Going Green 101

Summer is here, and with that the weekly lawn maintenance days have arrived! When we built our house, we decided to add as many smart home features as we could and since we were doing this to the inside of our house, I realized I wanted to do this to the outside of our house too! So the version of “going smart” with the outside of our home  was “going green.”

In our previous home I was tired of going to mow the lawn and not having gas in the mower, or oil in the trimmer. I wanted to Go Green for convenience and so I no longer had to deal with the oil and gasses involved in the typical lawn maintenance products. I had never thought of it before, but realized I love my Green Ryobi power tools, why not look into their Ryobi Outdoors collection as well.

Here’s the number one coolest thing about Ryobi Outdoor Tools. ONE battery can power over 25 tools. This concept was both appealing and worrisome for me. I had heard from other corded electric mower users that gas had more power and electric didn’t perform as well as gas or oil lawn equipment. To be fair, these electric mowers were not cordless tho, like the Ryobi Outdoor Product Line. As I read reviews and looked at specs I came across a lot of “gas like power” type comments, so I decided to put my trust in a brand I love.

We started with the essentials, a lawn mower and trimmer. I decided to go with the 40 volt 20 inch brushless self-propelled mower and 40 Volt X Attachment Capable String Trimmer, I also went with the EXPAND-IT Edger Attachment. We purchased our mower, and my friends at Ryobi sent me the trimmer and EXPAND-IT attachment.

Before getting into the weeds with each item, I’ll start with overall first impressions. Each item came well packaged and opened easily. Parts were well marked and assembly was east, fast, and minimal. Almost ready to go right out of the box. The longest part was getting a full charge on the batteries before putting these bad boys to work.

 

So let’s first talk about the 40V 20IN. BRUSHLESS SELF-PROPELLED MOWER.

First thing I noticed was the weight; this lawn Mower is significantly lighter than a gas lawn mower, which should make for easier pushing, right? It weighs in just over 50 pounds. A quick google search of a top rated gas mower showed that they claim their mower is “easy to operate and weighing in at just 103 pounds”. So Ryobi is half the weight? One tally for the Ryobi!

Grass is long and ready to mow, after getting the lawn mower into “mowing ready” status in all of about 1 minute (the lawn mower basically folds up for easy storage) it was time for the much anticipated start up. OMG! Hold the bar down push the button and the mower is started, one hand and 3 seconds and its time to mow. With the lawn mower started it was time to mow. One thing was missing though, the loud roar of an engine. This had me worried; with gas you can hear the power. This Ryobi mower is just a gentle purr. As you can see in the pictures, the grass was in need of more than a small trim. I pulled the levers for the self-drive and charged ahead, it didn’t get any louder but it cut the grass clean and at a very comfortable pace. Gas like power, yes. Gas like sound, no. I got about 1/3 of the way through my lawn before having to empty the bag. I would say about average with a gas mower. One thing to note here, this mower is lighter than a gas mower, as the bag filled up the front wheels were hard to keep on the ground. Not a big deal but something to be aware of. I finished my back lawn in about 20 minutes and moved to the front. 15 minutes later, mowing was done and all on one battery charge. No adding gas to finish the front lawn? Another tally for Ryobi!

Next up, 40V-X ATTACHMENT CAPABLE POWEER HEAD.

I’m a wood worker, not a gardener. Maybe I should trim first, then edge, and then mow? Or maybe it doesn’t matter. For round one of my new Ryobi products, I mowed first and decided to edge second. Our house was brand new when we moved in, as was the lawn. It had never been mowed or edged. After easily attaching the X-PAND IT Edger Head, I picked my starting point and was ready to start the edger. Perhaps even easier than the mower, was starting the edger. It took about as much effort as starting my Keurig. Again absent from this experience was the frustration of pulling that string, priming an engine and hoping it starts. As I started to edge, I noticed the blade was getting bogged down some. In fact a few times, it stopped and I had to pause and then restart the edger. Again, I’m a wood worker, not a gardener, so this could have been because I had the blade depth too deep or because the lawn had never been edged and it had more to chop through to establish that nice clean edge. Due to the stopping here and there the whole edging process took about 5-8 minutes longer than a gas powered would have. However, the final product looked great.

Next up, lets trim. I disconnected the edger head and attached the string trimmer head. Super simple, and fast. You guessed it, getting the trimmer started was painless. While I noticed a difference in a gas powered edged vs the Ryobi Electric, the trimmer felt equal to the gas powered trimmers I have used. All except the sound, just like the mower, the sound from the trimmer and edger was a quiet purr. Trimming was fast; it trimmed as fast as I could move it.

I could not be happier with my new Ryobi Outdoors products. Gone is the frustration of getting a gas engine started. Gone is the storage of gas and oil, mixing the two if needed, trying not to spill it, and GONE is the smell of gas and oil in my garage. The smell of sawdust is sweet, old gas and oil not so much. Perhaps the best part of my purchase is getting to “GO Green” by reducing my carbon foot print, and I don’t feel like I sacrificed performance in the least. Having a Smart Home and an Eco Friendly lawn care system really makes me feel like we are investing in the right things to make our house the home of our dreams.