A well-manicured lawn requires care, and that care sometimes involves getting down to the details. Sure, cutting it with a lawnmower takes care of the bulk of the work. But you can still be left with rough edges around the driveway and sidewalk. To get a perfect line along those spots, a lawn edger is your best bet.
Edgers are designed to create a clean, crisp edge between two areas. That could be along a driveway or sidewalk, but it could also set apart a flowerbed from a grassy area.
Edgers come in various types. The style you choose should depend on how large your lawn is and a bit of personal preference.
How do you know which to choose? We’ll provide some pointers here and then look at some of the best edgers you can find today.
Why Choose a Power Edger Over A Manual One
We’re only going to talk about power edgers in this article. Yes, you can still find manual edgers that are basically just a round blade on a pole. These can work, especially if you have a small area to trim. However, there are several drawbacks to manual edgers:
- It’s harder to cut through the grass and turf
- It’s harder to maintain a straight line
- It takes longer to do the job
Unless you only have a postage-stamp-sized yard, we definitely recommend a power edger. That could be either gas or electric power. Either will help you create a cleaner edge more quickly than their non-powered counterparts.
How do you edge your lawn? Just follow these simple steps!
What To Consider When Using An Edger
If a power edger is the tool you want, there are still a few things to consider before making your purchase. There are two principal choices to make, and several factors that will influence these choices.
First, you have to decide whether you want a gas-powered edger, electric corded or battery-powered. You also have to pick between a stick model and one that has wheels.
A gas-powered edger offers more range and more power. If you have a large yard and will be over 50 feet from an electric outlet, it’s definitely the right choice. There are four-stroke and two-stroke edgers available. Almost all four-stroke models are wheeled versions, which we’ll talk about below. Two-stroke may be wheeled or stick versions since they are lighter.
Electric edgers, though, are lighter. Battery-powered versions are slightly heavier than corded ones. Either is less cumbersome than gas models.
Some gas edgers do have a choke start. This may be difficult for many people to operate. Electric ignition is available on some, though. This can make it much easier to get going.
Wheeled vs. Stick Edgers
A wheeled edger offers a lot more convenience than a stick unit. Since it will roll, you have to direct it and push, but you’re not supporting the entire weight of the unit.
Wheeled edgers usually cost more, but if you’re doing a lot of edging, they offer a lot of relief to your arm and back. Four-wheeled models are often used by large landscaping companies or rented by consumers to create a strong initial edge. There are also three-wheeled versions that are more affordable.
A stick edger is more affordable and suffices for most home use. You do have to bear all the weight yourself so it can get tiring. You’ll also feel the effects of the vibration of the machine, which can also become tiring quickly.
Most stick edgers do have a single wheel that serves more as a guide than a support. It allows you to rest it on the ground so that the depth of the cut stays consistent. You still have to balance the unit, though, so you’re still supporting most of the weight.
Since the business end of a stick unit is smaller, though, it can make it easier to get into corners or cut along walls.
You also want to consider the available blade positions on an edger. Try to find one with at least three positions. This allows you to cut to different depths depending on how sharp an edge you want to create.
It’s also helpful if the blade can be changed easily when it wears out. You won’t have to do this too often, but when the situation does arrive, you want it to be as painless as possible.
Just need to trim the grass around obstacles without creating a hard edge? A string trimmer might suit your needs.
Our Picks for the Best Lawn Edgers
Taking all these factors into account, we’ve picked some of the best lawn edger available.
This ECHO machine offers a trimmer and edger in one. It’s a gas-powered stick model that will help you create a fantastic edge and keep things looking greater around the whole lawn.
The two attachments are easy to switch depending on the task you want to do. The edger attachment features a single wheel that helps you keep the blade on the ground while following a straight line.
It does have a recoil starter, which means you have to pull the cord. However, ECHO’s “i30” system helps make it easier, apparently by using a spring to increase the pressure needed to get it going. It’s not push-button, but it’s not overly difficult, either.
The unit offers a left handle and handle cushions for extra comfort. It weighs 11.8 pounds and measures nearly 71 inches long.
The fuel tank holds 14.2 ounces of a 50:1 fuel-to-oil mix. The tank is translucent, meaning you can see the fuel level and know when it’s time to refill.
The trimmer attachment offers bump line advancement. It can cut up to 17 inches across.
The edger can be set to a range of depths. It doesn’t have fixed lock points and can be set precisely up to 2 ½ inches deep.
The unit is quieter than many other trimmers and the vibration isn’t too bad. So there’s some relief for your hands and ears with this model.
At first glance, the price may seem high. So it’s important to remember that this is two tools in one. We’ve found it to be worth the cost.
This unit has a 5-year warranty for consumer use. If you use it commercially, the warranty is two years.
The Earthquake is far more than just a tremor in the market. This powerful edger works equally well for home or commercial use.
The blade measures 9″ across and spins at 3400 rpm, making a quick, clean cut. It can be set to cut between a half inch and three and a half inches.
The four wheels make it easy to push and keep along a straight line. And the 4-stroke, 79cc engine keeps you going.
For safety’s sake, there’s a chain guard behind the blade to keep debris from flying up toward you. And for convenience, there’s a tool holder just below the handles. It’s basically a fancy cup holder, but it can come in handy when you don’t want to leave your trimmers or other items sitting around. Or, it can hold a cold drink for you!
If you’re assembling it yourself, there are wildly mixed reviews about how easy the process is. Some claim its a cinch, while others say it takes multiple hours and you might want an assistant.
If you work in landscaping or need a mower powerful machine, this model from McLane is a great choice. Its power (and price) doesn’t suit a tiny city yard, but for more spacious areas, this is a great investment.
This is a big unit, weighing in at 66.3 pounds. It starts well with a single pull of the cord. While some owners reported problems with getting the right combination of gas to oil, it seems the instructions on this have improved.
The blade can cut vertically or horizontally up to 2 ½” deep. It’s 9” long.
The throttle often cuts off the motor if you try to bring it too low, so it may take some trial and error to learn the right range. It can be an annoyance but it doesn’t take long to figure out how to handle the machine.
The wheels are 7” and made of durable rubber.
If you’re looking for an electric edger, there are also great options available, such as the two we’ll look at here.
This entry in our list is listed as an edger-trimmer combo, although it doesn’t have exchangeable heads. Instead, you lift up the edge guide to let it serve as a trimmer. It’s not a full-function trimmer, of course, but can handle some basic work.
This is a corded unit, and Black and Decker recommends using a 14-gauge extension cord no longer than 50 feet. That’s the best choice considering this has a 12-amp motor.
It’s lightweight, coming in at only 14.3 pounds. That’s a relief for the back, arms, and shoulder, but part of that savings comes through the materials. Most of the casing is a medium-weight plastic. It holds up decently but isn’t the highest quality.
It does offer decent balance with the two rear wheels and small front guide wheel.
The blade allows three different positions.
There is a two-year limited warranty for this product.
Worx also offers a 12-amp corded lawn edger. This model has a 7.5-inch blade that will cut a good edge along your lawn.
It can be set to 1”, 1 ¼”, or 1 ½”-inch depths. That’s acceptable for most uses, although there are times when getting a little deeper would be nice.
The handle can be adjusted depending on your height. Although they say it can be adjusted “for any height”, that leaves out the very tall. But users up to about 6’2” seem to have no trouble with it.
We’d recommend a 14-gauge, 50-foot maximum cord for this.
Worx provides a 3-year warranty for this edger.
A clean edge to your lawn is the detail that can make it really stand out. Getting the right tool for the job will help keep things looking great. Whether you go with a walk-behind or stick edger, gas-powered or electric, you can find a model that works for you. It’ll help convert your yard into the envy of the neighborhood!