Keeping a well cut lawn is important to maintaining your home, but not everyone has acres of yard to keep mowed. While looking for the perfect mower for someone with a lawn on the smaller side I came across the Sun Joe MJ401E Mow Joe. The manufacturer say it was developed as an easy to use solution for for those with smaller yards. It looked like it would fit the role perfectly so I did my research and this review is what I found.
Small for Easy Storage
Tending a small lawn presents some unique challenges. First if your yard is small, you are probably limited as to storage space, too. The Mow Joe is designed compactly to store in as small an area as possible. Additionally, since it is electric, you don’t have to worry about storing smelly and potentially dangerous gasoline or oil for your lawn maintenance needs.
Quiet for Peace with the Neighbors
Another challenge of a small yard is that it usually means your neighbors’ houses are very close. This can be an issue when the time you have to take care of your lawn doesn’t match up to the time they won’t mind the commotion. The Mow Joe is described in reviews as sounding like a fan when operating. This means you can do your lawn care whenever you like, even mowing that strip right under your neighbor’s bedroom window without disturbing their sleep.
Save by Foregoing Features You Don’t Need
Since your yard is small, there is no reason to spend the huge premium for a cordless model. A 100 foot extension cord (don’t get a cheap 16 AWG cord, more on this later) will easily reach to all corners of your property. Also, mowing will be easier without the extra weight and bulk of a battery, allowing you to maneuver into all the tight nooks and crannies with ease. This will leave you with less to clean up with a weed trimmer which is always a good thing in my book.
Features and Specifications
- 12 amp motor gives you the power to make short work (no pun intended) of the toughest lawns quickly and easily
- Starts with the push of a button, no more yanking on a starter cord until your shoulder and back scream for mercy
- Electric power means instead of storing cans of gasoline to spill and make everything stink, you only have an extension cord to wind and hang up
- Can adjust the height to one of three positions between two inches and 2½ inches so you can get just the manicured look you desire
- Designed to be compact to allow easier maneuverability and to store in less space
- Has a built in grass catcher that removes easily to make clean up a breeze
- Warrantied for two years to give you that extra peace of mind that you will get years of service for your investment
While researching the Sun Joe MJ401E Moe Joe, I found over 400 customer reviews. These reviews averaged just over 4 out of 5 stars. This is because over half the customers rated it with a perfect five stars and over ¾ of the customers rated it with four or five stars.
The biggest positive that came up in review after review is the small size. This made it a perfect choice for older people or people with health problems that limited their ability to lug around a larger mower. It also enabled the Moe Joe to be used in places where if you used a larger mower you would have to get with a trimmer.
Another reason the Moe Joe is a great choice for people with limited ability is the fact that there is no starter cord. People with shoulder, neck, of back problems often find pull starters difficult or painful to manipulate. Now they can start their mower with by pushing in the safety button and pulling the start lever back to the handle.
You will no longer have to lug or store jugs of gasoline for your lawn maintenance. This gets rid of the smell and the danger of storing gas at you home or the inconvenience of having to go buy gas when you want to cut your grass. Your energy requirements are all served through an extension cord.
Having an electric mower reduces the maintenance necessary, too. You will no longer have to change the oil. You also no longer have to get it tuned up before the spring mowing season begins. When the time comes for your first mow of the year, you just pull it out, dust it off, plug it in, and mow.
One problem that I saw come up a few times in the reviews is that the wheels could break off. As I researched this, because it would be a major issue if true, I found that the problem seemed to be caused by sliding the mower from side to side. The wheels are not as tough as those on your old all metal gas mower and this must be respected. As long as you use your mower as designed and roll it forward and backward without sliding it to the side, this should not be a problem.
The much more serious concern I found was people saying the motor burned out and quit working. By digging a little deeper I learned that the likely cause of this was using the wrong extension cord. This belief was reinforced when I looked up the mower an Amazon and saw that they were recommending as an add on purchase a 16 AWG 100 foot extension cord. The manufacturer says that this mower requires at least a 14 AWG cord (in AWG a lower number indicates a larger wire). The motor is rated at 12 amps and the smaller 16 AWG wire just isn’t big enough to supply the proper amount of electricity. This makes the motor operate outside of its design causing premature failure. So long story short, if you buy a proper 12 or 14 AWG extension cord, this should not be an issue for you.
While two large problems were found in the reviews for this product, they both are caused by trying to use it outside of what it was designed for. Given that and the overall positive reviews, I can confidently recommend the Sun Joe MJ401E Moe Joe as a fine mower for people with small yards and little storage space. Just do me a favor and buy a properly size extension cord to go with it so you will get years of service out of it.