Having a good lawn edger can make the difference between having a garden that looks good and one that looks genuinely great. With lawn mowers, hedge trimmers and weed wackers, you can trim the lawn to look flat and beautiful, trim and shape your hedges and bushes, and get rid of any stray weeds or thick vegetation. But if your lawn edges are uneven or scraggly, it can take away from your satisfaction of observing a garden job well done.
It’s not just aesthetics, either. A well edged lawn is a healthy lawn, as its sides are better equipped to deal with heavy downpours, making sure extra moisture runs off into bedding or off your lawn altogether. That means it won’t get too soggy, which could damage the grass down to its roots (and the soil underneath) and invite weeds to take hold.
We spent more than 100 hours researching and evaluating the best edgers on the market. At the end of our latest lawn edger testing, we chose the Southland SWLE799 as our top pick. Its 9-inch blade can slice 2.2 inches below the ground to get to your grass’s roots. It has a useful curb-hopping feature that will help you cut a straight, clean line on the outer border of your lawn. In addition, the fuel tank holds up to 54 ounces of gasoline, which is more than enough to get through a large project on a single tank.
This Southland edger was our choice for best overall edger because it is a durable machine with all the necessary features to make it a versatile landscape edging tool. One standout feature is its curb hopping capability. The front and rear wheels adjust so they are on street level while the edger rides the curb to cut a straight edge.
The Southland edger has three wheels: two in back, one in front. You can adjust the 9-inch edger blades to six different cutting positions, with a maximum depth of 2.25 inches, so you’ll have no problem getting to the root of the grass.
Its 79cc engine is not the most powerful engine we saw, but it is more than adequate to cut most types of grass. It has a 54-ounce gas tank capacity, which is plenty to cut a large lawn. The wheels also adjust 15-degrees right and left for beveled edging.
This is a well-constructed, balanced machine, but that means it is heavier than average at 60 pounds. With its solid construction and feature-rich design the Southland is easily one of the best edgers we looked at.
If you have a small yard, or just want to save some cash, this edger is worth your consideration. It costs less than $100, so it’s a great deal. However, there are a few trade-offs for the price.
For example, its 12-amp engine is much less powerful than that of our top pick. But that’s to be expected because this is an electric edger, which typically have less power than their gas-fueled counterparts.
This GreenWorks model also has a short blade, just 7.5 inches – this is big enough for occasional use, but it doesn’t have the grass-root removing power of other tools we reviewed.
The edger features a push-button ignition instead of a recoil cord, which is great because it will almost always start on the first try. At 13.24 pounds, this is an extremely lightweight edger. So, it may feel a bit flimsy, but the upside is that it is very easy to maneuver.
However, since the GreenWorks 27032 requires an electrical outlet to work, its range is limited by the length of your extension cord. Because of this, it isn’t advisable to use the edger on a large lawn. This tool comes with a cord-lock that keeps it from disconnecting while you move.
In terms of raw power, this Troy-Bilt model tops our charts. Most other edgers have two-cycle engines, but this one touts a four-cylinder design.
This not only generates enough turning power for its 9-inch double-edge blade, but it also eliminates the need to mix oil and gasoline for fuel. The gas tank only holds 0.4 quarts, which is far less than our top pick, so you’ll want to have some back up fuel handy.
One of the edger’s unique features is its battery-powered JumpStart engine starter, which is an accessory you can attach to the side of the machine for easy starting. While this isn’t as convenient as a push-button ignition, it’s much better than pulling the recoil cord.
For as much power as this edger puts out, it’s surprisingly lightweight – just 22 pounds. Additionally, its three-wheel design makes it quite maneuverable and easy to control, even on uneven terrain.
Unlike some other edgers, this one works well in cold weather. But keep in mind that if it’s under 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside, you’ll want to warm the engine before you start using it. This is also a good pick if you have a large yard or simply want as much muscle as you can get from your power tools.
Easiest to Use
The WORX WG896 is a good lawn edger for small to medium-size yards – since it draws power from an electrical outlet, you’re limited by the length of your extension cord.
However, it has an electric cord lock, which keeps it from disconnecting – a problem with some corded yard tools.
With two wheels in back and a guide wheel in front, it is plenty stable and easy to guide in a straight line. You can adjust the shaft length so it is comfortable to use for your height, and the secondary handle pivots so it’s easy to place it in a comfortable position. In addition, its lightweight design makes it easy to maneuver around corners and in tight spots. The 12-amp motor is powerful compared to those on other electric edgers we reviewed.
At 12.4 pounds, the Black & Decker LE750 is the lightest edger we reviewed. Because it’s so light, it doesn’t put much strain your body and is easy to maneuver and handle.
Its weight, combined with its compact size, makes it easy to get in tight spaces and cut around curves. The 7.5-inch hardened steel edger blade is sturdy but on the short side compared to those on some of the other edgers we reviewed. It has an 11-amp motor, which isn’t bad for an electric edger and provides enough power to cut through tough grass and roots.
The handle adjusts to suit both right and left-handed people and has a trigger that makes the edger easy to start and stop. It also has an auxiliary handle to help you guide the machine. With two rear wheels and a front guide wheel, it’s easy to handle and leaves your grass with a straight cut.
How we found the best edger
Our team of expert reviewers spent more than 100 hours researching and evaluating the best garden edgers available. We considered a wide selection of brands, models and designs and picked models that best fit specific needs, such as edgers for people with large yards and those who live in residential areas. The models we considered span a wide range of prices, so we also noted which models yield the most value for your dollar.
Our reviewers weighed the pros and cons of attributes such as weight, manner of propulsion, type of ignition, fuel and power requirements, ease-of-use, reliability, durability, and more. In the end, we concluded that the best edger for you depends on what you need it for. If you have a small yard or only need to do yard work occasionally, an inexpensive, low-powered edger is sufficient. On the other hand, if you need heavy-duty equipment for more intense tasks, you’ll want a gas-fueled edger with a powerful engine.
How much does an edger cost?
As with other yard tools, there is a big price difference between electric and gas edgers – when you buy a gas-powered edger, you pay more for its steel construction and extra power. However, you can cut a nice edge with either type of tool. Many electric edgers cost less than $100, while a good gas edger can cost $200 or more. You can spend more than $500, but there is no need to pay that much for a solid edger.
Weed wacker vs edger: when to use which
It’s rather self-evident, but true: the best tool to use depends on the job you need to do.
Weed wackers can be used to trim grass around walls, posts, stumps and all kinds of obstacles. Many have a rotating head that also lets you comfortably edge your lawn. Trimmers are made to get in hard-to-reach places edgers aren’t designed to reach.
Edgers are designed for one job, and they do it better than any other tool can, including weed wackers. An edger’s vertical spinning blade is built to cut through all kinds of grass and even roots to create a straight, clean edge. Gas edgers, while more pricey, have all the power and heft needed to cut a near-perfect line. An edger can give your lawn a pristine, finished look, unlike any other tool can.
However, a weed wacker, also called a string trimmer, is more versatile than an edger. So if you can only afford one or the other, your best bet is probably a string trimmer.
Most important things to consider when buying an edger
The first decision you have to make is if you want an edger you walk behind like a lawn mower or a stick model you hold like a weed eater. If maneuverability is important for you or you will only use your edger occasionally, a stick model is probably your best bet. The walk behind models are more precise and cover more area than the stick models, so they are an excellent choice if you need lots of power.
The edgers we reviewed weigh as little as 13 pounds to as much as 65 pounds. The extra weight on the heavier models is usually due to the size of the engine and the machine’s body. Heavier models are harder to push and may wear you out quickly, and they are more difficult to maneuver. However, they also tend to me more powerful, durable and have more advanced features than simple, lightweight edgers.
When choosing between a gas, corded electric or battery-powered edgers, you should consider how far away from your house you plan to use it. Electric edgers rely on an extension cord for power, which is fine if you have a long extension cord or will be using it very close to your house. But if you need to use it farther out than an extension cord can reach, you’ll want a gas or battery-powered model. Battery-powered edgers are convenient because you can take them anywhere, but you’re limited by the life of the battery and how long it takes to recharge. Gas models are excellent for tough tasks that require a lot of power. The downside is that for some models, you have to mix gasoil and oil yourself to power it.
The amount of power you need depends on what jobs you plan to tackle with your edger. If you plan to regularly use the edger as part of a landscaping business, then you want the most powerful one you can get. For regular, suburban lawn maintenance, a medium-powered one would suffice. If your yard is exceptionally small, you don’t need much power at all.
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This Southland SWLE0799 has a 79cc engine to tackle grass of all kinds. It has several useful features like a 9-inch blade that allows you to cut grass down to the roots. It has an uncommon curb hopping feature and a 54-ounce engine, which is enough to cut a good-sized lawn.
With a price less than $100, this electric edger is great for a budget or small yard. It has a 12-amp motor, which isn’t very powerful but suits most edging tasks. It’s also lightweight, just 13.24 pounds.