Ryobi Electric Riding Lawn Mower Review (RY48110 aka RM480E)
If you want the convenience of a riding mower but without the added expenses of gas, oil, and maintenance, then the Ryobi electric riding lawn mower (RY48110 / RM480E) may be your dream come true!
In this review, we'll dig into what we love (and what we don't, being completely honest) about this mower so that you can make an educated decision to either buy this mower or keep shopping. But before we get into the details, let's start with a quick summary of the most important highlights.
Ryobi RY48110 Highlights
Let's start with one of the most important feature of any mower, cut quality. In general, electric lawn tractors tend to have a slightly lower cut quality than their gas-powered counterparts, but Ryobi's RY48110 stands apart from other electric mowers in this area. As long as you're moving at a reasonable speed, you should get a nice clean cut.
That said, larger gas-powered mowers do tend to be better a cutting so for commercial jobs for example you may be better off with a gas powered lawn tractor like the Troy-Bilt 420cc for example.
Pro Tip: with any mower, if you begin to experience cut quality issues, try slowing down a bit first to see if that helps. If that helps, you may need to sharpen the mower blades.
You can adjust the deck of the Ryobi RM480E to cut as high as 4.5 inches to as low as 1.5 inches (with 12 levels of adjustment in between) so another thing you can do if you think the cut quality is unsatisfactory is to bump the deck hight up a bit so it's cutting less volume of grass.
Speed and Agility
Ryobi's electric riding mower maxes out at around 5mph when in cutting mode, which is standard for most riding mower. But if you disengage the blades, you can go up to 8mph if you want to quickly get from one end of the yard to the other when you're finished mowing, for example. And if you go in reverse, your speed will drop to no more than 3mph, but it's also normal for riding mowers to go slower in reverse than they do going forward.
One handy feature this mowers boasts is cruise control, which is perfect if you have very long stretches of lawn that is flat with no obstacles.
I've ridden quite a few different riding mowers and although this one isn't uncomfortable I wouldn't rate it the best for ride experience. But that's when I compare it to more expensive mowers twice its price that are designed for hours and hours of mowing at a time. So for its price point, it does well.
For 1-2 acres (about 1-2 hours of mowing), I had no problems with comfort or anything else relating to the ride experience. If anything, it was a bit bumpy (I've heard other people complain about this too). Personally, I'm used to a slightly bumpy ride, but it's good to be aware of if you're used to very high-end mowers. The dual springs in the seat definitely helped a bit, and I like that the seat is adjustable since I'm taller than some.
I didn't have a chance to try this mower out on very long stretches but I was able to engage the cruise control for a bit and it seemed to work fine, no complaints with it.
Important: Compare All Four Ryobi Electric Riding Mowers
I remember back when I first was looking at electric riding mowers I narrowed down my search to the Ryobi brand, but then I got confused when I realized that Ryobi has has two very similar electric riding mower models plus two other zero turn electric riding mowers. I had been learning bits of information about each different mower model thinking I was reading about the same one!
So to help you avoid that same confusion and frustration, I'd like to set the record straight here and briefly explain each of the four Ryobi electric riding lawn mower models and how they're different.
First of all you have to decide if you need one of Ryobi's a standard turn mower or their zero turn mower (this is referred to as "drive type"). Unless you do a lot of commercial mowing, you're probably most familiar with a standard drive type riding mower which means you use a wheel to turn the mower just like you would in a car.
A zero turn mower uses two large bars or levers to control turns so you can be as precise as spinning completely around without going forward or backward.
Second you have to decide how much run time you need per charge. For the standard turn Ryobi models RY48110 and RY48111, you can get either 2 or 2.5 hours of drive time respectively (with a $200 price difference between models). For their zero turn models RY48ZTR75 and RY48ZTR100, you get either 2.25 or 3 hours of drive time respectively (also with a $200 price difference between models).
One more difference between the standard vs zero turn is that you get a 38" deck size with the Ryobi's standard models and a larger 42" deck size with their zero turn models. So with the zero turn models you can mow a larger area in less time.
Here's a handy table I put together to help you compare the models:
In conclusion, I'd like to mention a couple cool features that are just cool to know about even if they're not selling points.
There's a cup holder behind you and to the left (when you're sitting on the mower seat) that's pretty easy to access, and most water bottles will fit well into (except for some extra-wide bottles).
You can also charge your phone while you're mowing using the USB port, and there's even a little holder area for your phone so it doesn't fly out while you're mowing. Just don't expect to hear it or feel it vibrate while you're mowing, of course.
Still not sold? Here's a well done video that explains a bit more about the mower and shows it in action.
Got a question or want to share your experience using the Ryobi electric riding lawn mower RY48110? Leave us a comment below!