Cost To Rent a Sod Cutter


Sod Cutters can be a useful tool for preparing a garden or flower bed. There probably is no easier way to remove grass without creating tons of new weeds. They can easily be rented for less than outright purchasing, as this is not an every day, or even every year tool!

Based on a survey of 9 different rental companies, the average cost to rent a sod cutter for a day is approximately $94. The cost ranges between $70-$115 dollars per day based on the size. This price does not include any delivery fees, which can run around $50-$100 if you can’t transport it yourself.

credit: Charles HudsonOpens in a new tab.

Just how much does it cost to rent a sod cutter?

We conducted a survey of national and regional companies that service the United States and parts of Canada. The cost data is compiled below;

Sod Cutter Rental CostsCost
Minimum$70
Average$94
Maximum$115
*Based on 9 companies

What companies had the best prices for renting sod cutters?

In doing this research I found that it is more costly to rent a sod cutter from a large nation-wideOpens in a new tab. Rental company or Big-Box home improvement store than a smaller, local or regional store. The cost difference was $10-$30 cheaper to rent from a local hardware or rental company. So, it pays to shop around.

But, by going to a large store you can ensure more availability of the equipment. And the larger stores likely have strict maintenance regimens that are followed.

Should you use a sod-cutter to build a garden?

A sod-cutter is a great tool to use for prepping a garden or flower bed. The main benefits of using a sod cutter to remove grass is ease of use, and not disturbing the soil structure. The main drawback to using a sod cutter is the rental cost.

I strongly suggest you check out our article on 5-ways to remove grass. We detail 5 common methods of removing grass weighing the pros and cons of each. And, we’ve done them all multiple times here! So, our guide could really help you make a decision as to the best way to build your garden, flower bed, or landscaping project.

Is a sod cutter better than a rototiller?

A sod cutter offers several advantages over a rototiller for prepping gardens and flower beds. The primary benefits of using a sod cutter over a rototiller is that you won’t bring weed seeds to the surface of the soil, and not disturbing the soil structure.

I have found that when the grass and top 1-2″ of soil is cleanly removed, very few weeds (if any) germinate. I have built numerous flower beds and vegetable gardens over the years. I have repeatedly found that tilling leads to lots of weeds and grass germinating.

Additionally, roto-tilling is very harmful to soil structure and can have a negative effect on garden yields [1]. It can damage soil microbes and mitochondria.

However, roto-tilling will allow organic matter to be added to the soil instantaneously. This, reducing compaction, and cheaper rental costs are the only benefits of rototillers over sod cutters.

To get organic matter into a new garden bed after using a sod cutter takes longer. Mulching with leaves, compost, or wood chips being the easiest and least destructive way to accomplish that.

What to do with the sod?

Disposing of the sod is one drawback of using a sod cutter. Where a rototiller turns the grass into the ground, the sod cutter just cuts the grass. The easiest way to ‘dispose’ of it is to just flip the sod pads over. However, this will result in some grass growing through the sod pad. If you plant to flip over the pads, consider cutting the soil 2″ thick to provide an extra barrier to the existing grass.

References:

1 – Ozeraitiene, D., 2005 Soil structure variations under different anthropogenic activity. Lithuanian Inst. of Agriculture, Klaipeda reg. (Lithuania). Vezaiciai Branch;

Joe Foster

Hi - I grew up outdoors in nature - hiking, fishing, hunting. In high school I got my first job at a garden center where I learned to garden and landscape. I've been growing plants from seed and designing native plant gardens for over six years. I hope to share some of my knowledge with you! Additionally I am a wood worker / DIY enthusiast. I enjoy designing/building projects (with hand tools when I can!). I hope to give you some tips and useful information!

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