Throw away everything you know about Ryobi lawn mowers – the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Transverse 21" Self-Propelled Lawn Mower is something else entirely.
- Excellent covering, bagging and side discharge characteristics
- excellent cutting force
- Two active battery ports (requires manual switching)
- True 21" Blade
- Rigid handle and frame design
- Softer wheels have better grip
- Super easy-handle folding system allows for vertical storage
- The bag slips easily through the handle
- Manufactured in Anderson, SC using global materials
- Self-propelled engagement button can be pushed further
- Speed regulation needs to be strengthened
- Higher end speeds may be higher
- Impossible to measure battery level on the fly
Ryobi has really upped the power of the Crosscut mower thanks to a new brushless motor and controller. They also feature a stacked dual-blade design, high cutting first, then low cutting. To test it, we lowered the deck all the way down to the lowest height to see how far we could cut at the lowest speed. The lawn mower didn't stop.
So we picked up the speed until we finally started to slow down the blades, but they didn't stop turning. They certainly will, though, if you're cutting off high enough overgrowth. However, it's clear that the Ryobi are offering a lot more power than their previous models and seem to be leaving other 36V/40V mowers behind.
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Transverse Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Runtime
The kit comes with a pair of 6.0Ah batteries. Ryobi includes two active battery ports on the mower, which are large enough to accommodate larger batteries.
The downside is that you have to manually switch power from one battery to the other. You do this by flipping the center red key. The benefit is that you know when you've hit the midpoint of your battery's capacity.
We did trial cuts with combinations of bahia grass and St. Augustine from light to heavy. During most of our cutting sessions, the mower stayed at its standard cutting speed and only needed to be turned up occasionally.
Starting from the lighter side of the lawn and working towards the heavier side, the first battery stopped after 26 minutes. After running the second one, we cut 50 minutes and 2 seconds.
For lighter cuts, we'd definitely like to see Ryobi's claimed 70-minute cut time. For most scheduled maintenance cuts, we expect it to be closer to an hour.
The Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Transverse Self-Propelled Lawn Mower excels at mulching. It cuts much smaller splinters than we've seen from their other 40V mowers, which helps it get deeper into the grass more effectively.
I got my hand through one of the thicker sections we cut and I was able to pull out a few stray blades, but the vast majority were around the soil.
Take advantage of these great mulching characteristics, combine them with high airflow and lift, and you've got the best bagging results we've seen from an electric lawn mower. From 5 inches down to 3 inches, we filled the bag in about 8 minutes and the bag was tight and full!
There isn't as much human waste as covered or bagged ones. However, Ryobi includes everything needed to make it happen. With traditional placement instead of the back row, the mower does a good job of throwing clippings aside.
Some battery lawn mowers just pile it up. Our experience, on the other hand, was more like what we'd expect from a gas lawn mower.
As I review thousands of square feet of mowed grass, I can't help but notice that it looks flatter than what I've seen from Ryobi. Getting my eyes back to the ground confirms that this is another area of great improvement. However, a few scattered blades of grass stood up.
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Transverse Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Drive Controls
Ryobi is sticking with the Smart Trek name for their self-drivers, but the system is very different from previous generations of self-tuning systems. It's more traditional now, with an activation bar and speed dial.
The bar does not run the full width of the handle. You activate with one or two thumbs. We really like the overall design, but there's still room for some small tweaks.
We'd like to see the thumbstick pushed further down. After mowing thousands of square feet of lawn, we found that its position was tiring our thumbs a bit. Top speed could also be bumped up a notch. It's just a little slow, especially as the battery goes into a deeper discharge phase.
There are a few other important improvements worth mentioning as well. For starters, it's now easier to lift the bag directly between the handles and reduce emptying hassles. The bag is also 10% larger than before.
Like many electric lawn mowers, you can store the Ryobi CrossCut vertically. The important thing is that they put the release near the top and in the center of the handle. It's easier to use than before and a huge improvement over some of their competitors.
Tires are no longer hard plastic. So they now have more rubber construction and better grip.
- 7 deck heights (1.5 – 4 inches)
- Single point height adjustment
- Battery compatible with over 50 other Ryobi 40V products
- Front LED light
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Transverse Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Prices
Our test kit includes the mower, a pair of 6.0Ah batteries, and a charger, plus everything you need for bagging, mulching, or side discharge. You can get it from The Home Depot for $599.
There's another model with many of the same features for $499. The main difference is that it does not have the Crosscut function.
It's also worth noting that Ryobi has extended its warranty to 5 years, giving you an additional 2 years of coverage. Deck covered for life.
the bottom line
We are impressed (and excited) by the leap in performance and quality Ryobi has made with this mower. The design team set a high bar, and the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Transverse Self-Propelled Mower shatters that limit. They can still make some minor tweaks, but it's definitely one of the best battery lawn mowers available.
Last but not least, this mower is proudly manufactured in Anderson, South Carolina using global materials.
Ryobi 40V Transverse Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Specifications
- Model: Rimei RY401150
- Voltage: 40V
- Motor: Brushless
- Self-propelled system: Smart Trek
- Deck Size: 21"
- Cutting Height: 1.5–4 inches
- Deck height adjustment: 7-position single point
- Warranty: 5-year tool warranty and 3-year battery warranty
- Kit price (2 x 6Ah batteries): $599