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Ryobi RY48ZTR100 review

The Ryobi RY48ZTR100 is a ride-on mower that's battery powered and made to last for big yards and beyond.

Ryobi RY48ZTR100 Review
(Image: © Ryobi)

Our 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.

For

  • Three hour battery life
  • Zero-turn controls
  • 12 height positions
  • USB phone charger and drinks holder
  • Plough attachment

Against

  • Expensive
  • Could be comfier

The Ryobi RY48ZTR100 is a truly electric zero turn riding mower that allows you to ditch the hassle, noise and cost of gas without losing the power or features – in fact you gain some here.

There are less powerful models that use a wheel rather than zero turn, if you want to save money, but for the top-end model from Ryobi this is it.

This mower is built to handle up to around three acres of land on a job before it needs a charge, or three hours of use on a charge. Ride heights vary allowing you to fine cut finish a lawn or high cut an overgrown grassland.

Despite being for larger lawns, this does allow detail cutting in against edging and even comes with a USB charger and holder for your phone along with a drinks holder to add to your comfort during the job. There's also an optional plough addon that lets you use this for clearing snow in the winter. 

Is this the best electric lawn mower for you? Read on to find out all you need to know.

Ryobi RY48ZTR100 review: 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 review: 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 review: 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.

Should I 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 ride on lawn mowers.