Kobalt 40V Mower vs. RYOBI 80V Mower: Which One Wins?

Ryobi 40V Mower vs Greenworks 80V Mower

Kobalt 40V Mower vs. RYOBI 80V Mower: Which One Wins?

Maintaining a manicured lawn means investing in a quality lawnmower. The Kobalt 40V is part of Lowe’s proprietary line of power equipment. It is a walk-behind, self-propelled lawnmower suitable for small yards. You could technically use it on lawns of all sizes, but mowing would likely become an endless task on plots larger than half an acre. RYOBI’s 80V mower is actually a lawn tractor. Using it in a small yard would be impractical. However, if your property is large, it can be a better choice than the Kobalt – provided that you can afford one. If you can’t decide between a walk-behind or ride-on model, this comparison between the Kobalt 40V mower and RYOBI 80V mower might help you figure out which type is right for you.

Kobalt 40V Mower vs. RYOBI 80V Mower: Side-by-Side Comparison

Kobalt 40V MowerRYOBI 80V Mower
Best forYards up to ½ acresYards up to 4 acres
Operation modeSelf-propelledRide-on
Cutting width14 to 20 inches30 to 54 inches
Cutting height settings712
Cutting heights1-3/8 – 3-3/4 inches1-1/2 – 4-1/2 inches
Waste managementMulching, bagging, side dischargeMulching, bagging, side discharge
Battery40V (5.0Ah)3 x 80V (10Ah)
RuntimeUp to 30 minutesUp to 90 minutes
Motor typeBrushlessBrushless
Price$179 to $329$4,999 to $7,999
Great Warranty
Kobalt 40-Volt Brushless Lithium Ion 20-in Cordless Electric Lawn Mower (Battery Included)
  • Up to 40 minutes runtime per charge.
  • Mulch, rear bag, and side discharge grass.
  • Mows up to 0.5 acres.
  • 7-position single lever.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/02/2024 04:44 am GMT

Kobalt 40V Mower vs. RYOBI 80V Mower: What’s the Difference?

Finding the perfect lawnmower should start with an evaluation of your needs. How large is your plot, and how challenging is the landscape? Investing in a riding mower could be tempting if your garden is fairly large. However, driving a lawn tractor on steep slopes can be dangerous. Manicuring the lawn could seem more laborious with a walk-behind mower, but if it is self-propelled, all you have to do is help it maintain the direction. Regardless of the plot size, a self-propelled mower is the best choice for challenging terrains.

Mower Type

The fundamental difference between the Kobalt 40V mower and the RYOBI 80V mower is the type of machine. The Kobalt 40V is a self-propelled lawn mower suitable for smaller yards and challenging terrains. As a walk-behind mower, it can tackle slopes up to a 20-degree incline.

Not to be confused with the RYOBI 40V mower, which is a self-propelled type similar to the Kobalt, RYOBI 80V is a line of ride-on mowers. They are suitable for large yards of half an acre or more but less ideal for challenging terrains – these tractors can only tackle slope inclines up to 15 degrees, or they could topple over.

If you need a ride-on mower, you need to decide what type of RYOBI 80V you need. RYOBI has divided the brand’s line into lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers. A zero-turn mower is easy to maneuver around flowerbeds and trees and an excellent choice for lawns with curves. However, driving a zero-turn mower may require some practice. A lawn tractor is harder to maneuver around obstacles, and it may require you to pass over the same spots for perfect mowing, but is a better choice for sloped terrains. The front-wheel drive allows lawn tractors to climb inclines, whereas zero-turn mowers often lose traction on uneven ground.  

Deck and Cutting

Manufacturers built such different mowers for different purposes, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Kobalt 40V has a much smaller deck compared to the RYOBI 80V. The self-propelled model features a 20-inch deck that delivers good maneuverability in tight spaces, as well as ease of use. A smaller mower with a 14-inch deck is also available from the brand, but it is not self-propelled.

RYOBI’s 80V mowers feature much larger decks, from 30 to 54 inches. Models at the lower end are perfect for mid-sized lawns between half an acre to one acre. They are also suitable for mid to large-size lawns if you have to fit in narrower spaces. For a larger expanse with few obstacles, a larger deck allows you to complete the task faster. The 54-inch models typically suit lawns of up to four acres.

Regardless of the mower type, an important thing to consider is the cutting height range and height adjustments. Kobalt 40V can cut grass at heights between 1-3/8 and 3-3/4 inches. As a ride-on mower, the RYOBI 80V can’t go as low, but it can still cut at low heights of only 1-1/2 inches. The bright side is that you can go as high as 4-1/2 inches with the RYOBI, which is great if you want to keep the grass longer.

Ryobi 40V Mower vs Greenworks 80V Mower
Cutting height range varies between mowers, with the Kobalt model capable of cutting shorter than the RYOBI model.

Power and Runtime

Another obvious difference between the Kobalt 40V and RYOBI 80V is the power and runtime. With a battery twice as powerful, the RYOBI delivers true gas-like power – which is to be expected, considering that the battery has to move a full tractor. The runtime is also optimal for such a robust thing; you can expect around 90 minutes on a full charge, as long as the grass is soft and the conditions undemanding.

While the runtime drops when mowing wet grass or tackling challenging terrains, you can expect at least an hour of runtime. A nice touch is the mower’s compatibility with RYOBI’s 40V batteries. They won’t give as much juice as the original pack, but you can extend the runtime if you run out of power and own three other landscape tools from the brand – or, at least, three 40V batteries. You can obviously buy a separate 80V battery pack, but that would drive up the mower’s already expensive cost.

The Kobalt 40V mower has an expected runtime of about 30 minutes in ideal conditions and less than that if the grass is wet or if you have a tough turf type. Sure, half an hour is plenty of time to manicure a small lawn, but you’ll have to remember to recharge the batteries each time before mowing and avoid cutting wet grass.

Waste Management

While the RYOBI 80V and Kobalt 40V are two essentially different mowers, but they both dispose of the grass clippings in the same way. You can choose between side discharge, mulch, or bagging. The major difference is the way each mower accomplishes this task.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that RYOBI wins this round. The riding mower has a higher bagging capacity than the Kobalt, and it excels at mulching with its triple-deck system. In fact, this mower has a wide deck divided into three cutting zones. Each of these zones features a double-blade that cuts grass in a crosscut motion. In this way, the mower can easily shred grass blades into very tiny pieces.

The Kobalt has a single blade and an average performance as far as mulching is concerned. However, it is more suitable if you want to discharge the clippings, as it won’t throw them too far. While it might seem like not much, it makes a difference when you want to keep the waste away from your flower beds.

Hart 40V vs Ryobi 40V
Both models offer mulching features to improve the health of your lawn.

Build Quality

From a build quality standpoint, comparing the Kobalt 40V with the RYOBI 80V is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. The former is a push-behind mower made of alloy steel and with a decent construction. RYOBI 80V is a lawn tractor and is much more robust than the Kobalt.

Beyond the product category, RYOBI seems to have a higher build quality in general. The Kobalt mower isn’t Lowe’s’ most successful project. Lowe’s recalled the earlier version due to fire hazard concerns. They released a new variant in the meantime, but the recall left people wondering about the actual quality of this product. RYOBI also recalled some of its power tool batteries, but no recalls involved the 80V mower.


The factor that could really make a difference when deciding between Kobalt and RYOBI is the mower’s price. As a self-propelled mower, the Kobalt 40V won’t set you back more than $350. The RYOBI 80V is a lot more expensive, with prices ranging from $4,999 to $7.999, depending on the type and deck size. Zero-turn mowers are generally more expensive than lawn tractors, and this is reflected in RYOBI’s pricing.

Kobalt 40V Mower vs. RYOBI 80V Mower: Must-Known Facts

  • Kobalt 40V is a self-propelled lawnmower manufactured by Chervon for Lowe’s. It is ideal for small yards up to half an acre.
  • RYOBI 80V is a line of zero-turn mowers and lawn tractors. They are ideal for yards larger than half an acre.
  • RYOBI 80V mowers are powered by three 80V batteries, but they are also compatible with the 40V batteries used by the brand’s power tools.
  • The Kobalt 40V mower has interchangeable batteries that you can also use with other types of outdoor equipment from Lowe’s.
  • Both the Kobalt 40V and the RYOBI 80V can discharge grass clippings, bag, or mulch them.
  • RYOBI 80V is a better choice for large lawns, but its price could be prohibitive. You should also opt for the Kobalt 40V if you have a challenging terrain with slopes of over 15 degrees.

Kobalt 40V Mower vs. RYOBI 80V Mower: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

The Kobalt 40V and RYOBI 80V mowers serve different purposes, so which one you should get largely depends on the size of your lawn and budget. RYOBI’s 80V is an excellent choice for lawns half an acre or larger, as long as you can afford it. If budget is not important, you can choose from a zero-turn mower or a lawn tractor based on the type of terrain you have and the obstacles in your yard.

The Lowe’s 40V lawnmower is an affordable self-propelled choice for homeowners on a budget. It is best suited for smaller yards, but you might want to consider it regardless of the lawn size if you have to mow the grass on steep inclines. While you’ll have to walk behind it, the self-propelled function makes mowing a breeze. The only true downside is the runtime, so keeping an extra battery in your shed might be worth it.

RYOBI 40V DeWalt 40V

The Kobalt model is a budget-friendly option for consumers with a smaller lawn, while the RYOBI is best for lawns half an acre or larger.

Recent Improvements to the Kobalt 40V Mower and RYOBI 80V Mower

Both Kobalt and RYOBI continue to upgrade their products, with recent advancements including:

  • New cutting deck: Both models have upgraded their cutting decks by an inch, with the RYOBI model now measuring at 22 inches, and the Kobalt model measuring at 21 inches.
  • New mulching mode: RYOBI and Kobalt have recently included a mulching feature, allowing users to mulch with their grass clippings instead of collecting them in a bag. Using the mulching feature can help maintain a healthy lawn and reduce weeds.
  • New battery: The companies have also introduced improvements to the batteries of the mowers, effectively extending the battery life between charges.

The Future of the Kobalt 40V Mower and RYOBI 80V Mower

With the continuous advancements of both the Kobalt 40V Mower and the RYOBI 80V Mower, we can expect to see even more innovations to come. In the next six to 18 months we may see improved batteries capable of longer mowing times between charges, more powerful motors for increased efficiency, and advanced technology integration such as Bluetooth connectivity and app control. We may also see prices trend downward as competition in the market increases with the wider adoption of new technologies.

Great Warranty
Kobalt 40-Volt Brushless Lithium Ion 20-in Cordless Electric Lawn Mower (Battery Included)
  • Up to 40 minutes runtime per charge.
  • Mulch, rear bag, and side discharge grass.
  • Mows up to 0.5 acres.
  • 7-position single lever.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/02/2024 04:44 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the Kobalt 40V mower last?

In terms of runtime, the Kobalt 40V mower lasts about 30 minutes on a single charge. In terms of overall lifespan, you can expect it to last for years if maintained correctly. However, you’ll typically have to replace the battery every three to four years.

Does RYOBI make an 80V lawn mower?

Yes, RYOBI features a line of 80V mowers. However, they are riding mowers unsuitable for small lawns. If all you have is a small plot in front of your house, the Kobalt 40V or another self-propelled mower might be a better choice.

What company makes Kobalt lawn mowers?

Kobalt is a brand owned by the American home improvement chain Lowe’s and manufactured by Chervon, a Chinese multinational and manufacturer of landscaping equipment and power tools for various brands.

Is RYOBI Chinese or Japanese?

RYOBI tools are manufactured by a Chinese company, but there is a RYOBI brand in Japan, too.

Can I leave a Kobalt 40V battery on the charger?

You shouldn’t leave a Kobalt 40V battery on the plugged in charger for longer than needed. However, you can store it on the charger as long as you disconnect the charger from the power source.

Is RYOBI owned by Milwaukee?

RYOBI is owned by Techtronic Industries Co Ltd (TTI), which also owns Milwaukee and a host of other power tool brands. This makes Milwaukee RYOBI’s sister company rather than its parent.

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