Ryobi 40V HP Brushless AWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Enhances Its Competitive Edge
Ryobi launched their first generation CrossCut mowers in early 2021. It's definitely a huge improvement over the previous mower, but we think there are a few things that could be improved. After a year of using a second-generation Ryobi 40V HP brushless AWD self-propelled lawnmower in-house, we're getting an inside look at what's changed.
- AWD provides extra traction on slopes
- excellent cutting force
- LED Fuel Gauge
- Much quieter than previous models
- Adjustable thumb picks
- Dynamic drive changes
- One-touch deck height adjustment
- Very efficient side discharge, covering and bagging
- One-touch fold operation for compact vertical storage
- Power boost mode gives you short power jumps in lush grass
- Manufactured in the USA using global materials
- No automatic battery switchover (manual key switchover)
- Clippings can get stuck in the chute and make the cover rod movement sticky
Like we've seen in previous models, the Ryobi CrossCut mower features a stacked blade system. This configuration provides improved cutting performance and mulching capabilities compared to traditional single blade mowers.
We lowered the deck down to 2.5 inches and let it run through some bahia grass about 3 to 4 inches per pass. Given the previous model's performance, we weren't surprised when the brushless motor had no issues and continued to eject clippings with ease throughout testing.
From there we took the deck all the way down and hit some thicker St. Augustine. As we experienced in the last build, the mower kept trucking and didn't stop. It's clear to us that Ryobi has packed enough power into this mower to easily replace a gas mower.
Ryobi did us a big favor by integrating the cover plugs into the deck structure, so there are fewer parts to keep track of. Easily switch between covering and bagging functions by lifting the two-finger lock and sliding the selector lever on the deck.
It works well, but we did notice that the mechanism was slightly sticky during its sliding motion. Grass can catch a little crevice and it's hard to slide all the way into the mulch. Just clear it and you're good to go.
In our tests, the coverage feature performed as well, if not better, than its predecessor. This is really important because the first generation Ryobi RY401150 already excels at this.
Take those great mulching properties, combine them with high airflow and lift, and you get some of the best bagging we've seen from a battery mower. Reduced from 5 inches to 3 inches, we filled the bag in minutes and the bag was tight and full!
I did manage to find some grass that fell behind when I shook the grass with my hands, but overall it collected most of the grass clippings and made the yard look great. Add Ryobi's optional high lift blade for optimal bagging. It will take some runtime, but you'll get a higher vacuum to pull clippings into the bag.
With such great bagging and coverage, it's no surprise that we're also very effective with side discharges. The Ryobi opted for true side discharge instead of a rear attachment, and it does a better job of distributing grass clippings than other battery-operated mowers we've used.
When I look back at thousands of square feet of mowed grass, I can't help but notice that it looks more even than my old battery-operated lawn mower. Going down to the ground confirms that this is another area that remains consistent with previous Ryobi CrossCut models. There are some tangled blades of grass standing up, but that's typical of our grass.
Ryobi tells us the mower can run for up to 70 minutes straight. We tested these claims on a medium-cut lawn in dry conditions. Using the two 6.0Ah batteries in the kit, we ran 59 minutes and 1 second. Ryobi's estimated 3/4 acre is achievable under optimal conditions.
An external LED fuel gauge is located on the rear of the panel and shows the approximate remaining runtime of the active battery. Note that you have to flip the key when your first battery dies. This model does not have automatic switching.
Ryobi continues to build out its Whisper line with the addition of this mower. It clocks in at just 71 dB(a) with the blade at low speed – 1 dB(a) quieter than the impressive Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 730 CFM Leaf Blower and less than the first generation CrossCut mower 11 dB(a).
This low noise level makes it an excellent choice for those living in areas with noise restrictions or densely populated neighborhoods where excessive noise is undesirable.
Ryobi 40V HP AWD Lawn Mower Design Notes
The Ryobi 40V HP Brushless AWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower retains similar Smart Trek technology to what we've seen before, but with a few key differences.
A small selector switch on the handle lets you switch between RWD and AWD on the fly depending on the terrain. I found AWD to be especially useful when mowing sideways on hills. The extra traction keeps me on my line so I don't have to struggle with keeping the rear wheel from spinning. You'll notice a slight drop in speed when you use AWD, but the quality of the cut on these slopes is better.
It's also easy to adjust the Smart Trek drive speed to match your pace. Just set the variable speed slider with either thumb, then press the adjustable thumb paddle and you're good to go! The changes here are that Ryobi beefed up the drive speed slider a bit, and you can now adjust the angle of the thumbstick. Both are notable improvements.
Ryobi CrossCut Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Quick Comparison
Take a quick look at the differences between the first and second generation of the Ryobi CrossCut range of self-propelled mowers:
|Rima RY401210 (2nd generation)||Rima RY401150 (first generation)|
|deck size||21 inches||21 inches|
|low blade speed noise||71 decibels||82 decibels|
|transmission system||AWD, RWD Smart Trek||RWD Smart Trek|
|motor type||HP Brushless||HP Brushless|
From this chart, you can clearly see the added AWD capability, but what surprised us most was the drastic reduction in decibels heard by the operator's ears. We've seen this noise-canceling feature in some of Ryobi's other Whisper lineups, so we're excited to see this technology used in other products.
- button start
- 21" durable composite deck is lightweight and corrosion resistant
- Dual active battery ports (requires manual switching)
- High-intensity LED headlights
- One-touch aluminum folding handle for compact vertical storage
- Single point height adjustment
- 7 deck height levels (1-4 inches)
- Compatible with all RYOBI 40 volt lithium batteries
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless AWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Price
The Ryobi RY401210 retails for $799. Inside the box, you'll find two 40V 6.0Ah batteries, a fast charger, a collection bag, and a side discharge slot. Ryobi backs this mower with a 5-year tool warranty and a limited lifetime warranty on the deck.
the bottom line
Ryobi took its first-generation CrossCut mower, added optional all-wheel drive, and made some improvements in key areas to make it easier to use. The price goes up, but we wish it had additional features. Overall, the design team at Ryobi have come up with a truly amazing machine that is on a mission to remove any barriers to using a gas lawn mower.
Ryobi 40V HP AWD Mower Specifications
- Model: Rimei RY401210
- Voltage: 40V
- Power supply: Ryobi 40V battery (recommended 2 sections)
- Motor: HP Brushless
- Drive Type: AWD and Smart Trek RWD
- Deck Size: 21"
- Mowing functions: mulching, bagging, side discharge
- Cutting height: 1 in.-4 in.
- Maximum run time: 70 minutes
- Warranty: 5 years (tool), 3 years (battery), 3 years (charger)
- Price: $799.00 (kit)