Ryobi 40V Backpack Blower Offers Impressive Power
We put the cordless Ryobi 40V backpack blower through its paces to see how it compares to other models in its class. The big deal is that it’s a 40V cordless model using a brushless motor to deliver its power and it doesn’t have a ton of competition. However, EGO and Greenworks are no slouches and create a high bar to reach. The Ryobi RY40440 needs to show it can compete as an effective lawn care tool.
- Up to 20.0 Newtons of force in our testing
- CFM and MPH are higher than EGO 56V and Greenworks 80V
- 23-minutes runtime on high using one 5.0 Ah battery
- Only needs one battery to run and both ports are active
- We measured a significantly higher decibel level than Ryobi’s 59 dB claim
- The flexible tube portion doesn’t allow full motion to the left across your body
- No hip strap to shift weight off your shoulders and back
Ryobi 40V Backpack Blower Performance
The Ryobi 40V backpack blower’s specs made us do a double-take. At 625 CFM and 145 MPH, the RY40440 throws down the gauntlet for EGO’s LB6000, the most powerful battery backpack blower we’ve tested to date with 25 fewer CFM. That’s right, Ryobi’s claiming more muscle than its competitors.
The other major player is Greenworks and they have several options. On the homeowner side, the 80V model is only slightly lower with 580 CFM and 145 MPH.
They also have a commercial line of 82V that includes 600 CFM/150 MPH and 690 CFM/160 MPH models. You need to go up quite a bit in price for those, though.
With our trusty force meter, we measured the Ryobi’s lower bound at 10.4 Newtons. That’s nothing to write home about – plenty of handheld cordless blowers can exceed that by quite a bit. But then we turned on Turbo Mode and measured as high as 20.0 Newtons. That’s impressive for a battery-powered blower!
EGO and Greenworks both use inline axial fan designs to reduce air friction in its delivery. Ryobi sticks with a design that looks like the cordless twin of their popular RY38BP gas blower. Despite any friction losses, the secret seems to be what Ryobi calls Crossforce Fan Technology—a dual-intake design that swings the air column around the motor and down the tube.
No one has a cordless backpack blower that directly replaces the power of gas models. On the low side of gas power, we see force readings at 26 Newtons and moving up beyond the 40-Newton mark for the most powerful. Cordless models require some behavior changes to deal with the lower power levels and runtime considerations.
High mode takes care of hardscapes and moves dry, broad leaves quite well. Smaller oak leaves are a pain in the neck and 10.4 Newtons doesn’t inspire much movement for the ones caught up in the grass.
For them and other stubborn material like wet leaves and debris, this Ryobi leaf blower’s turbo mode is a better option. When you hit the turbo button, it’s on a 2-minute timer. You can hit it again to restart another 2 minutes or while it’s in turbo to return to normal speeds.
There’s also a cruise control for extended use. The trigger doesn’t give you much finger fatigue and since you need to have a hand on the control stick anyway, we didn’t use it much. It’s helpful to manage your battery runtime, though.
Like other blowers, lower speeds are modestly effective. They aren’t very strong but offer sufficient control for blowing dust out of the shop.
The Long Run
Although the Ryobi RY40440 runs on one 40V battery and kits with a 5.0 Ah pack, there are two active battery ports for more runtime.
With that 5.0 Ah battery, we ran the Ryobi 40V backpack blower on high for over 23 minutes – not too shabby at all! You can approach 50 minutes of use on high without flipping a switch.
At full turbo blast, we ran the battery down in 10:52. Two 5.0 Ah batteries will net you between 20 and 25 minutes depending on how hot and humid it is.
Charging the 5.0Ah battery is on the slow side, but that’s typical for Ryobi. Expect the larger batteries to take several hours to recharge.
Listen to the Sound
Ryobi claims that this is one of the quietest blowers industry at just 59 decibels and that may be the case at the lowest power levels. However, with a decibel meter at my ear, the Ryobi RY40440 measured 75 dB(A) on high and 81 dB(A) on turbo!
While that’s much higher than the claim, it is remarkably quiet for the power level. We tested the Newton force several times because the numbers seemed too high for what it sounded like it was pushing.
The blower tubes connect to the flexible portion with the included clamps that serve to guide the control wiring from the motor to the control stick. The flexible part of the tube is a little too short, though. Consequently, you have an excellent range of motion to the right but you can’t swing very far to the left.
Fit and Comfort
Ryobi includes a frame, adjustable shoulder straps, a chest strap, comfortable back padding, and hip padding. But there’s no full hip strap, so your shoulders and back bear the 21+ pound burden instead of your hips. Each of us has a different fitness level, of course, and I started feeling the weight on my back after the 20-minute mark.
This Ryobi leaf blower has a 2-3 second ramp-up speed to full power. Considering the brushless motor’s electronic controls, this is almost certainly intentional. It could be to mimic a gas blower’s operation better, but our Stihl BR800 has a quicker throttle response.
Ryobi 40V Backpack Blower Price
Kitted with a battery and charger, the RY40440 will set you back $249.
- Ryobi 40V RY40440: $249.00 (1 x 5.0 Ah kit)
- EGO 56V LB6000: $299 (1 x 5.0 Ah kit)
- Greenworks 80V 2404802AZ: $329 (1 x 2.5 Ah kit)
- Greenworks Commercial 82V GBB 600: $249 (bare tool) + $96 (charger) + $231 to $1186 (battery options)
- Greenworks Commercial 82V GBB 700: $299 (bare tool) + $96 (charger) + $231 to $1186 (battery options)
Ryobi clearly has an advantage in pricing and it comes with a 5-year warranty. Combined with its excellent top-end power, that’s what we expect to swing it into the “serious consideration” column and overcome its quirks.
Greenworks Commercial is targetting Pros, so it’s not a big surprise to find their entry cost is over $500.
The Bottom Line
It’s a bit of a mixed bag for the cordless Ryobi backpack blower. It has impressive power at the top end and balances moderate power with good runtime on high. However, the lack of a hip strap and restriction across the left side of your body makes us adjust from what we’re used to.
However, its price is compelling and as their full line continues to improve on the performance side, it’s worth taking a look at for homeowner use. There is one other consideration, though. The updated 40V HP brushless lawn care tools are impressive, and you may want to see what Ryobi in store for updated blowers before pulling the trigger.
Ryobi 40V Backpack Blower Specifications
- Model Number: RY40440
- Battery: 40V 5.0Ah Lithium-ion
- Volume: 625 CFM
- Velocity: 145 MPH
- Noise Rating: 59 dB
- Throttle: Variable Speed
- Warranty: 5 Year-Limited
- Weight: 21.2 pounds
- Price: $249.95 (Kitted with charger and 5.0Ah battery)