A sod cutter is a garden tool that is used to take off sods or lawns in a very uniform manner. Earlier, shovels, rakes, and other pointed garden tools were used to remove the same. In the following sections, a quick overview of these cutters and their function has been given.
What is Sod?
Knowledge of sod and its anatomy is absolutely essential, since the work of a turf cutter is based on it. Sod, which is also known as turf or lawn in several regions, is a type of short grass belonging to the Monocotyledon faction of the plant kingdom. From the botanical point of view it is classified into several categories. The principle feature of the grass that is used in turf includes, narrow thin leaves, and uniform and short grass that grows from the base till just a little above the roots.
The sod has a short shoot, and a short but spreading root. Its anatomy is noted to be such that when planted really close to one another, it collectively takes hold of the soil to make a carpet of grass. Cutting through this carpet is a really tough job as there are virtually infinite smaller grass units in a single small lawn. To make the job really easy, one can use a sod or turf cutter. The advantage being, it takes off an entire even carpet of sod or of the ground that is uniform and also reusable.
About Sod Cutters
There are primarily two types of cutters; one which is the manual turf cutter and the second which is the electrical turf cutter--this is operated by electricity, just like a powered lawn mower. Both electric and manual cutters have a similar mechanism. The core mechanism is made up of a pair of rollers (sometimes single) which is followed by a sharp serrated blade. The level of the blade is a bit lower than the level of the rollers. In such a scenario, all you have to do is diagonally thrust the blade into the grass till you hear the soft sound of breaking roots, then remove the blade and check the depth. It should be just below the level where the roots have bulked up the soil in their grip. You will have to use your judgment in such a scenario; but remember, the volume of the soil should be perfect. Too much soil will be a major disaster as you will actually dig up the place, and lesser than required soil will break the carpet-like feature of your work. After you have confirmed the depth, start rolling the cutter forward. The carpet-like featured sod will pass through the roller and blade, and come out from the other end.
There are some genuine advantages of using a turf cutter. First, the volume of the sod carpet removed, reduces. Second, the cutter does a neat job by uniformly cutting out the sod carpet, and third, the entire carpet can be replanted as grass plugs with successful results. The rental price of a cutter is not much. Some are available for sale anywhere between $100 to $300, depending upon the model that you purchase. If you have a large lawn or a turf, then you can also invest in an expensive sod cutter that costs well above $1,000.