This is going to be a very complete review of the Ryobi RM480e and RM480ex electric, cordless, brushless, riding lawn mower. This mower has been getting a lot of press this year and all the Youtubers are stating how fun it is to drive. The new owners are all stating that it’s the perfect mower for them. In fact on on HomeDepot.com it’s getting an unheard of 4.9 star rating. Even Consumer Reports likes the RM480e. But is it the perfect mower for you? Let’s find out if it is capable of replacing your current lawn tractor or small ZTR.
I am going to break this article down into three sections.
This review is over 8000 words so you may not want to tackle it all at once.
Using pictures I’ll go through each area of the Ryobi RM480e and explain what you get.
I’ll list all the reasons why this may be or not be the best mower for you and what to expect from it if you chose to buy one.
Finally, I’ll also go through some common questions that have been asked on HomeDepot.com and explain the correct answers.
Why should you trust my opinion?
I have been writing about lawn tractors, zero-turn mowers and snow blowers at todaysmower.com and movingsnow.com for ten years now and over 20,000,000 people have read and trusted the information there*. I also have experience with electric riding mowers over the years all the way back to the GE Elec-Trak. I currently own the Raven MPV-7100 hybrid mower. As an experienced industrial electrician I’ve also had the training and experience to maintain and understand batteries, electric forklifts, golf carts, and wheelchairs. This combination of experience and training will help me help you to understand the Ryobi RM480 and help you decide if it’s the right riding mower for you.
*based on WordPress Stats.
Where to buy:
The RM480 is available exclusively at The Home Depot. Here are the links to read more and buy. I do make a commission from the sale when you use these links.
When you first look at the Ryobi RM480 you will see a lot of plastic. But the plastic is just covers – like the plastic or metal fenders on your car. Underneath is a fully welded, rigid, tube steel frame.
The Ryobi RM480 is about the same length and a little narrower than your typical lawn tractor. Most of the weight is in the rear which makes it very easy to steer and gives it more rear traction than a typical lawn tractor.
The rear tires on the Ryobi RM480 are smaller than the rear tires on a lawn tractor but sized well for the width of the mower.
Ryobi RM480 is just like driving your car. Brake on the left, accelerator on the right and a comfortable steering wheel in between.
The seat on the Ryobi RM480 is not bad. It has a backrest and is padded well. It’s easily adjustable with the lever in front of the seat for short and tall operators. The spring suspension makes it comfortable for the hour or two you will mow with it every week.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the Ryobi RM480’s rear hitch is robust and part of the frame. It will handle your yard cart, dethatcher and lawn sweeper well.
The Ryobi RM480 rear axle is a steel axle inside a steel tube. The gearbox and brushless electric motor use an aluminum housing.
The rear wheels on the Ryobi RM480 are attached to the steel axle using a cast iron hub with four lug bolts. No keyways to line up or steel keys to lose if you have to remove a tire to fix a flat. This wheel won’t rust onto the axle like most lawn tractor rims.
I like this picture from Ryobi better than the one I took. The operator’s console is well laid out and uses commercial grade switches for long life. Everything is right in one place. The console even has a USB port and slot for your phone! Charge your phone and listen to your favorite music using your wireless headphones while you mow!
The Ryobi RM480 has a 12 position mowing height. The lever is solid and lifts the deck easily. There is even a green marking tab you can set to remember the height you cut the lawn. I like to raise the deck when putting the mower inside my storage shed and the tab will help me remember what height I mow at.
The rear drum brakes on the Ryobi RM480 are variable like the brakes in your car so you can use them to keep a constant speed when going downhill . They are fully adjustable for wear using the nut you see in the picture. These brakes are true brakes unlike the tiny disc parking brake found on your lawn tractor.
When you get your new Ryobi RM480 the battery may be disconnected. Flip up the seat and remove the black plastic cover under the seat. Push the two gray pieces together to connect the battery.
When you get the Ryobi RM480 there will also be a cardboard box. Inside the box is the mulch cover and the battery charger. Please read the operator’s manual on where to put the charger.
To charge your Ryobi RM480 plug the black triangular plug into the rider – it only goes in one way. Then plug the charger into a 110 volt wall receptacle. You can use an extension cord but the charger can draw up to 15 amps so you need a 12 or 14 ga cord less than 50 feet long. When the light is green on the charger it is charging.
The front bumper is small but strong
The Ryobi RM480’s Steering is robust and uses heavy-duty connecting rods and links. It has a heavy-duty welded steel axle and a strong automotive type front yoke and axle components. The front axle and steering is much stronger than I expected and better than the other riding mowers on the market. I like this steering a lot and it will hold up to many years of use.
New owners are saying the Ryobi RM480 LED Headlights are quite bright!
The Ryobi RM480 Mowing Deck is a two blade steel cutting deck with metal blades and independent brushless electric motors that power each blade. It is aerodynamically designed to side discharge, mulch and bag well. Consumer Reports has tested the deck and they state it mows very well.
The anti-scalp wheels are adjustable so you can lower them if you have a lot of obstructions that you may catch the deck on. These are not gauge wheels that set the cut height so you don’t have to move them if you don’t want to. The cut height is controlled by the 12 position lever on the left side of the operator’s area. If you have tree roots to go over adjust these so you don’t hit the roots and bend your mower blades.
The Ryobi RM480 Mowing Deck safety discharge cover is zip tied out of the way for shipping. Just cut that zip tie and it’s ready to mow. When mulching you can tie this cover out of the way. I don’t recommend that you remove it!
The Ryobi RM480 Mowing Deck’s motors are covered to keep grass and debris from clogging the cooling fins. On the mowers, I have seen so far the baked on powder coat paint is very evenly and will last.
The mowing blades on the Ryobi RM480 Mowing Deck are standard combination blades. They are a little lighter than the blades you find on many other lawn tractors but their light weight is a factor in making the mower battery last long enough to mow your 2 acre lawn. The blades shown are side discharge/mulching blades. Bagging blades are included with the optional bagger.
Last picture. I like this mower a lot and it would be a great choice for my one acre yard. I know my wife would love it for hauling her landscaping supplies because it’s quiet and there are no fumes from running a gas engine. It’s the right mower for me but is it the best mower for you? Click on the next page button below and I’ll go through a detailed discussion of who the Ryobi RM480 is for.
About Paul Sikkema
Paul Sikkema has been writing about snow blowers, riding mowers, and other lawn and garden equipment for over 10 years. Paul does most of his writing out in his workshop where he feeds the wildlife and birds in the yard.
He spends as much time with his granddaughter as he can.
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I need to get a replacement charger for my Ryobi RM4803. Does anyone know where I can get one? It is out of stock on the Ryobi site.
Hi Paul, Great review.
I just replaced all batteries on the 480e. Did this carefully and know they are in properly. They are not charging though. the Green light was on after i plugged it in. there was evidence of mice when i pulled old batteries out. (it’s a horse barn tractor). could mice have damaged charging wiring? If so, would the green light have come on when plugged in?
I need help! The rm 480e we have is wonderful but when I cut the grass the blades stop working after 20 minutes. The blades shut off but I can still drive it. I put it back on the charger for 20 minutes then I have blades again for another 20 minutes. What do you think is wrong?
Hi Cookie, What does the battery indicator say? If the indicator says under 20% charge then you have one or more batteries that need to be replaced.
If the battery indicator is above 50% you may have a blade motor that’s overheating or going bad. With the mower turned off and the key removed clean the top of the deck and get all the debris from around the motors (the black circles on the deck) Then look under the deck and make sure there is nothing wrapped around the blades or the shaft above the blade. Wire, string, rope, long grass can all get wrapped around there and cause it to bind up – overheating the motors.
If that is not the problem call Ryobi and let them help you troubleshoot the problem and help you get it repaired. https://www.ryobitools.com/support/contact
Do you happen to know what kind of plastic the Ryobi 32″ riding mower is made of around the PTO also known as the handle that raises the deck?
Hi Jacque, No I don’t. You won’t be able to find that out unless you talked to one of their design engineers.
Have you compared the Ryobi RM480E to the Weibang WB76E E Rider (both from Home Depot)? Consumers Report likes the Ryobi but has not reviewed the Weibang for an overall score. I have downloaded both operator’s manuals, so I know spec differences, but I don’t know which may be considered the better choice for my 1/2 -acre, mostly 15-degree property.
Hi Bob, A few of my readers have purchased the Weibang and like it because it’s small and you can tip it up for storage. But, I’ve also read that the battery life is greatly reduced mowing slopes and they can’t get 1/2 acre mowed on one charge. It takes 10 hours to charge.
So, I’m going to recommend the Ryobi for you. It has plenty of battery for your lawn, the power to go up the slopes and a wider footprint so it will be more stable when turning on the slope. It also has a hitch if you want to pull a yard card, etc.
Hello! I personally own the Weibang, have had it only 4 days and am looking to upgrade to the Ryobi. I am mowing about 1.5 acres in a back lot only; am using the EGO push mower from home depot for my front yard and love it! I am perfectly fine with the charge time, which was about 6 hours to be full, found it to be strong enough to mow through my grass and the speed was much better than me pushing as that is what I did before! My issue came in the stability or lack there of! I have a “flat” lot with no obstructions but 5 trees along a fence line, problem is I have a TON of natural ruts which of course are not visible under grass. In the 2 evenings I used the mower I nearly tipped it completely onto its side 3 times and rocked very badly countless times…all of which scared the shxt out of me! The wheelbase of the mower is very narrow in my opinion and simply can’t handle any surface other than something perfectly flat. If you have a pristine flat lot, it is a really good option. If however you don’t, then pass on the Weibang mower…I actually only bought it to save on a rider because I was holding out till EGO made a rider before I spent a ton…plan didn’t work clearly but I am also considering just continuing to push my 1.5 acres. If you can handle it physically, I highly recommend the EGO self propelled push mower, it is priced at $600 and I use it to mow my front yard which is 1 acre, doing so to get a cleaner cut and look that I don’t think a rider can provide in comparison; battery charges in 1 hour to full and the battery can be used for other EGO branded tools. Good luck!
Hi amf, I also have two old maple trees that I can’t mow around with a 30-inch rider. The crown is over 15 degrees. When I owned the smaller riders I had to cut that area with a walk-behind or string trimmer.
I went and read the Weibang operator’s manual and I was very surprised it did not include a rollover chart. ALL riding mowers under 36 inches should never be used on slopes greater than 10 degrees. Mowers 42 inches and over should never be used on slopes greater than 15 degrees.
I read and appreciated your review of the Ryobi RM480e. The information helped me decide to order one from Home Depot (using your link). I wanted you to be aware of problems Home Depot is having fulfilling orders. When I ordered, it stated delivery would be May 23. May 23 came and went. On May 24, I checked the status online and it said it would be delivered May23! I called Home Depot and was told they could not see the status and they would open a case to determine delivery status. On May 29, having heard nothing further, I called again, and was told they did not see a case opened, but they would open one. My credit card has been charged for the mower, I have no idea when it will be delivered, and Home Depot cannot seem to answer that question either. While the mower may be great, the sole source provider, Home Depot, is not doing well at servicing their customers. Since you are promoting the mower, and Home Depot, you might consider adding a note that deliveries appear to be inconsistent.
Hi Jay, I will not make excuses for The Home Depot. It appears there is a disconnect between the ordering system, actual warehouse inventory and the customer support center. That said,
– Do you have a support ticket number? The next time you call make sure you get that number and use it each time you call. I’ll bet like everyone else, Home Depot uses multiple locations for Customer Support and sometimes the computer systems take a while to sync up. Having a ticket number helps them to find your status easier.
– Home Depot has multiples warehouses located around the country. The Ryobi mowers are in very hot demand so it’s easy for you to order your mower and have all the mowers at your nearest warehouse sell out before your transaction is approved – especially with the sale they had last week.
– Finally, large retail warehouses like Home Depot’s are very dependent on logistics. In fact, Your mower may be on a truck headed to a warehouse and for some reason, the truck is delayed. Until that truck makes it to its destination and the shipment is offloaded at the warehouse it’s kind of in “limbo” and the customer service operator will not be able to see where your order is at.
I know this because I drove Semi for a few years before I moved to Wisconsin. Even though these warehouses are huge, they only have the room to keep 2 days to 2 weeks of inventory on hand. Most are “flow-through” meaning the inventory is taken off a semi and moved right into another truck headed for your local store (or shipping company if the product is shipped to your home) Someday, over a beer, I’ll tell you about the time the GPS on the truck broke on a four-day delivery. The trucking company and the warehouse I was headed for was in panic mode by the time I arrived.
Agree with your assessment. The mower just arrived! – no advance call or notice. But I found out that Home Depot did ship it on May 24 to the carrier. Although May 24 was after the date Home Depot had listed for delivery, it appears the delay has mostly been the carrier. Given that it weighs over 800 pounds, delivery requires more than a hand dolly, so there are additional logistics involved. That said, Home Depot is the vendor, and could use some better integration of their order management and delivery system in order to better manage customer expectations. Once I get it unpacked and charged, I’ll let you know how it works. The grass is in need of cutting, again.
Paul, where is this mower manufactured? I know Ryobi is a Japanese company but they make products in many places. Are the blades for this an aluminum alloy? It’s been a couple of years since this review, so any news on how well these blades hold up vs more conventional steel blades? Cub Cadet has their RZT electric on sale right now for a similar price ($2999) to the Ryobi 100 aH unit. Have you reviewed that mower or are you familiar with it? How does it stack up against this unit? Looks like Ryobi is also offering a ZTR version as well.
I had commented last year about Troy-Bilt’s lithium ion battery powered rider…looks like they discontinued it. Any idea why? It looked like a winner to me.
Hi Greg, The Troy-Bilt is now Craftsman, Stanley, Black&Decker at Lowes.
Ryobi blades are steel but lighter/thinner than what you are used to. Ryobi is owned by Techtronic Industries (Hong Kong) who also controls Milwaukee, Homelight, Empire, Hoover, Oreck, Dirt Devil, etc.
The Cub Cadet RZT S ZERO ELECTRIC ZERO-TURN RIDER is actually their LZT-S mower converted to electric. It is a lot more heavy duty than the Ryobi or Craftsman electrics. At $2999 the Cub Cadet is a great deal. I wouldn’t even consider the Ryobi at that price.
Would the rm480 pull a lawn roller? Does it have the power a hydrostatic has?
Hi Aaron, It’s not designed to pull anything except a small yard cart. Lawn rollers are too heavy for most lawn tractors and the Ryobi is just a small riding mower. That said, if the load you are trying to pull is too heavy the electronic circuits may automatically shut off the current to the motor’s transmission or you may blow a fuse in the drive circuit.
Hi Paul–In Common Questions #37 you answer “I strongly suggest that you switch to the bagging blades when you’re bagging. If you use the mulching blades for bagging they will not have the throw required to get the grass into the bagger and fill the bagger with grass clippings.” Can you use the bagging blades effectively when NOT using the bagging system or would you suggest switching to the mulching blades?
Hi John, Bagging blades will give you more lift than the mulching blades. I use them all the time because my lawn is generally poor and the bagging blades lift the thin grass and cut it. Mulching blades don’t have enough lift for me and I get a very uneven cut with them.
If you are using the mulching plug you may get some clumping and the grass clippings won’t be as fine when using the bagging blade. I side discharge all the time so the bagging blades work for me.
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I have adapted to cleaning the mower by dropping the deck to the lowest setting and using a high strength leaf blower (ego 580) to clear everything off and make certain stuff is out from the motor housings. Learned the hard way not to rinse with hose as then it clumps and is much more difficult to remove. Then i raise the deck as high as it goes and just use my gloved hand to feel and scrape the clumped grass off the blades and housing – amazing how much can get stuck! I have found this by far the best and quickest approach (open to suggestions though!). I reserve water only for clearing the tire tread or mud splatters on the frame when needed.
I noticed play in the brakes after 20hrs – but manual tells you how to adjust (I still need to do this as reverse has “run away” from me now) I do not see the required electronics to support regenerative braking (bummer).
RMO (reverse mow) button stays engaged for the duration of the blade engagement – does not have to be turned off/on each time direction is changed.
My powder coating was chipped on the rear of the frame. There is no stock touch-up paint to prevent rust. Had a “sample size” of high gloss exterior made at HD to use. $6ish. We just used a Ryobi box that had a large area of their green to color match the sample.
[in parts due to script error on posting]
Doing the math of amps and current; I’ve calculated that it takes roughly 12.5h to charge dead to full on the 100amp (charger max draw is 8amp, even though it’s 13a out) – which wood make you think <8hr) [time =amphours/amp throughput]. However I have gotten a battery reading of half charge in little as 2hrs on the charger (from the point of it cutting off the mower for low charge).
The charge gauge is all but impossible to read in any light, you have to cover it with your hand just to see the display; and it really isn't intuitive at all, as greater than dead but less than 40% has no illumination even. The hours shown are total operator hours – for tracking the maintenance schedule.
The original blades that shipped with mine were bent (during transit?) With one being lower than the mower deck. Glad I ordered a backup set at the same time; but now impossible to find more replacements.
Ryobi claims a canopy accessory, but no one seems to know about it.
I removed the side discharge chute, as I have no plans to ever use it. Cut the retention ring off with tin snips. 5/8" cotter pin (70c at home Depot) serves as the reusable replacement.
Have but have not used bagging assembly yet.
Debating if I would get a better mulching cut without the discharge assist plate on the mower deck – just seems to catch extra clippings when mulching (anyone have comments on this?).
Input current is 120VAC, output is about 54VDC
So, 120VAC * 8amp = 960W
13A * 54V = 702W. The rest of conversion losses.
[ in parts due to some posting script error]
I have the EX (100amp) version of the mower. My yard is about 1.5acres of constantly varying terrain – about half 10-15 degree slope. Somehow i got through the very first cut on one charge, but have not been able to again. So it pretty much takes 2, if not 3 charge cycles to finish the property. This depends greatly on the speed I go, and how thick & choking the grass gets. In the thickest of grass (all the rain this summer, only a week between cuts) the mower barely lasted 2hrs; on multiple common cuts days (no drastically wet weather during the week) I have gotten 4-4.5hrs from a single full charge.
I’ve towed the cadet 10cuft dump trailer with no issues – just bumpy.
All the weight on the rear wheels is a pro con. I have great traction as long as the grass is very dry and the ground hard. But i have spun out the rear wheels more times than I can count when the ground is soft. The treads on the rear wheel also quickly clog with clippings, effectively creating slicks – still trying to figure out the right answer on this one, just bought rubber chains to see if that helps improve things.
It can be very bouncy ride, do not trust the cell phone pocket or bottle pocket if this is you. Bottle pocket only fits your skinny 16z bottle size, nothing insulated or larger.
Question for you, or any other owner of the RM480e / RM480ex.
I am constantly left with a grass mohawk with this mower, forcing a 50% overlap in cutting, which greatly increases the duration it takes to get the job done (about 6.5hrs). When i line both mulching blades up under the deck, it appears to have an almost 1 inch gap – not the expected blade overlap to ensure even cutting. Does anyone else have this problem? If so, how did you correct it to maximize the cut width correctly? In need of some help here!
I have this same problem: A grass mohawk on the right side (the side with the mulching plug) that forces me to overlap. I suspect this is related to substantial grass clumping that I get on the underside of the deck (enough that I stop every so often to clean it by hand–with the mower off!). I’ve taken the mower deck off to clean it by hand and reattached, but I still get the same problem partway through the next mow. I’m trying to determine if there’s a simple fix or if there’s a need to contact Ryobi for warranty service.
Paul, IS there a way to charge the batteries without plugging it directly into the mower? It would be stored in a shed with no electric and 75′ away from an electrical outlet. Please respond to my email address.
Hi Jim, Not the way it is designed – but- each battery is a 12 volt. You could remove them from the mower and then use a trickle charger to maintain them. I use these for maintaining batteries around my home: BLACK+DECKER BM3B 6V and 12V Automatic Battery Charger/Maintainer. They are inexpensive and very reliable.
After reading through the manual, it’s not feasible. The way the batteries install is not meant to be quick or efficient. You are dissembling much of the mower backend to remove/replace them. I plan to run a buried electrical line out to my shed, but my stop-gap is a 100ft heavy duty electrical cord from the house; as the charger only draws 8 amps.
Paul – all of the photos appear to be missing. Is it possible to get them back up for this review? Thanks!
Hi Ean, Try again please, the pictures don’t load until you scroll into that part of the page. Your internet may be running a little slow which causes them to load slow.
Hi Greg, I have not been able to see one yet but it does look like it’s going to use many parts from the neighborhood rider. But that’s a good thing. The TB-30 has been a great little rider and using those parts will ensure you can get parts for the electric version for many years. (Cub Cadet will have a version next year)
My only concern with it right now is a 30-inch single blade is a lot for one brushless electric mower to spin. I’m sure it will mow your normal weekly grass very well but it may not do that well on tall grass. In reality that’s just a minor concern.
Price: The 1500 watt-hour lithium-ion battery is expensive. Most likely that’s $1000-$1300 of the cost. It’s 26 AH at 56 volts. To put that into perspective a 5 AH 56 volt battery for the EGO trimmers is $220! This battery has 5 times the capacity!
Is it worth it? Compared to the Ryobi the Troy-Bilt will mow for about an hour and charge back up in 4 hours. The Ryobi will mow for about 2 hours and charge back up in 10-12 hours.
Compared to the Ryobi the Troy-Bilt’s battery will last around 400 cycles – for most people that’s 10-12 years. The Ryobi’s 75 AH lead-acid batteries will have to be replaced every 4-5 years. JUst guessing the cost to replace the Troy-Bilts will be $1000-1200 while the Ryobi’s replacement cost will be about $550. I also expect the cost of lithium-ion batteries to keep going down like they have been for the last 10 years.
I’ll give you another perspective of the cost. I want an electric 4-wheel scooter that I can use at trade shows and outdoor demos. It needs to only go about 6 MPH but go for at least 10 miles on a charge. The “best” one I can find to fit my needs is Chinese made with a 10 AH lithium battery for $2100. I could buy the Troy-Bilt -take off the deck – and have over twice the battery capacity for just a few dollars more. And! It’s from an American company!
Hi Paul. I wanted to ask about the new Troy Bilt electric mower coming out that is using Lithium Ion batteries. Troy Bilt is touting the quick recharge time and says this mower is the first of its kind. However, the mower appears to be largely based off of their cheapest gas model which can be purchased at the large box stores for around $1000. In the electric form, the price is $2500. Is this unit a good buy or just a good idea that is a bit overpriced in current form?
Hi James, For 2 acres a 46-50 inch deck is a good choice. There are a few good ones that meet you under $2000 criteria.
I’ll list them in my order of preference.
Craftsman ProSeries 27042 46″ 725cc Kohler Riding Mower with TurnTight Extreme® & Smart Lawn Technology. Best engine, great cutting deck, best turning radius.
Craftsman 46″ 656cc Briggs & Stratton Riding Mower with Smart Lawn Technology. Good engine, great cutting deck, standard 16 inch turning radius.
John Deere E140 48 in. 22 HP V-Twin Gas Hydrostatic Lawn Tractor. Good engine, good cutting deck, standard truning radius.
Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series LT 46 in. 22 HP V-Twin Kohler Hydrostatic Gas Front-Engine Lawn Tractor. Great engine, great deck, standard turning radius.
Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series LT 50 in. 24 HP V-Twin Kohler Hydrostatic Gas Front-Engine Lawn Tractor. Great engine, good deck, standard turning radius
Hi Paul. I discovered your website just the other day and I’m so thankful. My home is on a mostly flat 2 acres and I’m thinking about going green with this mower and the benefits are very attractive and I appreciate your comprehensive article. To be perfectly honest, it’s a little bit above my budget and I wanted your option on some good gas alternatives below $2000. Thanks.
Thanks for your thoughts on this mower. Was curious about this mower and your comprehensive photos and comments have provided enough info to quash my concerns with an electric system and the benefits seem to be more than worth the price tag on this.
I’m interested in the Ryobi electric rider but it would have to be stored in and unheated garage in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. This winter it has gotten into the 20’s in the garage. Can the Ryobi electric rider be stored and the battery charged in this unheated garage?
Hi Bill, Yes, I do suggest turning on the charger once a month and peaking the batteries during the winter.
Hi Paul. Love your review of this mower. I have a 2 acre flag lot with about 1.7 being grass. I am considering this mower. Being a flag lot means I have a lot of long straight aways. Also have some mature pine trees along the property lines.
Wondering if it makes sense to pursue this Ryobi unit. Some folks online appear to have purchased it for my size lot, and give it positive reviews, but they never state how long it takes them to mow the lawn. With a 38″ deck I am worried that I could finish it faster with a large walk 60″ behind, and I wouldn’t mind the exercise. Perhaps a cheap ztr or traditional tractor would make more sense?
What would you recommend for the kind of lot I have, which is largely flat.
Hi Charles, according to my Acerage Chart the Ryobi will mow about 1.25 acres an hour. By the time you add in trimming and cleanup I would guess about 3 hours.
We’re getting close to that time for winter storage of lawn equipment. I’ve never had to store one before (this was my first year in the mowing world). I have a Craftsman push mower, riding mower, and weed wacker. Some suggest running them dry. Others suggest adding a fuel stabilizer and filling up. My questions are:
1) To run dry or not? What would you recommend?
2) If running dry is not necessary, what fuel stabilizer would you recommend to add? Should I fill up completely?
3) Is there any need to drain the oil?
Thanks a bunch, Paul!
Hi Joeseph, I use fuel stabilizer all the time – even when I run an engine dry for storage. It helps to keep the internal parts of the carb from oxidizing.
This article has all the tips: Fall Maintenance and Storage Tips From Briggs & Stratton
Hi Joeseph, I use fuel stabilizer all the time – even when I run an engine dry for storage. It helps to keep the internal parts of the carb from oxidizing.
This article has all the tips: Fall Maintenance and Storage Tips From Briggs & Stratton
This is a big help! Thanks, Paul!
How long does the ryobi electric ride along mower take to get a full charge from being totally drained?
Hi David, Overnight.
I am on the market for a riding mower, love your reviews, would love your thoughts on a couple things maybe? Do you like PoulanPro products specifically the PP105630 30” or the 42″ automatic from the home depot. I am 115lb female with almost an acre lot, and many leaves to clean up in the fall as we butt up to woods…would the 30″ suffice? Thanks! Did research on the Troys ie pony, bronco…and they haven’t been good reviews…
Hi Terri, I absolutely don’t recommend the 30 inch Poulan Pro Rider. It’s hard to use and hard to get repaired. I suggest the 42 inch. It’s a little wider but easier to use. The parts are easily available and most repair shops will work on it. Plus it mows ok. You can get a bagger or mulching kit for it for your leaves.
Paul thanks for the advice. Wondering now about your review on the craftsman 42″ twin…in your opinion the Poulan 42 or the Craftsman(although the Craftsman is almost $1500 from Sears….thanks for being out here to help us!
Terri, Don’t be afraid to spend $1500-$2000 on a lawn tractor. There is a big difference in build quality and long life over the $1000ish machines. I’d pick the Craftsman everytime.
thanks Paul…thing is, Sears standing in the universe is questionable at best…what would happen with the warrenty…if they go and I get my machine from them? Thanks again!
Hi Terri, Did you know Sears is building/remodeling stores? Of course you didn’t – the main stream news only wants you to know the negatives about Sears and other things that don’t agree with their viewpoint on the world. Sorry, that’s my politics for the day……
Three points you should know. I hope this helps.
1. Sears may or may not go out of business but that will not affect the repair/warranty and parts for Craftsman. The company who actually repairs your tractor is Sears Repair Services and the company you get parts from is SearsPartsDirect. These two companies are not part of the Sears that the news says is going under.
2. Craftsman is now owned by Stanley/Black & Decker. Sears sold it off in January. Part of that sale allows Sears to sell Craftsman products for quite a while but the sale also allows Stanley/Black & Decker to sell Craftsman anywhere they want.. I wouldn’t be surprised in the next 5 years to see Craftsman in the same stores that sell Black & Decker and DeWalt.
3. When you buy your tractor there will be a model number under the seat. If that model number starts with 247 the tractor is made by MTD and 90% of the parts are also found on a Cub Cadet, Columbia or Troy-Bilt. If the model number starts with 917 the tractor was made by Husqvarna and 90% of the parts are also found on Husqvarna and Poulan Pro Tractors. In addition, the engines and transmissions are made by companies that sell to all brands and you can get parts for them at any mower repair shop.
I love your politics! Thanks for letting me know this info…was at Sears yesterday and the folks in the lawn and garden are NOT any help concerning the machines but ask them about a video game and experts they become….Yoda!
Me again….is hydrostatic easier to maintain than reg belt driven unit? There is too much info out here for me….it seems Lowes has the best customer service as far as getting a machine out for repair if the need arises? If your mom wanted you to pick a unit for her to use (riding lawn mower) with a budget of 1400k what would you suggest…I am going crazy…thanks!
Hi Terri, Yes, this can all get complicated quickly.
The drive mechanism from the engine to the transmission is a belt. The typical transmissions are hydrostatic or CVT. Both the hydrostatic and CVT will need that belt replaced every 5 years or so. (depends on the slope of your lawn and the loads you pull with it)
Lowes is great for getting your lawn tractor shipped off to some remote service center. Some of these repair centers can be 50-150 miles away – getting it back can be a problem though. Many of my readers state it can take 4-6 weeks to get their tractor back. I don’t have a Lowes within 100 miles of me and I only hear from readers who have had problems with Lowes service so I’m really not the person to ask though.
I suggest any one of the first seven mowers on this list. Seven Best Riding Mowers Under $1500 for 2017.
Again, Thanks! You just confirmed my thoughts on the Cub Cadet xt1…appreciate all your help Paul! Cub Cadet it is!
Your articles are for sure the most helpful for the average guy looking to purchase a lawn tractor, so thank you for taking the time to write them. I am looking to buy a tractor and would like some advice. Use case: mow .5 acre, pull dethatcher, MAYBE plug aerator if I can find the right mower for the right price. It seems like the key to pulling the dethatcher and aerator is getting a quality transmission. I am willing to buy used in the Huntsville, AL area, but pricing the used tractors is not intuitive, nor is knowing the transmission in some of them will work.
Is there a “ranking” of sorts of the most popular transmissions that have been put into mowers? So that when I see Peerless LTH 2000, I know if it is good enough to pull a plug aerator? Few used ones I am looking at linked here:
There is also a Toro Wheelhorse within range: https://huntsville.craigslist.org/grd/6171082152.html
Is it worth getting one of these. Other plan is to buy a CC XT1 and a detatcher (Can it pull a dethatcher without trying too hard?) and just rent an plug aerator when I need one. Puts me at slightly higher price point, but new is nice.
Thanks. Hope you read this, lol.
Hi SDY, I don’t ever recommend used lawn tractors unless you know precisely how to repair them and maintain them yourself. The labor cost of having someone else get them ready to mow is too high. One minor issue and you will have more in one than purchasing new.
In addition anything more than 10 years old usually has issues finding all the parts. For example the Toro looks like it has an Onan engine and that manufacture has been out of business for many years.
Finally, most if not all of the tractors you list have a history of needing transmission repairs around the 400 hour mark. If the owner does not have proof that these have had the transmissions replaced you are looking at $800-$1400 for the repair.
Yes, the Cub Cadet XT1 can pull a 40 inch aerator or 48 inch dethatcher just fine.
I am in search of a new riding mower. I will be mowing about 2 acres, half flat and half with a fairly steep grade. I was looking at the Troybilt Super Bronco XP that has a 50″ cut and 24HP Kohler. Do you know how well this mower will hold and stick on the hills? I normally run a bagger as well. Sometimes on the hills, my current mower doesn’t do well if it is pulling me when the grass is damp. Thanks for any help!
Hi Justin, The Super Bronco won’t do any better than your current mower. I suggest the Craftsman Pro or Cub Cadet garden tractors with the diff lock.
Just found your web site and have the wife mad at me because I’m reading your articles, such is life, she’ll get over it.
Could not find where to ask the following question, so if it is in the wrong place, please forgive me.
I am located rurally near Crockett, TX. Have less than 2 acres to mow and have been thinking about picking up a Husqvarna R220t. the area that I mow is a very sandy loam make up, pretty flat with mostly doggy holes around. (With 5 dogs, doggy holes happen.)
I would appreciate your thoughts on the R220T and any suggestions you might have concerning maybe a different mower instead.
Thanks in advance, Bill
Hi Bill, My answer is going to depend on the deck your dealer offers with the R220T. If he has a model with the 48 inch deck then I’d say the Husqvarna Rider is a good choice. It will mow high enough to get over the holes.
If he can’t get the 48 inch deck and only has the Combi deck available then I suggest looking at something else. The Combi deck is only 41 inches and it can only be raised up to about 2.5 inches. (the Combi deck is designed for smooth European Lawns)
Thanks for the comprehensive review Paul. It drives me nuts when product descriptions don’t state what battery technology is used. I think you answered *all* the questions I had about this unit!