Among the works on creating and maintaining a lawn in a presentable form, its haircut is not the last. The desire to keep in order the lawns of the backyard plot and the adjacent territory with mechanized care tools is quite natural. But when the question arises of what to give preference to — a trimmer or a lawn mower, the answer is not so obvious. In the material, we will arrange an impromptu competition among these types of garden equipment, reveal the strengths and weaknesses of each of them.

Design features

In a simplified sense, the design of the lawn mower is a two-axle cart, with an engine installed between the axles. A cutting knife with two sharp blades is attached to the shaft of the power plant. The knife is made in the form of a screw. Freshly cut grass is sucked into the machine and falls into the grass catcher.

The hand trimmer is a long bar. Along the edges of the rods are fixed: on the one hand — the engine, on the other — the cutting block. At the location of the center of gravity of the structure, there is a handle with controls for the device.

In the cutting block can be installed:

  • bobbin with fishing line for cutting grass;
  • plastic or metal disc blades for weed and weed control;
  • circular saws to deal with especially neglected areas.
  • For safety reasons, the cutting unit is covered with a casing. In order to somehow relieve the hands, each device is equipped with a knapsack belt.

Main use cases

As the name implies, the main purpose of a lawn mower is to cut and care for the lawn “carpet”. Restoring order in heavily overgrown areas with tall grass with her help is difficult, because she will crush the grass with her body, and try to cut the already trampled grass. In principle, this is real, but rather tedious, since you will have to go through the same section several times until a more or less acceptable result is obtained.

The manual trimmer is more «omnivorous». With it, you can process both a well-groomed lawn and an impassable thicket of tall grass. The only thing to take care of is choosing the right cutting block tooling for the job.

Mowing grass in hard to reach places

At its core, a hand trimmer is a compact and very mobile device, the cutting unit of which can get into any corner of the infield. Mowing grass around trees and shrubs, along curbs, on narrow paths, etc. causes no difficulty. What can not be said about the classic lawn mower. The bulkiness and clumsiness of the design will leave many untouched places with uncut grass that the lawn mower cannot physically get close to.

Lawn mowing with uneven terrain

Various pits and bumps make it difficult to move on the lawn carpet, which ultimately affects the fatigue of the lawn mower operator. To cut grass with a lawn mower, the area must be flat and have dense soil.

Newly developed lawn areas (with “unsettled” soil) and areas with a large number of bumps and holes are much easier to cut with a hand trimmer. As a rule, the line of the cutting block does not care about surface roughness, and the final result depends only on the art of using the tool.

Ease of use

A clear favorite by this criterion is a lawn mower. Due to its design, it only needs to be pushed in the right direction, and if you use a self-propelled solution, then it’s completely, only directed along the route of movement. Moreover, the slope of the terrain is not of decisive importance. Such devices allow you to enjoy the process on the hills, with a slope of about 10%.

The trimmer will require constant tension of the entire body of the operator. And although a backpack strap is included to work with it, the load falls on all parts of the body: arms, shoulders, legs and back.


As mentioned earlier, with the help of a manual trimmer, more scenarios for its use are implemented. Various types and sizes of fishing lines, cutting knives and cutters will allow you to “finely” configure the trimmer for specific tasks.

The lawn mower cannot boast of an abundance of varieties of consumables. On sale you can only find interchangeable knives.

Dimensions, weight

It is quite obvious that the manual trimmer is the leader in this parameter. It is lighter and more compact, which cannot be said about the lawn mower, which has large overall dimensions and weight.

Moreover, these parameters are important not only during the operation of devices, but also during their storage. The hand trimmer can be mounted compactly on a wall or a makeshift shelf, since it does not require much storage space. But the lawn mower requires a special approach. To store it, you will need to find and allocate a special area with convenient access to the device.

Collection of cut grass

Most lawn mowers are equipped with a grass catcher, a special container for collecting cut grass. The operator is only required to empty it in time as it fills up.

The design of the cutting unit of the hand trimmer does not provide for any devices for the collection and disposal of cut grass. It remains at the work site and must be collected at the end of the mowing. This increases the number of turf operations and significantly complicates the operator’s working conditions. After all, the mowed grass will have to be cleaned independently.

Noise at work

Subjectively, a hand trimmer makes more noise than a lawn mower. But this is wrong. Data from manufacturers of both types of equipment paint a slightly different picture. That a gasoline trimmer, that a gasoline lawn mower, produce approximately the same noise pressure, the upper limit of which is in the range of 90–97 dB. In devices with a different type of drive for cutting mechanisms, the trend continues. The noise level is lower, but comparable for devices of various types.


In terms of the financial component — leadership behind hand trimmers. Lawn mowers cannot compete with them in any serious way, since they are many times more expensive.

Lawn mowing quality

But according to this criterion, the undisputed leader is the lawn mower. Due to the design features, the lawn turns out to be cut, as they say, “under the ruler”. In addition, many models are equipped with a grass cutting height adjustment mechanism.

Manual trimmers cannot boast of the stability of the result and the uniformity of cutting the grass cover.

Cutter drive type

If we compare devices of different types of design in terms of this parameter, it becomes clear that full parity is observed here. In the camp of both warring parties there are both gasoline and electric engines. Moreover, the latter can be powered both from the mains and from the battery. Therefore, a draw.


In terms of ensuring the safety of the operator, lawn mowers look more advantageous, since the blades of the knife are hidden in the massive body of the device.

The cutting unit of the hand trimmer is open and poses a greater number of threats to the operator. Therefore, when working with him, face protection is simply necessary.

Also, it will be useful to carry out work in boots with a high top. They will save your feet from pebbles flying out at high speed from the cutting unit, clods of earth and other large objects that accidentally fall into the working area.


The final results of the confrontation are listed in the table.

Options Trimmer Lawn mower
Use cases +
Mowing grass in hard to reach places +
Lawn mowing with uneven terrain +
Ease of use +
Consumables +
Dimensions, weight +
Collection of cut grass +
Noise at work +/- +/-
Price +
Lawn mowing quality +
Cutter drive type +/- +/-
Safety +

If we analyze the results obtained, then manual trimmers win with a slight margin. However, there is one important «but». The confrontation does not take into account the «cost» of points received in a particular discipline.

And if you look at the results from this angle, you can unambiguously determine that those disciplines in which the lawn mower received victory points have more «weight». Therefore, in this impromptu confrontation, you can safely award a draw.

As for the type of unit, in our opinion, both solutions have the right to take care of the lawn, and equally for each of them.