Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe 14-Inch 12 Amp Electric Lawn Mower With Grass Bag, reviews, comments

Product Description

GREAT IN TIGHT SPACES! Responding to the need for an easy-to-use electric mower for smaller lawns, Sun Joe developed the Mow Joe MJ401E. Compact and lightweight (only 29 lbs), the Mow Joe MJ401E is a lean, mean and green mowing machine that gets your yard chore done without polluting the atmosphere with toxic carbon emissions. Mow Joe starts instantly with the simple push of a button and its rugged all-terrain wheels make it easy to maneuver in tight spaces. Equipped with a durable steel blade, Mow Joe cuts a 14-inch wide swath with each pass. Tailor the grass cutting height with its 3-position manual height control, which adjusts from 1.18 inches to 2.52 inches. Its 10.6-gallon hard-top rear bag conveniently collects grass clippings and detaches easily for quick disposal. A collapsible handle allows for easy and compact storage when not in use. ETL-approved; Full 2-year warranty.

From the Manufacturer

Responding to the need for an easy-to-use machine that takes care of the smaller yards, Sun Joe developed the Mow Joe MJ401E, a smaller electric lawn mower that delivers the power of a gas machine with the convenience of an electric unit. Its durable steel blade cuts 14 wide with precision on each pass. In addition to its hard-working mowing capacity, the Mow Joe features a three position manual height adjustment. The Mow Joe is equipped with a hard top rear bag, which detaches easily for convenient disposal. No gas, oil, or tune-ups are necessary. The unit is ETL-approved and carries a full two year warranty.

I have had my Moe Joe over a year now and it is still going strong despite being left out in the weather and otherwise abused. The Mow Joe is a good product but it is being sabotaged by Amazon and unfairly reviewed for two reasons:

1. The Mow Joe 14" has a 12 amp motor. Amazon is bundling it with a 16 gauge extension cord, despite the fact the manual states that for extension cord lengths under 100ft, a 14 gauge cord is required. For lengths of 100ft or more a 12 gauge cord is required (gauges work backward so a smaller gauge is a thicker wire). Trying to pull 12 amps of power through a little 16 gauge 100ft cord will burn out any electric motor pretty quick. That is why all these reviews complaining about the motor dying after a few weeks bother me. Either through ignorance or cheapness people use an under rated extension cord and blame it on the mower. Amazon could help by not recommending a cord that will destroy the motor.

2. Electric mowers by nature are maintenance mowers. It is assumed that you will be cutting your grass regularly before it gets so tall you are losing small children in it. If your grass in knee high then borrow your neighbors gas mower and get it to a manageable height and then keep it maintained with your nice quiet, lightweight, electric mower. Even the powerful 12 amp motor on this mower will have big problems with out of control grass, including blade stalling and premature motor failure.

In short the Mow Joe 14" is a great mower if you use it how it's designed to be used and don't abuse it.

I have been using and recommend this extension cord:

US Wire 65100 12/3 100-Foot SJTW Orange Heavy Duty Extension Cord

I hate yardwork, and I hate my lawn - if I had my way, I'd just pour concrete over all of my grass and be done with it. My backyard is large enough to ALMOST merit a riding mower, slightly sloped (maybe 25 degrees at the extreme) and lumpy (I have no idea) with strange drainage issues that result in some patches of the lawn growing 4 FEET HIGH around its brethren, like some kind of tyrannical grass dictator (welcome to spring in the Pacific Northwest). This year, I put off mowing for so long my backyard basically turned into a meadow. My small dogs were disappearing into it, and it's entirely possible there are still neighborhood children in it, waiting for rescue.

So right out of the box, this mower feels like a toy. I laughed when I opened it because it just seemed so...flimsy. It looks like something Fisher-Price would put out. It was easy to assemble - just the handle and attaching the tiny grass bag (which I took off 10 minutes into mowing). I wheeled it around the living room a little - it's light, fairly easy to turn and is so narrow I can actually just push it through my house and out my back door to start mowing (which is nice, because now I don't have to open my garage, go around to the back gate, unlock it, get the mower, come back around, mow and then do it all in reverse when I'm done).

Imagine my immense surprise (and delight) when my husband shrugged, carried it outside, started it up and the mower immediately started chewing on the grass, spitting it out like an old-timey baseball player with a mouthful of chaw. After the third time we emptied the little bag that came with it, we just abandoned the bag and let the grass fly all over creation.

If you are here looking to perhaps switch over from a gas to an electric mower, please allow me to share a few thing I wish someone had told me when I first started using an electric mower:

- you need the right cord: different extension cords have different gauges (this might have been why my first two electric mowers bit the dust prematurely). The gauge depends on the length of the cord itself. DO NOT IGNORE THIS PART. I've had 2 electric mowers before this Sun Joe, and I think this is probably what killed them (using the wrong cord).

- you need to be realistic about your expectations: they are never as strong as gas-powered mowers. If you are weak, hurt, impatient with yard work in general, horribly out of shape or otherwise don't think you can push around ~30lbs then don't get this. I'm in relatively decent shape (I do Jillian Michaels 3 days a week!) and even I struggle sometimes with getting this mower up and over my lumpy yard (I have no idea why it's lumpy. It just is.)

- because electric mowers aren't as strong, you can end up going over the same area multiple times (3, 4, sometimes even 5 if your grass is high enough). You have to use common sense - when you hear the mower struggling, STOP MOWING. If you don't, you'll do what I did to my first two electric mowers and burn out your motor (learn from my fail, people).

- these don't really save time as far as the mowing itself (see above), but it is REALLY REALLY NICE to just be done when you're done mowing (no oil, spark plugs, gas to worry about storing, etc). You literally just wipe it down, make sure all the nuts and bolts are still tight then wheel that sucker into the garage and take a nap.

As you can see from the photos, 1.) this mower was able to handle my decent sized yard (over the course of several days) and 2.) I really wasn't lying to you when I said I don't care what my yard looks like, as long as the grass isn't higher than the fence (so the neighbors won't complain!) The before photo is what the entire lawn looked like before I started. Don't get me wrong - this wasn't an easy job. The Sun Joe did stutter and seize up a few times, especially when I got into tough areas of grass (where the blades of grass are like actual blades, WTF). But ultimately, it was able to take everything down with multiple passes.

I choose to use electric mowers because they're better for the environment, less noisy and I don't have to figure out where to store gas or how to maintain the mower each fall. I'm willing to mow my yard in sections (giving both myself and the mower a rest), and go over areas multiple times, and do it over a course of several days. If you're short on time or patience with a yard larger than a postage stamp, then skip right over this guy and pony up the money for a good gas mower. If, however, you're like me and too lazy to upkeep a gas mower AND super cheap (and willing to do boring labor over a week), then this guy is pretty hard to beat for the price.

I was hesitant to by a lawn mower online but I've had several Snapper mowers in the past so I thought I'd take a chance and I am so glad I did.When I unpacked mower, I was concerned about it as it looks like a toy. However, after assembling handle and bagger, perhaps 10 minutes, we were up and running. Not a toy!!! As my grass was a bit higher than I normally let it get,Obviously, it did take a bit longer than normal to finish the lawn, as I had to stop more often to empty bag, but I was astounded at the power of this little mower!ok about 2 hours to mow the front yard and I dumped the grass catcher lots of times. Looks like a well manicured lawn. When I finished mowing and put the mower away it started raining and I was so happy, laughing and dancing around in the rain. And it was a nice lightning. The little guy brought me so much joy!!! Often with my noise cancelling heapdhones on when moving lawn,Cutting the low frequency noise quite a bit, happy with the purchase see less.
Meidong E6ANC Bluetooth Headphones Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Wireless Stereo headphones with Microphone, Ergonomic Design for Kids Adult-Black, Great for mowing the lawn.

Despite all the great reviews, I had pretty low expectations, especially considering the state of my yard. Even on a good day, my yard is a mess haha. We live in the south, so things grow fast. We have weeds, vines, lumps and bumps, large tree roots, and lots of small sticks and pine cones falling on the daily. I went out of town for nearly three weeks at the start of spring, my yard was a wreck when I came back! I'd put off buying a mower for a long time, but finally enough was enough.

This thing handled everything like a champ! I picked up some of the pine cones and larger sticks, but there was still a lot of debris. Some of the weeds were up to knee height, and there were a number of dense patches of mixed vines and ivy. I rarely went over any areas twice, and all the debris and uneven terrain made no noticeable impact on performance. My front and backyard are pretty large, but despite the small size of this mower I was done fast! It's very light and easy to push, not exhausting at all. We'll see how it holds up, but for the price you can't go wrong!

After a month and a half of use, I have one complaint. The mower bag is VERY fragile; be hypervigilant about emptying it, the mesh separates from the plastic bottom very easily if it's too full. I ended up repairing the tear with Seam Grip, then reinforced the whole seam with Duct Tape. Since the mower is so small you'll end up emptying the bag A LOT if you have a big yard, but even so I still think this mower is a steal for the price. For under $100 you can't really expect perfection, and this little guy gets the job done.

So glad I purchased this mower. Inexpensive and perfect for what I need. I have a semi large lawn so it takes a little longer to cut than it does using a gas mower. This is not a self propellling motor but it is still easy to push. I have used this three times and only use one arm now. The other arm holds the extension cord. I do not like to take chances! I ordered the proper cord for this mower. It does not include one.
I purchased the Coleman Cable 02408 14/3 SJTW Vinyl Outdoor Extension Cord (14 Gauge for 50 ft). If you want the 100ft cord, get the 16 gauge. I did the research for the 50ft and the 100ft. There is a difference. The mower may overheat. I was ready to purchase the 100 ft cord but it was more than twice the price. Measure your lawn. If you have to, do it in sections. This saved me money and the annoying extra length to deal with.

The first time I used the mower, the grass was very high and slightly wet. I prevented stalling by slightly tilting the top of the mower upwards. It will begin to stall if grass is too long or too wet. Do not use the bag if your lawn is like this. The mower will move the grass away.
The second time I used this, it stalled on me completely because of a thick, dense patch of grass. I started it up again after 1 minute.
The third time was perfect. Below are some photos. The grass was a little long, but not too wet. Zero stalling.

In some of the photos, you can see ivy. I mowed with the top slightly tilted to get rid of the leaves. I would not recommend plowing through the ivy completely. Some of it can be too woody. It did get rid of the smaller ivy leaves. I do not want to take a chance of ruining the blade.

You only need to mow a section once. No need to go over it again. I had this on the lowest setting to cut as close as possible. There was no problem. It is so much better than what I expected. You will get the hang of it. Especially the slight tilting action. I used this without the bag all three times because of the grass being too high. This mower never overheated.

This mower works very well for our small yard, and should be just fine as long as you have a good length extension cord and conveniently-located outlets. It's easy to maneuver, cuts even thicker brush, and is not very noisy. The mower is light enough that I can easily pick it up to get into and out of our cramped garage.

I do wish the included clipping catcher was larger. I need to stop and empty the bag several times in the middle of mowing. Not a huge deal as long as you have bags handy, but would be annoying if you used a compost pile or similar.

It can be frustrating having to worry about the placement of the extension cord while mowing (or else risk running over it), but mowing in a specific pattern can help you keep track. I usually start mowing the lawn closest to the outlet, and then work my way parallel to the house and away from the outlet. This keeps the cord between the me and the outlet and lessens the risk of mowing over the cord. This slight inconvenience is definitely worth the savings for this model versus one with a battery pack.

This is my first electric mower. I have some regrets but mostly my fault not mower.
I recently purchased a home with a rather small yard. I didn't see a point to buy a gas mower for such a small yard and truly didn't want to carry gas around in my car.
I started looking at electric mowers and quite a few were much pricier than this one. This was $99 and at such a price you cannot complain. I will explain the things one would want to complain about....but then remind this was rather cheap.
1. It is made of plastic mostly and in general looks dull and cheap. (Some people may find themselves embarrassed to push this around the
2. The bag on the back is rather small. Even on my tiny yard that I can cut with a 50ft cord i have to dump it 2 to 3 times.
3. No option for not using bag and having a open side vent type situation.
4. Width is way smaller than I really thought it was but whatever. I have to make many more passes back and forth than I expected because it is 14 inches wide.
5. No matter what you do while using an electric motor every now and then the cord will find a way to annoy you lol.

Those things aside I am very impressed. Turning the mower on is really as easy as pressing the button. As my first electric mower it was weird having that happen. It cuts the grass fine! I have seen no difference using this from using a gas mower. Appears very powerful and grass is cut well. Have not tried it in really tall grass or anything but I assume would do ok.
***Make sure to buy a 14 gauge cord. I never gave thought to this till i got it, but it says it must used a 14 gauge cord. I bought one and so far absolutely no troubles.

To be honest if this mower last me 2 years I would be satisfied. I am not saying it doesn't look like it won't...I just mean like if it breaks after 2 years I will have cut my yard for 2 years for $99 (Plus however much electricity this thing eats...) which to me is a good deal. If you store it in dry conditions etc. I see no reason for it to break.

If I was to purchase again I may have upped a little extra cash for one of the other models that has side vent and a wider rack.

I had only average expectations for this mower due both to its price and its size. But the other reviews encouraged me to take a chance with it and I'm very glad I did!

WHAT I NEEDED - Living in Vegas, grassy yards are not as common as most other places. When I bought my house the area I planted grass was just 12'x18'...not a big space to be sure. So I just needed a mower that could do a decent enough job without taking up a lot of space.

WHAT I GOT - This mower came well packaged and took all of about 5 minutes to assemble...I had a little trouble with one of the plastic attachment which, I think, is to direct the power cord, but I managed it and focused mainly on making sure the more critical parts of the mower was correctly assemble. I was very pleased with the overall ease of assembly and the clarity of the instructions.

THEN I USED IT - One thing I liked about this mower was that it had its own built-on grass catcher! That's amazing in a mower at this price level! Granted, its small...but so is my yard, so that's fine. The catcher just slides into place on the back of the mower. It couldn't be easier.

The first time I used this mower, I was extremely pleased with the feel of the mower, the quality of the cutting, and how it really did capture 99% of my fescue grass in the catcher. I noticed that maybe I had the height set on the high side, so I emptied the catcher, adjusted the level of each wheel (a very easy thing to do), and did a second pass on the lawn. Again, I was extremely pleased with the quality and ease of performance.

At no time did the motor/cutter slow due to dense grass...and my grass is pretty dense. I found this to be a huge and very pleasant surprise and told me I have made a wise choice with this mower.

FINAL THOUGHTS - I don't know if the capacity of the catcher would make this a good choice for a larger lawn, you might find yourself having to empty it more frequently than you'd like, but for me 12'x18' lawn (again, this is Vegas, so grass is uncommon to begin with), I can do the entire yard, cross cutting it twice, and still not fill the one shot at mowing, one dump of the catcher. 1-2-3 I'm done!

This is an excellent catcher. I was impressed with every aspect of it and am very happy with my purchase!

Great mower if your expectations are realistic. For the price you get a plastic mower that feels decent, but slightly on the side of flimsy.

We have a small lawn so we wanted something cheap and electric and this fit the bill. It does a very good job all considered and is very easy to move around and use. I have had great luck with sunjoe items, we also own their tiller which is great.

Some positives (not an exhaustive list):
- Great price!
- Light weight and easy to maneuver.
- Consistent cutting, only one pass with small overlap required.
- Powerful enough to cut pretty tall grass (1.5ft easily), though I wouldn't ask it to do that regularly.
- Bag is the perfect size for a small yard. Very easy to empty into a paper yard waste bag.

Some negatives (but not bad enough to lose a star):
- The wheels feel like they are going to fall off sometimes. They haven't yet, but I am waiting to have to fix it.
- The cutting height is adjustable, but even the highest height is only just over 2 inches. Usually during the dryer times of the year I would like to mow higher than that.

I purchased this mower to replace my "lawn fairies" after a small disagreement. Since my total lot size is quite small, and since I thought it would be a good idea to get a little more exercise, this seemed like a good plan, and I anticipate the mower will pay for itself in less than 3 months at one mowing every 2 weeks.

The package arrived on time. The box itself was slightly damaged, but not significant. It was reasonably light (shipping weight is listed at 33.8lb and that seemed about right) and easy to unpack. All parts were included. It took me about 15 minutes to put it together, which was about 4 steps:
1. remove all packaging material
2. attach the lower handle with 2 screws
3. attach the cord tension keeper and upper handle
4. attach the grass catcher

Setting the wheel height was a little bit tricky. The housing is made of thick plastic but it is still a little flexible, but I didn't expect an industrial-quality mower.

I then set out to mow my lawn, which had (due to the inattention of the aforementioned "lawn fairies") achieved rain-forest-like stature over the course of 4 unattended weeks. I was concerned that it would prove to be too much for this little guy (and the mower), but the Mow Joe powered right through. I used the highest cutting position to ease the work-load. The grass catcher is rated for 10.6 gallons, and in the course of mowing my roughly 30'x40' patch of jungle I filled three 39-gallon trash bags. The first time I didn't realize that the catcher had filled, but I quickly learned to recognize the signs (the mower became difficult to push and small patches of grass were left un-cut) and afterwards I had no trouble. Emptying the grass catcher bag was the part that slowed me the most. It took me about an hour and a half to tame the primeval tangle that had become my front lawn, counting a few stops for water and a hat.

I used a 50' 12-gauge extension cord (link included below) and had no difficulties at all. I suspect that many of the other reviews complaining about motor burn-out may be related to the power cord. There is one corner of the lot I can't quite reach, so my advice is get a good 12-gauge cord in 100' length - it's a little heavy to drag around but you'll save yourself some frustration. The 14" width meant I had to make extra passes, but I don't see that as a significant issue. (Of course, in a few weeks I'll probably be complaining mightily about it. I'll update my review then.) The cut was pretty even, although I thought it was maybe a little short. That may have been perception compared to what it had been before.

Noise was quite good - it sounded like a large electric fan, not very loud at all. People inside the house couldn't hear it at all. There was no smell except good clean grass. I got in the habit of holding the extension cord with the power switch, which helped to keep it off the ground and reduced any tendency to pull against it.

I've attached a couple of pics to show what the grass was before and after, as well as how close you can get to the edge of a building. The mower is very maneuverable, but it feels a little flimsy when turning (especially turning sharply or in thicker cover) and you'll need a trimmer to get the growth by a vertical object like a house or fence.

I think this is a fair maintenance mower for a small lot. Don't expect it to be useful for the "north 40" or really anything much more than a 50'x50' space, and definitely plan to keep up with the cutting - if the grass gets long it'll be a lot more work.

US Wire 65050 12/3 50-Foot SJTW Orange Heavy Duty Extension Cord

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