what is an edger

Lawn Edger: What is an Edger?

what is a lawn edger pin Owning a property means more than just taking care of the bricks and mortar – one of the critical aspects of maintaining your property is looking after the garden. In particular, the lawn.

A tidy and well looked after lawn can mean the difference between a house that oozes curb appeal and one that is hugely lacking.

There are many tools that are used to keep your garden at its best, including the lawn edger – but what is an edger and what is it used for?

In this article, we will be looking at how these tools are used and the various types you might expect to see.

In the simplest terms, a lawn edger tool is a device that is used to create a boundary between the grass and anything that surrounds it.

Quite often, homeowners will want a definite boundary between a flower bed and the lawn, or between the driveway, path or fence and the lawn. A grass edger cutter will allow you to do this.

These tools penetrate the ground and remove a portion of it to create a narrow line around the edge of the grass.

Why Should I Use a Lawn Edger?

There are many reasons why using a grass edger is beneficial, the most prominent being that the curb appeal of your home will be drastically increased. This is great for maintaining a good reputation and excellent for those trying to sell their property.

Furthermore, a garden edger tool provides you with an easy way to get a professional look without forking out for someone else to do the job. There are many affordable trimmer and edgers, so investing in one won’t break the bank.

Finally, edging the lawn will mean that you can create a barrier so that pesky weeds and other vegetation are unable to grow where you do not want them to. This is particularly important for flower beds.

Edger vs String Trimmer - What’s the Difference?

You may often hear a lawn edge trimmer being referred to as simply a trimmer and this can be confusing since these are two vastly different tools. But how can we tell the difference between an edger vs string trimmer?

When it comes to what is an edger used for – this question can be answered by looking at how the tool penetrates the ground and creates a border. It is designed for burrowing down into the ground and not for trimming grass.

In contrast, a string trimmer is a slimline device that is used to trim grass where the lawnmower cannot reach. This is often along the edges of the lawn but could also be in tight corners of the garden. These tools are not designed to create a boundary in the same way that a sidewalk edger would.

With that in mind, it pays to remember that there are multi-functional tools that combine the power of the edger with the convenience of the trimmer, allowing you to complete both tasks with one device.

Alternatively, you may decide to use your trimmer to maintain the edges once they have been dug out with your sidewalk edger. When the two tools are combined, they can make an efficient garden maintenance team.

Different Types of Lawn Edgers

It is crucial to keep in mind that there are several different types of lawn edger tools, and the style you buy will largely depend on your garden and how you intend to use the device.

In the main, there are four types of garden edger tools: manual edgers, battery-powered edgers, gas-powered edgers and electric edgers.

Each of these has its benefits and drawbacks, and it is important to understand these before you decide on the best product for you.

Manual Edgers

A manual lawn edger is a simple device that relies on your strength to operate it. They usually come in two designs: a half-moon edger which is pushed into the ground by your foot or a push-along star-shaped edger which is rolled along the ground. Alternatively, there are hand shear tools, but these are far less common and require much more hard work from the user.

Half-moon edgers tend to be better for edging around uneven areas whereas the manual rotary edger is preferable for use on straight edges such as those along a driveway.

Manual edgers are great for smaller gardens and are far less expensive than some of the powered models. However, if you have a much larger space, they may require too much physical exertion from the user.

One of the many reasons that gardeners favour these tools is that they are very adept at creating a defined edge around a flower bed.

Furthermore, these are durable pieces of equipment that are preferred thanks to their robust design. They are also very accurate, and many feature wheels that ensure you will always remain on track whilst edging your lawn.

Another great advantage of the manual edger is that it is compact and very easy to store, for those with limited storage space, this is an ideal solution. They are also extremely convenient and require no previous knowledge to use. If you are new to lawn edging, this is a great place to start as you learn how to achieve the perfect edge. What’s more, they do not need any maintenance, unlike the powered lawn edgers that we will go on to look at.

Battery-Powered Edgers worx wg163 battery powered edger

The most modern of all the lawn edgers is the battery-operated grass edger, these are hugely convenient and won’t cost as much as you may first imagine.

They are powered by a rechargeable battery, and while this is great if you do not want to be tied to a power cable, there is a downside to this method of power. You are limited on how long the device will operate before it needs to be recharged. This is fine if you are willing to invest in more than one battery, but this can raise the cost significantly. To avoid having too many issues where power is concerned, choosing a cordless edger that uses a lithium-ion battery will give you the most edging time.

You should also consider that as the power begins to dwindle, the edger may not be as effective as when the battery is at full capacity.

However, there are several advantages to this type of edger – primarily, many of these tools will be multi-functional and may also serve as a trimmer.

Using this type of edger will also give you a far more comfortable experience owing to the fact that they do not require any physical strain from you. The only thing you will need to do is to control and balance the machine.

For bigger lawns, a battery-operated option will allow you to complete the entire job. Corded edgers limit you to where you can go, and unless you add an extension cord, you may not be able to get to the far reaches of the lawn.

While the gas-powered lawn edger is preferred for its elite power, cordless tools are far more eco-friendly, and this is a major selling point for many people. What’s more, they are often quieter.

Electric Edger Trimmer scotts outdoor power tools electric lawn edger

Electric edgers are connected to the mains power and provide a good alternative to gas edgers, which can be cumbersome and often expensive.

With an electric edger, you are getting a comparable amount of power, and this ensures that you achieve a precise and neat boundary every time. What’s more, unlike their battery-operated brothers, corded edgers won’t ever run out of juice – unless there’s a power cut, of course!

Moreover, these tools are incredibly user-friendly, and despite coming with extensive owner manuals, can usually be figured out in minutes. One of the significant drawbacks of a gas grass edger is that they can be challenging to use. Your electric edger trimmer is anything but complicated.

Much like battery edgers, the electric version will often double as a second tool – most commonly they can be converted into trimmers and trenchers. However, whilst these are powerful enough for most gardens, they are nowhere near as robust as their gas counterparts. This means that they may not be suitable for stubborn edges or exceptionally solid ground.

Gas Powered Lawn Edger

earthquake edger Gas lawn edgers are the most powerful tools of this kind – but this does mean that they are at the higher end of the scale, in terms of price. However, it is worth noting that these are durable and robust tools that should be seen as an investment.

Due to their superior power, a gas lawn edger will make light work of the job and will meet the demands of even the most challenging ground. This is good news for those with incredibly hard edges or those with larger properties.

Aside from having to refill the fuel, a gas edger will keep going for as long as you need it to. What’s more, since these tools do not use a power cord, you are free to edge the entire garden, regardless of its size.

Gas edgers can range in power and come in anything between 20 cubic centimetres to 160 cubic centimetres – the latter being more powerful. Furthermore, there are generally two engine types – two-cycle and four-cycle. If you are looking for ultimate power without limits, then a two-cycle engine is preferable.

However, it does pay to keep in mind that these are more detrimental to the environment, whereas four-cycle engines are a little more eco-friendly. That being said, no gas edger is wholly emission-free, and this is one of the major drawbacks of these devices.

If you are very eco-conscious using a gas edger may not be the best idea. You should also think about where you live – if neighbours surround you, the noise from these machines could serve as a distraction.

These garden edger trimmers are much bulkier than other types and as such do require you to have a little strength to operate them. However, many of the walk-along designs feature added wheels which add to the stability to the machine. This sturdy design also adds to its durability and long life.


A lawn edger is a useful tool that can create a lovely manicured lawn and dramatically improve the curb appeal of your home. They come in four primary forms, and this is related to how they are powered.

There are benefits to each type of lawn edger, and the kind you choose will depend on your garden, your physical ability as well as your personal preference.

When we ask ‘what is a lawn edger?’, many people are under the misconception that this tool is the same as a trimmer, but the two are quite different. Although, when used together, they are excellent at maintaining a healthy-looking, attractive garden.

Andrew Fisher

Andrew Fisher

Andrew is a dedicated father of three who really takes pride in his lawn and garden. You'll find Andrew behind the scenes of almost everything Edge Your Lawn produces. When he's not helping readers find all the information they need, he's in his backyard working on his lawn and garden landscaping. This year he hopes to build an outdoor deck and sort out his veg patches.

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