tilt-forward handle that also telescopically adjusts to suit the user’s height. To make it even easier to use, it has single-lever deck height adjustment with a large T-shaped handle. The combination of the spring-loaded adjustment and one of the better speed-control mechanisms we’ve seen–a simple dial that you rotate forward and back.
Since this model is sold without a battery and charger, it’s up to you how much battery to put in it. The brand recommends a battery with a minimum of 7.5 Ah of capacity, and that’s what we used to arrive at the cut area you see below. You can easily do better than that with a larger battery such as the company’s 10-Ah, a whopper of a power pack. Given that the Ego’s motor and drive system are both quite efficient, enabling it to accomplish nearly 1500 square feet of mowed surface per amp hour of battery capacity, that would translate to nearly 15,000 square feet of mowed surface with such a large battery. That’s a lot of lawn. With a 10-Ah battery, the manufacturer estimates run time as 75 minutes. That strikes us as plausible, particularly on level ground, in mulching mode.
With decades of mower testing behind us, we’ve seen just about every type of drive control imaginable. It’s difficult for us to assess these, since what one person finds comfortable someone else may not. We found the Ego’s dial-adjusted speed control (the company calls it Touch Drive) to be simple and intuitive. Move the dial forward with your left or right thumb to increase speed. Move it back to decrease. The slowest speed is a leisurely pace (.9 mph), the top speed requires a comfortably-fast walk.
The Ego is powerful, fun to operate, and cuts so well—it’s difficult to find anything to complain about. We suppose its big batteries could use a handle (like the Toro) but at least they are well shaped and have a lot of rubber-coated surface, to promote a good grip.