Deciding Between Makita vs RYOBI Cordless Mowers – A Friendly Buying Guide

Hey there! As spring rolls around, are you looking to ditch the hassles of gas-powered mowers and join the cordless electric movement? If so, you likely have questions around the options between industry leaders like Makita and RYOBI. Well, you‘ve come to the right place!

As your resident technology advice guru who happens to love tackling DIY landscaping projects, allow me to lend my insights. In this home battery-powered mower showdown, we‘ll be comparing Makita‘s self-propelled mower lineup to RYOBI’s exciting new 80V model.

Why Go Cordless Electric?

Before jumping to the brands and specs, what steered my neighborhood away from smelly, noisy gas mowers?

In my research, modern cordless electric mowers match and even exceed the performance of gas thanks to lithium-ion battery tech. The convenience of a quieter mower without smelly maintenance is a huge perk as well.

Cordless models provide instant push button starting without priming fuel lines or choking engines. And runtime advances let most mow for 30 minutes to a full hour without recharging.

Sold yet? What actually sealed the deal for fellow homeowners and myself was skipping oil changes and the year-round storage hassles gas mowers demand. Many cordless mowers neatly fold up vertically to tuck away neatly in a corner of the garage.

Now, let’s dive into the Makita vs RYOBI decision at hand…

Comparing the Makita and RYOBI Differences

Makita Background

Known for power tools, Makita formed in 1915 as an electric motor sales and repair company in Nagoya, Japan. They eventually began building their own electric planers and drills for both construction sites and home use.

Today, Makita employs over 15,000 people globally, producing over 100 million power tools annually! With a reputation for reliable, precision built products, Makita leverages innovative technology across their equipment.

In 2005, Makita launched their efficient LXT Lithium-Ion battery line which came to power their later cordless mower offerings.

RYOBI History

Founded in Japan as well, RYOBI has an even longer history originating back in 1943. Unlike Makita though, RYOBI didn’t start in power tools, instead manufacturing die-cast products, offset presses for printing, and other commercial machinery.

RYOBI eventually entered the hardware & tools market in the 1990s. Exclusively sold through Home Depot since 2004, RYOBI targets home DIYers and hobbyists with their accessories and 40+ power tool options.

Similar to Makita’s LXT, RYOBI‘s interchangeable ONE+ battery platform works across all their 18V and higher voltage tools.

Now for how these brands’ battery-powered mowers stack up…

Makita Self-Propelled Mower Rundown

Expanding their renownedcordless tool line, Makita makes both walk-behind push and convenient self-propelled mower models. Their mowers span homeowner-tier offerings to heavy duty commercial machines.

Within their catalog, you’ll find three distinct mower platforms:

LXT Mowers – Powered by two 18V Lithium-Ion packs for 36 volts total

XGT Mowers – Single 40V LXT battery for extended life

ConnectX Mowers – LXT models with Bluetooth connectivity

While getting technical, let’s decode some key electric mower specs and features using Makita‘s options as examples:

  • Voltage – Higher voltage battery systems equip mowers with more torque power. Makita uses 36V and 40V classes to spin blade motors faster for increased cutting efficiency. Similar to riding lawn tractor ranges.

  • Battery Cell Chemistry – The materials composing the anodes and cathodes within lithium-ion cells impact charging rates and total life over years. Makita LXT batteries utilize higher quality components certified for 1300 cycles.

  • Motor Type – Brushless electric motors have longer lifespans and run cooler than brushed motors. Makita designates brushless motors only for their commercial self-propelled mowers.

  • Deck Material – Steel decks hold up better overtime to impact and general wear vs molded heavy plastic. All Makita self-propelled mowers have rust-resistant steel cutting decks.

  • Cutting Width – Dictates how much grass area the spinning blades trim in a single pass. Makita self-propelled offer 18-21 inch widths for sizable cutting swaths.

Now onto the available Makita self-propelled machines and their capabilities:

Battery Platform36V LXT40V XGT
Weight with Battery62.5 lbs72.5 lbs
Motor TypeBrushedBrushless
Cutting Width21"21"
Cutting Height1.25 – 4"1.25"- 4"

The XML11ZG has lower commercial duty cycles suitable for residential yards. ML01Z handles heavy commercial use.

While I don’t have acres of grass, many neighbors lean towards Makita’s outstanding LXT line for our mowing and backyard needs. The interchangeable 18V batteries conveniently power other tools like leaf blowers or string trimmers as part of this versatile system.

RYOBI‘s Impressive New 80V Contender

Not to be outdone, RYOBI boasts an exciting new cordless kid…err, mower on the block. Joining their extensive 40V selection, the all-new RYOBI 80V Self-Propelled Mower turns heads with serious cutting power.

Let‘s review why I‘ve had my eye on this RYOBI model as an intriguing alternative:

  • Dual Blade Design – Unique dual 28cm blade setup for finer clippings
  • Powerful 80V Motor – More torque and efficiency than single 40V units
  • Ergonomic Handle – Comfortable grip and simplified controls
  • Quiet Operation – 70% less noise disruption than gas
  • 5 Year Warranty – Double the length of Makita‘s coverage

Cordless tools keep improving, so what mower tech advancements might come down the road? Based on emerging trends, here are my top predictions:

  • GPS Mapping Assistance – Automating speed and steering
  • Smart Detection Avoidance – Prevent obstacles like trees, fences
  • Battery Fast Charging – 80% in under 30 minutes
  • Solar Assist Charging – Hybrid solar battery packs

Exciting food for thought! But focusing on today‘s options…

To pick between available Makita vs RYOBI self-propelled models, let‘s compare the key factors:

Makita Self-PropelledRYOBI 80V Self-Propelled
Runtime (Est.)30-50 mins*60-90 mins
Motor TypeBrushed or BrushlessBrushless
Cutting Width18"-21"28 cm (11")
Mulch, Bag, Side DischargeYesYes
Battery Platform18V LXTONE+ 80V 5Ah
Warranty Length3 Years5 Years
Average Price w/Battery$550$700*

Price and runtime estimated based on current RYOBI 40-60V models

And My Mower Recommendation Is…

Considering the above, in my trusted opinion…the RYOBI 80V self-propelled mower takes the win!

I give RYOBI the edge for anticipated runtime, improved motor tech, and especially the 5 year assurance which protects your battery investment.

Makita certainly holds its own with renowned commercial duty options. But RYOBI‘s new 80V model seems positioned to surpass my neighborhood‘s needs.

While I‘ll miss Makita‘s LXT battery interchangeability benefit, the 80V RYOBI platform powers other OPE tools I‘ve had my eye on anyway. And who can argue with a quieter, greener mowing experience all around?

So if you’re seeking the best overall homeowner-friendly cordless mower, consider placing your bet on RYOBI’s latest self-propelled offering. Just make sure to wave hello when you see me relaxing on my front porch with an iced tea in hand while my new RYOBI mower does all the backyard work!

Hopefully this side-by-side analysis better steers your buying decision between Makita and RYOBI’s compelling cordless electric mower lineup. Let me know if any other mower questions come about! In the meantime, ready to ditch the gas can and join team cordless?

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