Can You Mow A Lawn With A Strimmer? An Expert Advises

Whatever the reason, you might find yourself in a situation where your grass is getting overgrown and you don’t have a mower to hand – but you do have a strimmer.


The question is, will a grass strimmer be adequate to mow your lawn?


We’ve shared the answer, as well as factors to consider if you decide to use a grass strimmer instead of a lawn mower, in this guide.

✅Key Takeaways:

  • Yes, you can use a strimmer instead of a lawn mower to mow the lawn, but it isn’t a practical or efficient solution.

  • Strimmers are smaller and more difficult to balance than lawn mowers, so mowing the lawn will take longer and you’ll struggle to maintain a consistent cutting height.

  • If you have no choice but to mow the lawn with a strimmer, follow our instructions in this guide for safe and effective mowing.

Table of Contents

🤷🏻‍♂️ Can You Use A Grass Strimmer To Mow Your Lawn?

Yes, you can, in theory, use a grass strimmer to mow your lawn.


Grass strimmers, otherwise known as weed wackers, weed eaters, whippy snippers, or grass trimmers, are designed to trim back long grass and weeds in parts of your lawn that are inaccessible to your lawn mower, like around borders, flower beds, and trees.


Since grass trimmers are designed with the same purpose as lawn mowers – to cut grass – they can technically be used in place of a lawn mower for general grass-cutting purposes.


However, that doesn’t mean that we recommend using a strimmer to mow your lawn unless you don’t have any other options.


It’s more difficult to maintain a consistent grass blade height when strimming, which means you’ll probably end up with a varying grass height across your lawn.


Plus, using a trimmer to cut your whole lawn will take ages, and will probably wear out the trimmer’s motor, which is only designed to cut small lawn areas.

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🤼 Grass Strimmer Vs Lawn Mower Design: Key Differences

Strimmers and lawn mowers actually have very similar designs: they both have a blade that spins quickly, cutting grass on impact.


The main difference is in size and operation. Conventional lawn mowers are wheeled machines that you push back and forth. You pre-set the blade height, so that when you push the mower forward over your lawn, it cuts grass to this cut height.


Strimmers, on the other hand, require more focused operation by the user. You can control the cut height by raising or lowering the strimmer above the ground, but that means you’re more likely to end up with some patches of taller grass, and some patches of shorter grass.


Strimmers are also smaller, with an average cutting width of 25cm, and they’re operated by mowing left and right, rather than back and forth, which isn’t the optimal way to cut a square lawn.

🧐 How To Mow A Lawn With A Grass Strimmer

If you really have no choice but to mow your lawn with a grass trimmer or weed wacker, here’s the step-by-step process we recommend:

  1. Prepare the area. Remove debris, toys, rocks, leaves, and garden equipment that could block your path or damage the trimmer. Put on protective gear, such as goggles, gloves, and ear defenders. Check the strimmer and make sure all parts are sound and properly attached.

  2. Plan your mowing pattern. Decide on the best approach to cutting the grass. We recommend walking back and forth in lines, sweeping the strimmer from side to side as you walk. Consider starting from one end of the lawn and working your way across.

  3. Begin mowing. Position the trimmer near the edge of your lawn, angling it slightly to direct the cutting line towards the grass. Start moving slowly, making controlled sweeps across the grass. Keep the trimmer head level and close to the ground, so the cutting line evenly trims your grass. Overlap on each pass so that you don’t end up with random uncut patches.

  4. Checked for missed spots. Before you pack away the strimmer, check that there are no patches of long grass. Trim these areas carefully to ensure a consistent appearance.

  5. Clean up and store the trimmer. Once you’ve finished cutting the grass, turn off the trimmer and wait for it to cool down before you remove any grass clippings or debris from the trimmer head and body and return the machine to storage.


😤 Possible Issues With Mowing A Lawn With A Grass Trimmer

Here are some of the possible issues with mowing a lawn with a grass trimmer:

🌄 Uneven Cuts

Grass trimmers are designed primarily for trimming edges and hard-to-reach areas, not for large-scale mowing. They typically have a narrower cutting width than lawn mowers and are difficult to balance.


Plus, it’s easy to unknowingly vary your cutting distance from the ground. As a result, you’re more likely to produce an uneven cut and give your lawn an inconsistent appearance when using a grass trimmer to mow your lawn.

⏰ Longer Mowing Time

Due to a grass trimmer’s narrower cutting width and lower cutting power, you’ll find that mowing your lawn with a trimmer instead of a mower will take significantly longer.


If you have a large lawn, it’s impractical and time-consuming to use a strimmer instead of a lawn mower – possibly taking you up to four times as long to get the job done.

🏋🏻‍♂️ Puts Strain On Your Trimmer

Grass strimmers aren’t built to be used for long periods. Most trimmers are used for around 5-10 minutes at most to finish up your edges once you’ve mown the rest of your lawn.


You might find that routinely mowing the lawn with a trimmer puts stress on its motor, causing it to overheat and wear at a faster rate. Don’t be surprised if your trimmer meets an early death if you use it regularly for lawn mowing purposes.

🪀 Wears Out The Trimmer Line

A line trimmer or a string trimmer uses a thin string or line to cut grass. If you often use your lawn trimmer to mow the whole garden, rather than just your lawn edges, you’ll wear the trimmer line at a faster rate.


As a result, you’ll probably have to replace the trimmer line more often, which will increase your maintenance spend.

🚑 Poor Grass Health

Grass trimmers typically shred or tear grass rather than cleanly slicing it like a lawn mower.


While this isn’t so bad when you’re just cutting small patches of long grass around your lawn, it’s not ideal for mowing your entire garden. Your grass blades will end up with ragged edges, making them more susceptible to disease and hindering healthy regrowth. This could result in a patchy and less attractive lawn – not ideal.

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📝 5 Things To Consider When Using A Grass Strimmer To Mow Your Lawn

Before you decide to mow your lawn with a grass strimmer or brush cutter, you need to determine whether or not it’s worth the fuss. Here are some of the things to consider:

  • Your lawn size – If your lawn is any larger than 20-30m², it’ll take too long to use a trimmer to cut the grass. You should only use a trimmer for grass cutting purposes if you have a small area to cut.

  • Your access to safety gear – You’ll need to wear goggles when using a line trimmer due to the increased risk of flying debris, so don’t use your trimmer to mow your lawn if you don’t have the suitable safety gear.

  • Grass collection post-trim – Unlike lawn mowers, trimmers don’t have a box to collect grass cuttings. You’ll need to collect up the clippings after cutting the grass. If you don’t, they’ll end up rotting on your lawn and smothering the grass underneath.

  • Your physical abilities – Operating a strimmer for long periods requires more effort than pushing a lawn mower because you have to hold the strimmer above the ground. Make sure you’re physically capable of using a strimmer to mow your lawn and take breaks whenever needed.

  • The strimmer power – While a powerful strimmer is ideal if you need to cut long grass or thick brambles, it’s actually better to use a less powerful strimmer when cutting the grass on your lawn. Low-power string trimmers are lighter and easy to use for long periods.

🏁 Final Word

If this article has taught you anything, it’s that you should only use a grass trimmer to mow your lawn in an emergency – and even then, only if you have a very small lawn!


While it’s physically possible to mow the lawn with a trimmer, it’s not practical. It’ll take up to four times longer than using a lawn mower, put strain on the strimmer motor and wear out its parts, and result in an uneven cut on your lawn.


The good news is that lawn mowers don’t cost a fortune nowadays. You can buy one of the best affordable lawn mowers for as little as £60-£80, depending on the mower type. So, it’s worth investing in a lawn mower for your garden if your previous model has packed in and your only other option is to use a strimmer.