Sod can be a nightmare at times. While it looks quite convenient and easy to use, there will be times when you will have to cut through it. It will never match perfectly, so you will need a few adjustments here and there. This is when the struggle begins. While you can cut it with any knife, you want a perfectly straight result. At this point, the necessity of a quality knife for this job becomes pretty obvious.
A simple search for the best sod knife will bring in lots of results. Every brand claims on exquisite results, but not all sod knives can deliver. A little research is highly recommended if you want to end up with a reliable tool to use for years. Not only do you need to understand the principles of sod knives, but you also have to do your homework and learn from others’ past experiences.
About Sod Knives
Sod knives are similar to small pruning saws. Practically, they usually have serrated edges and they are not that large – yet you will find different varieties in different sizes. Serrations are necessary. Their main role is to go through thick mats of grass. You will use the blade like you use a saw when cutting through grass.
Most professionals employ specific techniques when dealing with sod. For instance, unless you use a cutting machine, you should water the sod a few days before the installation and cutting part. It should be moist, but far from muddy. This way, the sod-cutting knife will go through it without too much hassle. When moist, you may not even need a specialized knife.
As a general rule of thumb, you should get a knife long enough to cut through sod without too much hard work. Luckily, rolls of sod are not always thick. Some may try to save a bit of time and cut through a whole roll, rather than single sheets. While it may work sometimes, results will not always be perfectly straight when done.
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Now that you understand how sod knives work, what are the best options in commerce? Moreover, what makes them so special and what should you expect from this experience?
2020’s 5 Best Sod Knives
Radius Garden 16211
Versatile operation – Radius Garden has designed the best sod knife if you want some versatility. Simply put, you can get this sodbuster knife in a few different varieties. You can get the knife as it is – the most common option, but you can also get it in a package. It could come with a holster or with a metal detector – choose the most suitable option based on your needs.
Useful blade – The blade is what makes the difference in a knife and the same rule applies when interested in a sod-cutting knife. This unit comes with a versatile blade and two edges. One of them is smooth and straight, while the other one features ripsaw teeth. You also have an inverted V-shaped tip, which is mostly recommended when you have to cut through stubborn roots.
Durable materials – Based on the design of the blade, this tool is recommended to both amateurs and professional gardeners. The blade is made of carbon steel. It is not rust or corrosion-resistant, but it can be sharpened with no issues at all – plus, edge retention will pleasantly surprise you. Given the material, this knife can cut through rocky materials, clay soils, and so on.
Handle and maintenance – The handle is just as important. Its core is based on polypropylene, while the exterior brings in a thermoplastic grip. It is comfortable to use and ensures a nonslip operation. In terms of maintenance, since the blade is not rust or corrosion-resistant, you have to clean the knife after each use and oil the blade when not in use for long periods of time. Do not clean it in a dishwasher though, but manually.
- Super-versatile blade for multiple operations
- Ergonomic nonslip handle
- Can penetrate all kinds of soils
- Suitable for both beginners and experienced gardeners
- Excellent edge retention when sharpened
- Requires maintenance when not in use for long periods of time
Keyfit Tools Sod Knife
Versatile operation – The best sod knife from Keyfit Tools is excellent for a wide plethora of activities. It is great to handle overgrown sod, repair specific spots, lawn, and turn by cutting sod to match the affected areas. It is large enough to go through a sheet of sod, but it can also tackle rolls. Overall, it is a great tool for both beginners and more experienced gardeners.
Superior blade – The knife is inexpensive, but the blade is definitely above average. It measures eight inches in length. It is made of stainless steel, so it can resist rust and corrosion. The edge features super-sharp serrations. You also have a sharp tip, as well as a nicely shaped dull side to ease going through sod without damaging it.
Comfortable handle – The handle is often overlooked in specialized knives, but the manufacturer has taken this aspect into consideration too. The handle measures five inches in length – good for both small and large hands. Other than that, it has a hand guard to prevent potential accidents. It feels solid and ensures a nonslip grip, but it also has a hole on top – so you can hang the knife in your shed.
Care and maintenance – There is not too much to be concerned about when it comes to this knife. After all, the blade is made of stainless steel, so it does not require too much care – no oiling. Washing the knife after each use is still recommended. Make sure you wash it manually and never in a dishwasher.
- Excellent value for money
- Long and durable stainless steel blade
- Super sharp serrations for a clean cut
- Ergonomic and comfortable handle
- No maintenance required
- Stainless steel edges go dull faster than high carbon steel edges
Linsen Sod Knife
Full package – Linsen has designed the best sod knife if you are after an efficient tool to carry around. It comes with everything you need to cut through sod with no issues at all, but it also has a full package. Practically, you get a high-quality sheath as well. You can carry the knife around without worrying about its maintenance and care – no more dull blades from transportation.
Superior blade – The blade is quite long. It measures 11 inches in length. It can cut through sheets of sod, but it will also cut through rolls with no problems at all. It comes with two different sides. One of them has high-density serrations – super sharp – for fine cuts. The other one has a sharp wave blade, which is mostly recommended for quick trimming operations.
Quality materials – The blade is made of stainless steel. It will resist corrosion and rust, but it is just as handy in terms of sharpening. It has good edge retention and will sharpen in no time. However, the knife is super sharp out of the box, so there is not much to be concerned about. As for the handle, is made of ABS and features an ergonomic design to fit palms perfectly and ensure a good grip.
Comfort and applications – The handle is extremely comfortable to hold. It also has a hole at the end, so you can hang it against a wall in your shed. In terms of versatility, this knife is excellent against sod around overgrown sprinkler heads, small or large lawn reparations, sod trimming, and other gardening activities – such as trimming small shrubs and bushes.
- Lots of different applications
- Ergonomic and comfortable handle
- Super sharp and durable blade
- High-quality materials for durability
- Two different blades with different uses
- The sheath is not the most durable option on the market
Stanley Garden BDS7236 Fatmax
Unique design – Stanley Garden’s best sod knife is a bit different from the classic sod knives you might be familiar with. While they normally come with super long blades to ensure good and straight cuts, this one is slightly different. Its blade is not the longest out there, while the design makes it look unusual – yet the unit is extremely safe to use, even with no experience at all.
High-quality blade – The blade is made from tempered steel. It has a reverse V-shaped tip, which is excellent against weeds. Altogether, the knife measures 3.74 inches. It is not the longest on the market, but it will get the job done. The tempered steel is excellent for heavy-duty uses. Other than that, you have some super sharp serrations that will ensure a straight and easy cut.
Superior handle – The handle is what makes this knife stand out in the crowd. While most garden or sod knives come with a bit of extra protection, this one leaves no room for accidents. The handguard is basically designed like an offset handle. Not only does it prevent your hand from reaching the blade, but it is just as efficient when it comes to getting some extra leverage.
Grip and maintenance – The TPR handle is ergonomic. It has a comfortable shape – suitable for most palms. It is also textured, so you will not have any issues with sweaty hands. Besides, you have the handguard, which will prevent slipping too. As for maintenance, clean the knife after each use and avoid doing it in a dishwasher. Let it dry before storing it away.
- Large hand guard to prevent accidents
- Offset handle for extra leverage
- Textured grip to prevent slipping
- Super sharp serrations
- Easy to look after
- Not the longest blade in this range
Lesche Digging Tool & Sod Cutter
Excellent value for money – You simply cannot go wrong with this sod cutter. It is the best tool out there if you want value for money. It is inexpensive and it features no fancy bells and whistles that only add to the price. It is made in the USA and it is often used for other purposes too. It makes a good gardening tool – suitable for digging, camping, landscaping, and metal detecting as well.
Solid blade – You will be impressed with the blade. It measures seven inches in length and 1.75 inches in width. It is pretty wide and provides a good cutting experience. One of the sides is serrated – it has a saw tooth edge. It can cut through roots with no problems at all. On the other hand, you also have an edge on the other side, which is more suitable for dirt, grass, and turf.
Superior handle – The handle will not disappoint you either. It is fully textured, meaning it will never slip out of your hands – even if your hands go wet or sweaty. The handle is made of rubber and likely to last for ages. Moreover, there is nothing to worry about in terms of potential injuries – you have a wide handguard plate, which will prevent the hand from slipping on the edge.
Extras and maintenance – In terms of extras, versatility is the main aspect to consider. But then, it is worth noting that you also have a convenient belt holder in the package. It will be handy while carrying the knife around your garden, but also when you store it. As for maintenance, simply clean it after each use. Do not clean it in a dishwasher or the blade might go dull.
- Great value for money
- Suitable for multiple applications
- Convenient belt holder included in the package
- Versatile blade
- Nonslip rubber handle
- The nonslip handle is not the most comfortable one in the world
Frequently Asked Questions
Do sod knives work on weeds?
Sod knives can be extremely handy against weeds. In fact, they are designed to slide under the grass in order to cut it from the roots. The procedure leaves a few rows you can pull up easily. A sod knife is not, however, the best option to control weed growth. It can cut large pieces of grass along with the weeds, but it will not target seeds and remains.
Should I water the lawn before using a sod knife?
While not mandatory, watering the lawn is actually recommended. You can do it a day or two before the procedure. Thorough watery will give the sod knife blades a bit of moisture. The moist soil allows going through easier, meaning you can retain the edge for a longer period of time.
Are serrations necessary in sod knives?
Most sod knives come with serrations. It is almost a rule and the reason behind it is pretty obvious. Practically, serrations allow cutting through sod without too much hassle. You also get a straight and precise cut. While straight blades are also efficient, serrations ensure better results and will maintain the blade for longer.
What other tools can I use to cut sod?
The serrated sod knife is the best option to cut sod. A hook knife can also help. The utility knife comes with a short blade – usually around three inches in length. In the end, the blade is curved into a slight hook for more efficiency.
A grape hook can also help when cutting sod, not to mention a sharpened trowel. Obviously, none of these tools will be as efficient as an actual sod knife.
Should I choose high carbon steel over stainless steel?
Some sod knives come with stainless steel blades. They can resist rust and corrosion. However, edge retention is not that great and they will never be as sharp as high carbon steel blades.
On the other hand, high carbon steel is not rust and corrosion-resistant. It requires cleaning after each use and oiling when not in use for long periods of time. It is sharper and has great edge retention.
Choosing the right knife is up to your personal preferences.
In the end, choosing the best sod knife implies a bit of research. There are many options out there and the overall principles are the same, but small details in terms of quality and features will make the difference. Any of the above-mentioned options will help you work with sod in an efficient manner though.