How Did They Cut the Grass in Ancient Times?

Grass is a ubiquitous part of the landscape, and keeping it trimmed is a necessary chore. Nowadays, we have lawnmowers that can make this task relatively easy.

But how did people in ancient times cut grass? Let’s take a look.

Hand Tools

In ancient times, people used hand tools to cut grass. One such tool was the scythe, which has been in use since the Middle Ages.

The scythe consists of a long curved blade attached to a handle. The user swings the blade back and forth to cut the grass.

Another tool that was used was the sickle. A sickle is similar to a scythe, but it has a shorter blade that is more curved. The user holds the handle with one hand and uses the other hand to guide the blade as they cut.


In addition to hand tools, animals were also used to cut grass in ancient times. Oxen or horses could be harnessed to pull a special type of plow called a scuffler or scraper across fields of grass. This method was particularly useful for large areas of land.


Believe it or not, in some cultures, fire was used as a way to cut grass. In India, for example, farmers would set fire to their fields after they had harvested their crops. This would burn off any remaining stubble and weeds and encourage new growth.

The Evolution of Grass Cutting

As time passed and technology advanced, new methods of cutting grass were developed. For example, in the 1800s, mechanical reapers were invented that could harvest crops much more efficiently than by hand.

Then came the lawnmower. The first lawn mower was invented by Edwin Budding in 1830 in England.

It consisted of a cylinder with blades that rotated as it was pushed across the grass. This invention revolutionized lawn care and made it much easier for people to keep their lawns trimmed.


In ancient times, cutting grass was a labor-intensive task that required physical strength and endurance. People used a variety of tools, animals, and even fire to keep their fields and lawns trim.

Today, we have many options available to us that make this task much easier. Whether you prefer a traditional hand tool or a high-tech lawn mower, there’s no denying the importance of keeping our grass trimmed and tidy.