Ryobi 40V EXPAND-IT String Trimmer

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The Ryobi 40V Expand-It String Trimmer Review

Ryobi 40V Expand-It Attachment Capable String Trimmer

Manufacturer: Ryobi
Model number: RY40250
Power source: 40V Lithium-Ion Battery
Weight: 8.92 Lbs.

Ryobi 40V AC String Trimmer

This is a review of the new Ryobi 40V Expand-It Attachment Capable String Trimmer Model #RY40250. This tool is part of the new line of Ryobi 40V outdoor power equipment and is interchangeable with a large selection of attachments. More information about this line is available at the Ryobi website.

A string trimmer is one of the cornerstone tools of any property owner’s power equipment arsenal. In the past battery powered versions of these tools have been under powered or had short run times.

TheRyobi 40V EXPAND-IT String Trimmer

Ryobi addressed these issue by introducing new and improved 40V lithium-ion battery technology into their new Attachment Capable (AC) String Trimmer. The attachment capable system allows you to separate the power head from the trimmer unit and swap it out for any tool head from the Ryobi line.

All of this convenience is combined into a tool that is well balanced and offers impressive performance and ease of use.


Ryobi 40V EXPAND-IT String Trimmer Specifications:

  • Battery: 40V 4.0 Ah Lithium-Ion
  • Cut Swath: Adjustable 13-15”
  • Line Advancement: Bump Head Feed
  • Line Size: 0.080”
  • Trigger: Variable Speed
  • Warranty: 5 Year Limited

Ryobi 40V EXPAND-IT String Trimmer Features:

The Ryobi 40V EXPAND-IT String Trimmer has power that Ryobi describes as GAS-LIKE and after using this tool I agree! It was able to power through thick grass and low weeds as well as a conventional homeowner gas powered model.


40 Volt Battery Powered

The power comes from Ryobi’s improved 40V batteries and a 4.0Ah version is included with the tool. The battery includes a clip on style charger that doubles as a power station. I discussed the battery and charger features in another recent review which can be found here.

My battery came dead in the box and took approximately two hours to get a full charge using the provided charger. While the power was impressive for a cordless tool, it is not at the same level as a commercial gas powered straight shaft trimmer.

Adjustable Height

The Ryobi 40V EXPAND-IT String Trimmer has an ergonomic grip with rubber over molding and a variable speed trigger that is responsive and spools the trimmer up immediately. A padded U shaped grip is included that the user can set the height on.

This allows good balance of the tool for your height and desired trimming position. I am tall with long arms and had to shift the handle all the way up to make it comfortable for extended use. The 40V AC Trimmer lacks the felt vibration of a conventional gas powered model. It was smooth and comfortable in hand.

The head of the Ryobi 40V EXPAND-IT String Trimmer is a traditional bump feed design and uses 0.080” line. A couple lengths of  line are included, but any trimmer line of the same size will work. The coolest part though is how you change the line.

Crank until the head is fully wound. This process can be done in about a minute once you get the hang of it.

Reel-Easy Speed Winder

Ryobi refers to this as their REEL-EASY SPEED WINDER technology. Lock the head into the feed potion, feed in a 16’ length of trimmer line and center it, then use the provided plastic crank like a spanner wrench on the outside of the head to wind the spool. This is hands down the easiest reel head I have ever used to re-spool! It works very well and can be done in under a minute. The cut swath on the head is adjustable from 13-15” by moving the cutting blade on the head guard.

Available Accessories:

One of the stand out features is the EXPAND-IT capability from Ryobi. The tool can be broken down at the midpoint of the shaft to allow the changing of implements. The trimmer head can be changed out for a variety of attachments;

  • Landscaping Edger
  • 10” Pole Saw
  • Soil Cultivator
  • Fixed Hedge Trimmer
  • 15” Articulating Hedge Trimmer
  • Jet Fan Blower
  • Snow Thrower
  • Sweeper

The 40V AC Trimmer uses a spring loaded detent ball to lock the shaft of each attachment in place. A plastic collar mechanism with hand crank to applies tension down on the shaft. This locks the attachment down without any play. I was skeptical of the locking mechanism at first, but it has held up well for me during use.

Pricing and Availability:

The Ryobi 40V EXPAND-IT String Trimmer is currently available through Home Depot and Amazon. Pricing online is $159.00 for the kit with charger and 4.0Ah battery at the Home Depot website. Overall this is an outstanding value for an out of the box tool that is good to go for any homeowner.

Cutting through tall grass with the 40V AC trimmer.

Who Is This Tool For?

The Ryobi 40V EXPAND-IT String Trimmer is a great option for a homeowner looking for the power of a corded tool with the convenience of a cordless tool. It is not a brush cutter and it is not meant for all day commercial use. The trimmer would be right at home for trimming around patios, trees, or hard to reach spots, but lacks the grunt of a true pro grade trimmer.

The tool world is evolving into cordless everything and the outdoor power equipment world is no exception. Let’s face it, after a long and aggravating day the last thing you want to worry about is if your mixed gas is still good or if your trimmer will spark.

The Ryobi 40V ATTACMENT-CAPABLE String Trimmer is a convenient tool that is well balanced and surprisingly powerful with an easy to load reel head. While I think the ATTACHMENT-CAPABLE locking mechanism has room for improvement, this tool is still a great option for making a homeowner’s yard work easier.



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.

All posts by Wes »


  1. Samantha Walden

    It works well for it to be battery operated.

  2. Mk Abe

    Just wondering how this Ryobi Brushed Motor model compares with the almost identical or very similar Brushless Motor model.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Typically the run-time is better with the brushless, and some power improvements.

      1. Mk Abe

        The brushless model is 40% higher in cost ($60), not sure it would be worth the additional cost for a home owner and non-professional.

  3. Bill W

    1st season using this model and I’m impressed. Use it at typical suburban house. Trim along chain link fenced backyard, around a deck, along driveway and sidewalk and battery is only half discharged when finished. Was prepared to be disappointed but was pleasantly surprised and satisfied. Battery life and ease to reload head with line make this a pleasure to use

  4. Porter

    I cannot get the handle to fit snugly. Is it supposed to be loose? If not, do you have any tips?

  5. Devin Sheppard

    At the end of the season last year I bought the brushed version and used it about 4 times for a total of 2 hours. Then the motor burned up. Exchanged it but didn’t use it the rest of the season. This season I’ve used it twice for a total of 45 minutes and the motor burned up. These things have power but they are junk.

    1. Wes Bartosik

      I’m sorry to hear about your negative experience with the trimmer. I have to disagree with you though. Mine has not been junk. In fact, I gifted it to my father in law who has used it for two seasons and he has had zero issues with the trimmer or the batteries. Still running strong.

  6. Steven

    I’ve read many reviews indicating that the Ryobi 40v string trimmer is very noisy. My only experience is with gas trimmers that required hearing protection. Is it that noisy as to require hearing protection?

  7. Eric Schreiner

    Used it one time for less than an hour and then the 2nd time I used it to keep scudding off and won’t r

    1. Wes Bartosik

      That’s definitely an unfortunate experience. I have had the opposite experience and the tool continues to work well.

  8. jrod

    Actually the manual recommends 0.095 cutting line.

  9. I’ve had this ryobi 40v battery powered weed eater for a couple years. Always worked well until just recently, it only powers about 25 % speed?? Battery is ok because i use it in my Ryobi blower also. Any suggestions?

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Could be the motor. Maybe call their service center.

    2. Steven Z

      After several years of use the viscosity of the grease in the shaft or string head may have changed causing additional friction in the string head or shaft. If you have the motor with brushes they may be worn and only making partial contact; check and replace as needed.

  10. I am a 5’3″ lady and just purchased this 40V weedeater. It is a little too long for me.
    Can I use only one of the 2 section poles to shorten it?

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Linda – I’m really not sure, if it had 3 sections I think you could remove a center section…but my gut tells me the upper section is connected to the power head and the lower section is connected to the cutter head…with no way to separate them.

    2. betty

      Iam only 4; 6′ so i would need to make the shaft for me also,it seems like know one thinks about shorter. I just bought one this year used it once and now it just sets in my garage toooo long of a handle,betty

  11. Mp4 Juice

    Just got my hands on the Ryobi 40V EXPAND-IT String Trimmer and I’m impressed with its ease of use and versatility. The expandable shaft is a game-changer for me, allowing me to easily reach those hard-to-reach areas without having to constantly adjust the trimmer. Definitely recommend this tool to anyone in the market for a reliable string trimmer!

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