Electric mower stopped working. Greenworks Pro 60V 25-inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Review
Greenworks Pro 60V 25-inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Review
We’re really impressed with Greenworks’ translation of its commercial battery mower into a residential option and the Gen-2 upgrades are really helpful. With two solid self-propelled mowers to choose from, it’s really a matter of deciding which one is better for your lawn: the 21-inch or the 25-inch. Thanks to its dual battery ports and wider deck, this model is geared toward larger lawns. Grab the 21-inch if you’re maintaining 1/4-acre or less and go with the 25-inch above that.
Greenworks shook up the battery-powered OPE market with its 25-inch commercial mower a while back. We took the Greenworks Pro 60V 25-inch self-propelled lawn mower designed for homeowners out to see how it stacks up against the best electric mowers we’ve tested.
- Excellent power with Turbo mode for tough patches
- Very good cut quality
- Dual active battery ports with automatic switching
- 23.75-inch cutting swath
- Easy control system
- Simple handle release for height adjustment and vertical storage
- We’d like to have a little bit slower speed on the low end when cutting thick patches
- You need to roll the mower forward a touch to disengage the drive wheels when backing up
- No side/rear discharge option
Greenworks Pro 60V 25-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Design
If you’ve seen the Commercial 82V version of this mower, you’ll immediately see the resemblance. And if you’re familiar with the latest generation of their 21-inch 60V self-propelled mower, you’ll notice several things have come over from it as well.
Get a Grip
Starting at the top, this is the same control system and handle design that the 21-inch model uses, including the Turbo button. The handles dip away from the center at a comfortable angle and the foam grip adds to your hands’ comfort level.
There’s an LED level indicator for the two battery ports that light up when you hit the power button, self-propel bar, or blade bar.
Kicking the mower into gear is pretty standard. Press the power button and pull the blade bar to get them up to speed. You can also opt to just use the self-propel drive when you need to get from point A to point B without pulling the blade bar first.
What’s interesting is that you can reverse the process, too. Pull the blade or self-propel bar first and hit the power button second and the mower still comes to life. I like that. There’s no trying to remember which order you have to go in—just hit what you need to and go.
The speed adjustment is front and center. Greenworks does a nice job of keeping the slider stiff enough that you don’t knock it to a different level if you accidentally touch it or go over a bump.
The self-propel drive has a pretty solid speed range. There’s plenty of top-end speed to keep up with my 6-foot, 2-inch frame. I’d actually like the low end to go a little lower. It’s fine most of the time. But when the grass is really tall and thick, I like to slow things down even more.
Lift up the hood and we find two battery ports. You only need one pack to run the mower. The mower automatically switches over when the first battery is used up.
Moving around to the deck, you adjust the height with a single-point adjustment. With the larger design and heavier weight that comes with it, it would have been understandable to move to a 2- or 4-point system. Instead, the design team kept it simpler for you.
On gas mowers, a single point adjustment can lead to a loss of rigidity through the frame and wear down the connection points of the system before the end of the mower’s service life. Weighing in around 86 pounds, this mower is right on the edge but we’re not seeing anything that concerns us about its ability to hold up over time so far.
Under the 25-inch steel deck, the Greenworks Pro 60V 25-inch self-propelled lawn mower uses twin 12.5” blades to cover a true 23.75-inch cutting swath. Each blade is smaller and lower mass than any of the single blades other battery mowers use, so they’re able to power them on the popular 60V platform.
The blades counter-rotate and combine with the deck design to direct clipping toward the bag. It’s an effective system that does a solid job.
If you’re willing to give up a little runtime for better lift and cut quality, Greenworks includes a high-lift set of blades in the kit.
Greenworks Pro 60V 25-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Performance
One of the things I really wanted to see was how much power this mower has with Greenworks branding the update to have “Ultra Power”. The blades may have less mass but cutting nearly 24 inches at a time is still a tough task. After all, none of the other major players have this large of a deck size.
After cutting an area of grass to the mower’s max, I dropped the deck all the way down to see if it would cut. The idea is to find where its minimum effective cutting height is, and we normally have to raise the deck a notch or two. Surprise, surprise—Greenworks is able to cut at its 1 3/8-inch minimum pretty easily.
When you get into those tougher cutting situations, you can hear the brushless motor calling on more power to drive those blade speeds. That kind of Smart response gives you more power when you need it and conserves runtime when you don’t. Of course, with this Gen-2 update, you can hit the Turbo button when the standard mode has trouble.
The caveat is that it can’t mulch very well when it has that much grass to chop and very little deck clearance to drop it. If you’re in that kind of cutting situation, plan on bagging it.
Greenworks Pro 60V 25-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Cut Quality
If you’re like us and prefer mulching, having double the blades and double the cutting edges helps chop grass into finer bits than we see on many other electric mowers.
You don’t get a side discharge option with this model. That’s not a surprise to us. It gives the deck less interruption on its airflow where you’d normally place the chute.
The cut evenness is pretty solid on regular cuts. With two blades, there’s the possibility of leaving a mow-hawk behind in the center. However, Greenworks’ overlapping blades and their speed don’t leave anything behind.
It also looks like they have the lift dialed in well, pulling the grass up to cut it at the same height and directing it to the bag effectively. It gets even better with the high lift blades.
Greenworks Pro 60V 25-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Runtime and Cutting Area
So that leads us to the question of how much runtime we get. With battery tools, more power usually means less runtime. We charged up the batteries that came in the kit—a pair of 4Ah Ultra Power packs. That’s a bit better than the 2Ah/4Ah combination that came with the last model.
We cut the entire lawn at 5 inches using our Cub Cadet Pro Z 560 and then ran the Greenworks mower at 3-inch to see how long it would run on a maintenance cut. The majority of our cutting was in Bahia with a smaller section of St. Augustine requiring light to medium cutting efforts.
The last version got 26 and a half minutes, but by limiting the highest power to a separate mode, we beat that with just the first battery. One battery switched over at 33 minutes and the second battery finally gave in after 1 hour, 9 minutes. That’s a massive improvement!
We didn’t have to jump into Turbo mode at all during our cutting. If you need to, you’ll drop your runtime, so use it selectively to get the most out of your batteries.
With the batteries that come in the kit, we’d say the Greenworks Pro 60V 25-inch self-propelled lawn mower is a great option for mowing up to a 1/2-acre on a regular basis.
Additional Field Notes
Like many battery-powered mowers, you can fold the handle forward on this model and store it vertically. It’s a really easy system, too. Just pull the green tabs up to release and swing the handle forward. They’re the same releases you use to switch between the two handle heights. A handle on the front gives you a simple point to pull it up from.
Push and Pull
We noticed while we were cutting that you can’t instantly roll backward. You need to push the mower forward just a touch to disengage the drive before you can pull it back. It can be a little frustrating when you need to mow into a spot and back out of it.
LEDs Have Arrived
If you’re a low-light mowing kind of guy or gal, you probably noticed the last version of this mower didn’t have LEDs. That’s changed with a new light bar to light up your mowing path.
Greenworks Pro 60V 25-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Price
You can get this model direct from Greenworkls for 749 with a pair of 4.0Ah batteries and a dual-port charger. Both the mower and the batteries are backed by a 4-year warranty.
When you look at other battery-powered mowers in that price range, Greenworks is one of the most compelling models considering its performance and coverage.
The Bottom Line
We’re really impressed with Greenworks’ translation of its commercial battery mower into a residential option and the Gen-2 upgrades are really helpful. With two solid self-propelled mowers to choose from, it’s really a matter of deciding which one is better for your lawn: the 21-inch or the 25-inch. Thanks to its dual battery ports and wider deck, this model is geared toward larger lawns. Grab the 21-inch if you’re maintaining 1/4-acre or less and go with the 25-inch above that.
Greenworks Pro 60V 25-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Specifications
- Model: Greenworks 2531502 (MO60L427)
- Power Source: Greenworks 60V battery
- Deck Size: 25 inches
- Deck Materials: Steel
- Cutting Swath: 23.75 inches
- Blade Diameter: 2 x 12.5 inches
- Height Range: 1 3/8 – 4 inches
- Cutting Positions: 7
- Discharge: Mulch or bag
- Warranty: 4 years mower and batteries
- Price: 749
Learn more about this and other battery lawn care products at GreenworksTools.com!
Riding Lawn Mower Won’t Start No Clicking
It could be a variety of factors if your riding lawn mower does not start when you flip the key to start the engine. It can be anything from loose battery connections, fuses, the ignition switch, or something more serious.
Luckily, if you end up saying my riding mower does nothing when I turn the key, you can go through some troubleshooting on your riding lawn mower before you need the help of a dealer.
In our guide, you can find out more about a John Deere or Husqvarna riding lawn mower won’t start any clicking or any other model you have. By the end, when you face not even a click, you’ll have enough information to run through the starting procedure to check all the items that could cause the issue.
Then, in the space of minutes, you could pinpoint the problem and get mowing your lawn without further issues. (Read Riding Lawn Mower Snow Blower Combo Guide)
How Do I Know If My Riding Lawn Mower Solenoid Is Bad?
What does it mean when you flip the key and hear a click? When you hear the click, the starter solenoid coil receives power from the battery via the ignition switch.
If you don’t hear that click, the starter solenoid is broken, or the starter solenoid coil isn’t receiving power.
We’ll teach you how to find the problem by inspecting the battery, solenoid posts and coil, fuse, ignition switch, brake interlock switch, and blade switch on your riding mower.
While lawnmowers are different, much of the troubleshooting techniques are the same. The fundamental distinction is that you may need to consult your model’s wiring diagram if you detect issues.
How the riding mower starting system operates:
It helps to know how the starting system works to narrow down the problem. Many issues look like problems when safety switches are engaged. Make sure no safety switch affects your troubleshooting.
- The positive red battery connection connects to one of the starter solenoid terminal posts (positive).
- The black wire that connects to the other major terminal on the starter solenoid (negative) provides power to the starter motor, which allows the engine to start.
- A short red wire runs from the red solenoid terminal post to the ignition coil at the bottom of the starter solenoid, carrying power through the ignition switch.
- The ignition switch provides power through the white wire to energize the coil within the solenoid when you turn the key to the start position.
- The coil closes an internal contact, sending power from the red battery connection to the black wire, which turns the starter motor.
Do I have a dead battery?
A dead battery will prevent the solenoid coil from clicking since it will not power up the starter system.
- Use a multimeter to measure the DC voltage across the battery terminals to inspect the battery.
- Put on your safety goggles and work gloves.
- Remove the key from the ignition.
- Look at the battery. To access the battery on this style of riding lawn mower, you must elevate the seat.
- Touch the red multimeter probe to the positive or red battery terminal and the black multimeter probe to the negative or black battery terminal with the multimeter set to measure DC voltage.
- The battery should measure over 12 volts of DC if it is in excellent condition.
- If it’s less than 12 volts, you have a weak or dead battery, and you’ve probably located the source of the problem. The starter solenoid coil will not power if the battery is weak or dead.
- Using a charger, try recharging the battery. You can use jumper cables to jump-start a riding lawn mower with a 12-volt battery in a pinch.
- Replace with a new battery if it won’t charge.
If the battery is weak or dead, you can find there isn’t enough power for the fuel pump. The fuel filter could also cause issues with lack of fuel. Checking or changing the air filter can also help while doing your troubleshooting.
A valve lash issue is much different. Fixing a valve lash problem is more intensive than checking the battery and terminal connections. (Read Troy Bilt Riding Mower Oil Type)
Check solenoid power
Power is delivered to the red battery cable if the battery works appropriately. Is voltage flowing to the red terminal post through the red battery cable? To verify this, take a voltage reading at the red terminal post.
- Connect the multimeter’s red probe to the starter solenoid’s red post and the black probe to the battery’s negative terminal. It should measure more than 12 volts.
- Check the battery terminals and cable leads for corrosion if the battery voltage is less than 12 volts. Use a wire brush to remove rust from the battery terminals and battery cable leads; corrosion can prohibit the red solenoid post from receiving power.
- Recheck the voltage. Replace the red battery wire if it still doesn’t measure over 12 volts at the red post.
Check solenoid coil power
Now you’ve established the red terminal is receiving power, you need to determine if the solenoid coil is receiving power when you turn the key on your lawn tractor. Or, you have a faulty solenoid, leaving you with a tractor won t start, no click.
The starter solenoid is to blame if the voltage is measured at the coil, but the internal contact does not click. However, it clicks when the solenoid gives power to the starter motor.
- Unless you have a helper to turn the ignition key while holding the solenoid coil wires probes, you’ll need clip-on meter probes. Remove the white and black wires from the solenoid’s spades.
- Set the multimeter to DC voltage measurement.
- Connect the white wire female spade connector to the red meter probe and the black wire female spade connector to the black wire female spade connector.
- Turn the ignition key to the start position, then note the voltage reading on the meter display before turning it off.
If the battery voltage is measured with a multi-meter, it will be greater than 12 volts. The starter solenoid should be replaced if the coil receives power but does not close the internal contact to the starter motor.
There is a break in the circuit to the solenoid coil if it reads 0 volts. The starter solenoid is most likely fine; it simply lacks power. It’s time to test the coil circuit. (Read Riding Lawn Mower Won’t Stay Running – What To Do)
Test lawnmower coil circuit
First, we’ll test the circuit’s ground. The black wire links the solenoid coil to the metal frame of the riding mower. A wire break prevents power to the coil.
- Using a meter, we check for resistance between the black wire’s female spade and the metal frame of the mower and ground wire.
- Before testing resistance, disconnect the negative battery cable and positive battery cable from the mower.
- Keep the cables away from the battery terminals so they don’t accidentally restore power to the posts.
- Set the multimeter to measure resistance and ground it by touching one probe to the black wire female spade and the other to the bare metal on the mower frame.
Resistance around 0 ohms suggests the black wire is grounded. Infinite resistance shows a break in the black ground wiring. The engine should start after the black wire has a good path to the ground.
Next, you’ll need to check the hot side of the circuit, which starts with the small red wire on the starter solenoid terminal and finishes with the white wire that connects to the coil spade, if the ground side is alright.
A fuse, the ignition switch, the brake switch, and the blade switch are all part of the circuit.
- Start with the simplest and check for a blown fuse, which you can tell by glancing at it.
- The fuse on this mower is immediately next to the starter solenoid, but we have to remove the battery and battery box to get to it.
- Pull the fuse from the holder using the zip tie.
- If you’re not sure if the fuse is blown, use your multi-meter to check for continuity through the fuse.
- Remember, if the fuse blew because of a component or wiring fault. You’ll need to figure out what’s causing a blown fuse and how to fix it.
- Reinstall the fuse in the holder and secure it with the zip tie.
A blown fuse or broken connection will measure infinite resistance. Infinite resistance means you’ll need to replace the parts. (Read Poulan Pro Riding Lawn Mowers Reviews)
How Do I Know If My Lawn Mower Ignition Switch Is Bad?
On your lawn tractor, many areas can cause issues with starting. Here’s a quick rundown of what you would check first.
Check battery voltage, 12.65v is fully charged, 12.05v is half-charged, and needs recharging.
Low voltage shows a defective battery that may not recharge. A battery must be charged to be tested; hence a battery charger is required. The mower’s alternator will eventually charge the battery if it isn’t malfunctioning. You can try the crank test once the battery is fully charged (about 70%).
If the lights don’t function, use a voltmeter to test the battery’s charge, or you could have a blown fuse.
If you don’t have a charger, a set of jumper wires, a car, or any 12volt battery will do.
Check Safety Sensors
Riding mowers are fitted with safety measures to prevent operator error or accident. Sensors/switches regulate safety features on mowers, which are usually wired into a control module. One of the more common is the weight sensor in the seat, so the starting procedure can’t finish unless you are sitting on your mower. (Read Bluegrass Vs Tall Fescue)
Check Control Module
Modern mowers contain control modules, printed circuit boards comprising relays and resistors.
Assuming all sensors are engaged, the control module starts the starter when the ignition switch is turned on.
Visually inspect these modules for loose connections or water damage, as each module comes with an internal or external fuse. For example, a mower’s primary fuse might blow, cutting off power to the ignition system.
Check Ignition Switch
Improperly connected ignition switches can cause a host of issues with the ignition system. Ignition switches can convey commands to the control module.
If your mower lacks a control module, the safety sensors are directly connected to the ignition switch, leaving it open.
- Problems with ignition switches include loose wiring, rusted or damaged terminals, and spinning ignition switches.
- If you have the blade knob set to the on position, your engine won’t start. So make sure your ride-on mower is in the park and the knob set to off.
- Remember, you’ll need someone to sit on the mower seat as you check the connectivity of the ignition wires and connectors.
When I Turn The Key On My Mower Nothing Happens?
Test Ignition Switch
Check continuity through the red wire from the starter solenoid post to the ignition switch.
- Assemble a test set up for the red starter solenoid wire and the ignition switch
- Open the mower hood.
- Remove the ignition switch wire harness.
- Pull the ignition switch out of the dash by the locking tabs.
- Push the wire harness plug through the hole to test the contacts.
- Place one probe on the starter solenoid post with the red wire and the other on the female plug spade with the red wire.
- This section of wiring should have near 0 ohms’ resistance. Find and repair the red wire’s break if you get infinite resistance.
Test Brake Interlock Switch
We’ve isolated the circuit break to the part of the white wire that includes the brake switch and blade switch if the ignition switch is working. (Learn How To Cut Grass With Riding Mower)
- Remove the air duct mounting screws and pull out the brake switch.
- Remove the fuel tank with care. If the tank is weighty, drain some fuel.
- Remove the lower dash fastener and take it off. Now you may try the brake switch.
- Note the white wires’ prongs, as these are the ones you’ll need to test the brake switch’s resistance.
- Pull the wire harness off the brake switch.
- Touch one probe to one prong and the other to the other prong that connects to the white wires.
- If the brake switch works properly, it should measure near 0 ohms.
- If you have infinite resistance, the brake pedal switch is broken.
You must disassemble the clutch lever assembly to reach the blade switch.
- Note the white wires’ prongs and remove the wire harness from the blade switch.
- Set your multimeter to examine resistance and touch the probes to the white wire’s prongs.
- The multi-meter should read near 0 ohms if the blade switch is working. If it reads infinite resistance, replace the blade switch.
- If the blade switch works, a break in the white wire between the ignition switch and the solenoid coil prevents the coil from receiving power. Locate and fix the wiring fault.
After reading our troubleshooting tips, you should be able to start your mower.
How Do You Test A Starter Solenoid On A Riding Lawn Mower?
Riding lawn mowers come with many safety features and safety switches to stop the engine from starting unless certain conditions are met.
- Parking Brake: Ensure the parking brake is engaged. This safety switch can be part of the brake pedal.
- Blade Control: The blade control handle must be in the OFF position.
- Seat cutout: Most riding mowers have a seat safety switch.
Wiring and Connections
The starter motor requires a solid battery connection like any other internal combustion engine.
- Inspect the starter, solenoid, ignition switch, and battery connections. Remove corrosion with a wire brush and tighten all connections.
- Check the grounding points. Grease or use liquid electrical tape for all connections.
- Verify the starter motor bolts. Otherwise, the starter may move and not engage.
Bad Starter Solenoid
If you have a decent battery, but the riding mower won’t start when you turn the key on your riding mower, your solenoid may be broken and won’t pass any current through the ignition wiring to the spark plug.
The solenoid is simple to check with a 12V battery and a multi-meter
- Unscrew the solenoid from the riding mower
- Most solenoids have four posts: two for operation and two for battery connection.
- Connect your multi-meter to the two large battery posts to test continuity.
- Connect the battery’s negative to a spade terminal.
- Connect the battery’s positive terminal to the other spade terminal:
- The solenoid should click as it works.
- Continuity/short circuit should show on your multi-meter.
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Ryobi 20″ 40-Volt Lawn Mower – Mower Review
W hen I bought my first home I purchased a self-propelled gas mower. A few years ago the engine finally quit and I decided to go gasless. I opted for a Scott’s 20” Reel Mower and I was happy. For a while. The Reel mower never bagged right, but I mulched. It was quiet, it cut grass really well, but ultimately it didn’t get the high stuff like weeds and fast growing dandelions, so I’d end up going over the lawn again with the string trimmer. Every. Single. Time.
NEW Greenworks Commercial 25″ Battery Lawn Mower (82SP25M)
Enter the Ryobi 20 in. 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Walk-Behind Electric Lawn Mower with 2 Batteries. Ryobi has been making quality tools with professional features at an affordable price point for homeowners everywhere. From drills to lawn mowers, Ryobi makes one of everything, and most of that is battery powered. So even with their extensive knowledge of batteries, how good can a battery powered lawn mower be? Was Ryobi up to the challenge?
Recently Ryobi gave Busted Wallet the chance to review this battery powered wonder and I hoped for the power of a gas mower with the quietness and cleanliness of my reel mower. I wasn’t disappointed. It is everything you like about mowing a lawn without all of the things you hate. Here is what we discovered…
What’s in the Box:
- 2 40-volt Lithium-ion Batteries
- 40-volt Charger
- Bag for grass clippings
- Mulching Plug
- Fuse Key
- Owner’s manual
- 5 year limited warranty
- 3 year full warranty (including the batteries)
- Adjustable mowing height from approximately 1.5 in. to 3.75 in.
- 90 minute charge time per battery
- Bags and mulches
- 20” mowing width
- 47 lbs
- Foldable for storage or transport
- Rated for yard sizes 1/2 to 1 acre
Straight out of the box this mower is ready to go fully assembled. I needed only to unfold and tighten the quick release style catches on the handle. It is well built and light enough that when folded I can easily pick it up and put it in the back of my van for transport. The battery compartment holds the battery that is in use, has a slot for an extra battery, and is where you put the ‘key’ which is a fuse that when pulled keeps the mower from turning on. This is a great safety feature for when you are putting in or taking out the mulch plug, turning the mower on the side to inspect/remove/reattach the blade, or leaving it where a kid might find it. There is no ‘pull start’. You press a button, pull the handle back and the mower springs to life.
Setting the mowing height is also easy. It’s one handle that has 7 positions between 1.5″ and 3.75″ One handle moves the adjuster on all four wheels.
Very disappointed with Greenworks 25″ mowers | Electric Lawn Service
The batteries each have a 4 light power meter and they update/blink as they are being charged which is helpful so you don’t have to check them. The charger diagnoses the battery every charge letting you know if it is good or bad, and if it can or can’t charge it. The charger won’t charge a battery that is too hot or too cold. The important part is, you don’t have to think about it, the charger does it for you. In all the mowing I did with the mower the battery never failed to charge after being totally drained, they didn’t seem to get hot with continual use.
Best part of the design? All the “Nos”. No gas. No oil. No cords. No loud noise. Seriously. I can mow the lawn and not smell like I mowed a lawn. Electric plug-in mowers are very powerful, but cords get in the way.
It’s 44.7lbs pushing weight and that isn’t as heavy as it sounds. My Scott’s mower weighted in at 25lbs, but when you push a reel mower you put extra effort into it to turn the gears and blade. I found this to be about the same or less effort than the reel mower. Busted Wallet Recently reviewed the Toro 30” Timemaster and that weighs in at 132lbs! On Rich’s lawn Rich and I took turns going back and forth with the mower, pushing up and down some hills. He has a self-propelled gas mower so I wanted his opinion on the missing self-propulsion. He said it was no better, but no worse than his self-propelled. That the decrease in weight made it just as easy to move over his lawn.
How often have you been asked to help mow a lawn for a parent or friend? My Scotts’ reel mower doesn’t fold to fit in my van and a self-propelled gas mower isn’t an easy lift for 1 person at 130 pounds. That and a gas mower is going to make your vehicle smell like a gas mower. Gas and oil. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your dirty gas can and try not to spill any with your heavy mower.
The Ryobi battery powered mower folds for easy storage, it is fairly easy lift (I had back surgery in 2012 so I pay attention to this detail) when folded, and didn’t make my van smell like anything.
Do you need 800 HP to mow a lawn? Nope. But even still, I didn’t find any grass that I couldn’t cut. I didn’t find any weeds I couldn’t cut. I did find a few sticks and rocks unfortunately. I did mow through some really tall weeds at a slower pace to make sure it was bagging it all. When the mower hits a patch that is tougher it adds more power. You can actually hear the motor rev up.
I mowed my lawn several times but to give this mower a fair shake I had to find lawns to mow other than my own. I found Lisa’s mom’s lawn which is larger than mine, my sister-in-law Laura’s lawn a little smaller than mine, Marshall’s lawn which is about the size of a postage stamp, and a Rich’s lawn the largest lawn of the ones I mowed.
On my lawn it met every expectation I had of a mower, not just of a battery powered mower. It takes about half to ¾ of one battery to do my lawn (bagging or mulching). I used both full batteries to do the Lisa’s lawn and filled 2 full trash cans with clippings. At Laura’s house I filled a lawn bag fully on less than 1 battery. Marshall’s lawn it took less than a quarter charge (really small lawn). The variable power of the motor (automatically adjusting to the heaviness of the cut) keeps battery usage to as low as possible while still cutting everything.
Before mowing Lisa’s lawn:
The real test turned out to be my buddy Rich’s lawn and this is where I really learned something about the mower. Not just because of size, but because of the grass. We set the height of the Ryobi Lawn Mower to the same height as Rich’s gas mower and must have cut enough grass to fill 6 lawn bags (his wife kept emptying them and taking them to a nearby garden). It had only been growing for a week, but he had fertilized and it had been getting plenty of water.
Rich’s monster back lawn:
It was thick. And not just thick, it was grass, not weeds. It is a lawn that I hope my lawn becomes someday. Still, all in all, the mower performed well. It used both full batteries, one for 23 minutes of use (including time to stop and empty the bag) and the second battery for 32 minutes of use. By the time we were done with the second battery the first one had about 7 minutes of charge in it (they have a 90 minute charge time). At the end of that we mowed the back lawn and finished most of the sides. We had been at it for about 62 minutes and finished about 3/4 of the work. He normally does his lawn in about 45-50 minutes. My lawn which used half a battery takes me 45 minutes with any mower I use. That should give you some idea of what I’m talking about. It’s not just the area you are cutting, you have to take into account what you are cutting. Lush lawns take more energy.
His gas mower is wider, and doesn’t run out of power because he can refill it with gas. His lawn is of such a size that he is considering getting a riding lawn mower like his neighbor. If you’ve stayed with me this long I want you to understand, this isn’t the lawn this mower was meant for but I wanted to challenge it.
And yet, his wife liked it, why? Because it did it all quietly. I heard this same comment about how quiet it was from just about everyone that used it or watched me use it. Rich and I talked while we mowed. We didn’t have to shout, we didn’t have to wear hearing protection, and we didn’t smell like gas. He and I figured if you have 4 fully charged batteries you could do his whole lawn on the worst day. That’s not bad.
Ease of Use:
The hardest part of using this mower is the unboxing. Its actual use is straight forward. You don’t have to warn another user about quirks or complicated starting procedures because your gas mower is on its last legs. When you bag a lawn with a gas mower you start it Every. Single. Time. You stop to take the bag off and put it back on. I’ll let you think about how that affects your back…got that in your mind? Now imagine not having to do that ever again. When you bag with this mower it simply starts up again with the press of a button and pull of the handle. It’s light weight makes it easy to maneuver around obstacles and up and down small hills.
The bag fills up great. It doesn’t seem to block up by the mower. Half the bag is mesh, and the other half is solid. I imagine that helps direct the clippings to filling up the bag. I didn’t feel like I had to stop too soon to empty it. When mulching it spreads out the clippings well. They didn’t clump up like other mowers I’ve used.
Removing the blade for sharpening is also easy. Pull the fuse for safety, tip the mower on its side, then loosen the nut and remove the blade. Sharpen and reverse the process to install it again. I sharpened the blade after I hit a few rocks I didn’t see in my lawn. The blade is thin. At first I was going to put this in the negatives, because it kinda feels like one. But ask yourself, how thick does a blade need to be to cut grass? The strength needs to be in the thin sharpened metal edge and on all rotary mowers like this I expect the sharp edge to be thin. I imagine that cutting down on the weight of the blade saves power. It sharpened easily enough and holds an edge, but like all mowers, avoid rocks.
I’m not 100% sure where I can take this to be serviced but I’m not that worried about it yet. It has a limited 5 year warranty and a full 3 year warranty on the mower AND batteries for personal use through Ryobi. See Page 13 of this PDF for more details.
The folding handle. First, let me say that I like the folding handle more than I don’t. Where it doesn’t function well is when you are taking the grass clipping bag off and putting it back on. The middle bar just seems to be in the completely wrong place every time.
Batteries aren’t free, if Rich really wanted to do his lawn without gas, we’d have to buy two more batteries at 99 each.
The mulch plug. Taking it out is easy. Maybe I haven’t found the trick yet, but putting it back in seems awkward. It feels like it always wants to point down. Once in, it is secure, but you have to take a minute to make sure it’s in all the way.
They really could use two handles built into the plastic housing on top for making a one person lift easier. It isn’t bad to pick it up, but it is awkward. If Ryobi wants to give me a call I can tell them where I’d like them put.
At 399 this mower is comparable to gas mowers. It has the power of a gas mower. It cuts as good as a gas mower (it is the same rotary style blade as a gas mower so it should). A quick search showed push gas mowers weighing in between 60 and 70 lbs. So it pushes as easy, or easier, than a push gas mower. It isn’t going to replace a riding lawn mower, but it will do the job for most city lawns and sub-divisions. You can get a gas mower for less money, but then you have to deal with gas.
I’ve harped on ‘gasless’ enough in this review, most people I know use a gas mower and don’t see it as a problem is. It wasn’t until I went gasless that I realized how nice it is. You do pay for it up front, but you don’t have to spend money on gas, or oil changes, or spark plugs or tune ups. Over all I believe it balances out, So don’t be scared off by the starting price point. Add up what you’ve spend on your gas mower over the last 5 years with proper maintenance and you should see this as a comparable purchase.
- I enjoy having a gas free lawn.
- I enjoy being able to mow without disturbing my neighbors.
- I enjoy being able to hear my kids play because I don’t have to wear hearing protection.
- I enjoy being able to put the mower away when I’m done with it, not having to wait for a gas mower to cool down.
This battery powered technology has been a long time coming and I think with the Ryobi battery mower line up, it is finally here. This isn’t some pipe dream, it is reality. These mowers will only improve and I think they will become the standard over the next 10 years for home and personal use.
Update: The model reviewed above is now available without batteries or a charger. The replacement for the mower we reviewed is now available here and comes with one battery that has the same capacity as the two batteries in our review.
The Bottom Line: If you are replacing your aging gas mower, or are looking to go gas free, give this mower a serious look. You’ve got 90 days to take it home and try it and I think the first time you do you’ll be sold on it.
- Inserting the mulch plug is tricky
- Handle in the way removing the bag
- Upfront cost might frighten people, but i think it is a value
About The Author
I’m a family man and the fourth generation to work at my family’s printing and advertising shop. A graduate of Grand Valley State University and Eagle Scout, I’m an amateur photographer who likes to build computers, work with tools, camp, and spend time with family. I’m a scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop and have 30 years of scouting experience. I’m an “idea guy” at work and home and am always on the lookout for the next thing or newest technology to improve my work or home life.
John May 26, 2015 I bought the previous model of the Ryobi 40v mower last year. I love it. I’ll never go back to a gas powered. My yard is just over a quarter acre, partially hilled and all thick grass. It takes me about an hour or so to mow. The mower takes about 3.5 battery charges to do the whole thing. However, I have the other 40v tools like the trimmer and hedger. So I have enough batters and chargers that as I work, the other two can charge up. I’ve found the mower to work just as well as my old gas one. Any places my gas mower had difficulty, my electric did also. So it’s not any better in terms of power. However, the things you stressed, the quietness and the less fumes is spot on. I can talk to my wife as I mow. And not smelling like gasoline when I get done is great. I would suggest everyone who has a manageable yard to get this mower. Reply
heather den Boer May 10, 2019 I’ve had this mower for 3 years. It spent 6 weeks at a service centre last spring only to come home with a new battery. I have suggested and suggested and suggested that it’s not the battery, it’s the connection between the battery and the mower!! It cuts out every 8’ or so. Every time. Ryobi will not replace the mower. I don’t know what to do. 400 is a lot of money for a lemon. I can’t even sell it because it doesn’t work. Reply
Jay July 11, 2019 See “You Tube” for a possible fix for you. I’ve got the same problem. And apparently so do MANY people!
Mike Ver Duin September 10, 2019 I can’t reply to Jay who suggested it, but here’s a YouTube video that describes a fix for what might be happening. https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=iX3tM6hhf24 Obviously, use care, and you are responsible for your own work and safety. I haven’t had this problem on mine, it is still going strong.
Logan Škrtić April 30, 2020 I have had this mower for awhile, and after about 18 months, mine was doing the same thing. What fixed mine? Get yourself a set of torx screwdriver bits that fit into each of the various sized all over its chassis. Make sure to tighten every screw on the mower. Especially the ones that attach the handlebar to to rear right and left sides of the mower. There is a pressure button sensor that when the pressure is relieved from it by folding the handlebar for storage, that cuts off the power to prevent the mower from starting. There, and the plastic crossbar that has the plastic clips that allow the handlebar to collapse for storage also has sensors in it to cut power to the mower if the handlebar is not fully extended and the clips are able to completely grasp around the metal tubes. This started happening after two year of year round use, and also through Phoenix desert temps that swing 35-40 degrees sometimes in a day which causes the plastics on the mower to expand and contract with the temperature changes. Add That to normal usage is well enough that you can’t blame the mower. I got This idea from owning four different German cars over the years. Their warranty service tune-ups make it a point to tighten all exposed chassis bolts on a regular schedule and is most likely a good reason they last so much longer. When stuff comes loose, it misaligns parts, and damage is done from it. So, now I just make myself an reminder on my iPhone to tuneup (or tighten up) the mower every 6 months. Problem solved!
William von Rentzell May 26, 2015 For Rich if he really wants a riding mower, here’s a battery electric one that’ll do the job in half the time, the Cub Cadet 42″ battery electric zero turn radius riding mower. http://newsroom.cubcadet.com/newsroom/article/new-articlepage-42 Alternately for a somewhat lower price, there’s this one that’s been around a bit longer, has a smaller 30″ swath and isn’t zero turn radius from Recharge Mowers. http://www.rechargemower.com/ Reply
BOB MILLER July 26, 2015 WHAT IF ANY IS THE DIFFERENCE OR ADVANTAGE. OF A BRUSHLESS ELECTRIC MOTOR AND HOW DO THEY OPERATE ?? Reply
Mike Ver Duin September 2, 2015 Sorry for the delay, i just saw this now. Here was a good explanation I found on the web: http://www.dynetic.com/brushless%20vs%20brushed.htm Reply
Phil June 27, 2017 Super short battery life…poor Chinese design at best. I hate this product….Mike might have been paid for a positive evaluation of this lawmower
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jim September 11, 2015 Bought this mower to replace a gas mower that kept giving me trouble due to alcohol in the gas that eats at the rubber gaskets and hoses. Had this for a couple of months and it seemed to work OK. For my lawn size. But I live in Florida and it can down pour from sunshine in a second. Which it did. I could not get the unit back to the garage before it got wet. I tried to start it in the garage and it would not run. Traded batteries out and it still would not start. I wiped it down put a hair dryer to it where the batt connects and the fuse goes in. Still no start. Left it for a few hours and it fired up but when I let go of the safety lever it kept running. I had to carefully remove the batt to shut it down. I put the battery back in and it would not start then let it set for an hour and it seems to be starting. Not sure if it will work properly or not. For the money its not very impressive. I am thinking of going back to gas and buying the expensive 100 percent gas no alcohol added. I have had Gas mowers last decades this way. Reply
Mike Ver Duin September 14, 2015 Hi jim! Did you contact Ryobi about the issue? There is a 5 year limited warranty. That and I think they’d want to know about it. Thankfully I’ve never gotten rained on while using mine, but i have mowed just after a rain (I know I should wait, but it just had to be done). Seems like letting it dry out is the answer here, hopefully no permanent damage was done. The more I use mine the more I love it. My 8 year old can push it because of how light it is, which has been great for me. I can spend my time weed trimming and still keep an eye on him. Good luck! Reply
jim September 14, 2015 I did contact Ryobi and was told that it was my fault for mowing wet grass and getting caught in the rain. They said that voided the warranty, I then called Home Depot and was told that I was a week under the time before they would just send me to the vendor. I took it back got a full refund and spend the money on a Honda self propelled. I will use 100 percent gas and drain the tank and carb each season to keep it up. I was thinking that the electric could replace the hassle. When I showed them how the unit turned on and did not shut off when the safety lever was let go of they did not question me a bit. I think they felt lets not risk a court case. Gas has prove itself for 100 years.
Cynthia March 18, 2020 Mike I just wanted to know how did you get two batteries in your box I only got one and I paid the same amount as you for I wouldn’t go back to a gas mower for anyting I love it I also have the weed eater in the hedge clippers they’re both good to thank you for listening Cyndi
Mike Ver Duin April 20, 2020 Cynthia, this review is 5 years old. Back then the mower came with 2 smaller capacity batteries. About a year or two later they changed to 1 battery that was a larger capacity. Also, the mower is still working great for me and we’ll probably use it tonight for its first run this spring.
Bruce Foster March 2, 2016 I want to buy a 20″electric mower. Ryobi fits the bill. However on the Ryobi website it is stated that What’s in the Box: Mower 2 (Two) 40-volt Lithium-ion Batteries 40-volt Charger Bag for grass clippings Mulching Plug Fuse Key Owner’s manual However Home Depot will sell the mower at list of 300.00 with only one battery. Is there another place to purchase this mower or to get Home Depot to sell it as listed on your website? Thanks for your help. Reply
jim March 2, 2016 Do not buy this POS, I had tried two of them and they are junk. Yes at first I loved it. But in short order if I got caught in the smallest amount of rain it would short out. The second one I had would turn on with hands off. It would run without me touching it. Its total junk. When it worked it was a great thing, light ect. But It just would not hold up. I see them for sale at many garage sales and flea markets. That tells you something. Reply
Dana May 6, 2016 So now you go around smearing this as a “POS”? I have had mine for a couple years, live in Florida as well, and yes, have gotten caught several times in the rain, soaked me (as well as the mower) and have not had any issues like you have had (Starts right back up, even when still wet). It is unfortunate that your experience has been drastically different, but to label it as a POS is uncalled for.
Jim May 9, 2016 I doubt your post very much. I called Roybi and was told in no uncertain terms to never get it wet. My mower once turned on would not shut off. It was a very dangerous POS. I would be your a tofu licking idiot who would spin anything you perceived in your small brain as eco friendly. 40 percent rated it on Amazon 2 stars or lower. HD pulled them off the shelf and so far I have not seen them for sale. When I do see them for sale at flea markets no one wants the POS. So keep licking tofu and thinking your saving the planet but don’t sell us your crap.
Reynir September 3, 2016 I have to agree with Dana. I have this mower and live in Ft. Lauderdale in Florida. I have used this mower over a year and have had absolutely zero issues with it. I also have the Edger/Trimmer and Blower so used all three every week on my lawn. This is a phenomenal lawn mower in every way. If mine died tomorrow, I would literally buy another one the same day again.
Chris May 18, 2017 This really is a POS, i can mowfor about 25-30 min before it is dead then 4-5 hours of charging to get back to full, it stalls constantly when turning. I hate it will try to return before 90 days are up
Smart one July 29, 2017 why are you bashing this? it clearly states don’t use it in wet rainy conditions and you did. look in the mirror. you are the one to blame. those of us that are intelligent enough to follow the instructions have no issues. obviously you are not smarter than the lawnmower.
shannon August 27, 2017 We totally love ours. Had it for just over a year without any problems. IDK if perhaps yours had an internal issue? But definetley not a pos! We know how much our neighbors pay for their gardeners (we all have the same size lawns), and I would say in 4 months time we already started to see a significant savings by doing it ourselves. So far we are happy with our choice :))
Eric June 21, 2018 I’ve had mine for a little over a year now and no problems to report. The one time it got wet I shut it down and left it powered down till it was dry again. Go figure electronics short out when you get em wet and run em. I bet you are the same type of dope that complains when your TV shuts down cause you showered with it. Sorry you had problems with yours, but mine still works great. And Home Depots up here in KY still stock em and sell em. If fact I could not find one used when I started looking for them. It sounds to me like yours breaking down was a result of poor judgement and impatience not a faulty product. Good luck with your gas mowers. I’d bet you’ve got stories about some of them too.
DonV June 21, 2018 I’ve had mine for about a year now with no problems. Course I never use it in the rain, and I prefer not to mow wet grass.
Shawn June 19, 2019 Maybe you should check the weather report before mowing with an ELECTRIC mower. Duh.
Mike Ver Duin March 2, 2016 The Home Depot website states that the one battery is a 5.0 amp hour, while the two that came with ours for testing were 94 watt hours. The conversion is Wh = Ah x Voltage or 94 = 2.35 x 40). So the one battery is more powerful that the two we have combined. Ours is still running great! Used it all year and we keep it in a shed and out of the rain, thought about getting it out last weekend until it snowed again. Reply
DonV August 3, 2017 My only problem (severe annoyance) with the RY40180 mower that I’ve had for four days is that it frequently stops running. Easy enough to restart, but why does it quit so much? Reply
Jim Young August 3, 2017 Don, I had two. The first one got rained on just for about 3 min before I could get it in the garage and it would not start back up after drying. The second one would start up with the safety lever not being held down and would run without it being touched. Its junk.
DonV August 3, 2017 OK, thanks. That makes your “junk” evaluation much more than empty vitriol. I appreciate the info.
Margery August 3, 2017 It stops cause the handle is a bit loose. Tighten it after every couple of uses. Yes, annoying.
Donald Vicarel March 28, 2018 Margery– I should have gotten back to you last year (sorry). You were right! Once I secured the handle, the machine stopped quitting. Thanks. –DonV
Patrick March 22, 2020 I agree. As soon as I mow on a hillside no mower shuts off. I cannot now horizontally on a hill. I have to go up and down the slightest hill or the mower shuts off.
Greg April 23, 2016 The electric-powered everything industry needs to come together and compete with gas. They’ve got some advantages, but due to all their parts being incompatible, and the fact that they use irrelevant ir useless specs, they all pretty much suck. Too many battery types; no compatibility, even for chargers. Fuel tanks get smaller over time, and they are the most expensive component on an electric. Mowers have their own special deception. Gas power lists cut width; electric–deck size in inches. I bought a 21 inch electric. Should have been equal to most gas mowers, but blade was 19 3/8. They all exaggerate. Corded list amps, but its usually way overrated. My 13 amp drew no more than 9. Battery power is worse. They list volts, as if that’s a measure of power, but it’s not. They should all be listed in watts, which is power output, and use industry standards, but they’d first have to have standards. They don’t compete. They just throw over priced junk out and hope we buy it. Reply
Molly June 16, 2016 Mike, our brand new Ryobi mower just arrived and we tried it on our postage stamp yard as soon as the chargers showed the batteries were ready (they were very nearly charged fully upon arrival). However, after about 10-15 minutes the mower shut off. One battery felt quite hot so we used an older one we owned, and it, too, got hot and the mower shut itself off so I don’ think the batteries are the cause. Do you think the mower is overheating the batteries – or can I not mow on a hot 95 degree day? (Coast of Texas is often that hot so it’s an issue.) What do you think? Reply
Mike Ver Duin June 27, 2016 I’d call Ryobi or where ever you bought it from. That doesn’t sound normal to me based on my usage. I’m in my second year now of using it and I get between 30-45 minutes per battery usually. Reply
Molly June 27, 2016 Mike, thanks for your response. We started to do exactly that but ultimately decided to order the 16″ 40-volt Ryobi mower instead. Mainly because it was hard to get the One mower and it seems to us they might be discontinuing them. We returned that One mower and the batteries, and rec’d our new 40-volt 16″ mower Friday. I cut the pretty high grass on Sat and the mower worked flawlessly. The 40-volt is more powerful than the One, that was evident on start-up, and cut the grass and chewed a couple of sticks with no issues whatsoever. It is light and easy to use. It came with 2 batteries but we did not drain the first one cutting our yard, so that was a bonus. The price was 329 and my husband wasn’t too keen on paying a “gas mower” price for the electric one, but I have no issue with it – I wasn’t trying to get a cheaper mower, I wanted on that I could start without help, and that I could easily handle. I got what I wanted and had no problems cutting my yard – so I am very very pleased with the 16″ 40 volt Ryobi mower. Thank you again for your helpful posts!
Molly June 21, 2018 UPDATE here it is June 2018 two years after we bought our re-OB 40 V electric mower. I still use it once a week and it works great. I must admit it went through a time where it would start with out the double system, in other words I didn’t have to hold the handle to start it, I just push the button. It was unnerving but never otherwise caused any problems. After a few months, it went back to the normal start method which it’s been doing ever cents so it was kind of a non-problem. Again still working great. Reply
Jim Young June 21, 2018 There were serious issues with the electric mowers from 4 years ago. Now there are many on the market. I would not buy used POS mowers. Look up the reviews and buy the ones with the best over all reviews. Just because one or two people have had luck with one does not mean you will also. These were very temperamental new tech.
John Manahan June 27, 2016 I have used a Ryobi electric mower for 2 years. However, it was only the 16″ model, which was all that was available at the time. Here is my experience. For the first year, the batteries lasted right at 45 minutes. Over the course of two years, they have diminished some. I get about 35 minutes now. But they recharge so quickly, that I rotate through them, and they are charged again. I should say that I have the whole suite of Ryobi outdoor 40v tools, so I have 3 batteries and 2 chargers. I have a quarter acre lot, so it takes me about 3 battery charges to mow the entire thing. If I need to trim or use my leaf blower, that will take a fourth battery. I never mow in the rain, so I don’t know how well it stands up to that. But I do mow in 95 degree weather, so that shouldn’t be an issue. The batteries do get pretty hot, so I think that’s standard. If I mow a battery until empty, recharge it and mow again, it will not recharge until it cools down. It gets really hot after a second charge down. Also, I definitely prefer the larger battery, whatever size that is. It lasts longer, but does take longer to recharge. I would sum up my experience as great overall. I have loved having an electric mower. There are disadvantages compared to gas. I have forgotten to charge a battery from mowing the week before, so I’ve had to delay when I mow until later in the day. You can’t just go borrow one from a neighbor. Because the size is smaller, it takes me longer to mow the yard. On really tall and thick grass, it does stop more often than my gas one did, but not an overwhelming amount. But, the things I love about it outweigh the disadvantages. I love not having a gas smell in my face. The maintenance is almost zero. The thing is really lightweight, so it’s much easier to mow up my hill than my gas one was. It’s quieter, so I don’t need ear plugs, and can hear my wife when she calls for me. (Although that may be a disadvantage for some people. lol) Think of a vacuum turned on outside. After owning this Ryobi, whenever it dies, I will definitely get another one. But it will be the 20″ next time. Reply
Mike Ver Duin June 27, 2016 I’m in my second year now with it and I still love it. I expect many more years out of this machine and then I’ll get another one. Not smelling like gas, not having a hot engine, not being loud? These are my favorite things about this mower. Reply
Heidi Peterson August 26, 2016 You may like your mower now, but Ryobi has huge problems with their battery charging unit. Many complaints through the Better Business Bureau. I also sent one to the Consumer Protection Agency. Once your batteries die (and they will shortly), you’re on your own. Despite the fact that their charging unit is what is causing the batteries to die prematurely, Ryobi will not honor their warranties for this issue. This electric lawnmower is the last Ryobi product we will ever buy. Reply
Mike Ver Duin September 6, 2016 This is the ‘end’ of the second summer that I’ve used mine. I’ve not had a problem. That isn’t to say others haven’t, but mine works as expected. Reply
kathy September 3, 2016 Bought a 20″ mower used. The battery says it’s fully charged, the light comes on when I try to start it but the engine won’t start. Any ideas what’s wrong with it? Reply
Mike Ver Duin September 6, 2016 Mine has a key/circuit breaker, did you reset it? it’s in the battery compartment. That’s all I can think of. Reply
Conly July 8, 2017 Just bought this from Home Depot a month ago. I mowed my tiny yard twice. Now it wont start. The key does not have a circuit breaker on it. The LED headlights turn on, but the motor will not run. Even bought a new battery. Nothing. Any ideas? Is there a fuse or circuit breaker somewhere that I’m not looking, because I’ve seen posts on other sites saying the key has a “reset” button on it. Mine does not.
Mike Ver Duin July 11, 2017 Conly, this review is for the 2015 model. I’m not 100% sure about the 2017 model. It looks to have the same red ‘fuse’ key that came with mine. There is a ‘bubble’ on top of the key. it feels like there is a reset switch in there, but being a fuse, it might not. Does the head light work when the fuse key is pulled out? If not, then I doubt that is the problem.
DonV July 10, 2018 Conly–If you have trouble starting, make sure your handle is pulled out ALL THE WAY and locked in place with the white brackets that are in the middle of the handle. That’s the problem I had with my machine when I first got it. Once I secured the handle it worked (and continues to work) just fine.
Roz September 5, 2016 Today was my first day with our brand new Riyobi. (My husband has used it once already.) I was surprised to read your glowing review, because my experience with our postage stamp size lawn wasn’t as enjoyable. It seems that if the grass is even slightly wet (we water at 6am and I was mowing at 1pm on a very hot, sunny day, no humidity), or you’re trying to cut more than an inch off, it won’t go more than a few feet without getting choked up with clippings and stalling out. I definitely haven’t heard it “rev up” to get through tougher areas, so I’m not sure what you were referring to. (Is there a special button for that?) Plus, I still have to rake up after it, even being vigilant emptying the bag, because it seems to have no ability to contain the clippings. I’m not so much angry as I am confused. We’ve had a great experience with our Riyobi edger and smaller appliances. Am I doing something wrong? Batteries were fully charged. Reply
Jim September 6, 2016 I am with you on the frustration. Our experience was that it had potential but it was so fragile that it could not be around water at all. I think its possible to build a good electric mower and it may be something I would be interested in. But this POS is not the one. I live in Florida and it rained just a bit on the mower as it does in Fla and I could not get it inside fast enough. The mower would come on and not go off when the safety bar was released. Took it back to HD and bought a Honda. I only use 100% gas and it works like a charm. Until they get the electric perfected stay away from them. Reply
Jim T September 17, 2016 Hey Jim, I think you should post your story about mowing in the rain several more times, since three times just isn’t enough. Your 100% gas, 100% polluting approach is antithetical to what this mower is all about
Mike Ver Duin September 6, 2016 I mowed my lawn this weekend with it, it performed great. Mine is a 2015 model with the two batteries. I can’t speak for the newer model with the 1 battery. I’ve bagged with it, and not had a problem. I’ve mulched with it (as I did this weekend) and not had any issue. We don’t water our lawn all the time, and I know it was dry this weekend when I mowed it. I do highlight that if you have a THICK lawn, battery time is reduced. Rich’s lawn is watered and fertilized, we didn’t make it through the entire lawn with the two batteries. There is no special button to make it ‘rev up’. It senses the blade slowing down and adds more power. I can definitely hear it. Part of what I mow weekly is an area of weeds in a parking lot, They grow much more than an inch per week, I can’t cut a full mower width when going through those at a normal walking pace, I have to take about a half mower width, but I had to do that with my old (10 years) gas mower too. I’m sure there are mowers that wouldn’t slow down. I guess I wonder what ‘a few feet’ is. On Rich’s lawn we could go I’d say 120 feet (down and back on a 60′ lot) and empty it. I can’t remember exactly, but I believe they were full mower width cuts, and his lawn was lush. On my lawn (which isn’t as lush) I could go much further before emptying the bag each time. Again though, mine is a 2015 model. It’s still one of the favorite things I’ve reviewed. I still use almost everything I’ve reviewed on busted wallet, it’s not just stuff I review then forget about. I’m sorry you are having trouble with the one you purchased, you might have to talk with Ryobi or Home Depot about it. Reply
Molly September 6, 2016 I have now had my Ryobi 40V elec mower for just over 2 months. I have not had the problems you describe, Roz. I have mowed mostly dry grass. Twice I’ve mowed the day after rain, so I would describe the grass as slightly wet at the bottom. It does make for a more “thick” feel when mowing, and filled the bag more quickly made it heavier to empty, but is has never left clippings behind or clogged with clippings. I have only mulched once, incorrectly as it turns out because I forgot to put that discharge plug thing back in. The grass wasn’t too long and it was dry that day. It worked fine despite not using the discharge-plug-thing and the clippings on the lawn weren’t really noticeable. I can’t imagine why yours isn’t picking up the clippings. Re the lawn height for me – I mow once a week, and have gone only about 9 days at longest due to rain delays. I left the mower height at highest setting for the first month, and have lowered it to the second highest setting for the last month or so. Seem’s like I’m cutting the grass by about 1.5 to 2 inches each week (grows fast here on the Gulf coast). Mine has never stalled out. Perhaps you got a lemon? As my earlier post showed, our brand new 16volt only stayed on for seconds, so we just returned it as defective. Then ordered the 40volt. It’s worked fine so far, but other posts have made me aware that I might have future problems. Right now, I am very happy with it. Reply
peter harding September 19, 2016 I have one of these lawn mowers but the battery charger will not charge the batteries have anybody got an email or address of the repair vaciltoreys Reply
Lee M November 2, 2016 I own the 40V 20inch mower, weed eater and snow blower. So I have 4 batteries and 3 chargers. Service is an issue. Ryobi is on their 3rd service center in the Kansas City area and they only ever had one listed. Really, one service center in a metro area over 1M people? Whatever. My mower has worked well and I hose it off … 30 days ago one of the batteries indicated defective. I took it in to the service center and they said 7-10 days normally. I now learn it will be 45 days. I e-mailed Ryobi and they said it was a issue with their “Master Parts Distributor”. Once I tracked down the part # 130186045, this is what Ryobi said: “November 02, 2016 08:41 Item #130186045, is on a back log delay due to manufacturing schedule factors. Orders are being filled in the order they are received by the master parts distributor, as inventory is received by them. If the service center you are using has ordered a replacement #130186045 for you, their order will be filled as soon as possible.” So I would say Ryobi is having problems with the batteries if it takes them 45 days to replace one…… Reply
jim March 7, 2017 I am not sure. I have not looked but when I returned my electric they said they had discontinued because of problems. Maybe they fixed the crap design. Reply
Mike Ver Duin March 7, 2017 Home Depot sells Ryobi. The mower we reviewed has been replaced with a newer model. See the update at the bottom of our review. They still sell several battery powered mowers, including a new electric riding mower. https://www.ryobitools.com/outdoor/products/list/category/mowers Reply
Molly March 9, 2017 My opinion of these Ryobi mowers has changed for the worse, I’m afraid. Our purchase at the end of June of the “newer” 40 volt over our returned 18volt worked great until last month. Now the safety feature has gone away – when you put in the red plastic key the blades start spinning. Yep – while you are crouched down right next to the blades, they just up and start full blast. It still cuts great, but the handle no longer starts and stops the mower – only the red “key” can turn it on or off. Back to the drawing board…
Pete Sommers March 27, 2017 Thanks to this site, I am going to buy this mower at Home Depot. I don’t mind the single battery offering because I have a blower (which I love) with the same battery. And I may even buy a string trimmer to boot, which also uses the same battery. PLUS, this mower is in stock at Home Depot, which means I can use my Veteran Discount (10%). That will pay the tax and then some. Reply
Ronny April 9, 2017 We just got one. Love it, but the mulch plug sucks. Hard to handle while not providing a perfect seal. I really wish they had two models, a bagger or a mulcher. Please replace my model with the latter when available, Ryobi! Reply
Bob Polk April 17, 2017 I purchased the 20″ 40 volt model RY40180 two weeks ago. The 3 times I’ve mowed my small yard, the motor stops with no apparent reason (level ground, short dry grass, fully charged battery). It starts without delay when the start button is pushed and safety lever is pulled. Has anyone else had this problem? Reply
jim April 18, 2017 I had two of them, the last one would start and not go off when the safety was released. It was junk. If they can get it fixed so its dependable and is not so unstable I may look at it again. But for now I would take it back and stay away from them. Reply
Mike Ver Duin April 18, 2017 I’d call Ryobi or where ever you bought it from. That doesn’t sound normal to me based on my usage. You should be able to get an exchange or repair. My guess is the safety switch on the lever is the issue, or some other electrical fault, but don’t try and fix it yourself, as it should still be under warranty. This is the start of my THIRD year with this mower and I’ve had no problems with it at all. Reply
Pete Sommers April 18, 2017 This happened to me a couple of times, and I realized I was letting up on the bar just enough to interrupt the power. I put a Velcro strap on the handle to hold the bar in place. No more stops. Reply
Margery June 8, 2017 I have the same issue. Tried it on the highest setting but it made no difference. Other than this problem, I’m happy with the mower. Reply
Bill May 27, 2018 I have the same problem, I think it is a design flaw. I tested mine by turning it on in the driveway and it will time out at exactly 1 minute and it shuts down. If I let my lawn grow tall the mower works great so if you do not have a plush lawn this mower is not for you. But if you need some exercise you must run quick over the sparse areas before your 1 minute window is up before it shuts down and you have to restart it. I called Ryobi and talked to four people over a half hour and of course they have never heard of this problem before. But test it yourself start it up over the driveway with no load and it will shut down in 1 minute guaranteed. They design way to much redundancy into this product. Reply
Patrick March 22, 2020 Mine seems to stop at soon as I go onto the slightest uneven ground or hill. Reply
Seileng May 16, 2017 Ryobi 20 lawn mower is really nice. And I also like a model GreenWorks 25142 that has a lot of good features as Ryobi 20 too. Mike Ver Duin, what do you think about GreenWorks 25142 vs Ryobi 20, which one is the best? Reply
Mike Ver Duin May 16, 2017 Quickly googling, he GreenWorks 25142 is a 10 amp, 16″ corded mower. From my experience, your limitations with it would be the cord, and the 16″ cutting width. The Ryobi 20″ replaced a gas mower for me. I’m now entering my 3rd summer of use with it, and I wouldn’t want something smaller. There’s a cost savings to be sure with the GreenWorks 25142, it’s just over the cost of a battery for the Ryobi, but again, you’ve got the cord possibly in your way (depending on how you mow and where your outdoor outlets are). The 10amp power would certainly be nice, but the Ryobi hasn’t found weeds it couldn’t cut through yet. For a lawn of my size? I’d stick with the Ryobi, or it’s current replacement. Reply
Jim T May 19, 2017 So far my Ryobi mower has been mostly great. I have a pretty small yard and can do the whole thing with one charge. The only problem I had was today, when it suddenly stopped working. After fiddling around I discovered that the bolt connecting the right side of the handle had come loose and fallen out. That’s on the same side as the little red safety switch that keeps the mower from turning on when the handle isn’t folded up. Because the handle was loose, it wasn’t holding the switch down, which cut the power. Once I found the bolt and screwed it back in tight, the mower ran fine again. The design is pretty slick — it’s easy to fold up, and I like the way it sits upright on the metal handle legs so it takes up minimal space in my garage. I don’t like the way you have to push the height setting knob back down to the lowest setting before you can fold the handle back down, but no complaints other than that. I hear the automatic “speed up to cut taller grass” action, and I’ve never had it bog down even on wet grass. (Which is common here in the Pacific Northwest.) Those of you who have problems with it stalling or running out of power may have lemon batteries. (I’ve got a lot of Ryobi 18V One Plus tools, and the batteries are definitely the weak link.) Home Depot is pretty good about exchanging them if you don’t wait too long. Reply
Kiri May 25, 2017 I live in Canada and trying to find a replacement mower blade for this 40v lithium brushless mower has been an all day project seeing that Home Depot Canada sells the mowers but apparently doesn’t stock the replacement wearable items like the mower blades. BIG loss of time and much disappointment that I have to apparently buy and ship from the USA to maintain a product purchased in Canada…. be fairly warned! Reply
Cliff September 16, 2017 Jim – Thanks for the tip. My RYOBI model 40109 would stop as soon as it hit the (dry) grass, regardless of the height setting. Based on your tip, I took a look at the handles. The bolts were there and tight, but I noticed a red button underneath the right handle. It appeared that the handle was pressing the red button as designed, but I decided it might need a reset. So, I undid the fasteners and folded the handle down, as if for storage. Then re-extended the handle and put it back into an operational position and re-locked it in place. Viola! Now it works. Somehow, the button (or the circuit behind it) got confused. A simple mechanical “handle reset” solved the problem. Reply
Ann Rice June 30, 2017 bought a Ryobi 20″ 40-volt brushless mower at Home Depot May 2017. Two weeks later it was headed to the service center as the battery was stuck in the mower. The service center found the plastic had deformed when the battery overheated. The parts distributor said parts were back-ordered. A 2nd call by the service center to the parts distributor found no new information. An e-mail to Ryobi was answered with Sorry, We Cannot Help You. A several hour effort by the service center finally got the parts distributor to admit that parts would not be available before the end of August. No more Ryobi products for me, due to their poor customer service, but gold stars to Sharon at Tipp-Troy Lawn Service for getting any information she could!! Reply
Eric V July 5, 2017 My experience with the latest incarnation of this mower has definitely been a mixed bag. The push-button start (instead of a starter cord) is great for my bad knees, and not having to worry about gas, oil and air filters is a definite plus. However, this thing has a great deal of trouble with long grass. Since my last lawnmower broke down, it’s been a while since I mowed and my grass is rather long. Since I work an afternoon shift, I have to mow in the morning so the grass is also a little damp. Under these conditions the 5ah battery only lasts 10 – 15 minutes. That’s only enough to cover a tiny portion of my 19000 sq ft lot. After the battery hits the 50% mark, the mower starts cutting out pretty frequently. If I hear it start to choke, I can usually tilt it up and the blades will start spinning again. Sometimes, though, it won’t restart even after holding the bail and hitting the ignition button. This could be due to overheating, but the battery just feels a little warm, not really hot. I’ll have to either get another battery to use while the first cools off, or exchange the Ryobi for the more powerful 60v Greenworks Pro. It would also be nice if this had a side discharge option, which would probably handle long grass better. (Yes, I should’ve done my research.) Reply
10Techy August 24, 2017 I’m agreed with you Mike Ver Duin. Ryobi 20″ 40-Volt lawn mower is a great machine to buy for our back yard job. I bought it since last month and I’m happy to use it very much. recommend for everyone too. Reply
John Menendez March 28, 2018 I’m agreed with you. Ryobi 20″ 40-Volt lawn mower is a great machine to buy for our back yard job. Thanks for the article. Reply
Nick May 24, 2018 I took a quick look through the review and Комментарии и мнения владельцев and have a question I don’t see covered. How is the durability of the mower in general? I have a quarter acre lot with a two year old lawn that is still filling in, so mowing can be a bit “bumpy”. How will the Ryobi (any version) hold up under those conditions? Reply
Jim June 21, 2018 I’ve had mine for about two years, and it’s still in good shape and works great. The only problem I’ve had –and this could show up if you have a bumpy lawn– is the bolt holding the handle to the mower came loose on the side with the sensor switch, so the mower wouldn’t turn on. A few other people have run into this also, but simply tightening up the bolt fixes the problem. Reply
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Letti June 13, 2018 I just bout ny 40V Ryobi – it looks nice, sounds quiet enough, all battery charged, moved well, and ready to go- WHAT!? DIDN’t cut the grass?? Why? I’ve chk everything. Plz help! Reply
DonV June 21, 2018 Letti– Perhaps the non-cutting is an issue with the blade height. Just a thought. Reply
Vikki June 25, 2018 Bought mine a year ago. Well within the first month I had to replace the battery. But the mower worked great the first summer. Fast forward to the second summer. Started out ok. Started having stalling issues. Now the thing just won’t stay running. It starts fine but as soon as I lower it to push it immediately stalls. I have adjusted the height, cleaned it out, sharpened the blade and even went out and bought a second battery. This thing is a piece of #@! I am done with electric. Going back to gas! Reply
Philip Bruner July 4, 2018 The 20in. mower works great, BUT. the battery only lasted 13 months. I had to buy a new battery at 150. Kind of expensive upkeep… I wouldn’t get another one. Reply
Mike Ver Duin July 10, 2018 The current warranty is the same as when I tested the mower, the battery (or batteries depending on the model) are covered for 3 years from purchase date for residential use for the original purchaser. The current policy for 2018 is on page 17 of this pdf: https://manuals.ttigroupna.com/system/files/9351/original/RY40108_107993003_664_trilingual_04.pdf?2018 I’m still mowing my lawn with this mower and the original two batteries. Reply
Blanco, Ok Maintenance Lawn Best July 9, 2018 […] Ryobi 20 40-Volt Lawn Mower – Mower Review | Busted Wallet – Recently Busted Wallet was given the chance to test and review the Ryobi 20 40-Volt Lawn Mower and we hoped for the power of a gas mower with the quietness and cleanliness of my reel mower. […] Reply
Peter September 20, 2018 Unquestionably the worst purchase I have ever made. When my gas mower finally died, my wife wanted me to go electric just so that we wouldn’t have to store gas. What used to take me 15 minutes (front yard) now takes closer to 30 and requires a battery change. My back yard, which 68′ x 48′ takes 90 minutes and 4 battery charges. Almost 3 times as long as it used to. Reply
Robotance May 22, 2019 Hi Mike, very useful review. Thanks for sharing this! May I know the current price of thie Volt Lawn Mower? Reply
Donald Morrison July 6, 2019 I purchased a 20 inch, 40 volt 2 amp Ryobi mower just over two years ago. My lawn is about one half acre. The mower has operated flawless since the day I received it, However, The maintenance Manual states that the wheels are life time lubricated. After being stored inside for the winter I found the wheels frozen and would not turn. After working each wheel back and forth for a while they seem fine. Noe after several mowing I find that the mower is hard to push. The wheels do not seem to have any bearings and they squeak when they roll. I have purchased the 40 Volt 4 Amp battery which only last about 10 minuets longer than the 2 Amp battery. Other than the wheel problem I have not had any problem with this mower. I am 86 years old and use the mower for exercise while mowing my lawn. Reply
Justin September 7, 2019 The blades of the cylinder mower cut the grass in a scissor-like fashion, creating a clean and tidy cut. As such, those who use the cylinder mower often notice a neater-looking lawn. One disadvantage to the cylinder petrol mower is that in order to keep the lawn looking uniform, the user must cut the lawn in the same way every time. Reply
Mike Ver Duin September 10, 2019 Justin, this is not a cylinder (also called a reel) mower. It is a Rotary mower. Reply
Thetechyboss October 7, 2019 Very nice post, I agreed with you that this lawn mower machine did great job and easy to handle it. RYOBI 20 great lawnmower and easy to use. I am a lawn lover and try my best to keep it clean and beautiful and this lawnmower machine plays great role to feed my all necessary related to lawn cleaning purposes. Reply
Travis February 22, 2020 Automatic lawnmowers can roam around your yard trimming your lawn while you are doing something much more exciting, it could be doing it while you are sleeping if you so wished! You can programme your mower to mow on specific days and at specific times so you never need to worry about remembering to switch it on. Reply
Lawrence May 2, 2020 My husband and I are going to buy a riding lawn mower for our 1.25 acre property, and we are trying to decide between a steering wheel and the two-lever system. Reply
Will Mowing Wet Grass Ruin Your Lawn Mower?
You want to get the grass cut, but it has rained on the one day you have off work this week. We’ve all been there and it’s darn frustrating. There’s part of you that thinks you should wait. But for how long? Then there’s part of you that thinks you should pull the lawn mower out of the garage right now and get to work. But will mowing wet grass ruin your lawn mower?
Will Mowing Wet Grass Ruin your Lawnmower (The Short Answer)
Will mowing wet grass ruin your lawn mower? Short-term, no, but long-term, then definitely yes. With repeated exposure to moisture and water, a lawn mower will start to show signs of wear both from the additional workload wet grass creates and from corrosion. Here are several problems you may encounter.
- Lawn Mower Corrosion
- Additional Engine Stress
- Clogged Bagger Chute
So…Will Mowing Wet Grass Ruin Your Lawn Mower…Eventually?
This is a better question to ask. Wet grass is unlikely to be the end of your mower right away, but eventually, if used repeatedly in these conditions, it will likely lead to your mower giving up the ghost long before it really should.
If you’re not sure why this is, we’re going to talk you through what happens when you cut wet grass, and why this puts extra pressure on your mower. Here we go…
- Mower Deck is Caked in Clippings – And I really do mean caked. As soon as the blade cuts through wet grass, the clippings will stick to the underside of the deck like they are magnetized or something. You likely won’t even be able to see the deck after you’ve made a few passes of your lawn, as the coating of clippings will be too thick. Why is this bad? Well, apart from making your mower heavier, it also makes the blade’s cutting motion far less effective, which leads us on to our next point…
- Engine or Motor is Forced to Work Harder – To compensate for the fact that your mower’s blade is no longer cutting as effectively as it should, the engine (if it’s a gas mower) or motor (in the case of an electric motor) has to work extra hard to get the job done. This extra stress often leads to a shorter lifespan (and with it being such a vital component, replacement is usually prohibitively expensive). We’ve heard stories of motors on cheaper electric mowers burning out in just a few short weeks when continually tasked with mowing wet grass. A higher-quality gas engine should fare a lot better, but its lifespan will still likely be shorted. Why suffer those consequences if you don’t have to?!
- Moisture Leads to Corrosion – This might be blatantly obvious, but it’s something that a lot of yard owners overlook if they have a gas mower. The moisture from your grass may get into the fuel tank, and if you haven’t mixed in a stabilizer, it will likely corrode. The same goes for the deck if it’s a metal deck. If the underside is not cleaned up and freed of wet clippings after you’re done mowing, it will likely lead to corrosion.
Other Dangers Wet Grass Poses to Your Lawn Mower
I think we’ve probably highlighted sufficient negative impacts of using your lawn mower on wet grass in this post that you should know to avoid doing so unless you have absolutely no other option. And if you don’t care much about your yard-crawling friend (aka the mower), think about the negative implications mowing wet grass can have for your lawn (uneven cut, ugly looking tire ruts that need fixing) and your own personal safety (falls and slips are more common, particularly on slopes).
How to Protect Your Mower If You Do Mow in Wet Conditions
Sometimes it can be difficult to avoid mowing in wet conditions as we usually only have limited time and opportunity to mow. So what can you do to protect your lawn mower? Here are some tricks I use to prevent harming my lawn mower when mowing wet grass.
Protect the Lawn Mower Before Heading Out in the Wet
There are three products that I like to use If I’m considering mowing my lawn when it’s wet.
I use the WD-40 Dry Lubricant under the cutting deck to protect the lawn mower from long-term exposure to water and help me avoid deck repairs and deck rust. At the same time, these types of PTFE sprays help to stop grass from sticking to the deck.
For the rest of the lawn mower, like the metal parts of the engine, levers, and various nuts and bolts, I use a regular WD-40 spray. This is definitely my go-to product to prevent any type of rust on exposed metal on my lawn mower.
Finally, the last part of the lawn mower that I want to keep the moisture away from is my drive belt and my deck belt. While water isn’t going to damage a belt, it will wash away any belt dressing which can lead to problems like belt stretching or snapping before their time. So, if you are going to mow the grass while it is wet, then be sure to use a good quality belt dressing, or at least consider using a homemade alternate belt dressing.
Clean Down the Lawn Mower after Mowing in Wet Conditions
When I have finished mowing a wet lawn, I always make sure to give my lawn mower a good cleaning and then try to get the lawn mower as dry as possible. Usually, a garden hose and a leaf blower are all you need to wash and dry the lawn mower. When I’m finished cleaning and drying, I grab my WD-40 Dry lubricant, regular WD-40, and belt dressing and repeat the steps from above to give my lawn mower that extra protection and ensure it is ready for the next cut, no matter if it’s going to be wet again or dry. I’m pretty sure that if you follow these few steps, you’ll never have a problem with rust or corrosion on your lawn mower.
What Other Problems Does Mowing Wet Grass Cause?
So it is ok for your lawn mower to get wet, and it’s pretty clear what problems can be caused to your lawn mower if you have to mow wet grass. But what other damage might you be causing when you mow wet grass? Here’s a quick list of other things to consider when asking yourself, will mowing wet grass ruin your lawn mower?
About Tom Greene
I’ve always had a keen interest in lawn care as long as I can remember. Friends used to call me the lawn mower guru (hence the site name), but I’m anything but. I just enjoy cutting my lawn and spending time outdoors. I also love the well-deserved doughnuts and coffee afterward!
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