Ryobi Mower Long Term Review

After three years of use, and extensive research on the competition, I believe the Ryobi 40-volt cordless lawn mower is the best mower for the money, for people with small lawns. My mower is the RY40170 20″ brushless mower. It came included with two 4 amp hour batteries, is capable of mulching and bagging, only weighs 44 lbs (plus battery), and comes with a 5 year warranty. It has seven cutting  height adjustments (from 1.25″ – 3.75″) that you can easily adjust with a single lever and the handles fold down flat making it super easy to store. This is especially helpful if you have limited space in your garage or shed. Having two batteries included is a big bonus. Based on the reading I’ve done, with the included batteries, the Ryobi has the longest run time  of any cordless mower (over 1hr). With a robust 40 volt ecosystem, its batteries can also be used to power other Ryobi lawn equipment, such as a string trimmer and blower.


Three years ago, my Ryobi mower was among the first cordless electric mowers I had seen. Now, however, it seems that the cordless revolution has truly arrived. Battery operated mowers offer everything you like about mowing a lawn without all of the things you hate. No gas, oil, cords, or noise.

They are environmentally friendly and require none of the yearly maintenance that traditional mowers require. They start instantly with the press of a button, run much more quietly and, of course, do not emit exhaust fumes. Everyone I know who has made the switch has said that when they owned a gas mower they weren’t particularly offended by the noise and inconvenience of gas, however after switching, they couldn’t dream of going back.


The main advantages of the Ryobi mower are that:

  • It’s very lightweight and maneuverable
  • Its folding design makes it very portable and easy to hang
  • Its runtime is very long, amongs the best on the market
  • Its rechargeable lithium-ion batteries can be used to power your other compatible Ryobi cordless lawn equipment.


The main disadvangaes are as follows:

  • There is no option of a side discharge
  • It’s not self-propelled. Although it is lightweight, it may be difficult for some to maneuver on hills or steep grades . A self propelled version is now available, which I will hopefully get a chance to test
  • Its charge rate is good, however a ‘quick charge’ option would be good


Over a three year period, I’ve used this mower in wide range of conditions – super thick grass, wet grass, new sod, new seed, mulching leaves, bagging, different cut heights etc, and its power and performance did not disappoint.

It can handle tough grass without any issue, and given how light it is, it did well on newly seeded areas as well. When the mower hits a patch of lawn that is tougher it adds more power. You can hear the motor speed up to compensate. This is done automatically in order to conserve battery usage.

In my experience I get approximately 40 minutes from a full charge of one 4 amp hour battery. My lawn can usually be done in about 30 minutes, so I’m able to do it all with one battery. And that usually leaves enough juice left to do the trimming as well. Not that I need to use one battery for both. The mower and trimmer both came with 2 batteries, so I could easily do my neighbors lawns as well if I needed too. I bought the blower without batteries, when I realized how much extra capacity I had. I believe the current model of this mower now comes with a single 5.0 Ah battery.

Ryobi’s batteries charge to full capacity in 90 minutes. So technically, if you had three batteries, you could basically mow indefinitely. The batteries each have 4 led lights on them so you can check their power level and you can see their charge progress as they’re charging. Even though the mower could be used to mow 1/2 acre or larger; in my opinion, it is best suited for lawns that are between 1/3 of an acre to 1/2 an acre. That leaves you plenty of capacity for those days when the grass is super thick, or if you need to cut when it’s wet. And, truthfully, I think most people would want a self-propelled mower for lawns larger than 1/2 an acre.


Over my three years of ownership I only had two things break on the mower. The first item was the plastic battery cover. One of the hinge pins broke when I was opening it. It doesn’t open quite far enough in my opinion. I was able to fix this simply by putting a bent nail in it’s place. The other item that broke, was the rear protective shield. See photo. It basically ripped off. This item receives a lot of wear, so perhaps it should be made from metal instead of plastic and rubber. I called Ryobi about this problem and they mailed me a new one free of charge, so that wasn’t too big of a deal. It was fairly easy to swap out.


The starting price of the Ryobi is comparable to gas mowers, while also having comparable power. It cuts just as good as a gas mower. In fact, it is the same style blade. Similarly sized gas push gas mowers, however, weigh between 60 and 70 lbs. So the Ryobi pushes a bit easier than a push gas mower in my opinion. In comparison to other battery powered mowers, it’s main competitor is the more espensive EGO mower. The design of the Ryobi isn’t quite as refined as the EGO, however it offers a more appealing value proposition in my opinion. Other 36V cordless mowers look like reasonably good alternatives, but their power and feature sets just don’t compare.


In conclusion, I highly recommend this mower. Ryobi offers a great combination of features at a reasonable price. It’s perfect for a small to medium-sized lawns, and especially attractive if you plan to buy other tools that can use the 40-volt battery architecture. It’s very light, very portable, does an excellent job cutting, and has ample run time. On top of that, it has all the benefits of a cordless electric mower – ie. quiet, no maintenance, easy storage, easy to start, etc.

Check out my gear section for links to this mower and more.


  1. after 3 years…my only problem is that my “circuit” breaker keeps popping. I need to wait about 2 minutes to reset it. Any idea how to get this fixed?

    1. Author

      Not sure. It should still be under warranty. If it can wait until winter you that’s a more convenient time to get repairs done

    2. Dear JC, I was also facing similar problem with my old Ryobi lawn mower. After a proper servicing by a local expert fixed the issue. So I suggest you to do the same.

  2. Hi I brought the newer Ryobi push lawn mower yesterday and after charging the battery to full capacity I mowed my yard. It was 88 degrees and hadn’t rained here in days. I noticed that my passes of cutting had grass that had never been cut. I am not understanding why this is happening. I tried googling it and it talked a lot about sharpening the blade. I just took it out of the box yesterday. Any ideas? Thank you.

  3. Let me say that there are some very good things about this mower but if you serch Youtube or other sites for problems they are there. Mine kept cutting out and I tried all the DIY solutions and eventually took the thing part. The inside had tons of grass clippings indicating it is sealed very poorly. Eventually I gave up and brought it to Home Depot for service. Even though it has a warranty they charge a $20 evaluation fee. Then they send it to Atlanta for repair. After about 6 weeks I finally got the # for the repair depot in Atlanta and called. They said they had not received it. I could have pushed to mower to Atlanta from Richmond in less than 6 weeks. At the end of this saga I fanally got it back after over 3 months and they tried charging me over $70 for stuff that I did not authorize such as that protective shield. I met a guy on the way out that heard me complain and said his trimmer was MIA for over 6 months. Better have a backup mower if this one ever needs service.

  4. Can you provide specs/plans/details on how you hung it on the wall?

  5. What do you use to wall mount it that can support all that weight?

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