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Sometimes finding an easy-to-use lawn mower that will give smaller yards that perfect manicure is never easy. Most mowers are designed for bigger lawns, Snow Joe now developed the Sun Joe MJ401E, a 14-inch lawn mower that is small, yet powerful enough to take care of your smaller yard. It is a 12 Amp electric lawn mower, but its power output matches that of its gas counterparts, but it comes with the convenience of an electric unit. Plus, it comes with a hard top bag that catches the grass as you trim around and it can be easily detached for convenient disposal. If you’re in the market for a durable, powerful mower for a smaller yard, then the MJ401E Mow Joe is one of the few choices available, that is hard to pass by.
- Design: Walk Behind Mower
- Power Source: Corded Electric Mower
- Motor Power: 12 AMP Electric Motor
- 3 Position Height Adjustment (Manual)
- A 21-inch cutting deck
- A detachable rear grass back
- Lightweight-only 29lbs
Using the Sun Joe MJ401E
For those of us who have at one time hustled with petrol-powered mowers will find the Joe MJ401E quite straight-forward to setup and use. For those trying a mower for the first time, it will take you anything close to 2-4 minutes to assemble and use this unit, safe for the standard checks such as loose cables and stuff. The fact that almost everything is pre-assembled is a big plus for users. From my experience, the only assembly you have to get your hands into is, perhaps, attaching the blades and fold, then make sure that the handles are well in place.
Just like any other typical corded mower or trimmer, the size of your yard will influence the size of the power cord. You’ll realize that an extension cord might come handy, that’s if you don’t want to grapple with cord shortage. In case you’re going for one, I recommend getting a lower gauge (a 12 gauge is more preferable) since this is a 12 Amp electric mower, thus, the thinner the extension cord, the higher the chances of the motor burning out.
The light-weight profile facilitates convenience for a morning or late evening trim, as its not hellish as compared to larger and heavier mowers. Yes, the Sun Joe is small in size, but it does a good job for small lawns as you can nimble on branches and stray twigs on your lawn as well.
A rear grass catcher with a hard top adds up to the features that makes this mower likable. With a 10-gallons carrying capacity, it will keep you going for long. Add that to the fact that it’s an electric mower, thus, you don’t have the added weight of petrol with the grass and you’re sure to do the yard in a few maneuvers.
Smaller mowers are all about having the work done. Just that, nothing more. If we’re really into perfect cut quality, bigger mowers like the EGO Power+ 20-Inch lawn mower or even better the Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV 30-Inch riding lawn mower will deliver the best trim on your lawn. Sadly, they cost more and are ideal for bigger lawns. For our small lawn, we’ll stick to the Sun Joe MJ401E, or the GreenWorks 25022 (see review here) that also gives a perfect manicure to smaller yards.
With a small deck, a few passes on the lawn are just enough to have you exhausted, henceforth the cut quality suffers as you want to finish sooner. However, if you really care about cut quality, you’ll have to be patient with the mower, and stay clear of the urge to speed things up. For that, I recommend you do it early in the morning, or late in the evening when the sun isn’t hot in your yard.
On the Sun Joe MJ401E is a 12 Amp motor, which to me is a powerful motor for a rather small mower. We’ve seen this caliber of motors on 20-inch decks, after all it isn’t a bad thing for a small mower. For a mower with a 14-inch cutting deck, the 12 Amp motor suffices as being too powerful, but it’s an assurance that it will never disappoint in terms of raw power output. As mentioned earlier, remember to use an extension cord with a thicker gauge while using this mower.
Durability of lawn mower -big or small- is clearly subject to the kind of maintenance and care we give them. The Sun Joe’s plastic exterior and lightly constructed wheels is very sturdy. As such, walking behind the mower won’t require much maintenance. For storage, it can stay in the open, or covered in the backyard, but it will still work when needed. If you want to have your backyard organized, you can grab a storage shed such as the Keter Store-It-Out, that will shield the mower and other equipment in the backyard.
However, you’ll have to be careful with the cutting deck which is small than the motor powering it. If pushed against an obstacle, chances are high that the blades may bend or even crack due to the high power flow.
A small, yet powerful, lawn mower for tiny lawn with a grass catcher. If that’s what you’re looking for, then the 14-inch Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe lawn mower is exactly that. If your lawn is relatively bigger, the 20-inch GreenWorks 25022 Lawn Mower is a safe bet. That said, the Joe mower is among the smallest lawns mowers in the market today, but it surprisingly doubles up as one of the most powerful small lawn mowers. For that, the Sun Joe MJ401E deserves our nod as a recommendable mower of choice for anyone in the market for a small, affordable yet powerful lawn mower that will take good care of a small yard.