What is the best way to cut Artificial Turf?
Published, September 9, 2022
Installing Artificial Turf requires cutting the material in some form or another. Whether you are shaping your turf around a curb, fitting a piece along a fence, or prepping for seams, there are various tools, knives and blades available to choose from. Choosing the right tool for your job will determine how realistic and ‘professional’ your turf project will appear.
Speaking from decades of experience installing millions of linear feet of turf, the ATX Team can unequivocally say that the most important factor in cutting your turf, is having brand new, sharp blades. Regardless of which carpet knife or box cutter you choose, a dull blade is your worst enemy. For one-time, DIY turf installers, a common mistake is to find an old box cutter in the garage from last year’s home improvement project and use it on your new turf. It may appear sharp. But it’s not, and the repercussions on your turf project will show it. So run up to the hardware store, and spend the $4 on a box of brand new blades. AND remember to change them out frequently. You can thank us later, when you’ve been on your hands and knees for 3 hours on the 120 degree driveway cutting that 4th piece of turf.
Cutting Artificial Grass & Selvedge
Even if the turf you have purchased fits your area perfectly, you will inevitably need to cut the selvedge off of the edges. Selvedge is a term used in the textile industry referring to the “Self-Edge” of a material or fabric. On rolls of turf from the manufacturer, you will likely see a couple of inches of excess, black, backing on both edges, which is intended to be cut off before installation. The Selvedge is easily cut off with a box cutter and a sharp blade. Simply turn the piece of turf over, place the blade in the last stitch row, use it as your guide, and cut all the way down. If you are attaching two pieces of turf together, this is necessary to “marry” the two pieces together so that seams are not visible.
Cutting Padded Turf
Box Cutters typically suffice to cut Bladed turf with taller pile heights. The taller fibers mesh together fairly well and hide the seams. Padded, flat turf, on the other hand is trickier to make the seams disappear. The edges of Padded turf need to be cut precisely to fit the piece next to it snuggly so there are no gaps. Simply free-handing padded turf with a box cutter, is not tenable when seaming two pieces together, as it’s impossible to cut a perfectly straight line. In this case, you’ll want to use knives designed specifically for carpet installation.
These carpet knives use the rectangular razor blades, as opposed to the triangular blades found in box cutters and are typically available at hardware stores. Flip the turf over and run a chalk line to cut the first piece as straight as possible, THEN, overlap that piece over the second piece. Using the first piece as a guide, run the carpet cutter along the edge, pushing through the top and backing of the second piece, staying as close to the edge of the top piece as possible. Even if the original cut on the first piece is not perfectly straight, you will at least have 2 “matching” pieces that fit together nicely. You may want to do a test cut on a couple of pieces of excess you have, or at least start in a less visible area.
For most DIY Turf projects, the standard tools available at your local hardware store or carpet specialty supply shop will do the job. There are heavier-duty, industrial turf tools available such as the device below. These tend to be very expensive and hard to repair and are generally recommended only for professional turf installers, and are likely overkill for home projects.
Warning: Your Turf will likely be wrapped in plastic upon arrival. Be careful to not cut through the backing of the turf when cutting the plastic off the rolls, or this might happen….
Call your representative at ATXTurf today, to discuss what cutting tools you might need for your turf installation. 866-428-2809