When to invest versus when to rent lawn equipment.

When it comes to lawn care, there are three kinds of people: those who mow only when necessary, those who keep their yard tidy but aren’t picky about the grass species, and those who maintain meticulous, golf course-worthy lawns. Today, we are talking to the latter, and possibly encouraging the second. 

Considering types of equipment to keep your lawn at the top of its game – size matters – the size of your yard that is. It all comes down to how much manual labor and time you want to put in versus efficiency and cost. Obviously, the larger the equipment the higher the cost. A top-of-the-line zero turn mower can easily run you $10-11k which, if you are mowing several acres, may make sense. But if you have an average city lot of 20-30 square feet to care for, a more budget friendly option to consider is a push mower. You can purchase a high end push mower with all the bells and whistles for around $300 – $400, and get some good exercise while you’re at it. 

But what about all the other lawn care gadgets and equipment options that are not used on a mow-to-mow basis? Should you invest or does it make more sense to rent? Let’s look at what some of those pieces might be.


Trimmers, also known as string trimmers, weed eaters, or weed wackers, are essential for a well-groomed lawn. While they may not be needed every time you mow, especially during periods of slow growth, they are relatively inexpensive to own. The key is to choose the right tool for your needs.

For trimming around a few trees, a $5 pair of hand clippers will suffice and are great for involving children in yard care with minimal injury risk. For several trees, bushes, and outbuildings, a basic gas or electric trimmer, costing around $100, should be adequate. However, for thick brush, you’ll need a more heavy-duty trimmer, which can cost up to $300. Renting one typically costs about $50 per day, so after six uses, it’s more cost-effective to purchase.

Lawn Dethatcher

A lawn dethatcher is a tool designed to remove thatch, which consists of dead grass and debris, from your lawn. Excessive thatch can block water, air, and nutrients from reaching the soil and roots, making your grass more vulnerable to disease and pests. Dethatching helps aerate your lawn, improving drainage and promoting deeper root growth.

Dethatchers use metal blades or tines to comb through the grass, lifting thatch to the surface. The optimal time to dethatch your lawn is when it’s actively growing and the soil is moderately moist. For cool-season grasses, this is typically early spring or early fall. For warm-season grasses, dethatching is best done in late spring through early summer after the second mowing when the grass is growing most vigorously. Most lawns need dethatching once a year, or possibly every other year, depending on the amount of debris. Purchasing a dethatcher can cost between $200 and $300, while renting one typically costs around $20 per day. Renting might be the more economical choice.

Lawn Roller

Lawn rollers are heavy cylinders used to level and enhance the appearance of lawns. They serve multiple purposes, such as flattening mole hills, pressing seeds into the soil after seeding to aid germination, and leveling soil before laying sod. Lawn rollers can be operated manually or attached to a riding lawn mower or tractor. They come in various sizes and weights to suit different projects.

Because excessive rolling can lead to soil compaction, it’s generally recommended to roll your lawn no more than once a year. Given this infrequent use, renting a lawn roller for about $20 a day is often more economical than purchasing one, which can cost up to $200.

Edge Trimmer

As a lawn master, having clean defined edges is a must along pathways and garden beds which can easily be accomplished with an edge trimmer, also known as a lawn edger. Much like its cousin, the weed wacker, this lawn finishing tool can be purchased as a simple manual tool to one that’s electric or gas powered. However, you will only need to do this once a year to clean up your edges or if you are creating new landscaping. Prices vary from a handheld edger around $25 to $150 for a gas powered trimmer. Rental may run up to $50 a day, so this may be an item worth investing in.

Leaf Blower 

Our ancestors would probably shake their heads in wonder at this time saving device for what they would use a rake and broom, not to mention the back labor, but let’s all tip our hat to the inventor of the leaf blower. From leaves, grass clippings, dirt and other small debris, a leaf blower can clear off a driveway and pathways in a few minutes to a weekend’s worth of raking leaves down to a few hours. Do you ‘need’ it or ‘want’ it? If you need it, expect to pay anywhere from $60 – $250, however you can find luxury models up to $450. If you like to just try one out to see if you ‘need’ one, you can rent one for around $50 a day.


To keep your lawn fertilized and well seeded you are going to need a spreader. Again, based on how large of a lawn you have will determine the level of spreader you will need. A hand held option will be around $10, where push spreaders can range from $40 – $100. A pull behind spreader may be something to consider if you have several acres of lawn, which can cost up to $500 and more. Rental fees on this option can run around $25 a day.

When deciding whether to rent or purchase lawn equipment, consider not just the cost but also storage space. If you have limited space and only need the equipment once or twice a year, renting is likely the better option. Renting also eliminates maintenance concerns and often provides access to newer models. Alternatively, you could opt for the ultimate rental option: hiring a professional to handle your lawn care. This can be especially cost-effective in a dry year; however hang on to your wallet if it’s an El Nino year.

While Missouri Southern Seed doesn’t deal in yard equipment, we can line you up with the right type of lawn seed to ensure all your lawn care is worth your investment.

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