Ryobi 40V Backpack Blower Delivers Impressive Power
We put the Cordless Ryobi 40V Backpack Hair Dryer to the test to see how it compares to other models in its class. Best of all, it's a 40V cordless model that uses a brushless motor for power and doesn't have much competition. However, EGO and Greenworks are not impeccable, and they set a high bar. The Ryobi RY40440 needs to prove it can compete as an effective lawn care tool.
- Up to 20.0 Newtons of force in our tests
- CFM and MPH higher than EGO 56V and Greenworks 80V
- Runs on high power for 23 minutes on a single 5.0 Ah battery
- Requires only one battery to run, with both ports active
- The hose section does not allow full movement on the left side of your body
- No belt to transfer weight from shoulders and back
Ryobi 40V Backpack Blower Performance
The specs of the Ryobi 40V Backpack Blower made us rethink. At 625 CFM and 145 MPH, the RY40440 challenges EGO's LB6000, the most powerful battery backpack blower we've tested to date, with 25 less CFM. That's right, the Ryobi has more muscle than its competitors.
Another major player is Greenworks, and they have a variety of options. On the homeowner's side, the 80V model is only slightly lower at 580 CFM and 145 MPH.
They also have an 82V commercial line including 600 CFM/150 MPH and 690 CFM/160 MPH models. You'll need to raise the price quite a bit for these products, though.
Using our trusty dynamometer, we measured the Ryobi's lower limit to be 10.4 Newtons. That's nothing to rave about — plenty of handheld cordless hair dryers outperform that. But then we turned on Turbo mode and measured up to 20.0 Newtons. That's impressive for a battery-operated blower!
Both EGO and Greenworks use an inline axial fan design to reduce air friction during conveying. Ryobi stuck with a design that looks like a cordless twin to their popular RY38BP gas blower. Despite any friction loss, the secret seems to lie in what Ryobi calls Crossforce fan technology—a dual air intake design that allows a column of air to swing around the motor and down.
Nobody owns a cordless backpack hair dryer that can directly replace the power of a gas model. On the low end of gas power, we see a force reading of 26 Newtons and move up past the 40 Newton mark for maximum power. Cordless models require some behavior changes to handle lower power levels and runtime considerations.
High mode handles hardscape well and moves dry, broad foliage well. The smaller Oak Leaf is a pain in the neck, and the 10.4 Newtons don't inspire much movement in the grass.
For them and other stubborn materials like wet leaves and debris, the turbo mode of this Ryobi leaf blower is a better choice. When you press the turbo button, it goes into a 2 minute timer. You can press it again to restart for 2 minutes, or return to normal speed when it's on turbo.
There's also a cruise control system for extended use. The trigger doesn't give you much finger fatigue, and since you need to keep your hand on the lever anyway, we didn't use it very often. Still, managing battery runtime is helpful.
As with other blowers, lower speeds are moderately effective. They're not very strong, but provide enough control to blow dust out of the store.
Although the Ryobi RY40440 runs off a kit of one 40V battery and one 5.0 Ah battery pack, there are two active battery ports for longer run times.
With that 5.0 Ah battery, we ran the Ryobi 40V backpack blower on high voltage for over 23 minutes – not shabby at all! You can get close to 50 minutes of use without flipping the switch.
On full turbo, we drained the battery at 10:52. Two 5.0 Ah batteries will give you 20 to 25 minutes of runtime, depending on how hot and humid the weather is.
Charging the 5.0Ah battery is slow, but that's typical for the Ryobi. Expect the larger battery to take several hours to charge.
listen to the sound
Ryobi claims this is one of the quietest blowers in the industry at just 59 decibels according to their testing methodology. In our tests on the operator's ears, the Ryobi RY40440 measured 75 dB(A) at treble and 81 dB(A) at turbo.
It's surprisingly quiet for its power level compared to other blowers we've tested. We ran multiple tests with Newtonian force because the numbers seemed too high for what it sounded like it was pushing.
The blower tube is attached to the flexible section with the included clamp used to guide the control wires from the motor to the lever. The flexible part of the tube is a bit too short, though. So you have a great range of motion to the right, but you can't swing too far to the left.
fit and comfort
Ryobi includes frame, adjustable shoulder straps, chest strap, comfortable back padding and hip padding. But there's no full hip belt, so your shoulders and back carry the 21+ lbs, not your hips. Of course, we all have different fitness levels, and after 20 minutes I started to feel the weight on my back.
This Ryobi Leaf Blower accelerates to full power in 2-3 seconds. This is almost certainly intentional, given the electronic control of brushless motors. It may have been designed to better mimic the operation of a blower, but our Stihl BR800 has quicker throttle response.
The RY40440 comes with battery and charger and costs $249.
- Ryobi 40V RY40440: $249.00 (1 x 5.0 Ah kit)
- EGO 56V LB6000: $299 (1 x 5.0 Ah kit)
- Greenworks 80V 2404802AZ: $329 (1 x 2.5 Ah kit)
- Greenworks Commercial 82V GBB 600: $249 (bare) + $96 (charger) + $231 to $1186 (battery option)
- Greenworks Commercial 82V GBB 700: $299 (bare) + $96 (charger) + $231 to $1186 (battery option)
Ryobi clearly has an advantage in terms of pricing, and it comes with a 5-year warranty. Combined with its excellent high-end features, that's why we wanted to put it in our "serious consideration" column and overcome its quirks.
Greenworks Commercial targets professionals, so it's no surprise to find them charging over $500 to enter.
the bottom line
For a cordless Ryobi backpack hair dryer, it's a bit of a mess. It has impressive power on the top end and a balance between mid-range power and high runtime. However, the lack of a belt and the constraints on the left side of the body kept us from getting used to it.
However, it's attractively priced, and as their entire line continues to improve in terms of performance, it's worth a look for homeowners to use. However, there is another consideration. The updated 40V HP brushless lawn care tool is impressive, and before you pull the trigger, you might want to see what Ryobi has in store for the updated blower.
Ryobi 40V Backpack Blower Specifications
- Model: RY40440
- Battery: 40V 5.0Ah Li-ion
- Volume: 625 CFM
- Speed: 145 mph
- Noise level: 59 decibels
- Throttle: variable speed
- Warranty: 5-year limited
- Weight: 21.2 lbs
- Price: $249.95 (with charger and 5.0Ah battery)