Sponsored by Ryobi
I’ve been mowing with Ryobi’s new lithium-ion mower for the last few weeks, and I’m impressed. I’ve been mowing for more than 50 years with all types of mowers: reel push mowers, corded electric, but of course, mostly gas-powered rotary mowers. You name it; I’ve sweated buckets mushing behind every style. But now I’m hooked on my new Ryobi. Let me tackle the reasons one by one.
No more gas engine—yay!
I’ve spent lots of money and lots of time changing oil and spark plugs, winterizing engines, installing new carbs, fixing broken pull cords and replacing ignition modules. Most of all, I won’t miss pulling endlessly on the pull cord of a finicky gas engine trying to get it started. With the Ryobi, I just push a button, close the bail and I’m mowing.
No more sweaty earmuffs!
This mower is so quiet that you don’t even need hearing protection. Wouldn’t it be nice to mow your yard without destroying the solitude in your neighborhood? Imagine a box fan running on the high setting. That’s about the sound level you can expect to hear. Plus, the Ryobi has LED headlights that come on every time you engage the motor. With its low noise level and handy lights, if you find you can’t sleep, you could mow the lawn at 2 a.m.!
Lightweight and Easy-to-Push
Most of the engine-powered mowers are brutes to handle and almost impossible to lift unassisted when I need to throw one in the pickup for a trip to my mom’s house to mow her lawn. But the Ryobi sports a very lightweight, powerful 40-volt lithium-ion battery that provides plenty of power. I have a very large, thick lawn, so it’s nice to have a second battery to complete the job. (There’s an onboard slot for storing it so you can swap it out as you mow.) Fortunately, I have a 40-volt Ryobi string trimmer that uses the same battery so I can swap batteries between the two tools as needed.
Other Ryobi yard tools using the same 40-volt battery platform include chain saws, hedge trimmers and leaf blowers:
Brushless, Brainy Motor
The motor is very efficient. Here’s why. First of all, electronics take the place of brushes, so there’s less internal drag, which adds up to longer mowing and longer battery life. Second, there’s a little onboard computer that senses when the motor needs more battery power. It sips on the battery in sparse or shorter grass. But when you plow into thicker or taller grass, it ramps up the power. That means you only use as much battery power as you need, when you need it.
Miserly Storage Footprint
A feature often overlooked with mowers is their “foldability.” If you’ve ever tried to collapse “collapsible” handles, you know what I mean—it’s never easy, or fast! Instead of using knobs and bulky stubborn carriage bolts, Ryobi uses clips and spring-loaded twist levers to make the handles fold down in about 3 microseconds. Then, since there’s no gas tank to leak, you can stand the mower up on end where it takes up about 2 sq. ft. of your garage. Beautiful!
If this machine blows your hair back—and it should—get over to your nearest Home Depot and pick one up for $299.
— Travis Larson, Senior Editor