How to Use a Turf Cutter

If you’re making a flowerbed, starting a vegetable patch, laying decking or wanting to make a path, you may have to remove some patches or strips of grass in your garden.

Using a turf cutter will get this job done in no time. It will cut into your grass with ease, so you can simply roll up the strips of sod (the surface of the ground, with the grass growing on it) and dispose of them. You’re left with the soil underneath. Turf cutters also have different depth settings, depending on how much grass or ground has to be removed.

For instance, if you are using the soil to make a flower bed, you’re going to want the cutter to remove the grass roots as well, so no more grass grows. Thankfully, you can set the blade to cut to the desired depth.


What tools do I need to remove grass from my garden?

  • Turf cutter
  • Garden fork
  • Spade
  • Wheelbarrow


SPEEDY TOP TIP: If you’re cutting a defined section of grass away, you may want to draw out your lines with something like a marking white paint to give you a guide. Don’t use pegs and string in case these get tangled up in the cutting mechanism


Always wear suitable PPE when carrying out any DIY or garden work. When using a lawn cutter, it is important to wear:

A lawn cutter can be dangerous to use, as it uses blades to cut into the ground. It is really important to protect your eyes from any potential debris and protect your feet. Gloves will also help when it comes to removing the sod. They can also be loud machines, so protect your ears.


How to use a turf cutter

Using a turf cutter is much easier than removing your lawn by hand. It will be less strain on your back and arms than manually using a spade as a cutter.

Before you get going, test the depth of your garden lawn. Do this using a garden fork, stuck into the ground. It needs to have a depth of at least 25mm, or the turf cutter won’t work as it won’t be able to go deep enough.

Most turf cutters have a maximum depth too. If the depth of your lawn goes beyond this, you may need to repeat the process.

So, let’s take a look at how you use a turf cutter.


Step 1: Mow your lawn

It may seem like an unnecessary step, but you need to trim your lawn right down before removing the sod. This will make the turf less bulky to cut and will make your job easier.

You also need to remove any debris from the grass, such as stones or dirt. This will avoid causing damage to the turf cutter but will also reduce the risk of flying debris injuring you or causing damage to anything close by.


Step 2: Start up the turf cutter

All Speedy Services hire tools come with thorough instructions. Read through these before starting your DIY task, following instructions.

Switch on the ignition and turn the fuel tap to ‘on’. Slowly pull the recoil handle until it engages, and then pull until the engine starts. Return the cord slowly. Don’t let it snap back.


Step 3: Set the cutting depth

You should have already measured how deep your lawn is and know how much you need to cut away.

Set the depth your lawn cutter needs to cut to. Most have a minimum depth of around 25mm and a maximum of 35-40mm.


Step 4: Set the gear lever

The gear lever should be in position ‘0’ when you’re doing all this. Lower the lifting lever, which will lower the blade into the ground. Then, you’re going to want to switch the gear to ‘I’, so the machine begins to move.

It will cut as it goes. Ensure you control it and keep it in a straight line, following any markers you painted.


Step 5: Reposition

When you reach the end of each cutting line, you will need to reposition the cutter. Raise the lifting level to bring the blade out of the grass and then reposition the turf cutter, before lowering the blade again.


Step 6: Turn the machine off

When you’re done, it is really important to turn the machine off properly and return all levers and gears to their ‘off’ positions.


Step 7: Remove the sod

Once you’re finished with the machine, you will need to remove the grass. You’ve probably cut the sod in wide strip formations; while this is easiest for both the machine and you, they may be heavy to lift.

Remove small sections of sod at a time and lift them into your wheelbarrow. Shake any excess soil away so it isn’t wasted. You may want to reuse the lawn cutter to cut the sod smaller, or just use your spade.


Is there lawn cutter hire near me?

Yes. Speedy Services, the UK's leading tool hire company, have a range of lawn cutters for hire nationwide. Speedy has more than 200 service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery, garden tool hire has never been easier.

You’ll find all the tools you need right here. Why not start planning your next DIY project and open a Speedy account today online and in-store.

Ready for more Gardening DIY tips and ideas?

Thank you for reading the Speedy Services blog, we hope you found this guide on removing your lawn useful. Please check out our Gardening Projects page for further inspiration.

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