The Best Lawn Edgers, Tested and Reviewed

Faced with an array of precisely calibrated edgers, it can be tricky to choose the right one for your yard. Check out some top shopping tips and our roundup of top-performing tools.

Best Overall

The Best Lawn Edgers Option: Echo PE-225 Gas Lawn Edger

Echo PE-225 Gas Lawn Edger

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Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Lawn Edger Option: Greenworks 12 Amp 7.5-Inch Corded Lawn Edger

Greenworks 12 Amp 7.5-Inch Corded Lawn Edger

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Upgrade Pick

The Best Lawn Edger Option: McLane 9-Inch Gas-Powered Lawn Edger

McLane 9-Inch Gas-Powered Lawn Edger

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Editor’s Note: Testing in progress! We’re currently testing 3 new models. Stay tuned for new, hands-on reviews of our top picks.

Whether your yard is large or small, minimally landscaped or filled with flower beds, one of the easiest ways to tame unruly edges and keep it looking manicured is to invest in a reliable lawn edger. We carefully researched and then tested some of the best lawn edgers to help you decide which will work best for your landscape and lifestyle.

Similar to how a picture frame enhances artwork, 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 and matching them to our list. We field-tested popular lawn edgers on our curbs, landscape beds, and driveway edges. Review our roundup to find performance details and the best lawn edger tool for your yard.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Echo PE-225 Gas Lawn Edger
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Greenworks 12 Amp 7.5-Inch Corded Lawn Edger
  3. UPGRADE PICK: McLane 9-Inch Gas-Powered Lawn Edger
  4. BEST GAS: Craftsman E410 30cc 4-Cycle 9-Inch Gas Lawn Edger
  5. BEST CORDLESS: DeWalt 60V MAX 7½-Inch Brushless Edger Kit
  6. BEST ELECTRIC: Black+Decker LE760FF AC Lawn Edger
  7. BEST MANUAL: True Temper Dual-Wheel Rotary Edger
  8. BEST FOR SMALL YARDS: Worx 12 Amp 7.5-Inch Electric Lawn Edger
  9. BEST FOR LANDSCAPE BEDS: Razorback Half-Moon Turf Edger With Wood Handle
A person using the best lawn edger option to tidy a lawn border next to a driveway
Photo: Mark Wolfe for Bob Vila

How We Tested the Best Lawn Edgers

We wanted to run these tools through real-world scenarios, such as basic grass edge maintenance along pavement, trenching along landscape bed edges, and digging into new ground as needed for bed-line definition. The test yard offered a good mix, with a driveway edge that needed only edging maintenance, a curb line with an overgrown edge, and several landscape beds with edges that varied from moderately well defined to poorly defined.

To make our list, an edge trimmer had to function well in every location based on the projects for which they were designed. For instance, plug-in electric edgers are designed for maintaining existing edges in small landscapes and are not expected to be used for digging into unbroken soil for extended periods. On the other hand, gas-powered walk-behind models are intended for both detailed trim work and clean, powerful groundbreaking during long hours of work.

Our Top Picks

After researching and testing more than 30 lawn edgers, we chose the products below based on their overall quality and efficacy. Our selection process favored important product factors like tool type and features, power source, user comfort, safety, and price. To make the cut, each tool successfully navigated our hands-on edger testing program. Check out the product descriptions for performance details.

Best Overall

Echo PE-225 Gas Lawn Edger

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Detailing the lawn with precision calls for specialized equipment like the Echo PE-225 lawn edger. This lightweight gas edger delivers pro-quality results without the extra weight and expense of pro-grade equipment, which is why we selected it as our top pick.

This handheld edger is powered by a 21.2-cubic-centimeter (cc) high-output 2-stroke cycle engine equipped with the Echo i-30 spring-assisted starting system, which the company says reduces pull-start effort by 30 percent. It features a durable molded open-face blade shield that eliminates debris buildup, captive wheel mount hardware for easy height adjustment, and a curved shaft that places the operator closer to the edge line, boosting work efficiency and user comfort. The tool weighs just 13.1 pounds.

We found that the Echo PE-225 was compact, lightweight, easy to operate, and easy to store. We started by mixing a fresh batch of 50:1 2-cycle fuel. The manufacturer’s instructions called for 89-octane or higher gasoline. The edger came with enough 2-cycle oil to mix with 1 gallon of gas. The 12.8-ounce fuel tank held more than enough to edge the entire test property three times. Those with small yards should consider using a fuel stabilizer to protect the engine from gum and varnish buildup associated with stored fuel.

As an edger for lawn maintenance, the PE-225 is ideal, but it’s not the best for digging new edges or renovating neglected ones. The 2-cycle engine produced higher revolutions per minute and lower torque than the 4-cycle edgers on the walk-behind units we tested, which translated to faster blade speed for crisp cutting action, but less power to dig into compacted soil and roots. Even so, it did a fair job in compact soil but was not as proficient as the bigger, heavier machines. The handheld design makes it easy to maneuver along curbs, driveways, patios, and landscape beds and is suitable for all landscape types and sizes.

The runtime on a single tank of fuel (1.5 hours) outperformed all of the battery-powered edgers we tested. That said, the potential for engine damage from stale fuel is real. Our test was on a large suburban lot with a long driveway, patio, walkout basement slab, and numerous landscape beds—an ideal scenario for a gas edger. Those with only a limited amount of lawn edging might be better off without mixing and storing gasoline. But for the widest range of adaptability and top-end user comfort, it’s hard to beat this edger.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power source: 21.2cc 2-cycle gas engine
  • Weight: 13.1 pounds

Pros

  • Lightweight curved-shaft design positions operator close to the grass for excellent precision and maneuverability
  • Professional-grade 2-cycle engine equipped with easy-start system reduces starting effort and boosts durability
  • Molded open-face debris shield reduces debris clogs and kickback
  • Captive wheel mount allows for easy height adjustment

Cons

  • Requires 2-cycle fuel: 89-octane (or higher) gasoline mixed 50:1 with 2-cycle oil

Get the Echo lawn edger at Amazon, The Home Depot, Acme Tools, or Mowers Direct.

Best Bang for the Buck

Greenworks 12 Amp 7.5-Inch Corded Lawn Edger

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This corded electric lawn edger is a great choice for small yards. It features a 12-amp engine and an extension cord with a cord-lock feature that prevents accidental unplugging. It weighs 14 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 double-edged steel blade of the Greenworks lawn edger is capable of cutting grass cleanly and smoothly to a maximum depth of 2.25 inches. You can also adjust the length of the shaft so that it better suits your height. When the lawn edger is properly adjusted and you’re ready to go, just pushing in the trigger lock switch unlocks the trigger.

We found this corded electric edger to be a rock-solid performer at a bargain price. Like the other corded electric models we tested, this Greenworks unit performed best in a maintenance setting but lacked power and size for trenching unbroken soil. It is lightweight and articulate, and an excellent choice for smaller yards.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power source: Corded 12-amp electric motor
  • Weight: 14 pounds

Pros

  • You can adjust edging/trenching depths depending on the task at hand
  • Adjustable handle height can accommodate the heights of most users
  • Aggressive double-edge blade can cut thick and thin plant and grass types

Cons

  • No edge guide makes it somewhat difficult to get started
  • Height adjustment is somewhat awkward
  • Best for edging pavement; not as effective for landscape beds

Get the Greenworks lawn edger at Amazon or Lowe’s.

Upgrade Pick

McLane 9-Inch Gas-Powered Lawn Edger

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The McLane walk-behind lawn edger draws considerable power from its 127cc gas engine with a maximum power output of 3.5 horsepower (hp). It easily powers through unbroken soil to redefine or create new edge lines. However, the powerful gas engine does increase the weight of the tool to 66 pounds, which may be too heavy for some users. To help manage the weight of the machine, it is built on a heavy-duty frame with four 7-inch wheels to balance and support the gas-powered lawn edger.

This edger has handlebars extending up from the frame to two padded handles, allowing you to push and maneuver the edger like you 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.

The McLane lawn edger was by far the most powerful and adjustable edger we tested. It tracked well along the pavement, articulated around curved bed lines, and cut through heavy clay soil to renovate old bed edges. For those with lots of edging to maintain, this tool can do it all.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Walk behind
  • Power source: 127cc, 4-cycle gas engine
  • Weight: 66.3 pounds

Pros

  • Fast blade speed with high torque; grass edger suitable for thin or thick grass and varieties
  • Compact frame for easy storage in a shed or garage space
  • Easy to start the engine
  • Adjustable working height for comfort and blade angle to cut vertically or horizontally

Cons

  • Heavyweight construction, so can be harder to maneuver compared to similar models
  • Bulkier and louder than electric edgers
  • Some assembly required and may require more than 1 set of hands to complete

Get the McLane lawn edger at Amazon.

Best Gas

Craftsman E410 30cc 4-Cycle 9-Inch Gas Lawn Edger

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Those looking for the power and comfort of a walk-behind gas edger with the compact size and maneuverability of a handheld will want to take a close look at the Craftsman E410 lawn edger. It comes equipped with a 30cc 4-cycle engine that runs cleaner than a 2-cycle engine, eliminates the need to mix fuel, and produces higher torque to power through heavy soil and dense roots.

At just 25 pounds, this was the lightest walk-behind lawn edger we tested by a wide margin and only about 10 pounds heavier than most of the handhelds. The light weight and compact size made it easier to navigate off pavement than the other walk-behind edgers, and it could easily be stored on a wall hook.

We started by filling the motor oil reservoir and fueling up with regular gas. The two-step starting process was easy; we depressed the primer bulb a few times, and the engine started on the third pull. No choking was necessary. A clutch lever on the handlebar controlled the blade. In action, the Craftsman E410 felt strong and capable in all soil types, but less aggressive than bigger walk-behind models we tested. It made clean lines in established edges and tackled tough compacted soil without difficulty.

In some tight locations, such as approaching an inside corner where the driveway intersects the curb, our visibility was somewhat restricted, but we managed to navigate those spaces with little problem. We found a more difficult challenge while working in an area where the concrete street gutter directly adjoined the lawn edge (there was no curb). The fixed blade angle was not really compatible with the angle at which the machine operated, and the resulting edge was a bit less than perfect. On grass, it did a nice job tidying up landscape bed edges.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Walk behind
  • Power source: 30cc 4-cycle gas engine
  • Weight: 25 pounds

Pros

  • Walk-behind edger with a sturdy steel frame that reduces user fatigue during extended operation
  • 30cc 4-cycle engine eliminates need to mix gas and oil, reduces noise, lessens emissions
  • No-choke engine streamlines startup to just 2 steps: prime and pull
  • 3 transport wheels and 6 height settings provide outstanding stability and control

Cons

  • Bulkier than a handheld “stick” edger; requires more space for storage
  • 3-wheel configuration is less convenient along a street gutter with no curb

Get the Craftsman lawn edger at Lowe’s, Blain’s Farm & Fleet, or The Buildclub.

Best Cordless

DeWalt 60V MAX 7½-Inch Brushless Edger Kit

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It should come as no surprise that a company with one of the best reputations for its cordless drills and saws produces a standout cordless lawn edger. The DeWalt 60-volt MAX brushless lawn edger incorporates a winning combination of high torque, fast blade speed, lengthy battery life, and excellent operator comfort.

The DeWalt battery edger kit features an efficient brushless powerhead run by an included 60-volt MAX 3.0-amp-hour (Ah) battery. The powerhead is compatible with universal attachments, like a string trimmer, brush cutter, hedge trimmer, and others (sold separately). This kit includes the lawn edger attachment with a curved-shaft 7.5-inch hardened steel blade, a heavy-duty plastic debris shield, and adjustable guide wheel. The variable-speed safety trigger and high/low power switch allow you to control power output for optimal battery life.

Anyone making the switch from a 2-cycle lawn edger to battery power will find familiar performance in the DeWalt 60V MAX lawn edger. Although the big battery made it a bit heavier than some of the others we tested, it delivered ample power and runtime to put a nice crisp edge over our entire test yard on a single charge, with plenty of battery life left. All that battery life could come in handy, whether to power other tool attachments or to share with the DeWalt self-propelled lawn mower.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power source: 60-volt MAX 3.0Ah rechargeable battery
  • Weight: 15.5 pounds

Pros

  • Long runtime helps users get more work done per charge; variable-speed settings conserve battery life
  • Adjustable-depth 7.5-inch hardened steel blade penetrates to 2.5 inches deep
  • Universal attachment-capable powerhead is compatible with string or hedge trimmers and other attachments
  • Powerhead is compatible with all DeWalt 20-volt and 60-volt MAX rechargeable batteries

Cons

  • Molded plastic blade guard feels somewhat lighter duty than the rest of the tool

Get the DeWalt lawn edger at Amazon, The Home Depot, Toolup.com, or FAO.

Best Electric

Black+Decker LE760FF AC Lawn Edger

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The plug-and-go Black+Decker serves not only as an edger but also as a trench digger. With a 12-amp electric engine that produces no emissions, this tool 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 trimmer-edger includes a built-in cord-retention system that keeps the extension cord in place to prevent users from tripping over it. The edger weighs 14.4 pounds, and it has an edging guide that helps to make clean cuts around hard surfaces like patios, walkways, and driveways.

We liked the way the Black+Decker edger tracked around tight landscape bed curves and straightaways along paved edges. It easily sliced through grass foliage and tough surface roots for a clean edge but was a bit undersized for digging into clay for bed-edge renovation.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power source: Corded 12-amp electric motor
  • Weight: 14.4 pounds

Pros

  • Compact build and lightweight construction for a tool that’s easy to maneuver, lift, and store
  • Powerful electric motor can take on thin and thick grass and plant varieties
  • Adjustable handle height accommodates multiple user heights

Cons

  • Limited range due to corded motor; might not be ideal for large-scale tasks
  • Not as effective at creating new edges; best for maintenance

Get the Black+Decker lawn edger at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Best Manual

True Temper Dual-Wheel Rotary Edger

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In small lawns and gardens, it’s easy to forego gas and electric lawn-care equipment by choosing quality manual tools. The True Temper rotary edger’s time-tested dual-wheel design cuts cleanly through grass and roots for crisp lawn edges along driveways and patios, or to use as a sidewalk edger. The True Temper rotary edger uses a two-way self-sharpening blade to trim grass at the edges of pavement. Two rubber-treaded wheels and a 54-inch hardwood handle with a padded grip offer excellent control and user comfort. If you want that manicured look without the noise and emissions of power tools, this could be the right tool for you.

In our tests, the True Temper dual-wheel rotary edger did a fine job along the driveway, patio, and walkout basement pad. It was less effective along the curbless street gutter due to the rough edge of the concrete, and it was not really workable for the areas where lawn meets landscape beds. Where it worked, however, it worked well. Using the tool took more time than a powered edger, but it didn’t really require that much more physical effort. You don’t need to be super fit to use it.

Admittedly, by the time we tested this edger, the lawn edges were well defined and only needed routine maintenance. It only took about 5 minutes to edge both sides of a 70-foot-long driveway. We would expect slower and maybe less perfect results if we were starting with overgrown edges, but with established edges, this manual tool made for easy upkeep.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Handheld rotary edger
  • Power source: Manual
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds

Pros

  • Tried-and-true design maintains clean edges without electricity or gasoline
  • Self-sharpening serrated blades keep maintenance at a minimum
  • 54-inch hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip for users of different sizes
  • Rubber wheel and cushioned grip offer excellent user comfort and control

Cons

  • Slow-going edging compared to powered lawn edgers, so it’s best for small yards
  • Works best for maintaining edges; it’s more difficult starting over on an unkept edge

Get the True Temper lawn edger at Amazon or Newegg.

Best for Small Yards

Worx 12 Amp 7.5-Inch Electric Lawn Edger

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Connect this 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 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.

This Worx corded electric lawn edger weighs less than the other corded electric models we tested. Unlike those others, it trenched beds fairly well for landscape bed renovation, but it probably should not be used extensively for new bed construction. The handle and controls felt comfortable for extended use.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power source: Corded 12-amp electric motor
  • Weight: 14 pounds

Pros

  • Maximum depth setting works well for maintaining landscape bed edges
  • Adjustable shaft height can accommodate multiple user heights; prevents strain
  • Lightweight but powerful construction, allowing it to be maneuvered easily

Cons

  • Best for maintenance; not great for creating a new edge
  • The molded edge guard may interfere with uneven grass above the curbline
  • May need to order replacement blades from the manufacturer

Get the Worx lawn edger at Amazonor Lowe’s.

Best for Landscape Beds

Razorback Half-Moon Turf Edger With Wood Handle

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When it comes to manual tools, blade specialization is very helpful. The Razorback half-moon edger, or step edger, uses a heavy-duty steel blade that is essentially a semicircular garden spade. The blade measures 9.1 inches wide and 1.5 inches deep, with a sharpened edge along the full semicircle.

The half-moon edger was designed for creating natural edges of uniform depth where the lawn meets the landscape bed. The top edges of the heavy-duty blade are forward turned for secure footing, and the blade is paired with a strong 48-inch hardwood handle.

The Razorback half-moon edger did a beautiful job rejuvenating and extending our landscape beds, and renewing neglected edges along pavement. It worked best for edge-line creation and renovation of neglected edges. It’s not well adapted for routine edge maintenance, where a fast blade is required to achieve clean-cut grass roots, stems, and blades. For that reason, it makes a perfect companion for the True Temper rotary edger, which is built for maintenance.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Handheld half-moon edger
  • Power source: Manual
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds

Pros

  • A 48-inch hardwood handle adds to strength and durability
  • Works equally well creating crisp curved or straight edges along landscape beds
  • Forward-turned step area provides secure foot placement
  • Heavy-gauge steel blade works in any type of soil, including rocky areas

Cons

  • Not as fast for bed-line maintenance as a gas- or electric-powered bed redefiner/edger

Get the Razorback lawn edger at Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, or A.M. Leonard

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Lawn Edger

Don’t make a hasty decision about the best edger to landscape your garden and yard. There are several important considerations to keep in mind that can help you find the right lawn edger, including the power of the device, the blade type, the cutting width and depth, and included safety features to keep you protected while working.

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 the power source: manual, electric, and gas.

Manual

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.

Motorized

If manually edging the lawn seems like a daunting task or if the goal is to not limit the war on weeds by physical endurance, then the best lawn edger 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 a 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 you to trim anywhere in the yard. Corded varieties offer more power (usually 10 to 12 amps), though they are slightly less mobility unless paired with an extension cord.
  • Gas-powered lawn edgers, available with a 2- or 4-cycle engine, boast considerable power and are better suited for larger yards. While 2-cycle engines are more common, users must replenish fuel and oil. They are far less environmentally conscious than 4-cycle engines, which run clean but cost and weigh more.

Power

When trying to decide on the best lawn edger for the yard, it’s important to understand the power potential of these tools. Both gas and electric options offer comparable power output, but manual lawn edgers depend on the power exerted by the user.

  • Gas lawn edgers measure the power output in horsepower and the engine size in cubic centimeters. 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.

Blade Type

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 while 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, it is possible to purchase the desired replacement blade(s) for the edger and swap them in as necessary. While this may be easy to do, this transition does add some time to 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 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.

Wheel Configuration

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’re opting for an electric lawn edger or you don’t need to maneuver around 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 several factors 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 tool. 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 when working in a very large yard or dealing 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 purchasing a spare battery so that one can always be on the charger.

Safety

Safety needs to be a priority at all times, 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, such as debris guards, trigger locks, and padded grips, to help keep you safer while you work.

  • 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 you should always wear safety glasses, long pants, and closed-toe shoes while working.
  • Trigger locks prevent the edger from being turned on accidentally. A trigger lock is 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 your hands protected and makes it easier to grip and control the edger.

Additional Features

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 you 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 you 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.

FAQs

After reading the various shopping tips and factors involved in selecting a lawn edger, 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 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 Razorback lawn edger with a wood handle. 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 Craftsman lawn edger is our pick for the best gas-powered edger. The McLane lawn edger also is among the best gas-powered options available and our upgrade pick.

Meet the Tester

Mark Wolfe is a writer and product tester with a background in the nursery and landscaping industry. For more than 20 years he mowed, edged, planted, pruned, cultivated, irrigated, and renovated beautiful landscapes. Now he tests and writes reviews about the latest outdoor power equipment, hand tools, lawn-care products, and other outdoor-living goods.

Additional research provided by Andréana Lefton and Timothy Dale.

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Andréana Lefton is a writer and educator, focusing on human rights and creating spaces of refuge—in our homes and communities. As a documentary researcher, she has freelanced with The Guardian as well as NPR- and BBC-affiliates. She’s written for On Being, the United Nations, and many non-profit clients in the US, UK, Europe, and Middle East. All that she knows of garden care and interior design she learned from her artistic mother, Jacqueline. She now applies these skills to her life in Chattanooga, TN, where home is an urban art studio with books piled everywhere. Follow her on Twitter.

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