How to Edge a Lawn in 10 Easy Steps. Lawn edging cutters
How to Edge a Lawn in 10 Easy Steps
If you’ve never edged a lawn before, don’t worry—we’ll teach you how to get the neatest, nicest edges around your walkways and garden beds.
Your lawn may be a beautiful expanse of lush, green grass, but if you haven’t edged properly, it won’t look all that great. If you don’t take a little time and effort, the strip of grass lining your walkways and skirting your driveway and flower beds will look sloppy.
But there’s good news. If you want a well-manicured lawn that’s easier to maintain, you just need to follow a few simple steps. This Old House will show you how to edge your lawn with a complete, easy-to-follow guide.
Once your lawn is nice and polished, if you want to keep it healthy, consider hiring a professional lawn care company like TruGreen. With five annual plans, TruGreen covers everything from fertilization to aeration. If you’d like a free quote from TruGreen, call 1-866-817-2287 or fill out this simple form.
Step 1: Mow The Grass
Whenever you edge your lawn, you should always start off by mowing. That way, you’ll know how short or tall to trim your grass along the edges of your lawn. A general rule of thumb—never cut more than ⅓ of your grass blades at a time. You don’t want to cut your grass too low, or “scalp” it. That can result in bare patches and weak grassroots.
Step 2: Plan The Path
Especially if this is your first time edging, it’s a good idea to delineate your planned path with tape, a hose, or rope to show you where you’ll make your edging cuts. Don’t be tempted to use spray paint—it could get windy, or you may miss. But if you are simply edging along sidewalks and don’t feel this is necessary, you can skip it altogether.
Step 3: Choose An Edger
Now, it’s time to choose your edger—power or manual. Power edgers, like string trimmers, will get the job done faster, but manual edgers will give you more control.
String trimmers are often used as edgers, and some are called trimmers/edgers. These lightweight power tools can come in electric, gas, corded, or cordless form. They feature a long shaft with a spinning head at the bottom. The spinning head uses a monofilament string to create centrifugal force that cuts through grass and weeds. Gas trimmers work best for large lawns, and electric trimmers are more environmentally friendly. Cordless trimmers are portable and lightweight, and run on batteries.
- Landscaping Edgers: These have a 3-4 foot shaft with a half-moon steel blade at the bottom, with footrests on either side. These are best used for removing grass and sod growing over a pathway or driveway, or for removing turf next to a flower bed. There are also manual edgers with wooden shafts, which are lighter than their steel counterparts.
- Dual Wheel Rotary Edgers: Dual wheel rotary edgers feature serrated blades attached to one side of a rubber wheel. That side slices through grass growing over the edges of driveways and walkways, while the other wheel rolls along the grass.
- Edging Shears: Edging shears are primarily used for touch-ups. Homeowners use them to remove any excess turf from their lawn’s edge.
Step 4: Put On Safety Gear
Put on a sturdy pair of gloves and a pair of safety glasses to shield your eyes from grass, pollen, and any debris. You can also wear a face mask to protect your nose and mouth if you are sensitive to allergens.
Step 5: Edge The Perimeter
Now, the edging begins. Before you get started, make sure you know where any electrical wires, plumbing pipes, or other buried hazards may be. You don’t want to risk cutting into them with your edger, so make sure to give them a wide berth.
You may want to do a practice edge to get familiar with the movements. We recommend doing that in a part of your lawn that isn’t too visible, or your backyard.
Edging With A String Trimmer
You’ll want to flip the head of the trimmer 180 degrees, making it vertical, with the deflector shield facing toward your body. Walk on the hard surface of the walkway or driveway as you edge.
The form you should take is simple. Keep your arms straight, engage your core, and move your body with deliberate movements, keeping the string trimmer level. This will give you the straightest edge. Be mindful of the direction your string trimmer spins, and move accordingly. Most of them spin the string clockwise, so you should move left to right while trimming—the trimmings will fall back onto the lawn.
For power edgers and manual edgers, cut just about 2 inches deep.
Edging With A Manual Edger
Using a manual edger is a lot like using a shovel. Drive it straight down into the ground with your feet, so the lip at the bottom touches the soil. Make sure it’s completely straight—that will make your edge more defined. Rock the edger side-to-side, then gently pull the handle back up.
Step 6: Check For Jagged Areas
Shovel up loose soil, turf, or mulch periodically as you go along, and place it in a wheelbarrow. Once you do this, you have a good sense of your edging—and can tell if there are any jagged areas you may need to go over again.
Step 7: Edge Garden Beds
Manual edgers may be your best bet when edging along curved garden beds, since they can create more fluid edges. Mark the area you want to edge, and follow the same steps for manual edging a perimeter. Go slow and steady, with deliberate movement.
Step 8: Prune and Trim Shrubs and Bushes
Once your perimeter and curved pathways are taken care of, take your edging shears and prune your shrubs and bushes. Going in small, regular sections will help make the shapes even.
Step 9: Clean Up Debris
After you’ve finished edging, use a stiff brush to clean all grass, soil, and residue from your trimmer, edger, or edging shears. If any debris dries and hardens, it will make it difficult to use the equipment the next time around.
Step 10: Maintain Your Lawn
After all that work, you’ll want to keep your lawn in tip-top shape. This Old House Reviews Team recommends hiring a professional lawn care company like TruGreen to handle your routine fertilization, aeration, weed control, and more.
TruGreen offers five different annual plans to choose from across every state except for Alaska. To get a free quote from TruGreen, call 1-866-817-2287 or fill out this simple form.
Lawn edging tools to keep your garden neat and tidy
Control grass around pathways, paving and flowerbeds with these easy-to-use lawn edging tools.
Regularly mowing and strimming your lawn will help keep your grass under control, but making sure your borders stay neat and tidy involves a little extra effort. Happily, there are plenty of effective edging tools to help you get the job done quickly.
We’ve gathered our favourite lawn edging tools to use in the garden, from knives and shears to electrical gadgets.
Our favourite lawn edging tools
Spear and Jackson edging shears and knife
If you’ve got a sizeable garden with a decent amount of paving or pathways, this edging set would be a sensible choice. It includes shears and a knife, both fitted with long handles to make the job easier.
These are durable tools designed to stand up to years of use. The edging knife has a heat-treated carbon steel head with a hammer-finished epoxy coating, and the handle is made from lacquered ash wood to survive rain showers.
The shears have strong, tubular steel handles with soft grips, and the 23cm chrome-plated blade is rust resistant, so it should stand the test of time. If you don’t need the edging knife, you can buy the shears on their own through Amazon.
Coopers of Stortford Step Lawn Edger
If it’s innovative design you’re after, look no further than this lawn edging tool. The stainless steel blade is mounted onto a flat wooden platform, so you can press down with your foot and use your own weight to easily slice through turf. Thanks to the long handle, you won’t have to crouch; you can operate the edger while standing.
With centuries of experience behind it, Coopers of Stortford is a knowledgeable brand when it comes to garden equipment. In fact, it has occupied the same premises on the Hertfordshire/Essex border for over 300 years.
Take a look at the best boot scrapers and keep your wellies clean.
CK Classic Legend Adjustable Lawn Edging Shears
The standout feature of these edging shears is their telescopic handles, allowing you to extend them to reach the ground or border. You can choose from seven positions along the handles to increase the 64cm tool to a maximum length of 105cm, and pack them down again for easy storage.
DIY Lawn Edging Installation. Garden Renovation
Despite the telescopic mechanism, these are lightweight shears and they come with hand grips, so they should be comfortable to use for long periods of time.
As for the head, you’ll get drop-forged blades with armour chrome plating for extra durability.
Fiskars Servo-System grass shears
For smaller jobs, you could get away with using a hand edging tool like these grass shears. They have an adjustable 360-degree cutting angle to help you get a Smart finish on areas in need of attention to detail.
There’s also a ‘servo-system’ mechanism to stop the blade getting clogged with grass, as well as a lock setting, which you can turn on with just your thumb.
Rechargeable Hedge Grass Trimmers
If you’ve got a large lawn or lots of edging to manicure, it might be worth investing in an electric trimmer like this one. It’s specifically designed for cutting grass and hedges, and comes with two interchangeable blades: one for lawns (8cm) and one for shrubs and bushes (11cm).
A compact tool with a removable 60cm handle, this edger is light enough to be used with one hand; you won’t have to bend over and risk hurting your back.
After charging the trimmer for four to five hours, you can expect to get 35 minutes of continuous power.
Kent and Stowe Edging Iron
Kent and Stowe is another great brand to turn to if you’re in need of some new garden gear. This edger is an example of the brand’s high-quality products. With its sharp serrated blade, it can cut through tough ground to create neat edges along garden borders.
The head is made from strong stainless steel for durability, and the design also includes a T-handle, which should make it easy to push the blade into the earth.
STIHL Compact Battery Brush Cutter Set
For narrow strips of turf or hard-to-access areas, an electric trimmer can come in handy. This one is from trusted brand STIHL and is ideal for cutting lawn around trees, shrubs and borders.
Choose this electric trimmer for its 28cm cutting circle, adjustable shaft and soft-grip handle. As an added bonus, the tool is battery powered, so you won’t need to worry about topping up a petrol tank.
Spear Jackson Select Stainless Steel Edging Iron
You can always rely on Spear and Jackson to create durable gardening tools designed to stand up to many years of use.
While many brands give their edging knives traditional wooden handles, this one features a strong aluminium shaft to save on weight. It also comes with a T-shaped handlebar to provide plenty of grip.
The head itself is crafted from rust-resistant stainless steel, which is mirror polished to help it slice cleanly through earth.
Homebase Lawn Edging Knife
For everyday edging tasks, you can’t go wrong with this simple yet robust lawn knife, complete with a pointed head to easily slice through turf and soil.
This lawn edging tool comes with a tempered carbon steel blade with a handy footplate to help you cut through dense ground.
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A Smart wooden handle finishes the design and gives it a traditional look to complement any set of gardening tools.
Alice is a digital writer with a knack for tracking down the most innovative and exciting products to hit the market. Working across several of Our Media’s special interest brands, she’s written for publications including Countryfile, Gardens Illustrated and Science Focus. Outside of work. and lusting over homeware and gardening products. you’ll find her rambling in the great outdoors or watching an old film.
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Spring is the perfect time to establish a neat lawn edge
If the edges of your lawn have taken a pounding over the sodden winter months, spring is here to set them straight, and re-establish neat boundaries. This prepares the way for light maintenance for the rest of the growing season.
Should you be new to gardening and haven’t used a garden edger on your lawn before, the objective is to give it definition and clean lines. A lawn that spreads year after year will not only encroach onto flower borders and pathways or driveways, it affects the way your home and garden look.
Tools for edging a lawn
You’ve got a range of tools to choose from:
The spade option, with help tidying up from a line trimmer, is physically more demanding and time-consuming. Also, it’s more difficult to get a good, clean edge.
Petrol garden tools have historically been favourites for performance, but that has changed. innovation with cordless rechargeable batteries has produced proven petrol-beating performance. without the fumes, noise and vibration.
An electric lawn edger (cordless) is suitable for small and large areas, but certainly much more convenient for larger areas because you don’t have to worry about power cables being long enough or getting in the way.
How to edge your lawn using a cordless lawn edger
A cordless lawn edger tool is very easy to use, with on-board guides to line up your cut. However, as when handling any power tool, you do need to do some preparation.
- You’ll get best results when the grass is dry. Avoid edging in wet soil or wet grass areas, which might cause the blade guard to clog and result in an uneven edge.
- Check your battery is charged. An EGO 56V 5.0Ah battery will give you up to 60 minutes edging time and can be recharged in 40 minutes with a Rapid charger.
- Check for wear and tear of the blade. If you need to replace it, contact your nearest dealer for a replacement part.
- Safety first. wear eye and ear protection. While our cordless garden tools are significantly quieter than their petrol equivalent, we would still recommend looking after your hearing. Safety goggles or glasses with side protection should also be worn in case of flying debris which may be uncovered during use.
- Also on safety. wear good boots, long trousers and make sure people and pets remain at a safe distance in case debris is thrown up.
- Walk your course and remove any stones or other obstacles.
Using the lawn edging tool
- Hold the edger with your right hand on the rear handle and your left hand on the front-assist handle. Keep a firm grip with both hands while operating and hold it at a comfortable position with the rear handle at about hip height.
- The EGO lawn edging attachment for the multi-tool comes with a guide line on the wheel casing to help you get a straight line, plus a removable edge plate underneath. These will help you set and stay on course.
- Push the edger forwards only, only going as fast as it needs to make a clean cut. usually, normal walking pace, but no faster. If the blade begins to bog down, you’re edging too fast. slow your pace.
- If the blade guard becomes clogged, stop the motor, remove the battery pack, and remove debris from the blade guard.
- Our cordless lawn edger tool will cut to a depth of 75mm. You can easily change the depth by loosening the depth-adjusting knob and moving the guide wheel.
- If you’re edging a lawn for the first time, the edger won’t have a problem with this bigger job, though you will have to remove the excess soil and grass by hand or with a spade afterwards.
Check your manual for full information on safe and correct operation, cleaning and storage.
The only thing that makes edging a lawn with a cordless power attachment even easier is the shoulder strap. It helps you balance the tool and takes some of the work of handling it. a useful accessory for long edges around larger gardens. The multi-tool and edger can be bought in a set with a host of other cordless garden essentials, or on its own.
Whether you’re going for a professionally-landscaped look or doing a quick clean-up before those summer graduation parties and backyard BBQs, you’ll find the best lawn edger for your needs on this list. All these have four-star ratings or higher.
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In this list
Best Budget Cordless Lawn Edger
The Worx 2-in-1 Cordless 12-inch grass trimmer/edger costs less than 150 and earned a 4.5-star rating on Amazon. It features dual-position wheels, two cordless max Lithium batteries and a two-hour dual charger. This tool easily converts from a trimmer to an in-line edger in seconds with no tools required. Its ergonomic design features a quick release lever for fast telescoping height adjustments and a 90-degree tilting shaft to tackle any terrain and whatever garden and lawn edging ideas you’ve got at your house.
We reviewed this trimmer in 2022 and really liked how easy to use it was for a small yard. It’s not powerful enough to handle a large yard on a single charge, but with two batteries, you can keep it running without having to pause while it recharges. The Worx trimmer also isn’t going to handle heavy duty weeds, like overgrown thistle, so if you’ve really let things go, you might have to start with a heavier duty trimmer or mower to tame the weeds again.
Best Corded Lawn Edger
One thing to consider when searching for the best lawn edger is motor power. Can it handle your landscape? The high-powered motor on this versatile electric lawn edger helps you cut through weeds and overgrowth as well as create a clean-cut trench. It converts from a lawn edger to a trencher with ease and has a three-position blade depth adjustment, making it a great tool for a variety of lawncare projects. It comes with a built-in cord retention compartment and a heavy-duty Black Decker replacement blade.