There are many tools that can be used in the garden, and some of these can appear to be very similar to one another at first glance. But when we look a little closer, it is not difficult to see how these tools are intended for vastly different uses.
A lot of people want to know the difference between an edger vs trimmer because these are some of the most commonly confused tools in the garden.
A lot of this confusion also comes from the names of the tools, with an edger trimmer sometimes being referred to as a sidewalk edger, a grass edger trimmer and many other names; it is little wonder that homeowners find it a challenge.
However, we are going to clear up the confusion in this article and explain the difference between the string trimmer vs edger so that you can finally have a good understanding of the two.
Table of Contents
What is a Lawn Edger?
A lawn edger is a tool that is used around the edges of the lawn. But rather than cutting the grass, it is used to create a definitive boundary between the lawn and any surrounding areas.
The most commonly edged areas are between the grass and a flower bed, footpath or driveway but you can also use your edger tool to make a boundary along a solid object such as a wall or fence.
The yard edger tool is highly popular because of its ability to take an average-looking garden and give it that professionally-finished look. Furthermore, there are many benefits to using an edger for lawn care; they will prevent grassroots from penetrating into surrounding plant beds and will improve the health of the lawn.
A grass edger usually is powered and will run on either batteries, mains electric or gas, but there are also manual tools out there that are ideal for use in smaller gardens.
The lawn edger trimmer uses blades to penetrate into the ground by a couple of inches, although you can dig less deeply if you prefer, and this creates that boundary between the lawn and other areas. There are usually two types of blade, a single rotating blade or a star-shaped blade that rolls along the ground.
In contrast, a manual garden edger tool features a half-moon blade, onto which the user pushes his or her foot to drive the blade into the ground.
What is a String Trimmer?
Once again, the debate of edger vs trimmer is brought to the forefront because of the vast number of names that a sidewalk trimmer might go by. In some cases, you may hear these devices being referred to as a weed wacker or weed eater – but they are all the same thing.
A string trimmer is also a common tool in most gardens and is used to cut back weeds as well as overhanging grass around the edges of the lawn.
They are particularly useful for removing longer grass and weeds that you cannot reach with the lawnmower.
Instead of using a blade like many other tools, a string trimmer uses a fine monofilament line which spins at a high RPM creating the ability to cut through grass and weeds effortlessly. (Find out how long string trimmer line should be here).
Much like the lawn edger, a weed eater edger is powered by either a rechargeable battery, mains electric or by gas. The gas models are always more powerful, and this is the case with any garden tool.
It is worth pointing out that while you can get a string trimmer and a garden edger as separate tools, there are many 2 in 1 or even 3 in 1 tools that easily convert and will allow you to tackle both jobs with one piece of equipment.
This is particularly useful if you are short of storage space but also helpful for those who are shopping on a budget since buying 2 in 1 tools may work out a little less expensive than buying them separately.
Furthermore, the 3 in 1 tools not only have the ability to edge and trim the grass, but they also feature a mini-mower option that will help in cutting the lawn as well. They are certainly very diverse pieces of equipment.
Edger vs weed eater is one of the most commonly searched terms on the internet where garden tools are concerned, but finding the real differences can prove to be something of a challenge.
We know how frustrating it can be when trying to decide which tool is going to be best for the job, so we have put together a detailed list of the clear differences between the string trimmer and edger.
- The job of each tool is profoundly different; a lawn edger cutter is designed to create a boundary in the ground between the lawn and the surrounding areas, whereas a string trimmer is used to maintain the edges by cutting back weeds and long blades of grass that the mower cannot reach.
- Each of these two tools features different components. A grass edger makes use of a steel blade which makes light work of penetrating even the most solid ground. In contrast, a string trimmer uses a thin monofilament line that moves at exceptionally high speeds and as such, is able to slice through weeds and grass.
When used together, a weed wacker and edger can make an incredible team, but it is perfectly possible to use one without the other. However, when you use your edger first and then your string trimmer to maintain the boundaries, keeping them free from weeds and long grasses, you will achieve a healthy and aesthetically pleasing lawn.
Pros and Cons of Edgers
If you are keen to get started on edging your lawn to achieve that perfectly manicured and professional look, you may have questioned whether investing in a garden edger tool is worth it or whether the pros outweigh the cons. Let’s take a look.
One of the most obvious benefits of the grass edger is that it can help you to maintain a pleasant appearance in your outdoor space, and this is excellent, but the health of your garden is even more important. Using an edger trimmer will mean that you are able to keep any plants beds or other garden life separate from your lawn. If the grassroots get into these areas, they can damage plants and flowers.
What’s more, lawn edger tools are surprisingly affordable. Of course, as with anything, there are some very high-end pieces of equipment and if you can afford this and want to treat yourself, why not? However, for homeowners who are working to a strict budget, there are many affordable edger trimmers that are extremely effective and will stand the test of time no matter what you put them through.
This durable nature is something that is advantageous when using a lawn edger, they are extremely robust tools, and once you invest in one, provided you take good care of it, it will serve you well for a long time.
Most edgers are quite lightweight and easy to use, so homeowners won’t be excluded from using them regardless of their physical condition. You are also getting an excellent range of choices when it comes to power – and in this modern-day, there is little more as important as a diverse choice.
There aren’t many cons to using an edger for your lawn since these tools are so beneficial. However, you might consider that investing in one of these tools will also mean investing the time it takes to achieve a properly edged lawn.
The size of your garden will depend on how long it takes to edge it, and if you have a rather significant lawn, you must be prepared to spend a few hours dedicated to getting the job done.
Using An Edger
If you have never used a garden edger before, getting started might feel a little intimidating, especially because these can be dangerous tools in the wrong hands. Be sure to wear the relevant safety equipment and operate the tool with care – anything that has a blade has the potential to cause injury if not used correctly.
If you are using a step edger, the process will be different from using a powered edger. These manual tools must be placed on the ground where you wish to make the cut. Now you must place your foot on the step plate and use your own force to push the blade into the ground. This will take longer than using a petrol or electric edger but is ideal for smaller gardens.
Using a powered edger will take less time and simply requires you to place the device along the cutting line, turn on the power and guide it along, allowing the blades to do their work. A gas-powered model will provide a lot more power and is perfect if the ground is particularly tough or has a lot of underlying weeds.
Pros and Cons of String Trimmers
Once you have edged your lawn, those pesky pieces of overhanging grass and weeds can make your hard work look far less impressive than it should do. But that is where your string trimmer will come in and save the day.
In the same way that there are pros and cons to the grass edger, your string trimmer will have some good and bad points, so let’s explore these in a little more detail.
Of course, when we are looking at the benefits of using a string trimmer, the aesthetics of your garden is the first thing that comes to mind. Being able to trim those edges and keep them looking neat will contribute immensely to the overall appearance of the garden.
But we should also think about how easy these tools are to use.
String trimmers are usually very lightweight, apart from the gas-powered ones which tend to be a little heavier owing to the addition of a motor. But many modern designs find a way to minimise this additional weight making them almost as easy to move around as non-gas versions.
They are also portable and slimline pieces of equipment which means that even if your lawnmower cannot access certain areas of the grass, your string trimmer will get in there to cut away those long blades of grass and weeds. Even if you do not use a lawn edger tool, having a string trimmer can be invaluable when it comes to keeping your garden tidy and well-presented. You are not limited to the edges of the lawn either; these diverse tools can be used to trim weeds that have made their way up through paving stones and other areas of your outdoor space.
Much like the lawn edger, a string trimmer is a relatively affordable piece of garden equipment, and while there are some high-end options, most models will not break the bank making them an ideal piece of kit to add to any garden shed.
In a similar way to the garden edger tool, a string trimmer does not have many drawbacks. The only thing that some people may find frustrating is that these tools cannot be used to cut the entire lawn so you will need a lawnmower on top of your trimmer.
Furthermore, depending on the type of power you opt for, there may be issues. But these issues also relate to other garden tools, including the edger. Primarily, if you go for a gas model, they can be very noisy and are not environmentally friendly; however, they are incredibly powerful.
Corded models give you continued power but tether you to a single power socket, giving you less freedom to move around the garden. In contrast, a battery-powered trimmer gives you the freedom of movement but will run out of power, potentially in the middle of the job.
Using a Trimmer to Edge a Lawn
Many people ask ‘how do you edger with a weed eater?’ but it is important to understand what this question means. If you are curious to know whether you can create a boundary edge in the same way that you would with an edger, then you cannot – a weed eater is designed for the single purpose of cutting grass and weeds.
Cutting grass with a weed eater is very simple, and while you will not be able to do the entire lawn, those overhanging edges can be effectively tidied up. Be sure to keep safety in mind. Despite not having a blade, the fast-moving line has the potential to cause serious injury, so be sure to keep your fingers away from it when it is moving and wear any necessary protective gear.
- After you have created a boundary with your edger tool, take your string trimmer and hold it in a vertical position.
- Walk along the edge of the lawn, gently guiding the string trimmer along the ground.
- As you move along, you will notice that the string trimmer not only cuts the weeds and grass, but it may push aside small pieces of debris that will give your edges an even more immaculate appearance.
- You should use your string trimmer weekly in order to effectively maintain your edges.
There are many people who believe that a lawn edger and a string trimmer are the same things, but this could not be further from the truth. These are two vastly different garden tools that do a totally different job; however, when used together, will work to achieve the same end result – a clean and tidy lawn edge.
The edger is used to penetrate the ground and create a boundary between the grass and any surrounding areas such as fences, sidewalks, driveways and flowerbeds. In contrast, a string trimmer will maintain these edges by removing overhanging grass and weeds. They can also be used in other areas of the garden to cut grass where the lawnmower cannot reach.
Both tools are equally useful, but it is evident that they are not one of the same.