Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe 14″ 12 Amp Corded Electric Lawn Mower Review
Some people have friends in low places, but using the Sun Joe MJ 401E corded electric lawn mower might give you friend in tight spaces. That’s because this lean lawn mower has a compact 14-inch cutting swath and, with its tough wheels, can maneuver its way into those narrow spaces within your lawn like a pro, pulling in tight next to obstacles such as fences, trees, mailboxes, sandboxes, and whatever else might be infiltrating your yard. It’s designed for smaller yards and weighs a mere 29 pounds, and the durable 12-amp motor is powerful and dependable. Meanwhile, you won’t be polluting Planet Earth as you do your job.
Pulling a weighty cord is a thing of the past with Sun Joe, as it starts right up with a quick push of a button. It’s got a durable steel blade that is adjustable with a 3-position manual height control option: 1.18 inches for a golf-course look, or 2.52 inches if you like your lawn a tad longer. Looking to bag up the mowed-up mess? Sun Joe has a 10.6-gallon hard-top rear bag that will help you collect grass clippings; afterward, easily detach it and dispose of the cut grass. Also, Sun Joe stores easy after the job. Fold in the handle and park it in your garage or shed. Heck, some people even store mowers this size in their home closets. Believe it or not, it’ll roll through the hallways of your house with no problem and out into the backyard when you’re ready to mow.
- Mower is maintenance free–no gas, oil, or tune-ups required
- Powerful 12-amp motor cuts a 14-inch-wide path
- Tailor cutting height with 3-position height control
- Detachable grass catcher offers easy disposal of grass clippings
- Full 2-year warranty
Sun Joe is designed to tackle yards of up to one-fourth of an acre, though it’s usable on larger yards. With its compactness and lightness, mowers will be able to traverse steep inclines and embankments easier than with a gas-powered behemoth. Even grass that’s six inches to eight inches is no match for this electric lawn mower, which cuts the green stuff like butter whether you’re moving it forward or backward.
Sun Joe looks and feels like a flimsy toy at first sight. But once you get started, you may be surprised at how it chews up grass no different than a gas-powered monster. Sun Joe could grow on those who hate mowing because it requires no assembly and gets going almost right out of the box. It’s lightweight, easy to turn, and narrow enough to do the job of a weed whacker in tight spots.
Along with the performance of the mower itself, it’s worth noting that Sun Joe is a company that is known for its helpfulness and friendliness. Don’t worry if you’ve had the mower for a while and something suddenly goes wrong. These folks stand proudly by their products while making sure the customer comes first.
Ease of Use
At just 29 pounds and with an easy push-button starting option, Sun Joe is ideal for small yards and those who are looking to give their body a break. Senior citizens may also find this electric mower a joy to walk behind, though remember it does require an extension cord, which can take some getting used to. Having two 100-foot cords on hand might not be a bad idea when you’re ready to get mowing with Sun Joe. Go for a lower-gauge cord. I’d recommend an outdoor-rated 12-gauge cord since this is mower has a 12-amp motor. Remember, the thinner the extension cord, the quicker your motor will burn out.
As far as assembly, all it takes is attaching the blades and the fold-up, and tightening the handles to get started. With Sun Joe, you don’t need to mess with gas and oil, and things like spark plugs and filters don’t need to be maintained on a mower like this. Bottom line: Most every time you’re ready to get out there and mow, Sun Joe will be ready to go.
Cut Quality & Options
Who cares if Sun Joe may look like a toy mower that your 5-year-old would play with? It’s simple to assemble, starts easy, and cuts grass nicely, even damp yards. That’s partly due to the blades, which are precision sharpened and made of steel. Don’t be rough and tumble with this mower and don’t run it roughshod over sticks and such, and it should treat your lawn right and last a long time. The plastic parts underneath the mower have been known to break off after steady use, but again, if you treat it with care that stuff should happen minimally.
If you’re sick of taking off the bag too often after three or so passes on your yard, consider getting the side-discharge chute. It’s true that using the bagging option may cause mowers to be emptying out grass clippings more often than mowing. Though using the grass catcher is recommended, some mowers bypass the option. Wear safety goggles if you choose to forego the grass catcher and are worried about debris flying up into your face.
After use, store your Sun Joe mower in a secure cabinet or a storage shed that’s dry. Try to keep it away from dust as humidity as best you can by covering it loosely with a tarp. A dehumidifying product may do the trick as well. Some replacement parts are available for Sun Joe. A quick rundown on other maintenance suggestions:
- Keep all nuts and bolts tight
- Resharpen and replace blade as needed
- Check regularly to make sure safety devices are operating
- Try to keep the mower free from grass, leaves, and other debris buildup
- Stop and inspect the machine after hitting a foreign object
- Don’t make adjustments or repairs with the engine running; unplug the machine when adjusting, cleaning, or repairing
- Check the grass catcher components and the discharge guard frequently
- Where gloves when servicing the blade
- Keep the handle free of oil and grease
- Don’t clean the machine with running water
- Check the bag–which has a tendency to tear after a while–for signs of wear and replace as needed
- Replace badly worn or damaged parts right away
- No inside parts require lubrication, but maximize the mower’s longevity by cleaning and lubricating all screwed parts, including the wheels and axles
The safety switch startup feature prevents accidental startups by those who don’t know a lawn mower from an iPhone. The Sun Joe is easy to start up with the push of a button, and just as easy to turn off with the switch lever. It comes with polarized appliance connections, which reduce the risk of electric shock. An accompanying polarized extension cord is required.
Sun Joe comes with a thermal switch that will cut out when the motor becomes overloaded. It will come back on again after a brief cool-down period.
Mowers can determine what height they want their grass using Sun Joe’s 3-position manual cutting heights. The easy-to-use electric machine designed for smaller lawns is lightweight and has a 10.6-gallon hard-top rear bag that can collect grass clippings and then detach. With the power of a gas-powered mower within the compact convenience of an electric, the instant-start Sun Joe works great in tight spaces and will cut lawns effectively.
Sun Joe is a bestseller that is electrically operated, so there’s no worries about charging a battery or replacing it every so often. It’s got a nice price point and its overall power consumption is comparatively lower to its competitors. Given its compactness, Sun Joe can act as a weed eater, saving you money on that front. Top it off with a maintenance-free motor, and you’ve got yourself one economical lawn mower.
- Easy to start, operate
- Solid motor with good torque
- Maintenance free and environmentally friendly
- Lightweight and quiet
- Good tips in manual
- Bag fills quickly
- Bag slightly hard to attach
- No mulching option
- Cord needed
- Plastic parts