How to Start a Ryobi Cordless Lawn Mower?

The warm weather is finally here, and your lawn is looking a little shaggy. You pull out your trusty Ryobi cordless mower, eager to get the job done, but then… nothing. It doesn’t start. What gives? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! A lot of people experience trouble starting their Ryobi mowers, but it’s usually a simple fix. In this article, we’ll walk you through the most common reasons why your Ryobi cordless mower might not start, and offer clear, step-by-step instructions on how to troubleshoot and get it running smoothly again.

A Quick Overview

Starting a Ryobi cordless mower is usually a straightforward process. You simply need to ensure the battery is charged, the safety switch is engaged, and the mower is in the “on” position. If it’s not starting, check the battery level, the safety switch, and the blade engagement. We’ll explain these steps in more detail below.

Troubleshooting Your Ryobi Cordless Lawn Mower

Here are some of the most common reasons why your Ryobi cordless lawn mower might not start and how to fix them:

1. Check the Battery Level

The most common reason a cordless mower won’t start is a dead or low battery.

A. Check Battery Indicator:

  • Most Ryobi cordless mowers have a battery level indicator, usually located on the battery itself. This indicator will display the remaining charge.
  • If the indicator shows a low charge, plug the battery into the charger and let it charge fully before trying to start the mower again.

B. Battery Health:

  • If the battery indicator shows a full charge but the mower still won’t start, the battery might be faulty.
  • Try charging the battery for a longer period, as sometimes it may just need a longer charge than usual.
  • If the battery remains fully charged but the mower still doesn’t start, you might need to replace the battery.

2. Safety Switch

Most Ryobi cordless mowers have a safety switch to prevent accidental starts. This switch is often located on the handle and needs to be engaged before the mower will start.

A. Check Safety Switch:

  • Locate the safety switch on the handle of your mower. It’s usually a red button or lever.
  • Ensure the safety switch is in the engaged position (usually pushed down or forward). If it’s not, the mower won’t start.
  • If the switch seems to be sticking or malfunctioning, try cleaning it with a soft cloth or a bit of compressed air.

B. Testing the Switch:

  • To confirm the safety switch is the issue, you can try bypassing it temporarily.
  • Important: Always disconnect the battery from the mower before working on any electrical components.
  • Carefully inspect the switch and locate the wires connected to it.
  • Use a multimeter to test the continuity between the wires when the switch is engaged.
  • If the switch isn’t working, you will need to replace it.

3. Check the Blade Engagement

The blade on a Ryobi cordless mower is engaged by a separate switch or lever. If this is not engaged, the motor will turn but the blade will not spin.

A. Locate the Blade Engagement Switch:

  • The blade engagement switch is usually found on the handle of the mower, near the safety switch.
  • Look for a lever or button that needs to be pushed or flipped to engage the blade.

B. Activate the Blade:

  • Ensure the blade engagement switch is engaged before trying to start the mower.
  • To be certain, listen for the sound of the blade spinning when you start the mower.
  • If you hear the motor running but the blade is not turning, the blade engagement switch might be faulty. You can test the switch by disconnecting the battery and checking continuity with a multimeter. If it is not working, you will need to replace it.

4. Battery Connection

The battery and the mower need a secure connection for the machine to function. If the connection is loose, it can disrupt the power flow, preventing the mower from starting.

A. Inspect the Battery Connection:

  • Locate the battery connection points on both the battery and the mower. These are usually metal contacts.
  • Ensure the contacts are clean and free of debris. If necessary, use a soft cloth or a toothbrush to clean them.

B. Secure the Battery:

  • Make sure the battery is properly inserted and secured in the mower.
  • Check for any loose screws or clips that might be causing the connection to be unstable.
  • If you suspect the battery connection is faulty, try connecting a different battery to the mower to see if the problem persists.

5. Check the Electrical System

If none of the above steps resolve the issue, there may be a problem with the mower’s electrical system.

A. Look for Damaged Wiring:

  • Carefully inspect the wiring connecting the battery to the motor and other components.
  • Look for any signs of damage, like fraying, cuts, or loose connections.
  • If you find any damage, the wiring will need to be repaired or replaced by a qualified technician.

B. Check the Motor:

  • If you suspect the motor is faulty, you’ll need to have it checked by a qualified technician.
  • It’s often better to replace a faulty motor rather than try to repair it.

Keeping Your Ryobi Cordless Lawn Mower Running Smoothly

Here are a few tips to help you keep your Ryobi cordless lawn mower running smoothly and avoid starting problems:

  • Charge Your Battery Regularly: Always fully charge the battery before storing it, and avoid leaving the battery completely discharged for extended periods.
  • Clean the Battery Contacts: Periodically clean the battery contacts with a soft cloth to prevent corrosion.
  • Clean the Mower: Clean the underside of the mower deck and around the blade after each use to prevent grass buildup. This helps to avoid overheating and other issues.
  • Store Properly: Store the mower in a dry, protected place during off-season.
  • Regular Maintenance: Consult the user manual for your Ryobi cordless mower to learn about recommended maintenance tasks and schedules.


Starting a Ryobi cordless lawn mower is usually straightforward, but even with the simplest of machines, things can go wrong. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined above, you can quickly identify and fix the problem, getting back to enjoying a perfectly manicured lawn in no time! Remember, if you’re ever unsure about any repairs, consult the user manual or reach out to Ryobi customer support. They’ll be happy to help.


Q1. What are the benefits of using a cordless lawn mower?

Cordless lawn mowers offer several advantages over their corded counterparts. First, they provide unmatched freedom of movement, eliminating the need to constantly worry about cord length and tripping hazards. This makes mowing around obstacles and uneven terrain a breeze. Second, cordless mowers are generally quieter than corded ones, which is especially beneficial for early morning or late evening mowing sessions when noise can be a nuisance. Lastly, cordless lawn mowers eliminate the hassle of dealing with extension cords and their associated limitations, making them a convenient and efficient choice for most lawn care needs.

Q2. What kind of battery do I need for my Ryobi cordless lawn mower?

Ryobi cordless lawn mowers typically use a 40V battery system, which offers ample power for most lawn mowing tasks. The actual battery you need will depend on the specific model and size of your lawn. Ryobi offers a range of battery options, from compact and lightweight to larger, high-capacity batteries. To determine the best fit for your needs, consult the user manual or product specifications for your specific Ryobi lawn mower model.

Q3. How do I charge the battery for my Ryobi cordless lawn mower?

Charging the battery for your Ryobi cordless lawn mower is a straightforward process. The battery comes with a dedicated charger, which you can plug into a standard household outlet. Simply insert the battery into the charger and allow it to charge completely. The charging time will vary depending on the battery capacity and remaining charge. Refer to your user manual or product specifications for specific charging times.

Q4. How long does a single charge last on a Ryobi cordless lawn mower?

The runtime on a single charge for a Ryobi cordless lawn mower varies based on the battery capacity and the size and condition of your lawn. Generally, you can expect to mow for 30-60 minutes on a single charge with a standard 40V battery. However, factors such as mowing height, grass density, and terrain can impact the actual runtime.

Q5. How do I know when it’s time to charge the battery?

Most Ryobi cordless lawn mowers have a battery level indicator that displays the remaining charge. This indicator typically consists of a series of LED lights, with each light representing a certain percentage of charge. Once the battery level gets low, the indicator will signal you to recharge.

Q6. What kind of maintenance does a Ryobi cordless lawn mower require?

Ryobi cordless lawn mowers are generally low-maintenance, but they do require some basic care. Regularly check and clean the air filter to ensure proper engine performance. Also, inspect the blades for any damage or dulling and sharpen or replace them as needed. Finally, clean the mower deck after each use to prevent grass buildup and maintain optimal performance.

Q7. Where can I buy a Ryobi cordless lawn mower?

Ryobi cordless lawn mowers are widely available at various retailers, both online and in-store. You can find them at major home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s, as well as online marketplaces such as Amazon and Walmart. When choosing a retailer, consider factors like pricing, availability, and shipping options to find the best deal.

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