A string trimmer helps maintain an neatly edged lawn.

Lawn Edging Tools

by Jennifer Blair

Having a neatly trimmed lawn isn't just about mowing it regularly. If you want a manicured lawn, the edges along the walkways and flower beds must be sharp and crisp. It takes more than a lawn mower to be able to edge your lawn properly. To create a neat, trimmed edge for your lawn, you need the proper tools. Depending on the size of your lawn, you don't necessarily need a bunch of equipment to get the job done.

1. Hand Tools

If you have a small lawn or only small areas that require edging, handheld tools work well. The most common manual tool for edging is an edging knife or iron, which has a half-moon shape and a sharp edge that helps cut neatly along your lawn’s edge. An edging knife provides a precise edge for your lawn, but you can also use a basic spade if you don’t want to buy specialty tools. To cut back longer grass that grows along the edge of your lawn, use edging shears. The shears have a long handle so you don’t need to bend to keep your lawn’s edge neatly trimmed.

2. Gas-Powered Edger

For a large lawn, a power edger can make the chore much easier. There are a couple of motorized edger options to choose from, though, so if you’re dealing with a larger area, a gas-powered edger is usually the best bet. This type of edger has a gas-powered engine that rotates the tool’s blade. Some models are push-style, while others have an adjustable handle so you hold it comfortably as you walk behind it. With a gas engine, the edger doesn’t have any cords so you're not bound to areas near the house. A gas-powered edger is also powerful enough to trim tough grass and shrubs so it’s an extremely effective edging tool. Remember to wear safety protection for your eyes to protect them from any flying rocks or debris.

3. Electric Edger

If your lawn isn't huge but you want to edge it quickly, an electric edger is a smart choice. Electric edges come in two varieties: battery-operated and corded. Like a gas-powered edger, a battery-operated electric model lets you work anywhere. With a corded model, you must use an extension cord so you can connect to an outlet, which may make it difficult to reach some areas of your lawn. Both types of electric edgers are usually lighter and quieter than gas-powered models. As with gas-powered edgers, always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris.

4. String Trimmer

When your lawn is already nicely edged, a string trimmer can come in handy to maintain its appearance. While it’s similar to a power edger, a string trimmer typically is not powerful enough to cut through thick, heavy grass that hasn’t been edged in a while. Some types have blade attachments that turn the string trimmer into an instant edger. String trimmers can also come in handy to edge around obstacles on your lawn, such as light posts or walls. You can find both gas and electric models, but if you want to use a string trimmer for more difficult edging, a gas-powered version is usually the best option because it provides more power. String trimmers can send all types of debris flying through the air, so wear protection for your eyes and possibly long pants to protect your legs.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images