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String trimmers, also commonly called weed eaters, are practical power tools that can serve different purposes in lawn maintenance. One of the ways to use your string trimmer is as an edger. A string trimmer is traditionally not the tool to carry out your edging. However, many homeowners and a sizeable number of professionals use their string trimmers to get the job done effectively. It usually turns out just fine when correctly done. Here we will take a look at how to edge with a string trimmer to make your yard look great.

How To Edge with a String Trimmer

You can use a string trimmer to edge the border of your lawn or in different areas around your house where there are growths, such as patios, pathways, or driveways. You must take the correct precautions and use the proper techniques to avoid injuries and get good results.

Edging dramatically improves the appearance of your lawn, but not everyone knows that your string trimmer is an excellent tool to do it. It only requires a few adjustments, and you are good to go. In using your string trimmer to edge, hold your string trimmer at a 90-degree angle to ensure that the line spins from top to bottom rather than from side to side.

You will have to lower the spinning line so that it just comes in contact with the soil and grass along the edge of your walkway. It will then dig out a thin line of the soil while removing grasses and weeds. It also prevents the grasses and weeds from growing back by removing their seeds and roots during the process.

Best Way To Edge Using your String Trimmer

The best way to edge with a string trimmer is to turn it on its side with the string spinning away from you and placing the shaft on your shoulder. This allows accurate movement of the string along the lawn edges and enables you to check the work as you go along.

In edging with your trimmer, ensure that you check how the trimmer is designed to rotate; this is usually clockwise. This will help you know the direction to turn to ensure that the debris is directed away from you. It is also advisable to wear safety goggles to protect yourself from the debris to deter any foreign objects from entering your eyes.

Another essential thing to note while using your string trimmer to edge your lawn is that it has to be slow and steady. If you attempt to go too fast, there is a big chance that you will decimate your lawn in the process. In using your string trimmer, slow and steady wins the race.

Using The Shoulder-Mount Approach

When using your string trimmer to edge, you are advised to use the shoulder mount approach to get optimum results. Calling it a shoulder-mount system is seemingly misleading because you are not precisely placing it on the shoulder. Instead, hold the shaft in your hand while resting the arm upward near the shoulder.

The position may appear awkward, but it is surprisingly a very comfortable position. The back end of the trimmer is simply resting on your hand in this approach.

While it is possible to rotate the shaft and edge by holding the trimmer the same way you would while weed-eating, that approach would result in more back strain. Moreover, since we need a proper 90-degree spin to get the most effective positioning for edging, the best way would be to raise the back end of the trimmer to get the desired positioning.

man with string trimmer

Steps to Take when Edging with a String Trimmer

There are several steps to take when you want to edge your lawn; these make it easier to go through with edging with a string trimmer. We will be checking through some of the most important steps in this section.

  1. Mow the Lawn: Before you edge the lawn, it is good that you mow it. Mowing the lawn gives it a neat, uniform look. It makes the entire work look good after you edge it.
  2. Trim the surface of the grass near the edges: The mower may not be able to trim the grass all the way, so there may still be some longer grass near the edges. You can use your string trimmer to cut the long grass.
  3. Plot the path for the edging: If it happens to be the first time you will be edging your lawn, you can mark the course out with a tape or rope; this will help guide you as you work. If the lawn has been edged previously, you will do well to follow the existing lines and clean them up.
  4. Watch out for dangerous materials that may be buried or lying on the path you plan to edge. You should either remove or avoid them while you edge the lawn.
  5. Walk in the opposite direction to the direction the string spins in. If the string rotates clockwise, you will walk anti-clockwise. This ensures that the string trimmer throws the debris away from the cut path.
  6. Clear up loose soil as you work; this will help you see the edged path.

Taking these steps meticulously will help to ensure that your lawn is appropriately edged.

Best Practice Tips When Edging Using a String Trimmer

  1. Be extra careful of flying debris to avoid hitting moving cars, windows, or people. A string trimmer does not possess the same level of debris control when edging as when it is trimming.
  2. Wear eye protection and be ever-conscious of the direction in which the debris is being thrown.
  3. Straight lines take patience and practice. Since this is a new technique for you, please do not get frustrated when you do not get it successfully initially; with time, you will be able to perfect it. You’ll get pretty impressive results over time.


You can edge your garden with a string trimmer. It will take some practice, and it will never approach the precision of a dedicated edge tool, but it is possible.

Take your time, practice your technique, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you get a few mauled areas while learning. The more you practice, the better you will become.

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