Whether your yard is large or small, minimally landscaped or filled with flower beds, one of the easiest ways to tame unruly edges and to keep it looking manicured is to invest in a reliable lawn edger.
Similar to how a picture frame enhances artwork, maintaining an evenly trimmed yard perimeter elevates the overall appearance of a lawn. Crisp edges signify a well-tended property, especially along driveways, sidewalks, garden beds, and walkways.
Simplify your search by identifying your property’s needs with the shopping guide below—and don’t miss the roundup of top picks among the best lawn edger tools available.
- BEST OVERALL: WORX WG163.8 Cordless String Trimmer & Edger
- RUNNER UP: BLACK+DECKER LE760FFAM Landscape Edger
- BEST BUDGET: Bully Tools 92251 Round Lawn Edger
- BEST GAS: McLane 101-5.5GT-7Gas Powered Lawn Edger
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Greenworks Pro 80V 8 inch Brushless Edger, ED80L00
- BEST FOR SMALL YARDS: Greenworks 12 Amp Electric Corded Edger 27032
- BEST FOR LARGE YARDS: WORX WG896 12 Amp 7.5″ Electric Lawn Edger
Types of Lawn Edgers
There are many options to choose from when deciding on the best lawn edgers to keep the yard well maintained and weed-free. Edgers typically fall into three categories based on its power source, including manual, electric, and gas lawn edgers.
Instead of relying on an electric or gas-powered motor to get the job done, these manual lawn edgers are completely powered by the user.
- Rotary edgers have a long wooden shaft that attaches to a cutting wheel. The tool looks like a pole with a spiked wheel on the end. They work by applying pressure to the cutting wheel and rolling it along the edge of the lawn to cut through the overextended turf.
- Spade edgers 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 increase the force to cut through the sod, if necessary.
- Shear edgers 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. However, they aren’t suitable for edging the entire yard.
If manually edging the lawn seems like a daunting task or you don’t want your war on weeds to be limited by physical endurance, then the best lawn edger to suit your needs may be motorized. There are two main kinds of motorized lawn edgers: ones with an electric motor, and those powered by a gas engine.
- Electric lawn edgers are usually more budget-friendly and the more suitable tool for small yards. They’re either battery-powered or plug into an electrical outlet via a lengthy cord. Though they only provide 18 or so volts of power, battery-operated models allow the user to trim anywhere in the yard. Corded varieties offer more power (usually 10 to 12 amps), though slightly less mobility unless paired with an extension cord.
- Gas-powered lawn edgers, available with a two- or four-cycle engine, boast considerable power and are better suited for larger yards. While two-cycle engines are more common, they require having to replenish fuel and oil—far less environmentally conscious than four-cycle engines, which run clean but cost and weigh more.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Lawn Edger
Don’t make a hasty decision about the best edger to landscape the garden and yard. There are several important considerations to keep in mind that can help find the right lawn edger, including the power of the device, the blade type, the cutting width and depth, and any safety features to keep the user protected while working.
When trying to decide on the best lawn edger for the yard, it’s important to understand the power potential of these tools, including both gas and electric options. Manual lawn edgers are powered completely by the user, so there is no need to discuss manual power output.
- Gas lawn edgers measure the power output in horsepower (hp) and the engine size in cubic centimeters (cc). Typically, the higher the hp and cc, the more powerful the engine, creating significant differences in efficiency and cost, depending on the product.
- Electric and battery-powered lawn edgers rely on electric engines that are powered by a direct connection to the home electrical system or with an attached battery. These devices measure power output in amps and voltage. As with the hp and the cc of gas engines, higher voltage and amp ratings indicate a more powerful electrical engine.
A straight, no-frills blade can handle simple yards just fine, but an edger that offers multiple positions and angle settings may be a worthwhile investment if a property has a lot of flower beds and specialty features. The following are the three main types of edger blades:
- Flat rectangular blades with plain edges are the most common among lawn edgers, and are suitable for basic edging jobs where the lawn is flush and level with the nearest hard surface (like a driveway or a sidewalk).
- Flat rectangular blades with scoop-cut edges carefully handle the perimeter of more delicate landscaping features like flower beds, which might otherwise be disturbed by the debris in a rough cutting. These blades are also ideal to employ when the lawn and hard surfaces are uneven.
- Star-shaped blades are useful for cutting yards with firm boundaries, like lawns that end at a wall or a sturdy fence.
If you have only a few needs to address, you could get by with purchasing the desired replacement blade(s) of your choice for the edger and swapping them in as necessary. While this may be easy to do, this transition does add some time to the yard work.
Cutting Width and Depth
The cutting width of a lawn edger can refer to the cutting width of a combined trimmer and edger tool, but it may also simply indicate the physical width of the edger. This can impact the ability of the edger to access tight corners or any areas restricted by fences, decks, patios, foliage, or even the home.
However, a more important consideration is the depth of the edger, which 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. This allows the blade to plunge into the turf to cut and remove deep root systems. Manual lawn edgers often have a limit of about 2 to 4 inches to the cutting depth, though this is still deep enough to cut through most root growth.
While a lightweight manual edging tool moves on nothing more than the user’s guidance, the weight of an engine typically requires three or four wheels to cover a property without causing strain to the operator. 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, such as the line where the lawn meets the street. If you opt for an electric lawn edger or if you won’t have to maneuver many curbs, three wheels are likely sufficient.
Ease of Use
Using a lawn edger can be tiring, especially for those who are toiling away with a manual edger, but there are several factors that can help make the work easier. These include the size of the shaft, the weight of the edger, and the runtime of both battery-powered and gas-powered edgers.
- The shaft of a lawn edger can vary in length and size depending on the specific product. Some edgers have two handles to help maneuver heavy engines, while others have a single shaft to control the movement of lightweight edgers. Look for an edger that suits your height and strength to prevent overexertion while edging.
- The weight of a lawn edger can wear on the user, especially if they are working in a very large yard or having to deal with many precision cuts in tight spaces. The additional time spent edging can cause lasting aches and pains, but switching to a lighter lawn edger can reduce muscle strain and fatigue.
- The runtime of both gas- and battery-powered lawn edgers can limit the amount of work that can be completed. Gas edgers need to be refilled with gas, and batteries need to be recharged. Keep these limitations in mind, especially when working on very large yards. Consider having a spare battery so that one is always on the charger.
Safety needs to be a priority at all times, but especially for those who are operating a tool designed to cut through solid earth and tough root systems; otherwise, serious injuries can occur. Look for products with built-in features to help keep the user safer while they work, such as debris guards, trigger locks, and padded grips.
- Debris guards are typically positioned at the back of the edger to prevent grass, dirt, and rocks from being kicked back into the feet and legs of the user. However, even with a guard, some debris can escape, so users should always wear safety glasses, long pants, and closed-toe shoes while working.
- Trigger locks prevent the edger from being turned on accidentally. It’s a simple feature that locks the trigger unless the trigger lock switch is being held. With the switch held down, the edger can be used normally.
- Padded grips on the shaft and handle of the edger help to reduce vibrations. Strong and continuous vibrations can cause muscle fatigue and strain, but this padding keeps the user’s hands protected and makes it easier to grip and control the edger.
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.
Our Top Picks
The top choices below were selected based on the overall quality and product efficacy with significant attention paid to the important product factors mentioned above to help you find the best lawn edger to keep gardens neatly maintained.
Cover both grass trimming and edging needs with WORX’s two-in-one trimmer and edger combo. This lightweight machine weighs just 5.3 pounds, and it can switch from trimming to edging in seconds. It runs on an included 20-volt lithium-ion battery that is designed to stay charged longer even when not in use, though it is advisable to recharge the battery after trimming or edging so that the battery is fully charged when it’s needed again.
With a 12-inch cutting width and 6-inch cutting depth, the battery-powered electric lawn edger suits most small- to medium-size yards. It has an adjustable auxiliary handle that tilts forward or backward to help accommodate the user. Users can feed more line through the head of this trimmer/edger with the simple push-button line feed system, thereby extending the available line without having to stop working.
With a 12-amp electric engine that produces no emissions, the plug-and-go Black & Decker serves not only as an edger but also as a trench digger. This function is useful for installing outdoor lighting, fencing, or when planting bushes and trees. The edger can be set to one of three possible cutting depths, with a maximum depth of 3.75 inches.
As an added safety feature, this tool includes a built-in cord retention system that keeps the extension cord in place to prevent users from tripping over it. The edger weighs 12.4 pounds, and it has an edging guide that helps to make clean cuts around hard surfaces like patios, walkways, and driveways.
Instead of investing in a heavy-duty lawn edger, people with small yards may be better off with this inexpensive manual lawn edger. While it will take a little more physical effort to drive the thick 12-gauge steel blade into the turf, users won’t need to worry about gas, batteries, or extension cords, making it easier to quickly and efficiently edge a small yard.
The spade lawn edger weighs just 4 pounds, and it extends out to a length of about 38 inches. It features a T-style handle for better control and to help distribute the force evenly across the bottom of the blade. The entire edger is made of thick steel, and the handles are covered with padded grips to help prevent the tool from slipping while in use.
The McLane Lawn Edger draws considerable power from the 56-cc gas engine with a maximum power output of 3.5 hp. However, the powerful gas engine does increase the weight of the tool to about 65 pounds, which may quickly wear out some users. To help manage the weight of the machine, the manufacturer includes four 7-inch wheels to balance and support the gas-powered lawn edger.
This edger has two shafts extending up from the base to two padded handles, allowing the user to push and maneuver the edger like they would a lawn mower. The flat rectangular cutting blade can reach a depth of 4.5 inches as an edging tool, but it can also be set up to cut horizontally as a trimmer, taking care of more than one yard maintenance task with a single tool.
Weighing just 17 pounds, this lightweight battery-powered lawn edger is easy to carry, maneuver, and control with an adjustable auxiliary handle that can be moved up or down the shaft of the tool to better suit the specific user. It also has a trigger lock to help prevent the edger from accidentally starting up. The 8-inch flat rectangular cutting blade is suitable for most edging tasks, with a maximum cutting depth of 4 inches.
This cordless Greenworks lawn edger operates on the included 80-volt lithium-ion battery and can last for up to 60 minutes before it needs to be recharged. It doesn’t come with a spare battery, but it does include a charger and an onboard battery life indicator, so users can keep an eye on the remaining battery life.
This corded electric lawn edger is a great choice for small yards and it features a 12-amp engine and an extension cord with a cord lock feature that prevents accidental unplugging. It weighs about 18 pounds, but a portion of this weight is supported by a pair of back wheels and a single guide wheel that can be adjusted in height to change the depth of the cut.
The 7.5-inch star-shaped steel blade of the Greenworks lawn edger is capable of cutting grass cleanly and smoothly to a maximum depth of 3.75 inches. Users can also adjust the length of the shaft so that it better suits their height. When the lawn edger is properly adjusted and the user is ready to go, just push in the trigger lock switch to unlock the trigger and get to work.
Connect the 12-amp corded electric lawn edger using an extension cord to edge the entire yard without having to worry about running out of battery or needing to refuel. The only limit to the range of the edger is the length of the extension cord, and this product even offers two bundled options that each come with a 100-foot extension cord.
This edger has star-shaped cutting blades that can slice through sod, dirt, and roots at three different cutting depths to a maximum of 3.75 inches. It weighs only 14 pounds, and it has two wheels at the back of the tool for better balance, as well as a single wheel at the front of the tool for better control. The electric edger also has an adjustable auxiliary handle that is optimized to suit the specific needs of the user.
FAQs About Lawn Edgers
After reading the various shopping tips and factors on lawn edgers, you may still have a few questions about the best depth for edging or how frequently a lawn should be edged. For answers to these questions and more, continue reading.
Q. 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 that you 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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. What is the easiest edger to use?
Ease of use varies among people and products, but one of the easiest edgers to use is the Bully Tools 92251 Round Lawn Edger. Just line up the manual spade edger and push down with your foot to cut into the turf. Continue this process along the entire edge to complete the job.
Q. What is the best gas-powered edger?
A gas-powered edger is a heavy-duty tool equipped with a powerful motor and durable shaft to help cut through thick turf. The McLane 101-5.5GT-7Gas Powered Lawn Edger is among the best gas-powered options available.
Keep a yard properly maintained with a lawn edger that can prevent the growth and spread of both grass roots and weeds by cutting a 2-inch-deep trench between the lawn and walkways, driveways, and garden beds. This simple maintenance task improves the appearance of the yard and saves time and effort that would otherwise be spent pulling weeds and grass from the gaps between the patio stones.
Choose from electric, battery-powered, gas-powered, and manual lawn edgers to get the job done, and keep in mind the power output of the motor and the blade type, and the length, shape, and durability of the lawn edger shaft to help determine the best lawn edger for maintaining your yard.