There’s something therapeutic about mowing the lawn. Maybe it’s the rhythmic back-and-forth motion of the lawnmower. Or it’s the satisfaction of seeing a neat, well-manicured property. Despite its motivation, mowing the lawn is a favorite pastime for many people.

When it comes to keeping your lawn looking pristine, you have two contending options: rotary cutter vs finish mower. But what’s the difference between the two?

These lawn mowers come in different sizes and styles, depending on the size of the lawn that they are meant to mow and the user’s preferences.

If you’re looking to care for your lawn, you may be wondering which type of mower suits your needs. We will discuss this topic in greater detail and clarify which option is most appropriate for your needs through this article.

What is a Rotary Cutter Mower?

What is a Rotary Cutter Mower

A rotary mower (or bush hog) is a type of lawn mower that uses a horizontally spinning blade to cut tall grass. It is a compact tractors-mounted machine intended for controlling the growth of overgrown fields and pastures that have become infested with brush and tall weeds. 

Rotary cutter mowers are designed for large lawns, and commercial landscapers often use them. One of the main benefits of using a rotary cutter mower is that it can easily cut through thick and overgrown grass.

In addition, the spinning sharp blade helps to evenly distribute the clippings, which can improve the health of your lawn. These cutters can also be adjusted to cut at low (1 & 1/2 inches) or high (9 inches) heights. They can cut rough plant material (as thick as about one inch).

What is a Finish Mower?

What is a Finish Mower

A finish mower (AKA grooming mower) is a particular mowing machine that is designed to provide a smooth, even cut on turfgrass surfaces such as lawns, golf courses, athletic fields, and other areas with short grass.

Professional landscapers and gardeners often use finish mowers, but they can also be an excellent choice for homeowners looking for a high-quality lawnmower. An ideal finish mower is a piece of simple, easy to maintain, and capable of mowing cleanly over a wide area.

Comparison of Rotary Cutter VS Finish Mower

Comparison of Rotary Cutter VS Finish Mower

Many people think that finishing mowers and rotary cutters are the same. Both lawn attachments share some functions, but they are two completely different products.

Rotary cutters are designed to cut thick, overgrown grass and weeds, finishing mowers are designed for trimming and giving your lawn a well-manicured look.

If you’re trying to decide between the two, it’s essential to know the differences between these two pieces of equipment:

01. Type of Blade:

The most significant difference between these two types of mowers is the type of blade. The blade on the rotary mower spins horizontally, which is great for cutting through thick brush and weeds. Alternatively, finish mowers have a horizontal blade for cutting lawns evenly.

Rotary mower blades have a one-sided sharp edge and are made of thick metal to withstand tough cutting jobs, while finish mower blades are double-sided and made of thinner metal. This design helps the finish mower to provide a clean cut without damaging the turfgrass.

02. Size of Lawn:

If your yard is large, you’ll need a bush or a brush cutter or finish mower (like a John Deere mower) that can handle the area.

Rotary cutters are best for smaller & larger lawns because they clear more ground more quickly. Also, they can be used on rough terrain & uneven ground.

On the other hand, finish mowers work best on large lawns. They’re not as powerful as rotary cutters, but they’re much more maneuverable so that you can get into tight spaces with ease. And since they don’t chop up the heavy grass as much, they produce a cleaner cut.

03. Level of Maneuverability:

Regarding maneuverability, rotary cutters have the advantage. They’re designed for cutting large fields of grass, weeds, debris, and overgrown brush, so they’re built for speed and efficiency.

Conversely, finish mowers provide a more precise cut. They’re often used in gardens and flowerbeds, so they need to be able to maneuver around obstacles without damaging delicate plants. As a result, finish mowers tend to be slower and less potent than rough cut mowers.

04. Mowing Height:

Another critical factor to consider is the mowing height. Rotary cutters are adjustable to cut at high or low heights, while finish mowers typically have a set mowing height.

But some finish mowers allow you to adjust the cutting height, which can be helpful if you have a lawn with different types of grass.

05. Cost:

Rotary cutters are typically more expensive than finish mowers in terms of price. This is because they’re designed for more heavy-duty jobs, and they can cover more ground much more quickly.

But if you have a large lawn, the upfront cost of a finish mower may be worth it in the long run because you won’t have to mow as often. Finish mowers also tend to last longer than rotary cutters because they are less likely to break down from overuse.

These are some of the critical differences between rotary cutters and finish mowers. It’s also a good idea to talk to a lawn care expert to get their opinion on which mower would be best for your lawn.

Which One Should You Choose for Your Lawn

Which One Should You Choose for Your Lawn

Rotary cutters and finish mowers are excellent choices for lawn care, but which one is right for you? The main distinction is the way they cut grass.

Grass is easily cut with rotary cutters since their blades spin quickly. Meanwhile, finish mowers operate slowly and have multiple blades. This makes them better suited for more delicate grasses that can be easily damaged by the high speed of a rotary cutter.

When choosing which lawnmower to use, it is vital to consider the grass you have on your lawn. With careful consideration, you can select the right tool for the job and enjoy a pristine lawn all season long.


The following are some frequently asked questions about rotary cutters and finish mowers:

Q: What Is the Difference Between a Rotary Cutter and a Finish Mower?

What separates a rotary cutter from a finished mower is how it cut grass. Rotary cutters have blades that spin rapidly, perfect for thick, hardy grasses. In contrast, finish mowers have multiple blades that operate at slower speeds for evenly cut grasses.

Q: What Are Finishing Mowers Used for?

Typically, a finish mower is used to maintain areas with turfgrass under eight inches in length, such as lawns, athletic fields, golf courses, or other similar areas.

Q: Can Finish Mower Cut Brush?

A finish mower is designed to cut grass, not brush. The blades are shorter and angled differently on a finished mower than on a brush mower. As a result, a finishing mower will quickly become bogged down if you try to use it to cut the brush.

Q: Can a Rotary Cutter Cut Grass?

A rotary cutter is a very efficient way to cut grass, and it can be used to create a clean, neat edge along with a lawn. In addition, a rotary cutter is excellent for trimming around obstacles such as small trees and flower beds.


A lawn is more than just a carpet of green; it’s a complex ecosystem that requires careful management. Maintaining a healthy lawn is creating the right conditions for grass to thrive with the right type of mower. 

While both rotary mowers & finish mowers have their advantages, rotary cutters are better suited for areas of thick grass, while finish mowers are better for areas or more delicate lawns with turfgrass. The finish mowers leave a cleaner cut, allowing you to achieve a specific lawn appearance.

Ultimately, the appropriate type of mower for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. We hope this article about rotary cutter vs finish mower helped you understand the key differences and made your decision easier.