You may notice the mower isn’t cutting as nice as it once did. It is not a little uneven and leaves the lawn looking bad after mowing.
A RYOBI electric mower may have a bad or uneven cut due to a damaged or loose wheel; dull, bent, or worn mower blade; wrong mower deck height; fast ground speed, or plugged mower deck.
Additionally, electric zero-turn models may have a low tire pressure or the mower deck may be unlevel.
Follow all safety precautions found in your operator’s manual including shutting off the mower, removing the battery, removing the safety key, and waiting for all parts to stop moving before troubleshooting.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Your RYOBI Electric Battery-Powered Mower Cuts Uneven
1. Damaged Wheel or Low Tire Pressure
If the wheel or tire is no longer in good condition, it must be repaired or replaced. A damaged or low tire (zero-turn model) will cause the mower deck to sit lower to the ground on one side of the deck.
This will cause give your lawn an uneven cut.
- Walk-behind mower: Tighten the hardware on a loose wheel. Replace a damaged wheel.
- Zero-turn mower: Check the tire pressures on the drive wheels and add air to a low tire. Inspect the castor wheels for damage and replace them if needed.
2. Mower Blade is Worn or Dull
Once you have confirmed the wheels are in good condition, look at the RYOBI mower blade.
When the blade becomes worn, it won’t make a good cut through the grass. A worn blade will just end up tearing the ends of the grass.
You may notice this when your lawn turns brown a day or two after you mow. The tips of the grass turn brown because the grass is being beaten up and torn by a dull blade.
This is a good indication the blade requires sharpening.
On wide format mower decks using multiple blades, the blades can become so worn they leave a strip of grass between the blades.
SOLUTION: Remove your RYOBI electric mower blade and sharpen it with a file if they are still in good condition.
When the blade isn’t in good condition because it is extremely worn, has gouges, has rounded blade ends, or the blade sail is thinner than the center of the blade, replace it with a new mower blade.
Balance the RYOBI mower blade
Make sure the blade is balanced with equal weight on both ends of the blade. A blade can become out of balance when the blade has become unevenly worn by sand that gets sucked into the underside of the mower deck.
Another way a RYOBI blade becomes uneven is during the sharpening process. When more metal is removed from one end of the blade than the other, the blade becomes unbalanced.
Check your blade balance using a blade balancer. A balancer is relatively inexpensive. It’s worth the investment because an unbalanced blade may cause significant damage to your RYOBI mower.
Another method to check for a balanced blade is by hanging the blade on a nail that is mounted to your wall with the nail head sticking out of the wall about 3/4″ to 1″.
You will need to remove metal from the end of the blade that is hanging lower until the blade sits level.
3. Bent Mower Blade
When your blade impacts a solid object like a rock, stump, or toy, it can bend causing your RYOBI mower to give a bad cut.
To prevent damage to the blade, it’s a good idea to walk the lawn before mowing to make sure there’s nothing you may run over causing damage to the mower.
A bent blade will cause an uneven cut. It can also cause your mower to start vibrating. Even the slightest bend can cause a vibration and uneven cut.
Make sure your mower is parked on a flat-level surface and remove the battery pack(s) and safety key. Wait for all moving parts to stop moving before working under the mower deck.
- Check for a Bent RYOBI Mower Blade By Removing the Blade
Remove the blade and lay it on top of a new RYOBI mower blade. This is the best way to verify whether or not your blade is bent. Even a very slight bend can cause a bad cut.
NEVER attempt to straighten a bent mower blade to reuse it. When you do this, the metal is compromised and becomes weakened.
It is possible for the weakened area to break off and fly out of your mower deck at high speeds. This could cause injury or damage to people, pets, or objects in the area.
4. Mower Blade is Installed Incorrectly
You can damage your RYOBI electric mower by using the wrong blade or installing it incorrectly. Make sure the blade is installed with the sail in the up position.
The sails are the high sides of the blade that help create air movement to toss the grass. When the blade is installed with the sail facing the ground, damage can occur to the blade motor.
Instead of cutting the grass evenly, the upside-down blade will beat up and tear your grass. It can potentially hit high spots in the ground causing impact to the blade and potential damage to the motor.
5. Blade is Not Tight
When the blade is not securely attached, the blade will fail to rotate causing your electric mower not to cut the grass. Refer to your operator’s manual for the right torque specs for the blade bolt and tighten accordingly.
6. Cutting Height Setting
You can end up with an uneven cut when your mower deck is set too low and it isn’t able to handle the amount of grass without compromising the cut.
Adjust the mower deck height to a higher setting when cutting thick tall grass so you don’t overwork the motor.
When the grass is tall or thick, double-cut or triple-cut your lawn. This is done by setting the mower deck to the highest setting for the first cut.
Lower the deck height for each additional cutting until you achieve the cut you want.
7. Mower Deck is Plugged with Grass
Your RYOBI electric mower will give you a bad cut when your mower deck is plugged with grass. This is because there is no longer sufficient area under your deck for the blade to create the airflow needed to give a good precise cut.
The mower deck and mower blade are designed to work together to create suction to lift grass so the blade can pass by and provide a nice even cut.
A plugged mower deck can also wear your motor and cause it to work harder when having to turn the blade through the grass clippings under the deck.
Regularly clean the mower deck to keep it free of grass and dirt buildup using a deck scraper or wire brush. Avoid cutting wet grass. Wet grass will clump and stick to your mower deck.
8. Ground Speed is Too Fast
Your ground speed needs to be adjusted to your mowing conditions to receive a good cut.
If you don’t properly adjust your speeds and move too fast through your lawn, your RYOBI mower will give you a bad or uneven cut because it may just be pushing over some of the grass instead of cutting it.
Your lawn mower is put under a heavy load when it is cutting thick, tall, or wet grass. You must slow down so your mower is better able to handle the load.
In addition to a bad cut, the motor can become overloaded and cause it to shut off.
9. Uneven Lawn
Check the condition of your lawn. If the lawn is uneven, your Kobalt mower is not going to fix that. You may have ruts and bumps in the lawn so your lawn is no longer flat and even.
I have to roll my lawn every spring after the snow melts to flatten the lawn due to rodents digging tunnels through the yard. Without doing this, I not only get a bad cut but the mower bounces all over the place.
Check your lawn to see if you have any maintenance that needs to be done to keep your lawn flat and in good condition.