Trimming Grass: Which is easier to use, a lawn mower or a chainsaw?

Stihl ChainsawThere are many old sayings concerning the wisdom of using the right tool for the right job. While some sayings may suggest the obvious problem with using the wrong kind of door when trying to keep water out of a submarine, others speak to a specific case of over-kill when using a gun designed for hunting extremely large and exotic animals on an insect. In either case, the wisdom is clear if not a little convoluted in its practical application. Perhaps the same could be said with regards to using the correct tools when it comes to lawn care. When it comes to trimming the grass, the choice between a chainsaw and a lawn mower is not just a matter of having the right tool for the job but knowing how, when and why you should use it. So, why shouldn’t you use an elephant gun to kill a fly? The results are presumably the same whether you use a high-powered rifle or a fly swatter. In either case, the result is no more fly. Similarly, one could ask why not just fire up the trusty old chainsaw and do a little grass trimming. The easiest and most obvious answer to both questions is collateral damage. Like discharging a gun in a house, swinging a ten pound chain saw is extraordinarily dangerous. The chain saw is not weighted properly for such work and is designed to cut through the tough bark of a tree, which draws a closer comparison to the lower leg of an adult person than to a paper thin blade of grass.

Obviously, safety is a major concern, but so is the amount of labor involved in wielding a chain saw. Even a small saw of just over ten pounds becomes heavy the longer it is used. Without frequent breaks, fatigue, amplified by the vibration of the chain saw, makes a dangerous activity downright suicidal. Combine the weight with the two-handed grip on the chain saw and the stooping involved is a certain recipe for back problems. Even on a small lot, the money saved by buying one tool for several jobs will be spent in emergency rooms, chiropractors, or time out of work.

The fact of the matter is that lawn care can be time consuming. People put off cutting the grass and try to catch up at a later date after it has already grown out of control. The amount of work and time it takes at this point is far greater than it needs to be. Worse yet, the grass is likely too tall for a lawn mower to be effective, but even if you survive the massacre of your over grown lawn by chain saw, the energy and time it takes will hardly make up for the damage you will do to the grass.

The easy answer is to cut your lawn regularly, about once a week, with a well maintained lawn mower. Cutting your grass weekly will help promote a healthy lawn by taking advantage of its natural seeding and pollination. Mowers are also designed specifically to aid in following the one third rule of cutting grass. Cutting more than a third of a blade of grass will harm your lawn by exposing too much of the plant to sunlight, causing it to brown and die.

Thus far, the reason to use a mower to cut your lawn has focused on the damage that the improper tool will do to the human body and the grass itself, but what about the chain saw? Chainsaws are finicky tools that require constant upkeep to function properly. Keeping your chain saw blade sharp is even more complicated than the blade on a mower and requires a much higher degree of precision when sharpening. The easiest way to dull a chainsaw blade is by making contact with the ground, which would seem to be inevitable if you’re using it to trim the lawn. Using a dull chain saw blade would result in further damage to the grass in the same way a dull mower blade would rip instead of cut the plant.

Choosing the right tool for the job is an easy decision when u take into account the time, energy and safety concerns of using a chain saw to do the work for which a lawn mower is designed. When you add it all up, purchasing and maintaining a mower can save you money and provide a much healthier lawn. So in the end, an ounce of prevention will easily be worth a pound of cure as long as you don’t put off today what you can do next week, with the wrong tool.

Ralph Helm Inc is a proud dealer of eco-friendly outdoor power equipment from popular brands like Stihl and Toro. For more information and money saving coupons visit us online at, call or visit us at any of our two convenient locations: Elgin, IL (815) 788-1616 and Crystal Lake, IL (847) 695-1616

Image Source: Stihl USA

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One Response to Trimming Grass: Which is easier to use, a lawn mower or a chainsaw?

  1. Great post! I prefer lawn mower for trimming of course. Much easier and saves me time. Thanks for sharing.

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