Mower Vs. Trimmer

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Mowers cut the lawn; trimmers finish the turf edges.

When it comes to lawn care, there really is no "versus" when you're comparing a mower and a trimmer. Each has its own way of doing things, and each does its job very well. Mowers do the "heavy lifting" of cutting the majority of the grass. Trimmers follow up and cut what mowers leave behind. When you team the two together, you can make short work out of yard work.


Mowers keep grass growth at just the right height to keep your lawn thick and healthy. Push mowers and riding mowers are the two types available. Most people opt for a gasoline-fueled or electric-powered model. However, "sweat power" is still an option if you want to go green and push the mower manually. Push mowers and riding mowers have blades on the underside that rotate to cut the grass as you push or drive the mower over the lawn. People with small lawns usually opt for a push mower, and riding mowers are the practical choice for homeowners with large lawns. However, given the convenience and the ability to escape from drudgery, it's not uncommon to see people with small lawns riding along on riding mowers too.


A string trimmer is used to give a lawn that perfect, well-manicured look. The string rotates at an ultra high speed when the trimmer is powered up, giving the string the capability to cut like a knife. Hedge trimmers are used to trim and sculpt hedges so they look well-shaped. Like mowers, trimmers are powered by either gas or electricity. Gas powered models are easier to maneuver and you don't have to worry about cords and electrical access. However, if you have health issues and don't want to breathe gas fumes, an electric trimmer is a good alternative. Trimmers let you make the areas around trees, shrubs, fences and garden edging neat and tidy and whack away weeds with ease. Because you will have to walk around with a trimmer, you should always try it out for size and comfort before you buy it.


Mowers and trimmers are similar in that they keep lawns and turf looking their best. They are both indispensable tools for proper DIY and professional lawn care. Both allow you to keep your grass at the right height. Both help eliminate weeds. Both help to aerate turf to make it harder for insects and pests to harbor in your lawn.


What a mower can't do, a trimmer can, and vice versa. A mower is more powerful, more efficient and more effective at cutting a large area of grass. You would be hard-pressed to cut an entire lawn with a trimmer alone. However, just try using a mower to cut around a tree without a missing a blade of grass. Or, try using a mower to reach every blade along a fence. You'll only get as far as the edge of the mower will allow you, which could leave a path that's several inches wide. Edging and borderline areas are what trimmers were specifically designed to do. Put the power of a mower together with the maneuverability of a trimmer – and you'll have a dynamic duo for lawn care.


Cheryl Munson

Cheryl Munson has been writing since 1990, with experience as a writer and creative director in the advertising industry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a focus on advertising from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.