How to edge with a string trimmer—4 experts steps

using the dewalt dring trimmer on lawn edge

Strimming back tall grass

(Image credit: Future / Alex Temblador)

Edging your grass with one of best string trimmers is a part of basic garden maintenance to keep your lawn looking neat and tidy. They are a yard tool that goes by a few different names, including a weed whacker or the trademarked name Weed Eater, as we recently found out when we discovered what is the difference between a weed eater, weed whacker and trimmer.

After a mow of the lawn it's likely that you have some stray blades of grass, or the lawn mower deck hasn't gotten close enough to the fence so has missed a strip. Knowing how to edge with a string trimmer is going to wildly help with this. We caught up with a couple of experts to find out more.

The tools you'll need for edging with a string trimmer

Quick steps to edge with a string trimmer

  1. Get your safety gear on
  2. Mow your lawn
  3. Trim the edges
  4. Cut the lawn edges

Step by step guide: How to edge with a string trimmer

1. Safety first

(Image: © Future/Alex Temblador)

The first step to edging with a string trimmer is to make sure you have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as safety boots and goggles, ear protection, long trousers and gloves, Harry Bodell, landscaper and gardening expert for PriceYourJob, told Top Ten Reviews.

"When strimming, debris and stones can be whipped up by the fast-moving string and can cause injuries so it’s important to protect yourself," says Harry.

"Move any pots, containers, furniture and even your car if it’s close to where you are going to be working. Make sure children and pets are inside the house and ensure that anyone else is at least 49 feet away."

Image of gardening expert Harry Bodell
Harry Bodell

Harry Bodell is a UK-based landscaper with over 10 years of experience in the industry. As a gardening expert for PriceYourJob, Harry offers his expert advice to tradespeople and homeowners around the world.

2. Mow your lawn

(Image: © Future / Jennifer Oksien)

The next step is to mow the grass before you start trimming to make sure your yard is in a decent state to do the edging. 

"It’s much easier to use a strimmer if the lawn has been mown first," explains Morris Hankinson, gardening expert and managing director of Hope Grove Nurseries

"Give the lawn a cut to the length you’d like it to be and then you’ll be able to see the edges better before getting started." 

Check out our guide to the best lawn mowers if you need some help finding the right machine for the job. We've also got guides to the best robot mowers, the best electric mowers and the best riding mowers, as well as advice on the best time to mow the lawn in your region. 

Image of Morris Hankinson
Morris Hankinson

Morris Hankinson is the Founder and Managing Director of Hopes Grove Nurseries, the UK’s only specialist grower-retailer of hedging plants. Hopes Grove Nurseries has been awarded the Gardening Which? Best buy for hedging plants and received the Best Stand award at the Garden Press Event in 2018. 

3. Trim near the edges

(Image: © Black & Decker)

Gardening expert Morris says: "Before you get started on cutting the edge, strim away all of the grass near the edges that the lawn mower didn’t cut. 

"Keep the trimmer upright and simply glide over the grass, not too close or you’ll end up with a bare patch. Hold the strimmer firmly."

4. Cut the lawn edges

(Image: © Future/Alex Temblador)

Now you're ready to cut the lawn edges with a string trimmer, like the Black + Decker LSTE525 Cordless Lawn Trimmer.

Morris told Top Ten Reviews: "You will need to switch from holding the strimmer upright, to angling it at 90 degrees. The strimmer needs to be placed right where the string/line meets the edge of the grass. Keep the strimmer level and move along the edge of the grass border." 

Harry adds: "If you are edging a lawn next to a flower bed you should work from the grass side.

"Any cuttings that have been ejected onto the path or driveway can be tidied up with a garden blower (like this Greenworks 40V leaf blower for $71.12 on Amazon) or left on the lawn to be picked up next time you mow."


Any tips for using a trimmer for the first time?

"Maintain a steady and even pace so that you can control the cut and keep it straight," says Harry. "Work at a speed that feels safe and comfortable for you and permits you to sustain the neat edge. 

"Keep your arms as close to your body as is comfortable to give you more control and support when using the trimmer. This also helps to relieve fatigue." 

Maddy Biddulph

Maddy has been a writer and editor for 25 years, and has worked for some of the UK's bestselling newspapers and women’s magazines, including Marie Claire, The Sunday Times and Women's Health. Maddy is also a fully qualified Level 3 Personal Trainer, specializing in helping busy women over 40 navigate menopause.