Ryobi Mulchinator Cordless Mulching Mower BMM2400
owner's manual    |    parts list & diagram    |    recall    |    replacement battery    |    replacement parts

I do things differently. That's my best way of describing my creativity.

Years ago, I bought a Ryobi Mulchinator cordless battery-powered mulching mower.  It cut the grass and then shredded it (like the grass held state secrets or something) and then tucked the shredded grass under the lawn where no one would think of looking for it.  Sneaky mower.

Plus, it was quiet. People would walk by on the sidwalk wondering what I was pushing across the fifty degree hill. They would stop and talk with me and get my confirmation that, yes, it's a mower. Sneaky mower.

I read somewhere once that lawn mowers are huge polluters compared to cars. Idling a mower for one minute has been compared to idling a car for fifteen. Gas mowers stink. The Ryobi Mulchinator could be run indoors... if there was a reason to run it indoors.

That's not to say it was perfect. Having a built in battery and recharger meant it was heavy -- 75 pounds heavy -- which is fine on level lawn. Easy. Lifting it and repeatedly pushing it uphill, that's the workout. The trade-off was no maintenance. I'd plug it in when I wasn't using it. That's it. No gas can. No oil. No spark plugs. No pull cord. The mower went eleven years without even having its blade sharpened. They don't make mowers like that any more.

They literally don't. I made just one mistake. I took it in to have its 18" blade sharpened. I suppose I could've done it myself. The instructions are right there on page 23 of the owner's manual. All it takes is a wrench, a vise, and one of those metal files that are always snuck into jail in a birthday cake. Piece of cake, except I didn't do that, I took it to a lawn mower repair shop that couldn't get over the fact that I'd owned the mower for eleven years without any maintenance... changing the battery, sharpening the blade... anything. The guy thought the mower should be taken on tour through the state fair circuit or something.

From the time I got it back, it was never the same. The battery gave up and died. In the process of trying to repair it, I found that Ryobi had left the mower business. I can only guess that they made the mower too perfect. I tried two new batteries and neither of them worked.

Meanwhile I mowed my lawn with a rotary mower, the all-human-powered mower. With a cutting surface of less than ten inches, it's just a snip away from a pair of scissors. After two years of random mowing, I went on the hunt for a replacement mower.

The robot mower is a cordless battery-powered mower. It could be like AutoDrive, in the sense that it is self-driving, but it isn't practical. It doesn't mulch. It doesn't do hills. And it costs over a thousand bucks. The Australians have a cordless battery-powered mower, but not wanting to fall into the Ryobi trap, they've kept it away from the United States. And most of the cordless battery-powered mowers are nearly the size (cutting width) of a rotary mower. However, Black & Decker makes a cordless battery-powered mower that is larger (and heavier) than the Ryobi.

Wanting to buy it locally, I called around. One company had a phone system that prevented customers from being on hold too long by automatically hanging up on callers. Another company offered to order it, but it was costly and would take a couple months. In Minnesota, summer is only a couple months. Home Depot did not have it, but they offered to get it. They got the mower and sold it to me for a reasonable price. It works.

And that was the end of the story for a while, but I really wanted the Ryobi working again. So I called Batteries Plus, brought the mower in, they called around to their vendors, and since they couldn't find any 24V batteries, they
took 2 Werker WKA12-18NA batteries, wired them together, and then soldered them together. It works!

Ryobi Mulchinator Cordless Mulching Mower Model BMM2400 & BMP2418 Owner's Manual  (zip file of GIF pages)

Ryobi Mulchinator Cordless Mulching Mower Model BMM2400 Parts List & Diagram

Ryobi Mulchinator Cordless Mulching Mower Model BMM2400 & CMM1200 Recall in 1995
  (the recall is over)

If you are looking for parts for your Ryobi Mulchinator or looking to sell your Mulchinator, my  recommendation is used parts through Craigslist in your area under Farm & Garden. (search: Ryobi or Mulchinator).

If you are looking for a 24V replacement battery for the Ryobi Mulchinator, you may not find one.  CSB stopped making a 24V (15Ah) battery after they made mine (GP24150). But you can get two 12V batteries wired and soldered together. Batteries Plus in Woodbury, MN took 2 Werker WKA12-18NA 12V (18Ah) batteries, wired them together, and then soldered them together. It works!

Ryobi Mulchinator battery
Two Werker WKA12-18NA batteries stacked & wired

Interstate Batteries has a 24V replacement battery. It's not the route I took, but I'm told that they run 20% discounts during the summer that could drop the price to under $100.

© Copyright 2009  Hopes and Dreams. All rights reserved.  Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota
Read the novel -- Hopes and Dreams: Stuck on AutoDrive