Sun Joe iON16LM Review: Is It Efficient?

The Verdict

Cordless electric lawnmowers are convenient, and that is probably the most significant edge the Sun Joe iON16LM has over similar products. It is mid-range in terms of affordability, performance and cutting ability, and would be convenient for houses with small to medium-sized yards.

Pros

mid-range in terms of price, ultralight 40V Lithium-ion battery, extremely quiet when operated, has a grass bag, good cutting quality, easy to maneuver, comes with a safety key, a one-press button for startup

Cons

plastic build, tends to bog down if the grass bag becomes full, does not have mulching option

 

Sun Joe is the alternative to the well-loved Snow Joe that makes outdoor power tools used in winter. Sun Joe has a line of lawnmowers that are electric, and this guarantees the company’s drive towards manufacturing eco-friendly products. They offer free shipping and a 2-year warranty on all their products. Their tagline Go with Joe is a well-known phrase for people who love the build of their many tools in the market.

The Sun Joe iON16LM cordless lawnmower is an entry-level electric model that is convenient and low maintenance. It is included in the mid-range price and has the advantages seen in electric mower types. Here is a breakdown of its qualities and you can refer to this before buying the product.

 

Performance and Cut Quality

The Sun Joe iON16LM does not fall behind in performance because of its 40V 4Ah Lithium-ion battery. It is capable of powering through a small yard for around 40 minutes before it needs to be charged. The thing about the battery equipped in this machine is that it needs around two hours for a full charge. However, the iBAT 40 can be swapped with the better and fast-charging iBAT 40XR. It’s an advantage found in iON-equipped tools.

This brand has an exclusive feature, which is the Eco Sharp technology for power that does not fade. It has a hybrid counterpart, but I find that this one is good enough to use; the recharging length gives me enough time to rest in between mowing.

If you have a small yard like I do, you’ll find the performance in this thing more than enough to finish mowing for its total running time. I have about 1/3 of an acre, and the iON16LM cut through my well-kept yard quite decently, it is a perfect trim mower for yards with flat terrain.

In terms of cut quality, the blade is sharpened initially so you can be sure that the cutting quality allows for healthier grass regrowth. It is capable of cutting tough grasses, but you’ll get more than satisfactory results when you use it as a trimmer for those finishing touches that makes the lawn pristine-looking.

The steel blade can swath up to 16 inches, which is considerably smaller compared to the other 21-inch mowers out there. However, it’s not that much of an issue when it comes to cutting quality. I’ve also tried it on tall grasses and the mower could handle it quite well because of its height adjustment settings.

Rating: 3.5out of 5

 

Ease of Use

An electric model is theoretically easy to use, and thankfully, this model is simple to operate in actual. With its cordless feature, the battery is capable of going far without needing to charge, and it gives me free rein in terms of distance; no need to worry about being far from the power source. I also don’t need to worry about tripping or fall accidents, because there is no power cord to take caution of.

The machine is ultralight, maybe due to its mostly plastic build. The product weighs only 43.8 pounds but feels lighter when I push it around since the wheels are easily movable. It is also relatively compact because of the Li-ion battery, which makes for better operation around corners. I like that I don’t have to suffer from an aching body after mowing since it’s not that heavy to move on the lawn.

The grass catcher, although small, is also advantageous in terms of getting behind the machine, helping you relax your arms as you go about the mowing. It also fits well so you can hook and remove the grass bag with ease.

Another notable thing is that it does not have any pull cords but has aninstant startlever for starting instead, so powering up the motor is pretty hassle-free, making the machine roar to life with just a press. However, I cannot guarantee the same ease with its handle since the one that comes with it is not padded.

Rating:3.5 out of 5

 

Special Features

Sun Joe iON16LM’s power source is the 40V 4Ah iONMAX Lithium-ion battery that is rechargeable and can last as long as 40 minutes of operation. It’s not much compared to other rechargeable models that can last up to an hour, but for a small yard, this is more than enough.

The exclusive feature of the Sun Joe iON16LM is the registered EcoSharp technology that guarantees a no-fade power and optimum performance for its motor. The motor is powerful and brushless, meaning that it also improves battery efficiency and performance. It also makes operation almost noiseless.

There is also a safety key for when you have kids lying around who might play with this mower. When the key is pulled out, the mower is impossible to start or use. This is found next to the battery compartment, and I make sure to take it out after using to keep it safe and secure.

This model is Sun Joe’s entry-level offering for the cordless electric type of mower, so there really isn’t much in terms of features. It has a hybrid version, though, which can be plugged to power it, or just use it cordless using the rechargeable battery capacity.

Rating:3 out of 5

 

Design

The product comes preassembled once you take it out of the box.

The overall design is simple and fuss-free, and the most important parts like the blade and battery have durable steel make. However, I was not happy with how the body is mostly made of plastic. Yes, it makes the whole unit lightweight and easy to push around, but it also lacks in the durability department. I’ve noticed little chips on the edges of the plastic body; this is not to be used in really rough terrain or you’d be replacing the exterior soon.

You may have noticed that I haven’t highlighted the discharge options because there is only one for this model. It only has the bagging discharge capability, so don’t expect this model to mulch or side discharge, because it lacks in that area. The grass bag is attached to the rear and isn’t bulky, so that’s one point that it at least possesses.

What it does have is the cutting height adjustment, which is made up of six levels. The smallest cutting height is 1.8 inches, while the maximum is 3.15 inches. That makes it ideal for yards that haven’t been cut in a couple of days; any longer and you won’t see this thing perform as well as other heavy-duty mowers out there.

Rating:3 out of 5

 

Cost Effectiveness

The Sun Joe iON16LM is priced at around $200, which is to say an affordable option for the cordless electric type. However, it offers only the most basic of features. I would have loved for it to have the mulching option, but since I’m only paying that much for a compact and lightweight mower with only a rear bagging option, I’d say the price is just right.

When it comes to choosing this mower over another with the same specifications, I would say the price is reasonable, but if your yard is medium-sized, you have to stay away from this model.

Rating:3.5 out of 5

 

Grass Collection and Discharge

I am so disappointed that this model only has the rear bagging option. The bag is smaller than standard, so while it makes for pushing with ease and comfort, you do have to empty it out often if you are cutting 3-inch grass. If the catch basket becomes full, it tends to bog down the machine. I do not fill it to the brim to prevent this from happening. I would have loved for this mower to have at least the mulching discharge, but this one cannot be modified to upgrade it.

There is no side discharge, too. The iON16LM lags behind 3-in-1 mowers by a lot, which has become the standard for modern power tools. As I said, you’d have to take the extra effort of attaching, removing and emptying the bag quite a few times—the mowing operation won’t be as smooth or as fast as you want it to be.

Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Maneuverability

The wheels are flimsy in design and I doubted it the first time I saw the product, but they are pretty maneuverable once you get into the motion. Both front and rear wheels are capable of moving around the area. Plus, its ultralight weight makes it easy to drive around any islands, trees or other obstacles within your yard.

The handle is ergonomic and comfortable to grip. Its height is adjustable, which makes it versatile for people of all heights, including me who is on the shorter side. The rear bag is not too big that it takes up too much space between you and the machine. This makes it maneuver without the strain of stretching arms as you go around the lawn.

Rating:3.5out of 5

 

Maintenance

Maintaining the Sun Joe iON16LM is hassle-free; such is the advantage of being an electric type mower, and a cordless one as well. You do not need to worry about things like fuel refills or oil tune-ups like gas mowers require. Mechanical maintenance is virtually nonexistent for this model since power is provided by an electric motor and battery.

You only need to give attention to the Li-ion battery since it is rechargeable. Make sure to care for the batteries by charging it regularly and do not ignore it while it is fully drained. Do not store it at an empty charge, either. You can also replace the batteries if you want faster-charging ones, just as long as you use the battery pack that is compatible with the iON tool.

I also make it a point to clean the cutting deck after I use it. Grass clippings tend to clump on that area after mowing, so I don’t let it dry out on the steel blade. Also, you can sharpen its blade once every year, especially if you are using this on the regular. This is to ensure that the cutting quality does not deteriorate.

Should you need a professional to look at the unit, Sun Joe offers a 2-year limited warranty for manufacturing defect servicing.

Rating:3.5 out of 5

Overall Rating

3.5 out of 5

What’s in the box?

The box contains one unit of Sun Joe iON16LM 40V cordless electric mower. It is preassembled so you just have to take it out the box and charge the battery initially for around 4 hours before using it. The box also contains the removable Sun Joe iBAT 40 iON EcoSharp 40V 4Ah Li-ion battery, and one Sun Joe iCHRG40 iON 40 EcoSharp Li-ion specified charger.

The unit has all the necessary parts for operation installed with it, including the Instant Start lever and safety switch, safety key insert, 16-inch steel blade, grass indicator window, adjustable handle, height adjustment lever, and wheels.

The unit also comes with a grass bag for catching grass clippings and an instruction manual for a reference regarding its operation and maintenance.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How heavy is the mower?

A: The Sun Joe iON16LM is only 43 pounds and is compact in size for easy maneuvering.

Q: Can this handle all types of grasses?

A: Yes, the battery and motor rating can handle all types of grasses.

Q: How long does the battery last?

A: The Sun Joe iBAT 40 can power up the motor for a maximum of 40 minutes until it needs another cycle of charging.

Q: Can it mulch?

A: Sadly, this unit lacks the mulching option. The iON16LM is a bagging-only mower, which means that it also does not have the side discharge function.