If you want your garden beds, walkways and driveway to have clean lines around the edges, an edge trimmer is a worthwhile purchase for your landscaping. “With enough power and speed, you’ll be able to take out any tough underlying grass or weeds that are making your lawn look unkempt,” explains Chris Richert, Product Manager, Handheld Battery & Connectivity at the Husqvarna Group. We compared edge trimmers based on factors such as their power sources, cutting depth options, and ease of use.
Our top pick, the RYOBI 40V Expand-It Cordless Battery Edger, has a lightweight, cordless design with a wheeled head for precise cuts, and the unit accepts RYOBI expand-it attachments, making it a versatile addition to your shed.
Here, the best edge trimmers for your yard.
Best Overall: RYOBI 40V Expand-It Cordless Battery Edger
Variable speed trigger
Dual serrated blade
Built-in guide wheel
Accepts RYOBI Expand-It attachments
Clogs in wet dirt
The RYOBI 40V Expand-It Cordless Battery Edger has a lightweight cordless design that you could carry all around your yard. As a bonus, you can use its power head with other RYOBI Expand-It Attachments, making it a string trimmer, brush cutter, hedge trimmer, and more. The edger has an 8-inch dual serrated blade, and when it starts to dull, you can simply reverse the blade to extend its lifespan. The tool has a variable-speed trigger for increased control, and a guide wheel on the head of the tool helps you cut beautifully straight lines around your garden beds and walkways.
This battery-powered edger weighs less than 10 pounds, making it significantly lighter than many similar sized units, and its cutting depth extends to 6.5 inches. The package includes a 40-volt 4Ah lithium-ion battery and charger, and you also can use the tool with batteries from other RYOBI tools you may own. A 3-year warranty backs the edger, and a 5-year warranty covers the power head. One downside: The tool creates clean, straight lines in most applications but can get clogged in wet or dense dirt.
Best Budget: Fiskars 38.5 Inch Long-handle Steel Edger
Large foot platform
If you don’t mind putting in a little extra elbow grease, the Fiskars Long-Handle Steel Edger is an affordable manual option for smaller applications. This simple tool has a sturdy steel blade mounted on an extra-long 39-inch handle, and to use it, you step down on the foot platform to cut through the grass and dirt. The steel blade allows you to cut a deep edge with each push. But it takes significantly longer to use than a gas- or battery-powered model.
The tool shaft is made from powder-coated steel, and its dual-sided handle gives you plenty of leverage as you work. Because this tool is so basic, you don’t have to worry about any complicated maintenance or parts breaking, and in case something does go wrong, it’s backed by a lifetime manufacturer's warranty.
Best Splurge: Earthquake 23275 Walk-Behind Landscape and Lawn Edger
Suitable for trenching
Integrated tool holder
You can make quick work of any edging job with the Earthquake Walk-Behind Edger, a heavy-duty model that’s powered by a 79cc four-cycle gas engine. It’s equipped with a 9-inch steel blade that spins up to 3,400 RPMs, creating clean, professional lines in all types of grass. Despite its significant weight (57 pounds), the edger is easy to push, thanks to its four-wheel design. You can choose from five different depth settings, ranging from 0.5 to 3.5 inches. You even can use it to make small trenches such as those required for Invisible Fence installation.
In addition to selecting the cut depths, you also can change the cutting angle, from six positions ranging from 0 to 110 degrees, allowing for cleaner cuts in certain types of grass. A chain skirt serves as a debris guard during operation, protecting the operator while avoiding clogs. You also can take advantage of an attached tool holder on the handle to secure other equipment. While this edger is certainly more expensive than many handheld models, it offers more versatility and power, and it tackles large jobs with ease.
Best Trimmer-Edger Combo: BLACK+ DECKER Corded Electric 2-in-1 String Grass Trimmer/Lawn Edger
Automatic spool feeding
Not good for heavy-duty jobs
Goes through line quickly
Trimming and edging go hand-in-hand, and if you don’t want to purchase separate tools for each task, the BLACK+ DECKER 2-in-1 String Grass Trimmer/Lawn Edger is a convenient combo unit for your yard. This corded tool weighs 5.5 pounds, making it easy to handle, and its head rotates to switch between string trimming and edging. However, keep in mind that this tool uses string trimmer line—not a metal blade—to cut edges, so the results may not be as precise or clean as a standard edger.
This 2-in-1 tool has an adjustable shaft, allowing you to change its length to suit your stature, and an automatic feed system keeps the line at the perfect length—no bumping required. Its PowerDrive transmission helps prevent bogging down in heavy grass and weeds, and a lock stops the extension cord from accidentally disconnecting during use. Because it relies on a power cord for operation, you need to navigate around the cord as you work, but the upside is you never run out of battery power mid-job.
Best Gas: Husqvarna 525ECS 7.5-in Gas Lawn Edger
Auto-return stop switch
The Husqvarna Gas Lawn Edger is powered by a 25.4cc engine that allows it to cut through even the thickest grass and dirt with ease. While this heavy-duty edger is designed for professional turf maintenance, it’s comfortable to use during long home-yard work sessions, thanks to its balanced, ergonomic design. The edger is equipped with a 7.5-inch forged steel blade, and it cuts to a maximum 2.5 inches.
While it is heavier than most (almost 14 pounds), this edger is designed with the user in mind. It has intuitive controls, including choke and purge, and when the machine is turned off, the stop switch automatically returns to the start position for easier starting. The manufacturer says its X-Torq engine design reduces exhaust emissions, and the ergonomic curved shaft's guide wheel on the end helps you achieve precise results. The Husqvarna Lawn Edger is more expensive than other handheld models, but the added cost is worth it for heavy-duty applications.
Best Corded: WORX WG896 12-Amp Electric Lawn Edger & Trencher
Cutting line guide
Adjustable shaft length
Limited cutting depth
If you have a smaller yard and don’t mind working around an extension cord, the Worx Electric Lawn Edger is an unbeatable value. Its 7.5-inch serrated blade that spins at up to 4,700 RPMs, and its three-wheel design takes the strain off your shoulders, making it easier for anyone to operate. The edger has three depth settings—1, 1.25, and 1.5 inches—and its cutting line indicator can help you make straight, clean edges.
This tool has an adjustable shaft that allows you to tailor its height to a comfortable position, and its D-grip handle provides increased stability. A cord retainer stops the cord from disconnecting as you work, and a wear indicator on the blade lets you know when it needs replacing. The only downside of this well-priced edger is its cutting depth is fairly limited—other models can cut as deep as 3 inches, while this one maxes out at 1.5.
Best Cordless: EGO POWER+ 56-Volt 8-in Handheld Cordless Electric Lawn Edger
Variable speed trigger
Compatible with EGO Multi-Head attachments
You aren't constrained by a cord with the Ego Power+ Cordless Electric Lawn Edger, which runs on a 56-volt lithium battery. This cordless tool's high-efficiency motor offers a longer runtime and limited vibration, and its 8-inch blade can cut up to 3 inches deep for clean and defined lines around your yard. Plus, the tool is part of the EGO POWER+ Multi-Head System, which means you can use the power head used with other attachments, including a string trimmer, pole saw, cultivator, and more.
The Ego Power+ Lawn Edger has a variable speed trigger and lock-off switch, and the guide wheel on the head features a depth height adjustment knob. The tool is even water-resistant, just in case it gets left out in inclement weather. Because this edger runs on battery power, it has a limited runtime. While the manufacturer doesn’t list how long the battery lasts, users report getting 20 to 30 minutes of operation per charge.
Best Walk-Behind: Troy-Bilt 9 in. Tri-Blade 140 cc 4-Stroke Engine Gas Landscape Edger
Beveled cutting positions
Built-in curb wheel
It can be tiring to operate a handheld edger for an extended period, and if you have a lot of ground to cover, you might be better off with a walk-behind model such as this one from Troy-Bilt. While it is pricey, this tool's four-wheel design takes all the strain off your arms—all you have to do is push it along the edges you want to carve out. It’s powered by a 140cc gas engine for unmatched cutting power, and its 9-inch, triple-edged blade can cut as deeply as 2.25 inches.
Not only does this edger offer six height positions but it also can be used to create three different beveled cuts for a professional-looking result. The tool arrives fully assembled, and its self-sharpening blade helps minimize the required maintenance. A curb-hop wheel makes it easy to edge along raised areas such as sidewalks, and the walk-behind design makes quick work of even the largest jobs—without compromising quality.
Best Curved Shaft: ECHO PE-225 21.2cc Gas 2-Stroke Edger
Easy to start
Requires gas/oil mixing
Cutting depth not listed
The ECHO Gas Edger's curved shaft helps give it a more comfortable balance, making it easier to operate for long periods. This edger's two-stroke engine (which requires a 50:1 ratio of fuel to oil mix) and reduced-effort starting system makes it easier to get running. It uses a 7.75-inch blade to create neat edges in your lawn, and you can adjust the cutting depth using a knob on the tool’s guide wheel.
This gas edger's high-impact nylon debris shield protects the operator, yet its open design prevents material from getting clogged and slowing down the blade, which cuts to a maximum 7.75 inches. You can adjust the placement of the tool’s front handle for a more comfortable grip. This tool is backed by a 5-year warranty.
The RYOBI 40V Expand-It Cordless Battery Edger is a lightweight, cordless edge trimmer that runs on the brand’s 40-volt batteries. It has a dual serrated blade that can cut through tough grass, and you can use the power head with other yard tool attachments (sold separately). If you only have a small area you need to edge, you can save money with the Fiskars 38.5 Inch Long-handle Steel Edger. This manual model is as basic as they come, and you have to use your body weight to push the blade into the ground.
What to Look For in an Edge Trimmer
As with many other power tools, edge trimmers can be powered by gas engines, rechargeable batteries, or power cords. Each power source has benefits and drawbacks. Typically, gas edgers are the most powerful and can cut through thick grass and dirt, but they’re often loud, heavy, and require quite a bit of maintenance. Battery-powered tools are quieter and easy to operate, but they have limited runtimes. Corded models have many of the same benefits as battery-operated units, but you have to work around an extension cord, which can be challenging.
Similar to string trimmers, handheld edge trimmers feature either a straight or curved shaft. Straight-shaft units tend to be a bit larger and harder to handle, but they’re more durable and offer a longer reach. Curved shafts tend to be a bit easier to wield, as they’re more balanced. But they often break sooner, as the inner wiring bunches up in the curved interior.
Ease of Use
Several features can make an edge trimmer easier to use. For example, a three- or four-wheel design allows you to simply push the tool along the ground instead of manually holding it up. This reduces strain on your arm and often results in cleaner lines. If you opt for a handheld edger, make sure to consider its weight, as well as whether it offers a guide wheel for easier operation.
Other useful features to consider include an adjustable shaft or handle you can tailor to your height, as well as an ergonomic design that makes it more comfortable to operate for extended periods.
What do edge trimmers do?
“Edge trimmers are used around the edges of your lawn,” explains Chris Richert, Product Manager, Handheld Battery & Connectivity at the Husqvarna Group. “It doesn’t just cut grass, it is designed to provide a boundary between the lawn and surrounding areas to provide a cleaner look. For example, you’d use an edger to create a boundary between grass and maybe a flower bed, fence, wall, or sidewalk.”
What is the difference between an edge trimmer and a string trimmer?
“A lawn edger typically uses a metal blade, whereas a string trimmer does not,” Richert says. “A string trimmer is used to cut back unruly weeds as well as overhanging grass. It is mostly for cutting grass in hard-to-reach areas that you cannot reach with your lawnmower. You can use a string trimmer to edge, but typically an edger will do a better job due to its nature being dedicated to that particular job.”
Where should you use an edge trimmer?
“You should use an edger when trying to create a clear distinction between grass and different elements of your yard,” Richert says. “The most common places are around a flower bed, a sidewalk, near a fence or wall, or your street. This will tidy up any sort of grass overgrowth.”
Should you trim before or after mowing?
There are differing schools of thoughts. Proponents of trimming before mowing say fine tuning lawn edges and removing weeds or tall grass around obstacles, such as plants or mailboxes, allow you to mow the lawn more quickly and easily afterward. Those who prefer to mow before trimming insist that tackling the bulk of the lawn with a mower ensures you subsequently trim the edges to the correct height rather than risk over-trimming. The best way to answer this question is to try it both ways and compare notes.
When should you trim your lawn?
Experts say the best time to trim and mow your lawn is mid-morning, before the midday sun hits and after the morning dew has evaporated. Generally, trimming and mowing your lawn is a weekly activity for the fastidious homeowner or anyone who lives in close proximity to fellow members of a homeowners' association. From late spring to early fall, when grass grows the most quickly, you should ideally be mowing every five days.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. She has tested the BLACK+ DECKER Electric 2-in-1 String Grass Trimmer/Lawn Edger, and while researching edgers for this piece, she consulted with Chris Richert, Product Manager, Handheld Battery & Connectivity at the Husqvarna Group, for insights on what to look for when purchasing this lawn tool.
While evaluating various edgers, she considered factors such as their power source, blade type, cutting depth, and guide features. She prioritized products that are easy to operate thanks to an ergonomic design and manageable weight, including handheld and wheeled models.