Having neat and tidy lawn edges is probably the second most important softscaping task after proper lawn mowing if you want to have a beautiful and healthy landscape. A well-cut edge will give you a crisp, tight, and clean separation from your turf and sidewalks or garden beds. A lawn edger or trencher is a tool specifically designed to create these sharp and defined edges. Today we’ll introduce you to various types of lawn edgers and trenchers, talk about which type is best for various landscapes and lawn types, and give a few tips on what to consider when buying a lawn edger or trencher. Finally, we’ll share our picks for the top 7 best lawn edgers and trenchers in 2021.
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Types of Lawn Edgers and Trenchers
There are three main types of lawn edgers and trenchers: manual, gas, and electric ones. Here are some of their advantages and reasons to pick one over the other.
As it’s clear from the name, this type of edgers and trenchers don’t need gas or electricity. You’ll have to put your hands and feet to work to edge your turf. They are still a common pick for smaller landscapes as they are convenient, don’t take much space, and are very compact and portable. Manual edgers require very little maintenance since there are no motors, bearings, or electricity involved, but best of all, it makes no noise! All you need to do is clean it up after use and store it away. Finally, manual trenchers and edgers are quite cheap and budget-friendly.
One of the most popular manual trenchers is a roller edger that requires you to step and push the tool with your foot to cut the edges of your grass. Then there’s also a half-moon edger that looks like a spade or a shovel. You use it by pushing it into the ground and rocking back and forth to cut the grass.
Gas Powered Edgers
Gas-powered edgers and trenchers are the most powerful type of lawn edgers. Their power rating usually ranges from 20 to up to 160 cubic meters depending on the size. These larger lawn edgers are perfect for bigger yards and provide very consistent and clean cuts due to their sheer power. All gas-powered trenchers and edgers are on wheels, so you barely need any manual power. However, they are pretty noisy and cost a bit more than manual or electric edgers.
Electricity Powered Edgers
Electric-powered edgers can be corded or battery-powered and are very lightweight. Similar to handheld electric saws, battery-powered edgers have more portability over corded ones but need to be charged quite often. People prefer electric edgers over gas-powered ones since they produce no exhaust, aren’t as loud, and don’t require much storage space.
What to Consider When Buying a Lawn Edger and Trencher
Lawn size and shape
It’s pretty important to think about how big your lawn edging task will be. If you have a huge yard, using a manual edger will take a lot of your time and, most importantly, a lot of physical power, so it’s wiser to use a gas-powered edger for quick and effortless edging unless you’re really keen on a good workout!
Additionally, suppose your lawn has many tight edges or awkward-shaped flower beds close to the wall, bushes, or on a tight slope. In that case, the gas edger might be too bulky, so an electric or manual one will be easier to maneuver and work around tight spaces.
The more power your edger has, the easier it is to achieve a clean, sharp, and consistent edge on your lawn without much physical effort. A powerful gas edger is best for a clean and effortless cut if you have a long lawn with straight edges. Electric edgers aren’t as powerful but are much more maneuverable and lightweight.
Rectangular blade with a straight edge
This is the most simple and basic type of blade found on an edger. They are more than enough for small and straightforward lawn edging. Best suited for lawns connecting with same height driveways, walkways, or short flower beds. Rectangular blades should be used on gas and electric edgers only because you won’t be able to turn the rectangle shape blade with a manual edger.
Rectangular blade with scoop-cut ends
A rectangular blade with scoop-cut ends works best for garden, flower, and tree bed edging that has soil covered in mulch or other material. The unique shape of the blade allows for a delicate and precise cut without throwing weeds all over your flower bed.
This type of blade can be used on gas, electric, and manual edgers. A star-shaped blade has many sharp points and can handle bushes, shrubs, small tree branches, and other dead greenery much more efficiently than rectangular blades.
If you’re using a manual edger with a star-shaped blade, it can also be used as a lawn aerator. Just make sure not to put too much pressure, and the blade will provide small punctures into the soil.
When buying a non-manual lawn edger, make sure to consider safety features like trigger lock, debris guard, and padded grips.
As the name suggests, a debris guard prevents debris from flying out the back of the edger into your feet and torso. Hard dirt and rocks can hurt you, while grass debris can stain your clothes.
A trigger lock is the most common safety feature on any powered landscape equipment. It prevents users from accidentally starting the edger when picking it up or storing it. In order to start, the edger trigger lock needs to be pressed, held, and only then can you fire up the edger.
Padded grips and straps
Powered edgers and trenchers produce vibration, so having padded grips and over-the-shoulder straps allows for a much more ergonomic edger handling. Even if you’re working around short lawn edges or garden beds, padded grips make a huge difference.
Additional features or accessories
Adjustable blade position and angle
To deal with different types and shapes of flower beds and lawns, you might want to be able to adjust blade position and angle. Your lawn near a driveway might be close to the ground, while the garden bed will be deeper into the ground requiring different height edging.
The additional wheel feature is helpful for heavier and bulkier gas-powered edgers. It can provide a lot of extra stability when on uneven surfaces and paved driveways or walkways.
Cord length and battery size
When picking an electric lawn edger, make sure to check the length of the cord and battery size. If you have a large backyard, make sure the cord is long enough for your needs; otherwise, you’ll have to buy an extension cord. Cordless lawn edgers are not as powerful as corded ones and are best for smaller edging tasks. If you have a larger landscape and still want a lightweight and portable cordless edger, make sure to get on with a larger battery or one that has two batteries included to avoid having to recharge the battery in the middle of your chores.
Top 7 Best Lawn Edger and Trencher Reviews in 2021
Fiskars 38.5 Inch Long-handle Steel Edger
As we know, Fiskars produce excellent landscaping tools of great quality and price ratio. The Fiskars 38.5 inch steel edger is no exception. This lawn edger is one of the best manual edgers and trenchers if you’re on a budget. We love that this shovel-looking edger is perfect for creating and maintain garden and flower beds. It has a sharp and deep steel blade that allows you to create a garden bed by yourself easily.
The Fiskars steel edger is cheap but really sturdy and should last you years. It is also ergonomic for a manual edger and trencher. The long shaft allows edging your lawn without bending too much, and the large foot platform helps to efficiently use your whole body weight to maximize force without using arm strength.
All in all, Fiskars long-handle steel edger is the best manual edger for lawn care and garden bed creation if you’re on a budget.
- Sharp steel blade
- Ergonomic design
- Great for garden bed creation
- Durable build
- Easy to store
- Requires a lot of manual labor for large area edging
Truper 32100 Tru Tough Rotary Lawn Edger
Here we have Truper 32100 rotary lawn edger, which is another lightweight manual lawn edger perfect for smaller territories, especially if you have little storage space. The 48-inch handle is made from American ash with a lacquer finish, while the bottom has a sharp star-shaped blade and a wheel to push on the sidewalk or by garden beds for a clean cut.
The Truper 32100 manual rotary lawn edger is very straightforward and easy to use. All you need to do is put the wheel on the pavement next to your lawn or garden bed and move the edger 2-3 times forward and backward to form an edge.
Manual rotary lawn edgers are a great alternative to more expensive electric or gas-powered edgers. If you just want to freshen up your lawn a few times a year and don’t have a huge backyard, Truper 32100 might be the best rotary manual edger for you that won’t cost a fortune.
- Strong and durable 48-inch American ash handle
- Simple and straightforward design
- Not fit for large landscapes
WORX WG896 12 Amp 7.5″ Electric Lawn Edger & Trencher
The WORX WG896 is one of the best lawn edgers and trenchers for regular homeowners and amateur landscapers. It has a cutting line indicator and three depth selections for various edging and garden trenching projects. It is lightweight for an electric edger, but the 14 lbs is heavy enough to hold it down while trenching more challenging soil.
This 12 Amp electric edger comes as one piece out of the box. All you have to do is pop in the shaft pieces, tighten the handle, put the wheels on, and you are ready to edge.
This corded lawn edger has a 7.5-inch star-shaped blade that should easily deal with any grass and soil, considering the motor can spin it at 4700 RPMs. What makes it a versatile edger and trencher combination is the ability to choose between 3 depths of trenching. You can do regular edging around sidewalks and garden beds with the smallest depth selection and switch to trenching with the other two depth choices.
All in all, WORX WG896 is the best budget electric lawn edger and trencher combo on our list. It is a perfect landscaping tool for homeowners who don’t want to pay for professional landscaping services and would rather do these small chores themselves.
- Power: 12 Amp motor
- 7.5-inch blade
- Three depth adjustments
- Cutting line indicator
- Adjustable shaft
- Very accurate and sharp cut
- Lightweight for an electric edger
Greenworks Pro 80V 8 inch Brushless Edger
If you’re tired of dealing with oil changes and gas refills, then electric tools might be a significant relief for you. The Greenworks Pro 80V brushless edger is a very powerful landscaping tool that allows you to effortlessly move around your garden without being constrained by a cord or heavy gas engine.
It comes 95% assembled; all you need to do is tighten the handle and put the battery in. In all honesty, the battery is the biggest weakness of this edger. No, it isn’t of bad quality; it’s just not included with edger! When bought additionally with the charger, it does add up to quite a hefty price tag.
This edger is very well built with an 8-inch steel blade, sturdy guard, and a flap to stop any debris from coming your way. It’s also nice to know that Greenworks provides a 3-year warranty for their products if anything breaks.
If your budget is not a concern, Greenworks Pro 80V lawn edger is the best cordless lawn edger on our list for comfort, portability, and ease of use.
- 8-inch steel blade
- Multiple speeds
- Adjustable handle
- Comfortable grip
- Curb wheel for easy edging
- Relatively silent for an edger
- No emission
- Almost no assembly is required
- 3-year warranty
- Battery not included
- Expensive when bought with battery and charger
Craftsman CMXGKAME30A 30cc 4-Cycle Gas Powered Grass Lawn Edger
If you need a powerful edger for larger landscapes, you should go with a gas-powered lawn edger. Cordless edgers can’t run for long periods without a battery switch, and corded tools constrain your movement. Craftsman CMXGKAME30A is a small but powerful lawn edger. The 30cc 4-cycle motor is powerful but not as loud or heavy as bigger gas lawn edgers.
The Craftsman lawn edger is easy to use even if you’re not experienced with landscaping tools. It’s easy to assemble, and the prime and pull start will get you going in seconds. A 9-inch heavy-duty steel blade is sharp enough for any lawn and soil, while the six different height positions will let you pick how deep you want your trenches to be. Finally, there are three premium quality wheels for extra stability and effortless pushing.
The build itself could be a bit more solid; however, it does come at a very low price point for a gas lawn edger. All in all, it’s one of the best budget gas lawn edgers for casual gardeners who want to keep their lawn sharp and clean all year long.
- 30cc 4-Cycle motor
- Easy prime and pull start
- 9-inch heavy-duty steel blade
- 6 cutting positions up to a 1.75-inch depth
- Three wheels for stability
- Not very sturdy
SOUTHLAND SWLE0799 79cc Walk Behind Gas Lawn Edger
SOUTHLAND SWLE0799 is the closes you can get to a professional lawn edger without paying a professional price tag. The 79cc four-stroke motor is a beast that can handle any type or height of grass growing on the toughest soils.
Its 9-inch triangular blade can adjust +/- 15 degrees to produce natural-looking beveled edges around your flowerbeds. You also have five depth options ranging from 0 to 2.5-inches which is more than enough to create a garden bed or irrigation trenches.
There are three massive wheels that allow hopping on curbs, making lawn edging near driveways a very easy task. It is, however, a bit difficult to use on curved cuts.
The SWLE0799 is a very powerful gas lawn edger and trencher perfect for homeowners with larger landscapes and maybe even landscapers just getting into the business.
- 79cc 4 stroke motor
- 0 to 2.5-inch depth positions
- +/- 15 degrees blade angle adjustment
- Can hop curbs
- 9-inch blade
- The handle could be more ergonomic
- Not very agile on curves
SANJIAN Cordless String Trimmer, Weed Wacker, Edger
The last on our list is SANJIAN multipurpose tool for trimming, weed whacking, and lawn edging. This versatile cordless battery-powered landscaping tool is an excellent option for gardeners and homeowners who are on a budget and don’t want to store multiple gadgets for once-a-season landscaping chores.
There are three different blades to choose from. The plastic blades are for soft grass mowing and trimming. Stainless steel metal blades are great for lawn edging, weed whacking, and small shrub trimming. Finally, the manganese circular saw blade will deal with thicker shrub and branch pruning.
You’ll have two 21V lithium batteries included, which are not the most powerful ones, but you’ll be able to charge one while you use the other.
In conclusion, the SANJIAN cordless trimmer is a great multipurpose tool for casual homeowners. Yes, the quality isn’t premium; however, the price is really low. If you need to deal with small landscaping quite often but don’t want to buy a bunch of expensive and bulky, this versatile cordless edger might be your best pick.
- Two 21V lithium batteries included
- It comes with 3 blade types
- Very lightweight
- Multipurpose landscaping tool
- Budget price
- Cheap build
- Batteries don’t last long
Please keep in mind that no matter which type of lawn edger you choose, there is always the possibility that you may cut through electric cables or sprinkler lines, so always use caution and have lines marked before you begin.