Ryobi RY48111 48-Volt Zero Turn Electric Riding Mower review

The Ryobi RY48111 48-Volt Zero Turn Electric mower offers a more eco-friendly way of dealing with your backyard from the driving seat, a rare feat for the best rider lawn mowers . Armed with both a 38-inch cutting path and three brushless motors, you’re sure to feel powerful when at the helm of this mower. And if you’re worried about power, you can rest assured that the Ryobi RY48111 is a capable mower, with one charge holding enough battery for two and a half hours of mowing, or two and a half acres to be taken care of.

It has a maximum speed of 8mph, so you can get your mowing done efficiently, and a maximum reverse speed of 3mph. It’s also designed to be ultra-quiet as it makes its way around your backyard, emitting only 70 decibels of sound (a normal conversation is about 60 decibels). That means you won’t have to worry about making a racket and bothering your neighbors either.

If you’d like more insight on what you need for your space, check out our guide on what to consider when buying a rider lawn mower . We’ve also delved into the difference between rear riding lawn mowers, lawn tractors, zero-riding lawn mowers, and more.  

Ryobi RY48111: Mowing experience

The cutting path of this riding lawn mower is 38 inches, which is the mid-range for tools of this type and means you should have a decent run when mowing, as the number of passes over your grass will be lower. The largest cutting path is around 54 inches and is best suited to vast expanses of land, meaning a 38-inch cutting path should suffice for wide spaces.

The 12-position manual deck adjustments range from 1.5 inches to 4.5 inches so that you can get the cleanest cut possible. And it’s easy to adjust between these positions too so that different sections of your yard can be cut to different heights. You could even have a go at creating lawn stripes if you fancy. 

The turning radius of the Ryobi RY48111 is 16 inches, which is ideal for making tight corners. Combined with this model’s zero-turn technology, avoiding obstacles and hazards should be extremely easy with this mower, and make you feel reassured behind the wheel. If you have lots of flowerbeds and trees within your garden, this zero-turn feature is a must-have for you.

The Ryobi RY48111 also has an excellent onboard control panel that allows you to engage the blades, operate the LED headlights, check your mower’s battery level, and turn on cruise control. While the use of a control panel is more hands-on than a pedal-operated system, it does give a greater level of customization to the riding mower experience. 

The LED headlights on this model also mean it’s suitable for use at dawn or dusk, so if you need to get the lawn mowed before you get on with your day, you can. You should never mow in complete darkness, however, with these headlights only designed for when it’s partially light.

 Ryobi RY48111: Main features  

The main draw of the Ryobi RY48111 is that it doesn’t rely on gas at all. Rather, it uses two 100Ah batteries in order to mow smoothly and manages an impressive two and a half hours run time. It also has an easy access port for convenient overnight charging so that you can climb on board the next day if you needed to. This battery-powered riding mower has zero emissions, which is great for anyone who wants to make an effort to be more environmentally friendly. It should also spell lower maintenance and lower costs in the long run, with no fumes, belts, spark plugs, or filters to repair. 

Getting down the cutting performance of this model, the twin-blade steel blades aim to be precise enough to get the perfect height for your lawn, while the reinforced 12 gauge steel deck and rugged frame can withstand rigorous mowing jobs. The zero-turn technology will be a lifesaver for getting around the tightest spots in your yard, with a responsive and intuitive steering setup. 

The Ryobi RY48111 also has options for mulching, side-discharge, and bagging. These are versatile features and will make pruning your lawn to perfection much easier, alongside tools like the best electric weed eaters . The warranty for this model covers up to three years, which is a good amount of time compared to other similar models. Given that this is an electric riding lawn mower, you can probably expect to run into fewer maintenance problems in the future too. 

Ryobi RY48111: User reviews

The Ryobi RY48111 has a 4.5-star rating out of five on Home Depot, gathered from 1,577 reviews at the time of writing. 87% of those reviewers would recommend this mower, with many commenting on the quiet running and long battery life of this model. 

One impressed reviewer commented: “I had a tractor and zero turn before this but both of those needed maintenance and were super loud. This Ryobi mower is perfect in that it does it all.”, even adding that “My wife and I fight over who gets to ride it”. Another happy customer said that it was a “Quiet mower. Easy to maneuver”. They added that you can “charge your phone and listen to music while you work, with the quiet motor you can actually hear your tunes”. 

Those less taken with the Ryobi RY48111 mentioned that the “seat could be a little more comfortable”, with one reviewer saying it was a “harsh ride on the smaller tires”. They went on to explain that “It’s a pleasure on a nicely manicured lawn but a bit torturous if you have more of an unmanicured meadow or field”, which is worth bearing in mind if you have a rougher type of terrain.

Should you buy the Ryobi RY48111 riding mower?

If you want to have a greener riding lawn mower experience, and deal with less maintenance and costs as a result, then the Ryobi RY48111 is the one for you. Combining ease of use, power, a decent cutting path, and excellent no-turn technology, by all accounts this mower is intuitive and fun to use. Your neighbors will be sure to thank you for the quiet running of this mower too, with the built-in control panel allowing you to have a more pleasant riding lawn mower experience.

If you would prefer a more traditional riding mower, why not check out our top pick the John Deere E180 Lawn Tractor , or the Cub Cadet RZT-L Zero Turn Riding Mower , which is ultra-powerful.