When 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.

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…

DSC_0378What’s in the Box:

  • Mower
  • 2 40-volt Lithium-ion Batteries
  • 40-volt Charger
  • Bag for grass clippings
  • Mulching Plug
  • Fuse Key
  • Owner’s manual

Major Specs:

  • 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
Ryobi Battery Powered Lawn Mower Review Breakdown


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 DSC_0375battery, 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.

DSC_0356The 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.

Weight & Size:

IMG_20150516_144426It’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:

PANO_20150514_175506After mowing:


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:


IMG_20150518_184153It 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:

DSC_0387The 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.

Service Work:

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.

IMG_20150514_193733The 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.

Buy now: $422 

*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.

Ryobi 20" 40-Volt Lawn Mower - Mower 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.
Weight and Size10
Ease of Use9
The Good
  • Quiet
  • Powerful
  • Lightweight
The Not So Good
  • 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
9.3Overall Score
Reader Rating: (340 Votes)

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.

110 Responses

  1. John

    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.

    • heather den Boer

      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.

      • Jay

        See “You Tube” for a possible fix for you. I’ve got the same problem. And apparently so do MANY people!

      • Mike Ver Duin

        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

        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!



  3. jim

    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.

    • Mike Ver Duin

      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!

      • jim

        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

        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

      • Mike Ver Duin

        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.

  4. Bruce Foster

    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:
    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.

    • jim

      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..

      • Dana

        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

        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

        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

        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

        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

        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

        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

        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

        Maybe you should check the weather report before mowing with an ELECTRIC mower. Duh.

      • Ace

        Why are you mowing in the rain when it states not to mow wet grass?

    • Mike Ver Duin

      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.

    • DonV

      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?

      • DonV

        Gee thanks Jim. What a big help you are. Do/Did you own one? Did you junk it?

      • Jim Young

        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

        OK, thanks. That makes your “junk” evaluation much more than empty vitriol. I appreciate the info.

      • Margery

        It stops cause the handle is a bit loose. Tighten it after every couple of uses. Yes, annoying.

      • Donald Vicarel

        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

      • Marge

        Glad to hear that worked. I have to retighten every couple of sessions, btw.

      • Patrick

        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.

  5. Greg

    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.

  6. Molly

    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?

    • Mike Ver Duin

      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.

      • John Manahan

        Yeah, I agree with Mike. Call Ryobi and get replacements.

      • Molly

        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

      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.

      • Jim Young

        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.

  7. John Manahan

    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.

    • Mike Ver Duin

      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.

  8. Heidi Peterson

    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.

    • Mike Ver Duin

      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.

  9. kathy

    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?

    • Mike Ver Duin

      Mine has a key/circuit breaker, did you reset it? it’s in the battery compartment. That’s all I can think of.

      • Conly

        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

        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

        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.

  10. Roz

    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.

    • Jim

      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.

      • Jim T

        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

      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.

    • Molly

      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.

  11. peter harding

    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

  12. Lee M

    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……

    • jim

      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.

      • Molly

        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…

  13. Pete Sommers

    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.

  14. Ronny

    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!

  15. Bob Polk

    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?

    • jim

      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.

    • Mike Ver Duin

      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.

    • Pete Sommers

      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.

    • Margery

      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.

    • Bill

      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.

    • Patrick

      Mine seems to stop at soon as I go onto the slightest uneven ground or hill.

  16. Seileng

    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?

    • Mike Ver Duin

      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.

  17. Jim T

    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.

    • Kiri

      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!

    • Cliff

      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.

  18. Ann Rice

    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!!

  19. Eric V

    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.)

  20. 10Techy

    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.

  21. Nick

    I took a quick look through the review and comments 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?

    • Jim

      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.

  22. Letti

    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!

    • DonV

      Letti– Perhaps the non-cutting is an issue with the blade height. Just a thought.

  23. Vikki

    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!

  24. Philip Bruner

    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!!!

  25. Blanco, Ok Maintenance Lawn Best

    […] 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. […]

  26. Peter

    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.

  27. Robotance

    Hi Mike, very useful review. Thanks for sharing this! May I know the current price of thie Volt Lawn Mower?

  28. Donald Morrison

    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.

  29. Justin

    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.

    • Mike Ver Duin

      Justin, this is not a cylinder (also called a reel) mower. It is a Rotary mower.

  30. Thetechyboss

    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.

  31. Travis

    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.

  32. Lawrence

    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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.