A beautifully manicured lawn can greatly enhance the curb appeal and value of your home. Clean edges along flower beds, walkways, driveways and other lawn borders create a polished, professional look. Investing in a quality lawn edger allows you to maintain crisp borders on your own time and budget. With the right tools, you can achieve landscape edging that rivals professional yard care.
Key Benefits of Regular Lawn Edging
Sharp, distinct lawn edges provide more than just aesthetic benefits. Keeping vegetation from encroaching into other areas of your yard has some functional advantages as well:
- Prevents weeds from spreading: Edging creates a trench that separates your lawn from planting beds and hardscapes. This barrier helps keep invasive weeds like crabgrass and dandelions from taking root in garden beds or cracks in your driveway.
- Makes mowing easier: Well-defined borders give your mower clear boundaries to maneuver. You’ll spend less time trimming by hand in tight spots.
- Showcases lawn care investment: Crisp edges highlight the beauty of your lush, healthy grass and landscaping investments. The visual separation makes flower beds and turf areas “pop”.
- Improves curb appeal: Keeping vegetation in check enhances the neat, tidy appearance that home buyers find attractive. Eye-catching lawn borders influence perceptions of your home.
Regular edging every few weeks when your lawn is actively growing ensures you maximize these functional and aesthetic benefits.
Key Factors When Choosing a Lawn Edger
With the vast variety of lawn edgers available, it can be tricky selecting the right option for your unique needs. Keep the following factors in mind while comparing models:
Lawn edgers come in manual, electric or gas-powered options:
- Manual edgers require no fuel or batteries but do demand significant upper body strength and stamina. Most manual models feature a sharp blade installed on a vertical handle you push or pivot into soil.
- Electric edgers offer more power and easier control than manual versions, without the hassles of gas. Corded models provide unlimited runtime but maneuverability is limited by the cord length. Battery-powered models offer outstanding mobility but runtime is restricted per charge.
- Gas edgers offer the highest power levels and runtimes, but produce emissions and noise. Most gas models feature four-stroke engines that run more cleanly and quieter than two-stroke versions.
The amount of edging you need to do and availability of outdoor power outlets determine whether manual, electric or gas works best for your needs.
The edger’s cutting width, measured by the edge length that comes in contact with soil, determines how much border you can trim in a single pass. Wider cutting widths like 4-6 inches are more efficient for edging longer expanses. Narrower 2-3 inch widths provide more precision for detailed borders and prep work around delicate landscapes and trees.
Larger wheels roll over uneven turf and landscaping materials easier, while smaller wheels follow intricate shape details more accurately. Balloon or pneumatic tires provide the best traction and obstacle clearance.
Blade depth ranging from 1-3 inches allows you to cut neat trenches along your lawn perimeter in one pass. Adjustable blades give you more customization over the depth to suit different vegetation types and soil conditions.
Thoughtful ergonomic features that reduce strain and fatigue allow you to edge for longer periods. Padded handles, multiple grip positions and anti-vibration technologies make a difference in comfort over extended use.
By evaluating your specific needs in each category, you can zero in on the best edger to make lawn maintenance easier.
The 7 Best Lawn Edgers for Crisp, Clean Borders
We’ve taken all the key buying considerations into account and rounded up the top-rated lawn edgers for DIY homeowners. Any of these quality options will have your yard looking like a professional landscaper tended to it.
Best Manual Lawn Edger: Yard Butler Lawn and Garden Edger Tool
For light-duty edging needs, it’s tough to beat the simplicity and affordability of the Yard Butler manual edging tool. The rounded solid steel blade easily cuts 1-2 inch deep trenches along flat surfaces like driveways or sidewalks bordering turf areas. Weighing under 2 pounds, the device requires some upper body strength to apply the needed down pressure when pushing the handle to slice the soil. But themanual operation steers clear of cords and batteries. Three padded grips give you excellent control and comfort when edging. Extendable handle length and compact size make storage a breeze as well. For quick touch-ups or smaller landscaping beds, the Yard Butler provides excellent value.
Best Electric Lawn Edger: EGO Power+ 21” Cordless Electric Lawn Edger
When you need amplified edging power without the hassles of gas, the EGO 21” lawn edger is a star performer. The 56V lithium ion battery delivers ample strength and stamina to neatly and efficiently trench up to a 2” depth around larger landscapes. The 21” blade makes fast work of long spans without repeated passes. Yet the edger still handles precise trims around trees and posts with finesse. The whole unit weighs just 32 pounds for easier maneuverability around corners and curves. An override switch gives you total blade control instead of constant spin. And the weather resistant construction holds up to outdoor elements. With up to 45 minutes of peak runtime, this edger brings convenience without the tripping hazards of cords. The included rapid charger has your battery restored in just 30 minutes.
Best Gas Lawn Edger: Husqvarna 122HD60 277cc Gas Edger
When you have expansive edging needs at a commercial grade, Husqvarna’s heavy duty gas edger is the ultimate powerhouse. The 21CC 2-cycle engine delivers a mighty 4 HP for relentless slicing even through stubborn tree roots and rocky soil. High front wheels glide over rough terrain with ease despite the hefty 78 pound weight. The adjustable handle and vibration dampeners keep the experience comfortable through long edging jobs. Get up to 2 hours of unrelenting runtime from the extra-large fuel tank. While noisy and emissions producing, the Husqvarna gas edger is a workhorse designed to plow through professional-grade landscaping needs.
Best Electric Lawn Edger for Precise Cuts: WORX WG184 Lawn Edger & Mini Trencher
Combining power and precision, WORX’s lawn edger tackles detailed cuts with remarkable accuracy. The unique dual-wheel design centers the edger guide precisely over your cut line to trace intricate shapes and tight corners better than single-wheel models. The sturdy metal guard prevents kickback and protects surrounding plants from blade damage. Extended handle length saves your back, while the rotating auxiliary handle allows you to edge from multiple positions. The 12 amp motor and dual 6 inch blade assembly delivers clean 2” deep cuts in most soil types without straining. For finessing professional level edges throughout smaller home landscapes, this WORX edger provides top-tier performance.
Best Cordless Lawn Edger for Small Yards: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Edger
Perfectly suited for suburban plots and townhome dimensions, the BLACK+DECKER 20V cordless edger offers outstanding value for modest edging duties. The lightweight design weighs just 6 pounds for easy maneuvering within compact spaces. The 4.5 inch blade width tackles straight lines efficiently while the edger head pivots for custom curves. Adjustable depth settings prevent you from trenching deeper than needed. Blade advance control and a blade stop feature give you added safety, especially helpful for first-time users gaining confidence. While only capable of 30-45 minutes of runtime per charge, the low cost makes adding backup batteries affordable so you can work longer. For basic landscape border maintenance, the BLACK+DECKER cordless edger proves you don’t need expensive bells and whistles.
Best Commercial Grade Lawn Edger: ECHO 21.2cc Gas Straight Shaft Edger
Ideal for professional landscapers and high acreage property owners, ECHO’s robust gas-powered shaft edger churns through miles of edging quickly. The 21.2cc engine delivers substantial 2.2 HP cutting force for fast progress on long borders. The extra-large 0.65 gallon fuel tank sustains hours of peak performance before refueling. The straight solid steel shaft gives you remarkable leverage to power through tree roots and stone barriers easily. The pro-grade magnesium crankcase and connecting rod provide exceptional durability under extreme daily use. And conveniently accessible air filters make routine maintenance simple. For full work days filled with heavy edging action, this brawny ECHO edger will satisfy like no other.
Best Electric Lawn Edger for Long Borders: Greenworks 10 Amp Dethatcher & Edger Tool
Stretching up to 400 running feet on a single charge, Greenworks’ beefy electric dethatcher transitions easily for edging duties to create crisp clean lines throughout large properties. The generous 40V battery and 10 amp motor slices 2.5 inch deep trenches with power to spare. At just 26 pounds, the balled edger roller makes following curves smooth and easy on the arms and back. Adjust to lower blade settings when shifting tasks. While converting the attachments takes some time, you’re essentially getting two versatile yard tools in one for expanded functionality. For enlarging existing beds or installing lengthy new borders, this two-in-one dethatcher and edger allows you to scale up gardens significantly.
Lawn Edging Techniques and Maintenance Tips
With the right edging tool selected for your size landscape, now you can look forward to mastering efficient edging techniques for professional-quality results:
- Decide on border placement first – Determine the location of any new permanent lawn borders you want to establish prior to edging. Use a garden hose or spray paint to lay out the design.
- Loosen soil initially – Before attempting to slice crisp edges, loosen the top 1-2 inches of soil and turf using a shovel or cultivator tool along your marked lines. This makes plunging the edger and achieving clean separation easier.
- Cut narrow to wide – Position the edger so it’s straddling the border line, with about a third of the blade width in the lawn and two-thirds in the planting bed or hardscape area. This prevents surface peeling of driveway pavers or damage to nearby plants. As you cut down to full depth, progress slowly from the inner lawn out towards the paver edge or garden bed.
- Overlap passes – Each pass with the edger blade should overlap the previous cut by an inch or two to ensure you achieve a continuous deep trench without gaps where weeds can sprout later. Complete the full border before moving to a new section.
- Define both sides – For a fully finished look, edge along both sides of a paved walkway or footpath bordered by lawn areas. This keeps the turf from appearing to creep from either direction long term.
- Remove strips – Once done edging, rake up and dispose of the strips of grass or weed whips created by the blade cleanly slicing the soil. Leaving them in place defeats visually separating the two zones.
- Apply stabilizing border – For permanent landscape bed edges that will hold their shape despite soil erosion, install some type of stabilizing border material within the trenches. Options range from steel, aluminum or plastic landscape edging secured with landscape staples, to bricks or rocks lining the lowered perimeters.
- Refresh regularly – Inspect lawn borders monthly during peak growing periods and re-edge areas that appear overgrown for maintaining crisp definition long term. Frequent quick touch-ups take less effort than infrequent complete renovations.
Decorative Landscape Edging
For a touch of ornamental flair, decorative landscape borders integrate charming accents along your lawn perimeter. Choices include:
- Wrought iron – Intricate scrollwork designs and powder coated colors
- Scalloped steel – Gentle curves and vivid hues like green or bronze
- Stamped concrete – Brick, stone or tile patterns for traditional charm
- Cultured stone – Faux rock borders mimic quarried granite or bluestone
Many interlocking landscape borders feature stakes or bottom lips allowing quick DIY installations. No trenching or special tools needed!
Contrasting Mulch Colors
Natural mulches like pine bark nuggets already provide pleasing contrast against lively green lawns. But you can crank up the drama even further with dyed mulches in attention-grabbing colors like blue, red, gold and black. These rich hues make the bordering plants “pop” even from the curb. Just ensure the dye won’t leach out onto concrete walkways from rainfall over time.
River Rock Landscape Borders
For organic yet polished definition, borders of smooth river rocks keep landscapes tidy in style. Mixing granite, quartz and basalt rocks also adds multi-toned visual appeal. Leave small gaps between stones to allow rainfall to percolate through. You’ll enjoy the pleasant trickling sound as an added bonus.
Low Profile Metal Landscape Edging
When you want crisp edges with no visible border distractions, low-profile aluminum and galvanized steel lawn edges maintain straight lines discretely. Install them flush with the soil grade or buried just below the surface. Their subtle presence still effectively keeps grass and weeds from invading garden spaces. Choose softer curved shapes or right-angled sections based on your layout.
Whether you prefer bold landscape accents or nearly invisible barriers, quality edging paired with attractive borders keep your lawn looking photo ready every day. Show off creative tones and textures defining your turf space for extra curb appeal!
It’s best to edge your lawn every 2-3 weeks during peak growing seasons in the spring and summer. Frequent edging prevents visible overgrowth and keeps lawn borders looking neat and tidy.
Aim to edge in the early morning or late afternoon when grass is cool and damp for clean cuts. Avoid mid-day when heat dries out turfgrass. Wet soil from evening watering also makes plunging blades easier.
Quality lawn edgers cut borders along grass as well as concrete, brick or asphalt driveways, patios and sidewalk surfaces bordering yards. Extra powerful gas models can even trench through tree roots.
Use a narrow manual half-moon edger or electric models with adjustable blade depths and wheeled guides to carefully trace tight curves around tree rings, ornamentals and flowers without damage.
It’s recommended you backfill lawn edging trenches with stabilizing material to prevent erosion and maintain the separation long-term. Top options are steel landscape border sections, aluminum edging, bricks, rocks or gravel.
Always clean grass clippings and soil off edger blades after each use. Check engine oil levels on gas models. Sharpen blades as needed. Store electric and gas edgers safely during winter or off-seasons.
Maintaining crisp, clean lines along your home’s landscapes is easier than ever with the amazing selection of power and manual lawn edgers available today. Whether your needs are light duty or commercial grade, battery-powered flexibility or gas engine durability, there’s an edger designed to suit your unique lawn’s borders.
Investing in a quality edging tool pays ongoing dividends through improved curb appeal, healthier grass growth, prevented weed spread and easier mowing. Taking the time to edge every few weeks when grass is actively growing will have your yard looking like a professional tend to it daily without breaking the bank.
The right edger paired with proper use techniques will give you that signature finishing touch worthy of a magazine cover or HGTV feature. So go ahead and carve out a little time this weekend to pamper your turf with a fresh set of lines. Your lawn will thank you as it shows off it’s sexiest green summer outfit all season long!