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Ryobi RY48ZTR100 review

The Ryobi RY48ZTR100 is well suited for those who want zero emissions, low noise and a low maintenance electric lawn mower.

Ryobi RY48ZTR100 Review
(Image: © Ryobi)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Ryobi RY48ZTR100 is a super riding mower that offers the quiet and maintenance-free running of battery power while still churning out the high power and wide cutting area of a ride on mower. Little touches like LED lights, phone charger and cup holder are great but the build quality is solid and performance consistent - earning that high price tag. The ability to add a plough for snow clearing in the winter really helps this earn its value.

Pros

  • +

    Three hour battery life

  • +

    Zero-turn controls

  • +

    12 height positions

  • +

    USB phone charger and drinks holder

  • +

    Plough attachment

Cons

  • -

    Expensive

  • -

    Could be comfier

The best electric lawn mowers will get your lawn back on track with ease. Whether you’re looking for features that help with getting through narrow edges or simply want to avoid the muckiness of refueling with oil, the electric lawn mowers on our list are all about power, convenience and sustainability. 

With its super convenient all-electric functionality and easy height adjustment, the Ryobi RY48ZTR100 is well-suited for homeowners with large gardens. It comes with onboard conveniences such as mobile phone charging facilities, cup holders and LED headlights. There is a helpful low-speed setting for the drive and blade motors, however, it may lack the same ability as a gas mower to cover unruly patches. 

Ryobi RY48ZTR100: Key specs

Deck size: 42 (in)

Battery: 7.5Ah

LED headlights: Yes

Dual battery: No

Self-propelled: Yes

Max cutting height: 4.5 (in)

Min cutting height: 1.5 (in)

Warranty: 3-year tool and 1-year battery

Energy Star Certified: No

The Ryobi RY48ZTR100 mower doesn’t really seem to struggle in its runtime which is a huge advantage and time-saver. The Ryobi mower runs noiselessly and flawlessly on approximately three acres of land, but the runtime is likely to go lower if the machine really has to work through tough overgrown lawn.

Lap steering is becoming extremely common even with electric mowers and Ryobi is no exception. The steering uses a zero-point system and helps with working in great precision near obstacles. If you prefer a high-end model and price is not an issue, then the Ryobi RY48ZTR100 mower is a great choice for you.

Ryobi RY48ZTR100: Design and build

  • 42-inch deck size
  • 100Ah battery
  • LED headlights
  • Four brushless motors

The Ryobi RY48ZTR100 zero turn riding mower is powered by a mighty 100Ah battery which drives four brushless motors. These are used to power each wheel and the two blades. 

The deck and frame are built from steel making them strong and long lasting. As such, you do get a one year warranty and a three year limited warranty on this mower.

The ride height of the deck can be varied as can the seat itself to find comfort and control over the cut. The dual handles mean you can get that zero point turn accuracy and these are covered in a soft mould to make sure they stay comfortable even after prolonged use. The saddle also has comfort offerings thanks to a dual spring support system that takes the worst out of the ride bumps. 

There is a built in cup holder as well as a USB port for charging your phone, which can be housed in a handy little slot space next to the charger port. 

The front of the mower features two rows of LED lights allowing it to be used at night too. This will impact battery life but barely noticeably since these are super low power LEDs.

You get a mulch plug and tow hitch but can add a grass and leaf collection bag as well as a side discharge chute for side firing clippings, should you want those. 

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Ryobi RY48ZTR100

(Image credit: Ryobi)
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Ryobi RY48ZTR100

(Image credit: Ryobi)
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Ryobi RY48ZTR100

(Image credit: Ryobi)

Ryobi RY48ZTR100: Features

  • 12 cut heights
  • Lap bar steering
  • Reverse and fast modes

The Ryobi RY48ZTR100 ride on mower offers an impressive 12 different ride heights to allow you to get the cut length just right. That ranges from as high as 4.5-inches to as low as 1.5-inches. This is adjustable using a lever handle located within reach so that it is easy to change as you mow.

The steering uses a zero point system which is controlled using to the two padded lap bars. These allow you to vary the amount of turn very subtly for the most accurate control. 

The drive train is capable of several modes including forward drive and reverse. But, rather impressively, you can also cut while going in reverse. There is also the ability to stop the cutting blades and just drive where the extra power gets you a bit more speed of up to 7 mph – ideal for getting back to the start when done.

The USB charger and LED lights deserve another mention as they're great little extra features that aren't always needed but will be appreciated when you're doing a long stint of cutting and it's getting dark.

Ryobi RY48ZTR100: Performance

  • True three hour use
  • Lots of power
  • Easy controls

The Ryobi RY48ZTR100 lives up to the claims that it can last for three hours. It does this easily and also keeps you aware of how long you have left with a useful readout display. This shows the bars of battery but also the time left – which is actually very accurate. When done you just drive this into wherever you have the 120V transformer charger setup, plug in and leave to charge overnight.

Power is now a problem here with those four brushless motors churning out all the juice you need to cut through almost any job. If you do hit a patch of wet or particularly thick grass and notice a slow in power, then you can slow down or raise the height easily to avoid a potential cut-out.

The bar controls are easy to use and, unlike some electric mowers of this type, aren't overly sensitive. That's not to say you can't drive very accurately, they just don't jerk the power on and off but rather distribute it evenly as you'd want. 

That 42-inch deck offers a large cutting area (twice that of walk-behind mowers like the Ryobi 40V 21-inch Brushless Smart Trek and Stihl RMA 510 V)  which does mean you get nice wide cut lines and it also means you don't have to spend ages going up and down, making it fine for larger plots of land. Perhaps it's not commercial grade big enough but for homeowners, it's likely more than enough while remaining small enough for storage.

Ryobi RY48ZTR100: User reviews

The Ryobi RY48ZTR100 mower scores an average of three out of five stars on Amazon. Negative reviews highlight issues with the battery charging capacity. Some users have praised that it works well with every battery charge and covers large patches of land with ease. 

I have used it every week to mow several acres of lawn. It has performed every task flawlessly.

Amazon customer

Should you buy the Ryobi RY48ZTR100?

If you want a riding mower that's hassle-free electric, goes for a good three hours, offers plenty of power, easy height adjustments and zero point bar controls, this is perfect. It'll even keep going with LED lighting at night and keep your phone charged up for music throughout.

If you're looking to use this professionally then you could go for a larger and more powerful model but for everyone else this is likely enough.

If you're still set on a gas mower, then check out our round up of the best gas lawn mowers, while those with big lawns will want to take a look at our guide to the best riding lawn mowers

If this product isn't for you

The EGO Power+ 21-inch LM2102 battery mower offers gas-level power while operating quietly with LED lights and for a long time on a charge thanks to the large 7.5Ah battery. This isn't self-propelled which means it's lighter than most and can last up to an hour, about a quarter of an acre, before you need to charge. Even then the battery will fast charge in an hour to full.

The Greenworks 21-inch 60V MO60L410 operates a dual battery system that gives you self-propelled power to make mowing easier and the battery lasts up to 90 minutes. The battery life indicator on the handle makes timing your cuts a breeze.

The Snapper XD 82V Max StepSense is a self-propelled battery mower that still manages to offer up to an hour of cutting thanks to its dual battery bay. The mower is smart enough to up power when needed in tougher grass areas and save battery on simple cut sections.

Luke is a veteran tech journalist with decades of experience covering everything from TVs, power tools, science and health tech to VPNs, space, gaming and cars. You may recognize him from appearances on plenty of news channels or have read his words which have been published in most tech titles over the years. In his spare time (of which he has little as a father of two) Luke likes yoga, surfing, meditation, DIY and consuming all the books, comics and movies he can find.

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