Greenworks Pro 80V 42″ CrossoverZ Zero Turn Lawn Mower CRZ 428
Model number: CRZ 428
Power source: 80V Li-Ion
The expansion of electric outdoor power equipment continues and we’re getting our hands on more models to review. The most recent electric zero turn mower that we evaluated is the Greenworks PRO 80V 42″ model. This is a package offered exclusively at Costco and it’s packaged with extra batteries. There are a couple different packages for this 80V model available from Greenworks.
Last year we reviewed our first cordless zero turn mower from Ryboi so this is a great comparison for folks interested in ditching the gas! So in this review we’ll focus on the Greenworks mower but also do some comparison at the end.
Greenworks is offering wide range of mowing options in their 80V lineup including two different riding mowers, several push mowers, and assorted accessory tools including blowers, string trimmers, hedge clippers and chainsaws. Buying into the battery platform allows users to get all the essential outdoor power equipment on the same battery platform.
Features and Specifications
- High-efficiency Brushless Motors Provide More Power, Torque and Longer Life
- Mow up to 3 Acres on a Single Charge
- Handles Hills up to 15° Slope
- Built with a 42″ Reinforced Stamped 12-gauge Steel Deck
- Max Cutting Speed of 8 MPH
- Voltage: 80V Li-Ion
- Cutting Width: 42″
- Minimum Cutting Height: 1-1/2″
- Maximum Cutting Height: 4-1/2″
- Warranty: 4 Years Tool and Batteries
Getting To Know The Greenworks Zero Turn Mower
Our sample mower was dropped shipped via a freight company and dropped off in the hard on a pallet. This is typical of large mowers and also how we received another brands zero turn mower last year. There was some slight damage to the seat from shipping and Greenworks offered to replace the seat. The mower arrives fully assembled and ready to go. We simply cut the shipping straps and drove it right off the shipping pallet and started mowing immediately.
This particular model/package comes with 12 batteries so you can mow with six of them while you charge another six. This mower shipped with 4.0 Ah battery packs (5.0 Ah packs are also available which would increase run-time). As you can see above the mower has 6 slots of batteries located under the seat. It also ships with 3 dual port charges allowing users to charge all six batteries at once.
A side note to the battery chargers. I tried plugging all 3 chargers into the same circuit and the current draw was too much resulting in tripping the 20 amp circuit. So if you want to charge 6 batteries at once you’ll likely need to use two different circuits.
The controls on the Greenworks CRZ 428 are what you’d expect from a standard zero turn mower with a couple of unique differences. The CRZ 428 does not have a break pedal. When the control levers are pressed to their most outward position they engage the parking break instead of a pedal. One thing I really like about the control levers on this unit is the “spring” resistance as you push forward. Unlike some of the mowers I’ve driven this is a nice feature having some back pressure on the handle which makes for smoother changes in speed in my opinion.
The deck height adjustment is very typical of most mowers and easy to set. The deck raises and lowers with ease and the height adjustment seemed to be very accurate. All of the levers and controls on this unit felt robust and well made.
I found the seat to be extremely comfortable and it’s high back was a pleasant surprise for me especially because I’m over 6’3″ tall. The seat adjusts backward and forward for users of different heights. I will say the seat would be nicer if it could slide back a bit more for people with really long legs like myself. While that would be nice, the mower was still comfortable to mow with.
This mower allows the user to select both the drive and blade speeds to a slower setting. This is extremely useful for prolonging battery life and also to help with better drive control. When mowing hilly sections I found myself wanting to use the slower drive speed to help prevent spin outs. The control panel also has a nice battery gauge so you can tell how much run-time is left before swapping out the batteries. When the batteries are nearly exhausted the unit will show down the mower and allow you to ride back at a lower speed to change batteries and not get stranded in the yard.
Other notable features for this mower includes drink holders, a USB port to charge your phone, on-board material storage (up to 200 lbs), LED lights and an integrated deck cleaning nozzle to hook up a hose to. Overall the deck and other metal parts on the mower seem heavy gauge and robust.
Performance and Run-Time
The Greenworks CRZ 428 really impressed me with cutting power, cutting quality and smooth drive controls. We’ve had a fair amount of rain the last month or so here in NH and the grass has been growing like crazy. I was easily able to mow 6″ tall grass with ease with the CRZ 428. A huge benefit to these cordless zero turn mowers is the direct drive motor on each cutting spindle. These mowers have incredible torque and it shows in tall grass. In addition, the drive motors are also separate meaning you’re not relying on one motor for cutting and driving, the results speak for themselves and I’d argue battery powered mowers are far stronger than the gas competition when it comes to cutting power.
I mow just over an acre of somewhat hilly terrain and I was able to do the entire yard using all 12 batteries but it was close. Using the 12 4.0 Ah packs in deep grass was just about all I could squeeze out of them. It’s certainly worth looking at the 5.0 Ah packs if you’re going to do a yard over an acre as that should improve run-time quite a bit. The rapid charges work well and charged the batteries in the time it took me to drain the first set.
Greenworks CRZ 428 Vs Ryobi RY48140
As I noted last year we reviewed the Ryboi RY48140 and I wanted to do a quick comparison. These two mowers are very similar yet very different. The Ryobi is a lead acid system while the Greenworks is a Li-Ion platform. The Ryobi is 54″ cutting width while this Greenworks is only 42″. So the big question is which one is better? As you might suspect it’s not that easy and there are Pro’s and Con’s to each of them.
- Run-Time: I have to give this one to Ryobi. Which a large lead acid battery this mower can easily do my full acre on one charge without having to stop and swap batteries like the Greenworks. Also, the Ryobi just plugs in to charge it Vs having to remove batteries and put them in multiple charges for the Greenworks.
- Cutting Performance: The Greenworks has a slight advantage over the Ryobi in this situation. While they both perform even better than gas mowers the Greenworks absolutely smashed through tall wet grass like nothing I’ve ever mowed with before. I attribute this to the Li-Ion battery pack being able to crank out higher amps without damaging the battery.
- Hilly Terrain: The Greenworks definitely did better on hills than the Ryobi. Again this is most likely a function of the Li-Ion battery packs being able to draw higher amps allowing the mower to climb hills at higher speeds with the additional load on the motor. The difference was quite noticeable and made my mowing time considerably faster than the Ryobi.
- Controls: The Greenworks controls are much better than the Ryobi’s. The spring loaded control arms on the Greenworks makes for a much smoother control both in turning and accelerating. I found myself spinning out far less with those controls.
- Overall: While the Greenworks mower only has a 42″ deck compared to 54″ on the Ryobi, I do believe the Greenworks CRZ 428 is a better overall mower. It’s a smoother, stronger, and faster mower with similar features to the Ryobi. It’s also a newer model and features Li-Ion batteries. While the Ryobi is definitely much more convenient to charge the overall performance of the Ryobi is just too hard to ignore.
Overall Thoughts – Greenworks CRZ 428
The Greenworks CRZ 428, 42″ Zero Turn Mower is a great option for anyone considering ditching gas motors and going to a battery operated mower. I’ve been using battery operated push mowers, string trimmers and other outdoor power equipment for several years now and I can tell you I won’t ever go back to small gas engines. This mower is significantly quieter, has zero maintenance and performs as well as gas powered equipment. Yes it takes some getting used to dealing with battery management but the benefits are worth it in my opinion. At just under $6,000 these mowers are definitely and expensive investment. But if you consider the lack of buying fuel and yearly service combined with the lack of hassles that small gas engines can have it’s a pretty good investment. On top of that Greenworks has a full compliment of outdoor power equipment you can run off the same battery platform. This is a mower you should definitely consider.
Greenworks PRO 80V 42 Inch CrossoverZ