Last year I reviewed RYOBI’s line of 24v outdoor power tools, and liked them all very much.  This year they have released the bigger brothers to last year’s models – the 40v monsters.  Now back then I had what could only be described as a “perfect” experience with the 24v string trimmer – eventually having to be incredibly nit-picky to find any flaws in its operation and design.  This was easily the best string trimmer I’ve used in a long while. I was able to find a few issues though, but none were big enough to stop me from giving it top accolades; mere small annoyances really – so was RYOBI able to keep things next to perfect while taking care of those small issues, or did they make a mistake by trying to fix what wasn’t broken? This beauty can go where lawnmowers can’t and if you’re planning to buy one then first check our shopping guide for best electric mower to bring home the best one to complement your string mower. While you’re at it, take a look at the best cordless drill to make even more of your tools electric.

Just like before, the RYOBI 40v String Trimmer is made by Homelite under the RYOBI name, and as such it uses the same bright as hell lime green color that is associated with the RYOBI name.  Maybe it sounds silly, but I actually like the bright green coloration more than some of the colors of my other tools – especially for outdoor tools.  It is just a personal preference though, and isn’t reflected in the final rating.  Another thing that is the same is that no one else in my house seems to understand how a string trimmer works – even when it is as simple as an electric one – which has left me to be the one doing all the trimming yet again.

That bit aside, let’s delve into what is different, shall we?  For starters, the robust 40v battery is a huge improvement over the old 24v model.  Now with the one I reviewed last year, I was able to do my small yard (remember it took me about 45 minutes to do it) on one charge, but couldn’t do much more.  With a ramped up battery, I had to ramp up the yard size – taking it from my urban city yard to the rural yard of my in-laws, a respectable three quarters of an acre in size.  Now I know what some of you are thinking – an overall larger size doesn’t mean that many more weeds that you can’t get with a lawnmower – right?  Well their entire lawn is surrounded by a fence that a mower can not get under.  Top that with a garden island in the middle of the back yard plus a shed and swing set for the grand kids, and you can see that I had plenty to keep me busy.

I was able to run the 40v String Trimmer for about 90 minutes before having to switch to another battery, which impressed me to no end.  Not only that, but I didn’t complain about it getting heavy the whole time despite the fact that the batteries are in fact heavier than the 24v ones (seems common sense there).  There are a few different things that I feel cause this to happen – one had to do with better weight distribution.  The 24v model was decently sized, but it was not balanced well when the battery was inserted.  The 40v model is a good deal longer though, and has the weight spread out better as a result.  The second reason I think I didn’t notice the increased weight, is because the battery holster is perfectly positioned that you can rest your elbow on it while running the trimmer.  I am not completely sure if this was intentional or not, but that takes most of the weight off of your wrists and puts it on your biceps and triceps – muscle groups more designed for a workout than your wrists.  There is a place on the trimmer to hook up a shoulder strap, but one isn’t included for some reason – I don’t know how much of an effect it would have on further reducing weight strain, but it probably wouldn’t hurt.  The last big difference I noticed it that the trigger is now a safety trigger, requiring you to pull a trigger on the bottom and on the top of the handle at the same time.  This makes the trimmer a bit safer in case you forget to put it away when done with it.

There are still a few other features that remain unchanged from the 24v version.  Things like the fact that you do not have to “bump” the bottom of the string trimmer to get more string out and the easy switch from trimmer to edger are right there like last time.  I really thought these were great in the 24v version, so I am especially glad that they didn’t remove them for no reason.  While the overall size of the 40v trimmer is bigger than the 24v one, it still splits apart in the middle for easy transport and storage.  The String Trimmer has a nice quick disconnect – just a few turns and it is all taken care of.  There is one final thing that is mostly unchanged, which is the charger.  It might have a different shape to handle the larger 40v battery, but it still takes a ridiculously short amount of time to charge a battery from dead to full – they say ninety minutes, but in my experience it took more like seventy.

Editor’s Rating:



 The Bottom Line:  Just like before, this is as perfect of an experience that I have had with a string trimmer – only now it is bigger, badder, and longer lasting than ever before.


  • Lasts a lot longer than the 24v model, which makes it perfect if you have a larger yard to take care of
  • Still incredibly quiet in relation to the other trimmers that are out there
  • Every con I listed on the 24v version has been completely taken care of


  • They put a place to hook up a shoulder strap, but don’t include one for use for some strange reason
  • Honest to God I can not list a single other con with this model – it works THAT good (which is more than I have ever said for any other product)

Like all other RYOBI tools, you can pick up a 40v String Trimmer of your own at the Home Depot for $169.00 – I think the Home Depot’s website needs updating though because it is not listed on it (even though the String Trimmer is available in stores).

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  1. This 40v trimmer has been a disaster.
    Line jams and breaks and will not feed.
    Rotation from trimmer to edger is a challenge to say the least.
    First battery won’t hold a charge despite minimal usage.
    Warranty repair unavailable because i couldnt find the receipt nor could amex come up with the receipt with enough detail.
    I will not buy another Ryobi product on principle. Its too bad because they seem to have some interesting products!

  2. Purchased a couple months ago from Home Depot and just today, it started to smoke at the bottom. I’m worried of starting it and it catching fire or something. It’s less than 6 months old and not sure why it would happen.

  3. just purchased a string trimmer p2008 I really like the way it works trimmer and edger. Very pleased.

  4. Purchased a Ryobi 40 v string trimmer. First time I used it , it stopped dead after less than 5 minutes. Recharged the battery and used it again. This time for about 10 minutes when suddenly it started to smoke and again stopped dead. Returned it today and purchased a gas trimmer. Sure hope this one lasts longer. I would not recommend the Ryobi 40 v string trimmer. Nothing but trouble.

    1. The one I bought works perfect, the 40v battery outlasted me, about an hour and it still had 1/2 charge left. Maybe you bought the lemon, ya think?

  5. I had the Ryobi RY40210 for 3 years. Had to send back for repairs at least 3 times during warranty. Nothing but a problem. Motor smoked and overheated after 5 minutes of use. Customer service told me not to use in high or thick grass. I guess it cannot be used if growth is more than 2 weeks old. My daughter also had the same problems with her trimmer. My last Ryobi.


    Add my name to the list of folks who had the trimmer-end motor go up in smoke after only about 4 easy, around the house only, uses. WORSE: The smoking motor somehow short-circuited the battery… and to my shame, I actually clicked in my spare 40v battery “just hoping” that it would solve the problem.

    Now I’m out $200 in batteries, as well as whatever dollars I spent on the culprit trimmer.

    STAY AWAY from this Ryobi tool.

    (full disclosure, I own 13 Ryobi 18v tools, two garage door openers, and 4…make that THREE… 40 v tools. Generally I love the brand. And until today, customer service (Anderson SC) has been fabulous…. but today they disappointed me by giving me the Heismann shove…. “Oh, you bought a refurb at our Outlet store? And you don’t have the original receipt? And you only had 5 hours on the tool, even though it’s about 14 months old? SO SORRY… but we can’t help you. And no.. we haven’t heard of this problem…”)

    Guess they haven’t read this review thread


      After roughly 3 years, ours just did the “smoke and short” the battery routine. This was not a refurb, but brand new retail. Tried to get a “tool only” deal to minimize my replacement costs, which is when I discovered the battery – which shows as fully charged – will not power anything.

  7. Has anyone had a problem with the 40 v. trimmer/edger getting stuck in edger mode and will not pivot back to trimmer….

    1. Yes , will rotate but very difficult. Also just took my 40V trimmer, 2 years old, in to home depot to repair a problem with the line continuing to release until it tangles. Have about 10 spools that the string welds itself within the spools and cannot be loosened to reuse. At the advise of the Ryoby ‘s 800 help line took to Home Depot for Warranty repair. $18.95 up front to leave for repairs within the 5 year warranty. 4 to 5 weeks for repair and sign a” waiver” type form advising of some $100 limit.?
      I liked the trimmer when it worked. The Home Depot guys were courteous .

  8. I just bought the 40V string trimmer because at 80 yrs old my gas trimmer was becoming too heavy. I have only used it twice but I must say that I love it. It is easy to handle, trims beautifully and the battery lasted during the trimming of my 1/3rd acre lot. I have numerous flower beds, a fence line and several trees to trim around. I was so pleased that I just bought the hedge trimmer. Have not used it yet but am looking forward to doing so. I did not have any trouble with the line on my trimmer feeding or cutting. I did get the bump trimmer because my salesperson did tell me that someone complained that the self trimmer was disappointing. I would recommend this product.

  9. Wow! I have rad all the reviews and I guess I am just lucky but I have not had any of these problems with my 40 volt trimmer. No problems at all, I like it, in fact just bought it again because my original (1 year old) unit was stolen.

  10. This is the second 40v Ryobi cordless string trimmer that I have bought. The first was stolen last year. The thieves got a good tool. I used it a lot. My only complaint was that it got heavy to use. A shoulder strap would be useful. Why a shoulder strap attachment point is there, but no strap included is disappointing.

    1. I too just bought a second one for the exact same reason. My garage was burglarized and you are correct, the thieves got a good tool. Lucky for me they did not take any of my Expand-it tools. (Hedge trimmer, edger, blower and hard blade weed cutter)

  11. I bought (2)- Ryobi 40 volt string trimmers in 2016 . The first one quit working after one use. The motor seized up and pretty lights flashed on the charger. I returned it to another Home Depot and got another Ryobi in exchange. The second one, same thing, got my money back. Ryobi dropped the ball on this one and Home Depot kept selling a defective product as I saw 2 laying in the return baskets. No way would I buy another one.

    1. Greg, thanks for the insight here. That is incredibly frustrating. And as a consumer, I too would likely steer clear of brand that came up bunk twice. I have to wonder if they got a bad batch, but buyers beware.

  12. What are the RPM and torque of this unit? I find my 20220 attachment capable model to be weak for work exceeding fan palm fronds and SMALL tree branches – would not cut through a 7 inch dead fig tree trunk. I’m thinking of buying a Kobalt 80 volt, but would like to compare the numbers before I spend $$.

  13. How can this review of 5/5 be reached with all of this ustomer experience with motors? My 40V trimmer is now a boat anchor. It suddenly started to smoke and then froze throwing off clouds of smoke all within a few minutes of use starting the second season. Home The Depot was no help. I had such high hopes when I purchased the Ryobi trimmer and blower in 2015. The charger for the blower battery stopped working. These products make me think of the printer market – one that sets up every buyer to spend even more $ on the ink and toners. I will not spend anymore money on Ryobi.

    1. What part of ti threw off smoke?
      Regarding the printer market, yes the similarity is there if you are talking about the batteries for these.
      String spools should be no problem. Just replace the head with a PIVOTTRIM HYBRID (string and blade quick change)

    1. YES!!!! IT is completely unusable. Every 5 feet the Line fuses in the roll and does not release out. Did you ever resolve this?

  14. Newby Shade Tree mechanic here. My neighbors says his 40V Ryobi cordless trimmer is broken, so I gave him some Round Up and my tank sprayer and asked if I could tinker with the trimmer. My first experience with an electric/battery powered trimmer. Charged the battery and the motor would turn, made no unusual noise, but would start and stop depending on the position of the variable speed throttle switch. So I dismissed the motor even though he had mentioned the motor over heating. The motor is at the bottom of the shaft, atop the string wheel. I thought I was going to get lucky and find a bad connection or a dirty variable speed switch, but the switch looks enclosed. I then proceeded to hurt my back, really bad and I am preparing for surgery. I intend on putting the top half of the trimmer back together and giving it back. I hate to fail and was prepared to replace motor brushes, but I just read that it may not have replaceable brushes. Any suggestions or constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.

  15. On the third use the motor smoked and died. Got it back from repair at the end of summer. Next season the motor works fine but cuts out after a few minutes. From then on it runs a few seconds and stops. Sometimes I can put downward pressure on the shaft and seems to help somewhat. Ordered another trimmer {minus the battery} that was factory refurbished and now it is doing the same thing. There is an
    electrical connection where the two sections of the shaft join that is likely the issue as it seems to have some wobble in it. Guessing some engineer at Ryobi had a nice raise with the 30 cents per unit he saved the company by using cheap connectors. Save yourself this aggravation and buy another brand.

    1. This is a bad machine and I knew it before I bought and was intrigued with Ryobi’s statements regarding run times versus gas powered machines. The battery runs out quickly and I have never seen one run 90 minutes continuous time. Maybe there is a trick to this that I wasn’t allowed to have however the first motor smoked and burnt also and the replacement I just installed burnt out with some material melting on the inner shaft just under the armature which has a two tones copper brass coloration to it. It will not turn at all and seems to have a friction lock on it now. I hate to think “I told you so and then” I did didn’t I? I don’t know the warranty issues on the new motor can anyone tell me?

  16. I just bought a ryodi 8 v. Cordless trimmer and i was happy i boufgt it until i had to take it back cause the first time the battery went out than i took it back home and it was running great until the trimmer line broke 3 times still continue and last than 1 hour the battery went ouut again .i bought a cordless so i can at least trim the yars so it i can kepp buzy scince i lost my leg . I was very mad

  17. I purchased the 40V trimmer in January of 2013. I recently purchased the three spool package (acrl143a) only to find that the center hole of the spool is too small to fit on my trimmer. The spools in this package have approximately half the indexing teeth as the spool that came with the trimmer. After multiple email correspondence with Ryobi tech support, their last response was that the ACRL3A single spool would fit my trimmer. I do not think so. Has anyone had a similar problem? Were you able to resolve it?

    1. Hi if your were on DDG 21 please contact me – I was plankowner on DDG2. Considering the 40V Ryobi to replace my old 875r Ryobi 4Cycle Gas unit.

    1. That happened twice to me the last time was a full burnout…smoke, smell, molten mental etc. This trimmer for me doesn’t do nearly anything it is advertised to do and I bought it from the advertisement which reported it would outlast a gas model for time of operation which was one of the statements which interested me. Not so…I knew it wouldn’t and it didn’t. This is a bad idea wrapped in mostly plastic. The edger is a frustration to get in place and when in place is loose fitting. THIS IS A BAD IDEA…DON’T PURCHASE IT!!

      90 minutes of operation?? Uhuh.

  18. I loved this trimmer after I bought the plastic blade kit to replace string head. (The auto feed never kept me with enough string.) Then, after maybe a dozen uses, the trimmer head started smoking and died one day. Despite it being used so little, I am past my return period to get a refund. Not sure if I’ll take a chance on another Ryobi product after such a short life on this one.

  19. I have owned the 40V one-string trimmer-edger about 1 1/2 years. I like it a lot, but the 0.65 string is not up tp heavier weeds. The inertial feed takes getting used to. I prefer bump feed, if not too sensitive. The lower handle broke off yesterday just outside the adjustment knob. I looked at a parts site and the handle is backordered. Definitely a weak spot that needs re-engineered. I thought I had no use for the trimmer and was going to cut the shield back, because it interferes with trimming to your right in tight spots. Then my wife spoke of a spot she wanted to use it, which means I will be using the trimmer after all. I’m looking forward to trying the two-string bump feed trimmer with heavier line. That’s what I would have gotten if it had been available two years ago.

  20. Just picked up a 40v string trimmer today. I had a 4 stroke Ryobi for 10 years, that just took its last breath yesterday and I went to replace it. The Ryobi Rep. was doing demo days at the local Home Depot and asked me to check it out the new 40v. I figured I could always bring it back, so I bought it. I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised to see how well the tool works. I like Horsepower and torque and don’t usually go the electric route as I have an acre of land that is hilly and has lots of edging and weed eating to do. About 50 minutes a shot. I put my old attachments on the electric machine and it preformed perfectly. Only time will tell as my in laws give me grief about not buying a “proper” power tool. Like butter cup, I will have to suck it up and tell everyone I bought it for my wife. Truth be told, I like it too!
    Two Thumbs up!

  21. Hi! I bought this unit two years ago. It has been great and I’ve used it extensively. Yes, sometimes the string doesn’t advance as well as it used to (spring for advancing it is getting worn), but lately, I’ve noticed that after about 30 or so minutes of use, it starts to “cut out.” I don’t know if the control switches on the shaft are having problems or what, but it has started doing that and it is annoying. I do put it through its paces every growing season but I also clean it up after every use because if you take care of your things, they take care of you. Has anyone heard of this “cutting out” (power cuts out) sort of thing?

  22. Regarding the string thickness. The box says you can use .080 thickness single line. The instruction manual says .065 or .080 twisted line. Is this the way its always been or did something change. Am I best off with the .065 or .080 string?

    1. I put the .095 string in works great… In Florida we have that heavy thick St. Augustine grass…the heavier string cuts it well..the thin stuff is a waste of time…also…when I put a new load of string on, I wet it down with motor oil or grease to keep it from welding itself and feeding properly…

  23. Are you using the two string model that “works with the attach-its” or the one string model that does not support attachments?

    I bought the two string model ($30 more) because the box claimed that it handled a full suite of attachments, only to get home and find that it only works with 4 attachments: a curved pole trimmer, a blower, and edger, and the included straight pole trimmer.

    I was p.o’d because it does not allow USEFUL attachments to fit like the pruner or hedge trimmer, and Ryobi dosent disclose this fact until you have read thru the manual inside the package. I do not like being misled. Blower?…sorry, i use a rake and broom. Curved pole trimmer?…oh yeah i’m gonna go and buy that tomorrow-NOT! and i suspect that the cultivator will only till the loosest of sandy soils. I probably wont buy one to find out.

    As far as trimming the weeds along the edge of the yard goes: it works good on my 1/4 acre yard-you can tell the motor is working hard, but it actually works well, and i look forward to not tuning up my gas trimmer 2x per season. Also much quieter than a gas model. I guess the capacity for thicker line over the one string model is a plus and may be the reason ii keep it. however:—RYOBI: please smarten up and make USEFUL attachments to fit this unit.—-

  24. You are not to be taken seriously as a reviewer if you honestly can not list a few cons about the Ryobi 40v trimmer. You come across as unknowledgeable or a shill for Ryobi. Here are a few cons I encountered during my first two uses of the Ryobi trimmer…

    1. Battery ceases to power unit if trimmer is held at certain angles.

    2. Cutting line supplied with unit is weak and breaks every 2-3 minutes.

    3. Line is supposed to self feed, but does not. I end up dismantling the spool to re-thread the line. This sucks to put it mildly.

    4. Tried to replace weak cutting line with a stronger .095 line to stop the constant line breakage and the .095 line diameter was too large to properly feed through the hole in the line spool although it would go through if forced.

    5. With the .095 line installed the trimmer’s motor quickly overheated. Now I see why Ryobi installed the lighter, thinner, weaker line on this unit. As so to not overheat the motor.

    Maybe there are a few more cons, but like I stated earlier, I have only used it twice.

    1. EDIT>> 1. Battery ceases to power unit if trimmer is held at certain angles.

      Upon further use I discovered that the battery was not the problem, but the torque of the motor would rotate the shaft causing the motor to lose the power connection from the battery. This is an ongoing and constant problem! I spend more time replacing broken trimmer line and twisting the shaft to get an electrical connection from the battery to the motor than I do actually using the trimmer for its intended use. Would not recommend this trimmer.

      1. I would not recommend it either, I spend more time re-feeding the line then I do actually trimming the lawn

    2. My 40v Ryobi overheated when I used the .095 line yesterday. Hopefully it still works. Will install the .065 line tonight and try to finish my yard.

  25. I wanted to like this trimmer when I bought it but the first time I used it, the line would not auto-feed. I had to stop every minute or two to open the spool housing, manually pull out some line and close it again. This is a common complaint it seems. The autofeed mechanism is not well designed.

    1. There is a button on the spool an if you push it in you are able to manually feed line. In order to auto feed you need to hit the rpm up and let stop. You can feel a slight click, that click is the popping out a bit. It usually takes 3 or 4 times I this process to extend to the longer line setting. I agree not best system but isn’t to bad all considered when get use to.

  26. How does the one string 40v cordless compare to a two string trimmer? I’ve used a homelite two string for about 10 years. Do I have to compensate for using 1 string or does it turn faster?

  27. Bought this two days ago, got to use it for the first time today. It’s my first electric yard tool of any kind. I mow about 3/4 acre of my 5 acre wooded lot. I edged about 40 feet of walk, and trimmed around a couple dozen trees and under the deck, and the battery was still at 75%. I then cleaned up about half of my 300 feet of road frontage, the battery was still at 25%, but I was at 0%.. lol. So will finish later.

    The .065 string is not as robust as the heavier .095 on my gas trimmer, but did fine. I bought a bulk roll, and 3 extra spools, but I doubt I will need more than a spools worth every few uses, not much more than my gas trimmer uses.

    I believe this trimmer will do all that most home owners ask of it, and then some.

    1. Keith, I recently got to play with the 40V chainsaw and will say it is like cutting with a gas saw. Not sure how long the battery will last with constant cutting, but the brushless motor design is great. In our test, we were cutting 4×6 posts and you couldn’t feel any bog.

  28. Love love love this thing….it’s a beast!!!! Answer to most of you inquiry’s of compensation. most likely he is given the tool to review it. I think that’s usually what companies do to get reviews.

  29. The string thickness is one con – it is only 0.065″.  I must admit that I have been spoiled using a commercial grade trimmer with much heavier line.  In all honesty the trimmer is more than enough for my 1/3 acre lot.  Another con is when using the trimmer for edging you have to stop the trimmer quite often to get it to feed line because the 0.065″ line wears quickly.  Other than that it edged very nicely – much better than I expected for a cordless model.

  30. Is the trimmer line any thicker than the 24V model?
    I am glad to hear it last longer longer per charge, does it have greater power/cutdown ability than the 24 had?

    I notice we are still looking at single string.
    FYI I burned up the 24v motor in short order.

    (Black&Decker had a Nicad 36V double string that was was short lived but looked awesome.)

    Also dito on danielg comment, are you compensated for this review?

    1. Been out of town or I would have answered sooner:

      No, the line is still the same thickness
      Yes, it has greater power than the 24v had
      Yes, it is still a single string
      And no, I receive no compensation for reviews – the only reason for a lot of Ryobi things going up around the same time is because I got all of the products for review at the same time.

      FYI, my 24v trimmer still works like a champ after using it all last year – these things happen :)

  31. When will the leaf/grass-clippings blower become available?   This blower will attach to the upper shaft of the lawn trimmer/edger.  The significance of this is that the residential user will find the reduced price of the blower to be quite attractive.   The blower will be low priced  because it will make use of the battery pack/handle of the lawn trimmer/edger.

    Hopefully, Ryobi will sell a package that contains both the blower and the lawn trimmer/edger  for a price that is way below the shelf price of what a stand-alone blower and a stand-alone lawn trimmer/edger would cost (same concept as what Ryobi is doing for the 24volt equipment).

    Bradenton Florida Lawn Maintenance Specialist

  32. Very interesting, multiple Ryobi reviews recently have followed the same format. Are you in any way compensated for your review?

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