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Shopping Guide for Best Lawn Edgers

There's a certain satisfaction to be had when you see a lush, green lawn with clean, straight edges. Especially when that lawn is yours.

On the face of it, it may seem like finding an adequate lawn edger would be no sweat. But when you study the range of edgers available — and the variety of price tags out there — the task of finding the perfect lawn edger for your needs grows much more daunting.

That’s where we come in. At BestReviews, our aim is to provide consumers with up-to-date, unbiased information about the best products available.

We never accept manufacturer samples; we always buy the items we test. We scrutinize the latest research and talk to experts and consumers to find out which products provide the best bang, and which fizzle out.

Each edger featured in our product matrix is a great tool that would satisfy the needs of a certain population of users. Using the product-specific information above and our shopping guide below, we’re confident that you can find an excellent product to meet your needs.

Manual, electric, or gas? They type of edger you require depends on the type of work you want to do. Yes, spending hours tidying borders with a hand edger could be very therapeutic. But most of us don’t want that type of therapy all the time.

Power Options

Should you get a manual, electric, or gas-driven edger? We discuss your options here.

Power options

Manual Lawn Edgers

In this technology-rich world, an old-fashioned manual edger may look a bit out of place. And yet, this type of tool offers some definite benefits.

  • Low cost
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easy to store
  • Quiet
  • Maintenance-free (apart from a quick wipe-down here and there)
  • No motor or cables to deal with

Admittedly, a manual tool probably isn’t the right choice if you’ve got miles of edging to do. But for small flower beds, gardens, and other areas, it’s a smart option for both maintaining and installing edging.


Luke owned and operated his own lawn and landscaping business for over a decade. Founding the business and growing it prior to an acquisition, Luke led all procurement decisions, from the purchase of blowers and lawn mowers to weed whackers and tillers. Luke uses all of these machines regularly.

Luke  |  Landscaping Professional
Power options

Electric Lawn Edgers

The most popular edgers are those powered by electricity. It’s easy to see why they’re such a trendy choice.

  • Ease to use; just plug in and go
  • Low-maintenance
  • Low running cost
  • Lightweight (compared to gas models)
  • Tolerable noise level
  • Zero emissions

On the downside, you must trail a cable behind you when you use an electric edger. (Unless you invest in a cordless model, that is.) A cord isn’t a deal-breaker, but it’s a nuisance — and if you’re not careful, it could be a safety hazard. What’s more, the power output of an electric edger pales in comparison to the power output of a gas-powered model.


How do you install an edge where an edge doesn’t yet exist? If you’re planning a major sod-related project as part of a landscaping renovation, it may be best to purchase or rent a sod cutter. A sod cutter is a versatile tool with many applications, from removing grass to cutting turf.

Luke  | Landscaping Professional
Power options

Gas-Powered Lawn Edgers

It’s true that landscaping pros tend to use pricey gas-powered edgers. But the market offers some great mid-range gas machines for homeowners as well. If you have a larger-than-average plot of land that requires a decent amount of edging power, this could be the right choice for you.

Gas-powered edgers offer these advantages:

  • Easy to start
  • Works all day (refueling aside)
  • Excellent durability
  • Built for accuracy

On the downside, gas-powered edgers put out more noise and emissions than electric and manual models. Regular maintenance is essential to their functioning.

In recent years, cordless lawn edgers have grown in popularity. Battery life remains a drawback, but run times are definitely improving.


Features and Tips

Features vary depending on the type of edger you buy. Here’s a brief summary of what to expect from a good lawn edger — be it a manual, electric, or gas-powered tool — as well as some helpful usage tips for each type.

Features and Tips

Manual Edgers

Shape: This type of edger is often shaped like a half moon. However, we note that edgers with a point can be easier to position and guide.

Design: The cheapest manual edger is simply a flat plate with a handle. But for a few dollars extra, you can get a manual edger with a “step.” The step acts as a useful guide against hard landscaping, and it won’t dig into your foot like a straight blade can.

Material: Most manual edgers are made of steel, which is prone to rust. To reduce the chance of this happening, some manufacturers layer paint over steel. Unfortunately, this finish may scratch over time.

Some manufacturers suggest that their product will last longer because it’s made of “carbon steel.” Technically, however, we’d like to point out that all steel is carbon steel.

Features and Tips

Cordless Electric Edgers

Batteries: Obviously, you’re going to have to buy batteries for this type of tool. We recommend that you get the biggest battery available, with a minimum of 20 volts. And we urge you to make sure it’s lithium, not NiCad. Lithium batteries cost more, but they hold their power longer, and they don’t suffer from the “memory effect” that makes NiCad batteries lose performance each time they’re charged.

If you’ve got your heart set on a cordless edger, we would suggest that a “combination” machine — a string trimmer/weed wacker with an edging facility —  might be your best option.


A cordless edger doesn’t have as much power as its electric and gas-powered counterparts. Therefore, it’s not ideal for creating new borders. But if you’ve got just a small amount of yard to maintain, you may wish to consider a cordless option.

Luke  | Landscaping Professional
Features and Tips

Corded Electric Edgers

Motor: Some manufacturers quote horsepower, but a better guide for this type of edger is amps. The most popular corded lawn edgers feature 11- or 12-amp motors.

Cord Retention Clip: This type of tool frequently comes with a cord retention clip to prevent the cables from coming undone while you’re working.

Blade: A steel blade is a must. Sizes range from six to eight inches, but a larger blade isn’t necessarily a better blade. Bear in mind that quoted blade size has little to do with depth of cut, which may be no more than a couple of inches. Blade depth adjustment is a more useful feature.

Trenching: Some edgers offer a trenching option. This is useful if you want to bury cable for lights or run lightweight hose around the garden for irrigation.

Right- and Left-Handed Operation: The best electric edgers provide left- or right-handed operation. This is great if you're a “mixed” family of lefties and righties!


Lawn edging might look easy, but the most serious issue faced by many is not staying even with the turf and having the edger go too low.

Luke  | Landscaping Professional
Features and Tips

Gas Edgers

Blade: As with electric edgers, we urge you to check blade size, depth of cut, and adjustability before making a purchase.

Easy Set-up: Most gas-powered edgers require minimal self-assembly.

CARB Compliance: Machines that are CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliant have lower emissions. It’s a standard created in that state before the federal Clean Air Act came about, and it’s something more and more states are adopting.

Power: Big horsepower numbers aren't alway necessary. But if you’re doing a lot of edging, a machine with more power will make your life easier.

Other Features: Some gas edgers can angle the blade for cutting bevels. Some offer curb hopping capability: the front and back wheels on one side lower so the machine can step over curb stones.


At BestReviews, we test all kinds of gas-powered machinery. If this is the power source you choose, there's no substitute for a strong, reliable motor. Kohler and Honda both make excellent units for a variety of garden machinery; the Kohler Command is a particularly good motor. But in the edging sector, one brand stands out: Briggs & Stratton. This manufacturer is known for its durable products. If we were in a position where we couldn't decide between two machines based on other parameters, the fact that one had a Briggs & Stratton motor would almost certainly sway us.


If you’re one of the people who uses a wacker edger solution “hack”, please be sure to use a debris guard on the trimmer and all other applicable safety wear as well.

Lawn Edger Alternatives

If you’ve got a large plot of land to manage, a dedicated lawn edger is highly recommended. And if you’re creating new borders in your landscaping, nothing quite compares to a great edger.

However, several alternatives exist for people who are looking to save money while still maintaining neat edges:

  • If you’ve only a modest amount of edging to do, you might consider a string trimmer/weed wacker with an edging facility. The head can be used for horizontal cutting, and it can be rotated up to 90 degrees for edging.
  • If you already have one or more cordless garden tools, buying a cordless trimmer or edger from the same manufacturer might afford you the ability to interchange attachments. For example, you might be able to fit your edger piece on your weed wacker.
  • Buying multiple products from the same manufacturer also sometimes affords you the ability to share batteries between tools. This could certainly make life easier, but check carefully; even machine batteries from the same maker aren't always compatible.
  • A number of commercial-grade edger attachments are available for gas-powered weed wackers. This option is not as powerful as a dedicated gas lawn edger, but if you've already got a big brush cutter (or similar), it’s a high-performance alternative that's worth considering.

When using a lawn edger, be careful that you do not push the grass away from the intended curves; otherwise the lawn will recede in those areas, and the landscaping will be spoilt.

Luke  | Landscaping Professional


How much does a good lawn edger cost? A high-quality manual edger will probably cost you around $30. There are cheaper models, but in the “dirt cheap” price bracket, we’d be concerned about quality.

You don't have to spend a fortune to get a top electric lawn edger, either. Somewhere between $80 to $120 should cover it.

The best gas-powered edgers vary in price enormously. Mid-range machines cost between $250 and $300. The very best edgers — professional machines — will cost you twice that, and it's not difficult to spend $1,000 or more.

Following a regular maintenance schedule is a great idea not just for your lawn edger, but for all of your lawn and garden products. Keep a written schedule posted on your wall or in your computer to help yourself remember important maintenance tasks such as sharpening blades and changing oil.

Safety Tips

Lawn edgers are sharp tools. As such, they should be stored and handled with utmost care. We spoke to Luke, our landscaping consultant, for some safety advice:

  • Luke recommends that you sharpen your blade after every six to ten hours of use, just as you would your lawn mower blade. For people who use their edger for less than half an hour at a time, this translates to just a few sharpening sessions per year.
  • Always wear eye and hand protection, as well as long sleeves and long pants, when using your edger.
  • Always use extreme caution when operating a lawn tool. If you choose the weed wacker edger solution “hack” mentioned above, be especially careful, as this is not the safest option (and not one we generally endorse).  However, we realize it’s a common hack that many people take advantage of.

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