In a crowded field of lithium-ion blowers, the Ryobi 40V Jet Fan Blower enters the scene looking like some sort of futuristic death ray straight out of Dr. Who. While Ryobi does claim “gas-like power” with their 40V lineup, there’s no doubt their target user is the homeowner. So let’s dispense with the commercial lawn care Pros and look at what this model brings to the table.
Like I said, the Ryobi 40V Jet Fan Blower doesn’t look like the rest of the field. There’s a forward-thinking design that may have some benefits, but let’s start with the basics. Ryobi decided not to go with a brushless motor on this model. That’s a curious move since their mower has one, but it’s likely they’re shooting to hit a price point.
At the control center, you’ll find a three-finger trigger with a turbo button above it. Ryobi’s standard overmold is there to provide grip and comfort as well. There’s a little quirkiness around this section, though.
Because of the placement of the turbo button, you have to slide your hand down to engage it. Your three finger trigger becomes a two-finger trigger at that point. And in order to get the greatest benefit of the rubber overmold, you’re shifting even further down to use just one finger on it. I’d like to see Ryobi keep the trigger size and shift the turbo forward to keep it all the benefits all the time. The trigger spring tension is high enough that you’ll want to use two or three fingers at all times.
Even though I’m not a huge fan of cruise control options on a blower, they do serve the purpose of acting as a lock on switch. I don’t think Ryobi needs to add their own cruise control mechanism, but I wouldn’t say no to a lock on switch. It’s a minor issue that affects me maybe 10% of the time. Everything else is quick work.
A 3.0 amp hour battery comes with the kit and installs on the back of the blower to offset the heavy forward lean of the tool. It now balances forward and hits the sweet spot of 4 – 6 feet in front of you.
About That Futuristic Design
From the basics, it’s, well, not so basic. The housing for the dual-fan impeller is clear, which provides a pretty cool view of what’s going on inside. The intake isn’t as wide open as most since the battery port is in the middle of it. Ryobi opens up the intake around the sides of the housing to compensate. That might cost a little in the efficiency department, but it’s not as bad as accelerating the air around the motor before sending it out.
As the tube narrow to the front, it suddenly widens back out near the middle. Looking behind this protrusion, you’ll see there is an additional intake section on each side. As the air passes through the tube, these sections allow additional air to be pulled in and, presumably, increased the total air flow.
Overall, it’s a very slick looking design. But the proof is in the pudding. Or the blowing performance. I mean, really, why does the proof have to be in the pudding? Who actually looks that closely at pudding?
Air speed is what gets stubborn debris moving and Ryobi claims a maximum of 110 MPH. That’s not great, but it’s good for most homeowner tasks. Ryobi seems to recognize the potential shortcoming and adds a debris scraper at the base of the nozzle end. This is plastic, so it will wear down over time if you use it on concrete or asphalt a lot.
Volume is what takes care of the lighter stuff quickly and the Ryobi 40V Jet Fan Blower comes in with a pretty impressive 480 CFM. When you get close to the 500 CFM mark, you’re talking about pretty solid performance.
The combination leaves you with a blower that’s pretty effective at clearing grass cuttings and other debris from driveways, sidewalks, and other hard surfaces. It does pretty well and moving dry leaves around in the yard, but you won’t move the wet stuff very effectively there.
On the negative side of things is that this blower is loud and transfers noticeable vibration. That’s compared to other cordless blowers, of course. Compared to gas, it’s still a step forward.
Moving back around to the positive side, the 3.0 amp hour battery ran for 18 minutes, 23 seconds on high. I didn’t test runtime on turbo. You’ll really only need to engage that when you’re blowing wet debris off hard surfaces. For the dry stuff, there’s plenty of power without it.
So for post-mowing cleanup, this blower offers pretty good performance for the homeowner if you don’t mind the noise and vibration. Gas-like power?
I’m not ready to back that claim up.
The Bottom Line
Ryobi’s latest blower doesn’t have as fine a feature set as some of the other options out there, but it’s got enough to take care of your post-mowing needs along with some light leaf management. The only thing that stands out as an area that needs improvement is the placement of the turbo button and overmold to take advantage of the large trigger.
The futuristic design gives you an inside look at what’s going on with the impellers to drive air forward. At the same time, a unique front attachment allows additional air to enter the system before it exits the nozzle.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of noise and vibration in this blower for the cordless class. Because of that, you’ll really want to stick with smaller jobs that won’t leave you trying to hold the trigger down for more than a few minutes at a time.
The Ryobi 40V Jet Fan Blower goes beyond the futuristic look to provide what homeowners are looking for in a lithium-ion blower – performance and runtime to keep the pathways clear with a price that doesn’t break the bank. And while the performance is good for this OPE category, the price is outstanding at $149. including a 3.0 amp hour battery and charger.
Ryobi 40V Jet Fan Blower Key Features
- 480 CFM and 110 MPH for gas-like power
- 2 stage jet fan design for increased air flow
- Turbo button for maximum power
- Variable speed trigger for user control
- Soft grip handle for user comfort
Ryobi 40V Jet Fan Blower Specifications
- Model: Ryobi RY40430
- Power Source: Ryobi 40V battery pack
- Max Air Speed: 110 MPH
- Max Air Volume: 480 CFM
- Weight: 8.85 pounds
- Warranty: 5 years
- Price: $149