Ryobi 40V HP Brushless AWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Sharpens Its Competitive Edge
Ryobi introduced their first generation CrossCut lawn mower back in early 2021. It was definitely a huge improvement over its previous mowers but there were a few things we felt could be improved. Here we are a year later with the second generation Ryobi 40V HP Brushless AWD self-propelled lawn mower in-house and we’re diving in to see what’s changed.
- AWD provides added traction on slopes
- Excellent cutting power
- LED fuel gauge
- Much quieter than the previous model
- Adjustable thumb paddles
- On-the-fly drive changes
- One-touch deck height adjustment
- Very efficient side discharge, mulching, and bagging
- One-touch folding action for compact vertical storage
- Power boost mode gives you a brief jump in power in thick grass
- Made in the USA with global materials
- No automatic battery switchover (manual key switch)
- Clippings can get caught in the chute and make the mulching lever movement sticky
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless AWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Performance
Like we’ve seen in previous models, the Ryobi CrossCut lawn mower features a stacked blade system. This configuration provides improved cutting performance and mulching capabilities over a traditional single-blade mower.
We lowered the deck to 2.5 inches and ran it through some bahiagrass, taking off about 3 to 4 inches with every pass. Considering the performance of the previous model, we weren’t surprised when the brushless motor didn’t have any trouble and continued to eject clippings with ease throughout our testing.
From there, we set the deck all the way down and hit some thicker St. Augustine. As we experienced with the last version, the mower just kept on truckin’ and didn’t stop. It’s clear to us that Ryobi packed enough power in this mower to easily replace gas mowers.
Ryobi did us a huge favor by incorporating the mulch plug into the deck construction so there are fewer pieces to keep track of. Lift the two-finger lock and slide the selector lever on the deck to easily switch between the mulching and bagging function.
It works well, but we did notice that the mechanism is slightly sticky in its sliding movement. There’s a little bit of a gap that grass can catch in and make it tough to slide all the way to mulching. Just clear it out and you’re good to go.
The mulching function performed as well, if not better, than its predecessor during our testing. That’s a really big deal because the first-generation Ryobi RY401150 already excelled in this area.
Take those excellent mulching characteristics, combine them 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 a matter of minutes and it was both dense and full to the brim!
I did manage to find a few stragglers left behind when I fluffed the grass with my hand, but overall it collected the majority of the clippings and left the yard looking great. Add Ryobi’s optional high-lift blade to get the best bagging. It costs a little runtime, but you’ll get a higher vacuum effect to pull the clippings into the bag.
With such excellent bagging and mulching, it wasn’t a surprise to us that the side discharge was highly effective as well. Ryobi opts for a true side discharge rather than a rear attachment and it did a far better job of distributing the grass clippings than other battery-powered lawn mowers we’ve used.
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 a battery-powered mower. Getting down on ground level confirmed that it’s another area that has remained consistent from the previous Ryobi CrossCut model. There were a few straggling grass blades sticking up, but that’s typical with our grasses.
Ryobi tells us to expect up to 70 minutes of continuous runtime from this mower. We tested those claims on our lawn on a medium cut with dry conditions. Using the two 6.0Ah batteries in the kit, we ran for 59 minutes and 1 second. In optimal conditions, Ryobi’s 3/4-acre estimate is achievable.
An external LED fuel gauge sits on the rear of the deck and shows the approximate runtime remaining on the battery that’s active. Note that you have to flip the key around when your first battery is used up. There’s no automatic switchover on this model.
Ryobi continues to build out its Whisper Series with the addition of this lawn mower. It clocks in at just 71 dB(a) with the blades at low speed—1 dB(a) quieter than the impressively quiet Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 730 CFM Leaf Blower and 11 dB(a) lower than the first-gen CrossCut mower.
This low noise level makes it a great option for folks who live in areas with noise restrictions or in densely populated neighborhoods where excessive noise is unappreciated.
Ryobi 40V HP AWD Lawn Mower Design Notes
The Ryobi 40V HP Brushless AWD self-propelled lawn mower retains a similar Smart Trek technology to what we saw previously with a couple of key differences.
A small selector switch on the handle lets you toggle between RWD and AWD on-the-fly depending on your terrain. I found the AWD was exceptionally helpful when mowing laterally on hills. The additional traction kept me on my line so I didn’t have to fight to keep the rear wheels from slipping. You’ll notice there is a slight drop in speed when you engage the AWD, but you get better cut quality on those slopes.
Adjusting the Smart Trek drive speed to match your pace is also very easy. Just set the variable speed slider with either thumb and press the adjustable thumb paddles and you’re off! The change here is that Ryobi stiffened up the drive speed slider a bit and you can now adjust the angle of the thumb bars. Both are noticeable improvements.
Ryobi CrossCut Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Quick Comparison
Here’s a quick look at the differences between the first and second iterations of the Ryobi CrossCut self-propelled mower lineup:
|Ryobi RY401210 (Gen 2)||Ryobi RY401150 (Gen 1)|
|Deck Size||21 in.||21 in.|
|Low Blade Speed Noise||71 dB||82 dB|
|Drivetrain||AWD, RWD Smart Trek||RWD Smart Trek|
|Motor Type||HP Brushless||HP Brushless|
From this table, you can obviously see the added AWD function but the most surprising thing for us was the drastic reduction in decibels heard at the operator’s ear. We’ve seen this noise reduction in some of the other Whisper Series products from Ryobi so we’re excited to see this technology being used in other products.
- Push-button starting
- 21 in. durable composite deck is lightweight and resists corrosion
- Dual active battery ports (manual switchover required)
- High-intensity LED headlights
- 1-touch aluminum folding handles for compact, vertical storage
- Single-point height adjustment
- 7 deck height levels (1-4 inches)
- Works with all RYOBI 40-Volt lithium batteries
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless AWD Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Price
The Ryobi RY401210 retails for $799. Inside the box, you’ll find two 40V 6.0Ah batteries, a rapid charger, a collection bag, and a side discharge chute. Ryobi backs this mower with a 5-year tool warranty and the deck carries a limited lifetime warranty.
The Bottom Line
Ryobi took its first-generation CrossCut mower, added a selectable all-wheel-drive, and made some improvements in key areas that make using it even more convenient. The price comes up, but we expect that with the additional features. Overall, Ryobi’s design team has come up with a truly amazing machine that’s on a mission to eliminate any obstacles to using a gas mower.
Ryobi 40V HP AWD Lawn Mower Specifications
- Model: Ryobi RY401210
- Voltage: 40V
- Power Source: Ryobi 40V batteries (recommended 2)
- Motor: HP Brushless
- Drive Type: AWD and Smart Trek RWD
- Deck Size: 21 in.
- Mowing Function: Mulching, Bagging, Side Discharge
- Cutting Height: 1 in.-4 in.
- Max Runtime: 70 minutes
- Warranty: 5-year (tool), 3-year (batteries), 3-year (charger)
- Price: $799.00 (kit)