An Ultimate Guide To Sod Cutter

If you’re someone that’s completely new to sod cutters and lawns, here’s a simple and quick explanation. The area that you are going to be converting into a lawn has to be prepared before the installation of sod and a sod cutter is an important tool in carrying out this process. Want to know more about sod cutters? If yes, you are in the right place. In this article we will cover everything from the uses of a sod cutter to using one on your own.

What is Sod?

In simple words, sod is nothing but grass with a layer of soil attached to the bottom to fulfill the need of holding the grass together. Instead of soil, a thin layer of biodegradable material can also be used. Now that we have covered the most basic part, let’s get into the further information and know more about sod cutters.

What does a sod cutter do?

As the name suggests, a sod cutter is a machine used for cutting the topmost layer of sod (grass) in a lawn, field, yard, etc. and it is also called sod remover. The machinery has different tools to comfortably carry out various ways of cutting the sod in your lawn. Sod cutters are mostly used in golf courses, yards, lawns, etc. for the purpose of cutting turfgrass.

Types of sod cutters

There’s a lot more to sod cutters than you can imagine, this is because of the different varieties available. There are a ton of different varieties and models of sod cutters you can know about. Below, we’ll discuss 5 types. It can be beneficial to know about the different kinds of sod cutters especially if you are on a hunt to purchase a sod cutter.

Let’s now get into the features of each type:

1. Manual Sod Cutter

If the job is just to get rid of a small area of grass, a manual sod cutter is the best option to choose. It is both eco-friendly and economical as well. A manual sod cutter can comfortably remove 12 inch wide strips of grass from the soil. The best part is that it can perform this task without utilizing any gas power. The tool is similar to a lawn mower but is used for the complete opposite purpose.

2. Kick-Plow Sod Cutter

Getting rid of a lawn is a piece of cake when you use a kick-plow sod cutter for the job. Using such a sod cutter is very simple as well, just put the bar where you are willing to cut and give a strong kick to the cross-bar connecting the handles. While doing so, make sure you are pressing down a little bit in order to get the blades into the soil.

3. Tractor Mount Sod Cutter

A tractor-mount sod cutter is the best among the 2 types we have mentioned till now. It is extremely efficient and gets the work done quickly and perfectly. But the only downside of this type of sod-cutter is the size of it. It is huge in size and isn’t very effective for a small area. If you own a huge sod farm and would like to get it cleared, this option is perfect, but if not, the other types will work fine.

4. Self Propelled Sod Cutter

This is perhaps the most used and the most known type of sod cutter on the market today. Self-propelled sod cutters are the most common in rental services as well. They are extremely efficient, get the work done quickly and are easy to use. Unlike the kick-plow type, the self-propelled sod cutters are not very physically tiring to use.

5. Walk Behind Sod Cutter

Most of the walk-behind sod cutters in the current day market are designed to be able to cut strips of 18 inches width. This type of sod cutter takes out the sod along with the roots and a portion of soil attached to it. In some models you can cut the sod strips 1 to 6 feet long. Most of the models also have optional cutting width from 12 to 24 inches.

Manual Sod Cutter – Best Sod Cutting Tool

Using a manual sod cutter is a great way to remove sod in your lawn, if you choose to buy one, that’s a great decision. This thing doesn’t require any gasoline to run, is noise-free, and won’t need any engine maintenance. All of this technically means that it is an eco-friendly option. The only thing that you need to worry about is the maintenance of the steel blade. Various brands sell some amazing models of sod cutters you can choose from.

The only thing you should look into while buying a manual sod cutter is the material of the sod cutter. As you will be hitting against it a lot, make sure that the material is extra strong.

Features of a Manual Sod Cutter:

One of the best things about a manual sod cutter is that you don’t have to depend on anything for it to run, it’s your physical strength that keeps it going. It might be difficult for some people but once you get used to it, you’ll be able to clear a large area of turfgrass within no time. Sound is among the first things that people hate about running a sod cutter. Don’t worry because a manual sod cutter is noise-free.

How to Use a Manual Sod Cutter?

Make sure you mow the area by putting the mower on its lowest setting, do it a day prior to removing sod.

  • Water the area the night before if your lawn is compacted and dry, this will allow easy removal of sod.
  • Put the manual sod cutter at the point you’d like to begin from and kick the foot bar while holding the handles. Make sure that the blade reaches deep into the sod.
  • Now, push it forward in order to lengthen the cut made previously. Pull it back a little and push again to make the next cut, continue doing it until the whole area is covered.


Preparing the Ground for Sod Cutting

Getting your lawn ready before operating the sod cutter is an important step to perfectly removing the sod. You’ll have to start the preparation a day before bringing out the sod cutter. The first thing is to reduce the weight and volume of the sod, you can do it by mowing. If the soil in your lawn tends to be pretty dry, watering it a night before is also recommended.


This is our comprehensive guide on sod cutters, we hope you found it helpful and were able to learn something new about sod cutters. After reading this, you should be able to easily differentiate between different types of sod cutters. We’ve also mentioned the steps to removing sod using a manual sod cutter, so we hope you can carry that out properly.