A lawn edger is a great investment for keeping your yard looking well-manicured, whether your property is large or small, and regardless of the level of landscaping. Crisp edges give the impression of a well-tended lawn, making a noticeable difference along driveways, sidewalks, garden beds, and walkways.
- 1 What is the best way to edge a lawn?
- 2 How deep should I edge my lawn?
- 3 Do you edge every time you mow?
- 4 Should I edge before or after I mow?
- 5 What is a lawn edger?
- 6 How does a lawn edger work?
- 7 What are the different types of lawn edgers available?
- 8 What is the cutting width of a lawn edger?
- 9 What is the depth of a lawn edger?
- 10 How many wheels does a lawn edger typically have?
- 11 What are some important safety features to look for in a lawn edger?
To make your search easier, we have created a shopping guide and have field-tested several popular lawn edgers on our own property, including our curbs, landscape beds, and driveway edges. Check out our roundup of some of the best lawn edger tools available and read on for more information on their performance.
10 Best Lawn Edgers Tested 2023：Tested & Reviewed
We tested the best lawn edgers in real-world scenarios such as maintaining grass edges, trenching along hard edges, and digging into new ground for bed line definition. We used a test yard with a variety of edges, including a driveway that needed maintenance, an overgrown curbline, and landscape beds with varying degrees of definition.
To make our list, the edgers had to perform well in all locations, taking into account the ways they are marketed. For example, plug-in electric edgers are designed for maintaining existing edges in small landscapes and are not meant for extended use in digging into unbroken soil. Gas-powered walk-behind models, on the other hand, are intended for both detailed trim work and powerful groundbreaking during long hours of use.
Our top picks were chosen based on overall quality and efficacy, with special attention paid to important factors such as curb, driveway, and natural landscape bed edges. Each tool successfully passed our hands-on testing criteria. Check out the product descriptions for more performance details.
When choosing the best lawn edger for maintaining your yard, there are several options to consider. Edgers can be broadly categorized into three types based on their power source: manual, electric, and gas.
Manual lawn edgers rely on human power to operate. These include:
Rotary edgers, which have a long wooden shaft attached to a cutting wheel. This tool looks like a pole with a spiked wheel on the end and is used by applying pressure to the cutting wheel and rolling it along the edge of the lawn.
Spade edgers, which resemble a shallow spade with a sharpened edge. To use, line up the bottom of the spade edger with the overextended turf and step down on the flat surface at the top of the blade to cut through the sod.
Shear edgers, which are handheld tools that are rarely used. These tools are intended for cleaning up small pieces of sod or making cuts in narrow corners where other edging tools cannot reach, but are not suitable for edging an entire yard.
Motorized lawn edgers, on the other hand, rely on an electric or gas-powered motor for operation. These include:
Electric lawn edgers, which are usually budget-friendly and suitable for small yards. They can be either battery-powered or corded and plug into an electrical outlet. Electric lawn edgers usually provide 18 or so volts of power. Battery-operated models offer mobility while corded models offer more power.
Gas-powered lawn edgers, which are available with a 2- or 4-cycle engine. These edgers boast considerable power and are better suited for larger yards. 2-cycle engines are more common but require refueling and oil replenishment, whereas 4-cycle engines are more environmentally friendly but cost and weigh more.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Lawn Edger
When choosing the best lawn edger for your property, it’s essential to consider factors such as power, blade type, cutting width and depth, and safety features.
Power: Gas and electric options offer comparable power output, but manual lawn edgers depend on the user’s effort. Gas lawn edgers measure power output in horsepower (hp) and engine size in cubic centimeters (cc), with higher values indicating more powerful engines. Electric and battery-powered lawn edgers rely on electric engines that measure power output in amps and voltage, with higher values indicating more powerful engines.
Blade Type: A straight blade can handle simple yards, but a multi-position, angle-adjustable blade may be necessary for properties with flower beds and specialty features. Three main types of blades are: flat rectangular blades with plain edges, suitable for basic edging jobs; flat rectangular blades with scoop-cut edges, suitable for delicate landscaping features; and star-shaped blades, useful for cutting yards with firm boundaries.
If you only have a few specific needs, it’s possible to purchase replacement blades and swap them as necessary, but this will add extra time to yard work.
Cutting Width and Depth
When choosing a lawn edger, it is important to consider both the cutting width and depth of the tool. The cutting width refers to the physical width of the edger, which can impact its ability to access tight corners or areas restricted by obstacles.
However, the more crucial factor to consider is the depth of the edger, which is the maximum depth that the blade can penetrate into the ground. Electric, gas-powered, and battery-powered lawn edgers usually have a blade depth of 2 to 6 inches, which allows them to cut and remove deep root systems. On the other hand, manual lawn edgers typically have a cutting depth limit of 2 to 4 inches, though this is still adequate for cutting through most root growth.
When selecting a lawn edger, it’s important to consider the weight of the device and the number of wheels it has. A lightweight manual edger can be moved with just the user’s guidance, but a heavier engine-powered edger typically requires three or four wheels to support it while covering a property without putting too much strain on the operator.
The rear wheels of the edger are responsible for moving the unit, while a guide wheel helps to keep the blade aligned with the task at hand. Some gas-powered edgers offer an additional curb wheel to help stabilize the device when using it at a slight drop-off, such as the edge of a lawn and a street. However, if you opt for an electric edger or if you don’t need to maneuver around many curbs, three wheels may be sufficient.
Ease of Use
When selecting a lawn edger, it’s important to consider factors that can make the task less strenuous. These include the size and length of the shaft, the weight of the tool, and the runtime of battery or gas-powered options.
A lawn edger with a shaft that suits the user’s height and strength can prevent overexertion while working. A lightweight edger can reduce muscle strain and fatigue. It’s also important to keep in mind the runtime limitations of gas and battery-powered edgers, especially when working on large yards. A spare battery can be a good investment to ensure that edging can continue without interruption.
Safety should always be the top priority when operating a lawn edger, as the tool’s cutting capabilities can result in serious injuries. To ensure user safety, consider purchasing a lawn edger with built-in safety features such as debris guards, trigger locks, and padded grips.
Debris guards, located at the back of the edger, help to prevent grass, dirt, and rocks from being kicked back towards the user. However, it’s important to also wear safety glasses, long pants, and closed-toe shoes while working, as some debris may still escape.
Trigger locks prevent the edger from being accidentally turned on. When the lock is engaged, the trigger can only be activated when the lock switch is held down. Padded grips on the edger’s shaft and handle help to reduce vibrations, which can cause muscle fatigue and strain. These padded grips make it easier to grip and control the edger, thus providing more comfortable experience for the user.
Many manufacturers offer product features beyond the basic design to help improve the functionality of the lawn edger and to make the tool more appealing to users. These additional features can include two-in-one trimming and edging tools, adjustable auxiliary handles, and accessories.
A two-in-one trimming and edging tool gives the user the option to choose between trimming the grass or edging the lawn. These combined edging and trimming tools are useful for small to medium yards, but it may be better to invest in a separate edging tool for homes with larger yards.
Adjustable auxiliary handles provide an additional place for the user to grip the edger for better balance and control. The auxiliary handle can also be slid up or down the shaft to a position that is better suited for the height of the user. The more suited the position of the handle is to the natural movement of the user’s body, the easier it is to use the tool.
Accessories can include a wide range of products that can be packaged together with the edger, including extension cords, extra batteries, and chargers.
What is the best way to edge a lawn?
Choose a suitable lawn edger that meets your preferences and needs for yard work. This can include a battery-powered edger, a gas lawn edger, a corded-electric lawn edger, and a manual lawn edger.
When you have the tool of choice ready for the job, mark out the exact area you want to edge. This step becomes less important with more experienced individuals who can eyeball the exact cut, but for DIYers new to edging, this is an important step to ensure the edging line is even along the entire border of the yard or garden. Consider marking the area with stakes and string, especially when working with rounded corners and curving garden beds.
Mow the lawn first to help create a clean edge at a consistent depth, and proceed to cut thin strips of sod from the edge of the lawn, ensuring that the edger tool remains within the boundaries laid out. If the lawn edger has a variable speed trigger, it can be easier to get precise lines while edging. When the job is done, clean up the driveway, path, or sidewalk with a leaf blower or a broom.
How deep should I edge my lawn?
Typically about 2 to 4 inches deep is sufficient for controlling the growth and spread of grass roots, keeping the grass from growing into the gaps in the patio or walkway.
Do you edge every time you mow?
It depends on the grass. Some grass grows and spreads very quickly, so you need to at least check the edge lines every time you mow. While most yards won’t require edging every time the grass is mowed, it’s likely to need edging every two or three times it’s been cut with a mower.
Should I edge before or after I mow?
Whether you edge or mow first is almost entirely a matter of preference. If you choose to edge first, the mower will help clean up excess grass clippings, but if you mow first then it’s easier to create a straight edge at a consistent depth.
What is a lawn edger?
A lawn edger is a tool used to create a clean and defined edge between a lawn and a hard surface such as a driveway, sidewalk, or garden bed.
How does a lawn edger work?
A lawn edger typically uses a blade or a string to cut through the grass and soil along the edge of the lawn, creating a defined and neat border. Some lawn edgers are manual and require manual labor to operate, while others are powered by electricity or gas.
What are the different types of lawn edgers available?
There are several types of lawn edgers available, including manual, corded-electric, gas-powered, and battery-powered.
What is the cutting width of a lawn edger?
The cutting width of a lawn edger refers to the width of the blade or string that cuts through the grass and soil. It can impact the ability of the edger to access tight corners or areas restricted by fences, decks, patios, foliage, or even the home.
What is the depth of a lawn edger?
The depth of a lawn edger refers to the maximum depth the edger blade can penetrate into the ground. Typically, corded-electric, gas-powered, and battery-powered lawn edgers have a blade depth of about 2 to 6 inches, while manual lawn edgers often have a limit of about 2 to 4 inches.
How many wheels does a lawn edger typically have?
A lawn edger typically has three or four wheels. The rear wheels are responsible for moving the entire unit along, while a guide wheel keeps the blade aligned with the task at hand. Some gas-powered lawn edgers offer the addition of a fourth wheel (a “curb wheel”) to help stabilize the edger when using it at a slight drop-off.
What are some important safety features to look for in a lawn edger?
Safety features to look for in a lawn edger include debris guards, trigger locks, and padded grips. These features help to keep the user safer while they work, by preventing debris from kicking back into the user’s feet, preventing the edger from being turned on accidentally, and reducing vibrations.