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If you have a garden or a lawn, then an edger is a tool that you should have. A lawn edger is used to trim the edges of a lawn or flowerbed. Maybe you are wondering why you need another tool to tend your lawn when you have a lawnmower. It’s because there is a limit to where the lawnmower can reach.

Lawn edges are one of those areas that are unreachable for lawnmowers, especially drivable lawnmowers. Also, if you have flowers, you don’t want to risk getting a lawnmower too close to them. The perfect tool for this kind of use is the edger. It ensures that your lawn looks very neat and well-tended. It also prevents unnecessary weed encroachment. Here we will take a look at how to use an edger in your garden.

Types of Edger

There are different types of edgers and they can be suitable for various purposes. Depending on what you intend to use the edger for, you can settle for any of the following edgers.

Manual edger

Manual edgers have the simplest design, which is typically a long pole or rod with an attached blade. The blade may be flat or have a snoop cut edge, which is useful for edging flower beds. This type of edger is also the cheapest to buy and use since it neither uses electricity nor gas. It is beneficial if you have a small lawn and just a few flowers. Note that it is not appropriate for moderate or large lawns because it can be stressful to use a manual edger in such large spaces.

Electric stick edger

An electric stick edger is the closest to the manual edger. It is also simple in design but is powered using electricity. They are lightweight and suitable for average-sized lawns and gardens and are relatively cheap. Electric stick edgers are available in two types; ones that use rechargeable batteries and another type that requires being plugged into a power outlet. You may consider buying an extension to use the plugged type on large lawns.

Gas-powered edger

Gas-powered edgers are, as the name suggests, powered using gas. Just as many other gas engines, they are heavier and more powerful. Gas-powered edgers generate a lot of power and can be used on heavy brush and large lawns. They can also be used on lawns with hedges or covered in rough brambles. They are usually designed with either a 2-cylinder engine or a 4-cylinder engine. The latter being the most powerful and the most expensive as well.

Wheeled Edger

steel lawn edger seen being used at the edge of a well maintained lawn and flowerbed

The wheeled edger is what you think it looks like. Yes, it looks like a lawnmower but functions differently. The wheeled edger is a type of edger you can walk behind and push to trim the edges of extensive lawns and or the edges around big trees. You can also use wheeled edgers to trim the edges of a long sidewalk. Due to safety concerns, the wheeled edger should only be used on flat lawns. A sloped area may pose a danger for the person pushing a wheeled edger.

What Is an Edger Used For?

The following is what an edger is used for, including some of the uses mentioned briefly above.

  • Trim lawn edges. An edger is the perfect tool that gives your lawn the right looks that it deserves. A properly edged lawn appears neat and well-groomed.
  • Create neat edges around flower beds and or trees on large lawns. Flower beds and tree bases are quite difficult to reach for lawnmowers; the only tool that can achieve that neat look in these positions is an edger.
  • Expand a flower bed. An edger can also be used to extend flowerbeds precisely without cutting in too deep into the lawn or garden.
  • Mark edges for a new flowerbed. If you have a new plant you want to add to your garden, an edger can help you make a new flowerbed for it.

Steps to Using an Edger

  • Protective gear: When you want to use an edger, the first step is to wear protective clothes and accessories such as earplugs and goggles. Gas-powered edgers can be very noisy and you want to protect your ears. Also, goggles can be used to protect your eyes from flying dirt and objects. Protective clothing may include long pants and heavy boots.
  • Mow the lawn: If you want to use an edger on a lawn, then the lawn must have been mowed. This is because marking edges on a bushy lawn may lead to uneven edges. The best practice is to mow the lawn before edging.
  • Mark the edges: The edges can be easily marked after the lawn has been mowed. You can achieve this using a long rope. This helps to get straight and neat edges. With experience, you may no longer need to use a mark.
  • Remove rocks and large roots along the edges: It is good to walk around the edges and remove all large obstacles in the path of the edger.
  • Position the edger at the starting position: Aim for the edger to be at about 1 inch of the lawn edge or flower bed. Then, follow the mark closely.
  • Start edging: The next thing is to start edging. If you have a manual edger, use your leg to drive the blade well into the soil, along the position. Likewise, turn on your electric-powered edger or start the engine of your gas-powered edger. Ensure you cut along the marked path and maintain an even cut. Aim at a uniform depth of 2 inches.
  • Remove trimmings along the path so that you can see if you have been making straight and even edges.


An edger is an essential garden tool. The edges need to be cared for to give your lawn and flower beds that neat look. Depending on how big your lawn is or how many flowerbeds you have, you can go for a manual edger or a heavier and pricey wheeled edger.

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