Ryobi 21″ 40-Volt Cordless Lawnmower Review

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Ryobi 21″ 40-Volt Cordless Lawnmower Review

The newest Ryobi model #RY401130 21″ 40-Volt cordless lawnmower gained a lot of attention at the recent Tool Box Buzz Best Cordless Lawnmower Head to Head comparison test. Ryobi brings affordable cordless options to homeowners that are easy to find. Their cordless outdoor power equipment line continues to evolve and grow and the new 21″ 40-Volt cordless lawnmower is a great example of their progress.

Ryobi 21" 40-Volt Cordless SelfPropelled Lawnmower

4/5
Manufacturer: Ryobi
Model number: RY401130
Price: $449.00
Power source: 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Batery
Weight: 79.2 Lbs.

Ryobi 21" 40-Volt Cordless Lawnmower

Specifications and Features

  • Drive Type: Rear Wheel Drive Self Propelled
  • Battery System: 40-Volt 7.5 Ah Lithium Ion
  • Deck Size: 21″
  • Cutting Height: 1.5″-4″
  • Deck Height Adjustments: 7 Point
  • Starter Type: Push Button
  • Cutting Options: Mulching, Bagging, and Side Discharge
  • Warranty: 5 Year Limited Tool & 3 Year Limited Battery
  • Weight: 79.2 Lbs.
Ryobi 21" 40-Volt Cordless Lawnmower

The Ryobi 21″ mower folds into a compact overall size for storage. Because it is electric and has no gas or oil it can be stood up and stored vertically.

 

First Impressions of the Ryobi 21″ Lawnmower

Last year I had the opportunity to review the 21″ SMART TREK self propelled lawnmower from Ryobi. I found this model to have several lacking areas. When I began evaluating the new 21″ 40-Volt cordless model, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this new 21″ 40-Volt model was greatly improved.

The overall construction of the mower has a very solid feel. The wheelbase is more compact than others at 65.15″. This gave the Ryobi mower excellent handling. The mower deck as well as the handle assembly are all metal which contribute to the solid feel. However, the mower is pretty heavy. At 79.2 Lbs. it was one of the heaviest mowers we tested. That weight was concentrated on the motor housing and centered on the deck which gave the mower good balance.

Ryobi 21" 40-Volt Cordless Mower

Standout Features of the Ryobi RY401130

Ryobi’s Self Propelled System

One feature of the SMART TREK mower I absolutely did not care for was the self propelled drive system. The new 21″ 40-Volt lawnmower’s self propel system is intuitive, responsive, and above all else easy to use.

Ryobi 21" 40-Volt Cordless Lawnmower

Ryobi’s spring loaded safety handle folds flat against the cushioned handle bar. Two green plastic levers are used to engage the self propel system. The blade deck turns on and off with by pushing of the center button. The speed is controlled by an easy to reach sliding control lever. This control system is more user friendly than the SMART TREK system which requires pushing down on the handle bar.

Ryobi 21" 40-Volt Cordless Lawnmower

On Board Battery Storage

The Ryobi 21″ 40-Volt cordless lawnmower uses a single battery as a power source. The housing has a spring loaded smoked grey plastic cover that keeps dust and debris out. Inside the battery compartment area is an extra space where a second battery can be clicked in and stored. Having the second battery ready to go and on hand is a great idea feature for users cutting larger areas.

Ryobi 21" 40-Volt Cordless Lawnmower

Ryobi Mower Deck Height Adjustment

My favorite feature of the Ryobi Model RY401130 is the deck height adjustment system. Ryobi incorporates a molded handle into the deck housing. The handle features a release switch and adjusts for height simply by pulling upwards or pushing down. The system features a total of 7 preset detents that allow adjustment from 1.5″-4″. I was not the only one impressed by this, in fact the Ryobi took first place overall for best/easiest deck height adjustment during the Head to Head.

Ryobi 21" 40-Volt Cordless Lawnmower

Ryobi 40-Volt Power and Runtime

Ryobi offers a new 7.5 Ah high capacity 40-Volt battery with the new 21″ cordless lawnmower. This is the largest capacity battery pack Ryobi has ever made. One of these batteries is include with the mower, however you would need to purchase additional batteries separately.

By combining the 40-Volt system with a large (7.5 Ah) battery pack, the Ryobi 21″ mower produces a calculated 270 Watt Hours. During field testing, the mower accomplished 10,430 square feet of mowing on a single charge. That equates to about 1.1 miles traveled all together.  That kind of coverage is exceptional for the average homeowner. Also, the cutting potential becomes almost endless if you are willing to purchase additional batteries.

Ryobi 21" 40-Volt Cordless Lawnmower

Room For Improvement

As I previously mentioned, the Ryobi 40-Volt mower is heavy. It is also somewhat loud for a cordless lawnmower. At 89.2 decibels it registered as the loudest mower we tested. If Ryobi could find a way to shave some pounds and decibels this would be welcomed improvements. Especially considering that cordless lawnmowers are a sought out product for buyers in congested neighborhoods or noise restricted communities.

Ryobi 21" 40-Volt Cordless Lawnmower

Current Pricing on the Ryobi 21″ 40-Volt Lawnmower

As with most Ryobi tools, this mower is exclusive to Home Depot. Therefore the mower itself as well as extra batteries and other accessories are easily accessible to buyers. At the time of writing this article, the 21″ 40-Volt cordless mower is available for $449.00 as a kit with charger and one 7.5 Ah battery. This represents a good value for homeowners and is well suited for the majority of residential lawns.

Ryobi 21" 40-Volt Cordless SelfPropelled Lawnmower
$449.00

Overall Impressions of the Ryobi 21″ 40-Volt Cordless Lawnmower

I found the Rybobi 21″ mower to be a well executed tool with some excellent features. It has room for improvement, but is a solid option overall. Any homeowner would be well served for a small to mid sized yard with the 21″ 40-Volt lawnmower. The excellent features outlined above, combined with Ryobi’s warranty program, and the availability of Home Depot make this a great choice in my opinion.

Ryobi 21" 40-Volt Cordless Lawnmower

Even the big boss man Rob himself gives the Ryobi a thumbs up.

About the author

Wes Bartosik

Wes Bartosik is a Connecticut native with strong family ties to the construction world. Wes’ father and grandfather both were builders and developers and taught Wes the values of doing things right from an early age and getting hands on experience with every facet of the construction industry. Wes apprenticed with a carpenter throughout high school and would later attend Central Connecticut State University earning a bachelor’s degree in construction management all while working for a large excavation contractor throughout. Wes would go on to work for a local heavy-highway construction company and gain further experience with all the skilled trades associated with large civil engineering and utility projects. Though working as a manager now, Wes’ true passion is working in the field alongside the tradesman and laborers on site. Wes has been involved in community based service projects throughout his life as well as emergency services. In his spare time he takes on serious DIY projects for himself, friends and family. He is a firm believer that with a quality tool in your hands and some grit, you can accomplish anything.

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5 Comments

  1. […] with very little felt vibration. During use, the motor felt and sounded identical to the Ryobi 40V Cordless Lawnmower that I had previously […]

  2. Michael Anders

    I purchased the Ryobi 21″ 40 volt self propelled mower back in April 2021. I did so knowing that this technology is still in it’s infancy. It would take the place of my 21″ gas mower. Here are my likes and dislikes:

    Likes – No more gas. No more environmental pollution. It comes with 2 batteries and a charger. The battery compartment in the mower holds both batteries, but only uses current from one battery at a time. It is well built and sturdy.

    Dislikes – When you unfold the push handle, there is a gate which offers two positions that you can adjust to. I am a tall guy, and both factory positions were too low. Using my cutter wheel, I cut a third notch to make the push handle sit higher. The blade height has a handle that adjusts to several positions, using notches formed in a gate. I found that the lowest factory notch was still not low enough to suit me, so using my cutter wheel, I cut another notch so that it would sit a little lower. I’m sure the factory frowns on this, but maybe they should have thought of this before premiering their new mower. As for the batteries, they claim one battery will last 40 to 60 minutes. That is a stretch. For me, the last about 20 – 30 minutes. If my grass is longer than usual, the mower struggles to get through it. My yard is 1/2 acre, and it takes 2 1/2 batteries worth to get the job done.

    Summary: As I said, this tech is still in it’s infancy. They still have a long way to go before it’s perfected. But I am happy with my purchase, and will find a way to make it work. I like knowing I am not harming the enviroment when I cut my grass.

    1. Dalton

      Their batteries are by far the weak link here. I was not impressed with them. I have milwaukee tools for work but with no mower and a similar thought process as you, we ended up here. For some testing I crudely hooked up two milwaukee 18v batteries to my mower (don’t worry about voltage, 40v is a marketing ploy but if you read specs on batteries their wh calculations are for 36v. If you apply any draw to them they drop down to 36v) anyways back to business

      When using two milwaukee 6ah batteries (should be equivalent to 1 6ah ryobi 40v charge) I mowed my lawn with 1 go with 50% remaining on my milwaukees. Vs THREE charges of my oem ryobi batteries. Which is worse considering my milwaukee batteries have been used daily for 2 years and the ryobi is brand new.

      So I 3d printed an adapter plate to slide two milwaukees in and they get the job done. The ryobi 40v I still use in the weedeater for bulk concerns.

      Note: I also tested a single m18 with using a dc booster for 1 milwaukee and it worked great except when my lawn is dewy or too thick I do finish off a full 6ah, since I don’t like midmow battery changes and the mower already had a spot built in for a 2nd battery 😜 I just drop two in and don’t worry about the conditions or cut height.

      This has also set me up to buy bargain priced ryobi tools which really aren’t bad, especially if it isn’t a tool you will use a lot, and just adapter it to high quality batteries until ryobi battery tech catches up

  3. Art
    Total lack of power, doesn’t vacuum the blades of grass up to cut cleanly. As a result it does not leave an even looking cut and many times you will see a single blade of grass standing inches above what was cut. It also won’t go through thicker grass without it looking like it was knocked over and not cut.
    I purchased this 2 weeks ago and have cut lawn 3 times and even though I cut it in a different direction each time, it still has what looks like missed blades of grass. My cheap gas powered mower that I only paid $169

    1. Ben Fecteau

      Art, sounds like we’ve had very different experiences. I made sure to sharpen my blades before first use. And I’ve used my mower at least a dozen times in thick grass since publishing the article with no issues like you discuss. Obvious question but the blades aren’t on backwards are they? Both the air channeling/lifting action and the finish cut and directly related to the shape of the blades as air flows over them in a single direction. Backwards/reversed blades would explain both issues you mention. Hope this helps… As always, appreciate your follow-up on the mower and for reading the article! Ben

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