How to Remove Sod with a Sod Cutter

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Garden tools make life easy, and they are also unique ways to improve your property’s market value. However, choosing or using garden tools properly is often a significant challenge for garden owners.

Thus, in this guide, we answer a common question, “how to remove sod with sod cutter?”

First, you have to consider they are available in various types, you need the right gear, the kind of terrain, and more. You do this to help make the sod removal process convenient and straightforward. So, let us get started 

Things You Will Need 

  • Gloves – to protect your hands from sharp rocks, stones, and sharp edges of the blade during maintenance.
  • Garden boots – you need garden boots to protect your feet from garden debris, and it’s also crucial for those who use kick sod cutters.
  • A coverall – to protect your clothing from stubborn stains that may arise from dirt or mud.
  • Goggles – to protect your eyes from flying debris and insects. 
  • Marking flags or Chalk – you will use these to indicate the spots you want to cut and water.
  • Water – the sod requires adequate water to grow as needed.


1. Choose the Right Sod Cutter 

While you can cut sod using a square shovel, or a manual sod cutter, your best option is to go for the motorized types. You can even opt to rent one if you don’t have the funds to invest in one upfront.  Should you decide to invest then this best sod cutter guide will be your best bet.

The main reason for this is because a motorized cutter is easy to use and delivers excellent removal results. 

2. Mow Before you Cut Sod 

Cutting sod will become easy if you have mowed the grass to a reasonable height level. Doing so will make it easy to penetrate the grass and identify the places you cut the sod strips. Plus, you will find it easy to remove and transport the sod once you have done so. 

3. Water the Given Area

Consider watering the given area about 12 to 24 hours before you start the removal process. It will make the soil tender for removal and for the blade to penetrate through the soil’s low layers. However, control the water level to avoid overwatering the garden. 

4. Indicate the Space You Want Remove Sod From 

When removing a section of sod in your yard or garden, ensure you mark the given area. You can use spray chalk or marking flags to make things convenient. Marking out the garden will make it easy to identify the places that require cleaning. Remember that removing sod is more manageable than setting up new sod. So, ensure you don’t get to the applicable sections of the garden. 

Also, remember to identify the pattern you plan on using during this step. Using a plan will help reduce the number of steps you need to achieve the right results. 

5. Remember Gardening Safety

When using a sod cutter, ensure you adhere to the basics of cutting sod right. For starters, get a pair of gloves, the proper boots, and even a coverall. If you plan on using the gas-powered types, you should know that it’s a powerful tool. Keep track of the blade position at all times. Plus, ensure kids and pets don’t get close to the machine when it’s in use. 

6. Test the Machine 

Before you start cutting all through the indicated area, test the functionality of the machine. A good example would be for you to test cut a given section in your garden. This can be a 3-foot area. Then, check the cutting performance, and adjust the functionality of the blade as required. Your blade should cut on average between 2-3cm of sod.

What If You Have to Use Manual Sod Cutter?

Well, you have two options in this category, which are the kick and manual sod cutters. Since they are not motorized, prepare for some physical activity, especially if your garden is enormous.

Using the Square Edge Sod Cutter 

  1. The plan is to work in small sections, as this process can require lots of effort. First, start by marking out the area of sod that you want to remove.
  2. Start by watering and marking out the given area about 12-24 hours before this process. 
  3. Then, use your boot to penetrate the cutter into the sod at an angle, preferably 35 degrees.
  4. Once it gets through the soil, cut out small chunks of sod, and remove them using the cutter.
  5. Keep on working until you remove all the soil from your garden.

Using the Kick Sod Cutter 

  1. Start by watering and indicating the given area.
  2. Them get your kick sod cutter and kick it to penetrate the ground.
  3. Continue kicking and cutting until you reach the end of the garden.
  4. Raise the cutter’s handles, which cause it to split at the end of the strip from the rest of the earth. Then, roll up the removed sod.


Are There any Safety Concerns in Using Sod Cutters?

Yes, because all sod cutters have sharp blades, which means you have to be cautious around them. Plus, consider using the motorized types away from children or pets.

How Difficult is It to Use A Sod Cutter?

Using a sod cutter can be difficult in many ways. First, you have to get the right gear, prepare the soil, and use lots of effort if it’s the manual type. The motorized type requires fuel and maintenance. 

Should I Water Before Using a Sod Cutter?

Yes, you may have to water the soil before cutting to provide the blades with optimal traction. In dry soil, the blades might slip, causing the cutter’s wheels to skid. So, keep track of the amount of water you want to use.

Does A Sod Cutter Level Ground? 

Anyone with an appealing garden should appreciate the value of a motorized or kick sod cutter. However, the square edge cutter is not easy to use if you want to level ground


Using a sod cutter is a simple process, especially when you have the details right, and the right gear. We taken a look at all the facets of how to remove sod with a sod cutter. Using these tools properly will leave you with a lush lawn in a few weeks, and enhance the market value of your property. 

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