How to Use a Lawn Edger

Last Updated on February 26, 2021 by Grow with Bovees

This is a tool used to trim the grass that is on the edge of the lawn that a mower cannot reach. You can also use it on a flower or vegetable bed to make them look well trimmed but the general idea is to keep weeds from growing into the lawn.

There are many types of lawn edgers that can help you with the task at hand. We’ll take a look at the different categories of lawn edgers and how to use each of them.

Types of Lawn Edgers

Like with many garden tools, you will find motorized and manual lawn edgers. In theory, there are five different types of lawn edgers and their mechanism dictates the method of usage.

Roller-Based Lawn Edger

This lawn edger has a roller wheel that is meant to be pushed along the edge of the lawn. There are two types of roller-based lawn edgers. One of them has a steel cutting disc which is used to cut the grass or weeds that are spilling over.

The second has two star-shaped discs with spokes that cause friction by brushing against each other and in the process cut the grass or weeds on the edge of your lawn.

Spade-Based Lawn Edger

This is the simplest type of lawn edger that is also used as a cutting blade. They are semicircular and look like a half-moon. They have a broad blade with a flat top.

This blade is fixed to a long handle that is meant to be rocked up and down with pressure applied towards the ground. The flat top of the blade makes it possible for you to step on it and apply more force.

It is also referred to as an edging iron.

Hand Shears

These are well known and available in different configurations. From models that are operated with one hand at the ground level to those with a long handle and adjustable length, there are many choices.

You will also find hand shears that can be operated with both hands in which case you must align them at a right angle so that the blades can cut the grass laterally while you are still standing.

String Trimmers

A string trimmer is designed such that you can move them easily by placing the head of the trimmer in a vertical position. It is more efficient if you have to trim around angular areas or landscapes with interrupting features like rock gardens or ponds.

Some models have specific attachments that allow the head to be realigned. A blade is fitted into the head instead of a string trimmer line. String trimmers are available in cordless, gas and electric models.

Edger/Trencher Tool

These are very easy to use, and will form a neat edge to your lawn as well as having the capability to cut a small well-defined trench through grass or garden beds. This is very useful when installing power cables for garden lighting, or installing irrigation lines.

Purpose-Designed Lawn Edgers

These edgers are meant to go over long distances in the yard. If they have a single wheel, they are light and easy to move around a small lawn.

If they have more than one wheel, they are meant for heavy-duty work. Depending on the type you choose, you can either cut the grass at an angle by adjusting the trimmer line or blade(s).

Some of the most popular models in the market are roller based or spade based.

The decision you’ll have to make will mostly boil down to manual or electric or gas-powered models. So, we’ll take a look at how to use one of each kind.

How to Use a Half-Moon Manual Lawn Edger

This is a manual spade-based lawn edger that has a blade in the shape of a semi-circle on the edge.

  • You need to start by figuring out the line you want to edge before you do anything else. Draw the border with a piece of chalk if it helps.
  • Then hold the straight handle and push it with your foot into the grass that is meant to be chopped.
  • Walk along the line and cut the sod in a clean line.
  • If you’re cleaning up the edges of a flowerbed, remove at least three inches of sod that is left on the garden side. Make sure you can see at least three inches of soil.
  • If you are going to apply mulch, make sure the edge is exposed below the roots so that the stolons don’t spread into the garden.

A half-moon edger is better than a shovel because you can move it side to side as you apply force from the top while also cutting the lawn edges simultaneously. This makes edging the lawn an easy task even if it’s a manual edger tool.

When compared to a shovel, you will be able to make a clean cut on a continuous line.

How to Use a Rotary Lawn Edger

This is a roller-based lawn edger that can be used to cut the grass in a lawn to the perfect height. It can be manual or electric. Gas-powered models also work similarly except the starting mechanism is a bit different from their electric counterparts.

  • Create an outline and mark it with chalk or lay out a garden hose pipe or rope if it’s a complicated shape.
  • Cover your feet completely to protect yourself from flying debris and injuries.
  • Line up the blade with the marked line such that it is on the turf side between the patio and the lawn. If your edger has a guide, positioning the blade gets even easier.
  • Keep the wheels on the surface that is paved or on the lawn side of the line if you’re edging flower beds.
  • If you have an electric model, switch it on and let the blade spin for a couple of seconds before you start moving. If you have a gas model, you must pull the cord and do the same.
  • Push it along the edging line and cut the excess grass while positioning the blade firmly against the paved area when needed. If the edger is a bit loud, keep it in position because it is still working through some material like grass or weeds. Once it is done, it will get quieter which means it is time for you to move along.

Ideally, you must remove any vegetation along the edging line to make the edger’s job easier. And do this once a month when the grass reappears.

The Bottom Line Of How To Use A Lawn Edger

If you have to take care of heavy brush, experts recommend a gas-powered edger. They are loud but far more effective when compared to manual or electric edgers.

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