How To Mow Your Lawn Without A Lawn Mower

For one reason or another, you might not have access to a lawn mower.

But at some point you have to cut your grass otherwise you will have other problems on your hands.

Your options to cut your grass without a lawn mower include using a string trimmer, a hedge trimmer, a scythe, cutting shears, scissors, golf clubs, or even farm animals.

Read on to find the different options for your grass cutting needs

Why not use a lawn mower?

Lawn mowers in general are going to be very expensive and could leave a hole in your wallet.

If using a lawn mower is the only option you see, you could be spending at least $300 for a good lawn mower.

You could go to your local resell shop and purchase a lawnmower, but that might take a lot of maintenance to keep it working.

If you have a bigger yard that needs even more grass cutting, a riding lawn mower is going to cost you a few thousand dollars instead of a few hundred.

You might be able to find a good deal with a riding lawnmower, but just like purchasing lawnmower at a resell shop, you might have to spend even more money on the upkeep.

Also, depending on the type of lawn mower you want, you have some cost considerations there as well.

If a gas lawnmower, you have to consider how much gas you want to store at once to be able to mow your lawn and then how many times you have to go to a gas station to fill up your mower.

A riding lawnmower is going to take up more gas, so you’ll have to store quite a bit of gas, or purchase a trailer to take your lawnmower to and from the gas station.

If a battery powered mower, how many batteries are you going to need to mow your lawn?

We have a small battery powered lawn mower and we can mow the front lawn before we have to switch batteries.

Once we get to the back yard, we have to have at least 1 and a half more batteries to finish everything else.

Our lawn mower only came with the 1 battery, so if we wanted to mow our whole back and front yard in one day, we would have to either charge our battery twice or purchase some additional batteries.

So cost is definitely a big reason to not want to use a lawn mower.

Another is time.

Not only time actually cutting the lawn, but time maintaining the lawn mower.

My experience has been that most of the time your lawn mower is going to stop and start a lot while you are using it.

This is typical because there is some grass caught in the base of the lawnmower and it is keeping the lawnmower from being able to get rid of the grass.

So you have to stop, turn your lawn mower on its side and scrap out of the bottom of the lawn mower base.

Then you spray it with WD40.

You also have to take the time to drain out the gas in the lawnmower (or use it up) and replace the oil in the lawnmower when you are putting the lawnmower away for the winter.

Not to mention spending the time and money to get the lawn mower blades sharpened.

Overall, you will have to spend quite a bit of money and time to purchase and maintain your lawnmower and those are pretty good reasons to find other ways to cut your grass.

Recommended Tools

String trimmer

Our very first, and probably the best option outside of a lawn mower, is a string trimmer.

String trimmers are typically used for getting grass and weeds around the edges of your yard or in the middle where you might have trees, rocks or other impediments that might keep you from getting the lawnmower over those areas.

If you turn your string trimmer sideways, you can typically edge your yard as well.

Our string trimmer allows for turning the head sideways, to more easily edge the yard.

But in this case, we are talking about cut your grass with a string trimmer.

This isn’t as efficient as a lawn mower and will take you a considerable amount of time more.

Start by starting up your string trimmer and then go to one corner of your yard.

While walking to another corner of your yard, swing your string trimmer back and forth, in an almost 180 degree swing.

This swinging motion will cover most of the grass in the area you are looking to trim.

Continue doing this around your whole yard until you’ve covered every inch of the yard.

If you have a large yard, you might have to fill up your string trimmer a few times before you finish, or replace the battery a few times before you get to the end.

But in the end, you’ll cover the whole yard and will have a very unique pattern to your yard.

One of the biggest downfalls to this method is that your grass isn’t going to be the same height.

Since you swinging the string trimmer back and forth, there is going to be a portion of the yard where the grass won’t be the same height as the rest (deeper in the middle, higher on the outside).

But it will accomplish the task of cutting the grass.

Hedge trimmer

Hedge trimmers are typically set for aside for trimming your hedges, but can be used to cut your grass as well.

The hedge trimmers are good because they will cover a wide area in such a short period of time.

And because they are typically made to cut hedges, which are usually thicker than grass, it should be able to cut your grass with relative ease.

Depending on the type of hedge trimmer you have, go ahead and start it up.

Then start from one corner of the yard and while walking to another corner, swing the hedge trimmer back and forth.

Continue doing this until you’ve cover the whole of your yard.

The hedge trimmer is going to be a lot like the string trimmer, in that your grass is probably not going to be even when all is said and done.

On the other hand, the advantage of the string trimmer over the hedge trimmer is that the string trimmer will reach to the ground while you are standing up.

The hedge trimmer does not.

Therefore, when you are using the hedge trimmer, you will need to bend over to get the hedge trimmer close enough to the ground to manage.

And doing this for very long will lead to a hurt back.


When it comes to the scythe, they’ve been around for quite some time.

According to

The scythe appears to have developed during Roman  times, though it probably wasn’t developed by the  Romans.

The scythe was specifically created to cut down grass and grain at ground height, instead of at hand height like the hedge trimmer, or even a machete.

And much like the string trimmer, it has a handle that allows for cutting down close to the ground.

The scythe also comes with a handle, that allows for easier movement when swinging it back and forth.

Just like with the string trimmer and hedge trimmer, start at one end of the yard and swing the scythe back and forth as you walk.

It will also be a good idea to wear shoes while using the scythe, just in case.

Once you’ve made it to one side of the yard, turn around and walk back.

Continue doing this until the whole yard is done.

The good thing about the scythe is there is no gas or batteries you have to worry about.

The only thing keeping you from finishing the job is your own stamina.

When you are tried of swinging, then you’ll need to take a few minutes to rest and then you can start up again.

After some time, you’ll need to sharpen your blades, but this shouldn’t be as big of a deal as getting gas or charging batteries.


As mentioned previously, a machete is good for cutting down grass at hand level.

So if your grass is that high, then a machete is a really good option for you.

If your grass is much lower then you will find yourself close to the ground trying to cut the grass down with the machete.

Cutting shears

Cutting shears would be categorized just like with the hedge trimmers, they are a tool created for a very specific job in mind.

Outside of that job, they can do what you want, but they might not be very effective.

In the case of cutting shears, they won’t be doing much cutting all at once and you’ll have to bend over quite a bit to cut your grass.

But if you are really desperate to not get a lawnmower, then could accomplish what you want after some time.


Just like the cutting shears, these do some like a rather silly option.

But if you do have the time (or a child that needs some energy used up), scissors are another option that you could use for cutting your grass.

Golf clubs

If you are anything like me, you’ve cut down plenty of grass at the golf course.

Unfortunately, is usually isn’t on purpose.

You can do the same at home.

Just keep in mind that if you don’t bend your knees the right away, you may end up taking up more soil out of the ground then grass.

And then eventually you won’t have any grass less in your yard.

So better to be careful with this option.

If you want, you can place a golf ball on a tee and then walk around the yard swinging at the ball.

Or you could just practice your swing while walking around the yard.

But don’t take this option too seriously, because there is very little chance of your yard looking good after you’ve taken a few swings with the golf club.


Using a lawn mower is really your best option for cutting your grass.

But there are some perfectly reasonable reasons to not want a lawnmower.

If you are finding yourself in a situation where you don’t want a lawnmower then consider a string trimmer, hedge trimmer, scythe, machete, scissors, or golf clubs.

Some options are certainly better than others.

Bill Lantz

Bill Lantz is a database analyst by day and a weekend warrior by... weekend. He's currently building up his own miniature homestead in Central Utah with his wife and six kids. Some of his interests include knowing random trivia about films, reading history books, and playing video games with the boys.

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