Hey there, lawn warriors! If you’re looking for a battery-powered mower that might kick gas to the curb, you’ve probably stumbled upon the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 21-inch Dual-Blade Self-Propelled Mower. It seems like a beast on paper, but does it hold up in the real world? That’s what we’re here to figure out.

What We’re Bringing to the Table

Now, there are tons of reviews out there, but here’s the difference with ours:

  • We Actually Bought and Used It: Yup, this isn’t some regurgitated marketing fluff. We got our hands dirty (well, grassy) with this mower to give you the lowdown.
  • No BS, Just Honest Thoughts: We’ll tell you what’s awesome, what sucks, and what you really need to know before you shell out your hard-earned cash.
  • Your Questions, Answered: We’ve scoured reviews, forums, and YouTube to find the most burning questions about this mower and we’re here to give you real-world answers.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

The Good: Where the Ryobi Shines (and Your Lawn Will Too)

Let’s be real, the Ryobi isn’t perfect, but it does have some serious strengths that make it a contender for your lawn care arsenal:

  • Gas-Like Power, Minus the Gas Hassle: One of the biggest worries with battery-powered mowers is whether they can actually tackle tough jobs. Well, the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless motor surprised us. It chewed through tall, thick grass without a hiccup, almost like our old gas guzzler.
  • Whisper-Quiet Operation: This is a game-changer, especially if you’re an early morning mower or have close neighbors. The Ryobi hums along so quietly that we could have a conversation while mowing without raising our voices.
  • SMART TREK Self-Propelled is Legit: Okay, this feature is pretty slick. The mower adjusts its speed to your walking pace, which is surprisingly helpful on uneven terrain or when you need to maneuver around obstacles.
  • Dual Blades = Mulching Machine: If you’re into mulching, you’ll dig the dual-blade system. It chops up grass clippings into tiny bits, leaving your lawn looking tidy and returning nutrients to the soil.

The Bad: Where the Ryobi Falls Short (and How to Deal With It)

Now for the less-than-stellar aspects of the Ryobi. No mower is perfect, but knowing the downsides helps you decide if it’s the right fit for you:

  • Battery Life Anxiety: Yeah, this is a common complaint. The included 6.0 Ah batteries give you a decent run time, but if you have a larger lawn, you’ll probably need to swap them out mid-mow or invest in bigger batteries.
  • Touchy Speed Control: Some users, including us, found the variable speed control a bit too sensitive. It takes some getting used to, but you can eventually find a sweet spot.
  • Questionable Durability: While the mower itself feels solid, there are reports of the battery cover breaking and the self-propelled mechanism acting up. Ryobi’s warranty is decent, but dealing with repairs is a hassle.

Who Should Consider the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Mower

Alright, let’s cut to the chase. This mower might be a great fit for you if:

  • You Have a Small to Medium-Sized Lawn: If you’re rocking a suburban-sized lawn (up to about ¾ of an acre), the Ryobi should handle it with the included batteries. Larger lawns might require extra batteries or charging breaks.
  • You Hate Gas Mowers: Let’s face it, gas mowers are noisy, smelly, and require maintenance. If you’re ready to ditch the gas and go green, the Ryobi offers a solid alternative.
  • You Value a Quiet Mowing Experience: If you’re a weekend warrior who likes to mow early or late without disturbing the peace, the Ryobi’s quiet operation is a major bonus.
  • You’re a Mulching Enthusiast: The dual-blade system makes mulching a breeze, and if you’re into that whole “recycling nutrients” thing, this mower has your back.

Who Should Probably Skip This Mower

On the flip side, the Ryobi might not be your best bet if:

  • You Have a Massive Lawn: If your yard rivals a golf course, the Ryobi’s battery life might not cut it. You’ll likely spend more time swapping batteries than actually mowing.
  • You’re on a Tight Budget: While not the most expensive mower out there, the Ryobi isn’t exactly cheap. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, there are more affordable models available.
  • You Need a Workhorse Mower: If you mow commercially or have a super hilly, rough terrain, the Ryobi might not be up to the task. Look for a more heavy-duty model instead.
  • You’re Easily Frustrated by Technical Glitches: If you’re the type who throws tools across the yard when they malfunction, the Ryobi’s potential durability issues might drive you nuts.

Deep Dive: The Ryobi’s Dual-Blade System – Gimmick or Game Changer?

One of the standout features of the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Mower is its unique dual-blade system. But does having two blades actually make a difference? In short, yes, but it’s a bit nuanced.

How It Works

Unlike most mowers that have a single blade spinning beneath the deck, the Ryobi has two smaller blades that rotate in opposite directions. This creates a “cross-cut” action that Ryobi claims leads to:

  • Superior Mulching: The dual blades chop up grass clippings into finer pieces than a single blade, which helps them break down faster and return nutrients to your lawn.
  • Improved Bagging: The finer clippings also pack more tightly in the bag, meaning fewer trips to empty it.
  • Enhanced Side Discharge: If you’re not into bagging or mulching, the dual blades supposedly distribute clippings more evenly when you use the side discharge chute.

Our Experience

We tested the Ryobi in all three modes – mulching, bagging, and side discharge – and the results were interesting.

  • Mulching: We were genuinely impressed with the mulching performance. The dual blades created a fine mulch that practically disappeared into the lawn. It was a noticeable improvement over our old single-blade mower.
  • Bagging: The bagging was also solid. The clippings packed in well, and we did notice fewer clumps compared to a single blade.
  • Side Discharge: Here’s where things got a bit less impressive. While the dual blades did distribute clippings more evenly than our single-blade mower, it wasn’t a night-and-day difference.

The Verdict

The dual-blade system is not just a marketing gimmick. It definitely improves mulching and bagging performance. If you’re primarily interested in side discharge, the benefits are less noticeable, but still present. However, it’s worth noting that the dual blades can be a bit trickier to sharpen and maintain than a single blade.

SMART TREK: Is This Self-Propelled System Actually Smart?

Now, let’s talk about another feature that sets the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Mower apart: SMART TREK self-propelled technology. It sounds fancy, but what does it really mean, and is it actually helpful?

The Gist of SMART TREK

Unlike traditional self-propelled mowers with a fixed speed, SMART TREK uses sensors to match the mower’s pace to your walking speed. This means you don’t have to constantly adjust the throttle or feel like you’re being dragged along. It’s designed to make mowing more comfortable and efficient, especially on hilly or uneven terrain.

Our Take on SMART TREK

At first, we were a little skeptical of SMART TREK. It seemed like a gimmick, but we were pleasantly surprised by how well it worked. Here’s what we noticed:

  • Smooth and Responsive: The mower adjusted its speed seamlessly as we walked faster or slower. It felt natural and intuitive, not jerky or delayed like some self-propelled systems.
  • Helpful on Hills: Going uphill was noticeably easier since the mower provided a consistent boost without us having to strain.
  • Easier Maneuvering: When we needed to go around obstacles or make tight turns, the mower slowed down with us, making it much easier to maneuver.

But Is It Perfect?

No, it’s not flawless. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Learning Curve: It takes a few minutes to get the hang of SMART TREK. You have to trust the system and let it do its thing, which might feel a bit weird at first.
  • Not for Everyone: If you have a perfectly flat lawn and always mow at the same pace, SMART TREK might not be a huge advantage. But for uneven terrain or varying speeds, it’s definitely a nice feature.

The Verdict

While it might not be a must-have for everyone, SMART TREK is a genuinely useful feature that makes mowing more comfortable and efficient. If you’re tired of wrestling with traditional self-propelled mowers or have a yard with some slopes and obstacles, SMART TREK is worth considering.

Battery Life: The Ryobi’s Achilles’ Heel?

Alright, let’s address the elephant in the room: battery life. This is a major concern for many potential buyers, and rightfully so. No one wants their mower to die halfway through their lawn.

What Ryobi Claims

The Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Mower comes with two 6.0 Ah batteries, and Ryobi claims you can get up to 70 minutes of runtime with both batteries. That sounds pretty good, right?

Real-World Results

Here’s the thing: real-world battery life can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Grass Condition: Thick, tall grass will drain the battery faster than short, thin grass.
  • Terrain: Mowing uphill or on uneven ground requires more power, reducing battery life.
  • Mowing Mode: Using the dual blades for mulching will consume more power than using a single blade or side discharging.
  • Battery Age: Like any battery, Ryobi batteries will gradually lose capacity over time.

In our experience, we got closer to 50-60 minutes of runtime with both batteries under normal mowing conditions. This was enough to finish our medium-sized lawn (about ⅓ acre) without needing to recharge.

Extending Battery Life

If you have a larger lawn or want to maximize your runtime, here are a few tips:

  • Use a Single Blade: If you don’t need the mulching power of the dual blades, switching to a single blade can significantly extend your runtime.
  • Mow Regularly: Keeping your grass shorter will require less power from the mower and save battery life.
  • Buy Extra Batteries: Ryobi sells additional 40V batteries in various sizes. Having a spare battery on hand ensures you can finish the job without interruption.
  • Invest in a Rapid Charger: Ryobi offers a rapid charger that can charge a battery in about an hour, which is much faster than the standard charger.

The Bottom Line

While the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Mower’s battery life might not be the best on the market, it’s decent enough for most small to medium-sized lawns. If you have a larger lawn, you’ll need to manage your expectations and potentially invest in extra batteries or a rapid charger.

So, Is the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Mower Worth Your Money?

It’s decision time, folks! After putting this mower through its paces, it’s clear that it’s not perfect, but it does have a lot to offer. Let’s break it down one last time:

The Pros:

  • Gas-like power: Seriously, this thing doesn’t shy away from tall or thick grass.
  • Whisper-quiet operation: Say goodbye to waking the neighbors or wearing ear protection.
  • SMART TREK self-propelled: This feature is surprisingly useful, especially on uneven terrain.
  • Excellent mulching: The dual blades make mulch that practically vanishes into your lawn.
  • Easy to use and maneuver: Push-button start, lightweight design, and easy height adjustment make mowing a breeze.

The Cons:

  • Battery life could be better: It’s fine for smaller lawns, but larger ones will need extra batteries or charging breaks.
  • Potential durability issues: Some users have reported problems with the battery cover and self-propelled mechanism.
  • Not the cheapest option: You’ll pay a premium for the brushless motor and smart features.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a powerful, quiet, and easy-to-use battery-powered mower for a small to medium-sized lawn, the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Mower is definitely worth considering. It might not be the most durable or longest-lasting mower out there, but it gets the job done with minimal fuss.

However, if you have a large lawn, are on a tight budget, or need a mower for heavy-duty use, you might want to explore other options. There are plenty of other great battery-powered mowers on the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

The best way to decide if the Ryobi is right for you is to weigh the pros and cons based on your specific needs and budget. If possible, try to test it out in person at a store like Home Depot to see how it feels and handles. And always remember to read reviews from other users to get a broader perspective.

No matter which mower you choose, happy mowing!

Last update on 2024-07-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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