Should You Rent or Buy a Sod Cutter?

Gardening Tips

Sod cutters are one way to cut costs when landscaping your property. Instead of hiring someone to make your lawn or garden look stunning, renting or buying your own sod cutter will allow you to save money and give you a sense of personal accomplishment.

Sod Cutters

There are pros and cons to renting and buying sod cutters. The size of your property and the amount of upkeep it requires will help you determine which route is best for you.

Renting a Sod Cutter

Renting a sod cutter is easy. Most gardening centers and do-it-yourself stores offer the option of renting equipment. Before you rent any equipment, consider the following:

  • How long will you need the piece of equipment?
  • What is the weather report- you don't want to rent a sod cutter on a rainy day.
  • How will you transport the equipment home?

At the rental store, be sure to check all of the types of sod cutters available. Some are intended for heavy use, and may be more difficult to manage, while others are more lightweight and easier to use. Never rent a piece of equipment without having someone thoroughly explain how the equipment works and any safety concerns. It is frustrating to take a piece of rental equipment home and then be unable to make it work. Mistakes like this are time consuming and costly.

Where to Rent

Renting equipment is usually done by the hour or the day. If you only have a small plot of land to use the sod cutter on, renting by the hour is usually more cost efficient. On the other hand, if you have quite a bit of land to deal with, renting by the day is usually a better option. The following stores are a few of the businesses that rent sod cutters:

The actual cost per day varies from location to location. Call several tool rental stores in your area to get the best rate. Most gas-powered models can be rented for about $80 to 90 per day.

Buying a Sod Cutter

If you already know how handy a sod cutter can be, buying one may be an option, especially if you live in the country. A tiller can be helpful when dealing with gardens, but nothing beats a sod cutter at clearing a path or an entire garden area, quickly and easily.

Things to consider when buying a sod cutter include:

  • The size of the equipment for the jobs you will be doing (sidewalk, garden, flowerbeds and garden).
  • Gas powered, manual or hand held? The area you will be clearing and the frequency of use will help you determine which model is the best one for you.
  • The horsepower of gas-powered models, especially if you have to deal with heavily weeded areas on a regular basis.
  • The width of the cutter (how wide will each strip be).
  • Maintenance costs (blades, chains, cables, tension belts, air filters, spark plugs, fluids).
  • Cost- for the number of times you use the sod cutter; will it be cheaper to buy rather than rent? The average cost per day for a rental is $80 to $90 for a 24-hour period. The cost of buying a sod cutter ranges from $35 (hand-held) to more than $1,200 (gas-powered), depending upon the model.

Where to Buy

The following retail stores sell sod-cutters:

A Tool for Many Jobs

Sod cutters are an easy way to cut away unwanted turf at the root level. A sod cutter can be set to cut at multiple depths, ensuring a quick and efficient removal of unwanted sod. The sod can either be reused somewhere else, or disposed of as compost. A sod cutter can be used to clear pathways for sidewalks, prepare a flowerbed or garden for new plants and to clear ground cover for the installation of a fountain or pond. These cutters come in a variety of models, from hand-held to gas-powered. They may be rented or purchased, depending upon the homeowner's needs. Almost anyone can operate a sod cutter once they are taught the proper way to start, maneuver and maintain this piece of equipment.

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Should You Rent or Buy a Sod Cutter?