Sun Joe MJ403E Mow Joe 17-Inch 13-Amp Electric Lawn Mower/Mulcher, reviews, comments

Lawn cleanup just got easier with the Sun Joe Mow Joe MJ403E. No more messy gas or oil! Just power up your Mow Joe with the push of a button and watch its powerful 13-amp motor mow a 17-inch wide path in a single pass. Easily control the cutting height of your grass with the 7 position height adjustment lever. The 12 gallon rear bag detaches easily to quickly dispose of grass clippings. You can even turn your Mow Joe lawn mower into a mulching mower by removing the bag and allowing the grass clippings to insert back into your lawn. Whether mulching or mowing, the MJ403E delivers the reliable performance you and your lawn can depend on every time. The MJ403E provides the extra security of a safety switch and is backed by a full two year warranty.

This replaced a 12 amp Sears (Black & Decker) 19" mower that really was only 18". The Sears became dangerous when first blades, then the plastic blade holder became unavailable. The Mow Joe also has a plastic blade holder to fix the blade to the shaft. It will also wear out.
The Mow Joe is more powerful, and noisier than the Sears, but nowhere near a gas mower's noise. The choking fumes are gone and the dust is less too.
The mower seems designed to mulch, fold up, and be carried somewhere. It's quite light. I like that you must depress a safety button before closing the starting bail to run the engine. No kid can accidentally start it. I also like that there is no "blade brake." They never work and give a false sense of safety.
There are some confusing design flaws. Since the mower is designed to be carried, the center of gravity is very close to the rear wheels. With the collection bag attached it is very back-heavy; the front of the mower often comes off the ground. Often. Always, when you pull it backwards. The push handle is high: 42". This means it's fairly easy to push slightly up as I push forward to keep the nose down, but should I have to? I ended up silicone-ing half a brick to the front of the mower for extra weight.
The grass catcher handle is junk. It won't stay attached. The cable clamps are junk; throw them away. There is a five inch "nose" on the front of the mower separating the business edge of the blade from what is in front of it. The mower won't cut closer than 5" to whatever you mow up to.
The grass-level window on the grass catcher has to be a joke. An engineer somewhere must chuckle every time he thinks of it, since it's obscured in five minutes. The way you tell if the grass catcher is full is to release the mower handle and step back. If the front wheels point to the clouds, it's full.
It mulches very well, better than the Sears. I just can't understand why none of the blasted engineers tried to mow a lawn with the grass catcher attached. I like the mower, but why do I need a brick on the front?

I love my Sun Joe. I get quite a workout when I use it though since it is not self propelled.

This was/is my first ever lawn mower purchase and I'm happy with it.

Mulches VERY well
Easy to use
Quieter than a gas mower

I feel like there should be more height adjustments. I like my grass a bit on the tall side.
The bolts on the sides come loose due to the vibration of the mower. I've lost 3 of 4 and had to purchase replacements in the first year.
The mulching bag fills up pretty fast and the mower doesn't automatically shut off or otherwise tell you it's full. You just have to know to check.
You need to purchase an appropriate extension cord which adds another $80-$100 to this purchase.

It's been more than a year since I purchased this mower. Unfortunately, I've had some quality issues with it that could be a hazard to others. The green twist-on knobs that hold the handle in place, are plastic and come loose while using the mower. I learned this the hard way. I lost one of the knobs last year, because I didn't see it come off. I still haven't found it. When I wanted to order replacements they were only available on the manufacturer's website and were back ordered. I eventually got them, for an additional $20.00 or so, with a shipping charge. This year, despite checking the knobs before and after every use, one of the replacement knobs came off again today, without me realizing it. It ended up under the mower, where the blades got a hold of it and launched it before I could react. I was very lucky it missed flying directly into my eyes, though it only barely missed hitting me right in the face--good thing I had glasses on! So I have to say, in all honesty, I like a lot of the features of this mower: it's smaller size, the quality of the mowing and the detachable mulch bag, to name a few, but the safety issues are becoming of greater concern as time goes by. I have a small yard and make a point of clearing any branches and debris before mowing. So when the knobs end up in the blades, I worry. The other issue is that I wish I didn't have to hold the crossbar in place with my hands, in order to keep the mower running. It gets a bit fatiguing on my hands and arms--something to consider if you're older or have health issues/injuries that affect your hands. An on/off switch would be nice. I'll know that when I buy my next mower. So, it's a bit of a win/lose proposition for me. However, it fit the budget I had when I purchased it and is helpful in smaller areas that wider mowers can't reach into.

Better that I thought. A little smaller than I would have liked out of the box. But it works fine. Very light. I've had to adjust to mowing with a cord trailing, but the adjust to not stopping mid lawn to go get gas ever is well worth that hassle. Which is nothing more than changing the direction I normally mow. Clipping bag work great. Will buy again if I ever need to.
Had for year now still love it. Have used it to bag leaves in the fall also.Think I should have gotten the bigger now, but wouldn't trade it. I have about 1/4 acre which takes a half hour to more depending on how long I put off mowing.

Fairly easy assembly of about 20 minutes. Plugged it into a 14 amp/14 gauge 100' extension cord and away I went. Lots of debris flying out the back, even though I had the bag attached properly. This is the first electric mower I've owned and will take some time keeping track of the cord as I mow. First try I was inches away from driving to Lowes for a replacement cord....but I learn. Second use was two days later, and I was pleased with how it went. I learned to move at a slower pace to reduce clippings not going where they should - into the bag. The mower is fairly light-weight compared to gas powered, so it doesn't "push" down into the grass as much....almost feels like a toy when using it. The cut is clean and picks up almost all of the clippings into the bag. I think this type of mower is designed for use more often (high maintenance, not allowing the grass to grow too high) than a more powerful gas-powered mower. So far, so good, so I'm pleased.

I've only used gasoline mowers for 40 + years so this was a leap of faith. After reading feedback from many others who purchased this item and understanding its power needs. I purchased the 13 amp unit and also a 100 ft 12/3 20 amp cord for about $60 more bucks. Used it for about 1 hour right out of the box and flawlessly trimmed up my lawn. Very quiet & well balanced. The trim height adjustment is fantastic as well. It's super light and very agile around flower beds and trees. I'm happy i won't have to store gas anymore or pray that it starts.
The proper power cord is essential.

I bought this mower for my wife to use..... since I am currently deployed. The gas mower we have was way too heavy for her to push in some areas, so i looked for a lightweight electric mower. It was easy to assemble and she put it together all by herself and she loves it!!! She has used the mower 3 times since the purchase and I think I lost one job when I get home. She wants to do all the mowing.

Changed from Black &Decker 18" to the Sun Joe Mow 17".

Pro: What I like for now, is the grass catcher. I mowed for years with my B&D, but w/out a grass catcher.

Con: The height adjustment is a bit tricky. When I think I have the level height I want, it still cuts to close to the ground. I like to leave at least a couple inches of grass, and higher around the tree trunk in the front yard.

Con: If the grass catcher is too full, the weight of the bag weighs down the back end of the mower, so much so that it lifts up the front of the mower.

Pro: I like that the SJM is relatively trim line, so I can get closer to the edges without needing to do more trimming.

Need/Want: a mower that can cut to the grass, with built-in trimmer, and a bin for weed and feed fertalizer, that is dropped as the grass is mowed.

Just give me an E'Mower that does all three, and I'll be happy.


I mowed my lawn for the first time in months, I didn't think this little mower could handle it. Well I was wrong this lawn mower is the little engine that could. I mean wow I reall5 was suprised by it. I used a 12 guage cord and lets just say, this mower puts gas mowers to shame and it is so light a 8 year old could push it.

I got this for my 11 year old daughter, who traded chores with her brother to get to do the lawn. It is light enough that she has no trouble moving it around or mowing the steep side of the raised driveway (six-ish feet high), and it does a bang-up job on the lawn. The mulch feature only works when the grass just needs an inch or two off the top. When we first moved in the grass was about four inches higher than it should be, and while the mower had no trouble cutting it, the mulching feature just didn't work. The 'bag' is a bit of a PITA, but it is certainly better than raking!

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