Buying a lawn mower for a small garden can be very confusing due to the sheer number of options available. Not all electric lawn mowers were created equal. Nevertheless, a wrong purchase will mean that you’re stuck with a lawn mower that doesn’t deliver on your yard expectations. If you’re in the market for a lawn mower that will give your small garden a ‘new look’ each time you trim the grass, then the Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe 14-inch Lawn Mower should be at the top of your list. It comes with a set of features that will put a smile on the faces of many gardeners, including: a 12 Amp motor, sharp, well-positioned blades with height adjustment and a rear grass catcher.
- 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
Ease of Use
A few years back I purchased a petrol mower from a local store, but was unable to have it work. Surprisingly, assembling the Sun Joe MJ401E is just simple, it will not take you anything close to 2-3 minutes. Almost everything is pre-assembled. The only assembly you have to get yourself into is just attach the blades and fold up, ensure the handles are fastened…voila!
Depending on your lawn size, you might need an extension cord to avoid the limitations that come 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.
As expected, for a light-weight mower, after assembling up the Sun Joe MJ401E can be easily maneuvered as compared to larger and heavier gas mower. The miniature size might be deceptive of the mower’s workmanship, but the truth is it does a good job as you can chop of branches and stray twigs in your lawn into fine pieces.
For anyone with a small lawn, the rear grass catcher with a hard top has enough space to keep you going for long. In fact, it has 10 plus gallons of available space, meaning that you won’t have to empty the bag now and then. This is quite ideal when compared to gas mowers, whereby the mower’s weight added with the grass load becomes unbearable forcing you to empty more often.
Here a bigger mower, with an equal deck size does score well. However, on the Sun Joe MJ401E you have a small deck meaning that you have more-than-usual passes. That’s why we insist that this mower is ideal for only small yards. For a larger yard, fatigue sets in after a few passes on the lawn, thereby affecting the lawn quality as you really want to finish sooner. It gets worse on a hot summer day.
If you care about the cut quality, you’ll have to be patient with the mower, avoid the urge to speed things up, do it in the early morning before the sun is hot, and you’re assured of a perfectly manicured yard.
By default, this mower offers three height adjustment options: low, medium and high. This are the three basic option, but on bigger mowers you get a variety of adjustment heights. Here is where the caveat lies, even at high setting, you’ll feel that its eating away half of your grass’ height. This means that if you’re on the low setting, the mower will scrap the ground clean, thus, you’ll have to wait for weeks on end before your yard regains its green carpet.
Powering the Sun Joe MJ401E is a 12 Amp motor. This is a powerful motor for a rather small mower. We’ve seen such motors on 20-inch decks, but it’s not a bad thing to see it in 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.
The mower sports a plastic body on the entire outside, but the wheels are lightly constructed and the rear is very sturdy. For that, we’re convinced that walking behind this electric mower doesn’t need any maintenance. It can stay in the open, covered in your backyard shed, but it will still work when needed. 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.
If you happen to be in the market for an affordable lawn mower for a small yard, then the Sun Joe MJ401E is a safe bet. This 14-inch electric lawn mower is neither the largest in its category, nor is it the best looking; but it does exude enough power to have the work done. It gives value for-the-dollar in many aspects, and for a small yard, it’s something we can simply call a ‘step in the right direction’.
It’s not always that you bump into a small, yet powerful, lawn mower with a grass catcher. The Sun Joe MJ401E is exactly that. It’s a 14-inch, 12-amp electric lawn mower with enough power to give your yard a perfect manicure. It’s among the smallest mowers in the market today, but it surprisingly doubles up as the most powerful small lawn mowers. Have a tiny yard, and in the market for an affordable mower…have this at the top of your list!
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