Take everything you know about Ryobi lawn mowers and throw it out—the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Crosscut 21-inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower is something completely different.
- Excellent mulching, bagging, and side discharge characteristics
- Excellent cutting power
- Two active battery ports (manual switching required)
- True 21-inch blade
- Rigid handle and frame design
- Softer wheels with better grip
- Super-easy handle folding system allows for vertical storage
- Bag easily passes through the handles
- Made in Anderson, South Carolina using global materials
- Self-propelled engagement button could stand to push in a bit further
- Speed adjustment needs to stiffen up
- Top-end speed could be higher
- No way to gauge battery levels on the fly
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Crosscut Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Performance
Ryobi really kicked up the power for the Crosscut mower thanks to a new brushless motor and controller. They also went with a stacked two-blade design that takes a high cut followed by a lower one. To test it, we dropped the deck all the way to its lowest height to see how far we could cut at the lowest speed. The mower didn’t stop.
So we kicked up the speed until we finally started slowing the blades down, but they didn’t stop turning. They certainly will if you’re cutting through high enough overgrowth, though. However, it’s clear Ryobi is delivering much more power than their previous models and seems to be leaving the other 36V/40V mowers behind.
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Crosscut Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Runtime
The kit comes with a pair of 6.0Ah batteries. Ryobi includes two active battery ports on the mower which are large enough to accommodate even larger batteries.
The downside is that you have to manually switch the power from one battery to the other. You do that by flipping the red key in the center around. The upside is that you know when you hit the halfway point in your battery capacity.
We did our test cutting in a combination of Bahia grass and St. Augustine that varied from light to heavy. During the majority of our cutting, the mower stayed at its standard cutting RPMs and only needed to kick into high occasionally.
Starting on the lighter side of the lawn and working to the heavier, the first battery stopped just after the 26-minute mark. After running through the second, we cut for 50 minutes, 2 seconds.
On lighter cuts, we absolutely expect to see the 70 minutes of cutting Ryobi claims you can get. For most regular maintenance cuts, we expect it to be closer to an hour.
The Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Crosscut self-propelled lawn mower does an excellent job of mulching. The pieces it cuts are much smaller than we’ve seen from their other 40V mowers and that helps it drop deeper into the grass more effectively.
Running my hand through one of the thicker sections we cut, I was able to pull out a few straggling blades, but the vast majority was around the soil.
Take those excellent mulching characteristics, combine it with high airflow and lift, and you get some of the best bagging we’ve seen from a battery mower. Cutting from 5 inches down to 3 inches, we filled the bag in about 8 minutes and it was both dense and full to the brim!
Not as many folks side discharge as those who mulch or bag. Ryobi includes everything you need to make it happen, though. Going with a traditional placement instead of a rear discharge, the mower did a great job of throwing the clippings out to the side.
Some battery mowers just kind of dump it in clumps. On the other hand, our experience was much more like what we expect from a gas mower.
As I looked back over thousands of square feet of cut grass, I couldn’t help but notice that it looked more even than what I’m used to from Ryobi. Getting my eye to ground level confirmed that it’s another area that’s greatly improved. There were a few straggling grass blades sticking up, though.
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Crosscut Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Drive Controls
Ryobi sticks with the Smart Trek name for their self-propelled drive, but the system is far difference from the self-adjusting system on the previous generation. It’s now more traditional with an activation bar and speed dial.
The bar doesn’t run the full width of the handle. You activate with either or both thumbs. We like the overall design well, but there is room for a couple of small tweaks.
We’d like to see the thumb bar push down a bit further. After mowing thousands of square feet of lawn, we found its position encourages some fatigue in our thumbs. The top end speed could stand to come up a notch as well. It was just a little bit slow, particularly as the battery got deeper into its discharge.
There are some other significant improvements worth pointing out as well. For starters, it’s now easier to lift the bag straight up between the handles and make emptying less of a hassle. The bag is also 10% larger than before.
Like many battery lawn mowers, you can store the Ryobi CrossCut vertically. The big deal is that they put the release near the top and in the center of the handle. It’s much easier to use than before and a big improvement over some of their competitors.
The tires are no longer hard plastic. They now have a more rubberized construction and better grip because of it.
- 7 deck heights (1.5 – 4 inches)
- Single point height adjustment
- Battery is compatible with more than 50 other Ryobi 40V products
- LED lights on the front
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Crosscut Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Price
Our test kit includes the mower, a pair of 6.0Ah batteries, and a charger along with everything you need to bag, mulch, or side discharge. You can get it from The Home Depot for $599.
There’s another model that shares many of the same features for $499. The main difference is it doesn’t have the Crosscut capability.
It’s also worth noting that Ryobi bumped their warranty up to 5 years, giving you an additional 2 years of coverage. The deck is covered for life.
The Bottom Line
We’re genuinely impressed (and thrilled) with how much of a jump in performance and quality Ryobi made with this mower. The design team set a high bar and the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Crosscut self-propelled lawn mower cleared it. There are a few small tweaks they could still make, but it’s absolutely in the conversation as one of the best battery lawn mowers currently available.
Last but not least, this mower is proudly made in Anderson, South Carolina using global materials.
Ryobi 40V Crosscut Self-Propelled Mower Specs
- Model: Ryobi RY401150
- Voltage: 40V
- Motor: Brushless
- Self-propel system: Smart Trek
- Deck Size: 21 in.
- Cutting Height: 1.5–4 in.
- Deck Height Adjustments: 7-position single point
- Warranty: 5-year tool warranty and 3-year battery warranty
- Kit price (2 x 6Ah batteries): $599