Included bag holds a large amount of trimmings before needing to reload. Battery is detachable and can be swapped out for continuous use or charging if necessary. Compact design is ideal for small yards. Energy Star certified.
Can struggle to adequately cover larger yards without taking a lot of time to cut.
Electric motor starts up quickly without the need for a pull cord or ignition key. Small wheel base turns quickly around objects and obstacles in the yard. Hard-top grass catcher detaches easily.
Small 14-inch cutting head takes longer to cut a typical lawn than larger options.
The 13-amp motor offers enough power to cut through thick grass. Cutting height is adjustable with a seven-position control lever. Can mulch as well. Comes with a full two-year warranty.
Setting the mower up the first time can be difficult due to the lack of a parts list and unclear instructions.
Simple push design glides over the yard while cutting the grass. Manual pushing is easy through most yards and grass types. Base is stable and turns quickly. Handy grass catcher included.
Pushing the mower around can be difficult in thick and overgrown grass.
Features a powerful 12-amp electric motor. Three-wheel design allows the mower to pivot on a dime for navigating obstacles and tight turns. The mower can even cut around the base of trees and flowers. Offers four positions for cutting height.
Mower requires a long extension cord to cover most normal-sized yards adequately.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Sun Joe offers a remarkably comprehensive range of lawn mowers. The traditionalist can choose from one of the widest ranges of push mowers currently available. Those with small and midsize yards can pick one of many light, easy-to-use, and affordable corded mowers. Finally, there are cordless Sun Joe lawn mowers that provide the freedom of a gas-powered mower without the noise, maintenance demands, or environmental concerns.
Each of these efficient tools is backed by a wealth of experience and a terrific reputation for reliability, and it delivers a host of user-friendly and innovative features. There’s a Sun Joe mower for every lawn. The only challenge is deciding which one is right for you.
Here at BestReviews, we’ve been examining the whole range so we can help you find the best combination of performance and value. Our recommendations offer a quick overview and highlight a number of top models. For those who would like a more detailed look at the features available, we have the following buying guide.
Manual: Unlike many other lawn mower makers, Sun Joe still offers a half dozen different manual mowers, and while they’re easy to overlook because of the effort involved, some people wouldn’t use anything else. Their main advantage is simplicity, with no motor, comparatively few moving parts, and no need for gas, electricity, or battery recharging. You’ll enjoy the quiet, too. The five-blade reel is surprisingly efficient, and many argue it’s kinder to your grass. Several models have grass catchers, so cleanup is easy, too.
Of course, the downside is that you do have to push it! If you like to stay fit, that’s just great exercise, and with a choice of widths from 14 to 20 inches, these mowers can tackle lawns of all sizes.
If that’s a bit too strenuous for you, you’ll want to look at Sun Joe’s electric lawn mowers.
Corded electric: These lawn mowers are usually very affordable and a good choice for those who have the kind of modest urban yard that is increasingly common. They start at the push of a button and are light and maneuverable. These mowers come with a variety of cutting and grass-collecting options.
The only drawback to these mowers is the length of cord you can use. The effective maximum is 100 feet. Any longer than that causes two problems. First, heat can build up enough to be a safety risk. Second, even if you use a heavy-duty cable that might overcome the heat problem, the resistance increases in the cable the longer it is. So daisy-chaining two cords together doesn’t work because enough voltage won’t get to the mower. It will either run slowly or not at all.
In terms of actual power, you’ll get anything from 6.5 amps on the smallest to 13.5 amps on the largest. The technical maximum is 15 amps, because that’s what a standard power outlet supplies, but manufacturers always allow for a margin so a surge doesn’t trip your circuit. While a large motor is clearly much more powerful, it also uses more electricity. If you’ve got a limited area to mow, a smaller motor is more economical. However, you need to be aware that it will struggle with long or dense grass.
Cordless: These lawn mowers are the obvious solution to the cable problem, and Sun Joe offers three with various power levels. With run times of up to 90 minutes, there’s little they can’t tackle. Why doesn’t everyone go cordless? Cost is an obvious consideration (a cordless lawn mower is typically around twice the price of a corded model), and while battery life on the most powerful can be impressive, cheaper models might run for less than half an hour.
It’s important to consider the size of your lawn when you’re making comparisons. The voltage gives you absolute power, and with Sun Joe you can choose from 28 volts for small lawns, 40 volts for medium, and 100 volts for pretty much anywhere. Batteries come with an ampere-hour rating, which is a bit like fuel level. For example, a 5-amp battery runs twice as long as a 2.5-amp version. The difference between those two on Sun Joe’s 100-volt cordless is as much as 45 minutes of extra run time. So while you’ll pay extra, for many people the investment is worth it for the freedom to mow anywhere.
Hybrid: A recent innovation, unique to Sun Joe at the time of writing, is the hybrid lawn mower. You can use it as a corded model while you’re within 100 feet of a power outlet, then if you need to go farther, simply unplug it and the 40-volt cordless takes over. To us, it looks like an excellent solution for those who need to go beyond the 100-foot limit but don’t have acres of yard to mow. We would expect to see more of these in the future.
Sun Joe lawn mowers are light and very maneuverable, but few are self-propelled. If you consider that an important feature, you’ll need to choose carefully.
All Sun Joe lawn mowers are environmentally friendly alternatives to gas, but a push mower is greenest of all and will keep you fitter, too!
The smallest Sun Joe lawn mowers are an 11-inch hover mower and a 14-inch corded model. These are lightweight, nimble machines for smaller yards. There are also 16-, 17- and 20-inch models in all three power choices for making quicker work of large areas.
Normally a wider cut would equate to some loss of maneuverability, and that’s true of the 20-inch models, but Sun Joe has again innovated with a 16-inch model that has three wheels, giving it the ability to turn 360° in its own length.
You also want to check the adjustability of the height of the cut. Little variation is needed if you have nice, smooth lawns, but if the area is uneven, you might want to raise the deck to stop the blade from digging in. You can go down to about 1 inch on most and up to over 4 inches on the most powerful. Conveniently, it’s all set from a single lever that has several steps so you can make precise adjustments.
Once you’ve cut the grass, you need some way to dispose of the clippings. You can either leave them and rake them up afterward; use a mulching mower, which chops the grass into pieces so small there’s no need to rake (they feed the lawn); or collect the clippings in a bag as you cut, stopping and emptying it onto your compost heap when it’s full.
Sun Joe lawn mowers offer all these options. Depending on the model, you may have a side- or rear-discharge chute. Mulching and bagging are both offered on some machines (giving you the chance to use the method you prefer), but not all. Some just bag or discharge.
While on the subject, it’s worth checking the bag size. If you have a substantial lawn, then bigger is definitely better. You don’t want to be stopping to empty it every few minutes.
If you’re running cable outdoors, it should always be plugged into an outlet with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). If there’s a problem, it will cut the power in a fraction of a second, saving you from a dangerous electric shock.
Inexpensive: The cheapest Sun Joe lawn mower is one of the manual models at under $70. The hover mower is around $100, and corded models start at just $120.
Mid-range: Most Sun Joe mowers cost between $130 and $300, which covers all the corded models and the impressive 28- and 40-volt cordless. There’s something in this price bracket for almost every homeowner.
Expensive: Sun Joe’s powerful 100-volt cordless mower is around $460 as a bare tool. However, adding a charger and 2.5-amp-hour battery takes the total to over $700. The 5-amp-hour battery puts another $100 on top of that. It’s a terrific machine, but that’s a lot of money.
Q. Can a Sun Joe cordless mower really compete with a gas mower?
A. That’s a tricky question. In terms of outright cutting performance, we would say yes, and of course it’s lighter and easier to maintain. With a 2.5-amp-hour battery, you’ll get 45 minutes run time at most. The 5-amp-hour version will give you close to an hour and a half. But you have to stop occasionally to refill a gas model, too. However, gassing a petrol mower takes minutes, and you’re on your way, whereas recharging a battery takes an hour or more. You could buy a spare to swap over, but they aren’t cheap.
Bottom line? If you can mow your lawn on a single charge, a Sun Joe cordless is without a doubt a viable alternative. If you’re a contractor, a lot depends on how you feel about the environment and how much you’re prepared to invest in batteries.
Q. Is a hover mower a good choice for someone with physical limitations?
A. One is certainly worth considering. When operating, the air cushion makes it very easy to control. However, some can be quite heavy when they’re not running, but that’s not the case with the Sun Joe hover mower, which weighs just 10 pounds. For modest yards, it’s an efficient alternative to a wheeled mower as long as it’s used for regular trimming. Hover mowers do struggle with long grass, and there’s no adjustment for cutting height.
Q. What does ETL approval mean?
A. It’s an independent safety certificate from Edison Testing Laboratories (ETL). Testing is overseen by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and certification guarantees the product meets all relevant North American safety standards.
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